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#543142 - Fri Jul 30 2010 08:25 AM World War II trivia
root17 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sun Jul 16 2000
Posts: 729
Loc: Rochester New York USA 
The only three of these I'm pretty sure are true are numbers 3, 5 and 11. I'm pretty sure number 9 is not true--the U-120 was a training boat that saw no combat duty. She was scuttled at the end of the war. Number 8 is only partially true. The Messerschmitt Me 264 (a.k.a. the "Amerika Bomber") was certainly intended for bombing the U.S., but only three prototypes were built. Can you verify or debunk any more of these?

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You might enjoy this from Col D. G. Swinford, USMC, Ret and history buff. You would 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 (China, 1937), the first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians (Finland 1940); highest ranking American killed was Lt Gen Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps. So much for allies.

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.

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 had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet tracers instantly told your enemy he was 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.

YOU'VE GOT TO LOVE THIS ONE...

7. When allied armies reached the Rhine, the first thing men did was pee 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.

AND I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST....

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 (by friendly fire and booby traps) on the island. It could have been worse if there had been any Japanese on the island.
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#545861 - Thu Aug 19 2010 09:05 AM Re: World War II trivia [Re: root17]
root17 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Sun Jul 16 2000
Posts: 729
Loc: Rochester New York USA 
Just found this interesting WWII trivia:
The only person to be awarded BOTH the MBE (Master of the British Empire) AND the German Iron Cross during they same war was the double agent Joan Pujol (better known by the British codename Garbo). He fed false information to the Germans just prior to the invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944 and completely fooled them (Operation Fortitude).


Edited by root17 (Thu Aug 19 2010 09:07 AM)
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#545882 - Thu Aug 19 2010 11:25 AM Re: World War II trivia [Re: root17]
paper_aero Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Fri Jan 06 2006
Posts: 4570
Loc: Crawley Sussex England       
No 10 is listed in 'D-Day' by Stephen Ambrose, chapter 1. The source referenced there being an interview with the officer who captured them.
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#545939 - Thu Aug 19 2010 03:00 PM Re: World War II trivia [Re: paper_aero]
TCEB Offline
Participant

Registered: Sun Feb 14 2010
Posts: 12
Loc: North Somercotes England UK   
9) - Allegedly this was actually U-1206, a Type V11C which had a toilet malfunction at 200 feet off Scotland in 1945.
Flooding of the batteries created chlorine gas and the boat had to surface.
Whilst there it was found and bombed by British patrols and Captain Schlitt scuttled her.46 of the crew of 50 survived and were captured.

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#545970 - Thu Aug 19 2010 03:53 PM Re: World War II trivia [Re: TCEB]
TCEB Offline
Participant

Registered: Sun Feb 14 2010
Posts: 12
Loc: North Somercotes England UK   
4) I'm sure that is true.The Air force had four times as many servicemen than the Marines and a far bigger percentage of their casualties were (fairly obviously) fatal.

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#546062 - Fri Aug 20 2010 12:37 AM Re: World War II trivia [Re: root17]
Taesma Offline
Prolific

Registered: Fri Jun 20 2003
Posts: 1179
Loc: Bay Area California USA      
#2 I'm pretty sure is true. Didn't they make a movie about him?

Ah, here it is at IMDb Too Young The Hero. With Rick Schroder. smile
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#546274 - Sat Aug 21 2010 12:02 AM Re: World War II trivia [Re: Taesma]
quogequox Offline
Prolific

Registered: Sat Sep 15 2001
Posts: 1050
Loc: Adelaide SA Australia      
Interesting stuff, you gotta feel sorry for those Koreans. Then when they finally get home....
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#546594 - Sun Aug 22 2010 10:48 PM Re: World War II trivia [Re: quogequox]
mountaingoat Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Fri Jun 22 2007
Posts: 390
Loc: Blue Mountains NSW Australia
The Germans used a lot of horses in WW2. It was not as mechanised as we think. Himmler had a division of Moslems in the SS. He was impressed how they were so fanatical about their religion and not fearing death.

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#546687 - Mon Aug 23 2010 11:56 AM Re: World War II trivia [Re: mountaingoat]
JanIQ Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Thu Jul 09 2009
Posts: 647
Loc: Antwerp
Belgium
Number 6 (the tracer ammo) does make sense. Without having the scientific background to verify this, I suppose the different ingredients may provoke ballistic deviations in the longer range.

Using a round of tracer ammo to signal that you're out of true ammo, on the other hand, seems very foolish. I pity anyone who thought this would be a good idea...
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#651850 - Tue Sep 06 2011 04:57 PM Re: World War II trivia [Re: JanIQ]
Carti Offline
Participant

Registered: Thu Jun 09 2011
Posts: 23
Loc: Athenry Ireland
800m World Record holder Rudi Harbig was killed in action defending a bridge near Kirovograd in central Ukraine in March 1944. His World Record stood posthumously for more than eleven years.

England's great left-arm spin bowler Hedley Verity who took over 140 Test wickets died in Italian captivity in July 1943 after being severely injured during the invasion of Sicily.

German Olympic long-jumper Luz Long who is supposed to have befriended Jesse Owens in front of Adolf Hitler during the 1936 Games died in British captivity in July 1943, also from injuries sustained during the invasion of Sicily.

1920 US Olympic 100m champion Charlie Paddock who was featured in the film 'Chariots of Fire' also died on active service in July 1943 when the aircraft in which he was travelling crashed near Sitka, southern Alaska.

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#652181 - Thu Sep 08 2011 08:24 AM Re: World War II trivia [Re: Carti]
sisterseagull Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Aug 16 2011
Posts: 332
Loc: Torquay Devon England UK      
Number 6: It was, and as far as I am aware, still current practice in the British Army to use what we call '4b1t' or 'four-bit' which means that in any belted ammunition every fifth bullet will be a tracer round, the other four being known as 'ball'. When the round is fired the hot gas from the propellant charge ignites the tracer material in the bullet and this can only be seen from the viewpoint of the person who is behind the weapon firing the round. Your enemy may only be able to see the tracer after a bullet has ricocheted, by which time the direction that the bullet has come from is completely immaterial. I would be more concerned with the muzzle flash at night or smoke during the day giving away my position!

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