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Wednesday, July 12, 2017


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  1. 7 points
  2. 4 points
    Dear Pieter, As a symbol (And a fine fighter aircraft), the Spitfire was THE airplane of the "Battle of Britain". It was, however, the less glamorous Hawker Hurricane that accounted for 60% of the German aircraft shot down during the engagement.
  3. 4 points
    None of the above. Only one plane sank ships, bombed buildings, shot down planes at night etc. etc. The De Havilland Mosquito.
  4. 4 points
  5. 3 points
    As a child I was living in Germany when war broke out, My farther was in the forces as a officer ( I don`t remeber which branch). My mother was English. My farther must have done something wrong because he was shot for disabaying orders. My mother was sent to a concentration camp and I was sent to Buchenwald, that was March or April 1942. I was there till April 1945, at that time I had typhus so I do not remember the liberation. They moved me away from there to somewhere else, where I stayed till late 1945. when I was sent to Switzerland. I hadn`t spoken for a long time while I was in the camp, and I was still not talking when I got to Switzerland. It was sometime before I heard someone speaking English that they saw I reacted, so they started talking in English. I spent 3 happy years in Switzerland learning how to live again! I came to England in November 1948, to my mother`s brother. The family treated me as their own son. While I was in Buchenwald I was in block 8, and my job was looking after the guard dogs, as they founnd out that I got on to well with the dogs, I was helping with the cleaning out the kennels and feeding the dogs. I spent 8 year in the RAF mainly in Singerpore, first on the Sunderland Flying Boat, then the shackelton. I was on the last mission of the Sunderland DP 198 with ML797 on the 15th of May 1959. I came back from Singerpore the end of May and g Before I retired I was working for Texaco on tankers also calerbrating them for all the UK. I now live in Rhyl with my daughter.
  6. 3 points
    just to say i am a history lover having a substantial library ( at least to me) of topics from biographies to accounts of world wide events not always pertaining to war but certainly influenced by. great to join a forum of like minded people who enjoy discussion and discourse. look forward to interacting with many of the active people who are active here.
  7. 3 points
    it would be a hard call .. spitty was the best fighter plane i feel but the 109 would have been as well but for the armour plating around the cockpit and the fixed pitch prop it could not perform at its best .. so to the fock wulf .. the mustang was a total was till the poms put the merlin engine in it .. the zero was built to perform and it did that quite well but it could not take hits ... the yak was a bit of a bulldozer of the skies but it was lacking in speed .. my pick rest on 4 planes .. the spit .. the pommy mustang .. the mosguito.. the lightning followed very closely by the tornadoe
  8. 3 points
    I vote for the P-47 Thunderbolt. the Jug had more kills, and by the war's end was flying escort to Berlin and back. also it had bomb racks and was able to bomb targets on the way back to their base. so it went from a fighter plane to a fighter-bomber designation. the jug could also take more damage than the mustang. there were drawbacks that were worked out over the course of the war. the different external fuel tanks provided a variety of ranges for the jug as the mission dictated. improved internal tanks gave it the range needed to escort the B-29 in the Pacific theatre as well.
