What have you learned about WW2 recently?

Discussion in 'General' started by dbf, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Thanks for that. I am currently reading All The Kings Men so I have bookmarked the above and will read that after the book.
  2. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member Patron

    I read in the paper today (Today In History) that on this day, May 9, 1945 US officials announced that the midnight entertainment curfew was to be lifted immediately. That also meant that the lights along the Atlantic seaboard could be turned back on for for the first time since blackouts were imposed in early 1942. U-boats had easy pickins’ (the second Happy Time) early on when coastal shipping was illuminated against the city lights.

    Most night clubs here in Baton Rouge and southern Louisiana, especially in New Orleans largely ignored the curfew. Authorities looked the other way after tax officials reported surprisingly high taxes being collected from these errant businesses. Business is business, and more taxes collected contributed to making “Hitler Littler” and whatever they said about Mussolini and Tojo you know. I’m sure a little extra “protection” was paid to local big shots as well, which always happens when lots of extra monies come into play.
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  3. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    20 June, 1942—a Japanese submarine shelled the Estevan Point lighthouse on the west coast of Vancouver Island

    The only enemy artillery attack on Canadian soil during the Second World War came on the West Coast on 20 June, 1942. A Japanese submarine surfaced off Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and used its deck gun to fire on the Estevan Point lighthouse and wireless station for approximately 40 minutes. The attack did not result in any significant damage.

    Canadian naval officers examining a shell recovered from the site of the attack.

    Photo: Library and Archives Canada
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  4. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Hoping to help others

    It was more complicated than I thought when I played with Britains toy soldiers and Dinky Toy vehicles all those years ago.
    Despite what publishers say there are still youngsters with an interest in it if they are given the opportunity.
    Just because we are interested in the War does not mean we are promoting violence.
    Their grandchildren want to know what they did even if their parents didn't.
    Many of those who served just wanted to forget. Hopefully we can respect that too.
    Dave55 likes this.
  5. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I learned that the much-criticized Operation VARSITY, costly though it was, was a necessary, successful, and very valuable part of 21 Army Group's assault across the Rhine. This from a good new book about the 17th Airborne in VARSITY, Four Hours of Fury by James Fenelon.
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  6. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    What was the death rate?
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  7. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian layabout

    "I'll talk! I vill talk!"
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  8. Urrah

    Urrah Member

    During Operation Bagration, the Red Army destroyed 25 German divisions in 12 days, at one point.
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  9. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member Patron

    Ulithi Atoll, in the western Pacific was the busiest port in the world for about 7 months in 1945. The USN occupied the atoll and constructed a huge naval support activity with immense capabilities. I knew that the US had a large naval base there, but I had no idea of it's capabilities until just now.

    Borrowed from wiki:

    Early in the Second World War, the Japanese had established a radio and weather station on Ulithi and had occasionally used the lagoon as an anchorage, but had abandoned it by 1944. As the operations of the United States Navy moved west across the Pacific, the Navy required a more forward base for its operations.

    Ulithi was perfectly positioned to act as a staging area for the US Navy's western Pacific operations.The anchorage was large and well situated, but there were no port facilities to repair ships or re-supply the fleet.
    U.S. naval forces including carriers in the distance at anchor in Ulithi, March 1945
    On 23 September 1944, a regiment of the United States Army's 81st Division landed unopposed, followed a few days later by a battalion of Seabees.The survey shipUSS Sumner examined the lagoon and reported it capable of holding 700 vessels—a capacity greater than either Majuro or Pearl Harbor.

