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The 70th Anniversary Of The Outbreak Of WW2  
User currently offlineStasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3280 posts, RR: 6
Posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 5574 times:

From BBCNews website - a somber rememberance.

A day of commemorations has begun in Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. The first ceremony took place at dawn on Westerplatte peninsula near Gdansk, where a German battleship fired the first shots on a Polish fort in 1939. Poland's president and prime minister led a sombre ceremony at the fort.

Foreign leaders from 20 countries including Germany and Russia are expected in Gdansk later in the day as ceremonies continue. At 0445 (0245 GMT) Polish President Lech Kaczynski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk joined war veterans beside a monument to the heroes of Westerplatte. The ceremony marked the exact time on 1 September 1939 when the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire at point-blank range on the fort.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8225093.stm


"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
89 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6696 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5543 times:

It was in the Times this morning that there is still a lot of ill feeling in Poland for Russia's invasion of Poland from the East 2 weeks later... and seemingly a lot of Russian wishing that there'd never been any pact with the Nazis.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6816403.ece

It seems that there are still some deeply unresolved issues in that part of the world. I hope they don't overshadow the main aims of the day.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12134 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5534 times:

WWII, perhaps the best example of man's inhumanity to man.

User currently offlineSwissy From Switzerland, joined Jan 2005, 1734 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5511 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
WWII, perhaps the best example of man's inhumanity to man

Well I guess we should include WWI..... from soldiers perspective.... 2 unbelievable wars that might or should showed us, war is not the answer.... I truly hope it will never ever happen.


User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 3004 posts, RR: 37
Reply 4, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5470 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR



Quoting Swissy (Reply 3):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
WWII, perhaps the best example of man's inhumanity to man

Well I guess we should include WWI..... from soldiers perspective.... 2 unbelievable wars that might or should showed us, war is not the answer.... I truly hope it will never ever happen.

Large scale warfare for the purpose of territorial gain i would think are over...

That said, lack of access to resources will cause another world war, someday... it's just a question of who and where.



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineYVRLTN From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 2447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5425 times:

I remember my history teacher saying Britain entered WW2 as they had a pact with Poland to defend them if they were ever attacked. Is this correct??


Follow me on twitter for YVR movements @vernonYVR
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5413 times:



Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 5):
I remember my history teacher saying Britain entered WW2 as they had a pact with Poland to defend them if they were ever attacked. Is this correct??

That's correct. They entered into the pact after Nazi Germany violated the Munich Agreement and occupied Czechoslovakia.



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26906 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5409 times:



Quoting Swissy (Reply 3):
Well I guess we should include WWI..... from soldiers perspective

Very true ...

The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, fought from 1 July to 18 November 1916, was among the largest battles of the First World War. With more than 1.5 million casualties, it is also one of the bloodiest military operations recorded.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Somme

--------------

On a side note

Dame Vera back in the charts

Forces sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn has became the oldest living artist to make it into the top 20 of the UK albums chart, her record company said.
Dame Vera, who kept up the spirits of millions with her songs and personality during the darkest days of the Second World War, entered the album chart at number 20, at the age of 92.

Her album, We'll Meet Again - The Very Best of Vera Lynn, returned her to the charts almost six decades after she topped them in the 1950s.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20090830...ra-back-in-the-charts-5f8abb3.html


User currently offlineAcheron From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1626 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5408 times:



Quoting OA260 (Reply 7):
On a side note

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUx3MU9iM6c


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5376 times:



Quoting OA260 (Reply 7):
Dame Vera back in the charts

A bit of humour after getting a bout of watery eyes from

Quoting Acheron (Reply 8):
Quoting OA260 (Reply 7):
On a side note

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUx3M...9iM6c

http://monologues.co.uk/004/Day_War_Broke_Out.htm
The day war broke out... my Missus said to me... she looked at me and she said, "What good are you?"
I said, "Who?"
She said, "You!"
I said, "How do you mean, what good am I?"
"Well..." she said, you're too old for the army..." she said, "you couldn't get in the navy... and they wouldn't have you in the air force... so, what good are you?"
I said," I'll do something!..."
She said, "What?"
I said, How do I know?... I'll have to think!"
She said, "I don't see how that's going to help you... you've never done it before!..." she said, "so what good..."
I said, "Don't keep saying what good am I," I said, "there'll be munitions."
She said, "How can you go on mun..."
I said, "I never said anything about going on munitions, I simply said... there'd be some!"
"Well," she said, "All the young fellas'll be getting called up and you'll have to go back to work!"
Ooh... she's got a cruel tongue!
Anyway, I haven't had to go back to work... I'm a lamplighter!
Then she turned round and she said, "Our Harry'll be getting called up... and when he's gone there'll only be his army around... so what are you going to do then?"
I said, "Well, I'll have to try and manage on it."
She said, "You'll have to try... what about me?"
I said, Well, there'll be my insurance."
She said, " I can't get that until you're dead!"
I said, "Well, you'll have to wait!"
She said, "What if I die first?"
"Well," I said, "you won't need it!"
You can't reason with her... she's got no brains at all.
Anyhow... I got fed up, so I went down to the local and there was a fella there... ooh, he was tight as a... and there was another fella... and one of them was filling in a form and he said to the other fella, he said, "Harry?... what's the name of the street outside this pub?"
So the other fella said, "The name of what?"
"The name of the street... outside the pub!"
The other fella said, "Oh I don't know... I've never been outside the pub!"
So I asked them what the form was they were filling in and he said it 'ad summat to do with the Home Guard and he read it out to me... and it said, 'Wanted, real men, men who are neither afraid of bombs, tanks, incendiary devices, high explosives or anything else... men who are ready to lay down their lives in any shape or form.'


