What have you learned about WW2 recently?

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

  1. chipm

    chipm Active Member

    Operation Valkrie -
    I knew about "The Bomb Plot" of 1944. But until a few years ago, i did not know of the wide reaching plan to Take Over The Reich...so to speak.
    It was huge.
    Hitler had the luck of The Devil.......
  2. Vishkar

    Vishkar Member

    I read this story about a member of the Japanese army who hid in an island in the Philippines for so many years. He believed that the war isn’t over, even though there was a surrender order released, he refused to believe in it, thinking it was just a trick made by the American soldiers. During his stay on the island, he killed some locals which he thought that they are soldiers in disguise. Thirty years had passed until he was discovered by another Japanese man who was exploring the island. He was pardoned by the president of the Philippines (who was also a dictator like the late Park Chung hee of South Korea) and surrendered his sword, rifle and ammunition.
  3. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Wayne and Shuster were a popular comedy duo from Toronto who made their mark as wartime entertainers.
    They enlisted in 1942, and were assigned to The Canadian Army Radio Show, which was produced in Montreal. The two wrote most of the music, lyrics and skits. They travelled to England in 1943 to entertain troops and later were assigned to a unit that followed Canadian troops into France following D-Day. Part of their cast was Lois Maxwell, who later played Moneypenny in the Bond films. In the 50's and 60's Wayne and Shuster appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show a record 67 times, over 11 years.

    What I only learned today was that Lorne Michaels, best known for creating and producing Saturday Night Live, was Shuster's son-in-law from 1971 to 1980 and that his wife, Rosie Shuster, was co-creator and senior writer for SNL. Frank Shuster also wrote for SNL in the mid seventies.

    Wayne_and_Shuster.jpg ws.jpg
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  4. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Interesting for me, because at the end of the war my Dad was Corporal in charge of the regimental police, First East Lancs battalion. and he became briefly involved in one of those very admin tasks that some people had been in training for, the repatriation of displaced persons.
    This is a passage from Dad's memoirs:
    "I visited Hamburg several times on duty and the destruction was unbelievable
    with a complete collapse of large areas. Hamburg, alone, paid the penalty for the
    suffering of Coventry. It had been avenged.
    There was never a dull moment for me and there was always interesting work to
    be done. One of the most distressing of those tasks took place over a period of three
    full days. The police had to accompany six officers on a very unpleasant duty, but
    at the same time giving us first hand insight into what had taken place in Germany
    over the past years. We went to a large field about four miles from our billets, and
    what we saw had to be seen to be believed. There were literally many thousands
    of displaced persons standing around with vacant, hungry looks upon their faces,
    waiting for somebody to guide them and to tell them what was being done to help
    them. There were other people, half-witted because of their experiences. None
    of them seemed to know where their families were; all were undernourished,
    underclothed and altogether a tragic sight. Those poor souls had been uprooted
    from their homes and families forcibly, from all over the occupied territories, and
    made to contribute every sinew in their bodies to the German war effort, by their
    forced labour in the factories.
    We set up trestle tables and an officer, together with a linguist who spoke several
    languages, sat at each table. We police had to keep order and organise the poor souls
    into single file to wait their turn to seek a solution to an extremely difficult problem.
    It was all done by signs on our part because of the many languages involved, but that
    was no problem since most of them were docile, being well-behaved, and just stood
    there wondering what on earth was to happen to them, as if in a trance. I was at a
    table all day, for three days, listening to the very patient officers asking questions,
    all beyond my comprehension. I thought how marvellous it was to be a linguist,
    watching those clever men, with their voices and signs, trying to get to the bottom
    of so many problems.
    The people came from so many different countries and to me it looked an
    impossible task. Those people wanted to return to the homes which they had been
    forced to leave, but it was easier said than done. Their minds must have been in
    torment. It was a monumental task which had to be done as quickly and humanely
    as possible but, meantime, they had to be fed and protected against any one of them
    who had gone berserk. We had to show sympathy, kindness, firmness and above
    all, understanding of the needs of those poor individuals who longed to get back
    to the folk they expected to find waiting for them. What a tremendous upheaval of
    humanity the Nazi regime had brought about in their determination to subjugate
    the once great nations of Europe. It was a marvel that it was ever sorted out, but for
    many a poor soul it never would be.
  5. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    Finally got to watch it on Netflix awhile back. Pretty good movie. Had a lot of the “Casablanca” feel to it. They don’t make’m like that anymore.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
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  6. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Great post Paul.

