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NAV20
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:57 am



Quoting Baroque (Reply 148):
The command of the Indian army is an area where localization or whatever you want to call it was lagging. You need someone more familiar with the BIA than I if you want a better answer.

Ever since the Indian (technically 'Bengal') Mutiny in 1857, Indian officers were given only 'Viceroy's Commissions,' and were not permitted to rise to field rank. By the same token, Inidan troops were not allowed to operate artillery, and one battalion in every Indian brigade had to be 100% British. Thankfully, according to a family friend who was a Regular in the Indian Army, ALL those restrictions were swept away soon after the beginning of WW2.

He said that that (finally having everyone on equal terms) was one of the happiest moments of of his military life.

As to 1947, he ALSO recalled that his saddest moment was leaving India. Because he (and his Indian and British colleagues) knew damned well that the army was the only thing keeping the Hindus, the Muslims, the Sikhs, and all the other hate-filled factions from each others' throats. He recalled hearing heavy firing from downtown Bombay from the deck of a troopship even as the crew cast off the mooring lines.....

What was the outcome of 'Partition' in 1947/8? We'll never know the true figures, but 'best guesses' are around 2M. killed, 14M. driven out of their homes (7M. each way, Hindu/Muslim).........an absolute bloodbath. Even poor old Gandhi got assassinated early on - by a fellow Hindu - for being too friendly with the Muslims....
 
BarfBag
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:17 am



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 150):
Ever since the Indian (technically 'Bengal') Mutiny in 1857, Indian officers were given only 'Viceroy's Commissions,' and were not permitted to rise to field rank. By the same token, Inidan troops were not allowed to operate artillery, and one battalion in every Indian brigade had to be 100% British.

Thanks for the details of the systematic discrimination against Indians in its own armed forces, starting from the first War of Independence in 1857.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 150):
Because he (and his Indian and British colleagues) knew damned well that the army was the only thing keeping the Hindus, the Muslims, the Sikhs, and all the other hate-filled factions from each others' throats.

Patent nonsense. At no time before or after independence has India ever been held together or run by its armed forces, unlike our neighbours on the west, east and northeast. At no time were they ever even a participant in the talks on the devolution of power.

You don't want to get into a debate on the partition - there's enough to indict Britain on that matter to send this thread hopelessly off track, from cartographic stupidity to administrative incompetence at the top.

For all its pain at birth, there's no nation even remotely as ethnically, culturally and religiously diverse as India, that remains united. The EU might be a possibility, but they wrap themselves in knots about a single Muslim majority European nation (Turkey).
 
NAV20
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:33 am

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 151):
You don't want to get into a debate on the partition - there's enough to indict Britain on that matter to send this thread hopelessly off track, from cartographic stupidity to administrative incompetence at the top.

   

Agree that your interventions have derailed what was previously a well-balanced and constructive thread, Barfbag.

But PLEASE, at least, make up your mind whether you're blaming the British for staying there, or blaming them for leaving.......  

[Edited 2008-07-07 23:38:12]
 
BarfBag
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:47 am



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 152):
make up your mind whether you're blaming the British for staying there, or blaming them for leaving

Why do things in half ? They screwed up by staying around, and they screwed up the process of leaving. In fact they screwed up their withdrawal pretty much everywhere - India, Iraq, Palestine, you name it. Thankfully India has managed to forge ahead economically thanks to its own capabilities.

By all means continue with the western centric fantasy debate on how the allegedly 'limitless' supply of non-white troops (suitably decorated with VCs of course) would have helped the cause of furthering your goals during the war. I'm sure you can even postulate fantasy human wave attacks against Berlin.

Indian soldiers may have been individually patted on their back, but India as a nation was deliberately denied it's due representation or voice during and after the war, despite millions of its men fighting for the cause. Some war against tyranny and oppression that  Yeah sure
 
vc10
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:54 am

As I told you before it is a waste of time discussing anything with a certain gentleman as there is only one true version of anything and that is his.

I would advise everyone to ignore him and get back to the original topic

littlevc10
 
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N328KF
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:53 am



Quoting Vc10 (Reply 154):
I would advise everyone to ignore him and get back to the original topic

It's too late. He has destroyed this thread. He should have opened a new thread on the subject.
 
johns624
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:42 pm



Quoting BarfBag (Reply 143):
Quoting Johns624 (Reply 141):
Which "India" do you think should have been part of the UN Security Council, the part that became "India" or the part that became Pakistan?

Considering that the UNSC came into existence two years before the partition, how is your question relevant ?

My point exactly. What would have happened to the seat in 1947?
 
Dougloid
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:09 pm



Quoting BarfBag (Reply 151):
there's enough to indict Britain on that matter to send this thread hopelessly off track,

You did a pretty good job of sending this thread into the Insinkerator. Would you try and refocus, Mr. Bag?
 
NAV20
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:31 pm

Well, trying to rescue Falcon84's memorable thread, it was all my fault at the beginning, for saying that, IMO, Britain and the Commonweatlh/Empire could have beaten Germany and Italy on their own, if they'd had to?

Even excluding Barfbag's somewhat mindless interventions, I'd be surprised if anyone (except possibly Baroque) agrees with me on that?  Smile
 
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N328KF
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:54 pm



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 158):
Even excluding Barfbag's somewhat mindless interventions, I'd be surprised if anyone (except possibly Baroque) agrees with me on that?

