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Wednesday, July 12, 2017
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Smiley

Worst Job in War

Question

In your view, what do you consider to have been the worst occupation for anyone to have... had in either of the World Wars...Please give your reasons

 

 

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On 20/10/2017 at 10:11 AM, Per Christian Veberg said:

I submit being a private in the Sovjet Attack Armies. They seldom survived to tell their tales, cannon fodder that they were.

An old friend many years passed now, was involved in first hand attacks on certain Japanese held islands, told me flame throwers in the lead had a very short time and were  heavily targeted, and were high in the casualty list.

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On 10/28/2017 at 11:52 AM, john bradshaw said:

An old friend many years passed now, was involved in first hand attacks on certain Japanese held islands, told me flame throwers in the lead had a very short time and were  heavily targeted, and were high in the casualty list.

Similar to the mine-clearing flail tanks on the western front, they were also targetted immediately. 

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When you look at the horrific wounds of some of the dead, how could it not be Graves Registration?  The fear of death may not have been as great, but the work must have taken a toll.

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5 hours ago, HBB said:

When you look at the horrific wounds of some of the dead, how could it not be Graves Registration?  The fear of death may not have been as great, but the work must have taken a toll.

I saw a documentary once about Margraten American Cemetery and what had to be done in order to repatriate the soldiers back to the United States. Watching that footage required a strong stomach, and that was in black and white without the smell.

 

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I knew a former REME sergeant, who had served with the VIII army (the "Desert Rats") As the fortunes of war flowed back and forth, both side made wide use of captured equipment from the area they'd just advanced through. His job was scraping bits of dead soldiers off of the inside of tanks and cannibalising them for spare parts. Not a very pleasant job, but in the baking heat and flies of the North African desert... it must have been stomach churning.

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On 19/10/2017 at 8:33 PM, Smiley said:

In your view, what do you consider to have been the worst occupation for anyone to have... had in either of the World Wars...Please give your reasons

 

 

KRIEGSMARIE UBOOT'S SAILOR..80% casualties, most missing in action with all that this mean to parents, miserable life, living ( if was life) in a sardin tin, hours waiting the last deep charge ( mostly the FINAL one) with almost anyone chance to sink anithing before dead..

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4 hours ago, Jaysen Russell said:

American, Australian and  New Zealand  tunnel rats in Vietnam. Had to clear NVA and Veit Cong spider holes alone with a flashlight and a pistol. 

And due to the confined spaces, the pistol had to be reasonably short, but also reasonably quiet. (in a tunnel you rely heavily on hearing) So, how do you silence a pistol, but without increasing the length by adding a silencer? Simple. you don't! Instead, you use silent ammunition! The pistol used was a seriously modified S&W heavy frame revolver with a very short barrel, and designed to fire custom made ammunition. The Ammunition used heavy lead balls, followed by a steel disk - rather like the cardboard one found in a shotgun shell. The front end of the cartridge was flanged inward, to allow the shot to escape, but to trap the steel disk, and trap the gasses produced by the explosion of the cordite, Not entirely - it could still leak out around the edges, but more as a trickle. The gun produced a "pop" rather than a "BANG!" And ir was called the QSPR - "Quiet, Special Purposes Revolver" (pronounced "Kwisper") Only a handfull of them were made, and these days they're worth an absolute fortune! Clever idea though!

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You know that infamous clip of the bulldozer pushing bodies into pits at Belsen? My Dad worked with the man who drove that...He could close his eyes and still smell the camp 50 years later. He wouldn't eat anything with currents or sultanas in because they reminded him of flies. Got the George Cross in Korea

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The worst job was to be a member of a heavy bomber crew flying over Europe in 1943-1944.  The Lancasters, B-17s and B-24s were neither pressurized nor heated.  Many crew members had frost bite and some died of loss of oxygen pressure.  The life expectancy was less than any other military job. Less than a half lived to complete 25 missions.  Bailing out of a stricken aircraft was difficult with 50% of American crews and 15-25% of British crews doing it successfully.  After a successful bailout, falling into enemy hands was no picnic.   

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