Skip to comments.George Duncan's Historical Facts of WW2
Posted on 08/28/2011 4:51:54 PM PDT by macquire
Just spent the last 45 minutes reading about various assassination attempts against Hitler, dozens of atrocities by the Japanese, Nazi women, and one heck of a lot of lesser known facts of WW2.
Leni Riefenstahl was a member of GREENPEACE!!!!!!
My Dad was stationed in Panama, and my fatherIL flew as a civilian after being in the Navy twenty minutes.
I have booked mark the site.
I keep finding stuff I never knew:
TRIGGER OF THE WAR
Hitler’s revenge for Germany’s defeat of 1918 brought about the cataclysm that was Europe between 1939 and 1945. The incident which triggered World War II was the fake simulated attack by the Germans on their own radio station near Gleiwitz on the Polish border. To make it appear that the attacking force consisted of Poles, SS officer Alfred Naujocks secured some condemned German criminals from a nearby concentration (protective custody) camp and dressed them in Polish uniforms before being shot and their bodies placed in strategic positions around the radio station. A Polish-speaking German then did a broadcast from the station to make it appear that Poland had attacked first. On January 26, 1934, Germany and Poland signed a ten year non-aggression pact but the refusal of Poland to comply with Germany’s request for the return of Danzig and the Polish Corridor, which was granted to Poland in the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, led to the Gleiwitz incident. Hitler had stated ‘Danzig was German and sooner or later would return to Germany’.
This gave Hitler the excuse he needed to invade Poland, which he did on September 1, 1939, an act which was to develop into a war embracing 56 nations and causing the deaths of some 55,014,000 persons, military and civilians. About 85 million men and women of all nationalities served as combatants in this, the world’s first total war, in which more than twice as many civilians died than did uniformed soldiers.
THE FIRST SHOT
The first shot of World War II in Europe was fired 20 years, 9 months, 19 days and 18 hours after the last shot of World War I was fired. It was fired from the 13,000 ton German gunnery training battleship Schleswig Holstein (Captain Gustav Kleikamp) which was on a visit to Poland to honour the sailors lost on the German cruiser Magdeburg sunk in 1914, some of whom were buried in Danzig. It was anchored in Danzig (now Gdansk) harbour at the mouth of the River Vistula. At 4.30 am on September 1, 1939, the ship moved slowly down the Port Canal and took up position opposite the Westerplatte (an area containing Polish troop barracks, munition storage and workshops) and at 4.47 am, at point blank range, the order to “Fire!” was given. World War II had begun. Seven days later, on September 7, after a heroic defence by Major Henryk Sucharski and his troops, and a devastating attack by Stuka dive bombers, the 209 man strong Westerplatte Garrison surrendered.
The brief Hitler biography brought to mind the story of Hitler’s Irish born nephew, William Patrick Hitler, who went to enlist in the U.S. Navy in 1943. According to contemporaneous newspaper accounts, when he went to enlistment office, the recruiting officer returned his greeting with, “Glad to meet ya, Hitler, my name is Hess.”
Related - an assessment of what an invasion of Japan would have looked like:
Little Boy and Fat Man saved the lives of TENS OF MILLIONS of Japanese.
Yes. My dad was fresh off of battling at Luzon. He was on a troop transport headed as part of the invasion force. When they dropped the bombs and japan surrendered he was part of the Army of Occupation and his ship had some of the first to see Japan after it fell. He recalled driving in a jeep through Nagasaki and it was just total devastation. He said Japan had even been training kids to use pitchforks or anything available to attack Americans landing at the beaches.
Great link, thanks for posting it.
Here is another interesting fact I only realized in the last few years: in the battle for Guadalcanal in 1942, three times as many sailors died in the fighting around the island than Marines who died on the island.
US Navy: 5,041 killed and 2,953 wounded. (that isn’t a transposition...the number killed far exceeded the number wounded)
USMC and US Army: 1,769 killed and 4,283 wounded.
After reading many books on battles fought around the Solomon Islands, what happened to the crew of the USS Indianapolis was not a unique occurrence.
I worked for a guy whose father had been the editor of the Frankfurter Zeitung, roughly the equivalent of the New York Times, in prestige prior to the War. The family escaped and the son served as an enlisted man in the U.S. Army in the Pacific. Helluva nice guy, and smart as a whip.
I wonder if the Zeitung had their own Walter Duranty?
Thank you very much, macquire.
One of the interesting things was that one of the first things the Germans did in Poland was to post an honor guard at the gravesite of Marshall Pilsudski, makes you wonder how different things might have been, had Pilsudski survived.
I have no idea, but the son was as an intelligent and intellectually honest person as I've ever known.
That is a very, very fine testimonial.
You are a good friend.
I’m been lucky, I’ve had wonderful friends.
I should add, knowing a lot of Holocaust survivors has immunized for life against antisemitism. The worst sort of scum killed the finest people ever.
And the 10 or so million Ukranians?
They might not have been very fine, of course, but do you consider their lives had any value?
Same thing. I knew a couple of Ukrainians my age in college. (They were born in DP camps in Germany, and later moved to the States with their parents.) Talking to them helped make me a life long anti-Soviet and also help form my anti-statist worldview. Same with Poles and Baltic people. Read my profile. I grew up in Queens in the 1950’s, where you came in contact with a lot of refugees from Nazism and Communism.
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