Discussion in 'Historiography' started by Gage, Mar 4, 2006.
My interests in WW2 have a different source than most of the people here.
I always have been interested in history and military history.
However, my interest in WW2 was never a big deal. I.e.: I thought only that between 1939-1945 a loot of people killed each other in Europe. I thought about WW2 in the context of history, the importance of the event in affecting the course of history, not the event itself. For example, before WW2 science was concentrated in Europe, after it, most scientists moved to the US (and some to the USSR and Britain).
I was never interested in the events themselves because I always thought that the outcome of the war was given: I.e.: the allies were bound to win. In this case the war was only an massive exercise of futility, and since the outcome was given, then the only interesting things are the consequences of that given outcome in the course of history.
I thought that the outcome of the war was given because the allies (especially the US) had more industrial capacity to make munitions. In other words, I thought that the outcome of a conflict was determined by: the side with more industrial capacity wins. And since the US had about 40% of the worlds industrial capacity I thought that the side the US stays with, would always win at that time.
Everything changed when I discovered that Germany's munition production quadrupled between 1941 and July 1944. In other words: Munitions production was inversely correlated with military success in the German case. That was one of a hell of evidence that munitions alone doesn't determine the outcome of a war. The more I read, the more clear it became that things were much more complex. Now it is clear to me that the historical outcome of the struggle was less likely to occur than the other possible outcome. In fact, the USSR put superhuman effort to take the titanic punches delivered by the Wehrmacht and turn the tide.
I am more interested in WW2 in relation to WW1 because in WW1 a different outcome seems less possible: At those days defensive technology was more advanced than offensive, so an invasion was more likely than not to be unsuccessful.
This an interesting Question.
As a child was always interested in the American Civil war, My 11 birthday gift was a visit to Vicksburg Ms battlefield.My people were all southerns and it was less than a 150 miles from where we lived. Got me hooked. Now WW2, I was born on the 6th of June, one of the first books I read from cover to cover was The Longest Day by C Ryan. I love PARA's and Paratroopers. I was also born in to a military family, we lived on the Base (U.S. Air Force) and at that time were still under alot of old Army Air Corp regualtion and practices. We live on the edge of the parade field and my Mom would push my buggy out to field to watch the weekly reviews. A band would play, she tells me I would wail everytime the band got near us. I still love any kind of military Music. And I am always keep time with a beat, which drives my family crazy. I love to read military history and mainly WW2 Teletypeman
This an interesting Question.
As a child was always interested in the American Civil war, My 11 birthday gift was a visit to Vicksburg Ms battlefield.My people were all southerns and it was less than a 150 miles from where we lived.
I know what you mean, Teletype. I am half-Southern (but always VERY pro-Union) and got hooked on the Civil War early. I can't remember which I got hooked on first or worse, the Civil War or WWII.
In other words: Munitions production was inversely correlated with military success in the German case. That was one of a hell of evidence that munitions alone doesn't determine the outcome of a war.
That is very perceptive. The Germans were not simply out-produced (though they were); they were out-fought as well. The Allies were able to translate their production into battlefield success, while the Germans were not. This tells me that Allied commanders and troops learned fast and learned well. They found generals who were as good as the best the Germans had (Patton, Truscott, Patch, De Lattre, Simpson, McCreery, Zhukov, Koniev, Juin, Ridgeway, Bagramyan, Chernyakovsky, Rotmistrov, Chuikov, etc). Allied troops had usually fought stubbornly (look at the Dunkirk campaign, the first siege of Tobruk, the Brest fortress, etc) and in the second half of the war they fought with great skill and aggressiveness too (innumerable examples).
My veteran grandfather sitting me on his knee when I was young telling me all about it. I think he opened up because I was the only one to ask him about it.
I grew up in S. CA near a Lockheed subsidiary. I remember P-38’s, P-80’s and other Lockheed aircraft flying overhead.
I then found out schoolmate’s father flew P-38’s and B-25’s during the war (recon I think). His father had some memorabilia which we used to play with and we talked about WWII aircraft a lot.
In the early 1950’s my friend’s father and another WWII flyer bought a Lightening with a second seat behind the pilot and I got to go for a ride.
I have been a history buff since - especially of WWII and most especially of WWII aircraft.
My dad died in 2000, leaving behind over 300 images he painted as a POW under the Japanese. We were amazed and have tried to bring these images that were in his cupboard for 70 years to others through the web. See The Changi POW Artwork of Des Bettany | Prisoner of War at Changi, Singapore
Dad died in 2000 leaving over 300 imagaes he painted as a POW under that Japanese. Our family wanted to get these images to more people so started up a web page The Changi POW Artwork of Des Bettany | Prisoner of War at Changi, Singapore
Now have many comments from vets, children, grandchildren and some returned scanned artwork.
I was told after my grandad passed in 1991 that he had been in the merchant services during the war, but that he never spoke about it and no one knew anything more
It sparked a general interest then, and in the past year or so an interest in knowing where he, and the family we didnt know existed, had been
There's quite an age gap between me and my Dad - he was 48 when I was born. He was born in 1936 and lived in London throughout the war. When I was little he used to tell me his memories of the Blitz and things like that. Although of course as he was a young child, he remembers it all being great fun and very exciting!