And more.


User currently offlineWarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 8871 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5349 times:

Let us hope we have learned something over the last 70 years. I doubt it. We now have smaller wars, but war just the same.


It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26906 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5336 times:



Quoting Acheron (Reply 8):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUx3MU9iM6c

At 2:01 on that video you can see the Lufthansa logo.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 9):
bit of humour after getting a bout of watery eyes from

LOL... those songs are timeless though. My Grandmother used to know all those.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EosbVtaB8I

She wasnt bad for her age back in 94 when that video was filmed on the QE2 ! She never lost her voice thats for sure.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13184 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 5324 times:

A sombre anniversary.

I would rate WW2 as the worst, since it featured an attempt to wipe out a whole religion (though the Nazi's classed the Jews as a race), as well as others who did not the racial ideals of a criminal government.

As well as being a 'world' war on a bigger global scale.

Not just in Europe, the sheer brutality in the Far East too, for China, the war started in 1933.

Britain (and France) did have a treaty to protect Poland, though it was in a sense of a deterrent rather than anything viable militarily.
Certainly the relatively small British Army had no direct means of aid and the RAF did not possess anything that could either reach Poland or cause any significant damage in Germany.

France did the Europe's largest army, some say had an offensive been mounted against the Germany frontier stripped of it's defences for the Polish invasion, things might have been different.
But that ignores that the French Army, like so many else in Europe still scarred by the slaughter of WW1, was almost a completely defensive force.
It had some of the tanks, but not the planning, doctrine nor coordination to mount such an attack.
The cash had been splashed on another symbol of the desperate need to try an avoid another abattoir in the trenches, the Maginot Line.
Plus the negative affects as a whole on the nation due to the political instability of the 3rd Republic.

For Britain, still neither recovered financially nor physiologically from WW1, the declaration of war not only an admittance of the failure of what they thought was a chance of diplomacy, but also the end of an attempt since 1936 to re-arm before hostilities started.
So while he is, understandably and quite fairly still commended as the 'appeaser', there had been another imperative in the policy of Chamberlain, playing for time to re-arm.

When Churchill took over in May 1940, at the darkest time, he may have said I did not become the King's First Minister to preside over the end of the British Empire he must have known that by fighting on, that is what he was doing.

For young children like my mother, the outbreak of war meant the possibility of evacuation from the major cities to new lives for the duration, usually in rural areas, which some slum children had never seen before.
But many, like her parents, just could not bear to be parted from their children.
So the coming air battles and later V weapons attacks, would be part of their war.
As well as rationing, mum did not remember banana's before the war, being too young, but she would not actually recall eating one until her teens.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12134 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5294 times:



Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 5):
I remember my history teacher saying Britain entered WW2 as they had a pact with Poland to defend them if they were ever attacked. Is this correct??



Quoting BA (Reply 6):
That's correct. They entered into the pact after Nazi Germany violated the Munich Agreement and occupied Czechoslovakia.

Correct, and so did France. Both Britian and France declaired war on Germany on 3 September 1939.

Quoting Swissy (Reply 3):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
WWII, perhaps the best example of man's inhumanity to man

Well I guess we should include WWI..... from soldiers perspective.... 2 unbelievable wars that might or should showed us, war is not the answer.... I truly hope it will never ever happen.

There is one major difference, the number of civilians killed during WWI greatly exceeded the number of soldiers killed on all sides. In WWI, about 20M were killed, mostly military personel During WWII, more than 60M were killed, about 15M of them were military personel, and the rest were civilians.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 10):
Let us hope we have learned something over the last 70 years. I doubt it. We now have smaller wars, but war just the same.

I agree, but it is not really up to the US, or most other civilized countries of the world. There are several things that could start a WWIII, some nut with a nuke throws it somewhere, forcing the superpowers to take sides, or a major food or water shortage. I think it will most likely be over food and water.


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 14, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5268 times:



Quoting GDB (Reply 12):
As well as rationing, mum did not remember banana's before the war, being too young, but she would not actually recall eating one until her teens.

