Discussion:
This was the "Ultima Thule" of Operation Market Garden
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harry newton
2017-12-06 06:02:54 UTC
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I was reading a story of yet another of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery's
very many dismal failures as a general when the term "the 'Ultima Thule' of
Operation Market Garden" was used.

Looking it up, and not knowing how to pronounce it, apparently
"Ultima Thule refers to any distant place beyond the known world"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultima_Thule_(disambiguation)
Harrison Hill
2017-12-06 07:05:47 UTC
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Post by harry newton
I was reading a story of yet another of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery's
very many dismal failures as a general when the term "the 'Ultima Thule' of
Operation Market Garden" was used.
Looking it up, and not knowing how to pronounce it, apparently
"Ultima Thule refers to any distant place beyond the known world"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultima_Thule_(disambiguation)
A good metaphor then. The disaster at Arnhem was in no small
part caused by the fact that the Airborne was "out of touch"
with the rest of the world - the radios Monty's staff had
provided for them, weren't powerful enough to contact the front
lines.
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-06 13:30:24 UTC
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Post by Harrison Hill
Post by harry newton
I was reading a story of yet another of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery's
very many dismal failures as a general when the term "the 'Ultima Thule' of
Operation Market Garden" was used.
Looking it up, and not knowing how to pronounce it, apparently
"Ultima Thule refers to any distant place beyond the known world"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultima_Thule_(disambiguation)
A good metaphor then. The disaster at Arnhem was in no small
part caused by the fact that the Airborne was "out of touch"
with the rest of the world - the radios Monty's staff had
provided for them, weren't powerful enough to contact the front
lines.
Lo and behold, there is an American who can spell 'Arnhem' correctly.

As for content: you shouldn't explain the fiasco by
exaggerating the influence of a single factor.
The radio problems were caused mainly
by the troops being in dense woodland.
As anyone who has tried to use a walkie-talkie (or GPS)
will know nowadays, but not then.

This is the kind of thing that may be known by operators,
but that filters up only slowly to the higher ranks.
And previous experience would have done little to prepare them for it,
for it wouldn't have been very noticable in North Africa or in Normandy.

There were many other causes,
such as the failure to close the Falaise Gap in time,
which had allowed the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions to escape.
(also in part due to poor communications between various commands)

Another important factor was that Monty
lacked adequate air transport capability.
Britain had wasted a quarter of its war time production capacity
on Arthur 'Bomber' Harris' delusion
that he could bomb Germany into submission
using Bomber Command alone.
(and so avoid the need for D-Day and fighting on the ground)

Jan
Harrison Hill
2017-12-06 14:08:38 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Harrison Hill
Post by harry newton
I was reading a story of yet another of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery's
very many dismal failures as a general when the term "the 'Ultima Thule' of
Operation Market Garden" was used.
Looking it up, and not knowing how to pronounce it, apparently
"Ultima Thule refers to any distant place beyond the known world"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultima_Thule_(disambiguation)
A good metaphor then. The disaster at Arnhem was in no small
part caused by the fact that the Airborne was "out of touch"
with the rest of the world - the radios Monty's staff had
provided for them, weren't powerful enough to contact the front
lines.
Lo and behold, there is an American who can spell 'Arnhem' correctly.
As for content: you shouldn't explain the fiasco by
exaggerating the influence of a single factor.
The radio problems were caused mainly
by the troops being in dense woodland.
As anyone who has tried to use a walkie-talkie (or GPS)
will know nowadays, but not then.
This is the kind of thing that may be known by operators,
but that filters up only slowly to the higher ranks.
And previous experience would have done little to prepare them for it,
for it wouldn't have been very noticable in North Africa or in Normandy.
There were many other causes,
such as the failure to close the Falaise Gap in time,
which had allowed the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions to escape.
(also in part due to poor communications between various commands)
Another important factor was that Monty
lacked adequate air transport capability.
Britain had wasted a quarter of its war time production capacity
on Arthur 'Bomber' Harris' delusion
that he could bomb Germany into submission
using Bomber Command alone.
(and so avoid the need for D-Day and fighting on the ground)
I'm British actually ;) My father-in-law was at Arnhem, so it is a
battle I have heard a lot about. A few of his snippets:

He and his best mate ("Wiggy") were pretty much the only soldiers
in his unit, who were uninjured. The order was give "Every man for
himself", and the two friends discussed their options - which seemed
to be:

1) Try to break through the encircling line of Germans, and swim
across the Rhine back to the American lines.

2) Stay to look after the wounded, and be taken prisoner alongside
them.

Neither option was attractive, but they each chose wisely: he
stayed with the wounded, Wiggy swam the Rhine in his underpants,
and both survived the War unhurt.

Despite the forced marches (which finished off most of the wounded,
because anyone who couldn't keep up would be shot), and despite
the harsh conditions, in POW camps and the Bad Grund mines, he never
had a bad word to say about the Germans. The POW guards were often
Germans who had lived in England before the War, and returned to
Germany before hostilities commenced, and they spoke excellent English.
Their conditions were as unpleasant as the prisoners', and he felt
sorry for them.
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-06 14:27:14 UTC
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Post by Harrison Hill
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Harrison Hill
Post by harry newton
I was reading a story of yet another of Field Marshall Bernard
Montgomery's very many dismal failures as a general when the term
"the 'Ultima Thule' of Operation Market Garden" was used.
Looking it up, and not knowing how to pronounce it, apparently
"Ultima Thule refers to any distant place beyond the known world"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultima_Thule_(disambiguation)
A good metaphor then. The disaster at Arnhem was in no small
part caused by the fact that the Airborne was "out of touch"
with the rest of the world - the radios Monty's staff had
provided for them, weren't powerful enough to contact the front
lines.
Lo and behold, there is an American who can spell 'Arnhem' correctly.
As for content: you shouldn't explain the fiasco by
exaggerating the influence of a single factor.
The radio problems were caused mainly
by the troops being in dense woodland.
As anyone who has tried to use a walkie-talkie (or GPS)
will know nowadays, but not then.
This is the kind of thing that may be known by operators,
but that filters up only slowly to the higher ranks.
And previous experience would have done little to prepare them for it,
for it wouldn't have been very noticable in North Africa or in Normandy.
There were many other causes,
such as the failure to close the Falaise Gap in time,
which had allowed the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions to escape.
(also in part due to poor communications between various commands)
Another important factor was that Monty
lacked adequate air transport capability.
Britain had wasted a quarter of its war time production capacity
on Arthur 'Bomber' Harris' delusion
that he could bomb Germany into submission
using Bomber Command alone.
(and so avoid the need for D-Day and fighting on the ground)
I'm British actually ;) My father-in-law was at Arnhem, so it is a
I know, but you were being punished for being at -08:00 hours.

