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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    761st Tank Battalion = African-American unit also known as "The Black Panthers", decades before the one in the '60s!

    332nd Fighter Group = African-American fighter pilots also famously known as the "Tuskagee Airmen" (which also included the 477th Bombardment group that never fought) and "Red Tails" because they painted the tails of their P-51 Mustangs a distinctively bright red. Initially they were equipped with P-40 Warhawks, P-39 Airacobras (the junk nobody wanted) and later upgraded to P-47 Thunderbolts and the Mustangs, version C, I think. George Lucas (of Star Wars fame) made a film about them called Red Tails in 2012.

    I would say also the 92nd Infantry (the "Buffalo Division") of African-Americans which fought in Italy (featured in the 2008 Spike Lee film The Miracle of St. Anna) and the 93rd Infantry of same which served in the Pacific, also had something to prove!



    I did not know that. I'll have to visit their graves on Memorial Day... if we're allowed to.
    The Tuskegee Airmen were exceptionally professional and highly trained fighter pilots under the strict command of Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Flying fighter escort missions from Northern Italy they became adept at protecting bombers from Luftwaffe interceptors to such an extent their red-tailed Mustangs were increasingly requested. Their gunnery was well above average and they excelled in the deflection shot pioneered in combat by George Beurling. They have the distinction of having shot down ME 262 jets over Berlin.

    There are only a small handful of Navajo Code Talkers still living. One is former tribal chairman, Peter MacDonald. The National Cemetery at Santa Fe is open to the public and some of the Code Talkers are there. I attended a funeral there, a year ago May, for a close friend of mine, a Viet Nam vet.
    "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

  2. #47
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    This video really makes it possible to understand the numbers and how they compare to each other (as it relates to those lost in WW2).

    It's quite well done.

    Before this video I had no idea just how many Soviets were lost in WW2. In fact I'd go so far as to say without them, would the rest of the world have had enough to stop Germany? (nuclear weapons aside)

    Last edited by dizzolve; 03-30-2020 at 10:57 AM.
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  3. #48
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    My favorite battle from WW2 was the Midway encounter. So much respect to those who were able to thwart what could have been a loss of the war and in fact turned it all around and created the beginning of the end of Japan's domination of the south pacific. Not only that but it changed the way Naval battles were fought from then on. It was the first time a naval battle was fought when the ships were not even in sight of each other.

    Here is another talented Youtube creator who gets into detail on the Midway encounter(he has a few other battles that he documents in other videos):

    What's interesting about this video is that it's told from the Japanese perspective

    Last edited by dizzolve; 03-30-2020 at 11:28 AM.
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  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbodog View Post
    Excellent! There are no "not cool" combat aircraft" that were involved in WWII.
    Although they had some excellent fighting machines, I'm not going to list any German or Japanese aircraft.
    American and British aircraft were superior, IMO.

    My list of favorites:

    Bombers
    B-17G Flying Fortress (USA)
    B-29 Super Fortress (USA)
    Lancaster (British)
    B-24J Liberator (USA)

    Fighters (For those who might not know, the P stands for "Pursuit", the F is for "Fighter")
    P-51 Mustang
    F4U Corsair
    Spitfire (British)
    P-47M Thunderbolt
    P-38J Lightning
    F6F-5 Hellcat
    Those are some of my favorite WWII aircraft, too.

    The Boeing B-17 was designed for precision daylight bombing missions, so it carried a lot of defensive firepower, thirteen Browning M2 .50 cal machine guns with plenty of ammo. Consequently, the bomb load was't as large as other bombers. In contrast, the Avro Lancaster was used for night area bombing missions and had much less defensive weaponry. It had about twice the bomb load of the Flying Fortress. There was a specially modified Lancaster for bombing the hydroelectric dams in the Ruhr Valley using a special "dam buster" bomb which was spun before being dropped, so it would skim across the water and drop into the dammed water side and break it.

    The Boeing B-29 Super Fortress program was more expensive than the Manhattan Project. It had a pressurized cabin, remote controlled turrets and was powered by four Wright R-3350-23 Duplex-Cyclone 18 cylinder turbosupercharged radial engines with four blade propellers.

    The Vought F4U Corsair was made famous by Greg Boyington and VMA-214, the "Black Sheep Squadron" in the South Pacific. I have a copy of Baa Baa Black Sheep autographed by Boyington.