I'm pretty sure that without the US, you guys would have been screwed. Russia wouldn't have saved you...they had men but not materiel...
 
baroque
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:15 pm

Quoting N328KF (Reply 159):
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 158):
Even excluding Barfbag's somewhat mindless interventions, I'd be surprised if anyone (except possibly Baroque) agrees with me on that?

I'm pretty sure that without the US, you guys would have been screwed. Russia wouldn't have saved you...they had men but not materiel...

You could be right, but by early 1941, the pressure seemed to have abated although some of it came back again in the E Med.

Later in 1941, before the Pacific war started, matters were almost becoming comfortable.

Without Russia, probably Britain could not have won, but probably neither could Hitler.

Go to July 1941 and no Operation Barbarossa. The Luftwaffe is even more stuffed than it was in 1940. It does have the Fw190, but the Typhoon is just around the corner as are the much faster Spits after the VBs. Not a good setting for Adolf.

Not at all healthy in the day, and the radar fighters were just becoming more feasible. Beaufighters first, but NF Mossies on the way.

The Germans are blockaded by sea. Salmon and Gluckstein are stuck in the Channel ports. The big plus of not mounting Barbarossa is that Germany can still get imports of food, some metals and oil from Russia. So the blockade is not as painful as it soon became after Barbarossa.

But even without Barbarossa, Hitler really cannot win after about August 1940 and even then, he could well have lost if he tried crossing the channel. And not having Russia would have avoided those really bloody Arctic convoys. The RN would have voted for that. I had a cousin on one of those four stackers as a gunnery officer. Not happy!

Well that is one point of view.

Forgot to mention - Tube Alloys was way ahead of anywhere that Hitlers groups were at.

[Edited 2008-07-08 08:47:58]
 
NAV20
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:25 pm

Quoting N328KF (Reply 159):
I'm pretty sure that without the US, you guys would have been screwed. Russia wouldn't have saved you...they had men but not materiel...

The original proposition was that Hitler didn't invade Russia, and that neither the USA nor Japan got involved, N328KF.

My contention was that unless Germany could have built a navy equal to the Royal Navy - and an air force equal to the RAF, especially Bomber Command with its Lancasters - they couldn't have won. Given the timescale, and Germany's acute shortage of oil, food, and raw materials, that simply wasn't possible.

So my view is that Germany couldn't possibly have won. The British, aided by Lend-Lease, possibly (even probably) could have done. Admittedly, at vast cost in terms of lives and treasure, and over a considerably-longer timescale.

If you disagree (which, as in any debate, is your privilege) you'll have to tell me how Germany could possibly have invaded the UK across the English Channel, at any time from August 1940 on, with any even reasonable prospect of success.  

[Edited 2008-07-08 08:28:23]
 
Arrow
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:46 pm



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 158):
Well, trying to rescue Falcon84's memorable thread, it was all my fault at the beginning, for saying that, IMO, Britain and the Commonweatlh/Empire could have beaten Germany and Italy on their own, if they'd had to?



Quoting N328KF (Reply 159):
I'm pretty sure that without the US, you guys would have been screwed. Russia wouldn't have saved you...they had men but not materiel...

I think it depends on what the US involvement was. Had the US stopped sending material support as well as staying out of the war, I don't think Britain and the Commonwealth could have done anything more than maintain some kind of stalemate with Britain surviving and Europe, eventually, ending up under Soviet control. Italy was a different ball game entirely, since they got beaten pretty handily on land and sea before Dec. 7.

But no other western country had the industrial capacity of the US to make stuff in such humoungous quantities. Canada churned out Lancasters, Hurricanes and Mosquitoes, and a bunch of Corvettes and tanks (with us-made components), but that too pales in sheer numbers to what the US eventually started making. Even the Merlin was produced in great numbers by Packard.

Russia perhaps was the exception to that. While material support from the west was a big factor, I don't recall reading about any US-built tanks in those epic battles, and I seem to recall that the air power was mostly Russian too, with some supplementary models from both Britain and the US. Correct me if I'm wrong there.
 
baroque
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:52 pm



Quoting Arrow (Reply 162):
While material support from the west was a big factor, I don't recall reading about any US-built tanks in those epic battles, and I seem to recall that the air power was mostly Russian too, with some supplementary models from both Britain and the US. Correct me if I'm wrong there.

Two words Arrow. Trucks. Boots.

But the boots were only OK for non winter. In the winter, the metal pins "conducted in the cold".

The Russians were underwhelmed by most of the other kit. Not surrpising since their T34 were the best until Panthers appeared. The Hurricane may have given them a few ideas, but probably not.

It would have helped if they had been less ungrateful.
 
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N328KF
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:54 pm



Quoting Arrow (Reply 162):
Russia perhaps was the exception to that. While material support from the west was a big factor, I don't recall reading about any US-built tanks in those epic battles, and I seem to recall that the air power was mostly Russian too, with some supplementary models from both Britain and the US. Correct me if I'm wrong there.

The Soviet transportation network was chiefly operated by US-supplied locomotives and medium trucks. I think they had a fair number of jeeps as well. They also used lots of P-39s...dunno why, but they liked them even though nobody else did.
 
Dougloid
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:04 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 160):
I had a cousin on one of those four stackers as a gunnery officer. Not happy!

Was that one of the lend lease destroyers? I've heard that they were awful in heavy weather but could kick up their heels in calmer waters and reasonably well armed too.
 
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N328KF
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:16 pm



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 165):
Was that one of the lend lease destroyers? I've heard that they were awful in heavy weather but could kick up their heels in calmer waters and reasonably well armed too.

