Churchill-Bradley Hypothetical Incident


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I’ve attached a scan of a WWII photograph that caught my attention today because it raises an interesting historical “what if?” question. It’s the one on the right, showing Winston Churchill inspecting a bazooka during a photo-op with Dwight Eisenhower and Omar Bradley, at which the men were photographed firing (or pretenting to fire) various weapons. According to the data attached to this file…

    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Churchill_Shooting_M1_Carbine.jpg

    …the photo-op was on May 15, 1944; this was three weeks before D-Day, at which Bradley commanded the US First Army.

    It’s impossible to tell if the bazooka is loaded or not, but you’ll note that Bradley is standing almost directly behind Churchill – something he presumably would not have been foolish enough to do if the weapon had actually been loaded, unless perhaps Churchill moved suddenly and swung the weapon around in a careless way. If, however, it turns out that the bazooka was actually loaded, and if Churchill had accidentally (or in a burst of boyish enthusiasm) pulled the trigger at that moment, the backblast would have blown off Bradley’s head, or at the very least seriously injured him. The American reporters in the Allied press pool would have had a tough time figuring out a diplomatic way to report that story to their newspapers back in the States, to put it mildly. Churchill and Bradley.png


  • 2019 2018

    @CWO-Marc also interesting how Ike has his elbow parallel to the rifle as opposed to Churchill who has his perpendicular which offers better control. Churchill did see combat though against the Boers or at least I think he did. Got captured anyways


  • 2019 2018 2017

    @barnee said in Churchill-Bradley Hypothetical Incident:

    @CWO-Marc also interesting how Ike has his elbow parallel to the rifle as opposed to Churchill who has his perpendicular which offers better control. Churchill did see combat though against the Boers or at least I think he did. Got captured anyways

    I’ve fired an M1 Carbine, as well as other weapons of war. Proper form for control of an M1 Carbine doesn’t take near the effort as proper form for control of an M1 Garand rifle. The .30 Carbine cartridge is a piddly little thing and it isn’t going to cause the carbine jump anything like the .30-06 Springfield going through the Garand.

    Just my 2 IPCs,

    -Midnight_Reaper


  • 2019 2018

    @Midnight_Reaper good point. It is a lot lighter.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Thanks barnee and Midnight Reaper for the info on the firing stances used by Ike and Churchill – I love these kinds of technical details. Churchill had indeed served in the Boer War and in places like Cuba and India as a young man; during WWI, after the Gallipoli debacle, he left government and spent a few months of 1916 an an infantry officer on the Western Front, which was quite a contrast from sitting on the padded benches of the House of Commons a year earlier. I’ve just checked on the specifics, and his posting (as a Lieutenant-Colonel) was from January to May 1916 in a Belgian village called Ploegsteert. It’s close to the border of Flanders, the region where his future opposite number in WWII, Corporal Adolf Hitler, would have been serving at the time: Hitler’s unit, the List Regiment, spent much of the war in Flanders, and in July 1916 it took part in the Battle of Fromelles, which is only 20 kilometers from Ploegsteert.


  • 2019 2017 2016 2015 '13

    September 9, 1941. Eastern Front

    After weeks of gradually closing the vice on Leningrad the Germans begin their assault on the second city of Russia. Two Soviet battleships, “October Revolution” and “Marat” open fire on the Wehrmacht with their main guns. The ships are immobile because their non-gunnery crews have been drafted for the ground defence of the city. The German panzers are still about ten miles outside of the city proper, but they have cut off all land escape routes and the only way in or out for the defenders is by air or over Lake Ladoga.
    Photo: A Finnish soldier watches a Soviet KV-1E burn at Jessoila (Essoila or D´essoilu), Ladogan Karelia. This particular KV-1 had been terrorising this portion of the front for a week. It finally hit two mines and was stopped - the Soviet crew abandoned it and set it on fire. When the Finns went to push it off the road with a bulldozer the bulldozer hit a mine, too. The KV-1 was the fiercest tank on the battlefield in 1941, its main drawbacks being that it was slow and had few close-arms defences. September 9, 1941 (colourised, SA-Kuva).

    Source: worldwartwodailykv1.jpg


  • 2019 2018

    @captainwalker thanks for this. I’ve heard of the KV but never actually saw a picture of one this close up, that I recognized anyway. I know it was a heavier tank than the T-34 but thought it would’ve had a longer barrel. Maybe the picture is is a bit deceptive in that regard. Idk. I’ve read where they were quite the terrors on the battlefield

    Thanks again


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @barnee said in Churchill-Bradley Hypothetical Incident:

    @captainwalker thanks for this. I’ve heard of the KV but never actually saw a picture of one this close up, that I recognized anyway. I know it was a heavier tank than the T-34 but thought it would’ve had a longer barrel. Maybe the picture is is a bit deceptive in that regard. Idk. I’ve read where they were quite the terrors on the battlefield

    The picture isn’t deceptive. The KV-1 may have looked impressive in terms of sheer size and weight, and it was very tough in terms of armour protection, but it lacked firepower. To put things in perspective: the original version of the Panzer IV, which was intended to be a heavy infantry-support tank, was similarly armed with a short-barreled 75mm gun, with a barrel length of 48 calibers. The KV-1 gun had an almost identical caliber (76.2mm), but it was appreciably shorter, at 42.5 calibers, which meant a lower muzzle velocity. At the opposite extreme, the future Panzer V Panther’s high-velocity 75mm gun was an impressive 70 calibers in length.


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