    The US Navy transferred the local islanders to the island of Fedarai for the duration of the hostilities. Arriving next was Service Squadron 10, termed by Admiral Nimitz as his "secret weapon". Its commanding officer, Commodore Worrall R. Carter, devised the mobile service force that made it possible for the Navy to convert Ulithi to the secret distant Pacific base used during the major naval operations undertaken late in the war, including Leyte Gulf and the invasion of Okinawa. Service Squadron 10 converted the lagoon into a serviceable naval station, creating repair facilities and re-supply facilities thousands of miles away from an actual naval port. Pontoon piers of a new design were built at Ulithi, each consisting of the 4-by-12-pontoon sections, filled with sand and gravel, and then sunk. The pontoons were anchored in place by guy ropes to deadmen on shore, and by iron rods driven into the coral. Connecting tie pieces ran across the tops of the pontoons to hold them together into a pier. Despite extremely heavy weather on several occasions these pontoon piers stood up remarkably well. They gave extensive service, with little requirement for repairs. Piers of this type were also installed by the 51st Battalion to be used as aviation-gasoline mooring piers near the main airfield on Falalop.
    USS Iowa at a floating drydock at Ulithi
    Within a month of the occupation of Ulithi, a complete floating base was in operation. Six thousand ship fitters, artificers, welders, carpenters and electricians arrived aboard repair ships, destroyer tenders, and floating dry docks. USS Ajax had an air-conditioned optical shop and a metal fabrication shop with a supply of base metals from which she could make any alloy to form any part needed. USS Abatan, which looked like a big tanker, distilled fresh water and baked bread and pies. The ice cream barge made 500 US gal (1,900 l; 420 imp gal) a shift. The dry docks towed to Ulithi were large enough to lift dry a 45,000-ton battleship. The small island of Mog Mog became a rest and recreation site for sailors.

    Fleet oilers sortied from Ulithi to meet the task forces at sea, refueling the warships a short distance from their combat operational areas. The result was something never seen before: a vast floating service station enabling the entire Pacific fleet to operate indefinitely at unprecedented distances from its mainland bases. Ulithi was as far away from the US Naval base at San Francisco as San Francisco was from London, England. The Japanese had considered that the vastness of the Pacific Ocean would make it very difficult for the US to sustain operations in the western Pacific. With the Ulithi naval base to refit, repair and resupply, many ships were able to deploy and operate in the western Pacific for a year or more without returning to the Naval base at Pearl Harbor.

    The Japanese had built an airstrip on Falalop. It was expanded and resurfaced, the runway running the full width of the island. The east end of the strip was extended approximately twenty feet (6.1 metres) past the natural shoreline. A number of small strips for light aircraft were built on several of the smaller islands. The Seabees completed a fleet recreation center at Mog Mog island that could accommodate 8,000 men and 1,000 officers daily. A 1,200-seat theatre, including a 25-by-40-foot (8 by 12 m) stage with a Quonset hut roof was completed in 20 days. At the same time, a 500-seat chapel was built. A number of the larger islands were used both as bases to support naval vessels and facilities within the lagoon.

    The Japanese still held Yap. Early after the US occupation they mounted a number of attacks but caused no damage to the Seabees working on the islands.

    On 20 November 1944 the Ulithi harbor was attacked by Japanese kaiten manned torpedoes launched from two nearby submarines. The destroyer USS Case rammed one in the early morning hours. At 5:47 the fleet oiler USS Mississinewa, at anchor in the harbor, was struck and sunk. Destroyers began dropping depth chargesthroughout the anchorage. After the war Japanese naval officers said that two tender submarines, each carrying four manned torpedoes, had been sent to attack the fleet at Ulithi. Three of the kaiten were unable to launch due to mechanical problems and another ran aground on the reef. Two did make it into the lagoon, one of which sank USS Mississinewa. A second kaiten attack in January 1945 was foiled when I-48 was sunk by the destroyer escort USS Conklin. None of the 122 men aboard the Japanese submarine survived.

    On 11 March 1945, in a mission known as Operation Tan No. 2, several long range aircraft flying from southern Japan attempted a nighttime kamikaze attack on the naval base.One struck the Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Randolph, which had left a cargo light on despite the black out. The plane struck over the stern starboard quarter, damaging the flight deck and killing a number of crewmen.[21] Another crashed on Sorlen Island, having perhaps mistaken a signal tower there for the superstructure of an aircraft carrier.

    By 13 March there were 647 ships at anchor at Ulithi, and with the arrival of amphibious forces staging for the invasion of Okinawa the number of ships at anchor peaked at 722.

    In late June 1945, the Japanese aircraft-launching super submarines I-400 and I-401 were diverted from their planned attack on the Panama Canal to attack Ulithi Atoll. However, their mission was interrupted by the destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, followed by the Japanese surrender.