It speaks volumes about those destroyers that the best use for them was the St. Nazaire raid...
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:16 pm



Quoting N328KF (Reply 159):
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 158):
Even excluding Barfbag's somewhat mindless interventions, I'd be surprised if anyone (except possibly Baroque) agrees with me on that?

I'm pretty sure that without the US, you guys would have been screwed. Russia wouldn't have saved you...they had men but not materiel...



Quoting Baroque (Reply 163):
uoting Arrow (Reply 162):
While material support from the west was a big factor, I don't recall reading about any US-built tanks in those epic battles, and I seem to recall that the air power was mostly Russian too, with some supplementary models from both Britain and the US. Correct me if I'm wrong there.

Two words Arrow. Trucks. Boots.

But the boots were only OK for non winter. In the winter, the metal pins "conducted in the cold".

The problem was that most Russian supply depots were in the western part of the Soviet Union, e.g. Minsk, which was overrun quite fast. Also, most of their originally trained soldiers got killed or imprisoned during the German attack. That Stalin held a purge among his officers a few years before (he suspected them of plotting against him) didn't help either. Also, since the times of Trotzki's revolutionary Red Army, the political commisars had too much influence on tactics (even though in most cases, they had no knowledge about it), who refused to allow for tactical fallbacks into better positions, similar to Hitler's "No step back" orders.
After the desaster of 1941, Stalin made some important corrections, the most visible one was to reintroduce symbols of rank (the shoulder boards) from the czarist period. Also the power of the political commisars got curbed. They took over the role reserved to chaplains in the western military (taking care of the soldier's morale) and lost their say in tactical matters.
The Red Army desperately needed trucks during WW2, their only homebuilt model was a licence-built 1920s Ford truck, which was in short supply. Also, since the Germans captured the industrialised western part of the country, they captured most of the Soviet railway system's rolling stock.
The matter of boots, tanks etc. was soon solved after new factories were built up east of the Ural mountains, actually WW2 led to much of the development of Siberia.
AFAIK, by 1943 most standard stocks of goods were manufactured inlands.
One item though, where the Red Armyalso was in short supply, were radio transceivers. I own a Canadian built No. 19 Wirelessset from 1943, which has the panel inscriptions in both English and Cyrillic letters. Many of these radio transceivers were exported to Russia under the Lend-Lease agreement.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 163):
The Hurricane may have given them a few ideas, but probably not.

Russia's air war was different, veryxfew high altitude dogfights, but lots of close in support, tank buster and flying artillery missions. Most air combat at the Eastern front took place at low to medium altitudes.
One typical Russian design was the IL-2 Sturmovik, a rather heavy two seater ground attack plane, very rugged, with an armoured "bathtub" as a cockpit.
Also their fighters had their optimum performance at low to medium altitudes, to get the German dive bombers and ground attack planes.

Jan
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:26 pm



Quoting N328KF (Reply 164):
They also used lots of P-39s...dunno why, but they liked them even though nobody else did.

Again, probably because they were good against the low flying German tactical bombers.

Jan
 
Dougloid
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:32 pm



Quoting N328KF (Reply 166):
Quoting Dougloid (Reply 165):
Was that one of the lend lease destroyers? I've heard that they were awful in heavy weather but could kick up their heels in calmer waters and reasonably well armed too.

It speaks volumes about those destroyers that the best use for them was the St. Nazaire raid...

Well, for the Campbelltown, anyway, but the virtue of them was that they were there, armed reasonably well, and they could carry a load of depth charges too. Good enough for escort duty even if the crews suffered greatly.

there's a great book about them called Flush Decks and Four Stacks.
 
GDB
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:27 pm

Well Barf Bag, Indian society is not shy of treating a portion of it's people as 'undermenshen'.
No death camps, but just general shunning, exclusion and virtual slavery.

While I'll never defend colonialism, the only true mass killings happened in 1947 didn't they?
And the British feared this would happen, this catastrophe, however Gandhi's answer was 'but it will be OUR catastrophe'.
Ironic considering what would happen to him.

But, get over yourself, ranting away like India was the only place ever colonised, the British Isles were more than a few times too, the best known being the Romans and the Normans.
Effectively ruled by the Dutch later as well.

The number of British troops in the vast Indian subcontinent, was tiny considering the size and population.
This sadly, convinced Hitler that he could do the same with Eastern Europe, including Russia.
But, whatever you say, it was not the same, the scale of that barbarity and genocide ensured such a reaction, it led in no small part to his defeat.
With several million of his troops engaged there, not a few tens of thousands.
So if the British were the same, just how did they find the manpower to do it, with for virtually all of the British rule, no motor transport, aircraft, tanks etc?

Post WW2, Britain was broke and broken, over a million homes destroyed by bombing, the infrastructure run down, worn out, rationing which would increase and not entirely end until 1954, yeah, we came out of WW2 just fine and dandy!
Face it, that got India it's Independence when it did, the long term policy of the British Labour Party had been for years, for Indian Independence, but on taking office in the conditions of 1945, naturally it was accelerated.
You talk about the UK retaining power and influence, for the average Brit, that meant more privations, conscription that would remain in place until the end of the 1950's, all of this retarding the post war recovery.

Finally, this year, the UK government, (that is British taxpayers), will provide over £750 million for relief of the most abject poverty in India. Part of an ongoing, long standing programme, which this latest payment represents an extension of.
India with it's nuclear programme, it's space programme and it's buying up of some UK businesses (which has not been objected to, not that I expect you to believe that).
Small wonder, that this has been questioned here, does 'Shining India' really need it, compared to some Sub Saharan Africa hellholes?
So really, I'd button the raging Anglo-phobia if I were you, what are YOU doing to help those people?

