What have you learned about WW2 recently?

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

  1. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member

    Sapper and Drew Posts
    And then Andy asked for an example which Sapper declined to give (shame - I was looking forward to a scrap).

    So, I will give you an example:

    Richard Overy in "Russia's War 1941-1945" (fantastic reviews but rubbish book in my opinion) is a lazy historian (in my opinion) and repeats the old fable that Stalin, in a generous mood, allowed Marshal Zhukov to take the final salute in the victory parade.

    Whilst it is true that Zhukov did take the salute, the reason was very different and you have to read Sebag Montefiore's book "Stalin - the Court of the Red Tsar - excellent book) to find the more likely truth (which at least came from an interview with Stalin's son).

    Stalin had tried for two weeks to master sitting on a white horse to take the salute. When he fell off for the uptenth time, he decided the old cavalry man, Zhukov, should deputise for him - same end result but totally different reason.

    Nearer to home, as you know Andy, there were three books written about the battle of Wormhoudt and not one got a simple fact like the number of platoons of 4th Battalion Cheshires correct eg quoting two when there were four actually present. AND all they had to do was read the Cheshire War Diary! BUT Aitken made the original mistake and then the rest copied him.

    So while Sapper has made his point a lot more vigourly than I would have, I agree with the sentiments. Now I always read the notes - in fact I spend more time on them than the book. If the author is quoting solid sources written at the time or not long after, I am prepared to beleive this a lot more than if he simply quotes a previous author.

    Oh! and we should not forget that all (or most of the main) actors knew they would become historical figures and naturally wanted history to remember them as successful - so, I am always sceptical when the likes of Patton and Montgomery et al are giving their interpretation of the TRUTH.
  2. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Simple really! Ask me what I was doing 67 years ago and I can quote you book and verse. At the age of 86. Ask me what I had for lunch yesterday? I haven't got a bloody clue.... So to ask the names of books that I read over many years, and of the repeated errors therein is not on!

    One thing is for sure... Most of you will arrive at the same stage...The onset is the inability to recall the names of people you know well...may I suggest that many of you gave already experienced this phenomena ?
    PS I read a book on Normandy, where the Canadians landed on Sword ? and the Third British Infantry with all the assault units under command..... never even existed..... I slung it in the bin.
  3. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    Last night I learnt two things.

    First, that Goebbals coined the well known phrase
    'iron curtain' to describe post war Europe and that
    Churchill nicked it

    Secondly, that one of the opponents of the West Ham Battalion
    in Ww1 was Baron Freytag von Loringhoven at Vimy Ridge. He
    was a staff officer and on his return from the front began writing
    his thesis: Deductions from the World War : Freytag-Loringhoven, Hugo Friedrich Philipp Johann, Freiherr von, 1855-1924 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

    He also wrote A nation trained in arms or a militia? : Freytag-Loringhoven : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

    I'm now puzzling over whether he was the father of the Baron Freytag
    von Loringhoven
    who was Hitlers adjutant/quatermaster after being a
    tank commander at Stalingrad and one of the ones who escaped from
    the final Berlin Bunker Bash. His son now runs German Foreign Intelligence


    if he was the father of the Freytag von Loringhoven who
    supplied the British detonator to the July 20 plotters...
  4. Alan Allport

    Alan Allport Senior Member


    Actually, it's even more complicated than that. The OED has uses of 'iron curtain,' meaning an impenetrable barrier between states or political blocs, going back to at least 1915 (G. W. Crile, Mechanistic View War & Peace iv. 69: "Suppose that Mexico were a rich, cultured, and brave nation of forty million with a deep-rooted grievance, and an iron curtain at its frontier.")

    As with many simple metaphors, 'iron curtain' was used many times throughout the 20th Century until it became specifically associated with Churchill. He may have conjured it up independently, or he may have borrowed it, half-remembered, from someone else. It's impossible to know.

    Best, Alan
  5. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

  6. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Sapper makes a point, on a course, I had an evening spare and after dinner looked in the library. A book on Jutland, I remember that it was said when the admiralty collated the ships logs it read as though there were several battles of Jutland. All reports were genuine but from a narrow perspective. Each had indeed fought their own battle. Re: the 77 White Phos grenade, there is no safe place if the primer ignites (impact fuse) it would be difficult to remove - it is instantaneous smoke on ignition - the phosphorous bursts and spreads - it would be goodnight nurse.
  7. Oggie2620

    Oggie2620 Senior Member

    That Sgt Little who was the only survivor of HK569 (75 NZ Sqn) was not a French Canadian as the Dutch person who rescued him thought. He was from BRADFORD!
  8. Tab

