Two Australians, Private Leon Ravet of Parramatta, NSW (left), and Pte Bernard Kentwell of Cronulla, NSW, on the alert while on patrol duty with their Owen sub machine guns, New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Photo taken on April 4th, 1945. ________________________________________________________ The last obstacle in liberating all of New Guinea island was the Vogelkop Peninsula in Dutch New Guinea. The Japanese resistance on the peninsula gathered at Manokwari, and MacArthur did not wish to contest with this force. Instead, his "hit 'em where they ain't" strategy took the Allied forces to a number of undefended beaches near Cape Opmaria and Sansapor. Like Rabaul, the 25,000 men at Manokwari were now stranded, frustratingly idling uselessly.
In Sept 1944, Allied troops occupied the Halmahera Islands, concluding the New Guinea Campaign. MacArthur was now only several hundred miles from the Philippines. In his memoir, MacArthur attributed to the Allied victory over New Guinea to mobility and the ability to achieve surprise at key confrontations. Additionally, he also insisted that his refusal to deploy military governors over conquered regions helped his command focus on the task at hand. Instead, he brought in Dutch and Australian civil administrators immediately after the area had been deemed secure. "The success of this method was reflected in the complete lack of friction between the various governments concerned", he noted.
Although Allied attention would move toward the Philippine Islands by this time, small pockets of Japanese resistance would continue to fight until late May 1945. ________________________________________________
Stanisław Franciszek Sosabowski CBE (May 8th, 1892 – Sept 25th, 1967) was a Polish general in #WW2 . He fought in the Battle of Arnhem (Netherlands) in 1944 as commander of the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade. ________________________________________________________ The Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade was among the Allied forces taking part in Operation Market Garden. Due to a shortage of transport aircraft, the brigade was split into several parts before being dropped into the battle. A small part of the brigade with Sosabowski was parachuted near Driel on Sept 19th, but the rest of the brigade arrived only on Sept 21st at the distant town of Grave, falling directly on the waiting guns of the Germans camped in the area. The brigade's artillery was dropped with the British 1st Airborne Division, commanded by Major-General Roy Urquhart, while the howitzers were to arrive by sea, which prevented the brigade from being deployed effectively. Three times Sosabowski attempted to cross the Rhine to come the assistance of the surrounded 1st Airborne Division. Unfortunately, the ferry they hoped to use had been sunk and the Poles attempted the river crossing in small rubber boats came under heavy fire. Even so, at least 200 men made it across the river and reinforced the embattled British paratroopers. Despite the difficult situation, at a staff meeting on Sept 24th, Sosabowski suggested that the battle could still be won. He proposed that the combined forces of XXX Corps, under Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks, and the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade should start an all-out assault on the German positions and try to break through the Rhine. This plan was not accepted, and during the last phase of the battle, on Sept 25th-26th, Sosabowski led his men southwards, shielding the retreat of the remnants of the 1st Airborne Division. Casualties among the Polish units were high, approaching 40%, and were at least in part, the result of Lieutenant-General Browning's decision to drop the paratroops just 7 kilometres from the bridge at Arnhem. After the battle, on Oct 5th, 1944, Sosabowski received a letter from.. #wwii#worldwar2#general#war CONT⬇️⬇️⬇️
The photo above shows an MG.34 team of the motorized brigade SS “Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler” at Mariupol, Ukraine. October 1941. ________________________________________________________ The 1st SS Panzer Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler", short LSSAH, began as Adolf Hitler's personal bodyguard, responsible for guarding the Führer's person, offices, and residences. They were formed on March 17th, 1933 as SS-Stabswache Berlin by Josef "Sepp" Dietrich. Initially the size of a regiment, the LSSAH eventually grew into a division-sized unit during WW2. ________________________________________________________ The LSSAH participated in combat during the invasion of Poland, and was amalgamated into the Waffen-SS together with the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) and the combat units of the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV) prior to Operation Barbarossa in 1941. By mid-1942 it had been increased in size from a regiment to a Panzergrenadier division and was designated SS Panzergrenadier Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler". It received its final form as a Panzer division in October 1943. ________________________________________________________ Part of the LSSAH ended its days fighting in Berlin. On April 23rd, 1945, Hitler appointed Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke the commander for the central government district (Zitadelle sector) that included the Reich Chancellery and Führerbunker. He formed Kampfgruppe Mohnke which was divided into two weak regiments made up of approximately 2,000 men. The core group of his fighting men were the 800 of the Leibstandarte Guard Battalion (assigned to guard the Führer). After Hitler's supposed suicide, Mohnke left the Führerbunker and led the first of ten main groups and attempted to head northwest towards Mecklenburg. Several very small groups managed to reach the Americans at the Elbe’s west bank, but most, including Mohnke’s group, could not get through the Soviet lines. Many were taken prisoner and some committed suicide. After Vienna was captured, the bulk of the LSSAH division surrendered to US forces in the Steyr area on May 8th, 1945. The men of the LSSAH who made it west were marched off to different POW camps. #ww2
Did you know? #fuehrersfunfactfriday ________________________________________________________ A Royal Air Force Sergeant named Nicholas Alkemade, who was a rear gunner in Royal Air Force Avro Lancaster heavy bombers during WW2, fell 18,000 feet without a parachute. His fall was broken by pine trees and a soft snow cover on the ground and he survived with only a sprained leg. Here is his story ________________________________________________________ RAF gunner Sergeant Nicholas Alkemade was sitting in the tail-end of a Lancaster bomber when a German fighter plane opened fire. His plane, 'Werewolf', began to go down in flames and the pilot addressed the crew over the crackly intercom. "Jump," was the order. Sgt Alkemade, who was 21 at the time, scrambled for his parachute only to find it had been destroyed by fire. He stood in the plane, flames licking his flight suit, and in the chaos was forced to make an unenviable decision. "I had no doubts at all that this was the end of the line," he said years later. "The question was whether to stay in the plane and fry or jump to my death. "I decided to jump and make a quick, clean end of things. I backed out of the turret and somersaulted away." As he fell 18,000 ft to the ground he blacked out. Some time later, he woke up in a snow drift, laying beneath a fir tree, which had cushioned his fall. To his disbelief, he was alive. He lay there in the snow, blowing his emergency whistle, unaware that a German patrol was quickly making its way towards the sound. Nicholas was about to be captured and taken to one of WW2's most notorious prisoner of war camps. Stalag Luft III, in the German province of Lower Silesia, near the town of Sagan (now Zagan, in Poland), was a secure enclosure operated by the Germans and housed captured Allied airmen. Nicholas' fall to earth occurred on March 24th, 1944, the same night that 76 men tunneled their way to freedom. He arrived at the camp about a week later after first being thrown into solitary confinement and accused of being a spy. He would spend the next 14 months as a prisoner of war there. Sergeant Nicholas Alkemade survived left Stalag Luft III, in May, 1945.