And just how has the history of Britain in India, which ended 61 years ago, affected you, directly, in a negative way, right now in your life?
Except give you something to rant about?
I'd think that if one is secure in themselves, their identity, such things would not play a part in their lives.
 
BarfBag
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:59 am



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 157):
You did a pretty good job of sending this thread into the Insinkerator. Would you try and refocus, Mr. Bag?

The problem with this thread is that you are so set on parroting the standard Anglo-US view of Allied operations in World War 2 that absolutely none of you as much as had a second thought about such an outrageously condescending reference to India as "a source of unlimited manpower and resources".

I'll provide no apology whatsoever for 'ruining' this thread. If someone writes something so patronizing on an open forum they very well ought to be willing to deal with responses, instead of shedding tears for the thread direction.

India is a nation, one that was once under the subjugation of one of the Allied powers themselves, during the war under debate. It contributed enormously in WW2, yet was denied its due as a nation, in particular its right to safeguard its own interests. Amongst all the responses to me, there's not as much a flicker of recognition of that fact.

I find it absurd that when I attempt to point that out, pretty much everyone reacts with cognitive dissonance, and an assortment of responses ranging from references to individual gallantry, to statements that I ruined this thread. Apparently this thread is meant solely for the perspectives of a collection of white men in the 60+ age group. Do continue with the homogenous debate.
 
NAV20
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:16 am



Quoting BarfBag (Reply 171):
such an outrageously condescending reference to India as "a source of unlimited manpower and resources".

The moral of that, BB, is to read other people's posts more carefully. What I said was:-

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 112):
It’s not generally realised that Britain didn’t ever have a manpower problem – only an equipment and supply problem. Counting in all the Dominions and, most important of all, India (which in those days included what is now Pakistan) Britain had almost limitless reserves of manpower to count on.

I didn't single out India. I don't notice the Canadians, New Zealanders, South Africans, West Africans, Australians, and all the rest of the peoples of the Commonwealth jumping up and down on here? Nor even the Nepalese, who produced (and still produce) the best infantry soldiers in the world, the Gurkhas?
 
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RayChuang
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:30 am

If the Germans did not carry out Operation Barbarossa, they would have by fall 1941 a formidable Luftwaffe that would have caused the RAF no end of trouble.

Imagine the RAF facing large numbers of the Fw 190A and Bf 109F fighters (both of which would have given the Spitfire V trouble) and also facing large numbers of the faster and higher-flying Do 217 bomber. The Luftwaffe probably would have concentrated resources to make the He 177 reasonably reliable, and the He 177 could have dropped substantial numbers of bombs on British cities.
 
BarfBag
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:31 am

NAV20: It's not my business to speak for a Canadian or a Kiwi. You seem to imply that mentioning a multiplicity of nations makes it any less outrageous a statement. You're mistaken.

Quoting GDB (Reply 170):
And just how has the history of Britain in India, which ended 61 years ago, affected you, directly, in a negative way, right now in your life?
I'd think that if one is secure in themselves, their identity, such things would not play a part in their lives.

This is a thread about World War 2, and I specifically responded to an offensive statement related to my country in that context. It being 60 years ago isn't an excuse for people to spout rubbish unchallenged.
 
johns624
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:36 am

BB, you still haven't responded to my question of who (India or Pakistan) would have gotten your coveted UNSC seat in 1947...
 
StuckInCA
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:40 am



Quoting BarfBag (Reply 171):
The problem with this thread is that you are so set on parroting the standard Anglo-US view of Allied operations in World War 2 that absolutely none of you as much as had a second thought about such an outrageously condescending reference to India as "a source of unlimited manpower and resources".

Even if someone referred to India during WWII in that manner, you yourself say:

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 171):
India is a nation, one that was once under the subjugation of one of the Allied powers themselves

So... if they were subjugated then they were indeed a source of manpower, no? That doesn't make it morally acceptable, but it seems to be the case.
 
NAV20
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:12 am



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 173):
If the Germans did not carry out Operation Barbarossa, they would have by fall 1941 a formidable Luftwaffe that would have caused the RAF no end of trouble.

Imagine the RAF facing large numbers of the Fw 190A and Bf 109F fighters (both of which would have given the Spitfire V trouble) and also facing large numbers of the faster and higher-flying Do 217 bomber.

Not so, with respect, RayChuang. The Germans had to give up daylight raids in 1940, and fall back on night-bombing. The British rapidly countered their target-finding methods (RDF beams, later modified Lorenz beams) and also developed airborne radar mounted in Beaufighter and Mosquito nightfighters. By the end of 1941 German bombers were largely restricted to nuisance raids and 'intruder' flights - and suffering increasingly-heavy losses even at night. And, of course, they didn't carry much of a bombload anyway.

Indeed, from early 1941, as far as daylight operations were concerned, the boot was on the other foot - the RAF was flying fighter sweeps over Occupied France, often sending some bombers along as well to attack the Luftwaffe's airfields.

As far as heavy bombers were concerned, in 1936 the British Air Ministry had issued a far-sighted document called 'Specification B12/36,' which invited designs for bombers with a range of up to 3,000 miles, a bombload of up to 14,000 pounds, 3 power-operated gun turrets, and a cruising speed of 230 knots. Incredible requirements for the time - but it resulted in the Stirling, the Halifax, and the Lancaster, all of which were in service by early 1942. By 1943 H2S airborne navigational radar, the Oboe radio-navigation system, and 'Pathfinder' target-marking techniques had all been perfected.