    Tab Senior Member

    I was a lad hen all this happened and I lived in the South East of England, we lived on a bit of hill and in June 1944 where ever you looked in the sky it was full of areoplanes. The noise from their engines would shake your body while you where watching them pass over head. Convoys of troops heading towards the ports could take 12 hours to pass by and to cross the road was almost impossible. Even though we were some 40 miles from the coast there were troops stationed all through the local woods, then one day they were gone and whole place got very quite as nothing had ever happened. We used to go to the railway lines and watch he trains thunder pass loaded with troops or muntions yet they would have trucks laden with Ack Ack.
    It was a strange time and some thing we will never ever see again
  9. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

  10. spidge


    Found that there were Aussies training Glider pilots and flying Gliders for the invasion of Europe and at least one was killed however there may be more.

    Listed as UK on the CWGC, it will take some research searching for NOK details that have Australian towns/cities listed.

    While they are army, I would still like to include them in my research.
  11. BottyWWFC

    BottyWWFC Member

    At it's peak of production Germany had no less than 1250 ME262 Jet Fighters available for service but due to Hitler's tactical ineptitude and short-sightedness, only 50 were authorised for service as fighters....The rest being designated as bombers. Imagine the mess they could have made of the Allied air forces had they all been utilised in their fighter role, as the majority of senior Luftwaffe pilots were asking at the time. A frightening thought.
  12. cbiwv

    cbiwv Junior Member

    That regardless of what happened at Kursk that the Germans had no chance of winning the war based on a number of factors. They lost when they failed to capture Moscow in 1941. Even if they had accomplished that feat victory was still not certain.
  13. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From 1WG War Diary, Dec 1944
    A Battalion of DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY is on the Battalion’s Left flank while the Right flank is held by a 30 CORPS Services Battalion of 2 ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS Companies and 2 ROYAL ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERS Companies so the whole front is a somewhat Harry Tate affair.

    Say what? :unsure:

    So I looked him up
    Harry Tate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Slang usage

    The phrase "Harry Tate" entered the 20th century English (British) language as slang, initially as a nickname for the Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8 biplane. When used as an adjective it came to mean "amateur" or even "incompetent".

    In cockney rhyming slang it could mean a "plate" or "worried" (from the expression "in a state").

    In the British merchant navy (merchant marine) it is used to refer the chief officer (second to the captain of a ship) whose title in official documents is 'Mate'. This use is believed to have come from the London docks where the majority of the workforce were Cockneys.

    During the Second World War, the Royal Naval Patrol Service - staffed mostly by naval reservists and using out-dated and poorly armed vessels, such as requisitioned trawlers crewed by ex-fishermen - came to bear the unofficial title "Harry Tate's Navy".

    and for good measure:
    The earliest known celebrity personalised number plate was T 8, owned by Harry Tate

    Fine moustache
  14. GeeDubayou

    GeeDubayou Member

    I learned yesterday that a German U-Boat shelled a remote section of BC.
  15. jacksun

    jacksun Senior Member

    There is a military base (CFB Comox) up north on Vancouver Island. My Mum regularly sees destroyers and air craft carriers headed there past Nanaimo. Also Air Force is based there.
    Apparently its original purpose was to guard North America against a Japanese attack. Might be where they attacked.

    CFB Comox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  16. Susan Smethurst

    Susan Smethurst Senior but too talkative

    Brilliant idea Diane. My recent surprise was not about the war but about the knowledge of our forum crew. There's a certain photo of a group of chaps on a tank and me thinking about what they look like in a girl like manner. Swift as a bullet I am told its a German tank and entry hole of shell which took it out ...so my surprises at the moment are forum generated
  17. Susan Smethurst

    Susan Smethurst Senior but too talkative

    Manchester City and Manchester United shared the same ground (Maine Road-City's ground) after Old Trafford was bombed. Not that I am a happy City fan of course-just a post in the interests of WW2 history..
  18. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Susan -
    yeah - yeah - yeah - we know the score already - they got lucky in the dying moments of the game
  19. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I think that you will find that the air base at Comox B.C. is on the Eastern side of Vancouver Island as is Nanaimo and any submarine would need a very big gun to reach it from the Western side of the Island - my guess would be the Queen Charlottes (Haida Quai) which are open to the Pacific..
  20. Assam

    Assam Senior Member

    Whilst researching a group of medals I found out that this RN chap was entittled to (as was his ship) the Philippine Liberation Medal. The question now is how many ships companies of the Royal Navy have an entittlement to it.



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