  9. 2 points
    Hi all, I think a lot of people out there have (have had) relatives who have been involved in the armed forces. A bit of research can reveal some interesting history. I've only scratched the surface but I know my grandfather on my dads side served in the merchant navy (GB) in World War II supplying the Red Army on the Russian convoy runs known for the u-boat peril and terrible icy conditions as shown below (not my photos): He sadly died before I was born and my dad doesn't really talk about him as "it wasn't a very happy period in my life" in relation to when he died of some rare disease or other in 1960s when he was a teenager. I do know however that he was sunk twice on the run from England to Russia and survived! The chance of survival must have been very slim but to survive being torpedoed and sunk twice in ice cold conditions? One of a very small number I would imagine. I knew my great uncle thankfully and know he followed up the Normandy invasion in "mop up" actions and then served with one of the British tank regiments all the way into Germany. He was a gunner in a Sherman tank (below is again not my image). He wouldn't talk about the war which is very common with British veterans. The exception being he told me when they blew up a truck from a long long way away. He mentioned the Sherman was pretty accurate. He confirmed nobody liked Stuka's and that the Sherman had a habit of setting fire when they were hit. He died back in 2007 sadly. His wife and my great auntie is still alive although sadly has dementia and doesn't remember me anymore or my family. She actually worked at Bletchley Park during the war. The primary site of British code-braking during the war where Alan Turing and his colleagues worked and broke the Enigma code and built the world's first electronic digital programmable computer. Historians believe the work carried out at Bletchley Park shortened the war by 2-4 years. I don't think she was a key player in this but she did work there. I know my great granddad fought at the Somme during world war 1 and my grandma (his daughter - obviously!) has a photo of him in her living room in full army gear. I don't know any more than he survived which is an achievement in itself and that his surname was Franklin. 3 million people fought in the conflict and 1 million were killed or injured in the 5 month blood bath. There were 57,500 casualties on the first day alone. It is one of the most deadly battles of all time and the worst ever for Britain. 485,000 British and 630,000 German sadly died for an inconclusive result. Probably the most left-field story I have is one of my family married a German in the immediate post war and subsequently had children with him. Through my granddad I know he was called Helmut and that he was a successful Stuka pilot and took part in the Battle of Britain and bombed Portsmouth and Southampton and the surrounding airfields and radar stations of Hampshire and Sussex in which I, my family now, and the family he married into then, lived! He lived in the same area and visited the same places where he a few years previously bombed! He used to fly light aircraft over the same areas post war too. He is long dead and my grandad remembers his as "typically German!" Its a funny and surreal image of previous combatants and civilians all in the same room watching television about the war! My grandparents remember watching the dogfights as children. My grandfather himself was in the army in the early fifties I believe or it may have been national service. Being from Britain almost everyone has a relative or other who was involved in the first and/or second war. It is interesting what you can find!
  10. 2 points
    The Nazis lost the war because they had very little natural resources outside there own borders and failed to gain control of those they sought to capture. Their supply lines became over stretched and their manpower dwindled in the face of two fronts. Had the Germans been able to defeat Great Britain in 1940 then we could be looking at a very different Europe, North Africa and the middle east would have yielded oil to drive the Axis into Russia. USA may not have entered the European theatre without access to bases on British soil meaning they would have only fought back at Japan in the Pacific region. British empire forces may still have influenced far east combat under Australian command giving America an allied force in the far east. Just my opinion so please don't hang me out to dry, a lot of lucky breaks for the Allies and misguided Nazi leadership made victory for the Allies possible.
  11. 2 points
    The T-34's sloped armor was a major innovation for its time and had a wide-ranging effect on future tank design, the wide tracks negotiated the terrain it encountered better than most other tanks and the upgraded 85 mm gun kept it relevant throughout the war. It could be built fast and relatively cheap and was produced in great numbers. This tank was the backbone of Russian armored forces from 1941 forward and even today remains in limited front line service in some 3rd world countries. In terms of production, design, innovation and overall impact - the T-34/T34-85 was beyond any doubt the best allied tank of WW II.
  12. 2 points
    HI everyone my Name is Daniel, I spent 12 years in the Oregon Army National Guard. I deployed 2 times to Kuwait/Iraq, and once to Afghanistan. I was also part of the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, Got to fly through part of Hurricane Rita as it made landfall in New Orleans. I grew up in Oregon, in a small town called Forest Grove. Got my GED, and my first job when I was 17. I joined the military July 2001. Was Honorably Discharged 12 years later. Currently working as an Unarmed Security Officer. tried going to School for 2 years got only 19 credits to my name for that. Spent alot of time lost in the world until I found a calling, trying to keep veterans and others from Committing suicide. I myself almost became a statistic, When someone saved me from becoming one. From there I have made it my calling to reach out to those I served with and even those I didn't, and make sure they know there is someone out there that cares.