Jan
Peter T. Daniels
2017-12-06 15:10:47 UTC
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Post by Harrison Hill
He and his best mate ("Wiggy") were pretty much the only soldiers
in his unit, who were uninjured.
ObAUE: Unless it was a two-man unit (which seems unlikely), the comma is absolutely wrong.
Harrison Hill
2017-12-06 15:47:05 UTC
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Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Harrison Hill
He and his best mate ("Wiggy") were pretty much the only soldiers
in his unit, who were uninjured.
ObAUE: Unless it was a two-man unit (which seems unlikely), the comma is absolutely wrong.
Oh well :)

My father-in-law landed in a glider. Normally a troop glider would land
first, then be blown into two halves by pre-installed explosive charges,
so that the weaponry could be unloaded.

A skilful pilot could belly-flop his glider so that it snapped into
two halves on landing. Not a very nice way to arrive in Holland, but
saving precious seconds.

We took my FiL to a military tattoo in Portsmouth; and in the car park,
right next door to us, was the pilot of his glider; who he hadn't seen
since that very first day of the battle.

ObAUE: Whether the car park was next door to us, or the car was, all
amount(s) to the same thing :)
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-06 22:38:37 UTC
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Post by Harrison Hill
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Harrison Hill
He and his best mate ("Wiggy") were pretty much the only soldiers
in his unit, who were uninjured.
ObAUE: Unless it was a two-man unit (which seems unlikely), the comma is
absolutely wrong.
Oh well :)
My father-in-law landed in a glider. Normally a troop glider would land
first, then be blown into two halves by pre-installed explosive charges,
so that the weaponry could be unloaded.
A skilful pilot could belly-flop his glider so that it snapped into
two halves on landing. Not a very nice way to arrive in Holland, but
saving precious seconds.
You imply that these
<Loading Image...
47>
were deliberately broken by their pilots while landing?

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-07 00:16:39 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
You imply that these
<Loading Image...>
?w=584&h=647>
were deliberately broken by their pilots while landing?
I didn't know about the separation charges, but most of the Hamilcar? or
Horsa? or Waco? fuselages in that photo do seem to be split cleanly just
aft of the wings.
<https://weaponsandwarfare.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/dfb.jpg>

This web page shows gliders offloading out the nose though.
<http://arnhemjim.blogspot.com/2012/06/hamilcar-gliders-at-operation-market.html>

Here is a closeup:
<Loading Image...>

And another:
<Loading Image...>
charles
2017-12-06 22:16:14 UTC
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Post by Harrison Hill
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Harrison Hill
He and his best mate ("Wiggy") were pretty much the only soldiers
in his unit, who were uninjured.
ObAUE: Unless it was a two-man unit (which seems unlikely), the comma is absolutely wrong.
Oh well :)
My father-in-law landed in a glider. Normally a troop glider would land
first, then be blown into two halves by pre-installed explosive charges,
so that the weaponry could be unloaded.
A skilful pilot could belly-flop his glider so that it snapped into
two halves on landing. Not a very nice way to arrive in Holland, but
saving precious seconds.
A few years ago, I visited Pegasus Bridge in Normandy. The glider landed
only feet away from the bridge. A very skillful pilot!
--
from KT24 in Surrey, England
harry newton
2017-12-06 15:21:20 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Lo and behold, there is an American who can spell 'Arnhem' correctly.
Arnhem is easy to spell for we Americans compared to Nig... Nij... Nijim...
Nijimenijen... Nijigmen... Nignemegen... (click ... click.... google ...
google) ... Nijmegen!
Post by J. J. Lodder
As for content: you shouldn't explain the fiasco by
exaggerating the influence of a single factor.
I think the main factor was the same main factor at Dieppe.
Post by J. J. Lodder
The radio problems were caused mainly
by the troops being in dense woodland.
As anyone who has tried to use a walkie-talkie (or GPS)
will know nowadays, but not then.
Not only the radios, but XXX Corps couldn't get through the narrow road.
Then there are the Dutch people holding up the troops unknowingly. Frosts'
troops dropped 8 miles from Arnhem. The Germans resting being of top-notch
caliber... The Germans inheriting the entire plan early on ... and those
bridges ... oh so many of them ... bridge after bridge after bridge ... And
that particular railroad bridge blown at Ost... Oost... Ossterback ...
(click ... click... google ... google) ... Oosterbeek!
Post by J. J. Lodder
This is the kind of thing that may be known by operators,
but that filters up only slowly to the higher ranks.
And previous experience would have done little to prepare them for it,
for it wouldn't have been very noticable in North Africa or in Normandy.
But radios weren't the reason for the disaster at Dieppe.
Post by J. J. Lodder
There were many other causes,
such as the failure to close the Falaise Gap in time,
which had allowed the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions to escape.
(also in part due to poor communications between various commands)
Another Monty fiasco. Patten was biting Bradley's ass daily to be allowed
to close the gap - where I read Bradley's autobiography - he decided to let
Monty do it - who didn't do it until it was far too late.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Another important factor was that Monty
lacked adequate air transport capability.
Monty ALWAYS blamed lack of support from the Americans! Always! He was a
thorn in Eisenhower's side the entire war, and when I read Eisenhower's
autobiography (written by his grandson, David), Monty was the biggest issue
Eisenhower ever faced. Even Churchill's biography feels the need to patch
over the issues the American command had with Monty. I read them all.

(Did Monty or Patton write an autobiography? I haven't read those if they
exist.)
Post by J. J. Lodder
Britain had wasted a quarter of its war time production capacity
on Arthur 'Bomber' Harris' delusion
that he could bomb Germany into submission
using Bomber Command alone.
(and so avoid the need for D-Day and fighting on the ground)
Bombing never ends wars. Never (and don't think that Japan surrendered
because of the atomic bomb because there is a wealth of evidence that
simply destroying the 68th city wasn't why they immediately surrendered
when their plan of having Russia act as a peace mediator failed).