And the first ones I saw when they came back, about 1947 or 48 were BLACK!

I vaguely knew about their absence but did not really remember what they were. Oranges, what are oranges???

Quoting GDB (Reply 12):
So while he is, understandably and quite fairly still commended as the 'appeaser', there had been another imperative in the policy of Chamberlain, playing for time to re-arm.

Criticised is more the word rather than commended? This is quite true and the argument has force, but history has submerged it.

Take a check on first the number of Spitfires in service on Sept 1 1939. Then check their propeller, at best two speed wooden, the condition of the guns. The problem of the hot breech and cordite had yet to be solved. Take that through a number of other systems and the UK was in no position to fight in 1939. Arguably it was not ready for the START until about early 1941. The radar was sort of ready. The fleet had the nearest to the capacity needed, except of course for ASW.

But the first real fight would be in the air, and until the end June 1940 the UK was not even half ready. Single engine fighter production was only then getting to required levels. And pilot training, well the plans had been laid, but the results were not to come until late 1940.


User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5694 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5249 times:

Quoting StasisLAX (Thread starter):
Foreign leaders from 20 countries including Germany and Russia are expected in Gdansk later in the day as ceremonies continue.

Apparently some eyebrows were raised by the ultra low-key representation sent by the US.
It's understandable that Obama was too busy having ramadan at the White House and given his background his interest or attachment to Europe is minimal, but to send some second-tier, unelected official when everybody else is sending heads of state is almost a diplomatic faux pas.

[Edited 2009-09-03 01:24:32]

User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 16, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5244 times:



Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 15):
but to send some second-tier, unelected official when everybody else is sending heads od state is almost a diplomatic faux pas.

Remind us of the role that the US played in WWII during the invasion of Poland. It has slipped my mind.

Ramadan is usually spelled with a capital R. Politeness I think Mr Tweedly.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12134 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5218 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 14):
Quoting GDB (Reply 12):
So while he is, understandably and quite fairly still commended as the 'appeaser', there had been another imperative in the policy of Chamberlain, playing for time to re-arm.


Criticised is more the word rather than commended? This is quite true and the argument has force, but history has submerged it.

Well, Neville Chamberlin really wasn't interested in re-arming Great Britian. I point to the various weapons systems developed under his regiem. His "heavy bomber" developement was only twin engine bombers, at a time the US already had the 4 engine B-17 flying (although the early model B-17A/B/C were not very good), and the B-24 was in developement. The RAF knew the rangesw required for the bombers, and knew of the Luftwaffe fighters. The early Spitfires and Hurricanes were animic at best, The RN was mostly relying on WWI built warships, except for the Rodney class battleships, built in the 1920s. The 1935 built King George V class BBs were a joke for most of WWII, only being equipped qith 14" guns at a time when France, Italy, and Germany were building 15" gun BBs, the US 16" gun BBs, and Japan 18" gun BBs. Chamberlin would not impliment the the "escalation clause" to the London Treaty, like the US did due to Japan dropping out of the London Treaty. Chamberlin also did not re-equip the British Army, or the RM, who were also fighting with WWI equipment.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 14):
Take a check on first the number of Spitfires in service on Sept 1 1939. Then check their propeller, at best two speed wooden, the condition of the guns. The problem of the hot breech and cordite had yet to be solved. Take that through a number of other systems and the UK was in no position to fight in 1939. Arguably it was not ready for the START until about early 1941. The radar was sort of ready. The fleet had the nearest to the capacity needed, except of course for ASW.

No, the RN Fleet was not ready for WWI. The USN gave the RN 50 WWI vintage "four piper" destroyers to help with convoy escort duties, under the "lend lease" program. The most powerful ship in the RN, the BC HMS Hood, was sunk at the Battle of Denmark Straights to KM Bizmark after only three salvos (Hood was never refit between the two wars to improve her armor protection, even though the RN knew their BCs had problems with plunging fire in WWI). The WWI BB HMS Royal Oak was sunk in the hugh RN Naval Base at Scapa Flow by a KM U-Boat. The RN also did several tactical things wrong. I point to the 1940 loss of the RN aircraft carrier HMS Glorious, which had only two escort DDs when they ran into the KM BCs Sharnhorst and Gnisanau. Even Churchill made a big tactical mistake by directing ever warship within range to track down and sink one KM BB, the Bizmark. Then the CA HMS Dorchester left most of the Bizmark survivors in the water, picking up only about 130, or so.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 14):
But the first real fight would be in the air, and until the end June 1940 the UK was not even half ready. Single engine fighter production was only then getting to required levels. And pilot training, well the plans had been laid, but the results were not to come until late 1940.

