Any interest in a WWII dicussion?

Dacious

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Was the B29 available before the surrender of Germany and if so, why wasn’t it deployed in Europe?

Because it wasn't needed, but was required for Japan where long range, high bombload and the ability to fly high and fast was needed. It took time for the Japanese to develop anti-aircraft guns and interceptors capable of taking them out.

By the time it was deployable in Europe air superiority was wrested from the Germans with 3000+ allied fighters escorting B17s - so many they were looking for targets. After D day P47s in France and the low countries could also range looking for targets of opportunity.

Smart move to target it on Japan which was much tougher to crack.
 

Lowerleftcoast

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Kamikaze_dives_on_USS_Petrof_Bay_(CVE-80),_26_October_1944_fuller_right_view_image.jpg
A kamikaze dives on Petrof Bay on 26 October 1944. The kamikaze's tail and part of its right wing have been shot off by anti-aircraft fire, and it is visibly on fire, causing it to miss.

My father was a radioman on this escort carrier. This was in the battle of Leyte. He watched as the first kamikaze hit one of the other escort carriers, the Suwannee, killing three of his friends. The Suwannee was hit by two Kamikaze. The battle started on my fathers twenty fourth birthday.

Picture and description is from Wikipedia
 

trapdoor2

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My grandfather's box of medals runs from The Mexican Campaign (1916) thru the occupation of Germany (1919)...and includes a Croix de Guerre with palm and a Purple Heart with 2 oak leaf clusters. He was gassed in the same battle and on the same day that Alvin York won his MOH. Essentially, it took him 30yrs to die from the gas attack. I think he was sent home to die, fell for a local nurse and ran a Hudson dealership in Chicago...

Dad flew PBYs in the South Pacific from 42 to 44. His squadron, VP-11, were "Black Cats" running night ops all around New Guinea, etc. When the Aussies got pinned down along the Sepik River by the Japanese, Dad was part of the rescue.

During Korea, he flew Transpac missions out of the Aleutians...and even flew a USO tour with Buddy Hackett and a bunch of starlets.

He wouldn't talk much about his WWII experiences either.
 

hollowman

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Thanks for this post, and all of the stories from those who had relatives fight and die in this massive and complex war. On my wife's side, both her grandparents served, one in the infantry who landed several days after D-Day and fought across Europe in Patton's army and came back to a life of repressed memories and alcoholism and the other who was on a carrier hunting German subs in the Atlantic. Both did their duty, and are mostly forgotten today.

I've studied this war for most of my life, my dad was a history teacher, and we talked history as kids, Civil War, WWII, Revolution etc and i have always been an amateur historian (to my families chagrin, lol), almost a more obsessive hobby than playing guitar!

This was such a massive conflict, it's hard today for anyone to fully grasp the extent of the carnage and human suffering that occurred from the mid 1930's when Japan invaded China to 1945 when the A-bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And it's not really taught or talked about today in primary schools or universities (in America anyway)

The war in the pacific was mostly an American-Japanese conflict, but the war in Europe was won and lost in Russia, in my opinion. This is a subject that few know about, or care to learn about, but by the time the Allies hit the beaches in Normandy in June 1944, the Germans and Russians had already fought the massive battles of Leningrad, Stalingrad, Moscow, Kursk, Crimea, etc, and upward of 25 Million Russian soldiers and citizens had perished. The majority of German war resources and the cream of their panzer divisions were spent on the steppes of Russia, but Stalin's iron hand and vast manpower reserves soaked it up. I would encourage anyone interested to study this theatre of the war, it is appalling and fascinating at the same time in scope, ferocity and destruction. And in no way does this diminish the Allies role from North Africa to Sicily to Italy to Normandy to VE day, but a complete history of WWII cannot forget the eastern front.

I've often said that the history of Humans is the history of war, sadly. Hopefully someday we will all live in peace.
 

beyer160

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My best friend in high school had a stepfather who was a tail gunner flying missions out of Italy. Their bomber was hit and they had to bail out but not before the lead pilot steered the bomber into Swiss airspace. They parachuted into a neutral country and had to spend the war in a Swiss internment camp high on an Alpine mountain.