Although, I have to admit, while bombing never is influential in wars
(witness the lack of strategic impact on London or Berlin for example),
what does win wars is defeating the other guys' air force (witness the few
sorties of the Luftwaffe over Normandy in early June).
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-06 21:49:50 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Lo and behold, there is an American who can spell 'Arnhem' correctly.
Arnhem is easy to spell for we Americans compared to Nig... Nij... Nijim...
Nijimenijen... Nijigmen... Nignemegen... (click ... click.... google ...
google) ... Nijmegen!
Well, it was Nimwegen, only 600 years ago,
or Noviomagus, 2000 years ago.
'Van Nimwegen' is still a family name.
Somehow Arnhem all to often comes out as Arnheim,
which is the German spelling.
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
As for content: you shouldn't explain the fiasco by
exaggerating the influence of a single factor.
I think the main factor was the same main factor at Dieppe.
Quite different, I thin.
Dieppe wasn't expected to succeed.
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
The radio problems were caused mainly
by the troops being in dense woodland.
As anyone who has tried to use a walkie-talkie (or GPS)
will know nowadays, but not then.
Not only the radios, but XXX Corps couldn't get through the narrow road.
Then there are the Dutch people holding up the troops unknowingly. Frosts'
troops dropped 8 miles from Arnhem. The Germans resting being of top-notch
caliber... The Germans inheriting the entire plan early on ... and those
bridges ... oh so many of them ... bridge after bridge after bridge ... And
that particular railroad bridge blown at Ost... Oost... Ossterback ...
(click ... click... google ... google) ... Oosterbeek!
Post by J. J. Lodder
This is the kind of thing that may be known by operators,
but that filters up only slowly to the higher ranks.
And previous experience would have done little to prepare them for it,
for it wouldn't have been very noticable in North Africa or in Normandy.
But radios weren't the reason for the disaster at Dieppe.
Post by J. J. Lodder
There were many other causes,
such as the failure to close the Falaise Gap in time,
which had allowed the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions to escape.
(also in part due to poor communications between various commands)
Another Monty fiasco. Patten was biting Bradley's ass daily to be allowed
to close the gap - where I read Bradley's autobiography - he decided to let
Monty do it - who didn't do it until it was far too late.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Another important factor was that Monty
lacked adequate air transport capability.
Monty ALWAYS blamed lack of support from the Americans! Always! He was a
thorn in Eisenhower's side the entire war, and when I read Eisenhower's
autobiography (written by his grandson, David), Monty was the biggest issue
Eisenhower ever faced. Even Churchill's biography feels the need to patch
over the issues the American command had with Monty. I read them all.
(Did Monty or Patton write an autobiography? I haven't read those if they
exist.)
Post by J. J. Lodder
Britain had wasted a quarter of its war time production capacity
on Arthur 'Bomber' Harris' delusion
that he could bomb Germany into submission
using Bomber Command alone.
(and so avoid the need for D-Day and fighting on the ground)
Bombing never ends wars. Never (and don't think that Japan surrendered
because of the atomic bomb because there is a wealth of evidence that
simply destroying the 68th city wasn't why they immediately surrendered
when their plan of having Russia act as a peace mediator failed).
Capitulation was forced by Russia giving up neutrality entering the war.
The worst nightmare the Japanese could envision
was having Japan divided into a Northern and a Southern occupation zone.
So they surrendered to the Americans asap, whatever the consequences.
As it went they only lost a few Northern islands.
Post by harry newton
Although, I have to admit, while bombing never is influential in wars
(witness the lack of strategic impact on London or Berlin for example),
what does win wars is defeating the other guys' air force (witness the few
sorties of the Luftwaffe over Normandy in early June).
But Harris never acomplished much in that direction either.
In the end the Americans destroyed the Luftwaffe,

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-07 00:16:37 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Capitulation was forced by Russia giving up neutrality entering the war.
Yup. We are in agreement.

The Japanese plan was always to negotiate a way out, even from the start,
as they knew they could never beat the US. They were always hoping that
they could pit the US against Russia (that happened later, of course,
anyway).

The moment they found out for certain that their plan of having Russia be
their mediator, they surrendered as quickly as they could, while they could
still surrender to us.
Post by J. J. Lodder
But Harris never acomplished much in that direction either.
In the end the Americans destroyed the Luftwaffe,
Agreed.

The bombing campaign was long and complex, but even with Americans by day
and the British by night, they still barely scratched Berlin by air.

In the end, it made Germans less efficient, having to go underground and to
scatter and to move materiel at night - but it didn't have a single effect
on morale of the German people.

Bombing never does.
s***@gmail.com
2017-12-07 21:09:26 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
Although, I have to admit, while bombing never is influential in wars
(witness the lack of strategic impact on London or Berlin for example),
what does win wars is defeating the other guys' air force (witness the few
sorties of the Luftwaffe over Normandy in early June).
But Harris never acomplished much in that direction either.
In the end the Americans destroyed the Luftwaffe,
Didn't the strategic bombing of factories, which didn't stop production
but did cause some inefficiency (to borrow your terms)
play a factor in the Germans running out of planes?

There was also the matter of the US improving it's planes
(production far away from any disturbance) ...
P-47 for range and armor, P-51 for speed;
also, tactical bombing (often by fighter planes)
of forward airfields and railroads.

But wasn't it eventually running out of pilots
that took the teeth out of the Luftwaffe?

