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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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  1. 10 points
  2. 8 points
    Spitfire, without it the Battle of Britain would have been lost.
  3. 5 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!
  4. 5 points
  5. 5 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!
  6. 5 points
    I voted for not abandoning the effort to take Stalingrad, as that refusal cost the Germans too much of what they could not afford to loose, and not just men and equipment on the ground, but also in the air. That was the battle that broke the German back on the Eastern Front. With respect to the Blitz, the Germans never focused on one objective. Where they trying to soften up Southern England for an attempted invasion, where they trying to terrify the English into surrendering, where they trying to destroy the RAF, or where they just attacking for the sake of attacking. One major problem for them was that in daylight raids, they could only attack southeastern England, as the Bf109 was too short of range for anything else. While the night raids did a lot of damage, they could not really damage England's industrial base enough to make a difference. With respect to the Balkans, it boils down to protecting the Rumanian oil fields and refineries. Rumania produced about 25 to 33 per cent of Germany's oil, official sources give that sort of range, and with British Bombers in Greece, they were highly vulnerable once the USSR was attacked with Rumanian help. Taking the Balkans and Crete kept the British Bombers out of range of the refineries. Once the U.S. was in the war and had the long-range B-24 bomber available, that equation changed, as the refineries could be attacked from North Africa. Starting the war in the first place was obviously the biggest mistake, but remember, Britain and France had already signed away Czechoslovakia, so for Hitler to actually believe that they would support Poland was a reasonable doubt. Chamberlain's behavior over the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia was such that Hitler could view a guarantee to Poland as a meaningless piece of paper. As for Barbarossa. the Russian performance in the Winter War on Finland provided quite a bit of encouragement to the Germans to attack. Against that, the German supply people did not think that they could supply the advances. Reading the postwar staff studies done by the Germans at our request, as well as captured German staff studies and reports shows that the German High Command was not really paying attention to supply for the first two years.
  7. 5 points
    Anybody up for a BBQ?
  8. 4 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.
  9. 4 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.
  10. 4 points
    This morning I attended a wreath laying ceremony with a large group of World War II veterans. The veterans were from the UK, Canada, and the USA and included men who fought at Narvik in 1940 to tank drivers and parachutists who fought in and around Veghel. Here are some pictures that I took during the ceremony which was moved to the city hall because of the weather. School children were present to welcome the veterans: The veterans are seated and waiting for the ceremony to start The mayor of Veghel welcomes the veterans with a short speech: School children assist with the laying of the wreaths, which will be moved to the monument later today. With the formalities over, it was time for the school children to talk to the veterans and hear the stories from the man who fought for their freedom.
  11. 4 points
    Hello there, My name is Bob, but my friends call me, Bob. I am an old soldier. I entered the Army in 1959 and retired in 1982. I served in just about every branch of the Army there is, except the MPs. I went through basic at Fort Ord, CA and was stationed in Germany twice, and both times at the old Kaserne in Babenhausen. I was Vietnam twice. The was there in '65-'66 when I went over with the 14th Trans Bn, but transferred to the 1st Cav Div. I was there again in '68-'69 with the 241st Trans Co. I was in Korea in '78-'79 with the 1st Bn, 9th, 2nd Inf Div. I have served with Infantry, Airborne, Ranger, Transportation, Quartermaster, and Aviation units. I retired out of Fort Benning, GA in March 1982. I may be retired, but I am a soldier at heart.
  12. 4 points
    A couple of years ago, well before we knew there would be a movie made about it, I visited the Dunkirk beaches. There still are two ship wrecks from the evacuation still visible at low tide and we really wanted to see them. They are still visible at low tide but you have to go to Bray-Dunes to see them, which is to the north-east of Dunkirk. HMS Devonia: A pre-war paddle steamer was converted to a minesweeper in 1939. On May 30th, 1940 she was bombed and damaged in such a way that it was unlikely she would make it back to Britain and she was beached. HMS "Crested Eagle: A former paddle steamer was bombed by the Germans while carrying 600 soldiers on May 29th. Set on fire and with around 300 men killed she drifted back to the beach where she still is.
  13. 4 points
    A number of factors should be considered in my opinion. Was the tank STRATEGICALLY influential on the war? Was it reliable in that numbers were available to be on the battlefield when needed? Could it fulfill the main role (in WWII tanks spent most of their time blowing stuff up with HE rounds) of a tank well? Was it available in numbers? The Tiger tank had a powerful gun but was built in small numbers and guzzled gas so greatly it could not stay in a moving battle for long. This tank represented a tactical winner but could not influence the war strategically. The T-34 had a few flaws which took it out of this contest. A four man crew is a major design flaw for this tank and resulted in the destruction of many T-34's as the commander of the tank tried to perform double duty. The USSR needed to field tanks fast and Stalin called for a reduction in time and expense in the manufacture of this tank, resulting in a reduction of quality as well. These two factors, I believe, resulted in the T-34/76 receiving a poorer rating and forcing it into second place in this contest. The Sherman was an extremely reliable tank, easy to service, easy to modify and showed great versatility (numerous other AFV's used the same chasis as did the M4.) Flaws in the tank were not difficult to alter and fix. It moved well, had good visibility, good firepower (remember what tanks spent most of their time doing in this war), good internal layout and could be armed with any number of guns (75mm, 76mm, 17-pdr and 90mm if necessary.) The M4 was used by every ally using armor in the European and Pacific theater and thus represented a tremendous strategic influence in the war. I don't think any tank can boast the credentials of the M4. (This contest should have included a few other tanks, btw.)
