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Where would YOU serve in WW2?

Discussion in 'What If - Other' started by Kai-Petri, Oct 13, 2002.

  1. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    But of course Kai-we beat the frogs there in time-but only just, we had to double back and flank them.
    Zell Am See is on my must see list... ;)
     
  2. Jet

    Jet Member

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    Given the choice I would fight with the British Royal Marines or the American Rangers. Both were brave, skilled and determined ;)
     
  3. Jumbo_Wilson

    Jumbo_Wilson Member

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    M Duval

    Versailles is often said to have led to the rise of Hitler. The occupation of the Rhineland and the killing of German workers by French troops didn't help things along either. French harshness was arguably as much to blame as appeasement - a policy which successive French governments supported after 1924 until 1935-36, contributing to the collapse of the little entente and their need to accomodate with Hitler after 1933.

    If the French were so anti-Hitler why was the cry of the French Right "Better Hitler than Blum?"

    Why did they refuse to help the Republicans in Spain?

    Why did so many Frenchmen support Petain? Including at the Velodrome St Hiver?

    Why did the majority of the 110,000 French troops we took off at Dunkirk choose to return to France under Petain rather than fight on under De Gaulle?

    Please don't try and whitewash France, it certainly won't wash with me!

    Jumbo
     
  4. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Jumbo to take some of your points...

    Yes are many reasons to look at the French in the way we do.

    Their harsh treatment of Germany in the inter war years, beatings of German citizens in French occupied areas etc...All went on, no one can deny..

    The country had lost any pretence at middle of the road politics by the start of ww2, there were not many middle ground views around, you were either Left or right wing. The socialists had seen to this with their policies in the inter war years.

    This permeated down to the defence industries as well as the rest, and to the soldiers that were to fight any war that was to come. Thats why I say the Battle of France was lost long before a shot was fired in anger at the Germans.

    But a few points you raise.

    The soldiers who returned to France after their evacuation from Dunkirk..

    France was still fighting after Dunkirk, many wanted to rejoin that fight, to some the evacuation was just a means of being moved back to the battle.

    We could envisage even what would have happened if Britain had been invaded, the fleet off to Canada or Carribean or other empire area...Certain troops overseas to carry on as the Free British... Do you honestly think that after a time or given the choice that Britians servicemen the majority maybe navy given the choice to fight on oversees for an unknown maybe endless period would have reacted any differently?

    Ho many would have opted to return home to an occupied land as did the French.

    There were enough better reds than dead in the cold war years of 70s and 80s in this country and in 1940 Britain had its own who would have collaborated and enforced a vichy Midlands, Scotland/Wales if asked. We were not as far down the road as the French politcally on its knees in the inter war years, but how can you be sure there would have not been a vichy setup in Britian, the whole country was not standing ready with pitchforks and US rifles ready to die and bleed with Winston at 10 Downing st.

    Britain had seen its Mosley blackshirts before during and after the war who would have had no qualms in the main with any such setup, and there were many politicians of the time that could have worked with a Nazi occupation force in good faith.

    Not all Frenchmen can be tainted with our present day views of the French at the time. Otherwise there would have not been a Free French, A certain man with a moustache, or a Maquis.

    The French fought well at Lille covering a Brtishi withdrawal, not for the British I know but for themselves. They refused to be evacuated and fought until they could fight no more.

    If we look at Frances failure we should also look at ourselves and the arguing of a British feild force for France that even up to the near start of World war 2 we were not committed to sending a force of more than 2 divisions to any Euorpean mainland war.

    The view across the channel in our direction must have been somewhat sceptical in those years too.
     
  5. SeaWolf_48

    SeaWolf_48 Member

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    I have read so much about the 82nd Airborne, inwhich my father served (504th), I'd probibly choose to jump into Normandy near Ste Mere Eglise on D-Day! Dad didn't jump until Nijmegen, but with so many great movies about D-Day, what the heck!