/dps
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-07 21:53:04 UTC
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Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
Although, I have to admit, while bombing never is influential in wars
(witness the lack of strategic impact on London or Berlin for example),
what does win wars is defeating the other guys' air force (witness the few
sorties of the Luftwaffe over Normandy in early June).
But Harris never acomplished much in that direction either.
In the end the Americans destroyed the Luftwaffe,
Didn't the strategic bombing of factories, which didn't stop production
but did cause some inefficiency (to borrow your terms)
play a factor in the Germans running out of planes?
You are right, it didn't.
The opposite was the case: Harris' bomber offensive
-increased- military production,
by destroying non-essential civilian production.
See for example
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_aircraft_production_during_World_W
ar_II>
in particular for the fighter aircraft production figures.
(a staggering almost 13,000 (that is 35/day)
of Me 109 fighters in 1944.
Production didn't decrease until the Allies started occupying
large chunks German territory in 1945.
Post by s***@gmail.com
There was also the matter of the US improving it's planes
(production far away from any disturbance) ...
P-47 for range and armor, P-51 for speed;
also, tactical bombing (often by fighter planes)
of forward airfields and railroads.
That's what I said, in the end the Americans destroyed the Luftwaffe.
Their daylight bombing regularly hit targets that really mattered,
so forcing the Luftwaffe to defend.
(with heavy losses against the American numerical superiority)
Post by s***@gmail.com
But wasn't it eventually running out of pilots
that took the teeth out of the Luftwaffe?
Right. Germany had great problems with training enough pilots.
Their other great problem was the fuel supply.
The second problem reinforced the first,

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-08 02:31:39 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Right. Germany had great problems with training enough pilots.
Their other great problem was the fuel supply.
The second problem reinforced the first,
You seem to know it better than I do.
I know strategic bombing never caused morale to flag enough to win a war.

However, in the end of the war, the joke in the German infantry was that if
it's flying at night, it's British; if it flies during the day, it's
American; and if it doesn't fly at all, it's German.

Another version was if you see the camouflage, then they're British. If
they're unpainted steel, they're American. And if you can't see them at
all, they're German.

What I never quite understood was that the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka Dive Bomber
was such a force to be reckoned with early on in the war, and then, from
the Battle of Britain onward, it was nothing.

What changed?
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-08 11:58:06 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Right. Germany had great problems with training enough pilots.
Their other great problem was the fuel supply.
The second problem reinforced the first,
[split replies]
Post by harry newton
What I never quite understood was that the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka Dive Bomber
was such a force to be reckoned with early on in the war, and then, from
the Battle of Britain onward, it was nothing.
What changed?
Nothing. With the Blitzkrieg in the west over
there was no longer any need for Stukas there.
The Stuka was a frontline close support bomber.
It was relatively slow, had no effective defenses,
and had a short range.
They were far to vulnerable to be usable in the West, after D-Day,
given the overwhelming Allied air superiority.

Large numbers were built throughout in the war,
but they all went to the Russian front.
Some later models got heavy guns, and served as tank killers.
(A role that was reinvented by the USAF with the A-10 Warthog)

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-08 14:52:02 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Nothing. With the Blitzkrieg in the west over
there was no longer any need for Stukas there.
I don't know if it's the *need* or something else, since they wreaked havoc
from the Spanish Civil War to the day before the Battle of Britain.

Then they were nothing.
They went from ferocious to nothing.

That's a pretty big shift.
Post by J. J. Lodder
The Stuka was a frontline close support bomber.
It was relatively slow, had no effective defenses,
and had a short range.
The Battle of Britain was "relatively" short range for the southern ports.
Post by J. J. Lodder
They were far to vulnerable to be usable in the West, after D-Day,
given the overwhelming Allied air superiority.
True. They were a terrible fighter.
And yet, they wreaked havoc on country after country after country.

So maybe it was just that nobody had a good air force until the day before
the Battle of Britain?
Post by J. J. Lodder
Large numbers were built throughout in the war,
but they all went to the Russian front.
This is likely true as the Russians didn't have a formidable air force
until later in the war (Kursk maybe?).
Post by J. J. Lodder
Some later models got heavy guns, and served as tank killers.
(A role that was reinvented by the USAF with the A-10 Warthog)
They seem ideal for the close air support combat role.
ErrolC
2017-12-08 20:18:11 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Nothing. With the Blitzkrieg in the west over
there was no longer any need for Stukas there.
I don't know if it's the *need* or something else, since they wreaked havoc
from the Spanish Civil War to the day before the Battle of Britain.
Then they were nothing.
They went from ferocious to nothing.
That's a pretty big shift.
The UK had the world's first effective integrated air defence system. Stukas
couldn't operate effectively even at the margins of it.
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
The Stuka was a frontline close support bomber.
It was relatively slow, had no effective defenses,
and had a short range.
The Battle of Britain was "relatively" short range for the southern ports.
Post by J. J. Lodder
They were far to vulnerable to be usable in the West, after D-Day,
given the overwhelming Allied air superiority.
True. They were a terrible fighter.
And yet, they wreaked havoc on country after country after country.
So maybe it was just that nobody had a good air force until the day before
the Battle of Britain?
The overall environment is what counts, the air forces are part of that.
The French had decent planes in decent numbers, but terrible organisation.
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Large numbers were built throughout in the war,
but they all went to the Russian front.
This is likely true as the Russians didn't have a formidable air force
until later in the war (Kursk maybe?).
Post by J. J. Lodder
Some later models got heavy guns, and served as tank killers.
(A role that was reinvented by the USAF with the A-10 Warthog)
They seem ideal for the close air support combat role.
And your side needs a level of air superiority to provide CAS at
reasonable cost. Stukas were effective in Russia for some time, and
the Mediterranean in the right context (e.g. Greece, Crete, Malta until the
RAF could defend it effectively).

--
Errol Cavit
harry newton
2017-12-09 01:56:31 UTC
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Post by ErrolC
The UK had the world's first effective integrated air defence system. Stukas
couldn't operate effectively even at the margins of it.
I agree that Germany and Britain had a battle of the radio waves where it
seems that the British won it handily.

In fact, I've read Churchill's description of it, and even though Winston
wasn't a technical guy, Churchill explained what his technical guy
explained to him (there was one technical guy Churchill trusted on the
battle of the radio waves because he had to fund it all apparently).

It took a few years to complete, although I agree with you that the far
shorter Battle of Britain showed the Stuka to be nothing of a threat.

And yet, that was before they had an extensive radio capacity. Sure they
had that underground room where the table had all the planes planned out
and the lights on the wall and the ladies pushing squadrons around - but
still - the Stuka fared very poorly against the British fighters.

Basically you don't hear about the Stuka after the day before the Battle of
Britain, do you? (Maybe in Russia, as someone noted - but not in the west.
Of course, after the Battle of Britain, there wasn't a battle in Europe to
speak of against the Allies - but there was Africa.)

Anyway, it's odd that the Stuka went from invincible to meaningless, almost
instantly. It wasn't like the Zero, which went from invincible to piloted
by a kid with no training in slow steps.
Post by ErrolC
The overall environment is what counts, the air forces are part of that.
The French had decent planes in decent numbers, but terrible organisation.
True. It has been said many times, surprisingly, that the French tanks, for
example, were *far* superior to the German at the *beginning* of the war.

