Odd WW2 factoids.



  • During World War II, airplane factories in the US were made to look like small towns so they wouldn’t be bombing targets!

    -Volcano Bombing-
    In the January 1944 issue of Popular Science, the piece titled “Can We Blast Japan From Below?” presents the argument. The author, Professor Harold O. Whitnall of Colgate University, said that “[the Japanese] have made gods of [volcanoes],” and “fear of volcanoes is thoroughly ingrained in the minds of the Japanese.”

    He went on to say that fear of volcanoes is so great that the act of bombing them would cause “cataclysmic terror.” The point was to not only use psychological warfare, but to turn the volcanoes into weapons of war by inducing eruptions.

    Whitnall said that after Pearl Harbor, an all out attack on the Japanese homeland should have been accompanied by bombing raids on Japan’s volcanoes to hasten surrender. Obviously, it never materialized. But was it possible? Theoretically, yes.

    In short, if a volcano is near its time to erupt, a bomb can be enough force to set it off. The proposal reached President Roosevelt, but was never seriously considered. Perhaps it was a good thing, because had such measures been taken, the tragic events at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might not have been the only ones.

    -12 Year old in the Navy-
    His name was Calvin Graham, and he enlisted in the Navy on May 1942, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The kid had an active role in the battle of Guadalcanal, serving aboard the USS South Dakota. He helped in the fire control efforts aboard the ship, something that earned him the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

    His mom revealed his age, and was put in a brig for three months. He was released when his sister threatened to tell the newspapers. He was released and dishonorably discharged for lying about his age. His medals were taken from him.

    He joined the marines when he was 17 but broke his back 3 years later. He spent the rest of his life fighting for medical benefits and a clean record.  Finally, in 1988, after years of trying, he wrote to Congress telling them his story, and he was reinstated of all his medals, except for the Purple Heart.



  • BAMS
    Nickname given to woman in the U.S. Marine Corps. While the other sevices had names for the woman in their organization, WAC for Woman’s Army Corps, WAF for Woman’s Air Force, the Marine Corps preferred to call them Woman Marines. BAMS was soon coined as a slang term and stood for Broad-Assed Marines.

    Operation Thunderbolt
    German breakout of the battle cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and the Prinz Eugen from Brest on Feb 12, 1942



  • @ABWorsham:

    Another odd fact of WWII, was Japan’s balloon bomb program intended to bomb the U.S by use of the jet stream. The plan was to cause wide spread panic and wildfires across the U.S.

    A Sunday School class was the only casualties to these light bombs.

    To add to this, one of the balloon bombs to make small contribution to the war.  One of them made its way to Oakridge TN where we were developing the A-Bombs.  It fell and hit a telephone pole and knocked out power for a couple of hours to some of the facilities where people were working.



  • @Zooey72:

    @ABWorsham:

    Another odd fact of WWII, was Japan’s balloon bomb program intended to bomb the U.S by use of the jet stream. The plan was to cause wide spread panic and wildfires across the U.S.

    A Sunday School class was the only casualties to these light bombs.

    To add to this, one of the balloon bombs to make small contribution to the war.  One of them made its way to Oakridge TN where we were developing the A-Bombs.  It fell and hit a telephone pole and knocked out power for a couple of hours to some of the facilities where people were working.

    wow, thanks for the addition information.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    The Red Army experimented with “sobaki-istrebiteli tankov” units, or anti-tank dogs, which were trained to run under the chassis of enemy tanks and blow them up with explosives strapped to their backs.  The dogs appear to have ended up inflicting more damage to the Russians (by running back towards the Soviet lines) than to the Germans.

    On the German side, a robotic equivalent of the same concept was the Goliath remote-control tracked mine.  It looked like a miniature WWI British Mark IV rhomboid-shaped tank.  It was designed to be driven under enemy tanks (or among enemy troops) by remote-control wires, then detonated.  The Goliath weighed between 75 and 100 kilograms, and was probably the smallest functional tank-like weapon built during WWII – completely at the opposite end of the scale of the largest one, the German 188-tonne Maus tank.  It would have been interesting to take a picture of these two weapons side-by-side.


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    From 1940 to 1942, the Nazi Party’s SD intelligence agency ran a covert surveillance operation inside a Berlin brothel, the purpose of which was to monitor (using hidden microphones) the conversations of prominent clients to pick up possible evidence of dissent against the regime.  This salacious espionnage scheme later inspired several postwar Nazi exploitation films, each more tasteless than the previous one, the earliest and best-known of which was the movie Salon Kitty by Italian director Tinto Brass (who went on to make the notorious film Caligula a couple of years later).


