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Western front-interesting bits of information

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by Kai-Petri, Jan 2, 2003.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Williamson Murray: "Luftwaffe 1933-1945"

    In early November 1942 ( notice!) Luftwaffe was forced to send 150 Ju 52´s to the Mediterranean, an additional 170 followed at the end of the month (!)This movement of aircraft, combined with the Stalingrad airlift, effectively shut down instrument and bomber transition schools.The development into the Mediterranean also explains why the Luftwaffe found it difficult to transfer more transport aircraft to Luftlotte 4 and the Stalingrad supply effort.

    The Luftwaffe lost 128 Ju 52´s in November and December 1942, with an additional 36 destroyed in January (13.9 % of the Luftwaffe´s total transport strength ). When combined with losses at Stalingrad, the Germans lost 659 transport aircraft (56% of the transport force as of November 10 ) by the end of January 1943...
     
  2. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    I was told that in WW1 all French Generals were officially two stars. Additional grades were appointments. A four star general commanding an army or army group would revert to two stars if removed command. The man who told me has bought the kepi Petain wore at Verdun from his lawyer. He claimed authenticity because the kepi had additional bands sown on with Petain's promotions.
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The ball gunner

    Ball turret

    A ball turret was a spherical-shaped, altazimuth mount gun turret, fitted to some American-built aircraft during World War II. The name arose from the turret's spherical housing.

    It was a manned turret, as distinct from remote-controlled turrets also in use. The turret held the gunner, two heavy machine guns, ammunition, and sights. The Sperry Corporation designed ventral versions that became the most common version; thus, the term "ball turret" generally indicates these versions.

    The Sperry nose turret was tested and preferred, but its use was limited due to poor availability of suitable aircraft designs. The Sperry-designed ventral system saw widespread use and production, including much sub-contracting.

     
  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    upload_2021-3-10_17-49-11.jpeg

    upload_2021-3-10_17-49-48.jpeg

    Looks really uncomfortable. I can't imagine volunteering for it.
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    On 6 June 1944 Allied forces stormed ashore the beaches of Normandy. An invasion had been long expected and Luftwaffe had contingency plans in place. Upon receipt of the code words "Dr Gustav West" ( stood for "Dringende Gefahr West", meaning "Impending Danger Wetr"), nearly every Jagdgruppe in Germany would transfer forward into France. Each unit had been assigned a spesific airfield, and III./JG 54´s destination was Villacoublay, a large pre-war base on the western outskirts of Paris.

    JG 54 "Grunherz" by John Weal
     
  6. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Also potentially fatal in the event of a belly landing.
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    1943 early July:
    Kammhuber presented Hitler with a proposal for a radical restructuring of Germany's air defenses to meet massive Allied air production. Hitler, however, demanded the origin of these "crazy numbers" and added that "if the numbers on Allied production were correct, then he would have to stop the offensive in the east and concentrate everything on air defense." The figures, however, he assured Kammhuber were false.199 Milch did get Hitler's approval for an infusion of aircraft into western air defenses in July but was unable to get a firm commitment from the Führer to build up air defenses for the long term. Hitler's response to Bomber Command's devastating attacks was that the only way to get the British to cease the destruction of Germany's cities was to pay them back in kind. Thus, any suggestion that industry increase fighter production at the expense of bombers was doomed to failure. Interestingly, there was a recognition for a time on the part of some bomber commanders that their air units might find better employment in defending the Reich than in raiding Britain.

    Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933-1945

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    One must also remember that the original key logistics semiartificial harbour was to be the Quiberon Bay:

    the Brittany attack was very important for the logistics of Allied army. It was meant that there would be a semi-artificial harbour at Quiberon Bay, in Brittany. It would have been important to get Brest first as there were German naval artillery that could destroy the parts of the pier elements on their way to Quiberon.
    The idea was that the Normandy railroad would be destroyed but Colonel Harold Mack had noticed, that the best railroads in France ran along the coast of the Bay of Biscay. This is where the deep water vessels would land and 7,000 tons a day would come in. It was called operation "Chastity" and were stamped "Top Secret Bigot".

    Somehow though as "Cobra" was a success, Patton instead turned east and only the 8th was sent to Brittany.later on the Allied could not meet the need for supply and were forced to stop. So Patton " shot himself in the leg" as he was later on forced to stop and received no oil...

    Jonathan Gawne " 1944 Americans in Brittany "

    The birth of the Red Ball Express.

    Red Ball Express - Wikipedia
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    On operation Cobra and the main targets.
     
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Red Poppies on Monte Cassino - Wikipedia

    The Red Poppies on Monte Cassino

    Czerwone maki na Monte Cassino (The Red Poppies on Monte Cassino) is one of the best-known Polish military songs of World War II.[1] It was composed in May 1944 in Italy, during the Battle of Monte Cassino, on the eve of the Polish Army's capture of the German stronghold.

