Funny side stories of WWII thread

  • I graduated from the U of Iowa with a BA in History and a focus in military history, as well as a Political Science BA focused in Foreign Policy. As of now I am continuing my Grad in History.  The value and importance of our past is priceless.  Out of all of my experiences during my five years of college studies I have to say the humorous side of history always gives me a boost of joy and an insight of the time period that critical analysis of more serious and more prevalent topics in history cannot provide.  Anyways, I am starting a thread for people to share any funny side stories that they have come across in their studies of WW II history.  For me, the comical occurrences of WWII always gives me an escape from the actual tragedies that our brave soldiers endured during that time of peril.

    I’ll start one off.  George Patton as everyone knows was one of, if not the most charismatic and most intriguing figures of the war.  When Patton finally made it to the Tunisian front during the African campaign, his stalwart and aggressive disciplinarian behavior butted heads with one of his new subordinate commanders, Terry Allen (To Terry’s credit he was a soldier’s commander and a great general, he received the French Croix de Guerre for his valor in the Tunisian campaign).  Patton disliked Terry’s ragtag demeanor and his sometimes dismissive approach to his own immediate defenses for his own command post.  Here is an excerpt from Rick Atkinson’s book An Army at Dawn: “Determined and energetic, he (Patton) could also be boorish and abusive, incapable of distinguishing between the demands of a disciplinarian and the caprices of a bully. ‘Terry, where is your foxhole?’  When Allen pointed to a slit trench outside his tent, Patton unzipped his fly and urinated in it, signaling his contempt for passive defenses. (Atkinson)”

  • I can’t recall where I heard this story, so I can’t vouch for its accuracy, but it sounds in character with Montgomery.  Sometime after his promotion to the rank of Field Marshall, Monty was in a military car being driven through the British countryside to an appointment of some sort.  He noticed a little boy walking along the side of the road, told his driver to stop and offered to give the boy a lift.  After the boy got in and the car got underway, Monty asked the boy if he knew who he was.  The boy said no.  Monty said, “Let me give you a hint… I’m a Field Marshall.”  The little boy said, “My father works in the field too – he’s a farmer.”  The boy then asked the rather deflated Montgomery, “What does a Field Marshall do?” Monty answered, “Well, I kill people.”  The astonished boy said, “Do you really?”  “Yes,” said Montgomery."  “How many people have you killed?”  asked the boy.  “Oh, thousands,” Monty said cheerfully.  The little boy said, “Oh.”  Then after a moment he added, “May I please get out now?”

    CWO Marc

  • Its even more humorous when I picture it in my head with Monty’s voice.

  • Not funny but of same type.  Post war.

    When France leave NATO DeGaul tell Eisenhower “I want all American forces out of France.”
    Eisenhower reply “OK, but it will take a while to dig up all the bodies”

    I not know if true.

  • I recently just read a remark from Churchill to Montgomery pertaining to Monty’s abstinence of alchohal and smoking. "Monty boasted that abstinence made him 100 percent fit.  Churchill countered that he both smoked and drank making him 200 percent fit.(Atkinson)

  • @RogertheShrubber:

    I recently just read a remark from Churchill to Montgomery pertaining to Monty’s abstinence of alchohal and smoking. "Monty boasted that abstinence made him 100 percent fit.  Churchill countered that he both smoked and drank making him 200 percent fit.(Atkinson)

    WWII was won by clowns.  :-(

  • “Nuts!”

  • @Jermofoot:


    Are you talking to me ?  :x

  • @Adlertag:



    Are you talking to me ?  :x

    Nope, I was quoting (hence the quotes) an Allied officer in the defense of Bastogne.  I always found it funny.

  • That was close to eye, man  :wink:

  • Biggest understatment of the war was when Emperor Hirohito’s radio broadcast to the Japanese people about the surrender.  “The war has not developed nessasarily to Japans advantage” :roll:

  • LOL, thats right, I remember that.  What a way to sugar coat it

  • @RogertheShrubber:

    LOL, thats right, I remember that.  What a way to sugar coat it

    So, are we running out of funny stories, or what ?

  • @Adlertag:

    So, are we running out of funny stories, or what ?

    Here’s another one.  In early August 1941, Churchill, various members of his staff and a number of officers were on a train heading to northern Scotland, where they would embark on the battleship Prince of Wales to cross the Atlantic to meet Roosevelt for the Atlantic Charter conference.  After an excellent meal aboard the train (Churchill not being particularly finicky about observing wartime food rationing regulations), the Prime Minister asked his scientific advisor Professor Lindemann to figure out how much champagne he had consumed during his adult life at the rate of around one pint per day.  Lindemann took out his slide rule and did a few computations, then announced the answer.  Churchill, very pleased with the impressive-sounding figure, then asked Lindemann to calculate how many trains would be required to carry that much champagne.  To Churchill’s disappointment, the answer he received to that question was that one-half of the train car in which they were sitting would be quite sufficient.  (Someone then jokingly asked Lindemann to determine how many yards of cigars Churchill had smoked over a lifetime, but “The Prof”, as he was known, declined to make the attempt.)