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @CWO:

    On the German side, a robotic equivalent of the same concept was the Goliath remote-control tracked mine.  It looked like a miniature WWI British Mark IV rhomboid-shaped tank.  It was designed to be driven under enemy tanks (or among enemy troops) by remote-control wires, then detonated.  The Goliath weighed between 75 and 100 kilograms, and was probably the smallest functional tank-like weapon built during WWII – completely at the opposite end of the scale of the largest one, the German 188-tonne Maus tank.  It would have been interesting to take a picture of these two weapons side-by-side.

    Royal Engineers found 'em.
    8-)

    goliathnv2.jpg


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @aequitas:

    Royal Engineers found 'em.

    And an odd thing about both weapons is that the smallest one had the biggest-sounding name (Goliath) while the biggest one had the smallest-sounding name (Maus).  Though if I’m not mistaken the Maus was originally intended to be called the Mammuth, possibly as the next logical name progression upward from the Elefant tank destroyer.



  • A sad story that I had heard when I was in college taking a WW2 class.  As the war continued to go badly for Japan food shortages because a big deal (obviously).  There was a show elephant at the Tokyo Zoo that the government decided would not be fed any more.  They did not want to spare the large round (or chemicals) to kill it.  They just let the thing sit there and starve to death.  The trainer was an older man who couldn’t fight (hence he didn’t find himself at Iwo Jima or some other such place).  Every day he would pass the Elephant and it would start to do tricks on its own, begging for food.  Eventualy the trainer killed himself because he couldn’t stand the sight of what was happening to his Elephant.



  • @Zooey72:

    A sad story that I had heard when I was in college taking a WW2 class.  As the war continued to go badly for Japan food shortages because a big deal (obviously).  There was a show elephant at the Tokyo Zoo that the government decided would not be fed any more.  They did not want to spare the large round (or chemicals) to kill it.  They just let the thing sit there and starve to death.  The trainer was an older man who couldn’t fight (hence he didn’t find himself at Iwo Jima or some other such place).  Every day he would pass the Elephant and it would start to do tricks on its own, begging for food.  Eventualy the trainer killed himself because he couldn’t stand the sight of what was happening to his Elephant.

    This story will haunt me from now on whenever I see an elephant.

    @ABWorsham:

    Another odd fact of WWII, was Japan’s balloon bomb program intended to bomb the U.S by use of the jet stream. The plan was to cause wide spread panic and wildfires across the U.S.

    A Sunday School class was the only casualties to these light bombs.

    To stop the bombs, the army took a sample of the sand in the ballast. Then they matched it with an earlier scientific study that catagorized sand. (I feel sorry for the scientist in charge of that) They matched the sand to beach in Japan and sent in some bombers to blow up the factory nearby.
    Geology- saving lives since 1944



  • I don’t know if this counts, but Chungking, the wartime capitol of China was the most heavily bombed city during WW2.


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    The 460mm (18.1-inch) main guns of the Japanese superbattleships Yamato and Musashi were the largest-caliber guns ever used as anti-aircraft weapons.  In addition to firing the two conventional types of heavy naval gun ammunition – armour-piercing rounds and high-explosive shells – these weapons could also fire a third type of 460mm round called San-Shiki, which was designed to bring down enemy aircraft.  Sometimes inaccurately described as a a giant shotgun shell, the San-Shiki round was time-fuzed to burst a certain number of seconds after firing; when it exploded, it sprayed a cone-shaped pattern of incendiary tubes and steel fragments into the air along its flight path.  Yamato used these rounds in combat against the US carrier planes which attacked (and ultimately sank) it during its suicidal attempt to reach the American task forces engaged in the invasion of Okinawa.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Berlin’s huge Flak Tower G, intended to help defend the city against air attack, was incongruously located next to the Berlin Zoo’s bird sanctuary.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @CWO:

    Berlin’s huge Flak Tower G, intended to help defend the city against air attack, was incongruously located next to the Berlin Zoo’s bird sanctuary.

    I think you mixed afew things up CWO Marc.  🙂



  • A sad story I was told when I was in college was about a German soldier who had married a Jewish woman.  He married her before Hitler took over, and had children with her.  From his perspective you can be pretty sure he was no Nazi lover.  However he probably fought harder for the Reich than any other German soldier.  The powers that be said 'fight or your family goes to a Concentration Camp, and if you die - than  your family goes to a Concentration camp".  He survived the war, but his wife did not.  She died in a Bombing Raid.  The kids did live though.



  • Sorry to keep going to my college class, but my prof was writing a book on these personal stories when I was attending his class.

    After we crossed the Rhine and were pushing deep into Germany there was a guy in a recon unit who was pushing ahead with his jeep.  The ‘convoy’ (if you want to call it that), was just the jeep and a truck.  The road ran parellel with some railroad tracks and while they were driving along, a train came up next to them.  The doors on one of the cars swung open and Jerry opened up on them with MGs.  The truck was destroyed and the jeep was damaged.  All total there were about 8 people who were hurt (not counting the dead who were left behind), only one guy got out of it unscathed.  The jeep was still functional and he had to put all of the bodies onto it.  Jerry was coming so he could not be very neat about it.  He raced back to camp with wounded all over the jeep, including on the hood.  The bleeding was so bad from the guy on the hood that it was splashing on his face.

