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 Second World War History Oddities

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Knight Templar
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PostSubject: Second World War History Oddities   Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:43 pm

The first German serviceman killed in the war was killed by the Japanese (China, 1937), the first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians (Finland 1940), the highest ranking American killed was LtGen. Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps. So much for the allies.

The youngest US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded in combat and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. (His benefits were later restored by act of Congress)

At the time of Pearl Harbor the top US Navy command was called CINCUS (pronounced "sink us"), the shoulder patch of the US Army's 45th. Infantry division was the Swastika, and Hitler's private train was named "Amerika". All three were soon changed for PR purposes.

More US servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions, your chance of being Killed was 71%.

Not that bombers were helpless. A B-17 carried 4 tons of bombs and 1.5 tons of machine gun ammo. The US 8th Air Force shot down 6,098 fighter planes, 1 for every 12,700 shots fired.

Germany's power grid was much more vulnerable than realized. One estimate is that if just 1% of the bombs dropped on German industry had instead been dropped on power plants German industry would have collapsed.

Generally speaking there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For instance Japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.

It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. The tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds were missing.

Worse yet the tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.

When allied armies reached the Rhine the first thing men did was pee in it. This was pretty universal from the lowest private to Winston Churchill (who made a big show of it) and Gen. Patton (who had himself photographed in the act).

German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City but it wasn't worth the effort.

A number of air crewman died of farts.(ascending to 20,000 ft. in an unpressurized aircraft causes intestinal gas to expand 300%).

The Russians destroyed over 500 German aircraft by ramming them in mid-air (they also sometimes cleared mine fields by marching over them). "It takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army" - Joseph Stalin

The US Army had more ships than the US Navy.

The German Air Force had 22 infantry divisions, 2 armor divisions and 11 paratroop divisions. None of them were capable of airborne operations. The German Army had paratroops that WERE capable of airborne operations. Go figure.

When the US Army landed in North Africa, among the equipment brought ashore was 3 complete Coca-Cola bottling plants.

Among the first "Germans" captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for The German Army until the US Army captured them.

A malfunctioning toilet sank German submarine U-120.

The Graf Spee never sank. The scuttling attempt failed and the ship was bought as scrap by the British. On board was Germany's newest radar system.

One of Japan's methods of destroying tanks was to bury a very large artillery shell with only the nose exposed. When a tank came near enough a soldier would whack the shell with a hammer. "Lack of weapons is no excuse for defeat." - LtGen. Mutaguchi

Following a massive naval bombardment 35,000 US and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska. 21 troops were killed in the fire fight. It would have been worse if there had been Japanese on the island.

The MISS ME was an unarmed Piper Cub. While spotting for the US artillery her pilot saw a similar German plane doing the same thing. He dove on the German plane and he and his co-pilot fired their pistols damaging the German plane enough that it had to make a forced landing. Whereupon they landed and took the Germans prisoner. I don't know where they put them since the MISS ME only had 2 seats.

Most members of the Waffen SS were not German.

The only nation that Germany declared war on was the USA.

During the Japanese attack on Hong Kong British officers objected to Canadian infantrymen taking up positions in the officer's mess. No enlisted men allowed you know.

Nuclear physicist Niels Bohr was rescued in the nick of time from German occupied Denmark. While Danish resistance fighters provided covering fire he ran out the back door of his home stopping momentarily to grab a beer bottle full of precious "Heavy Water". He finally reached England still clutching the bottle. Which contained beer. I suppose some German drank the Heavy Water.
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Rose Blossom
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PostSubject: Re: Second World War History Oddities   Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:09 pm

Interesting facts Knight Templar. Applause Some I was aware of and many I was not. scratch
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Mr Miyagi

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PostSubject: Re: Second World War History Oddities   Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:41 am

Quote :
A number of air crewman died of farts.(ascending to 20,000 ft. in an unpressurized aircraft causes intestinal gas to expand 300%).