From that time on, the fate of the German cities (and that of the Italian ones had they stayed in the War) was sealed. Even if neither Russia nor the United States nor Japan had entered WW2.
 
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N328KF
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:22 am



Quoting BarfBag (Reply 171):
The problem with this thread is that you are so set on parroting the standard Anglo-US view of Allied operations in World War 2 that absolutely none of you as much as had a second thought about such an outrageously condescending reference to India as "a source of unlimited manpower and resources".

So that's the comment that stuck in your craw... I suppose you failed to notice that other Indians have participated in this thread without the angry vitriol.

Quoting BarfBag (Reply 171):
I'll provide no apology whatsoever for 'ruining' this thread. If someone writes something so patronizing on an open forum they very well ought to be willing to deal with responses, instead of shedding tears for the thread direction.

You should have taken your diatribe to a different thread. It's clear that people are willing to talk about it but it should have been in discussed separately.
 
baroque
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:28 am



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 165):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 160):
I had a cousin on one of those four stackers as a gunnery officer. Not happy!

Was that one of the lend lease destroyers? I've heard that they were awful in heavy weather but could kick up their heels in calmer waters and reasonably well armed too.

One of the famous 50. His complaint in the situation of the Arctic convoys was the AA armament - added of course by the Brits under war emergency conditions. On his first voyage the guns were installed, so was the graze nose ammunition, but not the barriers on the traverses to prevent the guns following a German plane from training on the various bits of the superstructure. Every time this happened, the air was full of their own shrapnel as the shell exploded about 20 m above the ship. I think they also did not welcome the water that was shipped down the ventilators.

I think the use at St Nazaire is partly a reflection of their value but is also a bit unfair. They were extremely useful when first obtained, but quite soon were not nearly as useful as the newer sub-hunters coming into the fleet partly because of a wide turning circle - U-boats were highly maneuverable.

The problems with the integration of the AA guns is what happens when equipment is rushed into action. The problem was known, just not fixed. And in the end which do you prefer, a 500 kg bomb down the stack or some 37 mm shrapnel?

I would ask Stan more but alas he passed away in 2001. So that is just from memory talking to him mostly as it happens when he visited Sydney aboard Belfast. At that time he borrowed the rather awful car we had and managed to break down half way across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I think he thought that event was about as dangerous an exercise as the Arctic convoys!  blush 
 
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LTU932
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:59 am



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 173):
If the Germans did not carry out Operation Barbarossa, they would have by fall 1941 a formidable Luftwaffe that would have caused the RAF no end of trouble.

I wouldn't know about the Luftwaffe, but the Heer (the Ground Forces) would have at least not been as decimated as it was just after the "Kessel" of Stalingrad, when the 6th Army was almost literally wiped out. Then, there is also the logistics. Much needed supplies rarely, if ever arrived during the winter months, and even then they were very few supplies, not enough to provide a whole army with the most essential things like food, weapons, and ammunition. Had the supply chain not broken down, the battle would have lasted longer for both sides, despite the fact that the Red Army was much better equipped for the winter. Then don't forget the psychological factor. Mentioning the East Front was also used as a deterrant for soldiers and officers who showed opinions that were not considered "welcome" by their superiors or even by Hitler himself and people may have even been transferred to the East as punishment.

A major mistake by Hitler was the misallocation of resources. As has been evident, Hitler doesn't know the first thing about military operations and almost always wanted the impossible. It may have worked in successful Blitzkrieg operations, but Operation Barbarossa became the turning point. The raid on the Soviet Union was supposed to last for a short time, but the Heer failed to march into Moscow, and Hitler didn't have his troops plan for the harsh conditions of a typical Russian winter. In his obsession with conquering land for the Aryan "race", and despite the initial success, he eventually decimated his army by starting Operation Barbarossa and with it any even remote possibility of winning the war.

Yes, the Luftwaffe was an important part of the war, and a better equipped and staffed one could have made some difference but in the end, the Wehrmacht (minus the Navy, which AFAIK had little, if any participation in Operation Barbarossa) wasted a lot of resources by going into the Soviet Union, and that is one factor that cost the Nazis the war. Stalingrad (particularly Stalingrad because of the sheer destruction and supply failure), and the allied victory in El Alamein, were the turning points of this war because since then, the Wehrmacht started retreating.
 
baroque
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:12 am



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 180):
the Wehrmacht started retreating.

And in some ways proved more formidable in retreat than it had been in blitzkrieg mode.
 
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LTU932
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:21 am



Quoting Baroque (Reply 181):
And in some ways proved more formidable in retreat than it had been in blitzkrieg mode.

Indeed. As a sidenote, that time is also the time of what Goebbels called "Der totale Krieg" or Total War. Goebbels gave a speech, asking people "Wollt ihr den totalen Krieg? (Do you want total war?)", during a propaganda rally in Berlin, in the infamous "Sportpalastrede". That speech came just days after the surrender of the Wehrmacht in Stalingrad.
 
NAV20
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:15 pm

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 180):
As has been evident, Hitler doesn't know the first thing about military operations and almost always wanted the impossible.

Don't disagree with you in principle, LTU932 - except that it's a bit more complicated than that.

