What have you learned about WW2 recently?

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

  1. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

  2. Ian Greenwood

    Ian Greenwood Junior Member

    Among the twenty-one categories of 'enemies of the people' destined for liquidation at the hands of the Soviet invaders of Poland, were 'gamekeepers' and 'philatelists'. I wonder how many shotguns, flat caps, stamp hinges and albums were desperately concealed before bullet met skull?
    (Source: Norman Davies, Rising '44, p.33)
     
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  3. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    that klim - as in klim tins is 'milk' spelt backwards
     
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  4. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Soviet invaders of Poland? Strange choice of vocabulary. If I'm not mistaken the USSR was at war with Germany and in the year mentioned the German army was in retreat. To get at the receding Germans the Soviets had to cross territory evacuated by the former occupants, in this case belonging to the sovereign republic of Poland.

    So, in your opinion in order to avoid international opprobrium should the Red Army have refrained from entering Polish territory? Expecting the German Reich to what, admit defeat and dissolve of its own volition?

    Were the Western Allies to have refrained from entering France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg? Those were invaders as well, by the same measure.
     
  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The Red Army invaded Poland in September 1939 as a result of the August agreement between Hitler and Stalin.Stalin for his part wished to have a buffer territory beteen Russia and the Hun plus the fact that he was allowed a free hand in the future of the Baltic states.However this act did not save Russia when Hitler decided to enact his 1937 plan for expansion to the Urals in June 1941.

    While Hitler set about to turn Poland into a slave state under the German General Government,Stalin screened out those who he thought would be a danger to the Soviet Union resulting in the mass deportation of Poles to Siberia and the extermination of the Polish intellgentsia and core military leadership (Katyn).After the invasion of Russia these Polish masses from Siberia were released and were able to make their way to the West via Persia and join British forces as part of the Polish element.(Cassino and Normandy plus those who were to form the Polish Air Force.)

    When the Red Army pushed back the Wehrmacht and were at the gates of Warsaw,Stalin saw fit not to aid the Warsaw uprising of August 1944.It was left for the Allied air forces to attempt to supply the Polish insurgents from Italy which did not succeed and the uprising failed, while the Red Army were at standstill,east of Warsaw.

    There was one overriding reason for this,Stalin wanted his own appointees to lead a postwar Poland and the last thing he wished for was the transfer of the Polish Government in exile from London to Warsaw.The country remained a satellite of Russia until the breakdown of communism in 1989/1990.

    Hitler always referred to Poland as the "bastards of Versailles" and there is no doubt the Russia felt the same way, a situation which grew out of the fact that Russia was not invited to the Versailles negotiations when they saw themselves as a victim of the Hun.
     
  6. Combover

    Combover Guest

    I have learned some very little, pointless facts that have none-the-less helped me in my living history:

    1. London Irish Rifles officers wore peacock blue hackles instead of emerald green like the other ranks.

    2. The trend of turning the collar of a collarless shirt inwards was pretty much universal to the British Tommy.

    3. Tea brewed with Hexamine is bloody foul tasting.

    4. The soldiers referred to SD caps as 'cunt caps'.

    5. It is almost impossible to destroy British BD. They are remarkably well made garments and have some fabulous qualities which make the US uniforms appear inferior in comparison.

    Like I said, little things but I found them interesting.
     
    Capt Bill likes this.
  7. Jen'sHusband

    Jen'sHusband Punchbag

    British troops used to wear their GS caps/berets perched on the backs of their heads. I've tried it and it's ace.

    Sad, I know.
     
  8. jainso31

    jainso31 jainso31

    The 55000 RAF aircrew members of Bomber Command(all volunteers)who lost their lives on air operations!
    jainso
     
  9. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    the Warsaw ghetto had its own tram service with Trolley cars showing the Star of david on the Front of them.
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    .. I learnt that the BEF had a helicopter (of sorts) in France during 1939 !

    See here --------> ROTA AIRCRAFT
     
  11. Ednamay

    Ednamay wanderer

    Gilbert and Sullivan? HMS Pinafore?
    While searching for my father’s wartime service, I was helped by
    "Stop Line" on this Forum, who gave me the following reference:-

    55th Division Artillery War Diary papers, The National Archives.

