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Bomber Command
09-13-2010, 04:32 PM
Hello everyone,

Hope this has not been posted before, i tried a search and couldn't find anything.

So how many of these are true? from gtechno.com/cas/ww2.htm

(sorry for the unlinkable linky, im not allowed to post links at this time)

1. The first German serviceman killed in the war was killed by the Japanese (China, 1937), the first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians (Finland 1940), the highest ranking American killed was LtGen. 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 in combat 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. Not that bombers were helpless. A B-17 carried 4 tons of bombs and 1.5 tons of machine gun ammo. The US 8th Air Force shot down 6,098 fighter planes, 1 for every 12,700 shots fired.

6. Germany's power grid was much more vulnerable than realized. One estimate is that if just 1% of the bombs dropped on German industry had instead been dropped on power plants German industry would have collapsed.

7. 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.

8. 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. The tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet, the 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.

9. 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).

10. German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City, but it wasn't worth the effort.

11. A number of aircrewmen died of farts. (Ascending to 20,000 ft. in an unpressurized aircraft causes intestinal gas to expand 300%).

12. The Russians destroyed over 500 German aircraft by ramming them in mid-air (they also sometimes cleared minefields by marching over them). "It takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army" - Joseph Stalin

13. The US Army had more ships than the US Navy.

14. The German Air Force had 22 infantry divisions, 2 armor divisions, and 11 paratroop divisions. None of them were capable of airborne operations. The German Army had paratroops who WERE capable of airborne operations. Go figure.

15. When the US Army landed in North Africa, among the equipment brought ashore was 3 complete Coca Cola bottling plants.

16. 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.

17. German submarine U-120 was sunk by a malfunctioning toilet.

18. The Graf Spee never sank. The scuttling attempt failed and the ship was bought as scrap by the British. On board was Germany's newest radar system.

19. One of Japan's methods of destroying tanks was to bury a very large artillery shell with only the nose exposed. When a tank came near enough a soldier would whack the shell with a hammer. "Lack of weapons is no excuse for defeat." -- LtGen. Mutaguchi

20. Following a massive naval bombardment 35,000 US and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska. 21 troops were killed in the firefight. It would have been worse if there had been Japanese on the island.

21. The MISS ME was an unarmed Piper Cub. While spotting for US artillery her pilot saw a similar German plane doing the same thing. He dove on the German plane and he and his co-pilot fired their pistols damaging the German plane enough that it had to make a forced landing. Whereupon they landed and took the Germans prisoner. I don't know where they put them since the MISS ME only had 2 seats.

22. Most members of the Waffen SS were not German.

23. The only nation that Germany declared war on was the USA.

24. During the Japanese attack on Hong Kong British officers objected to Canadian infantrymen taking up positions in the officer's mess. No enlisted men allowed you know.

25. Nuclear physicist Niels Bohr was rescued in the nick of time from German occupied Denmark. While Danish resistance fighters provided covering fire he ran out the back door of his home stopping momentarily to grab a beer bottle full of precious "Heavy Water." He finally reached England still clutching the bottle. Which contained beer. I suppose some German drank the Heavy Water.

It would be good to debunk the myths and support the truths,
cheers,

ced381
09-13-2010, 04:49 PM
25. Nuclear physicist Niels Bohr was rescued in the nick of time from German occupied Denmark. While Danish resistance fighters provided covering fire he ran out the back door of his home stopping momentarily to grab a beer bottle full of precious "Heavy Water." He finally reached England still clutching the bottle. Which contained beer. I suppose some German drank the Heavy Water.

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-"I'll have a cold Nuclear Ale please!"
-"There you go fella, nuke yourself out..."

flamethrowerguy
09-13-2010, 04:55 PM
This was posted here before - at least partially but what the heck.

About #17: German submarine U-120 was just a training boat. The toilet incident actually happened to U-1206.

tankgeezer
09-13-2010, 06:53 PM
As to tracers rounds having a different trajectory than non tracer rounds, at least in modern times, this is said by munitions MFG. to be untrue. But, should it be true, its of little importance really, as machine guns are area coverage weapons. The trace element in M.G. ammo is for general placement of fire only. When fired upon most folks will scatter for cover, some will run out of the bullet's path, some run into it.

muscogeemike
09-30-2010, 09:34 PM
1. No "Air Corps" in WWII, US Army Air Force established in April 1941, months before Pearl Harbor.
2. USAAF bombers (all types) claimed closed to 10, 000 German aircraft shot down in the ETO, claiming it don't make it so.
3. Me 264 (4 engines) only reached prototype stage (2 - both destroyed). The "Amerika" bomber ( 6 engines) never got beyond design stage. I have seen reports of a Ju 390 flying to within 10 miles of the US coast (from France) and returning in early 1944.
4. Many nationalities were represented in the German Military (not all voluntarily), there were Americans in the SS!

Tenshinai
10-30-2010, 02:58 PM
1, Yes.

4, cant say exactly but something thereabouts.

5, No, a B-17 usually carried between 1500 and 3600kg of bombs depending on range to target. On rare occasions under optimal atmospheric conditions it COULD carry up to more than 7000kg for short missions, but i cant recall this ever being used for any serious combat missions. Enemy fighters were generally shot down by escorts, and mostly deterred by defensive fire from the bombers so as usual when dealing with "claims" of shot down enemies coming from WW2 USA, divide by 10 and expect a far more correct number(just about all airforces had far higher claims than reality allowed for, USSR is the odd one out in this due to normally only allowing official shot down claims if verified on the ground, while at the same time not being able to strictly enforce this leading to wildly varied claims vs reality numbers, going from massively understated to even more overstated than common USA numbers).