What about Dunkirk? The Battle of Britian was the first real fight for the RAF, but not the rest of the British Military Forces. The RAF would have lost the Battle of Britian had Hitler not poked his fingers into the Luftwaffe and changed the bombing from the RAF Airfields to the cities. That gave the RAF the time it needed to recover from the hugh losses it was getting in the Spitfires and Hurricanes.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 15):
Apparently some eyebrows were raised by the ultra low-key representation sent by the US.
It's understandable that Obama was too busy having ramadan at the White House and given his background his interest or attachment to Europe is minimal, but to send some second-tier, unelected official when everybody else is sending heads of state is almost a diplomatic faux pas

Part of the "change".

Quoting Baroque (Reply 16):
Remind us of the role that the US played in WWII during the invasion of Poland. It has slipped my mind.

It didn't, but neither did Italy. But the US was a big partisipant in WWII, and without her help, you would be speaking Japanese now, the UK, USSR, and France would be speaking German.


User currently offlineFuturePilot16 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2035 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5213 times:

Funny thing is, I was watching a youtube video with Pat Buchanan defending Hitler for some of his actions claiming that Hitler was practically goaded into a war by the allies. I don't know why people still listen to that guy.


"The brave don't live forever, but the cautious don't live at all."
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 19, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5204 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
Well, Neville Chamberlin really wasn't interested in re-arming Great Britian. I point to the various weapons systems developed under his regiem. His "heavy bomber" developement was only twin engine bombers, at a time the US already had the 4 engine B-17 flying (although the early model B-17A/B/C were not very good), and the B-24 was in developement.

What a load of rubbish.

I will just hit one of them to the boundary.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Stirling
The Short Stirling was the first four-engined British heavy bomber of the Second World War. The Stirling was designed and built by Short Brothers to an Air Ministry specification from 1936, and entered service in 1941. The Stirling was fated to have a relatively brief operational career being relegated to second line duties from 1943 onwards when other four-engined RAF bombers, specifically the Handley Page Halifax and Avro Lancaster, took over its role.

You might be getting confused by the attempt to use the Vulture
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handley_Page_Halifax
Handley Page produced the H.P.56 design to meet Air Ministry Specification P.13/36 for a twin-engine medium bomber for "world-wide use." Other candidates for the specification were the Avro Manchester and a Vickers Warwick development; all used twin Rolls-Royce Vulture engines. The introduction of the successful P.13/36 candidates were delayed by the necessity of ordering more Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley and Vickers Wellington bombers first.

Performance and reliability with the under-developed Vulture was found to be lacking. Modifications resulted in the definitive H.P.57 which upon acceptance gained the name "Halifax" following the practice of naming heavy bombers after major towns; in this case Halifax in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The H.P.57 was enlarged and powered by four 1,280 hp (950 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin X engines. Such was the promise of the new model that the RAF had placed their first order for 100 Mk I Halifaxes "off the drawing board" before the first prototype even flew. The maiden flight of the Halifax took place on 24 September 1939 from RAF Bicester, 21 days after the UK declared war on Germany.


You can call them medium bombers if you like, but in that case the B-17 would have to be a light bomber, but then it never did carry much more than the twin engined Mossie, and often carried less, as they said "50 mph slower and a bit lower".

Usually it is worth some debate KC, but you really are out to lunch on the 1936 to 1942 period.

Ask Scharnhorst* how it liked the 14 inchers of the Duke of York. Even the P of W scored a hit on Bismark that was critical in getting it to head for Brest, and it had its turrets full of folk from the shipyard during the battle.

PS you can find it at the bottom of the Barents Sea, not that far from Snow White as it happens!!


User currently offlineVictrola From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 506 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5202 times:



Quoting GDB (Reply 12):
It had some of the tanks, but not the planning, doctrine nor coordination to mount such an attack.

Funny thing about the French army's lack of doctrine. Before the war Charles de Gaulle, I think he was a colonel at the time, wrote a book called "Vers l'Armee du Metier" where he developed a doctrine of concentrated armor attack. It was completely ignored by the French general staff. However the German general staff studied it very carefully and incorporated its ideas into their Blitzkrieg.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13184 posts, RR: 77
Reply 21, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5191 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 14):
Criticised is more the word rather than commended? This is quite true and the argument has force, but history has submerged it.

Spell check cock up, I meant comdemned.

There was a serious rearmanment effort from 1936, however Naval Agreements worldwide limited some design and construction.
But the real focus was on home defence, the setting up of the 'Chain Home' radar network, but just as importantly, the facilities who command and control the defence too.

The RN was more concerned, with some reason, with the threat of German 'Commerce Raiders', modern warships like Crusiers and 'Pocket Battleships', ranging far and wide attacking the supply lines, which remember for Imperial Britain, was not just trans-Atlantic.
What happneed with the Graff Spee being an example.
Also used in the same role were armed converted merchant ships.

