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Thread: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

  1. #1
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    Default So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    How about we do our (un)patriotic duty and - instead of arguing with each other - voluntarily mash our own country/military by revealing their mistakes during world war II? :-D

    I'll go first ;-)

    (Stupid) Country: Finland
    Place: The Winter War 1939-1940

    So, Finland (smaller participant in this conflict) was soon needing more soldiers, and then everybody remembered that during peacetime many fit-and-able men were (unwise, but Finland was young naive nation failing to see the signs of the times) freed from doing their basic military training. They were given an extra-quick (and equally useless) basic training.

    So, the big question was: How to deploy these (inexperienced) men?

    #1) Spread them to the existing formations, where they could quickly learn the art of warfare from the experienced soldiers.

    #2) Create new completely, entirely and totally inexperienced formations, lead by (semi)inexperienced officers.

    For some reason, it was decided that #2 is clearly the way to go. :-/

    And to make things "perfect", it was decided to use some of these new formations to do a counterattack -- Experienced officers were horrified.

    The time for the counterattack came... and passed... and finally, wayyyy to late, these new formations managed to arrive at the point where the attack would/was/may/already did/etc start. Of course, the best moment for the attack was lost. After a lot of disturbance and trouble, some sort of attack was done, causing (at least) a lot of noise. That time the new formations avoided the heavy casualties (which makes one wonder how many meters they actually advanced ;-D).

    Unfortunately, and inevitably, the first real battles resulted heavy casualties and panic in those new formations. Surely that was not the best way to handle this matter.


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Great thread, Alephh!
    I will try to reply later when I get time...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Quote Originally Posted by alephh View Post
    How about we do our (un)patriotic duty and - instead of arguing with each other - voluntarily mash our own country/military by revealing their mistakes during world war II? :-D
    Great thread.

    Well, Australia was so good (bad?)in so many areas it's hard to know where to start.

    So I'll start with the one campaign that really mattered to Australia in its darkest hour, in Papua in the second half of 1942 which at the time was quite reasonably perceived as being the last ditch attempt to keep the rampaging Japanese out of Australia, regardless of what we might now know.

    We sent the best troops we had left (after sending the really good ones with a higher enlistment age to the Middle East for Britian), being mostly barely trained and modestly equipped teenagers to Papua. Some fired a rifle for the first time on the transport ship on the way up. Others didn't until they got there.

    When they got there, they were wisely used as wharf and fortification labourers, so that when the anticipated attack occurred and they were sent to grind their way up the gruelling Kokoda Track, they had no jungle training; bugger all infantry training; and no suitable equipment.

    Also a headquarters in Australia run by Gen MacArthur who was determined to show that Australian troops were no good compared with Americans (none of whom were actually fighting in MacArthur's SWPA at the time, mostly because he'd abandoned the last lot in the Philippines who'd been forced to surrender because MacArthur buggered up the whole defence and campaign before he pissed off to Australia to save the world from the Japanese he'd lost to already), ably assisted by his deputy commander the Australian Gen Blamey who'd do anything to save his skin and keep his post, including sacrificing his best Australian commanders in Papua.

    Anybody who studies that campaign must come to the conclusion that it was the virtue and strength of the average men combined with the leadership of the NCO's and officers, and especially those drafted in from the battle hardened Middle East divisions who'd returned to Australia (which is a tribute to the little intelligent and successful planning that went on before the campaign), who won in spite of the many failures at senior staff (not field staff) and headquarters levels.

    I hope no nation has anyone worse than our ****heads.

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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    sunday morning golf outings for Fleet officers in Hawii.

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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Well, Argentina declared war on Germany in late april 1945 when that country was pretty much wasted, so that saved of any possible screwing.

    I dont know if that was pathetic or funny...you choose.

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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    sunday morning golf outings for Fleet officers in Hawii.
    And the other mistakes that day, as distinct from things that just went wrong, were?

    And from the other side, how many bloody mistakes could Japan make on a clean sheet with bugger all opposition?

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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    sunday morning golf outings for Fleet officers in Hawii.

    My first (of many) points...

    But I'll say this. I have no problems with the golfing, but I do have a problem with the completely useless command and control of the radar station that actually detected the incoming Japanese strike force. The idiotic fear of saboteurs over the threat of the IJN fleet air arm. And the hubris and arrogance that thought the Japanese incapable and unwilling to launch such a daring and skilled attack...

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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Great thread.

    ...
    Also a headquarters in Australia run by Gen MacArthur who was determined to show that Australian troops were no good compared with Americans (none of whom were actually fighting in MacArthur's SWPA at the time, mostly because he'd abandoned the last lot in the Philippines who'd been forced to surrender because MacArthur buggered up the whole defence and campaign before he pissed off to Australia to save the world from the Japanese he'd lost to already), ably assisted by his deputy commander the Australian Gen Blamey who'd do anything to save his skin and keep his post, including sacrificing his best Australian commanders in Papua.
    ...
    I bet a lot of the American soldiers were eager to show that a certain American general was no good so they could get an Australian (or any other) supreme commander...

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    Thumbs down Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    You both make some good points. There were major errors on all the fronts and all sides the war.
    Last edited by PA.Dutchman; 01-19-2008 at 09:14 AM. Reason: You both make some good points.

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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Quote Originally Posted by PA.Dutchman View Post
    The United State beat the English twice fairly. So who do we allow to lead our troops in some of our worse defeats in World War II, the British.
    ...