    Early in June P. 5 bty arrived from Portsmouth. It consisted of 4 4” Naval guns mounted on specially strengthened Foden lorries, with armoured cabins for the drivers, and A.A.L.M.G. tacked on the back and (?)room for about 25 round of ammunition. The guns could fire fore and aft and had a traverse of almost 25º. They were manned by Naval personnel under comd of Lt. Wintle RN and were quartered initially at Glevering Hall. The white ensign was broken from a flagstaff on the lawn in front of the house, a portion of the drive was railed off to act as the “quarter-deck”, and if CRA’s staff were so inconsiderate to ring up when Lt. Wintle was aff duty, they were informed that he was “ashore”. It was a great grief when Lt Wintle and his staff were recalled to Portsmouth but they left their guns behind.

    The next arrivals were further 4” Naval guns. One evening RA Eastern Command informed the CRA by telephone that 4 4” Naval guns and baulks on which to mount them were arriving in the near future by rail; how they were to be mounted was considered. The gun weighed about 25c(?wt), the cradle and pedestal 24 cwt, no tackle of any sort existing in the Divisional Artillery. However, a great deal of manpower assisted by a fortunate liaison with a party of naval ratings under Lt. Scotland R.N. (who were mounting coast defence guns in the neighbourhood), and a liberal use of the R.A.O.C. recovery crane, enabled the job to be done. A Gilbertian touch was added by the fact that one of the guns was mounted on board an R.N. training establishment H.M.S. Ganges at Shotley, and the spectacle was to be seen of field gunners mounting a naval gun for coast defence on board one of His Majesty’s Ships. Those 4 4” naval guns were subsequently increased to six.
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    On the 22nd June 1940, Winston Churchill called for the formation of an elite Corps of troops.... the PARAS.

    I didn't realise it was that early.
     
  13. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."
     
  14. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    That Brazilian troops were in the front line in Italy, we often forget the lesser known non-Commonwealth Allies
     
  15. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    I learnt a bit more about Australian Commandos in WW2.

    Of those who trained the first Australian commandos were renowned British commandos Mike Calvert and F. Spencer Chapman.

    Their mission would then be to remain behind and harass the invading Japanese forces.

    The first Australian commando unit to see action was the 1st Independent Company. Many of its members were killed or captured in the defending the island of New Ireland (part of the Australian territory of New Guinea), from Japanese marines in early 1942. Other detachments of the company served on Bougainville, Manus Island, and Tulagi. A composite platoon was later sent to Wau in March 1942, eventually becoming part of Kanga Force.

    The 2nd Independent Company performed with considerable success during the Timor campaign of 1942-43, conducting a guerrilla style campaign and occupying the attention of an entire Imperial Japanese Army division for almost twelve months. On return the 2nd Independent Company was redesignated as the 2/2 Independent Company, and then later the 2/2nd Commando Squadron and was one of only two of the original Independent Companies to remain operationally independent, outside a regimental structure.

    By the end of the war the 2/2nd Commando Squadron could "...claim to have spent longer in contact with the enemy than any other unit of the Australian Army" and indeed their success was later used as a model of SAS training.

    Other companies/squadrons served in other parts of New Guinea and the Dutch East Indies, also serving with considerable distinction, mainly performing roles such as long range reconnaissance, intelligence gathering and flank protection, but also occasionally being called upon to perform more traditional infantry roles. Indeed, the 2/6th Independent Company arguably fought one of the most remarkable small unit actions of the war when it captured and held the village of Kaiapit and after the Battle of Buna-Gona where it served alongside the Americans, it was singled out for rare praise for General Douglas MacArthur.
     
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  16. Groundhugger

    Groundhugger Senior Member

    Reading about the North African Campaign for the first time and I allways thought the French were our Allies ,I'm learning something new every time I read a book about WW2 .
     
  17. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The saddest thing about WW2, and those that gave their all for our freedom. Is that there were many crocodile tears spilt around the Cenotaph. While MPs laid wreaths they were busy cutting the income of those that gave them that freedom..Their very life....

    That in my view, is the most dreadful thing about the whole bloody shebang. To take money away from war widows and the dreadfully war disabled. Life for the savagely war disabled is a life of pain and discomfort, to be made worse by those that should care.... A Moan? Yes of course it is.... But I never thought the Country would break the faith with those that gave so much.
    sapper
     
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  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I learnt that the 'Empire Test in the old version of the current APWT.

    See here ----> EMPIRE TEST
     
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    This evening I learned that Jews were evacuated during Operation Dynamo from the Mole at Dunkirk.
     
  20. GPRegt

    GPRegt Senior Member

    From 'University Challenge', this evening, I learned that the Normandy troops with folding bicycles were tasked with pedalling to Caen to capture it. A mystery as to why I'd never heard, or read, that before.

    Steve W.
     

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