Stolen art recaptured in Austria by the 44th Infantry Division 1945. ________________________________________________________ The 44th Infantry Division was a division of the United States Army National Guard from October 1920 to November 1945. ________________________________________________________ The division was en route to New Jersey on December 7th, 1941, returning to Fort Dix when news was heard of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. A regimental combat team, based on the 113th Infantry, was immediately detached from the division and attached to the Eastern Defense Command to provide ground forces for the defense of the East Coast from New York to Philadelphia. Shortly afterwords, the remainder of the division moved to Camp Claiborne, LA, where the 44th Division was reorganized and redesignated, the 44th Infantry Division on February 16th, 1942. The division was then sent to Fort Lewis Washington, where it participated in defense of the West Coast under the Western Defense Command for the remainder of 1942. In February 1943, the 44th Infantry Division, much reduced through the loss of personnel and units entered a period of rebuilding and training. After completing the "D-Series", division-level training, the 44th was sent to participate in the multi-division Fourth Army #6 Louisiana Maneuvers, February 7th - April 3rd, 1944. The division then moved to Camp Phillips, KS for its final pre-deployment preparations. The division moved by railroad to Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts, arriving on August 24th-27th, 1944; departing the United States via the Boston Port of Embarkation on September 5th, 1944. #ww2#wwii#war CONTINUED ⬇️⬇️
⚠️NON-POLITICAL POST⚠️ The 12th SS Panzer Division ________________________________________________________ The 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend was the 12th German Waffen SS armored division, which fought during the last phase of #WW2 . The majority of its enlisted men in the Hitlerjugend Division were very young men, teenagers, drawn from members of the Hitler Youth born in 1926. The division first saw action on June 7th, 1944, as part of the German defense of the Caen area during the Normandy campaign. As the German Military was having a serious shortage of manpower after the surrender of the 6th Army at Stalingrad in February 1943, plans were put forth to create a 12th division in the Waffen-SS. Unlike some other divisions which were made up of foreign volunteers, this division would be created using the all German members of the Hitler Youth. In September 1943, over 16,000 recruits had completed their basic training and were listed on the rosters of the SS Panzergrenadier Division Hitlerjugend. When the division was further training continued in Beverloo, Belgium, it was notified that it was to be formed as a panzer rather than a panzergrenadier unit. In October 1943 the division received its final designation, 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend. Many of the recruits were so young that they were supplied with sweets and candies instead of the standard tobacco and alcohol ration. In April 1944 the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend moved into its reserve area northwest of Paris and was declared fully operational. On D-Day, June 6th, 1944 it was ordered to operate on the left flank of the 21st Panzer Division and throw the enemy west of the Orne into the sea and destroy him. When the Allies took the Normandy beaches and its surrounding areas, the SS Division Hitlerjugend, which consisted of 20,540 men, marched into the area to the north and west of the city of Caen. The British and Canadian troops had been ordered to capture Caen within 24 hours of the D-Day landings. On the morning of June 7th the Hitlerjugend Division attacked and delivered many stinging defeats to the allies on that first day of battle. CONT⬇️⬇️⬇️
Top Weird Experimental Weapons Built by the Germans during WW2
Part 4 of 5 - Rocket U-boats
______________________________________________________ The idea of the rocket U-boat was conceived as early as 1941, at Germany’s top secret rocket research center, Peenemunde. This led to some trials in the summer of 1942 whereby rocket launchers were mounted on the deck U-511, a Type IXC. The Schweres Wurfgerat 41 rocket launcher carried six 30cm Wurfkorper Spreng 42 rockets mounted on the upper deck. The tests were successful, enabling the U-boat to launch rockets both on the surface and when submerged up to a depth of 12 meters (40ft). Donitz expressed interest in the idea as an anti-escort weapon, but further development was hampered by the lack of a suitable guidance system capable of targeting surface ships. In the event, Peenemunde was stretched thin developing the V-1 rocket, and could not devote any time for this project. The rocket launcher also degraded the boat’s underwater performance and the idea was not pursued further. In July 1943, the idea was again resurrected after Germany had successfully developed the V-1 rocket. The Vergeltungswaffen 1 was an unmanned flying bomb, powered by a pulse-jet with a range of 148 miles (238km). It was designed to be launched from a land installation but the idea of using U-boats as a launch platform was proposed. The notion was to provide the weapon with mobility, where it could strike almost any city in the world. The V-1 however was a Luftwaffe weapon and the idea was again rejected. When the V-2 was developed in 1943, the idea of the rocket U-boat was again brought up. This time the viability was taken seriously, but it was not until late 1944 that Peenemunde was able to allocate any resources to it. Codenamed Project “Prufstand XII”, this time the target was New York. The large size of the V-2 meant that it would not fit into the hull of a U-boat. Instead, the plan called for the V-2 to be mounted inside a large watertight cylindrical container, and was to be towed across the Atlantic. Upon reaching its launching position, the V-2 would be fueled, its guidance system set, and launched at New York. #fopseries#ww2 ⬇⬇️
Prisoners of the infamous concentration camp (Konzentrationslager [short: KZ]) Auschwitz Birkenau having a little meal.