  14. 4 points
    To me it is the Sherman tank, it was used by all the Allies and was available in massive numbers.
  15. 3 points
    Two U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, a P-38 Lightning and a P-47 Thunderbolt fly in formation during the 2017 Heritage Flight Training.
  16. 3 points
    Attached is one of the most famous recipes of the US Army in World War 2. Interestingly enough, it is a favorite at WW2 veteran reunions. I suspect that it brings back the memories of when they were soldiers. I should add that as my family was not exactly wealthy, I grew up eating this as well, and still like it.
  17. 3 points
    While on vacation I was able to make a short visit to the location where the Nazi Party held the infamous Party Rallies, the Zeppelinfeld. The site has changed since the 1930s but no so much as you would expect. After WWII ended the massive swastika on top of the main stage was destroyed in a big explosion and later all the collonades to the left and right of the main building were removed leaving it all looking a bit weird. The US Army used the area for years as a sports-ground but in the 1990s it was returned to the state of Bavaria. Unlike other locations that were built by the Nazi's, this one wasn't torn down but is now under renovation. The only other change that was made was to add a couple of steps to Hitler's balcony, this way you can never stand on his exact location anymore. Anyway, here are the pictures: The door from which Hitler entered the stadium: The steps Hitler walked down and where he stood to watch the spectacle. Note the extra steps that were added after the war. The sheer size of the grand stand is incredible: You can clearly see where the collonade used to be: This is where the "common people" entered the stadium: The other side of the stadium: One last picture for scale: Boom!
  18. 3 points
    I took these pics of a captured Soviet T-34 last year and thought you might find them interesting
  19. 3 points
    Hello, I am a history buff who grew up absorbing brass bands & bagpipe music thanks to my fathers records. My Dad was Royal Engineers from 1935-48 or so, serving in Norway, Iraq, the middle East, Sicily & Anzio & my Grandad was Lancashire Fusiliers from 1905-1919 serving in India & the western front. So with all that no surprise that I have an interest in the military. My own interest is the Victorian British military & I collect British Victorian military rifles (& shoot them).
  20. 3 points
    The P-51 made the American long range daylight bombing missions possible which, together with the British bombing at night, destroyed the Nazi war industry. But, without the Spitfire or the Yak to take on the Luftwaffe in the early days of the war, those missions would come far too late (if at all).
  21. 3 points
    I'd be more than happy to help. I'd suggest Dye help me with my short film about pre-combat PTSD so he can show off his directing skills. Screenplay is already done and just waiting for the right producer and director for the job.
  22. 3 points
    Hi folks! I am from the south of England near Portsmouth. I thought I would join the forum firstly because I like talking about history and secondly because I believe I can contribute something meaningful to the site by writing my own articlesand contributing generally. Apart from reading and loving history since childhood I am also a graduate covering subjects such as: - Imperial Japan - France during the reign of Louis XIV - Germany during the Weimar period and the rise and fall of Nazism. - Tsarist Russia and the Revolution - Victorian Britain - American Independence and Rise - Genocide and attrosities - The Crusades - Early Modern Britain - Medieval and Tudor England Really looking forward to learning off other folks too!
  23. 3 points
    If people are moronic enough not to show the solemn and what is represented in places like this they deserve more than a telling off
  24. 3 points
    I don't think there can be only one the T34 was a shock for the Germans and with its well sloped amour and a reasonable gun (76'2) and later T34 85 with a gun that could defeat the amour of most German tanks . The Sherman thin amour under gunned but fast and manovrable the gun a little ore than a pop gun compared to the Germans 75 mm on the panther and later MK IVs even when fitted British 17lb Dr in the firefly good gun the tank was under armoured it was the numbers available which made a difference the top brass didn't care about the fate of the crews so thought it ok to lose five or six Sherman's to knockout one Tiger
  25. 3 points
    I am currently teaching a detailed class on World War 2, where we started several years ago with the events in the 1930s leading up to the German Attack on Poland. I have been studying military history since 1962, and have a degree in history. I have worked at a consultant to various US government agencies, and also worked with Dr. Robert Ballard on locating John F. Kennedy's PT_109 in the Solomon Islands. I must admit that landing on Henderson Field on Guadalcanal was one of the most incredible experiences in my life, along with flying over Iron Bottom Sound and the Slot, and then sailing Vella Gulf and Blackett Strait, and walking on the runway at Munda. My military histories studies go from the Sumerians to the present day. I will admit to being a bit weak on the Eastern Front in World War 2, aside from the various US monographs written by the German for us on Eastern Front warfare, along with Ancient Indian and Chinese warfare. My studies do include naval warfare from the Greek and Roman oared galleys to the present, as well as aerial operations from World War One on forward. Among other bits of data, I have come across a copy of Claire Chennault's paper, The Role of Defensive Pursuit, which I do need to clean up and publish. I suspect that the Air Force Museum and the EAA Museum would be quite interested in selling copies. I view Chennault as possibly are finest aerial tactician ever. He did have his flaws, which I will admit as well.


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