I've always loved history. I passed my O'Level in 1979, then struggled with my A' Level Biology, so dropped it and did Modern History O' Level instead. Loved it even more.
Growing up I never knew anything about my grandfather and his WW2 service, like so many have said, Nan and the family hardly ever mentioned those times. Sadly, what you don't hear about, you don't ask about.
I suppose it was because I was still a youngster too juvenile to be called up to go to way, but we kept avid eyes on the news and watched every little bit of what was going
on. Also in Australia in 1942 there was a great fear that the Japanese were going to invade us at any time. Lucky for us, came the battle of the Coral Sea and virtually
stopped those little ideas.
That Sten is a real gem. Incidentally, many were painted black straight form the factory so I wouldn't worry.
I call all my stuff 'Cherish Re-enActing Paraphenalia', just to satisfy both sides. :wink:
What got me interested was my Grandfather, a Bren gunner with the 2nd Battalion Essex Regiment. I spent a lot of time with him growing up and he shared many of his stories with my brother and I and it spiralled from there. He really didn't tell anyone else about the details of his war, just myself and Dan and that made it so much more personal for us - like he was entrusting his memory to us for some reason. Something I feel priviledged about and something I take rather seriously.
I'll never forget his face when we bought the Bren gun and showed it to him. Sadly, he died in 2001 and left a void that still fills me with sadness.
I can still remember where I was when I first learned that my dad had been (was, still is - they're forever) a Commando in WW2. I remember running outside and telling all who'd listen that my dad was a Commando and that he'd won the War. I was only little, remember.
When I think back, it was usually my mam who'd tell me stuff (she had been in the ATS - radar) but then, if asked, dad would tell me a few more things - usually things he thought were funny but I found quite alarming ... waving at german pilots at Dieppe, pretending to be the soldiers they'd just, erm, disposed of ... and getting away with it! Not having dug trenches deep enough, in Normandy, before being bombarded by enemy mortars - and loads of Commandos diving into one that WAS quite deep whilst the poor bloke who dug it was last in and received shrapnel in his backside for his trouble. When I expressed my dismay on behalf of that soldier, my dad said not to worry cos he got a trip back home.
Anyway ... :wink: ... he gave me his books, The Green Beret and Swiftly They Struck, but I was too young to understand it. I have to thank my mam for mentioning various things in the first place as I doubt my dad would have initiated the conversations. His attitude to the terrible things that happened was 'Such is life' ... a quiet man who kept his thoughts about what he saw mainly to himself - like so many other soldiers.
When I started nursing, a colleague introduced me to books about people who had endured severe hardship and loss in concentration camps. Those books led me to read about SOE and the RAF .... when I think about it, all books (usually) about the people themselves, not tactics, battles etc, the books were always about the lives of those involved.
It took me til late last year to 'find' No.4 Commandos on Facebook ... and a whole new world opened up to me. I have met the most wonderful people and, thanks to Andy on this Forum, I'm about to learn of my dad's exploits from 1940-1945 in No.4's War Diaries .... can't wait! The Commando Veterans' Forum, WW2Talk, CVA on Facebook and elsewhere online, have helped recharge my batteries and I'm now eager to visit various Commando-related places and meet many more extraordinary individuals.
When dad died, in 1992, so many other sad things were going on in my life and I don't think I grieved for him properly. To have found, almost by chance, so much out about him and his comrades enabled me to complete that process - quite a painful time - but I'm now a happier person because of it and one who sees it as her duty to find out all I can and help preserve the memory of the people who endeavoured/endeavour so fearlessly to protect our freedom.
Like many others have mentioned for me it was growing up in the 70s,i remember going to army open days,dressing up and playing war,see attached pictures ,yes we used to run around the streets like that and nobody said anything,how times have changed ,freely wandering around the old nearby airfield seeing what i could find,getting a rollocking when my dad found me walking home with some form of live explosive i had found , warlord comic was my favourite ,in fact ive just remembered i buried a load of them in a tin in the garden of our old house,very likely just mush now..I wish i had asked long gone relatives more about what they went through,now i try to find as much as i can about them and instead of playing with stuff i still have from them its now preserved with what history i could find for any future generations of the family who may show an interest
good day panzerfsaust,04march,2006.10:45pm.i have been reading this old thread,re:what got you interested,and your reply is mangele was an intresting man.with interesting experiments.all I can say to you.is you would not like to be involved in one of the man you admire so much experiments,ask his victims,that is if you can find a living one,by the way did you fight for your country.i mean mangele had nothing to do with the war.take care,bernard85
I am as just guilty as the next bloke in occasionally missing gems on this forum that deserved much more of my time.
Such as this one:
Well done Keith !
I never knew your old man was with 2nd Essex. The Pompadours spent two tours of duty with 50th Division, first in 1940 and later in Normandy in 1944. A good outfit, I think, though at times a little unlucky (Essex Wood).
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