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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by samparnell View Post
    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?
    Cape Ecnomus, 256 BC, Battle of the Masts, AD 654

    The Battle of the Philippine Sea June 1944. The largest aircraft carrier battle in history, involving fifteen U.S. fleet and light carriers, nine Japanese carriers, 170 other warships and some 1,700 aircraft. In terms of displacement, the U.S. Fifth Fleet's Task Force 58 is the largest single naval formation ever to give battle.

    Leyte Gulf, October 1944. The largest in terms of displacement of ships in the combined orders of battle, if not necessarily in terms of displacement of the ships engaged; it is also the largest in terms of the displacement of ships sunk, and in terms of the size of the area within which the component battles took place. The United States Third and Seventh Fleets, including some Australian warships, comprised 8 large aircraft carriers, 8 light carriers, 18 escort carriers, 12 battleships, 24 cruisers, 141 destroyers and destroyer escorts, many other ships, and around 1,500 aircraft. They won a decisive victory over Japanese forces, which consisted of 1 large aircraft carrier, 3 light carriers, nine battleships, 19 cruisers, 34 destroyers and several hundred aircraft. The opposing fleets carried a total of about 200,000 personnel. Leyte Gulf consisted of four major subsidiary battles: Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, Battle of Surigao Strait, Battle off Samar and Battle off Cape Engaño, along with other actions. These are counted together by virtue of their all being caused by the Japanese operation Sho-Go, which was aimed at destroying the Allied amphibious forces involved in the invasion of Leyte.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilSpawn View Post
    My grandfather would spoil me about his time in Japan, being on the front lines and the close calls. I was too young to remember the specific details of the battles he was in but I do remember that he was at Iwo Jima and I think he was at Okinawa, but I'm not sure about that. I remember Iwo Jima because he would tell me stories during the movie whenever we watched it (he was a huge John Wayne fan). Gramps was in Japan until the end of the war.
    If he was in the Army or Marines he couldn't have been at both Iwo Jima and Okinawa. If he was in the Navy, the U.S. 5th Fleet was present at both.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    Canadians should be proud! When Britain went to war against Germany, all of the Commonwealth nations followed suit and contributed, Canada to a very large degree! They had one of the five beaches in the Normandy invasion and fought in Italy as well.

    Canada produced a fantastic military documentary series about ten years ago called Greatest Tank Battles which of course included tons of stories by Canadian tankers who fought in Europe and set to computer graphics recreations. I love it! Did you know that Canada produced Sherman tanks? That model was known as the Sherman Grizzly (of course, what else what they be called) and an interesting anti-aircraft variant of that was also produced, known as the Skink:


    Main 75 mm gun replaced with quad 20mm AA guns.
    Like you, I've watched many of the episodes of "Greatest Tank Battles"....excellent series!

    I ran across this interesting "tank" trivia yesterday:

    Term: Tank

    Meaning: An armored, heavily armed military vehicle that moves on tracks.

    Origin: During World War I, the British military started working on a new specialized combat vehicle. The project was so top secret that workers who were making the vehicles didn't even know what they were. The government told them that they would be used to carry water during desert operations. The workers called them "water-carriers"....until someone pointed out that the name could be abbreviated to"WC" meaning "water-closet" or "toilet." So they started calling them "water tanks," and then "tanks".

    Tanks made their combat debut at the "Battle of the Somme" in Northern France in September 1916.
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    Cape Ecnomus, 256 BC, Battle of the Masts, AD 654

    The Battle of the Philippine Sea June 1944. The largest aircraft carrier battle in history, involving fifteen U.S. fleet and light carriers, nine Japanese carriers, 170 other warships and some 1,700 aircraft. In terms of displacement, the U.S. Fifth Fleet's Task Force 58 is the largest single naval formation ever to give battle.