It has even been said that the American tanks (e.g., Sherman) were pretty
good - but that's hard to believe given the German tanks at the end of the
war were shockingly invulnerable.
Post by ErrolC
Post by harry newton
They seem ideal for the close air support combat role.
And your side needs a level of air superiority to provide CAS at
reasonable cost. Stukas were effective in Russia for some time, and
the Mediterranean in the right context (e.g. Greece, Crete, Malta until the
RAF could defend it effectively).
You're almost certainly correct.

It must be that the "conditions" for the Stuka to be effective ceased to
exist the day before the Battle of Britain, in Europe, never to return.

In Russia, those "conditions" lasted longer, as they might have also lasted
in the Balkans. I'm not sure if they were used much on Malta - I've been to
Valetta - and I read that handbook by a Maltese local - about the war -
where the Italians did all the early bombing - not the Germans.
ErrolC
2017-12-09 05:52:45 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by ErrolC
The UK had the world's first effective integrated air defence system. Stukas
couldn't operate effectively even at the margins of it.
I agree that Germany and Britain had a battle of the radio waves where it
seems that the British won it handily.
I was referring to to the recently operational system of fighters being
directed by control rooms, informed by radar and observers, all linked
by telephone and radio. You seem to have gone off on a tangent.
Post by harry newton
In fact, I've read Churchill's description of it, and even though Winston
wasn't a technical guy, Churchill explained what his technical guy
explained to him (there was one technical guy Churchill trusted on the
battle of the radio waves because he had to fund it all apparently).
It took a few years to complete, although I agree with you that the far
shorter Battle of Britain showed the Stuka to be nothing of a threat.
And yet, that was before they had an extensive radio capacity. Sure they
had that underground room where the table had all the planes planned out
and the lights on the wall and the ladies pushing squadrons around - but
still - the Stuka fared very poorly against the British fighters.
Basically you don't hear about the Stuka after the day before the Battle of
Britain, do you? (Maybe in Russia, as someone noted - but not in the west.
Of course, after the Battle of Britain, there wasn't a battle in Europe to
speak of against the Allies - but there was Africa.)
Anyway, it's odd that the Stuka went from invincible to meaningless, almost
instantly. It wasn't like the Zero, which went from invincible to piloted
by a kid with no training in slow steps.
It's not odd. Allied fighters couldn't reach Stukas during the early
land campaigns (and the ground forces had inadequate AA). If they found
them, they were protected by German fighters. During the Battle of
Britain, they were detected and enough British fighters directed to
them to inflict unsustainable losses. Stukas were always vulnerable,
the environment dictated if they were effective.

<snip>
Post by harry newton
Post by ErrolC
Post by harry newton
They seem ideal for the close air support combat role.
And your side needs a level of air superiority to provide CAS at
reasonable cost. Stukas were effective in Russia for some time, and
the Mediterranean in the right context (e.g. Greece, Crete, Malta until the
RAF could defend it effectively).
You're almost certainly correct.
It must be that the "conditions" for the Stuka to be effective ceased to
exist the day before the Battle of Britain, in Europe, never to return.
i.e. the battle taking place within the best defended airspace on the
planet, rather than over a mobile battlefield that the Allies were
not prepared for.
Post by harry newton
In Russia, those "conditions" lasted longer, as they might have also lasted
in the Balkans. I'm not sure if they were used much on Malta - I've been to
Valetta - and I read that handbook by a Maltese local - about the war -
where the Italians did all the early bombing - not the Germans.
They were effective in the Med where the Axis were able to escort them
effectively (which didn't happen where fighting was happening in
NW Europe after June 1940).

--
Errol Cavit
harry newton
2017-12-09 08:42:26 UTC
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Post by ErrolC
I was referring to to the recently operational system of fighters being
directed by control rooms, informed by radar and observers, all linked
by telephone and radio. You seem to have gone off on a tangent.
Yes. I understand what you're talking about. Churchill described it well
for on the 15th of September, a fateful day, he described it being much
like Waterloo, where he was at the center of number 11 fighting group.

In the Group Operation Room fifty feet underground, designed by Dowding,
Churchill watched each of his six fighter stations commit to the battle,
until none were left. Some were borrowed by Park from Dowding at number 12
group at Stanmore, until there was nothing left to borrow.

At that very moment in time, the German was defeated, at least by
Churchill's account, with not a single British plane to spare. Hitler
postponed Operation Sealion for what turned out to be indefinitely at that
very point where the British defeated the German by the use of those
bombproof operations rooms.

In *addition*, the British had a battle of radar wits with the Germans; but
what you were talking about was this battle of organization, which the
British won by not losing.
Post by ErrolC
i.e. the battle taking place within the best defended airspace on the
planet, rather than over a mobile battlefield that the Allies were
not prepared for.
The Battle of Britain, was by no means a fait accompli - but - it pitted
the then best airforce of two countries - where the combination of factors
showed a decisive win for the British over the German.

As you are aware I'm sure, the Germans "almost" won the Battle of Britain
in the air - but changed strategy at the most opportune time for the
British.

The Stuka being relegated to service elsewhere, the only planes that
mattered were the bombers (Heinkel 111s)and their escorts (the ME-110s or
for shorter distances, the better fighter, the ME-109s).
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-09 11:51:45 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by ErrolC
The UK had the world's first effective integrated air defence system. Stukas
couldn't operate effectively even at the margins of it.
I agree that Germany and Britain had a battle of the radio waves where it
seems that the British won it handily.
In fact, I've read Churchill's description of it, and even though Winston
wasn't a technical guy, Churchill explained what his technical guy
explained to him (there was one technical guy Churchill trusted on the
battle of the radio waves because he had to fund it all apparently).
It took a few years to complete, although I agree with you that the far
shorter Battle of Britain showed the Stuka to be nothing of a threat.
And yet, that was before they had an extensive radio capacity. Sure they
had that underground room where the table had all the planes planned out
and the lights on the wall and the ladies pushing squadrons around - but
still - the Stuka fared very poorly against the British fighters.
The radar was useless once the German planes had crossed the coastline.
The Observer Corps spotted them visually and by sound.
The reported by telephone land line.