  13. 2 points
    There's my WWII dream plane. I built these as models when I was a kid
  14. 2 points
    Yes, it was a necessary part of WW II, in that it knocked Italy out of the war, tied up a large amount of Germany's fighting power. which was fully engaged with the Russian forces and so was depleting their response to the main European response of a Northern European front in France. I was also to some extent done to placate the Russian claims of doing all the work in defeating Hitler, which was almost true, The Russian claims on controlling Eastern Europe would have been even greater if they thought that the Allies were dragging their feet. It did give the British army and the belated US army intervention in north Africa time to gave battle experience for Normandy
  15. 2 points
    My vote is the P-38 Lightning. As one of the Lockheed designers was quoted as saying, "The P-38 was two supercharged 12 cylinder inline engines with a cockpit added as an afterthought."
  16. 2 points
    mike from kingsville Ontario Canada. attended Wilfred Laurier University graduated 2011 honours history. love the reading material on this site. cheers
  17. 2 points
    For my vote I would have to say it is the P-38 Lightning. It's long range and twin engines allowed for it to return from missions more often then it's single engine brothers. This was the plane that shot down Adm. Yamamoto, It's range was extended thanks to the assistance of Charles Lindberg. Our greatest ace Richard Ira Bong flew this beauty. After they fixed the engine issue's with those Allison's and came out with the J model all bets were off from it's competitors.
  18. 2 points
  19. 2 points
  20. 2 points
    Northrop P38 Lightning. Feared by both the Germans and the Japanese. Also Fought in both theaters
  21. 2 points
    Over the years, many weird military planes have been developed let us all post images of them here! Blohm & Voss BV 141
  22. 2 points
    Hello all. My name is Nick, 37 years young, living in Diest, Belgium (Flemish part). I have a huge interest in the history of WWI and WWII. It all started in 2006 when visiting Normandy for a holiday. Been there 13 times since, though my interest in the history of WWI has taken over lately. I do still visit both battlefields off course. I also have adopted 18 graves of American and British soldiers, or their name in the Wall of the Missing. I try to research their lives as good as possible and give everyone the opportunity to read about it on my website, where I also put pictures of my battlefield trips. This is a link to my website: http://www.nicksbattlefieldtrips.com/ More questions? Just shoot. Best regards Nick
  23. 2 points
    Just to say hello! I’m from a decidedly non-military background (well, my dad was in the Home Guard in WW2, but following his experiences in WW1 my grandfather insisted that none of his sons take a more active role, and since they were all farmers, growing food was a bigger contribution to the war effort anyway). As a small boy in the 1960s, with 50th anniversaries of WW1 battles, and 25th anniversaries of WW2 getting publicity, I developed a strong interest in military history, which was increased by my mothers’ story of the plane that crashed on her dad’s farm (she wasn’t sure if it was one of “ours” or “theirs”), the story of the Night the Luftwaffe Bombed Minera Mountain (in a deception operation instead of Liverpool), and a great-uncle teaching me the words to “It’s a long way to Tipperary” and “The Mademoiselle From Armentières” When leaving school I did toy with the idea of a Naval career, but didn’t follow through with it, but one of my flatmates in my second year at university was a midshipman in the RN. I didn’t think much of him for over 25 years afterward, until I was watching the Fleet Review for the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar, when the TV commentator said “and now the Queen is speaking to the commander of the flagship HMS Invincible, Captain Neil Morisetti...” which caused me to say “oh, so that’s where Neil ended up!”. He eventually retired a few years ago as a rear admiral, and former Commander UK Maritime Forces, and Commandant of the Joint Services Command and Staff College.
  24. 2 points
    Hi y’all, my name is Duncan, new on this forum - although I have been following the War History Online topics for quite a while now. My screen name “DutchMedic” comes from exactly that: I’ve been a combat medic in the Royal Dutch Army from ‘89 till ‘02. Did three tours in Former Yugoslavia, and these days I am very active in the Dutch veterans community, helping my brothers and sisters in arms whenever I can. Every now and then I change into a WW2 US Army Class A or HBT gear for some WW2 re-enactment, and I am in the process of writing a book about my experiences in Bosnia.
  25. 2 points
    This very special Sherman Tank memorial can be found in Arnhem. I think it is 1:1 scale and the detail is amazing!
  26. 2 points
    The P-38 lightning, what makes a plane"better" for me it's survivability if you are an Ace, the way the guns were in the nose allowed Aces to take out targets at ranges where the opponent could not yet return fire. That is what makes for a good plane.