6, Not quite THAT bad. But its totally true that it would have been far more devastating to aim bombing at the power grids. When bombing factories, even when hitting squarely straight on target, the most important parts, the people, were usually safely away in shelters, while the machine tools tended to be surprisingly resistant to damage, sometimes being back in full use after a few days even after a direct hit.
On the other hand, backup power was normal in many factories, some even had their own power supplies.

7, No, even rookies and average pilots could be very effetive and valuable even if the aces were the ones often getting the actual "kills". But even if the less skilled hit with just a fraction of the munitions compared to the aces, they still caused damage even when it didnt result in an enemy plane going down.

8, Yes, tracers were a really bad idea most of the time.

9, Yes.

10, Had they ever been serial produced then maybe.

11, Yes.

12, Maybe. There are just over 200 confirmed ramming kills and almost another 400 possible ones. Including 1 ace getting 4 kills by ramming, another getting 3 and 17 others getting 2 each. One getting 2 ramming kills during the same flight.
USSR did not clear minefields by marching troops over them.
They DID however sometimes force penal battalions to attack over suspected or known minefields. This was NOT a common occurence but rather exceptions. IIRC i know of just 3 times that it actually happened.

14, Something like that yes, but much of those divisions and their troops were more ghosts than real. The part about airborne capability is true though.

18, Considering that UK was THE BEST when it came to radars at the time, getting their hands on the newest German system was a minor bonus, nothing big.

19, Not exactly, artillery shells with improvised remote triggers were used as antitank weapons a few times at least though.

20, Pretty much. Another 87 were killed when a destroyer ran into a mine. And another 50 or so wounded. Booby traps and friendly fire was the cause.
The Japanese had left the island a few weeks earlier under cover of heavy fog.

22, Yup, the majority of foreign nationals fighting for Germany were officially in Waffen-SS units, including a battalion of Africans and at least one company of South Americans and another consisting of Indian nationalists.

23, Yes, while Japan failed to declare war against USA prior to the attacks on Pearl Harbour only due to a silly misunderstanding regarding time zones.

24, Lol, wouldnt surprise me.


It would be good to debunk the myths and support the truths
Well, if anyone has any corrections to make that would be interesting.

Tenshinai
10-30-2010, 03:12 PM
As to tracers rounds having a different trajectory than non tracer rounds, at least in modern times, this is said by munitions MFG. to be untrue. But, should it be true, its of little importance really, as machine guns are area coverage weapons. The trace element in M.G. ammo is for general placement of fire only. When fired upon most folks will scatter for cover, some will run out of the bullet's path, some run into it.

I cant say about today, but WW2 tracers most certainly had different trajectories, making them near useless to assist aiming. At the same time they also did much less damage, making them even more useless.
And the point about tracers warning people they were under attack is also totally correct, this is supported by evidence from the airforces of USA, UK, Germany, USSR at the very least and supported by individual reports from most other involved nations as well.

imi
11-09-2010, 07:23 AM
10. the germans called "amerikabomber" but that was only a recon plane (I think hitler has too much problems in the east&west also in europe)
11. wow
22. the waffen ss around 40% was german at the end of the war (Nordland,Wiking has only 5%(!) of the northern volunteers)

Rising Sun*
11-10-2010, 04:44 AM
As to tracers rounds having a different trajectory than non tracer rounds, at least in modern times, this is said by munitions MFG. to be untrue.

When tracer and or machine gun fire is used for main gun aiming in tanks, wouldn't it have to have an identical trajectory to the main gun round, at least over the same distance?

Or is a different trajectory compensated for in some way in aiming the main gun?

tankgeezer
11-10-2010, 08:58 AM
When tracer and or machine gun fire is used for main gun aiming in tanks, wouldn't it have to have an identical trajectory to the main gun round, at least over the same distance?

Or is a different trajectory compensated for in some way in aiming the main gun?

The U.S. used aiming rifles for some of their recoilless rifles, and on the ONTOS which had 6 of them (2 of which had aiming rifles.), but never on MBT's so I would have to guess. I would have to guess that main battery ammo could have a different velocity, and trajectory than the a.r. ammo, it would be a matter of adjusting the strike of round of the a.r. to that of the main gun. If the a.r. is fixed in position, then the different rounds used by the main battery would need fairly identical ballistic behavior . Not being a Boffin, or even very studious, I am just guessing.
The M-60 tank, and its very good L-7 105mm gun, (grateful thanks to John Bull) could use 5 different munitions with widely varying velocities, and ballistic characteristics. APDS @ 5,000 FPS, to the torporous HEP @ 2,800 FPS. The HEAT, BeeHive, and WP falling somewhere in between. These were controlled the the electro-mechanical Ballistic computer, which when set for the intended ammo, would take into account the range as determined by the split image rangefinder, and the wear on the gun (EFC stuff) to get the thing on the target,even at great distance. (since Soviet armor was a composite of Treacle, and rye crisps, the system provided the right answer most of the time...) :)

leccy
11-10-2010, 01:52 PM
The Centurion using the 105mm L7 and early marks of the Chieftan with the 120mm L11 had balistically matched 0.5 inch spotting rifles fitted for assistance in aiming the main guns.
Spotting rifles were also used on the Wombat 120mm recoiless AT guns and the LAW 80 shoulder fired disposable AT weapon

tankgeezer
11-10-2010, 05:13 PM
I have seen video of British armor using their a.r.'s in training, works well enough, just wondering how long that takes as compared the usual target acquisition methods.