    The ‘god sniper’ from “Saving Private Ryan” was BS.  The first thing we blew up when we entered a town (and vice versa) was the church steeple for the EXACT reason the god sniper was there.  No one went up there because it was standard protocol to blow the thing up.  It was also a great location to call down artillery, so it had to go.  Funny how in the Iraq war we had to tip toe around Mosques because we were afraid of offending someone, but in WW2 blowing up a Church was a ‘no duh’ moment.

    This story I really like because it is kinda funny.  Again, pushing further into Germany after the Rhine crossing.  Jerry is fighting back like crazy.  A Sgt. and his platoon take a town and are told to hold it, and to expect a counter attack.  They take the town and dig in.  Intel. was correct and the counter attack comes.  He is in a foxhole with the guy who has the anti tank equip (who was trained in it, Sarge was not).  They see a Tiger coming over the horizon and the private shits his pants and runs away.  Sarge has not been trained how to fire the thing but he gives it his best shot.  He loads it and fires at the Tiger ding, the round bounces off and never detonates.  He takes a bead and fires again, same result.  He tries a 3rd time and still no bang, however this time the Tiger backs off.  Enough dings apparently made the Tiger gun shy.

    Apparently there is a safety thing you have to pull out of the AT round before you fire it.  Better lucky than smart I guess lol.



  • It is not PC, but read the story and tell me if anyone ever deserved to be in a concentration camp it is this PoS.  This is not from my college class, I saw this story on the History Channel.

    This was an old man crying when I saw it from what happened to him happened when he was a child.  He was in a Concentration camp and put in a kid’s bunker.  In the middle of the night a guy grabs him and forces him down on his bunk.  He shoves bread into his mouth as ‘payment’ and than rapes the kid.  In the morning the guy runs off, but feels some degree of shame (or whatever) and steals the boys cap.  If the kid shows up to formation without his cap Germans will kill him (which I am sure was the intent of the rapist/thief).  Being raped as a child is horrible, but it did take second place to what was going to come if he didn’t show up with his cap.  He stole another kid’s cap, and than had to watch as that kid was executed.

    I hope to God the guy who did this was a patient of Josef Mengele.  I also hope that whatever horrors that happened to him while he was in a Concentration camp were just a taste of what he is now getting in Hell.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @Zooey72:

    The ‘god sniper’ from “Saving Private Ryan” was BS.  The first thing we blew up when we entered a town (and vice versa) was the church steeple for the EXACT reason the god sniper was there.  No one went up there because it was standard protocol to blow the thing up.  It was also a great location to call down artillery, so it had to go.  Funny how in the Iraq war we had to tip toe around Mosques because we were afraid of offending someone, but in WW2 blowing up a Church was a ‘no duh’ moment.

    I agree with you on that ZOOEY72, totally BS.
    Raised points in WW II. are frequently used by scouts and snipers and will be removed or evaded by any troops if neccessary.
    Also BS, the shot of the Marder III ,which cannot raise its gun that high, that close to blow up the tower.

    Other then that nice post ZOOEY72.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @Zooey72:

    It is not PC, but read the story and tell me if anyone ever deserved to be in a concentration camp it is this PoS.  This is not from my college class, I saw this story on the History Channel.

    This was an old man crying when I saw it from what happened to him happened when he was a child.  He was in a Concentration camp and put in a kid’s bunker.  In the middle of the night a guy grabs him and forces him down on his bunk.  He shoves bread into his mouth as ‘payment’ and than rapes the kid.  In the morning the guy runs off, but feels some degree of shame (or whatever) and steals the boys cap.  If the kid shows up to formation without his cap Germans will kill him (which I am sure was the intent of the rapist/thief).  Being raped as a child is horrible, but it did take second place to what was going to come if he didn’t show up with his cap.  He stole another kid’s cap, and than had to watch as that kid was executed.

    I hope to God the guy who did this was a patient of Josef Mengele.  I also hope that whatever horrors that happened to him while he was in a Concentration camp were just a taste of what he is now getting in Hell.

    I heard a story of a Jew who survived KZ Ausschwitz, who was beaten almost everyday and saw a lot of horror and unforgivable things ,who later after the war met a Guy, who was running up and down the street and asking for forgivness.
    The Jew went to that guy and asked him what he is trying to achieve and were the problem is, now he turns arround and telling him who he was , the Jews eyes getting all wide up and realizing that in Front of Him is a former SS Officer who served in that KZ he (the Jew) was imprisoned there.
    With trembling voice after a while the Jew then accepted his apology and forgave him and the former SS officer felt the heavy burden released from his shoulders.
    They never met again or became good friends, but at least got their release of heavy burden taken away by pure forgivness!