    The Lockheed P-38 Lightning is my favorite USAAF fighter of WWII. It was flown by our leading ace, Richard Bong. Bong was a great pilot, but a bad shot. He used to pull up right behind an opponent and cut loose with the four .50 caliber machine guns and one 20 mm cannon mounted in the nose of the central nacelle.
    "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizzolve View Post
    My favorite battle from WW2 was the Midway encounter. So much respect to those who were able to thwart what could have been a loss of the war and in fact turned it all around and created the beginning of the end of Japan's domination of the south pacific. Not only that but it changed the way Naval battles were fought from then on. It was the first time a naval battle was fought when the ships were not even in sight of each other.

    Here is another talented Youtube creator who gets into detail on the Midway encounter(he has a few other battles that he documents in other videos):

    What's interesting about this video is that it's told from the Japanese perspective

    That was an awesome video presentation of Midway! It seemed to end a little early and didn't include Yamaguchi's counterattack from Hiryu and the loss of Yorktown, or the second strike led by Best which doomed Hiryu. Great presentation though.

    Midway 1942 ranks with just a handful of other sea battles as the most significant and pivotal in world history: Salamis 480 B.C.; Spanish Armada 1588: Trafalgar 1805. There are several other candidates for consideration: Actium 31 B.C.; Lepanto 1571: Tsushima 1905; Jutland 1916. Can anyone think of any others?
    "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

  6. #51
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    You should check out his Battle of the Coral Sea which is kind of a prequel to the things that led to Midway as I'm sure you know. Actually here's the link. I think he said he's going to do a Midway of the American perspective which is VERY interesting story with all the code breaking and ...code system of the US ...

    In a way these tactical documentaries aren't all that different from football X's and O's..........of course the stakes are much different

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  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbodog View Post
    It sure could take some punishment. It's called American engineering stepping up to the plate saying "really Germany" deal with this bad boy. What a beast. Several years ago the History Channel had a series named "Wings" and it had episodes of real dogfights with American WWII fighter pilots detailing their engagements with German fighters and Japanese fighters. The series had excellent computer simulations of the dog fights that really put you in the cockpit and allowed you to visualize aerial combat through the pilots eyes. Incredibly real life. I wish they would bring back the series. Superb!
    Pretty sure we're talking about the same thing, bud, but it was called "Dogfights" and aired on the History Channel from 2006-2008. Read about it here. The episode about P47s can be seen here. The Discovery Channel produced "Wings" starting in the late '80s with a number of iterations of it over a span of years. I have a few episodes of the first one called "Great Planes" on the P-38, P-51, P-47, F4F/F6F, and F4U that include rare footage of their design and development, testing and manufacture.I can send you the files if you want them. I also have Wings of the Luftwaffe Fighter Attack. Read about the series here.

    I have a similar story to share in regards to a German pilot being impressed with a banged up, crippled B-17 returning from a raid to Bremen, Germany. It's the story as written by Michael W. Wooten called "The Gallant Foe".

    On December 20, 1943, a German pilot, Oberleutnant L. Frans Stigler encountered a B-17F flown by 2nd Lt. Charles L. Brown on his first mission as a pilot and commander in the 8th Air Force's 379th bomb group. The bomber named 'Ye Olde Pub' had been severely damaged by both flack and subsequent fighter attack and barely able to maintain altitude, was limping back to England. Stigler, flying alone, approached the stricken Fortress and noted the unbelievable amount of damage that the B-17 had sustained. His curiosity brought him so close to the bomber that he could see some badly wounded crewmen aboard. In an uncommon act of chivalry, and at risk of a court marshall, he moved into position off the bomber's right wing and escorted the Fortress out over the North Sea, at which point he saluted the B-17's crew and returned to Germany.

    After a concerted effort to locate the German fighter pilot, former 2nd Lt. Charles L. Brown came face to face with his one time "gallant foe" during a reunion of 8th Air Force bomber crews in Miami, Florida in 1990. Since that time they have become close friends.

    There are a limited edition of 1,000 prints of this encounter with 25 artist proofs and each print has been signed by Oberleutnant Stigler and 2nd Lt. Brown and are suitable for framing.