I thought they said those weren't lethal? Shocked/Huh rofl
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PostSubject: Re: Second World War History Oddities   Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:20 am

Wow Interogation I didn't know any of that. Very informative and educational. Great post. Applause 2 thumbs up
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PostSubject: Re: Second World War History Oddities   Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:02 pm

One of my favorite subjects also! WWII
You'll find alot more interesting things when you look into the history of WWII. 2 thumbs up
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Rose Blossom
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PostSubject: Re: Second World War History Oddities   Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:39 am

I am interested in WWII also.
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Knight Templar
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PostSubject: Re: Second World War History Oddities   Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:05 pm

Here is some more for you then.... Wink

Despite what you might see in the movies, the regular German Army (Wehrmacht) did not usually use the Nazi salute. Only after the July 1944 attempt on Hitler's life were they forced to use the Nazi salute as standard.

A single Jagdtiger (large Porsche built German tank), straddling a Belgian road, once completely stopped the American advance despite the fact that it had been abandoned. The Americans simply couldn’t move it aside. They finally had to build a new road around it.

Amongst the methods of transport used by the 2nd Polish Corps fighting the battle of Monte Cassino was a brown bear called Wojtek who helped to move boxes of ammunition.

Heinrich Himmler, the evil head of the Nazi SS, was once a chicken farmer. Adolf Hitler was a teetotaller, vegetarian and non-smoker.

The first shot of WWII was fired from the German battleship 'Schleswig Holstein' which was on an official visit to Poland and berthed in Danzig harbour. At 4.30 am on September 1, 1939, the ship moved slowly down the Port Canal and took up position opposite the WESTERPLATTE (area containing Polish troop barracks and workshops). At 4.47 am, the order to 'Fire' was given. World War II had begun. Seven days later the Westerplatte Garrison surrendered.

The Soviet Red Army once trained dogs to destroy enemy tanks. The dogs were trained to associate the underside of tanks with food and were fitted with a 26lb explosive device strapped to their backs. Once the dogs crawled under the tanks, the device was triggered and exploded destroying the tank (and of course the dog). Unfortunately this didn't always work as planned as the dogs were trained using Soviet tanks so were more likely to run under these than the German tanks. As many as 25 German tanks were put out of action this way during the battles for Stalingrad and Kursk.

The Department of Conservation in Nashville, Tennessee, handed in a request for six million licenses to hunt Japs at a fee of $2 each. Back came a note 'Open season on Japs- no license required'.

During the attack on Pearl Harbor, a Hawaiian DC-3 airliner, coming in to land, was hit by a Japanese tracer bullet and set on fire. A minute later, the plane was hit by another bullet which hit the valve of a fire extinguisher, thus putting out the fire!

The war's most unusual ship was commissioned in 1945 at a cost of around one million dollars. It was the US Navy's 'Ice Cream Barge' the world's first floating ice cream parlor. It's sole responsibility was to produce ice cream for US sailors in the Pacific region. The barge crew pumped out around 1,500 gallons every hour!

The last Cavalry charge in history took place on August 23, 1942 at Izbushensky on the River Don. The Italian Savoia Cavalry Regiment, commanded by Colonel Bettoni, and consisting of 600 mounted Italian troops, charged against 2,000 Soviet troops who had opened a breach between the German 6th Army and the Italian Army. The Italian Lancers destroyed two Soviet Infantry armored vehicles before being forced to withdraw with slight losses, about thirty-two casualties.

The only US citizens killed by enemy bombs were a woman and five children. They died in Lakeview, Oregon, when they picked up a bomb that was carried across the Pacific by balloon from Japan on May 5, 1945.

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Rose Blossom
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PostSubject: Re: Second World War History Oddities   Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:23 pm

This is all very interesting. Where do you find all your information? I knew a lot that wasn't taught in school, but, I just learned even more and I like it. 2 thumbs up
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PostSubject: Re: Second World War History Oddities   Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:07 pm

Interesting. I bet you do well in trivia games. Shocked/Huh whistling
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PostSubject: Re: Second World War History Oddities   Sun Jun 15, 2008 12:08 pm

Most of those were very interesting. thumbs up
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PostSubject: Re: Second World War History Oddities   Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:38 pm

Just do Searches on the Internet and you come up with thousands of Great Stories and intersting facts about WWII.
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Rose Blossom
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PostSubject: Re: Second World War History Oddities   Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:17 pm

Do searches...I don't have time to do searches for EVERYTHING! duh
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Knight Templar
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PostSubject: Re: Second World War History Oddities   Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:58 am

Rose Blossom wrote:
Do searches...I don't have time to do searches for EVERYTHING! duh



giggle

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