• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

WWII Oddities..

EuroCanuck

Guest
Reaction score
0
Points
60
As the following link states, 'I havn't verified any of these', with the exception of #'s 2, 7, 17 and 20 (just a random check to see if they have any merit at all).

http://www.geocities.com/pentagon/bunker/9969/afjokes3.html#ww2odd

1. The first German serviceman killed in the war was killed by the Japanese (China, 1937), the first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians (Finland 1940), the highest ranking American killed was LtGen. Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps. So much for allies.

2. The youngest US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded in combat and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. (His benefits were later restored by act of Congress)

3. At the time of Pearl Harbor the top US Navy command was called CINCUS (pronounced "sink us"), the shoulder patch of the US Army’s 45th Infantry division was the Swastika, and Hitler’s private train was named "Amerika". All three were soon changed for PR purposes.

4. More US servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions your chance of being killed was 71%.

5. Not that bombers were helpless. A B-17 carried 4 tons of bombs and 1.5 tons of machine gun ammo. The US 8th Air Force shot down 6,098 fighter planes, 1 for every 12,700 shots fired.

6. Germany’s power grid was much more vulnerable than realized. One estimate is that if just 1% of the bombs dropped on German industry had instead been dropped on power plants German industry would have collapsed.

7. Generally speaking there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For instance, Japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.

8. It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. The tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet, the tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.

9. When allied armies reached the Rhine the first thing men did was pee in it. This was pretty universal from the lowest private to Winston Churchill (who made a big show of it) and Gen. Patton (who had himself photographed in the act).

10. German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City but it wasn’t worth the effort.

11. A number of aircrewmen died of farts. (Ascending to 20,000 ft. in an unpressurized aircraft causes intestinal gas to expand 300%).

12. The Russians destroyed over 500 German aircraft by ramming them in mid-air (they also sometimes cleared minefields by marching over them). "It takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army" - Joseph Stalin

13. The US Army had more ships than the US Navy.

14. The German Air Force had 22 infantry divisions, 2 armor divisions, and 11 paratroop divisions. None of them were capable of airborne operations. The German Army had paratroops who WERE capable of airborne operations. Go figure.

15. When the US Army landed in North Africa, among the equipment brought ashore was 3 complete Coca Cola bottling plants.

16. Among the first "Germans" captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until they were captured by the US Army.

17. German submarine U-120 was sunk by a malfunctioning toilet.

18. The Graf Spee never sank. The scuttling attempt failed and the ship was bought as scrap by the British. On board was Germany’s newest radar system.

19. One of Japan’s methods of destroying tanks was to bury a very large artillery shell with only the nose exposed. When a tank came near enough a soldier would whack the shell with a hammer. "Lack of weapons is no excuse for defeat."—LtGen. Mutaguchi

20. Following a massive naval bombardment 35,000 US and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska. 21 troops were killed in the firefight. It would have been worse if there had been Japanese on the island.

21. The MISS ME was an unarmed Piper Cub. While spotting for US artillery her pilot saw a similar German plane doing the same thing. He dove on the German plane and he and his co-pilot fired their pistols damaging the German plane enough that it had to make a forced landing. Whereupon they landed and took the Germans prisoner. I don’t know where they put them since the MISS ME only had 2 seats.

22. Most members of the Waffen SS were not German.

23. The only nation that Germany declared war on was the USA.

24. During the Japanese attack on Hong Kong British officers objected to Canadian infantrymen taking up positions in the officer’s mess. No enlisted men allowed you know.

25. Nuclear physicist Niels Bohr was rescued in the nick of time from German occupied Denmark. While Danish resistance fighters provided covering fire he ran out the back door of his home stopping momentarily to grab a beer bottle full of precious "Heavy Water." He finally reached England still clutching the bottle. Which contained beer. I suppose some German drank the Heavy Water.
 

Journeyman

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,299
Points
940
....which is a word-for-word cut & paste from http://www.5ad.org/AmazingFacts.htm.

I mention that only for the benefit of anyone wanting to search the truth of any of these stories.

For what it's worth, here's a pic of one of the Koreans captured at Normandy (# 16)
japanese_dday.jpg
 

ModlrMike

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
964
Points
960
Just the ones I'm sure of.

