What have you learned about WW2 recently?

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

  1. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    I learned today while reading up on PT boats (American ones, the British referred to the same type of boat as MTB or motor torpedo boat) that the Huckins Yacht Corporation in Jacksonville, Florida had a contract with the USN to build only 18 PT boats. Unlike Higgins Industries and ELCO, Huckins did not receive government funds to enlarge their boat yard, which enabled them to build huge numbers of boats of assorted types. Each Huckins boat was handmade, and it took about a month to make each one. They were very well made, and the crews quarters and officers berths were roomier than on the other torpedo boats. The Huckins boats were affectionately referred to by their crews as "yachts".

    Huckins Yacht Corporation - Wikipedia
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    MTB was a comparatively recent British designation. During WW1 and mid war they were known as Coastal Motor Boats. They claimed a Soviet Battleship sunk in the Baltic during the Allied interventions in the Baltic states. A number made it across the pond in the 20s when sold as surplus and used to run rum from the West Indies into the USA. I believe some of the Hutchins boats were actually converted into motor yachts post war. British boats were a bit more spartan but some were alleged to be used for nefarious business post war (See The Ship thet died of Shame. However I can remember in the 60s seeing a British MGB that had been converted into a house boat and moored in a small canal off the Trent
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
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  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Today I learned that not only did some Polish refugees who survived Siberia travel through Iran into India, 700 orphan children and 100 adults traveled from there to New Zealand on the USS George Randall. This was negotiated by Countess Wodzicka, a Polish Red Cross delegate and wife of a Polish consul who was friends with the wife of the Prime Minister of New Zealand!

    (This twitter link has pictures of the children on board, in bunks and playing on board the ship)
    Jenny Grant on Twitter
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  4. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    I learned a cheesy thing about WW2 just now. Wished that it wasn't so. But it was. Sad but true. Good or bad, it's the way it was.

    In 1946, President Harry Truman signed the Rescission Act of 1946 (38 U.S.C. § 107) is a law of the United States that retroactively annulled benefits that would have been payable to Filipino troops on account of their military service under the auspices of the United States during the time that the Philippines was a U.S. territory and Filipinos were U.S. nationals.

    Efforts to end spending on Filipino veterans who served the Commonwealth of the Philippines, an American sub-national government, were pushed forward by Senators Carl Hayden and Richard Russell Jr. after being informed that the veteran benefit costs were projected to be $3 billion; Resident Commissioner Carlos P. Romulo spoke out against the legislation. In 1946, Congress passed the Rescission Act, stripping Filipinos of the benefits they were promised, giving the reason that the United States gave the Philippines $200 million after the war; the allocated $200 million was never received. Of the 66 countries allied with the United States during the war, only Filipinos were denied military benefits.

    Between 1946 and 2009, other benefits for Filipino veterans of World War II were enacted. These include the construction of Veterans Memorial Medical Center, and some funds for its operation and equipping. Other benefits include educational benefit extended to spouse and children, funding of assisted living care, as well as death benefits. In 1990, Filipino veterans gained the right to naturalize due to their military service, resulting in the naturalization of over 20,000 Filipino veterans. In 2003, Veteran Affairs health benefits were extended to Filipino American World War II veterans.

    In 2009, Section 1002 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided for a one-time $15,000 lump sum for the surviving veterans who are US Citizens, and a $9,000 lump sum settlement for non-citizens.Acceptance of the payment would deny the payer any future benefits. By February 2016, more than $225 million had been paid out through 18,960 individual claims that had been granted, which make up a minority of 42,755 total claims made for the one-time payment. By August 2018, the number of claims granted increased to over 22,000.

    Approximately 200,000 Filipinos served in the war in various capacities. And they were left hanging.

    That was pretty frigging crappy Harry.
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    That units of the French Foreign Legion and Chasseurs Alpins were part of the Allied Force in Norway during early 1940.
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  6. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    That the world's largest online collection of First and Second World War maps is based here in Hamilton, Ontario. Maps from the McMaster University’s digital collection have been utilized in a number of noteworthy films, including the recent film 1917!

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  7. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    I read today that General Matthew Ridgeway, wartime commander of the 82nd Airborne Division (see my avatar for quick reference), and later commander of the US XVIII ABN Corps, was known for wearing a grenade (or grenades) on his jacket. This was to show to his men that he was a fighting soldier as well as the HMFIC (head mother-trucker in charge). Further reading revealed that the general's aides had him wear inert grenades as to prevent "accidents".

