What have you learned about WW2 recently?

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

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Thought we'd have a thread about little personal discoveries made along the way. No need to go looking things up or for them to be terribly clever - just a bit of fun sharing little snippets that have stuck in the mind.

    Here's my offering, which came from the publication 'What Britain has done 1939-45'

    Nearly 25,000 special trains were laid on for troop and ammunition transport etc from the end of March 1944 to the run up to the Normandy landings.
    Susan Smethurst likes this.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  3. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    According to the new History of MI6 by Keith Jeffrey - the Germans knew about the Arnhem landings beforehand p.548 - would explain all the air defences - this came from a RSHA Int officer who walked into the Paris Embassy in Dec 44 with a peace offer - for some reason the Arnhem info was discounted though all his other 'gen' was authenticated. The agent code-named 'DICTIONARY' was debriefed by Frank Foley who regarded him as a reliable and important 'asset'.
    Paul Truscott likes this.
  4. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    as early as 1942, the US was training officials who would help set up the postwar administration in Germany.
    Paul Truscott and dbf like this.
  5. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Re Gerard's post the IWM reading room used to have copies of the handbooks prepared for the Occupation and Milgov - pity the lessons were forgotten in Iraq!
  6. spidge


    I often wonder if people have any clue to "the numbers" that were sitting on land or tied up at wharves in Britain to supply the Normandy landings.

    The "personnel" figure was massive, Ships unbelievable, Aircraft (who knows) Trucks, jeeps, tanks, ammunition, food, petroleum.................!

    Is there an inventory fact sheet ever been completed?
    Ken P and dbf like this.
  7. CL1

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

    I think for me the amount of documentation that was kept/written during the period , war diaries, etc allowing this forum /historians to keep the significance of the era in the modern domain.
    RRTB likes this.
  8. I suppose the absolutely most recent 'oh' moment was last week, on finding that the US Army formed six (?) Tank Bns to operate the Canal Defence Light (CDL) vehicles. I always they were unique to British units. Seems they saw about as much operational use as ours did though!

    dbf likes this.
  9. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    My own personal discovery is that I've found since joining the Forum, that the history of WW2 has become highly addictive.:lol: Can't seem to go for a single day without logging on a couple of times. I'm glad to say that I seem to be in good company.
  10. Rob Dickers

    Rob Dickers 10th MEDIUM REGT RA

    What sticks in my mind is,
    the shear weight and numbers of artillery ordnance and shells fired at the enemy every day & night for months on end in the NW Europe Campaign and the logistics involved in doing this by the Regts at the time with very very few periods of rest for the men, unbeliveable!
    To Quote Montgomery;
    " No matter how good the enemies troops and equipment, we shall simply blow them to pieces with high explosive"
    dbf likes this.
  11. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    I never realized that the Germans lost over 40,000 men killed in action during the Battle of France in 1940.

  12. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    People seem to forget this number, especially when having a snipe at the 1940 French Army.
    Buteman, Ken P and Margaret Ann like this.
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Karl-Heinz Frieser's Blitzkrieg-Legende says 49,000.

    I have learnt there is rather a lot of war diaries at Kew but no where near enough were written in 1940.
    Rachel Webb and granite like this.
  14. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    I am reading Ultra goes to War at the moment and was surprised to learn that Churchill read all the Ultra signals designated as important after decoding.

    He had so much information in his head it is hard to credit.

    Ken P and dbf like this.
  15. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Dianne -
    I have discovered just this week on reading a new - to me - book by Ian Gooderson who is a senior lecturer at the Defence College - that the US General Mark Clark - was one of the good guys !
    I choked a bit on that but otherwise an excellent book on the Sicilian and Italian campaign - and I had to keep reminding myself that he was employed to teach potential Divisional - Corps and Army Leaders and so he had to gild the lily a bit..but all in all he writes a good account of that Campaign in "a hard way to make a war"
    ISBN 978-1-84486-059-3- an excellent read !
  16. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    All proof of the saying 'You live and learn'. ;)

    Thanks to everyone who's posted so far, been interesting ... as for the rest of you who've just looked in - where are your posts? :)
    Margaret Ann likes this.
  17. WhiskeyGolf

    WhiskeyGolf Senior Member

    I'm learning all sorts of interesting facts all the time, but at the moment the one thing that is continually sticking in my mind is just how young the men were that went to war, and the sheer volume of so many young men that lost their lives.
    Rachel Webb likes this.
  18. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    I echo many of the previous posts but what really amazes me is that with so many books out there (and so little time to read them) AND sites like this I will never stop finding fascinating little, sometimes huge new pieces of information.
    I like to think I have a fairly wide general knowledge of the war, mainly European operations, but have come to realise how little I really know.
    You never stop learning.

    John Melling and dbf like this.
  19. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    You certainly echo my thoughts on the subject and possibly many more of our forum members.

    That is why I like this forum so much as the pool of knowledge is fantastic and is freely given to those searching for information.

    Long may it remain so.

  20. Lindsay Aspin

    Lindsay Aspin Senior Member

    I will second the above ... not only do the forum members on this site give their time and expert advice freely, but they instill positive encouragement together with huge resolve to continue searching for answers.

    The pool of knowledge, is indeed, quite amazing ... my thanks to all for their input given since I joined.


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