    Amazing story!
    That's another great story -thanks for sharing!
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by samparnell View Post
    My Dad told me that when he was in England, he saw a P-47 coming back from a mission over France with a cylinder blown off the P&W R2800 radial engine. It was till flying, hiccoughing and sputtering, limping in, but man and machine made it home. The Thunderbolt packed a punch with eight .50 caliber machine guns mounted in the wings. That put it close to the Douglas A-26 Invader, a plane my Dad flew. for forward firepower.
    Well armed and armored, it was practically a flying brick and opposing fighters usually had the initiative but most of the time it could survive their first shot.

    The A-26 was a superb tactical bomber and should be on my list!
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by samparnell View Post
    The Tuskegee Airmen were exceptionally professional and highly trained fighter pilots under the strict command of Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Flying fighter escort missions from Northern Italy they became adept at protecting bombers from Luftwaffe interceptors to such an extent their red-tailed Mustangs were increasingly requested. Their gunnery was well above average and they excelled in the deflection shot pioneered in combat by George Beurling. They have the distinction of having shot down ME 262 jets over Berlin.

    There are only a small handful of Navajo Code Talkers still living. One is former tribal chairman, Peter MacDonald. The National Cemetery at Santa Fe is open to the public and some of the Code Talkers are there. I attended a funeral there, a year ago May, for a close friend of mine, a Viet Nam vet.
    The Tuskegee Airmen were one of if not the most incredible WWII chapters of the war. I believe that they didn't allow the loss of any bombers during their escort missions while flying P-51 Mustangs and that's why they were requested by bomber crews which called them "Little Friends." The 99th Pursuit Squadron (later, 99th Fighter Squadron) was the first black flying squadron, and the first to deploy overseas (to North Africa in April 1943, and later to Sicily and Italy). The 332nd Fighter Group, which originally included the 100th, 301st and 302nd Fighter Squadrons, was the first black flying group. It deployed to Italy in early 1944. In June 1944, the 332nd Fighter Group began flying heavy bomber escort missions and, in July 1944, with the addition of the 99th Fighter Squadron, it had four fighter squadrons.

    The 99th Fighter Squadron was initially equipped with Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter-bomber aircraft. The 332nd Fighter Group and its 100th, 301st and 302nd Fighter Squadrons were equipped for initial combat missions with Bell P-39 Airacobras (March 1944), later with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts (June–July 1944) and finally with the aircraft with which they became most commonly associated, the North American P-51 Mustang (July 1944). When the pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group painted the tails of their P-47s red, the nickname "Red Tails" was coined. The red markings that distinguished the Tuskegee Airmen included red bands on the noses of P-51s as well as a red rudder; the P-51B and D Mustangs flew with similar color schemes, with red propeller spinners, yellow wing bands and all-red tail surfaces.

    And one of the most incredible aspects of the Tuskegee Airmen story is they did there job under tremendous adversity and pressure due to horrible outrageous acts of racism. They didn't let it deter them, they raised their heads high and PROVED they had the guts and certainly the skills to get the job done and then some.

    We're losing WWII vets at a rapid rate and I've met many of them but never a Tuskegee Airmen and I would be honored to meet one of these fine, brave men and I would salute him and say, Thank you sir for your incredible service to this nation as a true American patriot. Job well done!
    They earned and deserve it.
    Utah Bronco Freak

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumiere View Post
    The Winter War is a fascinating case study...an incredible victory by vastly outnumbered Finnish troops against Stalin's "post purge" Red Army. Many believe this was a catalyst in Hitler's decision to launch Barbarossa, which would ultimately rewrite world history.
    It absolutely was, and William Shirer wrote as much in his seminal book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. It prompted his famous line to the generals when he first proposed Operation: Barbarossa to them:

    " We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down."

    Hitler suspected that Stalin's massive purge of most of the experienced military leadership (thousands of officers) would have adverse effects and the inept attack on Finland seemed to prove it. What Hitler didn't know was that the Soviets, led by Georgi Zhukov, beat the living crap out of the Japanese in Mongolia in 1939 at the Battle of Khalkin Ghol (Nomonhan to the Japanese). The Japanese kept that shameful defeat secret from everyone. The Soviets still had some competent leaders and troops --not a wholly "rotten structure".