Hitler gave very disitinguished service as an infantryman in WW1. He volunteered in 1914 and served in the front line right through WW1, from First Ypres in 1914 through the Somme in 1916 and Arras and Passchendaele in 1917. In early 1918 he was temporarily blinded by mustard gas and finished the War in hospital. He and I share one distinction - we both achieved the lofty rank of Lance-Corporal   - but 'Gefreiter Shicklegruber' ALSO managed to earn an Iron Cross First Class (apparently very unusual for a junior NCO), which is a helluva lot more than I ever managed.  

Therefore I think that the full truth about Hitler is a little more complicated. His political views were undoubtedly perverted to the point of madness - but i think that his military views boiled down to a belief that the German soldier could beat anyone, if properly directed and commanded. And, above all, he'll have had first-hand experience of the effect that a notable British invention (the tank) had had, first on the Somme and later at places like Cambrai in 1917.

So when people like Guderian suggested 'Blitzkrieg' tactics, the tanks leading the attack, he'd have jumped at the idea - and been totally convinced, after Poland in 1939 and France in 1940, that the tactic was 'unbeatable,' and that ANY enemy could be defeated and put to flight by a determined armoured attack.

In those circumstances, it's ironic that his downfall commenced when his commanders came up against two OTHER WW1 veterans.

First Montgomery at El Alamein - who knew, from his own experience, that the secret was never to allow your flank to be exposed. So he deliberately 'conned' Rommel into trying to outflank him to the south at Alam Halfa, knowing that, unbeknown to Rommel until too late, they'd get bogged down in soft sand in the open, and be 'easy meat' for the British artillery and air power. Then, having neutralised Rommel's armour, he just used his best fighting infantry (mainly, I regret, the Australian 9th. Division) to bash away with frontal attacks on the strongest point of Rommel's line - the northern part, held by the Afrika Korps - until it gave way. Leaving Monty in control of the vital coast road.........

Secondly, Zhuikov at Stalingrad. He knew that the Germans held every card in the book - except 'numbers.' He also knew that he had more people than the Germans did. So he quite literally mounted attack after attack (I believe that it's actually true that the Russians sent infantry forward with ammunition in their pouches, but no rifles - telling them that they could be sure of picking up rifles from the dead from previous assaults)....

The only thing you can say about such heartless tactics is that they worked. In the end, the whole German Sixth Army found itself surrounded and out of ammunition and food, and had no option but to surrender........

So, in military terms, Hitler fell into the trap of thinking that if a given tactic or strategy has worked once, or even twice, or even three times, it would ALWAYS work.

Which probably confirms the elementary point that while the odd conscientious L/Cpl or Gefreiter can be valuable in any military unit, it's probably unwise to promote them immediately to the post of 'Supreme Commander'...............

Unless their name happens to be Wellington or Grant or Montgomery or Zhuikov.......  

[Edited 2008-07-09 07:33:13]
 
Dougloid
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:31 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 179):
I think the use at St Nazaire is partly a reflection of their value but is also a bit unfair. They were extremely useful when first obtained, but quite soon were not nearly as useful as the newer sub-hunters coming into the fleet partly because of a wide turning circle - U-boats were highly maneuverable.

Major Parrott understood the principle well. Although his rifles were sometimes dangerous to the gun crew, they were available in quantity at the right time. It's truly an example of the best being the enemy of the good, and 'getting there fustest with the mostest'.

My guess would be that the four pipers were greatly appreciated as a gap filler until the new and better subhunters like the Flower class corvettes came into large scale production.

It is truly a shame that of all the warships that served in two wars there isn't a four piper left.
 
NAV20
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:27 pm

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 184):
My guess would be that the four pipers were greatly appreciated as a gap filler until the new and better subhunters like the Flower class corvettes came into large scale production.

About Flower Class corvettes, Dougloid, have to urge you to get hold of a copy of Nicholas Monsarrat's 'Three Corvettes,' if you haven't got one already.

Best-known for writing 'The Cruel Sea,' of course - and also for havng recognised the menace of Fascism to the extent of fighting in the Spanish Civil War. But, for my money, 'Three Corvettes' is the best example of 'total recall' that I've ever encountered. Read any part of it and (due mainly to journalistic skill with words, or just plain writng talent) you're instantly transported to the true British mood of the 1940s (best described as 'utterly un-gifted amateurism' - "OK, we're out-numbered. We're bloody out-classed as well. Most of us are probably incompetent fuckwits compared to Jerry. But we may as well give it some sort of f*****g go.....what other choice have we got?" And, of course, an 'indefatigable' (to coin a very 'Royal Naval' phrase) sense of humour.

"On a cold windswept upper-deck as the fall-In
was piped, to stare at a muster of nineteen sea-
men who stared reproachfully back. Then the
duty leading-hand reported the watches cor-
rect, the sweepers were told off and hoses
rigged, and presently those rather bleak early
morning noises, of bristles and squeegees and
the gurgle of water in the scuppers and free-ing-ports,
made themselves heard.

"The rating in charge of the hose brought to
his job an energy and a scrupulous zeal not
always appreciated by the upper-deck sweep-
ers, whose seaboots now and then took the
full force of the attack and who were inclined
to hurry the job and get below to the compara-
tive holiday known as "squaring off mess-
decks and flats." I dodged the main stream
and went aft to the galley, where the Leading
Cook was heating up a good quart of dripping-
fat in a saucepan and the wardroom steward
making a brew of tea, from which I claimed a
hand-out. The Stoker Petty Officer of the
morning watch came up the ladder, took six
puffs at a cigarette, crushed It out against the
depth-charge rails, and went below again, fol-
lowed by the black cat which had already
attached itself to the ship, with the obvious
promise of more to come. Ashore, a trickle of
workers was coming through the dock-gates,
some of them making for our gangway where
the sentry, counting aloud, was practising his
own stylised version of "Present Arms." The
cold haze which had overhung the dock-basin
when I first came up was already beginning
to disappear.