U-Boats were seen as a threat, however they were seen as secondary to the surface one.
Much faith was placed on 'ASDIC' (Sonar), but in the actual conditions of combat it often was not the 'magic bullet' expected.
However, the U-Boats did become a critical problem when the 'Wolf Pack' tactics were employed, since this was a counter to the convoy system, which was also seen as a major obstacle to successful U-Boat operations.

But the US had one advantage when it came to ramping up for war production to the UK, in Britain there had been no equivalent to the work programmes under FDR in the 1930's.
So production here was harder and took longer to ramp up.
But it had by the declaration of war.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 22, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5125 times:

KC135TopBoom, please research things better and don't rely on what, I have to say, amounts more to folklore than to history?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
His "heavy bomber" developement was only twin engine bombers, at a time the US already had the 4 engine B-17 flying (although the early model B-17A/B/C were not very good), and the B-24 was in developement.

As others have said, the British four-engined bombers were designed under a VERY far-sighted specification issued in 1936. They were designed from the start to carry an unheard-of weight of bombs (the Lancaster, the best of them, ultimately proving able to carry the 22,000lb. - 10-ton - earthquake bomb). Equally importantly, the Air Staff realised that heavy bombers would not be able to operate in daylight in face of the fighter defences already in service, and therefore they were designed from the start for night operations. RAF four-engined types began coming into service in mid-1941.

By contrast, the B17 - an early-thirties design - could carry a maximum of only four tons; and even at that, its midwing design produced a shallow bomb-bay. It could only carry bombs of 1,000lbs. or less, and was utterly unsuitable for night operations. As a result it was not until 1943 that it was risked over Germany - and the daylight raids were soon discontinued after dreadful losses. Until the P51 Mustang began arriving in Europe to escort the heavies - at the end of 1943 - the USAAF was unable to venture again over Germany. Perhaps I should add that the Mustang was derived from a 1940 British RAF specification, and only became a war-winner after the British experimented with fitting Merlin engines to it.....?

I consider it one of the greater tragedies of WW2 that huge numbers of US airmen were sent over Germany to their deaths in aeroplanes that could not operate at night, with no escorts, only hand-operated machineguns to defend themselves with, and bombs that were simply not powerful enough to destroy the machinery in the factories they were expected to attack..........

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
No, the RN Fleet was not ready for WWI. The USN gave the RN 50 WWI vintage "four piper" destroyers to help with convoy escort duties, under the "lend lease" program..


Presumably you meant WW2?   The favour of the escorts was in fact returned later - US shipping on the Eastern Seaboard was mercilessly attacked by U-boats from the outset, and the US Navy had virtually no anti-submarine capability at first. The British and Canadians provided thirty or forty escorts, and their crews, to help defend the US coastal sealanes through 1942.

And really - do I have to remind you how 'ready' the US Navy was on 7th. December 1941, and what happened to most of their battle fleet? 16-inch guns notwithstanding........   All the democracies got caught with their pants down at first, by both the Germans and the Japanese...........

Sure, the British had severe losses - but in the end, between the RN and the RAF, it was British forces that knocked out the entire German, Italian (and, of necessity, the French) navies, almost all of them before the USA even entered the War?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
It didn't, but neither did Italy. But the US was a big partisipant in WWII, and without her help, you would be speaking Japanese now, the UK, USSR, and France would be speaking German.

Of course the United States made a huge contribution; no-one is denying that. But it should not be presented as some kind of 'rescue.' From start to finish it was an equal partnership between Britain, the Commonwealth, and the United States. For good reasons, the US had to allocate a large proportion of its resources, particularly naval resources, to the Pacific; and the British and their allies carried the main burden in Western Europe. In point of fact, until August 1944, there were more British and Commonwealth troops facing the Germans in Italy and France than there were American ones........

In the end the British and the USA came together and most of the credit for the eventual defeat of both the Germans and the Japanese belongs to those two countries.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
The RAF would have lost the Battle of Britian had Hitler not poked his fingers into the Luftwaffe and changed the bombing from the RAF Airfields to the cities. That gave the RAF the time it needed to recover from the hugh losses it was getting in the Spitfires and Hurricanes.

Just don't get that. The RAF had more fighters in service at the end of the Battle of Britain than it had at the beginning. Sure, they'd lost about 800 pilots killed and wounded - but the Germans had lost nearly 3,000 aircrew in the same period. The Germans' problem, oddly enough, was basically wrongly-designed aircraft - the Me109 was a 'pure' interceptor, lacking the range to escort the bombers, and the Me110 could barely defend itself against single-engined fighters, leave alone defend anyone else..........

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
But the US was a big partisipant in WWII, and without her help, you would be speaking Japanese now, the UK, USSR, and France would be speaking German.

To my mind, as soon as Hitler lost the Battle of Britain, and responded by dropping all such plans and invading Russia, there was never any question of him conquering Britain, and precious little chance of him even managing to hold on to France and the Low Countries. From that moment his fate was sealed. In exactly the same way, once the Japanese were foolish enough to attack the United States, and also invade India, there was never any doubt as to what would eventually happen to them..........