Those Swiss Internment camps were nearly as bad as German POW camps. Though Switzerland was neutral, the Swiss were culturally Germanic and generally sympathetic to Germany. Some Swiss guards were happy to look the other way when Allied airmen tried to escape, but if the airmen were caught they faced severe punishment. Also, Red Cross parcels were only for POWs- Internees in Switzerland weren't given any.

Back in the '50s and '60s Army/Navy stores had real WWII gear at great prices. All the Boy Scouts used surplus tents, sleeping bags,etc. Oh, and combat knives, trench knives, brass knuckles and such that were openly sold.

There was still a lot of that stuff around in the '80s. Once I found a stash of Spanish-American war era canteens that had the "USA" on the covers altered to "BSA" with carefully applied black paint. I imagine those became Scout surplus when the local troop upgraded to WWII stuff in the '50s.
 

beyer160

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The war in the pacific was mostly an American-Japanese conflict, but the war in Europe was won and lost in Russia, in my opinion. This is a subject that few know about, or care to learn about, but by the time the Allies hit the beaches in Normandy in June 1944, the Germans and Russians had already fought the massive battles of Leningrad, Stalingrad, Moscow, Kursk, Crimea, etc, and upward of 25 Million Russian soldiers and citizens had perished. The majority of German war resources and the cream of their panzer divisions were spent on the steppes of Russia, but Stalin's iron hand and vast manpower reserves soaked it up. I would encourage anyone interested to study this theatre of the war, it is appalling and fascinating at the same time in scope, ferocity and destruction. And in no way does this diminish the Allies role from North Africa to Sicily to Italy to Normandy to VE day, but a complete history of WWII cannot forget the eastern front.

The Russian version of WWII I mentioned earlier is basically a mirror image of what we learned in the West- "The freedom-loving people of the USSR crushed the fascists single-handedly while the decedent Westerners did some other stuff that isn't really worth mentioning."
 

El Serio

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Thanks for this post, and all of the stories from those who had relatives fight and die in this massive and complex war. On my wife's side, both her grandparents served, one in the infantry who landed several days after D-Day and fought across Europe in Patton's army and came back to a life of repressed memories and alcoholism and the other who was on a carrier hunting German subs in the Atlantic. Both did their duty, and are mostly forgotten today.

I've studied this war for most of my life, my dad was a history teacher, and we talked history as kids, Civil War, WWII, Revolution etc and i have always been an amateur historian (to my families chagrin, lol), almost a more obsessive hobby than playing guitar!

This was such a massive conflict, it's hard today for anyone to fully grasp the extent of the carnage and human suffering that occurred from the mid 1930's when Japan invaded China to 1945 when the A-bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And it's not really taught or talked about today in primary schools or universities (in America anyway)

The war in the pacific was mostly an American-Japanese conflict, but the war in Europe was won and lost in Russia, in my opinion. This is a subject that few know about, or care to learn about, but by the time the Allies hit the beaches in Normandy in June 1944, the Germans and Russians had already fought the massive battles of Leningrad, Stalingrad, Moscow, Kursk, Crimea, etc, and upward of 25 Million Russian soldiers and citizens had perished. The majority of German war resources and the cream of their panzer divisions were spent on the steppes of Russia, but Stalin's iron hand and vast manpower reserves soaked it up. I would encourage anyone interested to study this theatre of the war, it is appalling and fascinating at the same time in scope, ferocity and destruction. And in no way does this diminish the Allies role from North Africa to Sicily to Italy to Normandy to VE day, but a complete history of WWII cannot forget the eastern front.

I've often said that the history of Humans is the history of war, sadly. Hopefully someday we will all live in peace.

The Eastern front often gets glossed over, but that's where the German army was destroyed. By the time D-day came ultimate conclusion of the war was no longer in doubt
 

Frodebro

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Thanks for this post, and all of the stories from those who had relatives fight and die in this massive and complex war. On my wife's side, both her grandparents served, one in the infantry who landed several days after D-Day and fought across Europe in Patton's army and came back to a life of repressed memories and alcoholism and the other who was on a carrier hunting German subs in the Atlantic. Both did their duty, and are mostly forgotten today.

