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Interesting facts of military history

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Kai-Petri, Dec 12, 2003.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The German Imperial Navy established the Etappendienst (Secret Naval Supply System) in 1911. The Etappendienst was part of German Naval Intelligence and its main mission was collecting information and the supplying of German auxiliary cruisers, merchant marine ships and last but not least submarines.

    More:

    http://uboat.net/articles/?article=60
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    As early as 1934 Stalin commented at the Party’s Seventeenth Congress that he felt uneasy about the developments in fascist Germany. Germany quit the Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations both in 1933, and began to create closer relationships with Poland, with the eventual incorporation of Poland into the German fold being the idea (Goering eve hinted at a joint crusade against Russia).

    :eek:

    In 1934 Russia joined the League of Nations. Russia’s then Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov forwarded the idea of "collective security", that entailed all states to combine and use their collective strength to deter aggression, which was what the League of Nations was intended for in the first place. In the spirit of this security system, plans were drawn up for a treaty of mutual assistance between the USSR, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Finland and the Baltic states. A second arrangement was made with France that it would come to the aid of these countries in case of an attack on any one of them, in return for Russian assistance in case of an attack on France. This agreement did unfortunately not come of the ground because of Germany and Poland’s reluctance to enter into it. A pact between France and Russia was however signed that pledged assistance by either country if the other was to be attacked by another European country. This pact was extended when Russia entered a similar pact with Czechoslovakia ,with a proviso that Russia would only come to their assistance after France has done so too.

    http://people.cs.uct.ac.za/~lwalters/History/molotov.htm
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    First "Blitzkrieg" plan(?)

    Plan 1919

    Plan 1919 originated in a paper written by a junior staff officer in the British Army, J.F. C. Fuller. Fuller argued that, under the new conditions prevailing on the battlefield in late 1918, breaching a defense line or routing and encircling an enemy formation was no longer enough. Weakening the enemy by destroying his manpower and materiel—by attrition— was demonstrably too costly and uncertain. Instead, Fuller proposed, the Allies should try what would later be called a "decapitation" strategy in the Persian Gulf, a war directed at enemy command, control, and communications. With its head cut off, the body of the German army would flounder about spasmodically and ineffectually. Panic would set in, resistance would crumble, and the German war effort would rapidly collapse.

    Fuller envisioned a three-phase attack with each phase closely supported by aircraft. First, medium tanks would infiltrate enemy lines on narrow fronts at two separate points, disorganizing German command and control. There would be no preparatory bombardment to alert the defenses. Then a combined force of infantry and heavy tanks would breach the disorganized German lines and reduce any strongpoints that slowed the advance. Finally, medium tanks and cavalry would pour through the gaps created by the assault and would sweep around the slow-moving defenders, destroying supply dumps, cutting telephone and telegraph wires, tearing up rail lines, and overrunning artillery and command posts. For five to seven days, the pursuit would continue, at a rate of 20 miles per day. The speed and power of the armored thrust would, Fuller argued, allow the attack to succeed before the Germans could counterattack the long, exposed flanks of the mobile columns. Mechanization would, in short, supply the speed and fire power that the foot-borne Sturmtruppen had lacked.

    http://worldatwar.net/chandelle/v2/v2n1/1919.html
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    On 2nd October 1933, Roehm sent a letter to Reichenau that said: "I regard the Reichswehr now only as a training school for the German people. The conduct of war, and therefore of mobilization as well, in the future is the task of the SA."

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERreichenau.htm
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Submarine Heroes of the Great War
    The first patrol of the E11 through the Dardanelles

    http://www.submarinestore.com/stories/facts-e11.htm

    On the 25th April 1915 allied troops landed at Gallipoli peninsula.

    To get to Marmara, warships had to run the gauntlet of the Dardanelles straits. These straits were narrow and were heavily defended by minefields and heavy guns on both shores. It had proved to be an impossible task for the Royal Navy's ships. The responsibility to penetrate the straits fell to His Majesty's Submarine E11.

    On the 19th of May, 1915 in the dead of night, HM submarine E11 slipped quietly out of her base on the island of Imbrues. Her skipper was the 32 year old veteran submariner, Lieutenant Commander Martin Nasmith. The E11's three patrols through the straits to Marmara would make her the most celebrated submarine in the Royal Navy and would win her captain the Victoria Cross!