  27. 2 points
    F6 Hellcat - just based on kills - won the Pacific air war.
  28. 2 points
    What about the sturmgewehr 44? It's the granddaddy of all assault rifles.
  29. 2 points
  30. 2 points
    I also have to vote for the P47 Thunderbolt with the Navy/Marine Corsair #2.
  31. 2 points
    The DH 98 Mosquito gets my vote. The best night fighter, night intruder and also arguably the worlds first stealth fighter being built almost entirely of wood. Not only was it a superb night fighter however, it was also used as a bomber, night bomber, fighter-bomber, shipping strike and photo recce aircraft, so versatile was it. In a straight fight it could out perform the earlier marks of Spitfire, and hold its own with the later marks (and that with two engines to the Spitfires one!). Until the closing stages of the war the Axis had nothing that could catch it, and even when they did it took superb skill and not a small amount of luck to shoot one down, and bear in mind I am talking about the fighter version here not the bomber version.
  32. 2 points
    The Netherlands, reporting for duty!
  33. 2 points
    My Dad was a B-17 pilot with the 384th BG , Grafton-Underwood,UK. He started flying missions in Nov.1944 and completed 34 missions. He lived to age 92 a retired Doctor. My Dad will always be my hero!
  34. 2 points
  35. 2 points
    Very true and used as a long range fighter escort for a long time, turned out it was better suited for ground attack.
  36. 2 points
    Thunderbolt by far the most durable and unsurpassed for payload.....
  37. 2 points
    Spitfire, without it the Battle of Britain would have been lost.
  38. 2 points
    My late uncle John Russell was the TV Lawman. He also co starred in It Takes a Thief as Dover for Robert Wagner Al Mundy charcters Boss. His last movie was 1985 Pale Rider. Was Marine Intelligence officer on Guadalcanal, had malaria. Never told any war accounts when I was younger, Dont know his Unit, etc nothing. Any Marine vet can Help. IE acess Personnel files, Unit files etc for Guadalcanal, 1942. & Lawman is on DVD from Amazon as is It Takes a Thief.
  39. 1 point
    How many know that there were actual dogfights between Corsairs and Mustangs during the Football War between Honduras and El Salvador in 1969? The Salvadorans had worn out FG-1Ds built by Goodyear and some P-51s (Cavalier Mustang II). They were also using C-47 as bombers. The Hondurans were flying F4U-4, -5, and -5Ns that had flown in the Korean War. Honduran Captain Fernando Soto shot down a Mustang and two of the Goodyear Corsairs.
  40. 1 point
    Adolf Galland was credited with 104 kills, all of them flying against the Western Allies, the majority of them gained whilst flying the Messerschmitt 109. So while it is not the 352 victories of Erich Hartemann it is still an impressive amount and more than double the best scoring Western Allied pilots, so one cannot generalise on who flew where or what. To a great extent it is not the aircraft that is important, but the skill and bravery of the people flying them. Just for the record I voted for the Mosquito, and just to show I have no bias towards the Luftwaffe I am a former member of the Royal Air Force.
  41. 1 point
    For me it has to be the DH Mosquito, a superb and revolutionary aircraft feared by the Germans. Fighter, fighter-bomber, bomber, it excelled in all roles.