This is the real face of the national socialists, the holocaust. One of the most terrible things ever happened in human history. Over 6 million Jewish people died during this terrible systematic murdering. Mostly the Jewish population of Nazi-Germany got imprisoned and murdered, but also Prisoners of War and political enemies of the National Socialists. This topic still shows deep scars in the history and politics of Germany today. The holocaust started immediately after the Nazis got power in Germany, 1933, and Auschwitz-Birkenau is probably the most well known concentration camp, known for it massive mass murderers and extreme crimes, and most importantly, the biggest gas chamber system of the whole holocaust. Over 1.1 Million people lost their lifes in Auschwitz. 90% of the prisoners were Jewish, coming from all occupied territory during the second world war, especially from Poland. The prisoners got with a train transported into the KZ, this process was called "Deportation". Not only jews and POWs got deported to Auschwitz, also politicians, artists, actors, musicians, athletes and many other people got prisoners of the hell itself. .
Auschwitz got liberated by the Red Army in January 1945. .
Let such a terrible crime on humans never happen again! And lets take a minute to think about the victims of the National Socialism. 🙏🏻
The Mauser Kar98k Rifle ________________________________________________________ The Karabiner 98 Kurz bolt-action rifles, also known as Kar98k or K98k, became the standard German infantry rifles in 1935. Although the name of these rifles contained the word carbine, they were in fact rifles. They were considered bulky and heavy compared to contemporary rifles, while the bolt-action might mean a slower firing rate; however, German soldiers reported that these rifles were preferred for their high accuracy. This notion changed later in the European War as they became overpowered by semi-automatic weapons wielded by Russian and American troops. Most snipers of the German Army were equipped with the sniper rifle versions of this design, which were equipped with Zeiss Zielvier 4x (ZF39), Zeiss Zielsechs 6x (ZF42), Ajack 4x, Hensoldt Dialytan 4x, or Kahles Heliavier 4x telescopic sights. In late 1944, the Kriegsmodell variant was introduced with simplified design to increase production; these rifles lacked the bayonet lug, cleaning rod, stock stick, and other features found in the prior Kar98k rifles. Between 1935 and 1945, about 14,600,000 Kar98k rifles of all variants were built; 132,000 of which were sniper rifles. During the war, Russian and other Soviet troops captured several million Karabiner 98k Kurz rifles of all variants. They were initially stored away in warehouses and factories in preparation for the potential escalation of the Cold War, but eventually they were shipped to communist revolutionary groups around the world, such as in the case of the communist forces during the Vietnam War. Some of the formerly occupied nations such as Norway and Romania also captured large stocks of Kar98k rifles as Germany surrendered in 1945, and used them as standard rifles in their military forces. Karabiner 98k Kurz rifles continued to be built after WW2 by firms such as Fabrique Nationale of Belgium and another from Czechoslovakia; many of the Czech-built rifles went to Israel, which were used, alongside other models of rifles, as standard rifles until the 1970s, seeing action in the Six-Day War in 1967 and the Arab-Israeli War in 1973... #ww2weaponwednesdays CONT⬇
The Browning Automatic Rifle M1918 'BAR' Machine Gun ________________________________________________________ The Browning Automatic Rifles, often referred to as "BAR", were a series of automatic rifles that began with the original design by John Browning in 1917. They were gas-operated and air-cooled. They first entered service in the United States Army in Feb 1918 in the midst of WW1, with the concept that they could be used by moving infantrymen to lay down fields of suppressive fire as other riflemen rushed from one trench to the next. However, partially due to their late entry into war, factored in with the US Army's reluctance to risk German capture of this new weapon, Browning Automatic Rifles actually saw little service during WW1. They were first used in battle in Sep 1918. Only 85 units of the Browning M1918 series were built by end of the war. In 1922, the Browning M1922 was introduced as "machine rifles". They had flanged or finned barrels and side-mounted sling swivels, and were intended for use by the US Army cavalry units. The flanges/fins improved cooling properties, but also added to the weight. In the 1920s, the Belgian firm Fabrique Nationale acquired a license to build M1918 Browning Automatic Rifles. Before the Belgian models entered production, Fabrique Nationale already entered its version of the Browning Automatic Rifle into a Polish contest; Fabrique Nationale came out victorious over competitors Lewis and Hotchkiss. The Polish Army rushed to designate their new license of light machine guns the Browning wz.1928, but production for both Belgian and Polish models did not start until 1930, leading to the Belgian designation of these weapons as the FN M1930. The Belgian and Polish variants of the BAR featured pistol grips as opposed to the rifle stock grips seen in the original American design, and they were re-chambered to use the 7.92x57-mm Mauser rounds. Both designs were slightly shorter than the original American versions (1,110-mm), but were slightly heavier. Some Belgian variants, designated Type D, also featured a quick-change barrel. Between 1930 and 1939, approximately 14,000 Browning wz.1928.. #ww2weaponwednesdays CONT⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇
The Infantry Mk IV Churchill ________________________________________________________ The Churchill tanks, formally designated as "Tank, Infantry, Mk IV (A22)", were an evolution of the infantry tank design that stressed on having heavily armored vehicles to support troops for trench warfare. The parent design, A20, was abandoned in 1940 after witnessing the German conquest of France, and a newly reworked A22 design was submitted in its place in June 1940. With the need to replace lost vehicles in the French campaign, the United Kingdom War Office accepted the new design almost immediately, requesting that it would enter production within a year. In July 1940, the design was finalized, and the first prototypes were built in Dec. Production began in June 1941. Because Churchill tanks were designed to support infantry and not necessarily to battle other tanks, they were heavily armored with flat plates, which were not designed to deflect high-velocity tank gun rounds. The armor plates were bolted on and later welded. They had 11 bogies on each side, each carrying two 10-inch wheels; the great number of wheels meant that they could actually operate nearly normally even when some of the wheels became damaged in combat. They were the first tanks to be equipped with Merritt-Brown gearboxes, which allowed them to be steered by changing the relative speeds of the two tracks. They were each equipped with a light 2-pounder gun against enemy vehicles and a 3-inch howitzer to support the infantry. Initially, Churchill tanks were plagued with mechanical issues. The biggest problem was that the engines used was underpowered and unreliable, and the placement of the engines were so poor that crews found it difficult to access the engines for servicing. Some of the issues were address by the Churchill Mk III variant, introduced in March 1942, saving it from being discontinued in favor of the new Cromwell tanks. Among the improvements was the addition of the 57-millimeter 6-pounder gun, which was a vast improvement over the weak armaments as originally designed due to the role as infantry tanks. Most of the Churchill tanks built were of the.. #ww2tanktuesday#ww2 CONT⬇️⬇️⬇
The Type 95 Ha-Go light tank ________________________________________________________The Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks were developed in the early 1930s to bridge a weakness in the Japanese Army which had no tanks that were fast enough to travel with its infantry-carrying trucks. The first prototype of the Type 95 Ha-Go design was completed in 1934 at the Japanese Army's Sagami Arsenal. In 1935, the design was accepted for service. The Japanese Army leadership agreed that despite weaknesses (mainly regarding thin armor plating, turret could not face rearward, and very rough ride), this new light tank design was not only superior to current Japanese tanks available, it was only among one of the better light tank designs at the time. Production began later that year by the Sagami Arsenal, Kokura Arsenal, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Hitachi Industries, Niigata Tekkosho, and Kobe Seikosho. Between 1935 and 1945, 2,103 units were produced. During the Second Sino-Japanese War theater of WW2, Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks were found to be very effective. They accompanied Japanese infantry in battles against Chinese forces that typically fielded few armored cars and wielded few anti-tank weapons. More than half of the Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks produced were deployed in China, and when the war ended in 1945 hundreds of them remained. They were taken and used by both sides of the ensuing Chinese Civil War. Some were also used by the Chinese communist forces in the Korean War. In the opening chapters of the Pacific War, Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks were found to be sufficient against the few tanks that the United Kingdom operated in Malaya and Singapore and also sufficient when facing American M3 Stuart light tanks in the Philippine Islands. Both Type 95 Ha-Go and M3 Stuart tanks had 37-millimeter guns, while the Japanese tanks had thinner armor plating; however, when the two types of tanks faced each other on Dec 22nd 1941 in the Philippine Islands, the Japanese tanks had the upper hand due to better training. Although they handled the Malayan jungles very well, when brought to the more southerly Pacific Islands, they quickly became bogged down.. #ww2tanktuesday#ww2 CONT⬇️⬇️⬇
June 22nd,1944 - Aug 19th, 1944 ________________________________________________________ In April of 1944, Soviet leaders selected a plan to attack the German Group Center holding a bulge in Byelorussia and Ukraine. Knowing that to defeat such a concentration of German forces, the magnitude of Soviet preparations would alarm the German forces, therefore a deceptive operation was also planned to throw off the Germans. On April 17th the first deceptive tactic was employed to prepare for Bagration, which was to switch the entire Soviet front to a defensive mode by ceasing major offensives and to construct (sometimes false) defensive structures. Later, when the Soviet forces in the area could mean nothing but an assault, Soviet forces started to spread false intelligence that the offensive was to be made against Army Group South in Ukraine, reinforcing something that the German originally expected. When the operation launched, 1st and 3rd Ukrainian Armies in Ukraine were deployed to further support that misconception. The Germans fell for the deceptions. In fact, the Germans interpreted the deceptive events in such depth that they actually made further maneuvers to make Army Group Center weaker; for instance, most armor in the German reserves were transferred to northern Ukraine, leaving Army Group Center in the north without proper reinforcements. Other factors such as the reaction to the western Allies' Normandy invasion also weakened the available forces on the Soviet front for the Germans. The actual Bagration offensive began in the morning of June 22nd, 1944 with 1,700,000 Soviet troops and 6,000 armor rushing against 34 surprised German divisions, nearly achieving a 10-to-1 numerical advantage with armor and 7-to-1 with aircraft. The German lines fell apart quickly, and Minsk fell under Soviet control on July 3rd, capturing 50,000 prisoners of war. Ten days later, Soviet troops reached the Polish border. By the end of July 1944, the entire Army Group Center ceased to exist, losing 300,000 men to death and 120,000 to capture. #ww2#wwii#war CONTINUED⬇️⬇️⬇️
Pictured above is the infamous Nazi General of the Waffen-SS, Sepp Dietrich.
