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World War II History Thread


Hugo Stiglitz

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May 7, 1938

  • Ambassadors from Britain and France opened a discussion in¬†Prague¬†on Sudeten Germans. They advised Czechoslovakia to make greater concessions to ethnic Germans within its borders.[5][12]
  • Nine high justices were dismissed from the¬†Austrian Supreme Court¬†and replaced with Nazis.[13]
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On 5/6/2018 at 5:25 AM, RPM said:

My Dad was an LCVP coxswain at Iwo Jima. Pretty sure Cotton Hill was based on him.

fbd6fda766d7d01f0aa2adbb5e9a4743.png

 

My gramps had that exact same job. He was at all the Pacific island battles. Was wounded and received the Bronze Star at Iwo Jima.

 

He used to tell me stories about watching Jap suicide bombers diving at the troop transport ship he was stationed on.

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May 9, 1938

Edited by Hugo Stiglitz
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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been listening to Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers this past week on audible while driving. Will watch part of the broadcast tomorrow on HBO2 of the series.

Say what you will about aggy and fake army but they do have some real army men and women. My son just finished his sophomore year in the corps, he has had an army contract for a year, and he is celebrating Memorial Day at Fort Benning - and on Tuesday he starts Airborne school with real army.

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June 4, 1938

  • The third¬†FIFA World Cup¬†tournament began in Paris with Germany (including Austrian players) and Switzerland playing to a 1‚Äď1 draw. The French crowd jeered the German team when the players made the¬†Nazi salute¬†and threw bottles, eggs and tomatoes at them throughout the match.[6]

 

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19 hours ago, Hugo Stiglitz said:

June 4, 1938

  • The third¬†FIFA World Cup¬†tournament began in Paris with Germany (including Austrian players) and Switzerland playing to a 1‚Äď1 draw. The French crowd jeered the German team when the players made the¬†Nazi salute¬†and threw bottles, eggs and tomatoes at them throughout the match.[6]

 

Perhaps the French woulda been better off, I don't know, PREPARING TO BE INVADED.

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I like to give the French as much shit as the next guy.  Free rifle.  Never fired, only dropped once....I've even been physically restrained from not throat-punching a dick-head waiter in Paris and generally have no love for the Frogs.  But the French army of WWII wasn't as feckless as they have been made out to be. 
 
Their mechanized forces surpassed their German counterparts in numbers, as well as capability (to a certain extent).  The Maginot Line was more than capable.  Nor was it meant to be static.  The French army even war-gamed for the anticipatory flanking through the Ardennes.  They just could not match the mechanized speed and capability of the Germans.  Neither could the British expeditionary force. 
 
You can spar for months in the gym to simulate Floyd Mayweather....but until you step in the ring, there is no way to simulate that speed.  The German coordinated ground/air/artillery attacks were too much. 
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Addendum to post #7 - When my Dad was recovering from his malaria flare-up in the hospital near Paris, he & his fellow patients who were physically able on the officers' ward would pass the time playing poker every day. During one evening game, one of the players excused himself to go to the restroom, where he quietly hanged himself. There was no previous indication at all that the officer was under stress or showed any signs of depression. One minute he was just one of the guys in a friendly card game, and the next dead at his own hand for no apparent reason.

Very little was known about PTSD in those days (Patton knew even less).

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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Hugo Stiglitz said:

June 16, 1938

 

  • Hundreds of civilians directed by¬†brownshirts¬†attacked¬†Jews along the Grenadierstrasse and Dragonerstrasse in Berlin, assaulting them and writing anti-Jewish slogans on store windows.[22]

 

Nazi version of a step class

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July 1, 1938

 

July 4, 1938

 

  • The Cuban House and Senate passed a resolution proclaiming President Roosevelt "eminent citizen of the Americas" and "illustrious adoptive son of Cuba".[8]
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I've been watching the Ken Burns doc on WWII.  Question.  Why did the Russians wait until after we dropped the first bomb to declare war on Japan.  Was it entirely self-serving or am I missing a historical link somewhere?  I understand they wanted to concentrate all of their effort on the western front as they were invaded; however, there seemed to be window after the WTO ended where they could have helped.  

Also, the doc mentioned that Japan tried to convince the Russians to help them settle for better terms with the US before they surrendered.  I'm assuming Russia told them to F off but the narrator didn't mention Russia's response.  Did Russia at least help us here?

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1 hour ago, Knoxtnhorn said:

I've been watching the Ken Burns doc on WWII.  Question.  Why did the Russians wait until after we dropped the first bomb to declare war on Japan.  Was it entirely self-serving or am I missing a historical link somewhere?  I understand they wanted to concentrate all of their effort on the western front as they were invaded; however, there seemed to be window after the WTO ended where they could have helped.  

