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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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  1. 1 point
    There was also a second carrier, captured when only part completed in the French port of L'Orient, and after years of indecision, they didn't bother to complete it. (The French however DID complete it after the war). Perhaps of more interest was the proposed "KFT" project (That's "KleinesFlugZeugTraeger" or "SMALL Aircraft Carrier". That looked promising - except the chap who proposed the idea couldn't get the navy to take a serious interest (Because it's about AIRCRAFT!) And could't get the Luftwaffe to take the idea seriously (Because it's about SHIPS!)....
  2. 1 point
    I couldn't agree more George. But where is the impetus for such movements in the first place? I mean, to me when you boil this down it's really a form of bigotry. Yes, modern Western civilization was founded mostly by Christians and on Christian ethics, so what's the problem? If you aren't Christian, great, no problem. But why then spend money, time and effort on coming after anything that remotely represents Christianity? And in this case in particular, this monument is PRIMARILY a war memorial and only secondarily and only through a certain perspective has anything to do with Christianity. So by that definition alone, this was clearly motivated by malice.
  3. 1 point
    I lived for a while in Germany; my girlfriend's father was conscripted into the Wehrmacht in 1940, did his basic training, posted to the outskirts of Moscow, and there - as he felt no animosity to the Russians, and had absolutely NO love for the Nazis, he slipped through the lines and surrendered to the Russian Army. They treated him quite well, but as he got passed back through the lines away from regular soldiers and into the hands of the Interior ministry troops (The ministry that included the secret police) the treatment got less friendly. Eventually he got shipped to work in a coal mine in SIberia, until Russia released the last PoWs from captivity after Stalin died (in 1953) at which point the direction of (West) Germany was pointed out to him, and he was told to walk home.. No provisions, no transport. It's a LONG walk! But compared to the treatment dished out to PoWs from BOTH sides on the Ostfront, he was pretty lucky. For the millions of Russians taken prisoner during the invasion of Russia, they were marched off to the West, shot if they didn't keep up, and eventually put in camps to starve. Some were used as slave labour. When von Paulus's VI Army surrendered, the German prisoners were divided between "regular soldiers", and "SS" - both got put into camps. The "camps" consisted of barbed wire fences with guard posts and machine guns. For the SS prisoners, that was all. No food, no buildings. Regular Wehrmacht soldiers got a few sheds for the wounded, and pretty meagre rations, ALL of the Waffen SS died, many of the regular troops did as well. By that point this was standard behaviour for both sides. But NOW it was the Russians who were taking large numbers of prisoners, not the Germans. If you're interested, Stephen, and you seem to be, you might like the writings of two Modern Germans - Willi Heinrich, (who wrote the book upon which the film "Cross of Iron" was based) and Hans Helmut Kirst, who produced a series of tragicomic novels about a character named "Gunner Ass" ("Kanonier Arsh") and his adventures as a reluctant soldier in the Wehrmacht. Kirst was one of the first modern German writers to depict dispassionately how life had been for regular German soldiers. I think Kirst's books are better than Willi Heinrich's, and seem to give an accurate picture of what life was like for decent Germans at a difficult time; "do as you're told, don't complain, or your family could bear the consequences." The stories are fiction, but show the kind of stuff that happened.
  4. 1 point
    Shortly after the end of WW1, the defeated Germany collapsed into civil war - Nationalists (supported by ex soldiers) vs Communists (supported by former sailors AND by the Russians) The two sides were fairly evenly matched, although (obviously!) the ex soldiers had more combat experience than the former sailors. Support for each side varied geographically, with rich veins of Communist support particularly in Berlin (which had expanded massively since the 1870's) and Hamburg (i.e. the North). The Nationalists' support was strongest in the South of the country. Fierce but fairly short civil war, which ended in victory for the Nationalists - but didn't result in the extermination of Communist supporters. So, bottom line, there were still a lot of Moscow-oriented Communists walking the streets after the civil war, and they frequently brawled in the streets with members of the newly formed Nazi party. Even people who weren't card-carrying members of the Communist Party might be inclined to support it if the choice was between Nazis and Commies. Remember that before the Versailles treaty re-drew Germany's borders, there had been a fair amount of traffic between Russia and Germany. (I mentioned the "VolksDeutsch earlier: the families of "Germans" who had strayed Eastwards BEFORE Germany came into official existence in 1871.The Hanseatic league - rather more than just a federation of trading towns in Northern Germany - had been massively influential in the Baltic Sea during the late middle ages, and put down "mini-colonies" much the same way that the Ancient Greeks had around the Adriatic and Mediterranean, Point being.... the Germans were very aware of the Russians existence,and vice versa. The Germans and the Slavs had been in contact since... the fall of the Roman Empire, back in the mid 500's? They "met" in what would later be Poland. The Polish word for German is "Niemiec" (Which is also a slang Russian word; Russian and Polish are far more similar than most Poles or Russians will admit!) Niemiec means "Dumb", in the sense of "not talking", because Germans didn't speak Polish.
  5. 1 point
    Technically speaking without doubt ME-262, Allied planes could intercept it by landing only; Anyway this question is difficult to answer, during different period of time we have different situations. At the beginning of the war is to be noted in Pacific Theatre clear supremacy of Mitsubishi A6M Zero, while in Europe was fight between ME-109 and Spitfire very tight, both plans had advantages and disadvantages, with appearance of FW-190 was situation a little bit different, FW-190 showed exceptional manoeuvrability, better than both planes, but was a bit slower and less sturdy than ME-109 (generally speaking).The fire power was on the German side, it was practically the same on FW-190 and ME-109. Russian started to build reliable fighter planes by the end of the war, only Jak-3 was competitive with Nazi and Allied planes. I would like to point out that we are talking about fighter planes, some votes went to DH 98 Mosquito which was "fast bomber" it's role as a fighter plane was limited to night operations.
  6. 1 point
    The Avro Vulcan - a raity, in that you don't find many supersonic strategic bombers with aerobatic capabilities! Dating back to a time when the UK led the world in Jet design.
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