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    The “GEFRIERFLEISCHORDEN”

    Better known to us as the Ostmedal ,created and handed out by and through the Führer.
    All you had to do to get this piece of med(t)al was to stay in combat during the wintertime from 15. November 1941 till 15. April 1942. May also be known as „Eisbandorden“ or „Rollbahnorden“.

    • wich is a term for Icemedal or runway medal.
      Nevertheless the certificate wich is handed out together with this medal states that it might stay in ownership after death and will be passed on to the remaining family members.
      Fact, it rarely happend since this medal was thrown away by the German soldiers who had no use for it at all and sometimes even burned their money so the could get a warm glimpse for the freezing hands in the winter times of 1942(mainly in Stalingrad).

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Here’s a strange factoid…

    For there record, there are 1000’s of Aushcwitz survivors.  In fact - the last estimate is that approximately 190,000 people survived Auschwitz alone.

    You’d think less people would walk out of death camps.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @aequitas:

    @CWO:

    Berlin’s huge Flak Tower G, intended to help defend the city against air attack, was incongruously located next to the Berlin Zoo’s bird sanctuary.

    I think you mixed afew things up CWO Marc.  🙂

    As I recall, the anti-aircraft flak tower located next to the Tiergarten bird sanctuary is mentioned in Cornelius Ryan’s book The Last Battle.  Could you clarify to what mix-up you’re refering?


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    The U.S. recognizes its World War II veterans as anyone who has served between the dates of December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946 (yes, 1946 – that’s not a typo) because the latter date was the one on which Harry Truman (through Presidential Proclamation 2714) declared that all WWII hostilities had ceased.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @CWO:

    @aequitas:

    @CWO:

    Berlin’s huge Flak Tower G, intended to help defend the city against air attack, was incongruously located next to the Berlin Zoo’s bird sanctuary.

    I think you mixed afew things up CWO Marc.�  🙂

    As I recall, the anti-aircraft flak tower located next to the Tiergarten bird sanctuary is mentioned in Cornelius Ryan’s book The Last Battle.  Could you clarify to what mix-up you’re refering?

    Hey CWO Marc,
    you woke my interest in looking up for these Flaktowers in Berlin and came to no results of finding the combination of the Bird sanctuary and the Towers.

    The only close citation I got was that a cage for Birds might have been put close there AFTER the war was over.
    (the Tiergarten ones)

    To add some Informations:

    One year after the beginning of WW II. the Royal Airforce succesfully bombed Berlin with 22 Bombers.
    Since this day the Germans actually believed that it was impossible for the R.A.F. to come this close to the capitol of Germany.
    They erred BIG TIME and the night alarms went into nonstop mode till the end of September of 1940.
    In a meeting of 9th of September, Hitler ordered to built huge AA defense towers for Berlin.
    Six Flak towers were planned and three were built. One Flaktower present actually two towers, a Gefechtsturm = G (Battlestation)
    and another one ,the Leitturm = L ( controller unit, coordinator unit) .
    In April of 1942, the construction works come to an close end.

    The wall are up to 2,6 meters thick and the platform measure up to 3,8 meter wall thickness. (Wandstärke bis zu 2,6m, Abschlußdecke 3,8 m)

    Weapons:
    4 x 10,5 cm Marineflak (replaced by 12,8 cm Flakzwilling 40 in August '42),2 cm Flak 38 and 2 cm Flakvierling 38, as well 3,7 cm Flak 43 and 3,7 cm Flakzwilling 43

    The Towers also offered shelter for 15.000 peoples and some of the towers had a built in hospital.

    CWO Marc, this is what I got so far and you are free to correct me.

    A picture of a Flakturm modell.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @aequitas:

    you woke my interest in looking up for these Flaktowers in Berlin and came to no results of finding the combination of the Bird sanctuary and the Towers.

    Here’s one reference:

    http://junebarbarossa.devhub.com/blog/784584-the-prestige-objective-part-i/

    “Of course, in a manner of speaking, Berlin was defensible, and had been so since 1941. That was when, in response to Allied bombing attacks, the first of six so-called Flak Towers had been erected. Berlin was not, and never really was, a fortress city. These towers represented the only form of defense it was believed Berlin required in the modern age, and why not? The city was last taken by foreign troops during the Seven Years’ War. At Humboldthain, Friedrichshain, and on the grounds of the Berlin Zoo, these leviathans were essentially antiaircraft forts, perfect expressions of Nazi tendencies toward gigantism and grandiosity. At the Zoo, at the southwest corner near the bird sanctuary, stood the most formidable of the Flak Towers. Two rooftop towers, L tower for communications, and G tower for main guns, dominated the structure, 132 feet high, covering a city block.”


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