Also, the doc mentioned that Japan tried to convince the Russians to help them settle for better terms with the US before they surrendered.  I'm assuming Russia told them to F off but the narrator didn't mention Russia's response.  Did Russia at least help us here?

They wanted to land grab in the name of to the victors go the spoils, before the Japanese could surrender.

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3 hours ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

They wanted to land grab in the name of to the victors go the spoils, before the Japanese could surrender.

Yep, they wanted a seat at the divvying up table, plus they were still smarting from having their clocks cleaned by the Japanese in 1904.

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To celebrate the 100th birthday of the RAF, an English friend posted this story about her father's service in WWII:

There have been a lot of Military aircraft flying over me today, West to East. Happily, today that does not signify any tension in that direction, today they are on their way to London for a fly past to celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force. 
I thought it would be appropriate (and a little self indulgent) to celebrate Flying Officer H., my dad.
20180710_094652.jpg
When dad was 12 years old, a group of US Barnstormers formed a Flying Circus which performed over fields near his house. He was completely hooked. In 1940, aged 18 , he left home and his father's dreams of his becoming a bank clerk, and joined the volunteer flying corps. After basic training he was transferred to Swift Current, Saskatchewan where he started his flying career, in a Tiger Moth...

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Two months later, with a phenomenal 45 hours flying behind him, he moved on to his next stage of training  Medicine Hat, Alberta. Here he trained on Oxfords and Avro Anson aircraft, twin propellers. Age 19 he returned to England where he began operational training. He had a couple of forced landings, and one crash, but without injury. (His navigational skills were always iffy!) 
In October 1943, aged 21, dad joined Bomber Command and began training in the Wellington, Stirling and Lancaster Bombers. He was assigned to 514 Squadron,  based at Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire. His ops were always in Lancaster Mk 2 Bombers .
20180710_095043.jpg On March 18th, 1944, after 935 hours, 25 minutes of flying,  Flying Officer H. piloted his first bombing raid. It was a night operation over Frankfurt . He had a crew of 6 with him - navigator, bomb aimer, rear gunner , forward gunner, mid air gunner, radio operator. Three nights later the same crew flew again for a second raid over Frankfurt. Two nights later the squadron flew to Essen. Those three bombing operations were the first of 27 in total. In between there was constant training. The losses are recorded in his log book, 12 aircraft missing, 29 aircraft missing, 5 missing. But he always made it back....once it was touch and go!

20180710_101054.jpg This was dad's plane after a raid over a tactical target in Dreux in the Paris area on June 10th 1944.(the RAF were instructed to avoid dropping anything but leaflets on Paris itself) , during which 18 aircraft went missing, including the Flight Commander. His plane was attacked by a Junkers 88, and received damage by shells to the main spar and windshield. Dad had a deep scalp injury and sadly his navigator was killed. He flew low back over the channel and managed to land at base. He went to see the plane in daylight the next day and passed out cold. He refused to ditch in the English Channel because he hated swimming out of his depth! He was mentioned in despatches and in The London Gazette for his bravery, which means that his name was given to the King, and read out in Parliament. I have a framed letter signed by the King thanking him. He was back on operations on June 17th. I should mention that the 2nd pilot/ flight engineer/radio operator with dad on all these missions and training flights was always Sergeant McIntyre -Mac. Generally the same crews stayed together except when there were casualties. The rear gunner was in the most dangerous position, and on average could last five ops without injury or worse. 

Following DDay 514 Squadron was assigned to support the allied forces in Normandy. 
The logbook entry just says "Operation Villers Bocage"





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Sco, Wobbly, we will probably be driving through that area at some point. There was severe damage and the town was virtually rebuilt to the south. Civilian casualties were not heavy. We visited Villers Bocage in 1958, and were welcomed with open arms, food, accommodation , wine and more wine.
From there 514 Squadron were assigned to bombing Flying Bomb sites in occupied Northern Europe. 

Flying Officer H. flew his 27th and final operation on August 1st 1944. His crew has completed 30, which was the maximum . He was assigned to training new pilots in Wellington and Oxford Bombers. 
He was demobbed in May 1946 , with a grand total of 1524 hours, 35 minutes flying time recorded. And a 3 month old son. In 1948 he was recalled to training duty until 1952, by which time he had a 6 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. 
The RAF was always in his blood, he remained a reserve officer until the late 1960s, and maintained his pilot's licence until he was in his 70s, then went up in gliders until the Dr told him enough was enough.

Edited by Armybrat
Edited out the lady's father's full name
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