    [ 14. January 2003, 04:18 PM: Message edited by: SeaWolf_48 ]
     
  6. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    Seawolf, That's an interesting piece of info you let slip there! Your father was with 504 PIR in Nijmegen!?

    I live in Amsterdam and it was the 82nd that really got me into researching WW2 in the first place. I am fortunate to have met and corresponded with many 82nd veterans.

    Do you care to share something about your dad's experiences? Have you any idea what unit within the 504 he was in? Specially interested if he was part of the Waal river crossing....
     
  7. SeaWolf_48

    SeaWolf_48 Member

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    Stevin
    Thanks for your concern. My Dad never talked about the war unless I pulled it out of him. He was to young for D-Day but jumped into Nejmegen, fought in the battle of the bulge around St. Vith, and jumped in Operation Varsity over the Rhine. I asked him once if he ever killed any Germans, and he looked away and sheepishly said, "yes". He told me that he had many friends killed by the Wehrmache, but he also respected the German soldier very much (more than I do). He hated the snow after the Belgium winter and the Battle of the Bulge. I only know that it was the 504th, but I'm trying to find out which battlion, company, platoon.
     
  8. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    Thanks for that Seawolf. I appreciate it.

    Have you ever tried getting in touch with the 82nd Airborne associations? Will sent you an e-mail/PM. Maybe I might be able to help find things out, if you want to. Have quite some data on the 82nd.

    [ 15. January 2003, 05:23 PM: Message edited by: Stevin Oudshoorn ]
     
  9. Jumbo_Wilson

    Jumbo_Wilson Member

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    Urqh

    I agree with much of what you say, but be very careful about things like the French Resistance, which is far more myth than reality. My main beef with the French is not their 1940 collapse but their postwar efforts to cover up the crimes of Vichy and downgrade the numbers of people who supported it. Think of all the crimes committed, the rabid anti-semitism and political corruption.
    I know that a lot of French units fought well, particularly the Division around Dunkirk which was led by a real fire-eater (whose name escapes me).

    However, the opinion that France was wise and knew what was coming, that we should have kept the Germans downtrodden and that the foresight of France was nullified by perfidious Albion is a little irritating.

    Jumbo
     
  10. Brad T.

    Brad T. Member

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    I have 2 choises:

    #1. 1st RCAF fighter squadron. Be the first RCAF division to reach Europe, fight in the Battle of Britain, bomb Germany, fight on Juno Beach from above, then fight tell the end of the war. And fly the Hawker Huricane and the XII Spitfire.

    #2. Canadian 1st army, 2nd division, 5th brigade, 1st battalion: Calgary Highlanders, be in Britain in 1940, then fight in possibly Dieppe (although that was more of a slaughtering fest) then fight from Juno Beach through Holland and across the Rhine.
     
  11. Timothy

    Timothy Member

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    I would definatly serve in the Mighty 8th Air Force. Flying a P-51D, escorting B-17's and B-24's.
     
  12. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    which fighter group and why ? I'm curious.......how about the 9ths 354th fg the top scoring fighter group in the ETO !

    ~E
     
  13. wilconqr

    wilconqr Member

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    I can not help but find this fanticizing war/combat rather "unsettling." It was, without a doubt, an obligation of patriotism to have "signed up" durring WW2. BUT, with any luck, we can live out the rest of our lives without having to face such another horrible world conflict.
     
  14. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Just to come up with some facts about the 21. Panzerdivision:

    Created in action on August 1st 1941 from 5. Leichtedivision plus 5. Panzerregiment and other elements from 3. Panzerdivision. In battle in North Africa since February 1941 as part of the German Afrika Korps against Commonwealth troops(1941-1942). Stronly damaged at Alam Halfa and El Alamein (July-November 1942). It covered the withdraw of the Axis Forces to Libya and Tunisia and was practically annihilated. The division surrendered at Tunisia in May 1943.