#2 True
#9 False? I don't think Churchill was at the crossing of the Rhine, although I wouldn't put it past him to piss in the river at some point. In fact, I don't think Churchill actually set foot in Germany until after the fall of Berlin.
#10 Technically True, however only one prototype was ever built.
#18 False. The British radar was much more advanced that early German attempts. It was British radar that helped them locate the Graf Spee. In Dec 1939 German radar was still in its infancy and British radar was continuously being refined refined. The Germans had not yet acquired the cavity magnatron. The film the Battle of the River Plate was slavish in it's loyalty to history. It contained actual footage of the sinking of the Graf Spee.
#20 True...ish. The landing consisted of closer to 40000 troops. There were 17 American and 4 Canadian casualties from fratricide, but as many as 200 casualties from Japanese booby traps. In addition, a US destroyer struck a mine and suffered 70 dead and 47 wounded.
#22 True, however as the Waffen SS was intended to be staffed by expatriates, this hardly qualifies as an oddity.
#23 True
#24 False



 

Supra

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
110
I'm wondering the origin on these stories...

I play "WWII online; Battleground Europe" and when you are waiting to spawn it tells you these stories. Been reading these for about 2 years hah.
 

vonGarvin

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
20
Points
430
12: I'm unsure as to the number brought down; however, the Red Air Force did, on occassion, resort to ramming German planes (usually bombers) when their ammo ran out.
14: Yes; however, 'by default' German Airborne Divisions were air force ('Luftwaffe') formations.
22.  Correct.  The recruitment laws for the German Armed Forces ('Wehrmacht') forbad in most cases the recruitment of foreigners.  The Waffen-SS capitalised on this and recruited heavily in the occupied territories.  The ethnicity of their divisions was reflected in how the divisions were named.  In effect, the Waffen-SS became the first modern-day Pan European armed force.
23.  Yes.  "We" declared war on Germany in 1939.  ("We" = France, UK, Canada, etc.)
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
725
Points
1,260
EuroCanuck said:
4. More US servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions your chance of being killed was 71%.

It is true that the U.S.A.A.F. had more KIA than the USMC.
RCAF Bomber Command had an average KIA rate of 55%. That's for one tour. The chances of surviving a second tour, according to "Bomber" Harris, were "mathematically nil." Some squadrons were wiped out five times over.
By comparison, the US Eighth Air Force had 350,000 aircrew during the war, and suffered 26,000 killed.
A ( RCAF ) Bomber Command crew member had a worse chance of survival than an infantry officer in World War One.

 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
725
Points
1,260
EuroCanuck said:
6. Germany's power grid was much more vulnerable than realized. One estimate is that if just 1% of the bombs dropped on German industry had instead been dropped on power plants German industry would have collapsed.

Bomber Command discussed electricity generating plants. It was assumed that they were too sophisticated and too widely dispersed to succumb. Electricity may well have been Germany's "Achilles Heel" or "sever Germany's jugular", was the way they put it.
Bomber Command's concern with any specific target system was that once the Luftwaffe figured out the plan, bomber losses would mount accordingly.
Albert Speer was overwhelmingly relieved that the Mighty 8th discontinued their extraordinarily gallant attacks after "Second Schweinfurt" against their ball-bearing industry. 60 Flying Fortresses were shot down of the 291 dispatched. Speer was also amazed that Harris focused so much on Berlin, where the odds were impossible.
Speer recognised that the Allies were as incapable as Hitler of assessing the fatal weaknesses of the enemy war machine. 

The greatest missed opportunity of the bomber war, and Harris's worst nightmare, was Hitler's decision not to attack R(C)AF bombers at their most vulnerable moments,  as they took off and landed at their airfields. This was Hitler's personal decision, to cancel Gen Kammhuber's "Night Intruder" attacks.
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
725
Points
1,260
EuroCanuck said:
5. Not that bombers were helpless. A B-17 carried 4 tons of bombs and 1.5 tons of machine gun ammo. The US 8th Air Force shot down 6,098 fighter planes, 1 for every 12,700 shots fired.

Bombs: Short range missions (<400 mi): 8,000 lb (3,600 kg)
          Long range missions (≈800 mi): 4,500 lb (2,000 kg)
By comparison, the Lancaster carried a 14,000 lb bombload with fuel for 1,660 miles or a 22,000 lb Grand Slam with modifications to bomb bay.

"claims":
http://wilk4.com/humor/talbott_kill_claims.htm
 

time expired

Full Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
ÙS 8th Airforce bomber crews claims were totally fictitious.Scenario: a
FW 190 flies through a box of B17s and is hit and goes down trailing smoke,
at least 15 gunners fired at the enemy fighter and are convinced they were
the one that made the kill.When they go to the debrief all claim a kill, the
policy was to accept the claims as it was good for morale.Result is that
the US 8th Airforce claims it shot down 15 FW 190s.
                                      Regards
 
Top