Joseph "Sepp" Dietrich was commander of the SS-Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) and later SS-Oberst-Guppenführer and General of the Waffen-SS. After the second World War he was sentenced to a few years term of inprisonment. Because he was ordering the "Malmedy-Massacre" and took part by the murderers of the "Röhmputsch" in the 1920s. Besides Paul Hausser he was the highest ranked officer in the Waffen-SS. .
Since 1925, Dietrich engaged for the NSDAP and in 1928 he became a member of this german party (member no. 89.015). Four days later, May 5th 1928 he joined the SS (member no. 1.177). Since August 1928 Sepp became closer to Hitler and entered his "friend-circle".
In early WW2 Sepp Dietrich commanded a motorized infantry regiment and took part in the invasion of Poland, France, and later the USSR. Already at the begin Dietrich's Regiment commited several war crimes and set villages on fire, soldiers clothed themselves with enemy uniforms, etc. His "Leibstandarte" also killed several polish jews and took part at the Balkan Operation in april and may 1941. In June 1944 his division advanced in Caen during the allied invasion of the Normandy, and it also took part at the Battle of the Bulge. His division was on all fronts and took part at battles all over the front, for example: the battle of Vienna, and Budapest. He surrendered with all the other troops and divisions at May the 8th 1945 to George S. Patton.
After the war he was sentenced to death at the Nuremberger trials, but he got pardoned, even though he commited alot of war crimes. Later in the late 1950s he got sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment, but he got released after only 6 months, because of heart problems.
Until his death, caused by a heartattack in 1966 he was a convinced nazi and member of a group, which was founded for former Waffen-SS soldiers and members. At his funeral, 5.000 people took part, and the former SS-Obergruppenführer Wilhelm Bittrich held a speech.
Battle of Britain ________________________________________________________ In the summer and fall of 1940, German and British air forces clashed in the skies over the United Kingdom, locked in the largest sustained bombing campaign to that date. A significant turning point of WW2, the Battle of Britain ended when Germany’s Luftwaffe failed to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force despite months of targeting Britain’s air bases, military posts and, ultimately, its civilian population. Britain’s decisive victory saved the country from a ground invasion and possible occupation by German forces while proving that air power alone could be used to win a major battle. On June 17th, 1940, the defeated French signed an armistice and quit WW2. Britain now stood alone against the power of Germany’s military forces, which had conquered most of Western Europe in less than two months. But Prime Minister Winston Churchill rallied his stubborn people and outmaneuvered those politicians who wanted to negotiate with Adolf Hitler. But Britain’s success in continuing the war would very much depend on the RAF Fighter Command’s ability to thwart the Luftwaffe’s efforts to gain air superiority. This then would be the first all-air battle in history. In fact, Britain’s situation was more favorable than most of the world recognized at the time. Britain possessed an effective air defense system, first-rate fighter pilots, and a great military leader in Air Marshal Hugh Dowding. On the other hand, the Germans had major problems: they had no navy left after the costly conquest of Norway, their army was unprepared for any form of amphibious operations, and the Luftwaffe had suffered heavy losses in the west (the first two factors made a seaborne attack on the British Isles impossible from the first). Even more serious, the Germans had poor intelligence and little idea of British vulnerabilities. They wasted most of July in waiting for a British surrender and attacked only in August. Although air strikes did substantial damage to radar sites, on August 13th–15th the Luftwaffe soon abandoned that avenue and turned to attacks on RAF air bases. #ww2 CONT⬇️
The last mission of 209a Squadriglia…
On the 14th of September 1941, 13 Italian Ju-87B ‘Picchiatello’ of the 209th Squadriglia, 96th Gruppo, took off from Gars El Arid at 06:30 in support of a German armoured unit. The target was a mechanized convoy in the area of Bir Habata, 50 km southeast of Sollum, Libya. One Ju-87 soon returned to base due to engine troubles. Of the other 12 only one would return with the remaining 11 aircraft being forced to land in the desert after running out of fuel.
Of the 22 Italian pilots and gunners only 4 managed to get back to their own lines with most of the rest being taken prisoners by the British.
The Ju 87B-2 in the photo, (WkNr 5763), was the mount of Sergente Fernando Bartolomasi and Aviere Scelto Penzo.