[Edited 2009-09-05 09:36:17]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13184 posts, RR: 77
Reply 23, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5097 times:

Well NAV20, you saved me from a lot of typing!

The issue of the B-17 was instructive, it was boasted that it's Norden bomb-sight would make possible almost precision attacks, which of course should mitigate the smaller bomb load and avoiding perhaps, the need for 'total war' flattening of large urban areas in the drive to damage the war industry.

And the bomb-sight was impressive, dropping loads at a target (a cartoonish rendering of a stereotypical Japanese), in the desert ranges in the US.
But NW Europe was nothing like that, not having the crisp, clear weather, but having flak, fighters, smoke from the ground.

That said, it was probably inevitable that a day as well as night bombing campaign was kept up, aside from anything else it was the main way for some time the US could seriously engage Nazi Germany.
Rather like the British in fact.
Until the Italian and then D-Day landings.

I think it's fair to say that the danger of invasion for the UK, though always a highly dubious idea (as the German High Command also thought), passed by Autumn 1940.
The more real danger, from the supply lines to keep the country in the war, diminished then passed by late 1942 and into 1943.
Certainly the U-Boats were beaten enough to even attempt the build up for the Invasion of France in 1943/1944.
And despite even quite recent attempts by Hollywood to imply otherwise, that was largely a RN/RCN/RCAF/RAF/Merchant Navy effort.
However, mention should be given to the often astonishing rapidity of US construction of Liberty Ships , which enabled losses, even if they had continued at 1940-42 levels, to be replaced.

The Battle Of Britain had it's critical moments for the British at times, but it was the mighty Luftwaffe who broke first, in losses - both in crew and aircraft and eventually, crew morale.
It must have been hard going over after being told the RAF was on it's knees, again, only to get shot up, again, and in many cases, actually shot down.
The Luftwaffe crew losses in the BoB, also show that many aircraft limped back with some of the crew dead and dying, as well as those not coming back at all.
Must have disturbed quite a few of the 'Aryan Supermen'.

Though Hitler famously turned attention to London, after a RAF raid on Berlin, the truth is that it was always the intention to go for attacks on cities, had the British refused to seek terms for peace, in the hope that Churchill would lose the support of the population.
Since such terms were never going to be sought, the bombing of London and other major cities was always going to happen.
Also that German intelligence of what was going on in the UK, was always very poor to seemingly non existent at times. The Abwehr found more than a match in MI5 and MI6.
They well well have thought further attacks on RAF installations were to use a more modern term, 'bouncing the rubble', (or re-cratering the grass?)


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 24, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5001 times:



Quoting GDB (Reply 23):
The issue of the B-17 was instructive

The issue of the limited 'capabilities' of US bombers in WW2 is very instructive, GDB.  Smile

My favourite story concerns General Groves, the guy who ran the Manhattan Project. He did a fantastic job in organising the development of the atomic bomb, but - his experience being entirely in the Army Corps of Engineers - it didn't occur to him until quite late in the day to start researching the 'means of delivery.' In fact, not until late October 1943, when he appointed Norman E. Ramsey, a Columbia/Cambridge academic, to lead the newly-formed 'Delivery Group.'

Ramsey quickly realised that there was no US bomber in service that had any chance of carrying the proposed five-ton 'pencil-shaped' uranium bomb - 'Thin Man' - just on grounds of weight; and that nothing the US had 'under development,' not even the proposed B29, which was still at the design stage, could hope to carry 'Fat Boy' - the equally-heavy 'onion-shaped' plutonium bomb - due to their shallow, narrow bomb-bays.

As a resourceful man, Ramsey activated his British contacts, and travelled to Canada, where he met Roy Chadwick, Avro's chief designer, and was shown Lancasters in production. Chadwick was able to assure him that the Lancaster would be able to carry the new weapon to its maximum radius of action with only minimal modifications.

As Ramsey put it in the (almost suicidal) memo that he sent to the violently anti-British Groves, "The bomb-bay is 33 feet long and 67 inches wide. The current depth is only 38 inches, but this could easily be modified. The Lancaster's ceiling is 27,000 feet, its speed 285 mph, and takeoff (fully-loaded) requires only 3,750 feet - a possibly critical factor if small airfields need to be utilised in mainland European or Pacific locations."

By all accounts Groves was speechless for some time after reading that. Then he telephoned both Arnold and President Roosevelt, and started a sequence of events that resulted in Boeing being 'leant on from a great height' to ensure that, at all costs, Groves' 'brainchild' would not have to be delivered by a 'Goddam Limey' bomber.........

