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post #331 of 504 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 2013, 02:29 AM
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Re: WW II thread

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Hastings' verdict on MacArthur p245

"It is a striking feature of WWII that the populist media of the democracies made stars of some undeserving commanders, who thereafter became hard to sack. MacArthur's Philippine campaign did little more to advance the surrender of Japan than Slim's campaign in Burma, and was conducted with vastly less competence. Its principle victims were the Phillipine people, and his own military reputation..his contempt for intelligence was a persistent, crippling defect."
My dad never had any use for MacArthur for that very reason. The marines called him "Dugout Doug."

According to one rumor, his last words on leaving were not "People of the Phillipines, I shall return," but "Take over, Skinny*, I'm going to Australia."

*General Jon "Skinny" Wainwright

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post #332 of 504 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 2013, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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Re: WW II thread

Harris and LeMay, in charge of bomber forces in Britain and USA, were impenitent to the end, like Halsey who refused to acknowledge his mistake at Leyte.

MacArthur was fiercely opposed to bombing civilians.
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post #333 of 504 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 2013, 10:05 AM
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Re: WW II thread

Considering the hands they were dealt, which nations outperformed there actual strength in World War 2 (for example in how long they held out against German invasion) and which nations didnt live up to their actual strength?

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post #334 of 504 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Re: WW II thread

Canada punched way above its weight. Out of a wartime population of 11 million, it put 1.1 million in uniform, ended the war with the world's 4th largest air force and 3rd largest fleet, produced 20% of the vehicles built by the Western Allies and way overshot all projections for what it's contributions would be.

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post #335 of 504 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 2013, 12:57 PM
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Re: WW II thread

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Considering the hands they were dealt, which nations outperformed there actual strength in World War 2 (for example in how long they held out against German invasion) and which nations didnt live up to their actual strength?
Out of the allies (I'm personally not going to count minor nations like Canada, Australia, etc... even though they made good contributions, without the major powers they wouldn't have done too much IMO) I'd say France underperformed most and the US probably overperformed most (especially against Japan..... Midway for instance was ridiculously lucky on America's part).

For the Axis, Germany probably overperformed most of any country on either side (considering size, natural resources, population, etc) while Japan underperformed and Italy did God awful.
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post #336 of 504 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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Re: WW II thread

Pound for pound, nobody did better than the Finns.

Britain did pretty well, but it's performance was actually undermined somewhat by Churchill's meddling. His misadventure in Greece and insistence on maintaining a major presence in the Pacific (largely to maintain Britain's imperial presence) drained away manpower, equipment and experience that could have been better used in Europe.

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post #337 of 504 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 2013, 01:38 PM
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Re: WW II thread

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Pound for pound, nobody did better than the Finns.

Britain did pretty well, but it's performance was actually undermined somewhat by Churchill's meddling. His misadventure in Greece and insistence on maintaining a major presence in the Pacific (largely to maintain Britain's imperial presence) drained away manpower, equipment and experience that could have been better used in Europe.
I forgot about Finland... you are right that they did pretty darn well.

But fighting a defensive war in the conditions they lived in helped a great deal. Even still they did very impressively.
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post #338 of 504 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 2013, 03:45 PM
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Re: WW II thread

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Pound for pound, nobody did better than the Finns.

Britain did pretty well, but it's performance was actually undermined somewhat by Churchill's meddling. His misadventure in Greece and insistence on maintaining a major presence in the Pacific (largely to maintain Britain's imperial presence) drained away manpower, equipment and experience that could have been better used in Europe.
Greece gave the Allies an unintended assist, just by being there. La Bella Alessandra's grandfather invaded as part of his fantasy about recreating the Roman Empire, and got hopelessly bogged down. Leading his German allies to come and bail him out, delaying the push east towards Mother Russia, from March to June in 1941.

FWIW, I am not sure that if Hitler had taken Moscow instead of seeking oil in the southern USSR, he'd have won. The Rooskies did a great job blowing up railroad tracks as they retreated eastward, and might have withdrawn to places like Yekaterinburg and Perm (near the Urals) with the Germans freezing in the winter a little further east than they did.

And even if Japan had attacked Russia instead of the US, their land forces were already bogged down in China and Southeast Asia. I wonder how well they'd have fared trying to wade through the thousands of km's of frozen Siberia to get anywhere. (The 1904-5 Russo-Japanese War they won was fought mostly towards the Russian coast, in Korea, and in Manchuria).
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post #339 of 504 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 2013, 06:50 PM
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Re: WW II thread

The Greek misadventure didn't prolong Greek resistance much, if any, and decimated Britain's pre-war officer corps. It was a huge reason the British weren't able to close the performance gap between their army and the Germans until late war.

For all the talk about Hitler's interfering in Germany's war effort, the Allies were also often setback by their own political considerations and mismanagement. Churchill's insistence on going to the aid of the Greeks and trying to maintain Britain's imperial presence with fleets and aircraft in the Far East, either when they were in lost causes or when American men and material were available, undercut Britain's war effort, often when her chances of survival were at their slimmest. However, since his side won, he gets more of a pass. (The Prince of Wales/Ramillies fiasco is another example of Churchill micromanagement at its worst). He also had a tendency to treat the Commonwealth nations as though they were still dominions, which caused all sorts of complications politically.