    After the Leyte Gulf was secured, the Pacific Fleet moved its forward staging area to Leyte, and Ulithi was all but abandoned. In the end, few US civilians ever heard of Ulithi. By the time naval security cleared release of the name, there were no longer reasons to print stories about it. The war had moved on, but for seven months in late 1944 and early 1945, the large lagoon of the Ulithi atoll was the largest and most active anchorage in the world.
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  10. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    Been doing some research into Operation Abstention:
    Operation Abstention - Wikipedia

    The island of Kastellorizo (also known as Castellorizo) has their own website
    Home - Friends of Kastellorizo
    and publishes a newsletter, of which three recent issues contain an article on the operation.

    Interesting and often overlooked amphibious operation of the early war and a good demonstation of what the Italians could do when pushed.
  11. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    Not exactly something i "Learned"
    But after reading forums like this, and watching several WW2 History Videos.....it dawned on me...why, in Hogans Heroes, if Colonel Klink (or anybody) were threatened with being "Sent To The Russian Front" it was such a big deal.
    When i watched that show as a kid, circa 1969, i really had no idea what The Russian Front was, or why being sent there would be so bad.
    Years later... now i know. :(
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  12. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Such a terrific show. I specifically remember General Burkhalter asking Col Kling if he wanted to spend his leave in Minsk.

    General Albert Burkhalter
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  13. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    wow...that is an amazing trivia site.! :)
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  14. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

  15. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    I am not deflecting at all, but......there Are/Were LOTS of people, especially those with Money/Influence/Social Status that had "dirty hands" after The Nazi's entered their country.
    Sorry to hear that about Coco. As a film photography and Hollywood junkie, she is certainly no stranger to me.
    That Wiki link can be confusing. The first part has her acting as an SS/German/Intelligence emissary to perhaps "End The War" starting in 1943.
    Later on, she is hold up at The Ritz, hobnobbing with The Deplorables.
    Sometimes it was "easy" for people like her to filter back into society.
    Look how many Psychos and evil sacks of garbage the usa, Great Britain and the USSR were sheltering for their own dirty needs.....post 1945.
    I just cannot imagine that there will ever be anything as bad, in human history, as WWII.
    Lets hope not.

    Thanks Again for the info about Coco....do not know how i missed it.
  16. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    Operation Torch -
    It was a video i just saw on Amazon...just two days ago. Good Heavens, i cannot remember the name. :unsure:
    It was 95% about the Politics/Intelligence/Resistance/Diplomacy that went on, in North Africa, that preceded the (October.?) landings.
    It was fascinating. I guess they were people, from the usa, that would now be employees of The CIA...... Putting out the feelers to Vichy and Darlan.
    And the Resistance guys that kind of staged their own version of Valkyrie..... taking over key buildings of Police and Government Administration.
    It was thoroughly fascinating.

    I wish "Somebody" would make a great, THREE HOUR Movie about Eisenhower and his most trusted.
    I suppose that was Tedder and Ramsey (very sorry if i have their spellings wrong) and i guess Bedell Smith and Omar Bradley on the usa side.
    I guess Marshall, Churchill and Roosevelt would have to make an appearance as well.....maybe 5 or 6 two hour segments, that ties everything together.

    I realize that nobody is perfect, nobody is a Saint....... but i get the feeling that Eisenhower put together a superb team of intelligent, and often, somewhat, humble men.
    I wish we could delve into their roles a bit more..... especially Tedder, Ramsay and Smith. I understand it took A LOT more than just them, but you get my gist...... the story that those guys represent. The aspect of war that is not physical fighting.
    The logistics and planning guys. I hate to keep saying Fascinating... but it is.
    At first glance, that part of WW2 is not as (outwardly) exciting as Tiger Tanks and U-Boats and P-51 Mustangs. But once it is explained to you, it is even more interesting..... Arguably. :)
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  17. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

  18. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    I will take a look... Thank You :salut: :)
  19. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

    Don’t follow the link that Dave55 posted - it’s not actually for Crusade in Europe but another book about copyright law! It’s been very sneakily presented to look like Ike’s book to catch the unwary.
  20. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

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