So the plotting room (and a lot of invisible girls on the phone)
was necessary to integrate all that information.
Post by harry newton
Basically you don't hear about the Stuka after the day before the Battle of
Britain, do you? (Maybe in Russia, as someone noted - but not in the west.
Of course, after the Battle of Britain, there wasn't a battle in Europe to
speak of against the Allies - but there was Africa.)
The Stukas were part of Goerings strategy for a while.
The Stukas would try to knock out the radar stations,
then the bombers with heavy fighter support would try to knock out
the forward fighter fields.
It worked only too well.
So Churchill ordered a bombing raid on Berlin
in the hope that Hitler would retalliate against London,
which would take some of the pressure off Fighter Command.
(this is not official history, and in fact hotly denied by some)
Post by harry newton
Anyway, it's odd that the Stuka went from invincible to meaningless, almost
instantly. It wasn't like the Zero, which went from invincible to piloted
by a kid with no training in slow steps.
The Stuka was never invincible. It was effectively unarmed.
(only a -rearwar-d facing machine gun)
Who said that Germans can't have silly ideas too?
Post by harry newton
Post by ErrolC
The overall environment is what counts, the air forces are part of that.
The French had decent planes in decent numbers, but terrible organisation.
True. It has been said many times, surprisingly, that the French tanks, for
example, were *far* superior to the German at the *beginning* of the war.
It has even been said that the American tanks (e.g., Sherman) were pretty
good - but that's hard to believe given the German tanks at the end of the
war were shockingly invulnerable.
That one of the errors the Americans made.
After the North-African campaign they decided
that the Sherman tank was good enough.
So they ordered mass production, and no furthwr development.
The Tiger and Koenigstiger (aka Tiger II) were much better.
What saved tee Americans was numerical superiority.
The USA produced 49,234 Shermans,
against only 489 Koenigstigers,
so more than a hundred to one. (fide wiki)
Post by harry newton
Post by ErrolC
Post by harry newton
They seem ideal for the close air support combat role.
And your side needs a level of air superiority to provide CAS at
reasonable cost. Stukas were effective in Russia for some time, and
the Mediterranean in the right context (e.g. Greece, Crete, Malta until the
RAF could defend it effectively).
You're almost certainly correct.
It must be that the "conditions" for the Stuka to be effective ceased to
exist the day before the Battle of Britain, in Europe, never to return.
Not quite, see above,

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-09 17:22:25 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
So Churchill ordered a bombing raid on Berlin
in the hope that Hitler would retalliate against London,
which would take some of the pressure off Fighter Command.
(this is not official history, and in fact hotly denied by some)
I looked in my abridged copy of Churchill's edited "the second world war",
where he only says that on September 7 Goering publicly took over the
German air assault on Britain and at that time, switched to both night
raids, and night London raids. While what Churchill calls "minor" raids
continued during the day, Churchill said "in the main, the whole character
of the German offensive was altered".

So my paper copy of Churchill's musing don't seem to claim credit for the
switch, although certainly Hitler was incensed that Berlin was bombed.

However, like anything in history, the truth may be even more complex than
we know, as intimated in this article:
<http://www.strangehistory.net/2010/08/24/24-august-1940-the-night-that-hitler-lost-the-war/>
Post by J. J. Lodder
The Stuka was never invincible. It was effectively unarmed.
(only a -rearwar-d facing machine gun)
Who said that Germans can't have silly ideas too?
Thank you for that interesting perspective. I had never understood why the
Stuka was so feared until the day before the Battle of Britain. It seems it
must have been a combination of two main factors:
1. It wasn't really all that good, but,
2. In the beginning, the conditions were such that it didn't need to be.
Post by J. J. Lodder
That one of the errors the Americans made.
After the North-African campaign they decided
that the Sherman tank was good enough.
Agreed. They gave the Russians and British plenty, and maybe had to use the
same tank themselves to save face! :)
Post by J. J. Lodder
So they ordered mass production, and no furthwr development.
The Tiger and Koenigstiger (aka Tiger II) were much better.
What saved tee Americans was numerical superiority.
Yes. And tank-killer tactics. Same thing the Russians did at Kursk where
they would lose mightily on any direct tank-on-tank battle unless they
could sustain the losses of 1 German tank to many Russian tanks.
Post by J. J. Lodder
The USA produced 49,234 Shermans,
against only 489 Koenigstigers,
so more than a hundred to one. (fide wiki)
Agreed. The joke about identifying soldiers by firing a single shot into
the group where the result is a huge wasteful barrage of artillery holds
sway for most materiel.
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-09 21:42:58 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
So Churchill ordered a bombing raid on Berlin
in the hope that Hitler would retalliate against London,
which would take some of the pressure off Fighter Command.
(this is not official history, and in fact hotly denied by some)
I looked in my abridged copy of Churchill's edited "the second world war",
where he only says that on September 7 Goering publicly took over the
German air assault on Britain and at that time, switched to both night
raids, and night London raids. While what Churchill calls "minor" raids
continued during the day, Churchill said "in the main, the whole character
of the German offensive was altered".
So my paper copy of Churchill's musing don't seem to claim credit for the
switch, although certainly Hitler was incensed that Berlin was bombed.
However, like anything in history, the truth may be even more complex than
<http://www.strangehistory.net/2010/08/24/24-august-1940-the-night-that-hitler
-lost-the-war/>

Whatever the truth, the idea that Churchill might have pushed Hitler
into killing Londoners in order to save fighter command airfields
is not one that many Britons like.
They feel it detracts from the great man image.
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
The Stuka was never invincible. It was effectively unarmed.
(only a -rearwar-d facing machine gun)
Who said that Germans can't have silly ideas too?
Thank you for that interesting perspective. I had never understood why the
Stuka was so feared until the day before the Battle of Britain. It seems it
1. It wasn't really all that good, but,
2. In the beginning, the conditions were such that it didn't need to be.
Well, Stukas did do a lot of damage.
The Germans also added terror to its attacks for a while
by equipping Stukas with an air-driven siren.
You could hear them coming.
The Stuka sound became so popular in Hollywood science
that there are still people who think that all planes
make rising siren-like sounds when going into a dive.
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
That one of the errors the Americans made.
After the North-African campaign they decided
that the Sherman tank was good enough.
Agreed. They gave the Russians and British plenty, and maybe had to use the
same tank themselves to save face! :)
Post by J. J. Lodder
So they ordered mass production, and no furthwr development.
The Tiger and Koenigstiger (aka Tiger II) were much better.
What saved tee Americans was numerical superiority.
Yes. And tank-killer tactics. Same thing the Russians did at Kursk where
they would lose mightily on any direct tank-on-tank battle unless they
could sustain the losses of 1 German tank to many Russian tanks.
Post by J. J. Lodder
The USA produced 49,234 Shermans,
against only 489 Koenigstigers,
so more than a hundred to one. (fide wiki)
Agreed. The joke about identifying soldiers by firing a single shot into
the group where the result is a huge wasteful barrage of artillery holds
sway for most materiel.
The Americans had better military sense than all Europeans.
Why waste soldiers when you can waste money instead?
They never committed stupidities like the Brits at the Somme,
and again at Passendale, or the French and Germans at Verdun.