    Here's a pic of General Ridegway on the left, complete with aforementioned grenade on his gear. I believe y'all Commonwealth types call it "kit". He is in conference with General "Jumpin" Jim Gavin.

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  8. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    That by 1942 the German army, still heavily dependant on horse drawn transport, had sourced all its harness manufacture and repair to a few ghetto workshops, the most important being Lodz When Himmler announced the intention to liquidate the remaining ghettos the General Staff strongly opposed this not out of any matter of conscience but because they feared for the damage to their logistics. Himmler brushed this off.

    General von Ginant, Memorandum to the General Staff of the Wehrmacht in Reaction to the Removal of the Jews from Industrial Production, September 18th 1942, in Documents of the Holocaust 8th edition Nebraska University Press, 1999. Pages 287 - 289

    Heinrich Himmler, Response to the Memorandum from General von Ginant, Documents of the Holocaust, Pages 289 - 290
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  9. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    My father told me that he did this too so it must have been common for regular soldiers. He used the word 'harness'.
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  10. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    It is not something "I Just Learned".
    But it has always been sobering, to me, to remember that Midway preceded the long and deadly Guadalcanal Operation.
    It is easy to become somewhat "jaded" by the huge success that was Midway.
    Yet, the "worst" of the war was just about to start. Even with the coming of The Hellcat and Corsair and the HUNDREDS of naval ships......ships that would have seemed a complete fantasy just a few years earlier....even with that Giant Material Advantage, the war was going to be a long and God Awful nightmare. :-(
    I am not trying to make a contest of catastrophe, but.......if i were a WW2 Soldier, and i had a choice, i think i would have taken just about ANY duty in the ET rather than The Pacific.
  11. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Dad said they could almost always find a building or barn to sleep in in the ET.
  12. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    That seems like it could be an asset by serving in the ETO. One thing that was a very big factor was that units in the ETO served on the line for much longer periods without relief, R & R and such. And that was furthered by the US process on feeding replacements directly into the units on the line and not withdrawing them to quieter areas so the replacements could be inserted and trained up a bit. Anyway, units serving in the PTO got rather lengthy breaks in combat in the island hopping campaigns. Once the island was secured, the units involved were withdrawn for rest, refitting, recreation, re-training, re-supply, replacements, re-assignments and whatever else that started with an R that was needed to prepare for the next island to hit. Of course there were longer periods between being withdrawn when campaigning on larger islands like New Guinea and the Philippines. Just my observation of course.
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  13. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    HERE is something i did JUST Learn.!
    Thank You :)
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  14. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

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  15. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    The ETO would have been much worse but for the use of DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) on a wide scale. Although first synthesised in the 1880s it was not possible to produce in bulk until the 1940s. Without it Allied troops would have been infested with lice and fleas and typhus and related diseases would have become rampant.
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  16. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Just to further illustrate my point grandfather (see current avatar) survived the LAST day of the Somme when his Battalion took 50% casualties before even reaching their first objective (he actually got as far as the final objective) without a scratch but when his battalion was ordered to a camp near the French coast to rebuild it was infested with lice which transmitted a form of Typhus (well of the same family) later identified as Trench Fever that eventually killed him. In most wars before WW2 the majority of deaths were caused by sickness not traumatic wounds
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  17. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    This statement requires qualification. If you had said wars before WW1 I would agree. However the context here seems to be servicemen in WW1 in which case the statement is incorrect. For the United Kingdom military the numbers killed in action, missing, or fatally wounded are 744,000 (84%) as against 144,000 (16%) dying from other causes (sickness, accident etc). Similar percentages apply if British Dominion and Empire servicemen are also included. (Ref: War Office Statistics of Military Effort of the British Empire during the Great War 1914-20).

  18. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    I was not being as parochial as you and included all nationalities in WW1Take a look at the death rate amongst Beares in East Africa and deaths through tyhus inthe Balkans and on parts of the Eastern Front
  19. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    Of course keep in mind that just being in combat, no matter where you were is a rather dreadful business regardless of how many breaks from the line you get.
  20. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    There has been some speculation that the experience of combat aircrew in that they had short periods of considerable danger followed by periods of safety and relative comfort back at base then another period of danger etc etc and the constant comparison and need to readjust created more stress and consequent psychological damage. Similar comments have been made of Petain's WW1 practice of cycling troops in and out of line at Verdun in very short periods. I have seen no firm conclusions
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