  42. 1 point
    Probably the most famous castle to be used by the Germans was Colditz Castle which was used to hold Allied POWs - there were a couple of famous escapes - one of the most bizarre attempts was the building of a glider in the roof void, thankfully the war ended before it was finished Colditz
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
    Overall it has to be the Spitfire, which was at the top of its game for the entire war. The mk1 was class leading in 1939, The mk5 was on a par or better than the 109F until the 190 came along, then the mk9 outclassed the FW190 from the middle years while the mk14 was still class competitive at the end, being faster than the 190D and the 109G. You also have to consider the Seafire variant which took the Spitfire's abilities to sea. However you also have to consider the P51B/C and D models which changed the daylight bomber war in Europe with its huge range and high altitude performance and laminar flow wing with the 60 series merlin too. The Tempest was an excellent machine in most areas, but suffered from relatively small numbers and a late arrival to the party. Arguably the best version was too late for war service. A likely pilots choice from the relatively small group of combat pilots who flew more than one type...Beaumont rated it above Spit 14 and P51D and FW190D, so high praise indeed. The P47 did well too and was perhaps the most resilient to battle damage. With the right pilots and tactics it has to be a contender, but cant out-turn its contemporaries. In the navy pacific theatre we also have to look at the F4U Corsair and the Grumman Hellcat. Both of these did a superb job in the Pacific theatre but the Hellcat won out over the Corsair until it was recognized it could be used from carriers too and not just from land bases by the Marines. As an air superiority fighter the Corsair has to win over the Hellcat on performance, being some 40 mph faster and with better turn performance. The Me 262 could have changed the war but was hamstrung by its own sides bungling. Just as well really as it was THE best fighter in terms of performance of them all. However in effectiveness it lost out due to slow acceleration at low altitude and was often bounced around its own airfields. Too little too late... So IMHO has to be the Spitfire....always arguably the best overal dog fight machine of the lot for the longest duration in the war.
  45. 1 point
    An eagle eye view of the Eagles Nest in Berchtesgaden, a present to Hitler for his 50th birthday from Bormann.
  46. 1 point
    Hello Arwel, you sure have a flair with words! Welcome to the forum, you can check into the clubhouse now but please do not eat all the nuts
  47. 1 point
  48. 1 point
    People have to remember that the Spitfire was frontline fighter from the start of the war to the end . Over 54 variants of the Spitfire were made. The P-51 was not the front line fighter until the end of the war. After the skies had been won.
  49. 1 point
    This situation on real video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBI9d0-IfEM
  50. 1 point
    Hannibal Barca inflicted one of the worst defeats ever suffered by the Roman army at the battle of Cannae. Nearly 70,000 men were killed in the heart of Italy by Hannibal’s much smaller army. But Cannae was far from the only disaster that Rome suffered in the early years of the Second Punic War. Hannibal played on the Roman generals’ over-aggression at the battle of the Trebia River and ambushed the Romans after they crossed a freezing river. The next year (217), Hannibal hid his entire army in the hilltops near Lake Trasamine and essentially annihilated the pursuing Roman army. Cannae would absolutely decimate the Romans only a year later, why then, if Hannibal won all these battles, did he fail to win the war? Let’s break down the reasons. 1. Hannibal Was Not The Greatest At Sieges And Assaults Hannibal’s cavalry commander, Maharbal, supposedly uttered the famous phrase: “Hannibal, you know how to gain a victory, but not how to use one.” This came after Hannibal declined to besiege Rome following his victory at Cannae. A major reason for this was that Hannibal was far less skilled at sieges than field battles. One of Hannibal’s earliest city assaults was against the Iberian city of Saguntum. Here Hannibal had hoped to take the Roman-leaning city quickly so that he could invade Italy without an enemy at his back. Initial assaults failed, and the siege ran on far longer than Hannibal had hoped. Eventually, he threw as many men as he could into an assault, and the city was finally taken by storm, but it cost Hannibal’s army nearly 10,000 casualties in the process. By Abalg/Pinpin – CC BY-SA 3.0 Hannibal did try to take advantage of his success after Cannae by assaulting the town of Nola in Italy. The small, fortified supply town was fiercely defended by general Marcellus of Rome, and Hannibal was repulsed from Nola three separate times between 216 and 214. Even Hannibal’s most successful assault on Tarentum was due to treachery, and even then the defenders held the citadel for years and eventually broke out and recaptured the main city. 2. Even In Success, Hannibal Could Not Get Carthaginian Aid Hannibal invaded Italy in 218 BCE, and remained in the boot of Italy for fifteen years, leaving only to confront