After landing in the desert, Bartolomasi and his gunner first waited for a few hours next to their aircraft, but then decided to walk back to their lines. During the journey, sand got in Bartolomasi’s shoes, creating friction and bleeding wounds. His feet quickly started to swell causing him great pain and fever. Bartolomasi's suffering got to a point where he couldn't walk anymore and so he begged Penzo to leave him in a small abandoned fortification, to which Penzo acquiesced, leaving only a knife and some water with his doomed pilot. Of Bartolomasi nothing else is known and he is MIA to this day. By cheer luck, Penzo found two other pilots of his Squadriglia, and the three managed to find a German patrol and return home.
After being captured, this Ju-87 was flown by the British for 3 years until being scrapped due to corrosion in one of the wings. Of note are the national markings under the wings: applied in the wrong position, the fasces are pointing backwards instead of forward. #war#ww2#wwii#worldwar2#worldwar2photos#worldwar2incolor#worldwar2history#worldwar2picture#worldwartwo#worldwartwoincolor#color#colorful#colorized#colorization#colored#coloring#colour#colors#stuka#divebomber#german#Italian#fighter#fighting#pilot#crew#British#captured
Did you know? #fuehrersfunfactfriday ________________________________________________________Leonard Dawe, a crossword compiler for the The Daily Telegraph, used a number of D-Day operation code-names as the answers in his puzzles, just a few months before the operation took place. MI5 ended up interrogating him, only to discover that it was a random coincidence. _______________________________________________________On May 2nd, an MI5 Officer was doing his daily crossword puzzle when he came across an unusual answer: "Utah". This word was a codeword for one of the beaches to be used in the landings on D-Day. He dismissed as coincidence, but three weeks later “Omaha” (another D-Day beach) appeared as a solution, followed in the next fortnight by “Overlord” (code for the entire operation), “Mulberry” (floating harbours) and “Neptune” (naval assault). Within days, the crosswords’ compiler, Leonard Dawe, was being questioned by MI5. Propaganda posters had warned for years that the enemy lurked within, but security members believed it was a form of espionage. ____________________________________________________ Dawe, who had been setting the crossword since its inception in 1925 and was in his Fifties, was headmaster of the Strand School, which had been evacuated to Effingham in Surrey. When the boys heard of the scandal, they were appalled. “We were astonished at the thought that Dawe was a traitor. He was a member of the local golf club. It was a complete mystery to most of us.” Dawe did little to dispel the mystery when he returned to the school a few days later. He resumed setting crosswords, and said nothing at all about the incident for more than a decade. ________________________________________________________In a BBC interview in 1958, he described the ordeal. “They turned me inside out and collected naval intelligence. They went to Bury St Edmunds where my senior colleague Melville Jones [the paper’s other crossword compiler] was living and put him through the works.” Despite their suspicions, Dawe explained that the interrogators “eventually decided not to shoot us after all”. It took another three decades for an apparent explanation to emerge. #ww2 ⬇️
The British Crusader AA Tank
Having been on the receiving end of German close support air attacks during 1940-42, the British started looking into antiaircraft protection for their armoured vehicles.
At first this protection was provided by simply installing a Bren light machine gun on the vehicles and later by installing an open turret in light tanks and Humber armoured cars fitted with 4 7.92mm BESA machine guns, but both these solutions lacked range and sustained firepower.
The answer came in late 1942 in the form of a turret armed with twin 20mm Oerlikon heavy machine guns. This turret was then installed on a Crusader tank hull and called the Crusader III AA II or III, depending on the type of turret.
About 600 vehicles of both variants were built in time for D-Day of which around 300 were sent to France, but Allied air superiority was such that the Crusader AA had little to no effect on the battlefield with no record of any of them having ever engaged an enemy aircraft, let alone shoot one down. By September 1944 most had been removed from the battlefield with only 51 vehicles still in service in December of that year.
In this photo we see Crusader AA Mark III ‘CHAOS’ of the Staffordshire Yeomanry, 27th Armoured Brigade, at the beginning of Operation Goodwood, Normandy, France, 18th July 1944. On the background a ‘Sherman’ tank from the same unit. #war#ww2#wwii#worldwar#worldwars#worldwar2#ww2incolor#ww2pictures#ww2photography#ww2history#worldwar2incolor#worldwartwohistory#worldwar2picture#worldwar2photos#color#colors#colored#coloring#colorized#colorization#colorize#soldiers#infantry#Sherman#tank#troops#crew#camouflage
Two Marines, Davis T. Hargraves with a Thompson submachine gun and Gabriel Chavarria with a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), of F Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment, 1st Marine Division, during a firefight with a Japanese sniper. After a Marine was shot in the head, Hargraves spotted the sniper. Firing five rounds, Hargraves called to Chavarria to see if he also saw the Japanese. Chavarria did not at first, but then both Marines hit the deck to avoid return fire. When they raised up to take a look, they saw a cave 60-70 yards away. Running out of ammunition (Hargraves would fire 90 rounds during the engagement) the two Marines called for assistance. Believing that the Japanese were inside (they smelled Japanese drugs burning) they fired most of their ammunition and closed the cave with a C-4 charge and grenades. Coral rained down on the Marines. Chavarria was later wounded stepping on a mine. The 1st Marine Division had been repeatedly thrown back since its first attack on Wana Ridge, May 13th. Yet during most of this 9-day period the weather had been dry and the ground solid, making possible a coordinated attack of all arms-infantry, tanks, heavy assault guns, armored flame throwers, and airplanes. On May 21st the weather changed; as heavy rains began, 1st Marines was on the northern slope of Wana Ridge, at the left (east) flank of the III Amphibious Corps. The prospects of success for the infantry alone, slogging through the mud without the support of other arms, were not encouraging. Under these conditions the Marine attack against Wana Ridge was soon at a standstill. Despite inactivity, enemy mortar and artillery fire continued against the American front lines, especially at night. A break in the weather came on the morning of May 28th. The 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, acting on a favorable report of a patrol, made ready to strike for 100 Meter Hill (Knob Hill) at the eastern tip of Wana Ridge. As soon as this objective was gained, the 3rd Battalion was to secure Wana Draw. Twice the 2nd Battalion assaulted 100 Meter Hill, and by 0800 Hours Company E reached the top. But the crest could not be held, and no gain at all was made down.. #ww2#wwii ⬇️
The Littorio class, also known as the Vittorio Veneto class, was a class of battleshipof the Regia Marina, the Italian navy. The class was composed of four ships: Littorio, Vittorio Veneto, Roma, and Impero, but only the first three ships of the class were completed.