    Zhukov would become Stalin's top general after hurling the Wehrmacht back from Moscow with fresh Siberian troops! And of course Hitler didn't know anything about their lousy dirt road network which turned into a muddy quagmire every Fall from continuous rainstorms (the Raspu****a) nor how brutal their Winters are even though Napoleon fell prey to the same friggin' thing! Hitler had even meditated at Napoleon's tomb after the Nazis took Paris in 1940! Whoops!

    He had his chance though, the Soviet frontier armies were indeed a rotten structure and he could have taken Moscow in September but he thoroughly bungled it. Thankfully.

    Glad your grandparents survived the war! Hang on to that Luger - what a keepsake!
    Thanks G, yeah I hope my Uncle wills me the Luger, not counting on it though!
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by samparnell View Post
    The C-47 Skytrain/Dakota was a Douglas DC 3 which needed few modifications to be a suitable military aircraft. Besides the interior being stripped of civilian passenger airliner seats and trim, it just needed a larger door for cargo in the port side, I believe. Saw some video of a jeep being loaded through the cargo door. Tight fit, but it went in. The DC 3/C-47 was such a well and strongly built aircraft. Some are still in use; the "Gooney Bird".

    I read an article sometime ago that said the key to the successful US war effort in WWII was: the C-47; the Deuce and a Half six-wheel drive truck; the army jeep; and the Liberty ship armed transport. I'm down with that assessment. Soldiers would probably include C-rations and K-rations.
    Yeah the background equipment, transport, excellent supply nets and logistics, for sure. Taking it one step further, I'd say all of our awesome factories and all the women who worked in them!

    I was inspired by these conversations to dig through my CBS Library of World War II with Walter Cronkite and there was a great episode there called "Burma Road and the Hump". It stated that C-46's and C-47's still flew supplies to China even after the Ledo Road was constructed and the air route could actually move more tonnage than what could be transported on the ground! In building the Road, they had to capture the Myitkyina airstrip so the cargo planes were out of danger from Japanese fighters and could take a shorter, flatter route over the forest.
    Last edited by L.M.; 03-30-2020 at 11:19 PM.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizzolve View Post
    My favorite battle from WW2 was the Midway encounter. So much respect to those who were able to thwart what could have been a loss of the war and in fact turned it all around and created the beginning of the end of Japan's domination of the south pacific. Not only that but it changed the way Naval battles were fought from then on. It was the first time a naval battle was fought when the ships were not even in sight of each other.
    That would actually be the Battle of the Coral Sea which preceded it by about a month.

    Did you see the recent Midway film that came out last Fall? It's available to rent or stream now and I recommend it!
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by samparnell View Post
    The Vought F4U Corsair was made famous by Greg Boyington and VMA-214, the "Black Sheep Squadron" in the South Pacific. I have a copy of Baa Baa Black Sheep autographed by Boyington.
    Boyington was also one of the original Flying Tigers! [I love them --and it's the only reason the P-40 makes my list.] It's pretty remarkable that he survived being shot down into the Pacific Ocean and the Japanese POW camp.

    The Lockheed P-38 Lightning is my favorite USAAF fighter of WWII. It was flown by our leading ace, Richard Bong. Bong was a great pilot, but a bad shot. He used to pull up right behind an opponent and cut loose with the four .50 caliber machine guns and one 20 mm cannon mounted in the nose of the central nacelle.
    He died testing the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star, the first jet fighter used by the USAAF.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    That would actually be the Battle of the Coral Sea which preceded it by about a month.

    Did you see the recent Midway film that came out last Fall? It's available to rent or stream now and I recommend it!
    Not technically. It(Coral Sea) was the first aircraft carrier based naval battle for all intents and purposes though. But the Midway battle ..........the Naval ships were never in sight of each other
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  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizzolve View Post
    Not technically. It(Coral Sea) was the first aircraft carrier based naval battle for all intents and purposes though. But the Midway battle ..........the Naval ships were never in sight of each other
    Neither were they at Coral Sea, dizz, trust me. Carrier groups like those at Coral Sea included accompanying destroyers and cruisers and they did not face off either. Coral Sea is well known for this, and cited with this distinction in most documentaries and books. As the wiki page states:
    "The battle is historically significant as the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which the opposing ships neither sighted nor fired directly upon one another."
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

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