"I waved to the Sub. on the neighbouring
corvette, and he answered with a semaphore
message of which I could only read the first
word "What." I repeated it back, and there,
in frustrated confusion, the matter rested. . . .
When, from forrard, I heard "Cooks to the
Galley" being piped, I went below to shave
and finish dressing, and make myself fit to see
Colours hoisted at eight.

"A second gigantic assortment of charts was
delivered shortly before we sailed. At the top
of the box was the "Arctic Pilot" and under-
neath a chart of the navigable parts of the
Danube. Said the Leading Signalman, looking
over my shoulder as I unpacked the consign-
ment:

"Seems like we're going to get some variety,
sir. I could just do with a slice of Old Vienna."

"Pipe 'Stations for Leaving Harbour' in five
minutes," said the First Lieutenant to the
quartermaster; and to me he added: "You
take the after-part, and if you get a wire round
the screw, God help you."


< http://www.archive.org/stream/hmcorv...0mbp/hmcorvette010840mbp_djvu.txt>

Recommended.....  

[Edited 2008-07-09 08:30:40]
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:54 pm



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 182):
Indeed. As a sidenote, that time is also the time of what Goebbels called "Der totale Krieg" or Total War. Goebbels gave a speech, asking people "Wollt ihr den totalen Krieg? (Do you want total war?)", during a propaganda rally in Berlin, in the infamous "Sportpalastrede". That speech came just days after the surrender of the Wehrmacht in Stalingrad.



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 185):
Recommended.....

A superb writer, that Monserrat fellow. I first read The Cruel Sea as a high school student and I was stunned at how evocative it was. The only other writer of the genre who even holds a candle is Tristan Jones (Heart of Oak).
 
NAV20
Posts: 8453
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 3:25 pm

RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:45 pm

If anyone wants to know what war can really be about - I personally have no special experience, thankfully my own knowledge is purely theoretical. Except that I've never forgotten what I was fully briefed in the Sixties as to what I MIGHT have had to do - this scene from the British film of 'The Cruel Sea' may be instructive:-

http://video.google.com.au/videoplay...ea&ei=bfN0SNGrDpKQwgOZtdi_Cw&hl=en

I'm just glad that no-one ever ordered me to do anything remotely like that. And, beyond that and even worse, that I personally never had to order anyone ELSE to do it.........

But that's what war, in the final analysis, is like, you guys. Unless you're granted extra-ordinarily unusual privileges, you'll be nowhere close to only having to kill the 'designated' bad guys.......

[Edited 2008-07-09 11:03:27]
 
GDB
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:27 pm

About HMS Campbleltown, Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear did a superb doc on the St Nazaire operation, The Greatest Raid .
He later said it's the best piece he's ever done, which it is.
Informed and passionate, with great contributions from veterans, though more restrained here, Clarkson still delivers some great lines, such as describing what the Commando's would do ashore on the raid, shooting anything that moved and blowing up anything that didn't

A few on You-Tube have this doc, just putting The Greatest Raid in the search box should suffice.
One You-Tube channel, GDHOUSTON, has literally 1000's of WW2 docs, including another about the St.Nazaire raid which turns out to be very complementary to Clarkson's.

'Operation Chariot' they called it, but the more modern football chant of Let's go f******* mental also describes it rather well.
Make a great film.

I recall another doc on TV once, the now old Russian vets, jackets full of (genuine) medals, might not have spoken English, but they knew 'Mac Truck' and 'jeeps' usually with a broad smile.
In 1941/42, the Hurricanes would have been a useful stop gap, considering how decimated the Red Air Force was early on (all those German aces with 100's of kills).
Better yet, they made use of the P-39's presumably playing to it's strengths, in ground attack, at least until all those Stormoviks started arriving.

On 'Sealion', as I mentioned before, by Sep/Oct 1940 while nowhere near up to strength, the army was in a much better shape compared to in June/July, add in the defences too.
The invasion fleet, would have been shallow draft river barges, towed at night, max speed 2 knots, assuming a mill pond like sea state.
(Remember that D-Day, with all it's specialised amphibious kit, was delayed 24 hrs due to the weather).
The RN would have steamed in, for their most important mission since the Spanish Armada.
The Luftwaffe, in daylight against ships at harbour, failed to stop the Dunkirk invasion, I'd suspect they'd have even less success against a fleet steaming at speed in the dark.

Sure, mines and E-Boats might have scored hits, (subs would be very restricted in the Channel), but the RN had MBT's too.
This is the navy that the following year, would suffer heavy losses while evacuating ground forces from Crete, even the troops said they should give it up.
Admiral Cunningham replied It takes 3 years to build a ship, 300 to build a tradition, the evacuation will continue .
And they were not defending the homeland itself there.

Imagine what 15 and 16 inch gun salvos would do amongst all those barges, that not very choppy waters could flood.
Or even 6 and 8 inch shells.
Now imagine a bunch of RN Destroyers getting amongst them, Narvik style.
(The Norway operation was of course a serious failure, even so, the German Navy suffered bad losses there too, which would make any support of Operation Sealion even more problematic).