Built between 1934 and 1942, they were the most modern battleships used by Italy during World War II. They were developed in response to the French Dunkerque-class battleships, and were armed with 381-millimeter (15.0 in) guns and had a top speed of 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph). General characteristics:
Displacement:Standard: 40,724 t (40,081 long tons; 44,891 short tons)•Full load: 45,236 t (44,522 long tons; 49,864 short tons)•Length:237.76 m (780.1 ft)
Beam:32.82 m (107.7 ft)
Draft:9.6 m (31 ft)
Propulsion:4 Geared turbines8 Yarrow boilers128,200 shp (95,600 kW)
Speed:30 knots (56 km/h)
Range:4,580 nautical miles (8,480 km) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
9 × 381 mm (15.0 in) L/50 guns
12 × 152 mm (6.0 in) L/55 guns
12 × 90 mm (3.5 in) /50 (AA)
20 × 37 mm (1.5 in)
16 × 2 20 mm Breda
4 × QF 4.7-inch Gun Mk I–IV (12 cm) star shell guns
Belt: 280 mm (11 in)
Deck: 150 millimetres (5.9 in)
Turrets: 380 millimetres (15 in)
Aviation facilities:1 catapult
"All Help for Russia Now"
Workers at the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company celebrate the handing over of the first of many Valentine MK2 tanks made for the Russian front , in front of a workshop in Smethwick - September 22, 1941
The Victory-V signs decorating the tank were made of stickers that read: "Speed the Tanks – for Russia!"
The workers are holding a Union flag and a Russian flag and many have their fists raised in a Communist salute.
Present were the Russian Ambassador to Britain Ivan Maisky and Harold Macmillan, who was at that time Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply.
Speaking to the workers in Smethwick, Maisky declared that the tanks “will not rust in idleness” but would be sent to the front line as soon as they arrived in Russia. The first British tanks went into action on November 20, 1941, in the Battle of Moscow.
The first tank to leave the works was named Stalin and Mrs Maisky performed the honours, unveiling the name that had been covered by a Soviet flag.
The photo above shows a US soldier using an M2 flamethrower on a Japanese position in Manila at the close of WW2 in 1945. ________________________________________________________ The M2 flamethrower was an American man-portable backpack flamethrower that was used in WW2. It was the successor to the M1 and M1A1 flamethrowers. Although its burn time was only around 7 seconds and the flame was only effective out to around 20 to 40 meters, it was still a useful weapon. However, with the arrival of flamethrower tanks, the need for flamethrower-carrying infantrymen to expose themselves to enemy fire was greatly reduced. ____________________________________________________ The M2 maintained an empty weight of 43lbs while she filled in at 68lbs when full of fuel and propellant. The weapon system could fire for up to a second for every half-gallon in the fuel store (or up to 7 seconds straight). Effective range was out to 65.5 feet while maximum spray range was 132 feet. Like the M1 and M1A1 before it, the M2 was worn like a backpack consisting of three tanks - 2 x gasoline tanks fixed vertically and 1 x Nitrogen propellant tank set between the twin fuel tanks. The mixture was fed to the flame gun by way of a tubing line. The flame gun was held with two hands as would a conventional combat rifle. The flame gun was essentially a pipe with a rear vertical handgrip having a controllable valve. The forend featured a pistol-grip style appendage with a ring-enclosed trigger controlling the ignition. No sights were afforded the weapon and firing was generally "from the hip". ___________________________________________________
US Marine PFC Paul E. Ison running through Japanese fire on Okinawa, June 7th, 1945. This photograph is one of the most famous Marine pictures of #WW2 , showing Ison running over bare ground in Death Valley, Okinawa, the photographer, Bob Bailey, was lying flat in the dirt snapping the shot as he ran past, dodging marine gun fire from many sides. The Marine Corps took up the shot and it was widely used in the Press to illustrate the doggedness, fortitude, and tenacity of the front-line Marine. Ison, 1st Division, 3rd Battalion, Lima company was a demolitions man in a group of 4 who were sent ahead to knock out defensive pillboxes and positions. In this episode in Death Valley he had already run across two times and somehow remained unscathed. The first was in the morning, to reach the demo position. The second was to return to HQ to pick up the explosives which they had previously been told were already at the demo site. The third was to return to the demo site with the explosives. The black and white image is Ison's own copy, the original image having the figure slightly to the left of center. He was 28 when the photo was taken and had four kids when he joined the Marine Corps to defend his country. On this day, in an eight-hour period, the Marines sustained 125 casualties crossing this particular valley. The Marine Corps Historical Centre (1998) notes that: overall American losses in the land battle (on Okinawa) amounted to 7,374 killed, 31,807 wounded and 239 missing in action. At sea and in the air, the Navy reported 36 US ships sunk, 368 damaged, 763 aircraft lost to all causes, 4,907 seamen killed or missing in action and 4,824 wounded. Despite the magnitude of these losses by the Americans, the Japanese sustained even greater casualties at Okinawa than in any previous Pacific battle. The US military estimates that 110,071 Japanese soldiers were killed during the battle. This total includes conscripted Okinawan civilians. A total of 7,401 Japanese regulars and 3,400 Okinawan conscripts surrendered or were captured during the battle. Additional Japanese and renegade Okinawans were captured or surrendered over the next few months, bringing the total.. ⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇
Top Weird Experimental Weapons Built by the Germans during WW2
Part 3 of 5 - Fliegerfaust
______________________________________________________ The Fliegerfaust ("pilot fist" or "plane fist"), also known as "Luftfaust" (lit. "air fist"), was a German prototype of an unguided, man-portable, and multi-barreled ground-to-air rocket launcher, designed to destroy enemy ground attack planes. Designed by Hugo Schneider of Leipzig in 1944, the Luftfaust was produced in two different versions. The first version, the Fliegerfaust A, had four 20 mm caliber barrels. These fired 20 mm projectiles weighing 90 g and containing 19 g of explosive, propelled by means of a small rocket. The second version, the Fliegerfaust B ("Luftfaust") increased the length of the barrels, and added another 5 barrels, for a total of 9 barrels. The weapon had a total length of 150 cm and weighed 6.5 kg. The firing sequence was that the first 4 rounds from every second barrel were fired immediately and the remaining five 0.1 second later to avoid damaging the projectiles themselves by the rockets' exhaust fumes and from interfering with their courses. Although some sources state the barrels were fired individually with a delay of 2 seconds between each ignition. Stabilisation of the rocket in flight was not by means of fins, but by four small angled holes drilled around the exhaust. A small proportion of the rocket's thrust was thus converted into rotational thrust, spinning the missile along its axis. This imparted stability through spin, just like rifling in a gun barrel. A 6 barrel 30 mm prototype was also constructed. The Fliegerfaust was not a successful weapon because of its small effective range caused by too large dispersion of projectiles and the designed range of 500 meters was never attained. Although large orders for the weapon were placed in 1945, and with 10,000 launchers and 4 million rockets ordered, only 80 of these weapons were ever used in combat trials, in this case by a unit based at Saarbrücken. However, a 1945 photograph (1st slide bottom left, and 2nd slide) of the Hotel Adlon in Berlin clearly shows at least 2 expended Fliegerfaust B's lying in the rubble. #fopseries ⬇
The PPSh-41 ________________________________________________________ In 1922, Aimo J. Lahti of Finland produced his first submachine gun, and this was subsequently followed by several other similar guns, including in 1931 with the Suomi model which sold widely around the world and was probably still in widespread use during the Winter war of 1939/40. Lahti made a drum magazine for his guns which took 71 rounds of 7.65mm Parabellum ammunition, and when Vasily A. Degtyarev was commissioned by the Soviet Army to produce a similar SMG in 1934, he took Lahti's magazine with hardly a single alteration. He also took a great deal from Hugo Schmeisser's MP28 and this developed into the PPD-34. After the winter war debacle the Red Army demanded a simpler version for mass-production and Georgi S. Shpagin remodeled it to the well-known PPSh-41 (Pistolet Pulomet Scpagin, Model 41). Georgy Shpagin was a veteran of the Soviet revolutionary war. A weapons repairer turned weapons designer, he drew up the PPSh-41 design with low manufacturing cost, quick production time, and minimum field maintenance in mind. Shpagin's new weapon was first put on trial in Oct 1940, during which it beat weapons designed by proven engineers such as Vasily Degtyaryov, the designer of PPD submachine guns. PPSh-41 could be differentiated from other Soviet submachine guns of the era by the tips of their barrel jackets, which were angle-cut. PPSh-41 was officially adopted for use on Dec 21st, 1940 by the Defense Committee of the Council of People's Commissars, and the manufacturing began in Nov 1941. From the outset, PPSh-41 weapons were being produced at a very efficient rate, averaging only 5.6 hours per weapon. By Apr 1942, 155,000 of them had been built, and new weapons were being built at the rate of 3,000 per day. On the front lines, soldiers of the vast Soviet conscript army regarded "Pah Pah Sha" submachine guns very highly. These weapons were hinged at the magazine housing, making cleaning, critical especially for the environment on the Eastern Front of the European War, very easy. As I mentioned earlier, the construction of PPSh-41 submachine guns was simple.. #ww2weaponwednesdays#ww2 ⬇️⬇