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Thread: Which branch of service would you join?

  1. #1
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    Default Which branch of service would you join?

    It's January 1, 1942 and the World is at war! Rather than face conscription and having a limited choice, you decide to enlist. You get to pick your branch of service, what would it be, and why? Also, be as specific as you can. For example, if you pick the Navy tell us if it's because you are fascinated by submarines or something else. My choice is the Navy, in order to serve on a PT boat. I would find that very exciting. The air corps would be second, I love the B-17's but their casualty rate was terrible.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    I joined the U.S. Army, because in part, my extended ancestral Family always volunteered for service even back before there was a U.S. I joined the Combat Arm of Armor because I like Tanks, and thought it would be quite the adventure, which indeed it was.
    Last edited by tankgeezer; 02-08-2017 at 11:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    I used to be in the REME, but nowadays what I do would see me put straight on the "Reserved Occupations" list.
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    Hmm... If it was a noncombat position, I'd be in one of the geocartography or aerial photograph interpretation stations, as that's what I learned in school.

    If it was a combat position, I'd probably pick something with the artillery, because who doesn't like large calibre guns?

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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    Navy! Would have loved to serve on the battleships even though they were becoming obsolete due to aircraft carriers.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Ronald Reagan

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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    I used to be in the REME, but nowadays what I do would see me put straight on the "Reserved Occupations" list.
    Does Worthington still have you testing Ales?

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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    Quote Originally Posted by navyson View Post
    Navy! Would have loved to serve on the battleships even though they were becoming obsolete due to aircraft carriers.
    Could be that one might be dragged out to do battle one more time, it's happened before.

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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    Could be that one might be dragged out to do battle one more time, it's happened before.
    Can't see it happening.

    Some were brought out during Vietnam War but, apart from a deterrent if China thought about getting involved on water, they were little more than close to shore mobile artillery batteries with a range of maybe 20 miles inland. Handy if you're fighting an enemy on a 20 mile wide island, but not much use otherwise. Also, IIRC, naval bombardments in support of land troops / amphibious landings during WWII weren't always a great success, although in many cases that might have been due to the munitions being designed for naval rather than land warfare. Plus battleships suck up a lot of support ships for their defence screen.

    As for longer range missiles for land, sea and air warfare, they can be carried by ships which are much smaller, cheaper to build and cheaper to operate with smaller crews. These smaller ships, which if a battleship was on the water nowadays would be part of its screen and lack the mobility of independent action covering a much larger area of sea, are also capable of knocking out a battleship with equivalent missiles.

    As for off shore land support artillery, IIRC correctly battleships couldn't fire more than a few thousand rounds from their main guns before they had to return to port for a refit as the turrets started to pull out of the decks from the recoil. An aircraft carrier could deliver a lot more munitions a lot further inland, plus have the ability to defend itself from air and sea attack a lot better than a battleship.
    ..
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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    Quote Originally Posted by garm1and View Post
    It's January 1, 1942 and the World is at war! Rather than face conscription and having a limited choice, you decide to enlist. You get to pick your branch of service, what would it be, and why? Also, be as specific as you can. For example, if you pick the Navy tell us if it's because you are fascinated by submarines or something else. My choice is the Navy, in order to serve on a PT boat. I would find that very exciting. The air corps would be second, I love the B-17's but their casualty rate was terrible.

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    The PT Boat service is an interesting choice. JFK went in largely on the propaganda machine that built them up as an elite, unconventional warfare service tantamount to today's SEAL's. The reality of course was somewhat different and few major ships were ever sunk due to the poor torpedo designs and the fact that the boats were much lighter and more fragile than their German E-boat counterparts. They did actually serve an "unconventional warfare" purpose however as barge busters with bloody, close in engagements reminiscent of the wooden ship and sail era.

    Most people don't know that Lieutenant Kennedy actually pioneered much tactics-wise long after his much heralded, ill-fated torpedo run on PT-109. The truth is his run ins with the Japanese after in personal, often close quarters combat was probably more gutsy and took its toll ultimate forcing him to quit. The fact that he was in near constant back pain his entire naval career is a bit remarkable actually and the fact that he served on such small boats in rough seas with such a degenerating back condition is unfathomable to me...
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 02-10-2017 at 08:57 AM.

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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    I would probably go Army as I did. I'm pretty sure I could have gotten (lied my way) into the Armored Force (even if not really qualified ) at this point and might even have joined prewar...

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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    Quote Originally Posted by navyson View Post
    Navy! Would have loved to serve on the battleships even though they were becoming obsolete due to aircraft carriers.
    Saying that too loud in 1940-41 would have gotten you beaten up!

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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Can't see it happening.

    Some were brought out during Vietnam War but, apart from a deterrent if China thought about getting involved on water, they were little more than close to shore mobile artillery batteries with a range of maybe 20 miles inland. Handy if you're fighting an enemy on a 20 mile wide island, but not much use otherwise. Also, IIRC, naval bombardments in support of land troops / amphibious landings during WWII weren't always a great success, although in many cases that might have been due to the munitions being designed for naval rather than land warfare. Plus battleships suck up a lot of support ships for their defence screen.