    During the transit, the E11 scraped herself past several mines with one of them becoming lodged briefly in the screw guards before she cleared the mine field. Finally, by 9.30 pm the long transit was nearly over. E11 had been submerged for 17 hours, oxygen levels were low, and circulation fans were barely keeping the the crew from succumbing to carbon dioxide poisoning.

    Nasmith had bee ordered to "go and run amuck in Marmara" and so he did. For the next three weeks E11 scoured the Marmara, torpedoing large vessels and scuttling smaller craft. On the 25th May, Nasmith took E11 directly into Constantinople harbor, and sank a large troop transport at her moorings. E11 was the first hostile warship to enter the harbor in 500 years!

    For E11's historic attack on Constantinople harbor Nasmith received the Victoria Cross and the entire crew the Distinguished Service Medal.

    The E11 would return to Marmara for two more highly successful patrols. Over the course of her three patrols, May to December 1915, the E11 destroyed 86 ships totaling 67,302 tons.

    Promotion followed Nasmith's dramatic success in the Dardanelles. Most significantly, he became the first submariner in the British Navy to reach the position of Rear Admiral. In 1932 he received a knighthood and served in World War II as the Commander-in-Chief of the Western Approaches. Thus the Submarine 'ace' of the Great War was charged with defeating the U-boat menace in the Atlantic.

    [​IMG]

    Lt Commander Nasmith in front of the conning tower

    http://www.rnsubmus.co.uk/nasmith/nasmith.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Eric_Nasmith
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Haller's Army

    [​IMG]

    During WWI, with the support of France, an army was put together to fight to regain Polish independence. The Polish Army in France, (Armia Polska we Francyi), was commonly referred to as "Haller's Army" after the General who commanded it.

    Haller's Army was comprised of approximatly 20,000 Polish citizens recurited mainly from the United States. Recruitment officially began in October of 1917. The army was also sometimes called te "Blue Army" because of the blue uniforms.

    One of the most famous battles that Haller's Army participated in was the Battle of Warsaw which took place on August 15th, 1920.

    http://home.xnet.com/~karens/Polish/hallers.html

    http://www.familycup.com.pl/wystawa/dzII/dzII.htm
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Günther "Franzl" Lützow

    Between March and September 1937, Oberleutnant Lützow accumulated five victories, including the first ever recorded by the Bf 109, and was awarded the Spanienkreuz in Gold mit Schwerten und Brillanten.

    http://www.luftwaffe.cz/lutzow.html
     
  9. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    Life must have been fun for the German fighter pilots early in the Russian invaison. From July 17, 1941 to the end of Oct. 1941 he shot down 52 aircraft. :eek:
     
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    [​IMG]

    "Victory smiles upon those who anticipate the changes in the character of war, not upon those who wait to adapt themselves after the changes occur." Giulio Douhet, 1921

    An early supporter of strategic bombing and the military superiority of air forces was General Giulio Douhet. He argued that command of an enemy's air space and subsequent bombing of industrialized centers would be so disruptive and destructive that the pressure for peace would be overwhelming. He maintained that control of the air could win a war regardless of land or sea power.


    At a time when the military was going the way of the "Zeppelin" it was Douhet who had been strongly advocating his idea of using bomber aircraft.

    In 1921 he produced his definitive work, "Command of the Air" . It was within the pages of this work that he laid out in detail the foundations for a "modern war". Central to his theory was the premise that control of the air alone could win a war regardless of those armies on land or at sea. Douhet believed that bomber's would reign supreme by bringing the war to the civilian population centers. The use of high explosive's, incendiaries, and gas were to be used. To be sure, the use of such ordnance is quite horrifying, however Douhet reasoned that the end result would be saving lives. The civilian population, "driven by an instinct for self preservation", would force her government to sue for peace, thus ending a war quickly.

    http://www.comandosupremo.com/Douhet.html

    :eek:
     
  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Sir Robert Vansittart (1881-1957)

    A career diplomat, author, and Permanent under-secretary of the British Foreign Office.