The Allies were also fortunate in that, unlike the German generals, Lord Alanbrooke, Churchill's military advisor, was not afraid to stand up to his boss, famously observing that "Winston has about 10 grand strategic ideas a day, and nine of them are bad." Alanbrookes ability to keep Winston on a bit of a leash-and to soothe over ruffled feathers with other British and American leaders--is one of the unsung but vital contributions to the Allied victory. The number of stupid decisions made by Sir Winston declined significantly after Alanbrooke became a player, around 1942.

In the end, of course, he did more good than harm and deserves to be remembered as a great wartime leader. But like he was, as is often the case, fortunate in that he had a rather competent, capable and strong-willed subordinate in Alanbrooke.

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post #340 of 504 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 2013, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: WW II thread

Hastings 346

4% of British and American POWs died in German hands
27% Allied prisoners died in Japanese captivity

Hastings 549

"Germany has paid almost $6 billion to 1.5 millions victims.
Austria has paid $400 million to 132,000.
By contrast, modern Japan goes to extreme lengths to escape any admission of responsibility.
In 1999 British gov chose to make ex-gratia payments to British former captives of the Japanese, having despaired of the perpetrators doing so.
Repeated attempts at litigation before Japanese judges by comfort women, have so far been unsuccessful.
Slave labourers were employed by 35 companies including Matsui Mining and Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi explicitly denies that it employed forced labour.

Japan is guilty of a collective rejection of historical fact"
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post #341 of 504 (permalink) Old Jun 29th, 2013, 01:36 PM
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Re: WW II thread

B-17 jigsaw puzzle

http://thejigsawpuzzles.com/Aviation...iece%20Classic

Controls in upper left of box allows changing the background color, in lower right for full screen mode, solution preview in upper right, Change # of pieces and cut to the right of the box. Other warbirds on this site, but no tanks.
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post #342 of 504 (permalink) Old Jun 29th, 2013, 02:04 PM
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Re: WW II thread

I talked to a veteran of WWII not so long ago, a former B-24 pilot. He said the B-17 pilots called the B-24 "the box the real bomber came in." The proper response was "More bombs, more speed, more altitude, buddy."

Max
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post #343 of 504 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2013, 01:36 PM
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Re: WW II thread

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Letters from Iwo Jima?
Correct Did you watch it?

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Originally Posted by miffedmax View Post
Since my mother is a first gen American (her family is Canadian), most of her kin were actually in the Canadian military, along with an in-law who fought for New Zealand. On top of that, the one American relative I had who fought in Europe (my dad's brother-in-law) was actually attached to the British Eight Army in Italy.

So when it comes to the war in Europe, I'm all about the Commonwealth forces, which of course included many Indian units.

The 4th Indian Division was part of Operation Compass, one of the most brilliant campaigns in military history.
It's a long story, Max. To be short:

My Granpa fought at WW-I and WW-II, and died in 60s with Cancer. Two wars!

My Mom saw him suffer and die. More painful is he wasn't recognized properly by any Govt(s). She always missed him since her young age (was a teen). He wasn't there when She got married to my Dad. She told us (me and my younger twin sisters) so many stories which she learned from my Grandpa, importantly, how so many Indians have died fighting for them. What for? I can write at least 100 pages on this forum without referring to Google or anything. It's in my head and heart.

The West largely forgot the lost lives, countless injured and the spilled blood on their lands and freedom, instead many talk lowly and pass comments against the people of this land.

Anyway, this was one of the biggest reasons why my Mom nuked my IAF dream. I was never interested in going to the United States. I wanted to become a Fighter pilot because of this inspiration from early 80s:



I believe India shouldn't be a part of the Commonwealth anymore. This group has become obsolete and irrelevant to us, quite similar to Non-Align Movement (NAM nations).

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My main interest is the European theater anyway

And most of the books now introduce REAL MEN's stories too, in case you haven't noticed Check any book of Atkins.
Most of you hardly know properly about those real men.

Continue your Amazon fun.

"I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." - late Ayrton Senna, greatest F1 driver
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post #344 of 504 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2013, 01:43 PM
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Re: WW II thread

I agree that it's a disgrace how many troops from India and Africa who fought bravely for the Allied cause were forgotten after World War II.

We couldn't have won without them.

Max
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Onward my LOB! Lena (ret.) Vika Vee TOB Caro Alexa Sabs Wicky Lesia Vania BMS Ekat Andi H. Jo-La Lena V KP2 Lil Bit Kiki Mini Mak Baby Veronika
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post #345 of 504 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2013, 10:20 PM
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Re: WW II thread

In the name of Freedom, I wish you and all the good Americans out there a Very Happy Independence Day



My folks, contacts and associates are having a blast there; some are too busy to pick the calls

"I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." - late Ayrton Senna, greatest F1 driver
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