    On 18 May 1944, the day following the song's composition, the Poles stormed and captured the precincts of the Monte Cassino monastery. Later that day, the song was first performed at General Anders' headquarters to celebrate the Polish victory.[5] The Red Poppies on Monte Cassino won popularity with the troops and was soon published by a Polish-American newspaper in New York. It was later published in Poland.[6] It was banned, however, during the Stalinist period in the People's Republic of Poland, when the government sought to minimize memory of the wartime Polish Armed Forces in the West.[7] It is featured, however, in Andrzej Wajda's film Ashes and Diamonds, made in 1958, after the death of Stalin.
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Commanded by Major Wolfgang Späte, IV./JG 54 was based at Löbnitz, north of Leipzig, when the Allied airborne forces landed at Arnhem on 17 September. This ambitious operation, intended to smash open a path into north-west Germany, would ultimately end in failure. But before the Allied forces retired from their "bridge too far", the Arnhem area would witness some of the fiercest fighting of the autumn. The Luftwaffe reaction to this sudden threat is not well documented, but among the units known to have been involved was IV./ JG 54, which moved up to Plantlunne, close to the German-Dutch border, 24 hrs after the landings began.
    The Gruppe´s attempt at intervention against the Arnhem "corridor" was unmitigated disaster, its carefully rebuilt strength being simply swamped by the overwhelming numbers of Allied fighters now operating from bases on mainland Europe. In little more than a fortnight IV./ JG 54 was virtually annihilated.

    JG 54 "Grunherz"
    by John Weal
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Overlord:

    On the 8th June Dietrich had lost sixteen of his twenty radio vehicles as a result of artillery fire and air attack and Geyr von Schweppenburgg was in the same situation. It is not therefore surprising that the two could not communicate with one another or that Rommel received no news of the failure of the 8 June attack. As a result, Rommel decided to come and see for himself and arrived at Dietrich"s headquarters on the 10th. The situation was that the remnants of the 716th infantry division had now been withdrawn and the line was held by on the left, Panzer Lehr, centre, Hitlerjugend and right, 21st Panzer division.

    Sepp Dietrich- Hitler´s gladiator
    by Charles Messenger
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    On the very same day after Rommel´s visit, Geyr´s headquarters was hit by an air strike, having been accurately located through Ultra intercepts. The Chief of Staff, Ritter von Dawans, was killed, together with some forty officers and men, and Geyr himself slightly wounded. I SS Panzer Corps therefore reverted once more to under command of Seventh Army.
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    On 23 August, Montgomery at last pressured Eisenhower into agreeing that 21st Army Group´s thrust into northern France should have priority in supplies, to free the English Channel ports for Allied ships and overrun the launch sites for the V-1 bombs attacking southern England. Bradley´s principal misssion was to support the thrust with First US Army, sending most of its divisionss north of Aachen. Instead , Bradley quietly connived at Patton´s continuing southern thrust towards Germany, holding Firat US Army back and directing it increasingly south, away from 21´st Army Group. At the end of August, as Third US Army´s drive began to halt at the gates of Germany from lack of fuel, relations between Montgomery and th American Generals could hardly have been worse.


    A bridge too far
    by Stephen Badsey
     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    On 1 September, Eisenhower formally took command of the ground battle from Montgomery. Next day, after conferring with Bradley, Hodges and Patton, he issued his own interpretation of priority for Monty, a compromise "two thrust" strategy from north and south including Third US´s Army´s drive in the plan. Communications from SHAEF Hq at Granville were very poor, with top priority messages like this (!) taking THREE DAYS or more to reach Monty and Bradley.

    A bridge too far
    by Stephen Badsey
     
  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    New tactics and techniques vere also evolved, these bombing techniques were given codenames ( pathfinders ): Newhaven, for example, was the name given to visual ground marking, that is, a target identified visually by a pathfinder aircraft and marked subsequently with coloured indicators ( Target Indicators or TIs ) for the main force to attack. If the target was obscured by cloud or smoke, such that Newhaven might not be practical, the crews reverted to a blind-marking tactic known as Parramatta, using their H2S radars. When the more precise Oboe blind-bombing device was being used, the raid was known as a Musical Parramatta, and in the event that the target was totally obscured by cloud, a last-resort technique known as Wanganui was employed. This involved using sky-markers to give an approximation of where to bomb through the clouds in order to hit the target. The strange names came from the hometowns in Australia and New Zealand of some of Bennett´s staff.

    Master Bombers by Sean Feast
     
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  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The drawback to Oboe was that it necessitated the aircraft to fly straight and level for 10 minutes, at a set height, on a set course and at a set speed. This was essential or else the bomb aimer would lose the signal, and would not be able to "hear" the point at which the target had been reached. It was also essential because usually only one aircraft had the precision device, which meant that if the target was lost, then the whole raid would have to be aborted.

    Master bombers by Sean Feast
     
  19. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Operation "Varsity" on 24 March 1945. By landing two complete airborne divisions ( each with two, rather thn three, parachute (brigades/regiments ) in one lift, "Varsity" became the largest and most congested single airborne drop ever mounted, larger than the first day of "Market-Garden". Although successful, it was also the most costly airborne drop ever mounted, with almost a quarter of the aircradt being hit or shot down by ground fire. Together with "Market-Garden" this cast serious douts on the future of airborne operations after the war.

    A bridge too far by Stephen Badsey
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    At 101 Squadron, George Hall was to have an eighth member of the crew- a Pilot Officer King- who was known as a special duties operator (SDO). An SDO operated a secret device, called Airborne Cigar ( or ABC), that enabled him to jam multiple transmissions from German ground defences attempting to vector their nightfighters onto a target.

    Master bombers by Sean Feast
     

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