    Leyte Gulf, October 1944. The largest in terms of displacement of ships in the combined orders of battle, if not necessarily in terms of displacement of the ships engaged; it is also the largest in terms of the displacement of ships sunk, and in terms of the size of the area within which the component battles took place. The United States Third and Seventh Fleets, including some Australian warships, comprised 8 large aircraft carriers, 8 light carriers, 18 escort carriers, 12 battleships, 24 cruisers, 141 destroyers and destroyer escorts, many other ships, and around 1,500 aircraft. They won a decisive victory over Japanese forces, which consisted of 1 large aircraft carrier, 3 light carriers, nine battleships, 19 cruisers, 34 destroyers and several hundred aircraft. The opposing fleets carried a total of about 200,000 personnel. Leyte Gulf consisted of four major subsidiary battles: Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, Battle of Surigao Strait, Battle off Samar and Battle off Cape Engaño, along with other actions. These are counted together by virtue of their all being caused by the Japanese operation Sho-Go, which was aimed at destroying the Allied amphibious forces involved in the invasion of Leyte.
    Those are good ones to add to the list: First Punic War; Byzantine Empire fighting for survival; and, the two biggest naval battles of WWII.
    "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    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."
    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    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."
    Well, I'll take your word for it I wasn't there. (press play at this link) I only base what I wrote on the documentaries that I watch. In fact the one that I cited was Battlefield: Midway. And in that documentary it says basically the same thing you quoted.

    By the way talk about a great documentary. It's a bit dated but these Battlefield documentaries are superb. I've downloaded them all.

    maybe the keyword difference was 'first major feat encounter'
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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizzolve View Post
    Well, I'll take your word for it I wasn't there. (press play at this link) I only base what I wrote on the documentaries that I watch. In fact the one that I cited was Battlefield: Midway. And in that documentary it says basically the same thing you quoted.

    By the way talk about a great documentary. It's a bit dated but these Battlefield documentaries are superb. I've downloaded them all.
    I wasn't there either, but what actually occurred is well-documented and beyond dispute.
    Check out this classic documentary series Crusade in the Pacific Part 6: The Navy Holds - 1942 here to see a brief summary of the Coral Sea battle which starts at 13:38. At 18:40, in the course of comparing casualties, the narrator notes that this was a new type of naval warfare and all of the damage inflicted by both sides happened by carrier planes only, not surface ships.

    I like the Battlefield series too and I've rewatched the episodes many times, certain ones probably ten times each. It was a valuable resource to me when I developed scenarios for the Panzer General, Allied General and Pacific General games.

    The problem with Battlefield is that it was poorly edited and proofed and there are a host of different kinds of mistakes throughout the series. I've caught errors with their maps (sometimes the entirely wrong map was shown), numerous erroneous statements about equipment, and other factual errors and omissions. One shouldn't automatically take their "facts" to the bank and they should be double-checked. But that said, these issues are not enough to throw the baby out with the bathwater; the series still offers a wealth of information.with rare footage that can't be seen anywhere else in an enjoyable format and presentation. For example it's hard to find a documentary on the Battle of Manchuria (the Soviet invasion of it in 1945) but Battlefield included that.
    Last edited by L.M.; 03-31-2020 at 10:35 AM.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  7. #67
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    This is such an interesting thread. I know very little about WWII. Many times when I have looked at that time in history, I was reading up on the Holocaust. I had a friend when I was much younger, early twenties, he was an elderly man who survived the holocaust. He was Polish. He very rarely spoke about it and when he did he was typically crying. So I never ask much about it but have always had an interest in that time. I follow Auschwitz Memorial @AuschwitzMuseum on twitter, and it always has that constant reminder of those who are more than a name, but puts the face with a story to each name. I know the Holocaust is a small part of WWII, but can appreciate this thread and the extensive history that is involved.

    Aside from the very basic aspects of WWII, I know very little and could learn a lot from the posts on this thread.

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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    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.

    Thanks G, yeah I hope my Uncle wills me the Luger, not counting on it though!
    Yes, sir. Thank goodness Hitler completely squandered the opportunity to conscript disenfranchised Ukrainians into the German armed forces. That alone could have tilted the war in favor of Germany in the run up to Moscow in 1941.

    The story of Richard Sorge and his espionage work for the Soviets and spy network in Japan is a fascinating story (just like practically everything else in WWII). When Stalin realized that the Japanese would not launch a preemptive invasion, it freed up some 18 divisions of Siberian reserves...perfectly trained and suited to defend Moscow in winter conditions.

    It's interesting...had the Japanese at least "feigned" the possibility of an invasion, that perhaps too, could have doomed Russia. So much on the turn of one card.
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sophia23 View Post
    This is such an interesting thread. I know very little about WWII. Many times when I have looked at that time in history, I was reading up on the Holocaust. I had a friend when I was much younger, early twenties, he was an elderly man who survived the holocaust. He was Polish. He very rarely spoke about it and when he did he was typically crying. So I never ask much about it but have always had an interest in that time. I follow Auschwitz Memorial @AuschwitzMuseum on twitter, and it always has that constant reminder of those who are more than a name, but puts the face with a story to each name. I know the Holocaust is a small part of WWII, but can appreciate this thread and the extensive history that is involved.