    A very insightful and sympathetic description of the plight of those displaced people. Millions of stories to tell.
  7. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    Thanks Canuk. no matter how much we know, there's always more that we don't know! ;)
    A-58 likes this.
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    How difficult it was to fight alongside the Chinese and understand their philosophies and their psyche in warfare:

    Mission 204 - Wikipedia
  9. DK1983

    DK1983 New Member

    While researching what happened to 5/7 Gordon Highlander thanks to this site I learned he'd been killed at Gennep in Holland. I also discovered what a huge undertaking the battle of the Reichswald (operation Veritable was.
    dbf and stolpi like this.
  10. DK1983

    DK1983 New Member

    Stolpi you say that all the civilians were evacuated by the germans some time before the assault. Do you know where they were evacuated to and when they were allowed back home? It must have been heartbreaking for them to discover what had become of their town during the fighting.
    Chris C likes this.
  11. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    While researching info on the Battle of Wake Island I deviated off onto the Philippine Clipper, the Martin Flying Boat that survived the Japanese bombing and strafing on December 8, 1941. Actually the attack was simultaneous with the Pearl Harbor attack, but being just west of the International Date Line it was 8 Dec and not 7 Dec, the Date That Will Live In Infamy as FDR pointed out when asking Congress to declare war on December 8 in Washington DC, which is very much east ( or really really west of it, depending on which way you go) of the International Date Line.

    Anyway, I then side tracked off on the Martin Company, the builder of the Philippine Clipper. Seems that the Martin Company under contract built a total of 531 Boeing B-29 Superfortresses and 1,585 B-26 Marauders at its Omaha, Nebraska, plant at Offutt Field. Among the B-29s manufactured there were all the Silverplate aircraft, including Enola Gay and Bockscar which dropped the two, war-ending atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The term "Silverplate" was a code word relating to all USAAF assets involved in Manhattan Project.

    Silverplate - Wikipedia

    Here's an example of a Silverplate aircraft.


    I have heard of the term Silverplate before, but I always thought that it meant the unpainted silver looking versions of USAAF aircraft, like pictured above. The reason that they quit painting aircraft and leaving them in the polished aluminum state was that, for example the amount of paint required to paint a B-17 was about 400 gallons. A gallon weights 8.34 pounds. So, by not painting the aircraft (usually sky blue on the bottom and OD green on top) that meant that a B-17 could carry 3,336 extra pounds of fuel, bomb, ammo, etc. Neat-O.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
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  12. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    People often forget about Time Zones and the International Date Line. In real time the order of the Japanese attacks was Malaya first, then Pearl Harbor, then Hong Kong and finally the Philippines with only hours separating them.

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  13. idler

    idler GeneralList

    What about when it's dry?
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  14. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

  15. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Patron Patron

    I am reading Sand & Steel by Peter Caddick-Adams which I am thoroughly enjoying. One part that really hit me was that as the planning for D-Day began there was an appeal by the BBC to all its listeners to please send any post cards, maps, photos or guidebooks they had of the coast of France. Within thirty-six hours they had received 30,000 letters and by 1944 the tally was ten million!
    It truly was a “All In” mentality and obviously something that is missing from our world today.
    CL1, stolpi and canuck like this.
  16. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Our world today would involve a Google search.