Later, some Luftwaffe Air Fleets would be proficient at anti shipping, but they were not in place in France in 1940.
Come daybreak, the RAF would appear.
(Assuming Fighter Commands 11 Group in London/SE England had indeed taking a heavy enough beating for Hitler to try the invasion).
But 12 Group, held in reverse in the Midlands, would deploy the previous night then join the fray.
Along with anything that could carry a bomb.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13899
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:47 pm



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 183):
Hitler gave very disitinguished service as an infantryman in WW1. He volunteered in 1914 and served in the front line right through WW1, from First Ypres in 1914 through the Somme in 1916 and Arras and Passchendaele in 1917. In early 1918 he was temporarily blinded by mustard gas and finished the War in hospital. He and I share one distinction - we both achieved the lofty rank of Lance-Corporal - but 'Gefreiter Shicklegruber' ALSO managed to earn an Iron Cross First Class (apparently very unusual for a junior NCO), which is a helluva lot more than I ever managed.

During WW1 Hitler was a messenger, carrying dispatches from his unit's trench to the company HQ and back. This meant that he had to leave the safety of the trench and move through the battlefield under fire, a highly dangerous job, which he apparently carried out well.
The problem with Hitler's military thinking was that he never had any experience of leadership above company level and no clue about such items as logistics.

Jan
 
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LTU932
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:00 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 189):
During WW1 Hitler was a messenger, carrying dispatches from his unit's trench to the company HQ and back. This meant that he had to leave the safety of the trench and move through the battlefield under fire, a highly dangerous job, which he apparently carried out well.
The problem with Hitler's military thinking was that he never had any experience of leadership above company level and no clue about such items as logistics.

And also: Isn't it true that Gefreiter Schicklgruber had to literally demand from his superiors that he be given the Iron Cross because they wouldn't nominate him for the award?
 
Dougloid
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:42 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 188):
I recall another doc on TV once, the now old Russian vets, jackets full of (genuine) medals, might not have spoken English, but they knew 'Mac Truck' and 'jeeps' usually with a broad smile.

A lot of Russian GIs were carried to the front in the back of Lend Lease Studebaker trucks which the Russians later reverse engineered. The Chinese later reverse engineered the Russian versions complete with the split windshields that cranked out a bit for ventilation and it always brings a smile when I see some newsreel about rural China and one of these memories of the good war is seen trundling down a rural lane loaded to the shit line with all manner of stuff. I wonder if a new one could be bought yet?
 
BarfBag
Posts: 2586
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:18 am



Quoting Johns624 (Reply 156):
My point exactly. What would have happened to the seat in 1947?

It goes to India. Simple case precedent: China. The country that claimed to be the representative of China took the seat. Pakistan has never claimed to be representative of India. Ergo, India keeps the seat. Plus, Pakistan wasn't a member of UN at the time of partition.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 178):
You should have taken your diatribe to a different thread. It's clear that people are willing to talk about it but it should have been in discussed separately.

If someone posts condescending rubbish here, they need to deal with responses to it here. You'll just have to read past it, I'm afraid.
 
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RayChuang
Posts: 8139
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:43 am

RE: A World War II Debate For You

Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:01 am



Quoting GDB (Reply 188):
Better yet, they made use of the P-39's presumably playing to it's strengths, in ground attack, at least until all those Stormoviks started arriving.

The Russians LOVED the P-39 and P-63 models because the planes survived ground fire very well and performed superbly in the type of low-altitude combat the Russians were used to. In fact, there were a number of Russian "aces" that flew P-39's because they could out-manuever Bf 109's and Fw 190's at low altitude.

By the way, one somewhat under appreciated Russian combat plane was the Petlyakov Pe-2, an excellent tactical bomber. What made the plane so good was its surprisingly fast cruising speed, which made it difficult to intercept by German fighters. It also proved to be an excellent medium-angle dive bomber, too.
 
GDB
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:27 pm

Indeed Ray, rather like a Russian Mosquito.
It is fair to say that in the West, the air war of the Eastern Front is all too often ignored.
The Russians came up with some great aircraft.
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: A World War II Debate For You

Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:46 am



Quoting GDB (Reply 194):
The Russians came up with some great aircraft

And bloody thousands and thousands of them.

I like the women bomber pilots flying biplanes at night.
“Known by the Germans as the "night witches" because they cut their engines and glided in to attack their targets, thereby outfoxing air defences, with "a whooshing sound, like a witch's broomstick in the night. They would fly night missions through the streets of stalingrad often at treetop level to bomb tactical targets".
http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showflat....p/Cat/0/Number/1176623/Main/568822
Potentially a very unpleasant "whoosh" at the end of it! Wonder where the Germans got their experience of witches however!
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
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RE: A World War II Debate For You

Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:18 am



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 186):
A superb writer, that Monserrat fellow. I first read The Cruel Sea as a high school student and I was stunned at how evocative it was. The only other writer of the genre who even holds a candle is Tristan Jones (Heart of Oak).

You might also want to check out the Alexander Fullerton series of novels, particularly the Nicholas Everard series set across both world wars.
 
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moo
Posts: 5114
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: A World War II Debate For You

Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:58 am



Quoting GDB (Reply 194):
The Russians came up with some great aircraft.



Quoting Baroque (Reply 195):
And bloody thousands and thousands of them.

One of the best quotes I have ever heard when it comes to the USSRs approach to military machines in WWII was:

'Build it good enough, then build a million of them'

 Smile
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: A World War II Debate For You

Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:27 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 197):
One of the best quotes I have ever heard when it comes to the USSRs approach to military machines in WWII was:

'Build it good enough, then build a million of them'

And it worked too!

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