    Aside from the very basic aspects of WWII, I know very little and could learn a lot from the posts on this thread.
    The Holocaust is such an agonizing chapter of history. The fact that you knew and were friends with an actual Holocaust survivor is extremely special...like you said, it transforms a name or a statistic into an actual human being.

    The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles has an incredibly powerful Holocaust exhibit. Years ago, my sister and I went and met a Lithuanian Holocaust survivor...his story just broke everyone in the room, and moved everyone to tears.
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    If he was in the Army or Marines he couldn't have been at both Iwo Jima and Okinawa. If he was in the Navy, the U.S. 5th Fleet was present at both.
    He was in the Navy. I'll ask my cousins if they remember any stories about Okinawa. When my grandmother passed years ago, we found a box that contained his personal records that date back years so maybe there are clues in there. I kept his coin collection that dated back to the late 1800s.

  11. #71
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    My paternal grandfather enlisted in Colorado, he was assigned to the 112th infantry, 28th infantry division, called the bloody bucket by the Germans

    He left his wife, and four children to serve a country he was born into as a non citizen because he was a Native American. He entered the European theater in July 1944, fought his way across France and ultimately was Killed in action at the battle of the bulge on Dec 19th 1944

    My dad was three years old when his dad was KIA

    My grandmother also lost her brother from his service in the war as a scout

    She stated he was a forward scout and I would have to look at his headstone to see what division, but she stated he was cut off by the Germans and had to hide in the Rhine river for hours
    He contacted tuberculosis in Europe and was sent home and later died

  12. #72
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    One aspect that never gets touched on

    After my grandfathers death my grandmother eventually married another man, who served in the navy on a submarine

    His family were originally from Syria and had came to America a couple generations before

    He would get liquored up occasionally and one time he started telling me how it was on those subs, he said at first you lived in fear specially when the Japanese were dropping depth charges, but he said you grew numb to it, as if whether you lived or died didn’t matter

    But he stated at certain times after battles they would be allowed to go to land under some sort of force???

    But he said what sickened him was American soldiers knocking and cutting out the gold teeth of dead Japanese soldiers, sometimes they weren’t dead, but he said some would cut parts off as souvenirs

    He said that was something that stuck with him
    when do native Americans become human and not mascots

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilSpawn View Post
    He was in the Navy. I'll ask my cousins if they remember any stories about Okinawa. When my grandmother passed years ago, we found a box that contained his personal records that date back years so maybe there are clues in there. I kept his coin collection that dated back to the late 1800s.
    Well if he was on a ship at Okinawa then he observed or experienced hundreds of kamikaze attacks for sure! It would be good to know what ship he was on and what his job was.
    And if he was the collector type, then surely he would have brought some souvenirs home from the war?
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumiere View Post
    The Holocaust is such an agonizing chapter of history. The fact that you knew and were friends with an actual Holocaust survivor is extremely special...like you said, it transforms a name or a statistic into an actual human being.

    The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles has an incredibly powerful Holocaust exhibit. Years ago, my sister and I went and met a Lithuanian Holocaust survivor...his story just broke everyone in the room, and moved everyone to tears.
    I have never been, but the museum would be something I could appreciate. It is amazing to me that some of the people who have lived the hardest lives are the most interesting and you never hear a complaint out of them, but they make you want to understand or know more. I can only imagine what his story was.

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  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by arapaho View Post
    My paternal grandfather enlisted in Colorado, he was assigned to the 112th infantry, 28th infantry division, called the bloody bucket by the Germans
    Because of the insignia for the 28th:


    And during the fierce battles in the Hürtgen Forest, those troops were coming back out in "bloody buckets"! Massive casualties in a failed offensive. There's a dark film set in that battle called When Trumpets Fade (1998).

    He left his wife, and four children to serve a country he was born into as a non citizen because he was a Native American. He entered the European theater in July 1944, fought his way across France and ultimately was Killed in action at the battle of the bulge on Dec 19th 1944

    My dad was three years old when his dad was KIA

    My grandmother also lost her brother from his service in the war as a scout

    She stated he was a forward scout and I would have to look at his headstone to see what division, but she stated he was cut off by the Germans and had to hide in the Rhine river for hours
    He contacted tuberculosis in Europe and was sent home and later died
    Very interesting, Rap, thanks for sharing. Very tragic losses and I appreciate their sacrifice -we all should.
    Last edited by L.M.; 04-01-2020 at 06:45 PM.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

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