    Vansittart's militant outlook is eventually dubbed Vansittartism - a belief that the conduct of German foreign policy ever since modern Germany's inception in 1870 is inherantly inclined to aggression. He believes that European peace can only be guaranteed if Germany is permanently demilitarized.

    Despite having been one of the few British diplomats of the 1930s to protest his government's policy of appeasing Hitler, he was nevertheless no friend to the German conspirators. His anti-German attitude was so extreme that he no more trusted the German Resistance emissaries of chief conspirator General Ludwig Beck than he did the Nazis.

    http://www.joric.com/Conspiracy/Vansittart.htm
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Shortly after the occupationof Japan ended in 1952, the CIA began secretly financing politicians like Kishi Nobusuke, a wartime munitions minister, who became prime minister in 1957. The fact that in 1941 Kishi had signed off on the order to attack the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor seemed a mere detail.

    http://www.jpri.org/publications/critiques/critique_X_4.html

    :eek:
     
  13. bigiceman

    bigiceman Member

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    Wouldn't it be great if diplomacy and the manipulation of your fellow nation states was something that demanded high moral standards? This looks like another perfect example of the old addage "Politics makes for strange bedfellows". The history of US policies and I am sure the policies of many other nations is littered with the changing status of the people that are dealt with. First enemies, then friends, then allies, then enemis again.
     
  14. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Ordnance Survey's contribution to the British war effort

    Originally founded in the 19th century to provide accurate military maps, on the outbreak of WW2 the OS agreed to suspend normal activities to become a 'map factory'. Because most of their staff had already served in the Royal Engineers, under the mobilisation scheme the OS supplied the Army with 3 survey companies, and 2 survey training units. From a total staff of 3,000, 17 RE officers and 500 Other Ranks returned to the forces.
    The OS had agreed to print both colour and monochrome maps for the military, but demand soon exceeded supply, and 35 outside firms were employed to assist with the work, although the OS still supplied all film and printing plates.
    In total, the OS itself printed 193,775,000 maps for the military, while the outside contractors supplied 148,640,000.
    The OS was split into constituent sections after their head office was demolished in an air raid, and they were not to come together again until a purpose-built building was constructed at Maybush, Southampton, in 1967.
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The music of Lt. James Reese Europe Songs

    http://www.redhotjazz.com/europe.html


    On Patrol In No Man's Land


    written by James Europe, vocal by Noble Sissle and recorded around 14-Mar-1919

    What the time? Nine?
    Fall in line
    Alright, boys, now take it slow
    Are you ready? Steady!
    Very good, Eddie.
    Over the top, let's go
    Quiet, lie it, else you'll start a riot
    Keep your proper distance, follow 'long
    Cover, brother, and when you see me hover
    Obey my orders and you won't go wrong
    There's a Minenwerfer [German mortar] coming --
    look out (bang!)
    Hear that roar (bang!), there's one more (bang!)
    Stand fast, there's a Very light [flare]
    Don't gasp or they'll find you all right
    Don't start to bombing with those hand grenades (rat-
    a-tat-tat-tat)
    There's a machine gun, holy spades!
    Alert, gas! Put on your mask
    Adjust it correctly and hurry up fast
    Drop! There's a rocket from the Boche [German]
    barrage
    Down, hug the ground, close as you can, don't stand
    Creep and crawl, follow me, that's all
    What do you hear? Nothing near
    Don't fear, all is clear
    That's the life of a stroll
    When you take a patrol
    Out in No Man's Land
    Ain't it grand?
    Out in No Man's Land
    ---------

    And more on the site...
     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Raymond Collishaw
    World War I Fighter Ace

    Collishaw made some serious mistakes. Once while attempting to deliver a note from a mate to a local girl he crashed into a row of outhouses, covering himself in excrement and toilet paper and destroying the plane. The girl was not impressed.

    http://www.constable.ca/colishaw.htm

    Oooppsss....
     
  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Nivelle Offensive

    Robert Nivelle became a national hero when his troops that recaptured Douaumont and other forts at Verdun in October, 1916. Nivelle argued that by using his creeping barrage tactics he could end the war on the Western Front.

    Nivelle argued that a massive onslaught on German lines would bring victory in 48 hours.

    Launched in April 1917, the Nivelle offensive involved a million French soldiers on a broad front between Royle and Reims. At the 2nd Battle of the Aisne, the French Army had 40,000 casualties on the first day.