    CWO Marc

  • Allied window tint-  In an attempted to charter Roosevelt in secrecy from the airport to his Moroccan hotel in the week before the Casablanca meeting.  Allied soldiers slung mud onto the windshields of his escort car to conceal sight into the vehicle.  Perplexed Arabs and French locals were intrigued by this odd juvenile behavior in witnessing grown men fling mud onto the car like children.

  • And here are two more amusing stories connected to the Atlantic Charter conference.  Roosevelt travelled to the rendezvous site (Placentia Bay, Newfoundland) aboard the cruiser USS Augusta.  At one point along the way, the cruiser was getting ready to deploy its paravanes, an operation involving a lot of dangerous steel cables.  An officer stood on deck supervising the preparations, making sure that everything was properly set up and that everyone was in a safe place before the paravanes were released.  He was just about to blow into a whistle to give the release signal when Fala, Roosevelt’s famous terrier, appeared on deck and walked right into the middle of the paravane cables.  The horrified officer quickly dropped the whistle from his mouth – if he’d blown into it, Roosevelt’s dog would have been torn to pieces – and told somebody remove Fala from the scene.  From that day onward, Roosevelt’s staff was put under strict orders to keep Fala on a leash whenever the Presidential pooch went for a walk around the ship.

    When the Augusta met the Prince of Wales and its three escorting destroyers in Newfoundland, a young lieutenant from the Augusta was put in charge of a group of sailors and given the task of transporting to the other ships around 2,000 cardboard gift boxes which had been prepared at Roosevelt’s instructions.  Each box contained cheese, fruit, a carton of American cigarettes and a card from the President expressing his best wishes to the officers and crew of the Royal Navy ships.  The young lieutenant had the boxes piled into one of the Augusta’s boats, then he and his men set off for the Prince of Wales.  They were received very gratefully by the British sailors, who had been operating on rather tight food rations (but who, unlike American sailors, had access to alcohol aboard ship).  The British officers rushed the American lieutenant to the wardroom, where they gave him a glass of gin, while his enlisted men were taken below deck by the British sailors and given a ration of grog.  The Americans then got back into their boat and delivered the remaining gift boxes to the British battleship’s three accompanying destroyers – where in each case they received the same kind of high-proof welcome they’d gotten on the Prince of Wales.  The whole group was pretty well sloshed by the time they got back to the Augusta.

    CWO Marc

  • 2nd Lt. Charlie Brown & his B-17F Flying Fortress named “Ye Olde Pub”

    2ND Lt. Charlie Brown was a B-17F Flying Fortress pilot with the 379th
    Bomber Group at Kimbolton, England. His B-17F was called “Ye Olde Pub” and
    was in a terrible state, having been hit by flak and fighters. The compass
    was damaged and they were flying deeper over enemy territory instead of
    heading home to Kimbolton. Most of the tail & half of the stabilizer were gone.

    After flying over an enemy airfield, a pilot named Franz Stigler
    was ordered to take off and shoot down the B-17F. When he got near
    the B-17, he could not believe his eyes. In his words, he “had never seen a
    plane in such a bad state”. The tail and rear section was severely damaged,
    and the tail gunner wounded. The top gunner was all over the top of the
    fuselage. The nose was smashed and there were holes everywhere.

    Despite having ammunition, Franz flew to the side of the B-17
    and looked at 2nd Lt. Charlie Brown, Lt. Brown was scared and
    struggling to control his damaged and bloodstained plane.

    Aware that they had no idea where they were going, Franz waved
    at Charlie to turn 180 degrees. Franz escorted and guided the stricken
    plane to and slightly over the North Sea towards England. He then saluted
    Charlie Brown and turned away, back to Europe.

    When Franz landed he told the C.O. that the plane had been shot
    down over the sea, and never told the truth to anybody. Charlie Brown and
    the remainder of his crew told all at their briefing, but were ordered
    never to talk about it.

    More than 40 years later, Charlie Brown wanted to find the
    Luftwaffe pilot who saved the crew. After years of research, Franz was
    found. He had never talked about the incident, not even at postwar

    They met in the USA at a 379th Bomber Group reunion, together
    with 25 people who are alive now - all because Franz never fired his guns
    that day.

    Research shows that 2nd Lt. Charlie Brown lived in Seattle and Franz
    Stigler had moved to Vancouver, BC after the war. When they finally met,
    they discovered they had lived less than 200 miles apart for the past 50

  • I am kind of supprised not to have seen the exchange between Winston Churchill and Lady Astor…

    Lady Astor was known as a fierce debater. The famous exchange between Winston Churchill and Lady Astor took place when they were both staying at Blenheim Castle visiting the Marlboroughs. The two politicians had been at each other’s throat all weekend when Lady Astor said, “Winston, if I were your wife I’d put poison in your coffee.” Whereupon Winston said, “Nancy, if I were your husband I’d drink it.”

  • Another good mutual-insult exchange (though this one wasn’t face to face) was the one between MacArthur and Eisenhower.  Ike had served on MacArthur’s staff prior to the Second World War, and there was clearly no love lost between the two men.  Eisenhower later said that he had studied drama under MacArthur for seven years, and MacArthur said that Ike was the best clerk he had ever had.

    CWO Marc

  • During the battle for Port Morsbery Japanease air raids were so frequent that soldiers would sleep in thier tiny slit trenches!  Or they would dig them inside their tents so they could just roll out of thier cots into the trenches.

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