In fact, due to strenous efforts by Boeing, the B29s 'managed.' But they were at, or almost beyond, their performance limits. It's worth remembering that 'Enola Gay' nearly ran out of runway and crashed taking off from Guam en route to Hiroshima, and 'Bock's Car,' returning from Nagasaki, had to 'land short ' at Okinawa with all but one engine stopped because it had run out of fuel..........

Given that the Japanese were so short of fuel that they couldn't send fighters up, had Lancasters been used, both raids would, from a flying point of view, have been 'milk-runs' - to use RAF slang of the period.

"Piece of cake, old boy......."

http://www.cybermodeler.com/history/silverpl/silverpl.shtml



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
25 Aaron747 : That's funny, I'm American, but speaking Japanese today - what gives??? This is something I just don't get for the life of me. One can read all the h
26 Post contains images NAV20 : Churchill's memoirs record his feelings going to bed (presumably fairly sober for once  ) that night, within hours of Pearl Harbor, Aaron747:- "To h
27 LMP737 : He has a book about it called "Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War". I've read some of it while at Borders. Truth be told one can only take it
28 LMP737 : The King George V class did its job rather well in WWII. While the Bismarck had 15in guns compared to the King George V class the King George V class
29 BigBadBoo : The most amazing thing about WW2 to me is how it's repercussions are still so prominent today. The Middle East conflict (based as it is on the creatio
30 Jcs17 : Doubtful, to say the least. The US decided it and ended it. That's not to say that other countries didn't have a hand in it, but without the manpower
31 MD11Engineer : Well, the Brits, Australians, New Zealnders and not to forget the Indians (the British Indian Army was seperate from the British Army, also don´t fo
32 Baroque : Hard to argue with much of that BBB. However re Japan, while all and sundry fought hard against the Japanese here, there and everywhere, not least in
33 MD11Engineer : It took the Russians 3 months to move their battlehardened troops over from Europe to Eastern Siberia, but once they had them in place they gave the
34 Post contains links Baroque : Of a kind and strength that the Japanese had never seen - well apart from a bit of a stoush they had back in 1939 with none other than Zhukov! http:/
35 MD11Engineer : Previously most battles the Japanese fought were infantry battles in jungle terrain or naval engagements between islands with little use of tanks, mo
36 RJ111 : Take any of the 3 major allies out after the fall of France and you would have had a totally different war. And i do not believe it is possible to si
37 BigBadBoo : Do us a favor Josh, study history; it doesn't make you look weaker to accept the reality here, it actually makes you look weaker to deny it. How many
38 GDB : Maybe in Hollywood-land the USSR did not have much to do with the defeat of Germany, but the reality says otherwise, whatever we think, or even though
39 MD11Engineer : One thing the Russians were very good in was camouflage and infiltration. Whole divisions would suddenly appear where the Germans didn´t expect them
40 LMP737 : That's what makes all this talk about who did what that much harder. It's all the "what ifs" and the little historical facts that people forget about
41 HAWK21M : True....It was a combined effort. I guess the turning point was the mistake of Germany attacking Russia.If they had waited to finish off the battle o
42 Post contains links NAV20 : Have to mention first of all that Rommel was in fact in direct command of the German forces in Normandy, LMP737, and continued in that role until the
43 Baroque : Is true although I would argue (you knew I would argue NAV!!) that Alam Halfa was the critical battle and that relied on the British having finally f
44 MD11Engineer : " target=_blank>http://www.burmastar.org.uk/kohep.jpg Read George McDonald Fraser´s "Quartered Safe Out here" about an eyewitness account (he was a
45 LMP737 : Oh yes I know he was in overall command there. However when the invasion occurred he was visiting his wife on her birthday. Therefore he was not in d
46 Post contains images NAV20 : Have to ask, Baroque mate, what we're arguing ABOUT?   As a {strictly amateur, and merely peacetime) gunner, I'd be the first to agree that Monty go
47 Baroque : Nothing significant, just suggesting a greater emphasis on A Halfa because for most El Alamein is that meat grinder of a battle in October (and of co
48 MD11Engineer : It would have been even better if they´d designed an armour piercing round for the 3.7" AA gun, the British equivalent of the German 88 mm gun, whic
49 Baroque : Oh indeed. Quite a nasty beast the 3.7", hell of a crack when it went off. 5.25s were worse for noise mind you but not many of them around happily fo
50 RJ111 : Interesting programme about the war in the Atlantic on C4 now if you're in the UK.
51 MD11Engineer : What I find interesting is that you´ll still find 25Pdr MK2 guns around. Also the American 76mm pack howitzer as used e.g. in Arnhem. Jan
52 HAWK21M : It was all about "dastur" Tradition.The Indian Army had that belief then. Just a query was there any occassion when Japanese & Germans fought togethe
53 Baroque : Depends if you think sub cruises were fighting together. The Germans donated a small number of U-boats to the Japanese and the Japanese used some of