    It was reformed in France in July 1943 and had occupation duties until June 1944 when was heavily engaged fighting around Caën in Normandy. Then it withdrew fighting to Germany, fighting at the Sarre and Northern Alsace. It was then refited and reequipped. On February 1945 it started fighting at the Eastern Front defending Lauban, Görtlitz and Cottbus. Annihilated by the Soviets on April.

    Units in 1942:

    5. Panzerregiment
    47. Panzergrenadierregiment
    104. Panzergrenadierregiment
    155. Panzerartillerieregiment


    Units in 1944:

    22. Panzerregiment
    125. Panzergrenadierregiment
    192. Panzergrenadierregiment
    155. Panzerartillerieregiment

    Its commanders:

    Generalleutnant Karl Böttcher (1 Aug 1941 - 20 May 1941)
    Generalleutnant Johann von Ravenstein (20 May 1941 - 29 Nov 1941)
    Oberstleutnant Gustav-Georg Knabe (29 Nov 1941 - 1 Dec 1941)
    Generalleutnant Karl Böttcher (1 Dec 1941 - 11 Feb 1942)
    Generalleutnant Georg von Bismarck (11 Feb 1942 - 21 July 1942)
    Oberst Alfred Bruer (21 July 1942 - ? Aug 1942)
    Generalleutnant Georg von Bismarck (? Aug 1942 - 1 Sep 1942)
    Generalleutnant Carl-Hans Lungershausen (1 Sep 1942 - 18 Sep 1942)
    Generalleutnant Heinz von Randow (18 Sep 1942 - 21 Dec 1942)
    Generalleutnant Hans-Georg Hildebrandt (1 Jan 1943 - 15 Mar 1943)
    Generalmajor Heinrich-Hermann von Hülsen (15 Mar 1943 - 15 May 1943)
    Generalleutnant Edgar Feuchtinger (15 May 1943 - 15 Jan 1944)
    Generalmajor Oswin Grolig (15 Jan 1944 - 8 Mar 1944)
    Generalleutnant Franz Westhoven (8 Mar 1944 - 8 May 1944)
    Generalleutnant Edgar Feuchtinger (8 May 1944 - 25 Jan 1945)
    Oberst Helmut Zollenkopf (25 Jan 1945 - 12 Feb 1945)
    Generalleutnant Werner Marcks (12 Feb 1945 - ? Apr 1945)
     
  15. ww2buff

    ww2buff Member

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    Panzerknacker, you took that whole thing out of Band of Brothers. But, then again, who WOULDN'T wanna be a part of one of the most famous companies in the entire 101st? me, I would sign up with the 7th Light Calvary, or maybe the 3rd Mechanized Division(Patton's). Either way, I would be one lean, mean, fighting machine! :D
     
  16. Nathan S.

    Nathan S. Member

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    I would love to be flying an F4U Corsair against Japan.

    (or a Mustang would be just fine too)

    If I wasnt' flying, I'd like to be an American or British commando.
     
  17. wilconqr

    wilconqr Member

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    Although chances of survival would have been greater in air-to-air combat in the PTO than in the ETO I myself would still rather have taken my chances over Europe instead of having to fear being shot down in the SHARK infested waters of the Pacific! :eek:
     
  18. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    so U don't mind getting poked or hacked by angry German civilians with farm tools eh ? Death is death in my book.....

    ~
     
  19. wilconqr

    wilconqr Member

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    Certainly would mind it! But I'd rather have taken my chances with the Volk than the sharks!!! :D :D :D
     
  20. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    hmmmmmmmm I wonder friend. I can tell U if you would of been captured by 9/10th's of the German populace in late 44 till war's end U would probably lose an eye or part of your hand or be stabbed to death. Obvioulsy the best bet would have been immediate capture by the Luftwaffe otherwise it could have been real fun under Gestapo hands.......no thanks to either one personally

    ~E
     

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