    So America made the mistake of letting English decide our troops moves rather than our own leaders that lead to some of our worse lose of lives.

    Um, seriously. WTF are you talking about? In which theater, or battle for that matter, did US commanders allow the British to lead our troops?

    And we only beat the English once. The second time was pretty much a draw...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Quote Originally Posted by PA.Dutchman View Post
    In World War Two Lord Mountbatten killed off his own troops like he was shooting ducks at a State Fair Stand.
    Check out his naval career in WWII before he became a land commander. He wasn't lacking in guts or skill.

    Mountbatten was a bit given to far-fetched ideas, which might also be the sign of someone who was an original military thinker, but I doubt there's evidence he was wilfully wasteful with his troops.

    Britain used its Commonwealth troops like the Canadians, Australians, and others like they had the value of a empty peanut shell.
    Again, a rather extreme and inaccurate comment, at least as far as Australians were concerned.

    British units fought in the same campaigns that Australian units fought under Britain. They were exposed to the same risks.

    In World War One it was Galloplie
    The French and British suffered heavier casualties than the Australians at Gallipoli.


    in World War II it was Deebee, not sure of the spelling, were just two of many cases where good British soldiers were not killed in battle by their enemy they were murdered by their own poor leadership. Deebee caused the death of many good Canadians and American Rangers and was lead by Mountbatten who never left England.
    Dieppe is probably what you're thinking of. Sure, it was a disaster. Lots of military leaders have disasters in their careers. It was nothing compared with the disaster Chuchill managed in Greece in 1941.

    So what if Mountbatten didn't leave England? Commanders are always in the rear, unless things go horribly wrong. Eisenhower didn't land on D-Day, nor should he have.


    the Bridge on the River Kawi,
    It's fiction. The bridge never existed.

    Anyway, the film is about POW's on the Burma railway, when they were subject to Japanese control.

    If you want to see some examples of good British leadership, read up on the Burma railway.

    I just don't think our military leaders should be picked by where he wakes up on the morning of his birth.
    There was a strong tradition of aristocratic families in Britain as in Europe of a son going into the armed forces. Usual order was first son inherits the estate; second son goes into the armed services; third son into the Anglican Church. Didn't seem to do Britain any harm as these were the people, among others, and the system which built the British Empire.

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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    And we only beat the English once. The second time was pretty much a draw...
    Burning the White House and much of Washington has to make it a touch over a draw.

    It's not like the Yanks did any damage in London.

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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Burning the White House and much of Washington has to make it a touch over a draw.

    It's not like the Yanks did any damage in London.
    Americans on leave 1942 and beyond more than compensated for that! Ask any Pommie who lost a girl to a Yank

    digger

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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Question off topic,,, what is the story behind the name "Pommie"?

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    Default Re: So, how did YOUR country screw up in WWII?

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    Question off topic,,, what is the story behind the name "Pommie"?
    Nobody knows.

    The following from Wiki covers all the versions I've heard, with the exception that there was another version that it came from the French pomme de terre, being a potato, and that this related to roast beef and potatoes as the staple English diet. I think this derivation was attributed to the French as a derogatory term for the English.

    The term pommy or pommie is commonly used by speakers of Australian English, New Zealand English, South African English and Afrikaans. It is often shortened to pom. The origin of this term is not confirmed and there are several persistent false etymologies, most being backronyms.

    The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) strongly supports the theory that pom and pommy originated as contractions of "pomegranate", Australian rhyming slang for immigrant. The OED cites a well-known Australian weekly, The Bulletin, which on 14 November 1912 reported: "The other day a Pummy Grant (assisted immigrant) was handed a bridle and told to catch a horse."[1]

    A false etymology (or "backronym") common in both Australia and New Zealand is that pom originated as an acronym for "prisoner of (his/her) majesty" or "prisoner of mother England". Although many of the first British settlers in Australasia were convicts sentenced to transportation to Australia, there is no evidence for this. Some proponents of this theory claim that upon arrival in the country they would be given a uniform with "POHM" or "POME" emblazoned on the back, but there are no images or examples of these uniforms.

    Other etymologies which are unsupported by evidence include:

    "prisoner of Millbank", after the area of London where prisoners were held prior to transportation;
    it is rhyming slang for tommy, international slang for a British soldier;
    an acronym for "Port of Melbourne". However, the term "pommy" was coined long before POM was used as acronym for the port.
    comes from "pomme", French for apple. The joke was that the pale British would turn red, like an apple, with sunburn when they landed in Australia.
    Another backronym for POM relates to English immigrants who could not adjust to their new surroundings and were considered "prisoners of Mother England", in terms of attitude and culture.

    Use of the word "pom" remains slightly contentious. Some British people living in Australasia find the term offensive and demeaning, others find it harmless and amusing. Attitudes to the use of the word have varied over the years; in the 1960s, slogans such as "bash a pom a day" were heard on New Zealand radio. The word has become so common that few Australians and New Zealanders see any reason to avoid using it, some even justifying the use of it as a "term of endearment". In December 2006, the Advertising Standards Board of Australia unanimously ruled that the word "pom" was a part of the Australian vernacular, and was largely used in a "playful or affectionate" sense. As a consequence, the board ruled that the word did not constitute a racial slur, and could be freely used in advertising. The Board was responding to a complaint filed by a community group called British People Against Racial Discrimination.[2]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alterna...ds_for_British

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