54 NAV20 : My guess is that there was no need, Baroque. The use of the 88 in the anti-tank role was an improvisation which started in the 1940 Battle of France
55 Yellowstone : They didn't think they'd have to take on the US - they only intended to temporarily cripple our Pacific fleet long enough to gain control of the oil
56 HAWK21M : Wouldn't any country....considering the scale of attack at Pearl harbour. regds MEL.
57 Baroque : Lovely way to phrase it Yellowstone. They probably thought they were being polite by not destroying the oil tank farms!!!! Then again, they were well
58 Post contains links WarRI1 : I see in the papers this morning and going along with the WW2 anniversary of the outbreak of WW2. Dame Vera Lynn has the number one record in Great Br
59 LMP737 : Japan was a victim of it's own success in the 1905 war with Russia. In that conflict they won a decisive victory in the Battle of Tsushima and Russia
60 Post contains links NAV20 : Baroque, your question about 'whither the Allied response to the 88?' caused me to do a little research. I found that the British High Command was act
61 Baroque : Interesting. I thought a little bit of "provocation" would work wonders. That delay to the 6 pounder would figure. The 17 pounder was effective, but
62 BarfBag : Indeed. India was in a very difficult position then, having to fend off one imperialist power from overrunning the country while simultaneously tryin
63 GDB : Well Barf Bag, more like a case of the British, totally exhausted by two world wars, economically as well as in other ways, deciding to leave. They re
64 BarfBag : None of which changes the fact that the British were a hated imperial looter that we couldn't wait to be rid of. British war concerns were not the sam
65 MD11Engineer : Only that Hitler had different plans. Hitler wanted to use Bose, but then replace Britain as colonial power with Germany (though he might have eventu
66 Vc10 : Perhaps the USA has a prior claim to that fact Cheers littlevc10
67 Baroque : You have a signed statement from Bose that this made him a happy chappie then? For a supposed democrat he chose unusual bedfelllows???
68 BarfBag : Germany had no means to hold on to India - despite their ascendancy in Europe, they had no reliable logistical access either through the channel/GIUK
69 BarfBag : Did he go to Germany or Japan under duress ? No. Nor did he go there for his personal satisfaction. Your point being ? Stalin made for an equally unu
70 Baroque : Wiki opines Possibly the only major political segment that still mentions the mutiny it is the Communist Party of India. Churchill is on record about
71 BarfBag : Do you have something to opine too ? Of course the communists are stuck in the past, because they are... well, communists. Obviously neither he nor F
72 Baroque : No I don't have a view either way, I just found it an odd remark, but then much of world tends to forget that Communism or a variety of same is more
73 NAV20 : I find that an astonishing statement, BarfBag. And also, I'm afraid, given what happened to every country occupied by Axis forces during WW2, downrig
74 BarfBag : So Churchill detested Stalin and collaborated with him. Bose's personal feelings about Hitler are unknown, and he too collaborated with him. What is
75 Baroque : The point that you are so studiously avoiding is do you suppose that the course of action Bose took either got him closer to achieving his aims or wa
76 HAWK21M : The Target by bose or gandhi was the same....Independence from the british for India.....The methods varied.However both are revered as brilliant lead
77 Baroque : True but you will not mind if we revere just one of them, and not Bose either!! Big difference in effectiveness and in his impact on the world.
78 NAV20 : Difficult to know where to start, BarfBag - guess the 'generation gap' is yawning..... It's pretty clear from published sources that the Japanese joi
79 Post contains links Oly720man : Story about it here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3684288.stm In all 3,000 Indian prisoners of war signed up for the Free India Legion. But
80 HAWK21M : Bose has a strong following in the East of the country.Gandhi is considered the Father of the nation. regds MEL.
81 MD11Engineer : I watched a documentary on Bose on German TV a few years ago. His main support, of all people, came from Himmler. Himmler apparently had a genuine in
82 BarfBag : Are you saying that Bose's actions are to be considered wrong on the basis of subsequent personal opinion on its effectiveness ? If so, why did you e
83 Baroque : I will try just once again, did the course of action he took make him a happy chappie? Don't evade the question yet again. Mind you I likely will not
84 GDB : Barf Bag, I'd give it up if I were you. Nice to see the 'hated' British were bad, but on planet Bose, genocidal Nazi Germany were fine. Do you actuall
85 NAV20 : Sorry, mate - probably did seem like a bit of a cheap crack. But I happen to be very proud of the things that the professionals at LSHTM (London Scho
86 LMP737 : William Joyce comes to mind.
87 Post contains links Olle : The war in eastern Europe did not start with Poland. Finland an Baltic states were attacked close one year before defined in the Molotov Ribbentrop ag
88 LMP737 : That is one bet I would not take.
89 Post contains links and images NAV20 : Agree entirely, Olle. It wasn't just Finland either - it's not often remembered that Hitler dreaded a 'war on two fronts' and would never have dared
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