I've studied this war for most of my life, my dad was a history teacher, and we talked history as kids, Civil War, WWII, Revolution etc and i have always been an amateur historian (to my families chagrin, lol), almost a more obsessive hobby than playing guitar!

This was such a massive conflict, it's hard today for anyone to fully grasp the extent of the carnage and human suffering that occurred from the mid 1930's when Japan invaded China to 1945 when the A-bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And it's not really taught or talked about today in primary schools or universities (in America anyway)

The war in the pacific was mostly an American-Japanese conflict, but the war in Europe was won and lost in Russia, in my opinion. This is a subject that few know about, or care to learn about, but by the time the Allies hit the beaches in Normandy in June 1944, the Germans and Russians had already fought the massive battles of Leningrad, Stalingrad, Moscow, Kursk, Crimea, etc, and upward of 25 Million Russian soldiers and citizens had perished. The majority of German war resources and the cream of their panzer divisions were spent on the steppes of Russia, but Stalin's iron hand and vast manpower reserves soaked it up. I would encourage anyone interested to study this theatre of the war, it is appalling and fascinating at the same time in scope, ferocity and destruction. And in no way does this diminish the Allies role from North Africa to Sicily to Italy to Normandy to VE day, but a complete history of WWII cannot forget the eastern front.

I've often said that the history of Humans is the history of war, sadly. Hopefully someday we will all live in peace.

Stalin was throwing so many bodies into the battles that there were more soldiers than there were rifles for them. They were trained to run behind the guy with the rifle, and when he fell they were to pick up the rifle and continue charging. Loss of life was not a concern for Stalin. Then again, by this point Hitler was also demanding that every German soldier was to fight to the death rather than retreat or surrender.
 

elihu

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My real introduction to WW2 was in middle school in the early 1970’s. A friend of mine decided to bring a notebook that his dad obtained overseas to school for show-and-tell. It was really more of a binder, dull brown and leather like in texture. My friend asked me to look closer and I noted a swastika embossed on the front. My friend smiled and told me it came from WW2 and to look closer. The leather has an unusual cross hatching pattern that looked vaguely familiar and then I noticed what looked like pores. Yeah, it was made of human skin.

I couldn’t believe it… was absolutely dumbfounded. My buddy just smiled. I didn’t hang out with him after that.
 

Informal

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Each of the major allies brought different strengths to the table, but I doubt that any 2 would have been able to win on their own. British Naval and Air power were critical in Europe and their contribitions on the ground in North Africa may have drawn just enough troops away from the Eastern front to stave off a Soviet collapse.

I was on a multinational forum years, and was discussing the bias we were all fed, with a Russian guy around my age.... He didn't want to hear it... The Great Patriotic War was their victory... Regardless of anything else.... Period!

The human sacrifice and contribution of the Russians , can never be underestimated IMO.
I honestly believe that Germany wins the second World War.... If they force England to capitulate, before turning East.

I tried to remind him of the massive airpower, anti-air, and reserve forces that were held back because of the Brits, and eventually the US etc... But he was more brainwashed than I was a youngster.

I sometimes try to imagine a scenario, where Japan... Instead of attacking Pearl Harbor, joined a concerted effort vs Russia, with Germany.
 

Obsessed

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WWII history has been a passion of mine since I was a kid. I read biographies of the greatest generals before I entered high school. Some great stories in this thread that I appreciate them being shared. Lots of my relatives were involved in many ways too.

I do have a problem with “what if’s”. Truth in history is difficult enough to ascertain at best. What if this happened or what if that didn’t happen is problematic just because of hindsight and not knowing the situations at the time. I think each country had their own horrible experiences during the war and their own heroes. I think my country has a very poor perspective about the whole war and our post war history lessons did not try to resolve this problem. We had the “luxury” of entering either theatre at our own discretion and basically never had to fight on our own soil (with very few notable exceptions), whereas the 100+ other countries had neither choice. I ask that everyone here be very respectful about this when we discuss such horrific times. Thank you.
 

beyer160

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My real introduction to WW2 was in middle school in the early 1970’s. A friend of mine decided to bring a notebook that his dad obtained overseas to school for show-and-tell. It was really more of a binder, dull brown and leather like in texture. My friend asked me to look closer and I noted a swastaka embossed on the front. My friend smiled and told me it came from WW2 and to look closer. The leather has an unusual cross hatching pattern that looked vaguely familiar and then I noticed what looked like pores. Yeah, it was made of human skin.