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-10 01:51:04 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Whatever the truth, the idea that Churchill might have pushed Hitler
into killing Londoners in order to save fighter command airfields
is not one that many Britons like.
They feel it detracts from the great man image.
I must openly affirm that Churchill makes no bones whatsoever that NOBODY
in the government thought the bombing of London would have any adverse
effect on their war effort.

Churchill openly states this.

Churchill was worried mostly about his airfields, and then about his
convoys. That's what worried him. Not the bombing of his cities.

Churchill is very open about this in his book on the war.

If the dockside Londoners are bitter about this, they have reason to be so.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Well, Stukas did do a lot of damage.
The Germans also added terror to its attacks for a while
by equipping Stukas with an air-driven siren.
That's the thing that is confusing about Stukas.
They were a terror early in the war.
And then they were nothing.

Anyway, I think we covered that the Stukas only went up against a "real"
air force when the Battle of Britain commenced.
Post by J. J. Lodder
You could hear them coming.
The Stuka sound became so popular in Hollywood science
that there are still people who think that all planes
make rising siren-like sounds when going into a dive.
It seems to have worked wonders on the Spanish, Poles, early-day Russians,
and maybe even the French.

The British didn't seem to be fazed by the Stuka, and neither were the
Americans (much later in the war, of course).
Post by J. J. Lodder
The Americans had better military sense than all Europeans.
Why waste soldiers when you can waste money instead?
The Americans could *afford* that decision; the Russians could not.
Nonetheless, I stand by it as materiel is less expensive, in the long run,
then men.
Post by J. J. Lodder
They never committed stupidities like the Brits at the Somme,
Or the Brits at Singapore. :)

Kasserine was pretty stupid. The Bulge turned out to be a calculated risk
that failed initially. Anzio turned out to be a beached whale. Monte
Cassino was an impasse. Some bombing raids sustained more than 10% losses.

But overall, I agree, the decisions of WWI resulted in ungodly slaughter.
Post by J. J. Lodder
and again at Passendale, or the French and Germans at Verdun.
The funny thing about Verdun is that the French *always* do EXACTLY what
the Germans want them to do. In every single war. Hitler reportedly danced
a jig of joy when the French did exactly as planned.

It's almost as if in two (even three) successive wars, the French were part
of the German plan under German control.

Even in North Africa, the French did exactly what the Germans wanted them
to do. They only scuttled the fleet in France at the last possible moment.

The French, other than the resistance, have nothing to be proud of.
Actually, I give them credit also for staking their life on Poland, the
hyena of Churchill's description.
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-09 11:51:44 UTC
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Post by ErrolC
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Nothing. With the Blitzkrieg in the west over
there was no longer any need for Stukas there.
I don't know if it's the *need* or something else, since they wreaked havoc
from the Spanish Civil War to the day before the Battle of Britain.
Then they were nothing.
They went from ferocious to nothing.
That's a pretty big shift.
The UK had the world's first effective integrated air defence system. Stukas
couldn't operate effectively even at the margins of it.
Not quite true. Stukas did sink a lot of shipping in the Channel,
and they did attack those radar stations with some succes.
(but the damage could be repaired rapidly)

Jan
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-08 11:58:07 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Right. Germany had great problems with training enough pilots.
Their other great problem was the fuel supply.
The second problem reinforced the first,
[split replies]
Post by harry newton
You seem to know it better than I do.
I know strategic bombing never caused morale to flag enough to win a war.
Au contraire, it reinforced morale.
Goebels could say, with some justificatiom:
See? They are terrorists. They are out to exterminate us all.
Our only chance is to fight on, no matter what.
They used the term 'Terrorflieger' for the bomber crews at the time.
Parachuted bomber crews in Germany could count themselves lucky
if police or some regular unit arrested them.
They risked being killed with spades or pitchforks or whatever
by the enraged general population.
Post by harry newton
However, in the end of the war, the joke in the German infantry was that if
it's flying at night, it's British; if it flies during the day, it's
American; and if it doesn't fly at all, it's German.
Understandable, but historically inaccurate.
From D-Day onwards all Allied planes were marked with 'D-Day stripes',
to make them as visible and unmistakable as possible.
(that's those big black and white striping across the wings
and rear fuselage, sometimes across camouflage colours)

Being killed by 'friendly fire' was consired to be the greatest danger,

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-08 14:51:50 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Au contraire, it reinforced morale.
Good point.

Certainly the Germans never flagged.
Nor the British.

Neither the Japanese (Hiroshima was the 68th city destroyed and Tokyo had
far worse casualties from mere low-tech incendiaries).

All the low countries gave up after a few bombings - but they would have
given up as easily had the Germans handed them a pink slip of paper saying
"you're fired".

Only Finland stood up to the bombing of Molotov's well-meaning bread
baskets.
Post by J. J. Lodder
See? They are terrorists. They are out to exterminate us all.
True. The German people were vicious to some fighter crew captured after
the Dresden raids, for example.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Our only chance is to fight on, no matter what.
They used the term 'Terrorflieger' for the bomber crews at the time.
It's interesting that the switch from bombing RAF Command to bombing London
"saved" Britain, according to Churchill.

Notice that Churchill implies that bombing *can* work - it just didn't.
Just as the submarine stranglehold *could* have worked - it just didn't.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Parachuted bomber crews in Germany could count themselves lucky
if police or some regular unit arrested them.
Ah. I agree. Civilians murdered the crew caught around Dresden.

