Thursday, January 6, 2011

INTERESTING FACTS OF WORLD WAR II

You might enjoy this from Col D. G. Swinford, USMC, Ret and history buff.
You really have to dig deep to get this kind of ringside seat to history:

1. The first German serviceman killed in WW II was killed by the Japanese in China, 1937; the first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians in Finland, 1940; the highest ranking American killed was Lt Gen Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps.

Lt General Lesley McNair


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


December 7th 1941 - the USS West Virginia in flames during the attack on Pearl Harbor


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


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


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




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


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




8. German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City, but they decided it wasn't worth the effort.


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




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




11. Following a massive naval bombardment, 35,000 United States and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands . 21 troops were killed in the assault on the island. It could have been worse if there had actually been any Japanese on the island.





Thursday's Bird HERE


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9 comments:

  1. Correction to number 9, it wasnt the U-120, but actually the U-1206

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-120_%281940%29

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  2. Re. the Me264 (no dash please, in German type numbers, the Germans never used them, Americans invented the practice after the war), while capable of bombing the USA, would have to do so on a one way mission with an extremely light bomb load.
    Given those facts, it was simply not economical, not even for the psychological factor of showing the Americans they could be hit (the Japs had already done that a few years earlier and it'd not done anything).

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  3. It did quite a bit.

    Totally pissed off the USA!

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  4. the Japanese seaplane and balloon raids went mostly unnoticed except to those in the immediate area...
    Of course this was no doubt largely because they were utterly ineffective in doing more than burn down a few trees.

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  5. I find it deplorable how Calvin Grahm was treated, both in the brig and after discharge. Few, if any, 12 year olds have balls that big or a commitment to anything so strong. Our country, which I love dearly, has a history of treating it's vets and hero's like crap, and continue to do so to this day. Its the same ol story, the poor fight so the rich can hide. This needs to change. We send billions overseas but refuse to spend what is needed to take care of our injured who fight so we can all enjoy our freedom which so many take for granted. I am a proud American, but I am not proud of our government. If it were the politicians sons going to battle, I guarantee they would have proper care and good jobs waiting upon return.

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  6. Eric, I am a vet and have NO medical problems, but I agree with you completely. The politicians really only give a d..n about themselves. I don't imagine this will ever change.

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  7. didn't help too much only got umm nothing wrote down for my project on ww2

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  8. does anybody have any website suggestions that WILL help me with finding interesting facts on world war 2.... please respond I have to have this done by april 11th, 2014

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    ReplyDelete