    As for longer range missiles for land, sea and air warfare, they can be carried by ships which are much smaller, cheaper to build and cheaper to operate with smaller crews. These smaller ships, which if a battleship was on the water nowadays would be part of its screen and lack the mobility of independent action covering a much larger area of sea, are also capable of knocking out a battleship with equivalent missiles.

    As for off shore land support artillery, IIRC correctly battleships couldn't fire more than a few thousand rounds from their main guns before they had to return to port for a refit as the turrets started to pull out of the decks from the recoil. An aircraft carrier could deliver a lot more munitions a lot further inland, plus have the ability to defend itself from air and sea attack a lot better than a battleship.
    There was some speculative stuff on The National Interest site (a defense think tank started by Tricky D*I*C*K* Nixon) that capital ships might make their way back as massive missile carrying platforms. But even the author admits that it was nothing but pure speculations.

    Two or Three U.S. WWII era battleships, like the U.S.S. Iowa, were recommissioned and modernized in the mid-1980's and served into the First Gulf War, then were promptly retired. Although they were noisy as hell, they were retired mainly because of the large crews made them expensive china. But they carried a lot of punch, but even white elephants have tusks. But not sure if they were really such large mammals or dinosaurs. But there's little doubt they scared the bejesus out of the last generations of the Red Navy...

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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Can't see it happening.

    Some were brought out during Vietnam War but, apart from a deterrent if China thought about getting involved on water, they were little more than close to shore mobile artillery batteries with a range of maybe 20 miles inland. Handy if you're fighting an enemy on a 20 mile wide island, but not much use otherwise. Also, IIRC, naval bombardments in support of land troops / amphibious landings during WWII weren't always a great success, although in many cases that might have been due to the munitions being designed for naval rather than land warfare. Plus battleships suck up a lot of support ships for their defence screen.

    As for longer range missiles for land, sea and air warfare, they can be carried by ships which are much smaller, cheaper to build and cheaper to operate with smaller crews. These smaller ships, which if a battleship was on the water nowadays would be part of its screen and lack the mobility of independent action covering a much larger area of sea, are also capable of knocking out a battleship with equivalent missiles.

    As for off shore land support artillery, IIRC correctly battleships couldn't fire more than a few thousand rounds from their main guns before they had to return to port for a refit as the turrets started to pull out of the decks from the recoil. An aircraft carrier could deliver a lot more munitions a lot further inland, plus have the ability to defend itself from air and sea attack a lot better than a battleship.
    It's not very likely, the last time one was let out of the house was the relief of Kuwait, and that as a feint to draw Iraq's attention away from the real attack. They are hugely expensive to operate, but there is something oddly satisfying about loosing the main Batteries on a target . But you are correct, in our modern era we can just send a missile 1,000 miles to do the same job. No idea about turret refitting, have not heard of that before. I'll have to look into that. I did read about a chemical weapon comprised of a 50-50 mix of Foster's, and Miller Light that could render whole formations of enemy incapable of functioning for at least a day. (not from drinking it, just from having it touch their skin)
    Last edited by tankgeezer; 02-10-2017 at 09:26 AM.

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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    It's not very likely, the last time one was let out of the house was the relief of Kuwait, and that as a feint to draw Iraq's attention away from the real attack. They are hugely expensive to operate, but there is something oddly satisfying about loosing the main Batteries on a target . But you are correct, in our modern era we can just send a missile 1,000 miles to do the same job. No idea about turret refitting, have not heard of that before. I'll have to look into that. I did read about a chemical weapon comprised of a 50-50 mix of Foster's, and Miller Light that could render whole formations of enemy incapable of functioning for at least a day. (not from drinking it, just from having it touch their skin)
    Hey! I like Miller Lite!

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    Default Re: Which branch of service would you join?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    The PT Boat service is an interesting choice. JFK went in largely on the propaganda machine that built them up as an elite, unconventional warfare service tantamount to today's SEAL's. The reality of course was somewhat different and few major ships were ever sunk due to the poor torpedo designs and the fact that the boats were much lighter and more fragile than their German E-boat counterparts. They did actually serve an "unconventional warfare" purpose however as barge busters with bloody, close in engagements reminiscent of the wooden ship and sail era.

    Most people don't know that Lieutenant Kennedy actually pioneered much tactics-wise long after his much heralded, ill-fated torpedo run on PT-109. The truth is his run ins with the Japanese after in personal, often close quarters combat was probably more gutsy and took its toll ultimate forcing him to quit. The fact that he was in near constant back pain his entire naval career is a bit remarkable actually and the fact that he served on such small boats in rough seas with such a degenerating back condition is unfathomable to me...
    Yes, JFK was a real hero. One tough hombre, and a gentleman as well.

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