    The attacks on the German front-line continued throughout April and May. The Allied forces suffered 350,000 casualties and the French Army came close to mutiny. Robert Nivelle was sacked in May 1917.

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWnivelleO.htm
     
  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Leibstandarte was not always Hitler´s pride and joy...

    From Messenger´s Hitler´s gladiator

    "During the course of 1935 there were a number of complaints by the Reich Chancellery about the juvenile behaviour of the Leibstandarte guard, such as riding the lifts to pass the time, loud radios in the guard room and tearing off the clothes hooks outside Hitler´s offices..."
     
  19. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Submarine Massacre of 1915

    In September 1915, five British submarines successfully passed the Öresund strait into the Baltic Sea. These subs were then based in (allied) Russian naval ports until the Russian armistice and revolution in 1917. Their mission was to patrol the Baltic Sea and sink German ships, mainly shipments between Germany and neutral Sweden.

    The most spectacular success was had by the E-19 during October 10 - 11, 1915. This sub was built in 1914 and commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Francis Cromie. On October 10, E-19 was patrolling south of the Swedish island Öland and spotted a German cargo steamer. The crew was made to abandon the steamer, but E-19 failed to sink it, due to rough weather.

    The following morning, E-19 hailed the 75 m long German steamer S/S Walther Leonhardt, loaded with iron ore from Sweden. The crew was ordered to enter the life boat and approach the sub. Having examined the ship papers, commander Cromie had the steamer sunk by an explosive charge placed in the hold.

    Later that morning, E-19 spotted a new target, the German S/S Germania, also carrying iron ore from Sweden. Having witnessed the sinking, Germania tried to escape. The E-19 chased the steamer at full surface speed, 15 knots, while firing the deck gun. After an hour, the steamer ran aground near the Swedish coast. The submarine crew placed a dynamite charge in the ship, but failed to sink her. The steamer was later salvaged and repaired.

    At 1 PM, E-19 spotted another German ship, the 100 m long S/S Gutrune, from Hamburg-Südamerikanische Dampfschiffahrts-Gesellschaft. Cromie ordered the ship to stop, and inspected the ship papers. After the crew was safely in the lifeboat, the ship was sunk by opening the bottom valves and circulation pumps. The ship sank slowly, but E-19 had to hurry towards another ship that had been spotted. This time it was a Swedish freighter headed for Holland, so it was allowed to pass.

    Immediately afterwards, E19 stopped yet another German ship, the 80 m long S/S Director Reppenhagen, built in 1893, which was sunk in a similar manner.

    At 5.30 PM, E-19 spotted the 120 m long S/S Nicomedia, built in 1901. After a short chase the German steamer stopped. During the inspection, the German crew gave a barrel of beer to the boarding party. But of course it was war, so finally the steamer was sunk.

    On a single day the E-19 had sunk four ships and damaged one without using any torpedoes. Just a week later, British sub E-9 had a similar success off the Swedish east coast. The sinkings by E-19 were much later to be known as the "Submarine Massacre".

    ---------

    In 1982 S/S Nicomedia was discovered.During the summers of 1983-84 all the remaining wrecks were located.

    In 1999, some beer bottles from Nicomedia were recovered. Perhaps this was the same beer that was offered to E-19. The yeast in the bottles was still alive after all these years. It was re-cultivated by Slottskällans bryggeri, a Swedish brewery, in 2000 and is now sold as the "Wreck Beer".

    http://www.abc.se/~pa/uwa/sub-mass.htm
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    USSR: Not just the Army

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/RUSnkvd.htm

    The Soviet purges continued and with the murder of Leon Trotsky in 20th August, 1940, all the leading figures involved in the Russian Revolution were dead except for Joseph Stalin. Of the fifteen members of the original Bolshevik government, ten had been executed and four had died (sometimes in mysterious circumstances).

    Of the 1,966 delegates that attended the Communist Party Congress in 1934, 1,108 were arrested over the next five years. Only seventy people were tried in public. The rest were tried in secret before being executed. Official figures suggest that between January 1935 and June 1941, 19.8 million people were arrested by the NKVD. An estimated seven million of these prisoners were executed.
     

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