Scipio in Africa in 203 BCE. Despite winning several massive victories, he was only officially resupplied once, and only two other Carthaginian armies made it to Italy during the war (though none could link up with Hannibal). There are two main reasons for the Carthaginian’s lack of support for their most successful general. First, Carthage mainly left Hannibal to his own devices. Hannibal had essentially provoked the war to begin with and the plan to invade Italy was his own. Carthage no doubt enjoyed his success, but ultimately they were more concerned with holding on to their wealthy territories in Spain and trying to win back Sicily and Sardinia. At one point there were three full Carthaginian armies in Spain while Hannibal was still wandering Italy, winning victory after victory. Had Carthage made more of an effort to give Hannibal men, the extra forces may have been enough for Hannibal to carry out more decisive actions. Even the main army sent to Italy near the end of the war was only sent after losing a battle in Spain. Crossing the Alps was a risky move, but under the circumstances, it was the best plan of action Hannibal could have taken. Secondly, even if Carthage had definite plans to reinforce Hannibal, and the above interpretation may be too harsh towards Carthaginian strategic planning, they would have a difficult time doing so. Carthage had always been a dominating naval power, but the titanic sea struggles of the first Punic War exhausted their navy while giving the Romans naval experience and a new understanding of the importance of naval dominance. By the time of the second war, Rome’s navy ruled the Western Mediterranean. They had more ships and better crews. A few early Roman naval victories over the Carthaginians of the coast of Spain proved this. Carthage was able to slip one naval supply through to Hannibal, but it was far too risky to do so on a regular basis, any ships captured would only serve to strengthen Rome’s naval power even more. This was also why the resupplying armies had to come in from the north, which gave the Romans an opportunity to intercept them as they did at the pivotal battle of the Metaurus. 3. Other Carthaginians Just Didn’t Pull Their Weight A marble bust, reputedly of Hannibal. Found in Capua. Roman armies excelled in a standard battle; a Roman legion was like a buzz saw, churning through enemy formations. Even Hannibal had trouble with this in his first major battle against them at Trebia. Hannibal was able to adapt and turn the Romans advantages against them, but other Carthaginian commanders just didn’t have the skill. In almost every battle where Hannibal wasn’t present, the Carthaginians lost. The only exception is the Battle of the Upper Baetis, but the Roman defeat was due to the desertion of 20,000 Iberian Mercenaries, who joined the Carthaginians on the very eve of battle. Hasdrubal Barca, Hannibal’s brother, won that battle, but he fared far worse in every other encounter. Even on the island of Sardinia, the Romans faced an island-wide pro-Carthaginian revolt. A full-sized Carthaginian army was sent to the island and doubled in number (we don’t know for sure, but there were a lot of rebels) with the rebel forces. They vastly outnumbered the Roman army sent to quell the rebellion, but the Romans still prevailed. It is hard to win a multi-army war when only one army actually wins. 4. Hannibal’s Plan Had One Fatal Flaw Carthaginian war elephants engage Roman infantry at the Battle of Zama. Hannibal had planned the invasion of Italy and his strategy for beating Rome for many years before the war even broke out. Rome had won the first Punic War by simply outlasting the Carthaginians in men and resources. The Romans had a potential manpower pool of around 700,000 men and were determined to win total victory no matter the cost. Hannibal knew that invading Italy was his best chance. The 700,000 number is accounting for the vast number of Italian allies of Rome. Hannibal hoped that by winning great victories in the heart of Italy, he could bring some of that 700,000 away from Rome and have them ally with Carthage. Ideally, the beating he would give to the Romans on their home turf, and the desertion of their allies should force Rome to surrender. It was a sound strategy and better than anything the Carthaginian government would come up with, but Hannibal didn’t account for the sheer willpower of the Romans and the fearful respect of their allies. At the height of his success, Hannibal had just won at Cannae, killing over 100,000 men over the course of his Italian campaign. Almost all of southern Italy, including the very powerful city of Capua, deserted Rome and sided with Hannibal. Though there was panic, the strategic aim of the Romans remained unchanged. They focused on winning back their allies, ruthlessly sacking treasonous cities and massacring populations, creating such a fear that many cities, who deserted Rome, came back to their Roman allies. Losing 15% of the total possible manpower would equate to tens of millions dead for a modern populated country like the U.S.A., yet the Romans continued. Hannibal was truly an amazing general, and he did everything in his power following solid strategic plans, but he just couldn’t get it done on his own. By William McLaughlin for War History Online View the full article