    Touring Normandy - Google My Maps
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  17. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    After further review, it seems that a gallon of paint weighs just over 4lbs after it dries. So, the paint does get lighter when the water in the mixture dries out. So, let's go back to the B-17 example above. Going with the estimated amount of paint to cover the bomber (400lbs), after drying, that means that there would be an additional 1,600lbs of fuel, ammo, bombs, etc that can be successfully carried when not painted. There, happy now?
  18. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Not really does the 400 ilbs of paint get 4 times heavier when it dries or did you mean 400 gallons? And are you talking US or Imperial Gallons - ie is it 4 ilbs per Imperial or per US Gallon? Given that a US Gallon is smaller than an Imperial one then it will weigh less
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
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  19. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    To compensate for the gallon difference the crew would all have to be 5ft tall between a normal weight of 97lb to 123lbs ( see rough table below showing height /weights)
    5 foot crew of normal weight helped increase the bomb load by 1 x 500 pounder

    This already takes into account the lucky rabbits feet carried by the aircrew which were taken from Dwarf rabbits and not their larger Giant rabbit cousins.Please see below for the obvious weight savings per lucky foot.

    Dwarf Rabbit

    Giant Rabbit


    Weight and height guide chart
    The following weight and height chart uses BMI tables from the National Institute of Health to determine how much a person's weight should be for their height.

    Height Weight
    Normal Overweight Obesity Severe obesity
    4ft 10"
    (58") 91 to 115 lbs. 119 to 138 lbs. 143 to 186 lbs. 191 to 258 lbs.
    4ft 11"
    (59") 94 to 119 lbs. 124 to 143 lbs. 148 to 193 lbs. 198 to 267 lbs.
    (60") 97 to 123 lbs. 128 to 148 lbs. 153 to 199 lbs. 204 to 276 lbs.
    5ft 1"
    (61") 100 to 127 lbs. 132 to 153 lbs. 158 to 206 lbs. 211 to 285 lbs.
    5ft 2"
    (62") 104 to 131 lbs. 136 to 158 lbs. 164 to 213 lbs. 218 to 295 lbs.
    5ft 3"
    (63") 107 to 135 lbs. 141 to 163 lbs. 169 to 220 lbs. 225 to 304 lbs.
    5ft 4"
    (64") 110 to 140 lbs. 145 to 169 lbs. 174 to 227 lbs. 232 to 314 lbs.
    5ft 5"
    (65") 114 to 144 lbs. 150 to 174 lbs. 180 to 234 lbs. 240 to 324 lbs.
    5ft 6"
    (66") 118 to 148 lbs. 155 to 179 lbs. 186 to 241 lbs. 247 to 334 lbs.
    5ft 7"
    (67") 121 to 153 lbs. 159 to 185 lbs. 191 to 249 lbs. 255 to 344 lbs.
    5ft 8"
    (68") 125 to 158 lbs. 164 to 190 lbs. 197 to 256 lbs. 262 to 354 lbs.
    5ft 9"
    (69") 128 to 162 lbs. 169 to 196 lbs. 203 to 263 lbs. 270 to 365 lbs.
    5ft 10"
    (70") 132 to 167 lbs. 174 to 202 lbs. 209 to 271 lbs. 278 to 376 lbs.
    5ft 11"
    (71") 136 to 172 lbs. 179 to 208 lbs. 215 to 279 lbs. 286 to 386 lbs.
    (72") 140 to 177 lbs. 184 to 213 lbs. 221 to 287 lbs. 294 to 397 lbs.
    6ft 1"
    (73") 144 to 182 lbs. 189 to 219 lbs. 227 to 295 lbs. 302 to 408 lbs.
    6ft 2"
    (74") 148 to 186 lbs. 194 to 225 lbs. 233 to 303 lbs. 311 to 420 lbs.
    6ft 3"
    (75") 152 to 192 lbs. 200 to 232 lbs. 240 to 311 lbs. 319 to 431 lbs.
    6ft 4"
    (76") 156 to 197 lbs. 205 to 238 lbs. 246 to 320 lbs. 328 to 443 lbs.

    Attached Files:

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  20. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Presumably when James Stewart flew missions he was accompanied by that six foot rabbit called Harvey
    Anyway whats so lucky about rabbits' feet - didn't do much for the bunnies?
    A-58 likes this.

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