I couldn’t believe it… was absolutely dumbfounded. My buddy just smiled. I didn’t see him after that.

That's horrible.

I stocked shelves at a grocery store in High School. One day I was in a foul mood for some reason I can't remember- it was almost the end of my shift though, and I was in a hurry to get finished. Just as I was getting to the end of the ice cream cartons I was putting up, some old guy reached in front of me to grab one. I was infuriated- couldn't he have just waited a couple seconds for me to get out of the way? As his hand hovered in front of me though, I noticed something- a string of faded numbers inked on his left forearm. I immediately felt ashamed of having been so consumed with my trivial problems.

Those numbers marked the man as a survivor of Auschwitz.
 

Lowerleftcoast

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I sometimes try to imagine a scenario, where Japan... Instead of attacking Pearl Harbor, joined a concerted effort vs Russia, with Germany.
The US had Japan under an embargo. The US would not allow Japan the fuel they would need to go that route. Ime there would have been a conflict between the US and Japan.
 

39martind18

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When I was a child in the UK in the 60s, there were many old guys around who were missing limbs, eyes, noses, faces, etc. from injuries gained in WW1. With hindsight, they would have been in their 60s/70s by then, and presumably a lot of their fellow 'survivors' would have succumbed to their injuries in the years between 1918 and 1965.
The mental damage was very real too, if less noticeable.

It never fails to get to me when I see those memorials to the dead servicemen from the 2 world wars in small British villages, where in WW1 most of a generation were wiped out, and then the WW2 casualties were added later. The ratio always looks to be about 5 to1.

The sheer scale of the death in WW1 is mind-boggling.

The horrible number of deaths in WWI was caused, in large part, by using 1800s tactics against 1900s weaponry. The trench warfare that marked WWI caused tremendous casualties when advances were achieved by mass charges through barbed wire festooned areas heavily triangulated by machine guns- a perfect formula for slaughter on an epic scale. The advent of smokeless powder in the late 1800s combined with repeating rifles, making them more powerful and effective, equaling more casualties.
 

aging_rocker

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...I think each country had their own horrible experiences during the war and their own heroes. I think my country has a very poor perspective about the whole war and our post war history lessons did not try to resolve this problem. We had the “luxury” of entering either theatre at our own discretion and basically never had to fight on our own soil (with very few notable exceptions), whereas the 100+ other countries had neither choice. I ask that everyone here be very respectful about this when we discuss such horrific times. Thank you.

Thank you.
 

Masmus

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I think almost all of us who are older had quite a few family members that fought. My dads two brothers were in Europe and the Pacific. My Uncle in the Pacific was severely wounded at Pearl Harbor when the Oklahoma was hit, later he was hit with shrapnel and later shot in the back by a sniper. he recovered and lived a long life after the war. My Grandfather on my mothers side was a Seabee in the Pacific. No one ever talked about any of it. I did get the chance to hear a talk from a Death Camp survivor who was the father of one of my JR high school mates. He told us that he had never talked about it before but felt he had to when he heard people denying it happened. What he told us has never left me.
 

RhytmEarl

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I'll give you guys another bit to chew on....

Growing up an American kid.... Everything I read or watched in my formative years... Told me the Americans came in... Got the mighty industrial machine in gear... and wiped up the competition.
The End. USA!!!

I'm thinking many British and Russian children had similar teachings about their respective Country's contributions in the Second World War.


I wouldn't for a second.... ever diminish any participants impact in the final victory, And I 100% realize my Countries contribution, and still happily acknowledge them as "The Greatest Generation"

I guess what I'm saying.... Is I grew up thinking the USA won the war single handed, I'm glad I stayed interested in the subject long enough, to realize the monumental effort it took, by many Nations, to be victorious.

Really hoping to hear experiences of some our over-seas members... On how they were taught the subject.
I think it was Russia who really won the war in Europe and had the Japanese moved north into Russia instead of south, Germany might have won the war in the East.
 




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