Something about the railroad marshaling yards being full of children
leaving for the countryside incensed the German people.
Post by J. J. Lodder
They risked being killed with spades or pitchforks or whatever
by the enraged general population.
Yup. The German people were as cruel as any humans can ever be.
They were happy when the war started.
They never gave up until they absolutely had to.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Being killed by 'friendly fire' was consired to be the greatest danger,
There is a joke that goes along those lines too. Something to the effect
that if the plane is British then the civilians are scared, and if the
plane is German then the Allies are scared, but if the plane is American,
then EVERYONE is scared.

It's sort of along the lines of the joke on how to tell the nationality of
an unknown clump of soldiers in a thicket. All you need to conclusively
identify them is fire a single shot into that group of unknown soldiers. If
pinpoint return fire results, then they're British. If accurate machine-gun
fire results, they're German. If they immediately surrender, then they're
French. But if nothing whatsoever happens ... then run for your lives
because in about five or ten minutes, the Americans will overwhelm your
position with an artillery bombardment.
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-09 11:51:45 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Au contraire, it reinforced morale.
Good point.
Certainly the Germans never flagged.
Nor the British.
Neither the Japanese (Hiroshima was the 68th city destroyed and Tokyo had
far worse casualties from mere low-tech incendiaries).
All the low countries gave up after a few bombings - but they would have
given up as easily had the Germans handed them a pink slip of paper saying
"you're fired".
Ah, another fool who thinks that Copenhagen
is the capital of the Netherlands.
Post by harry newton
Only Finland stood up to the bombing of Molotov's well-meaning bread
baskets.
Post by J. J. Lodder
See? They are terrorists. They are out to exterminate us all.
True. The German people were vicious to some fighter crew captured after
the Dresden raids, for example.
AFAIK there is no good evidence for that.
Likewise there is no good evidence for American fighter pilots
shooting up civilians fleeing Dresden, just for sport.
(merely eyewitness accounts)
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Our only chance is to fight on, no matter what.
They used the term 'Terrorflieger' for the bomber crews at the time.
It's interesting that the switch from bombing RAF Command to bombing London
"saved" Britain, according to Churchill.
Notice that Churchill implies that bombing *can* work - it just didn't.
Just as the submarine stranglehold *could* have worked - it just didn't.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Parachuted bomber crews in Germany could count themselves lucky
if police or some regular unit arrested them.
Ah. I agree. Civilians murdered the crew caught around Dresden.
Something about the railroad marshaling yards being full of children
leaving for the countryside incensed the German people.
Another myth. The target was the city centre,
not the railway marshalling yards near it.
Another nomen est omen btw.
The man directly responsible for the raid was Air Marshal Douglas Evill.
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
They risked being killed with spades or pitchforks or whatever
by the enraged general population.
Yup. The German people were as cruel as any humans can ever be.
They were happy when the war started.
They never gave up until they absolutely had to.
So mass murdering mostly women and children from the air is not cruel,
but murdering those responsible for it (if caught) is?
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Being killed by 'friendly fire' was consired to be the greatest danger,
There is a joke that goes along those lines too. Something to the effect
that if the plane is British then the civilians are scared, and if the
plane is German then the Allies are scared, but if the plane is American,
then EVERYONE is scared.
I heard it originally about the artillery.
When ze English start shooting ....
Post by harry newton
It's sort of along the lines of the joke on how to tell the nationality of
an unknown clump of soldiers in a thicket. All you need to conclusively
identify them is fire a single shot into that group of unknown soldiers. If
pinpoint return fire results, then they're British. If accurate machine-gun
fire results, they're German. If they immediately surrender, then they're
French. But if nothing whatsoever happens ... then run for your lives
because in about five or ten minutes, the Americans will overwhelm your
position with an artillery bombardment.
Perhaps, but silly where the French are concerned.
Best advice: don't try it,

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-09 17:32:51 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Ah, another fool who thinks that Copenhagen
is the capital of the Netherlands.
I admit confusion of the "small countries" of Western Europe.

My main recollection is that they all collapsed without a fight save for
Finland (who fought the Russians) and the so-called "neutral" countries
(who, in reality, were on the German side to varying degrees from Sweden,
which as a German ally, to Switzerland which one could argue was slightly
more balanced).

NOTE: I posit that there is no such thing as a neutral country, so that
tempers my hatred of Sweden for what they did with respect to aiding and
abetting the Germans.
Post by J. J. Lodder
So mass murdering mostly women and children from the air is not cruel,
but murdering those responsible for it (if caught) is?
There is merit to the distinction - but it's philosophical indeed.
Especially in light of the fact nothing was ever done about Katyn.
Post by J. J. Lodder
I heard it originally about the artillery.
When ze English start shooting ....
You are probably correct as I was recalling the joke from memory, but it's
probably that when the Americans start with artillery, everyone is scared
because the Americans used materiel like it was going out of style.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Perhaps, but silly where the French are concerned.
The French have nothing to be proud of, particularly *later* in the war,
when they fought everyone but the Germans in North Africa, until Darlan was
basically told he'd be executed by Mark Clark if he didn't order a
capitulation in Algiers for the entire French Forces who were literally
inviting the Germans west while literally fighting the British/Americans
east.

If you read Churchill, Eisenhower, and Bradly, as I have, you might
conclude, as I have, that the French fought everyone except the Germans.
charles
2017-12-09 17:38:13 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Ah, another fool who thinks that Copenhagen
is the capital of the Netherlands.
I admit confusion of the "small countries" of Western Europe.
My main recollection is that they all collapsed without a fight save for
Finland (who fought the Russians) and the so-called "neutral" countries
(who, in reality, were on the German side to varying degrees from Sweden,
which as a German ally, to Switzerland which one could argue was slightly
more balanced).
NOTE: I posit that there is no such thing as a neutral country, so that
tempers my hatred of Sweden for what they did with respect to aiding and
abetting the Germans.
but they still sold us ball bearings. "Shipped" by Mosquitos.
--
from KT24 in Surrey, England
harry newton
2017-12-09 17:54:47 UTC
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Post by charles
Post by harry newton
NOTE: I posit that there is no such thing as a neutral country, so that
tempers my hatred of Sweden for what they did with respect to aiding and
abetting the Germans.
but they still sold us ball bearings. "Shipped" by Mosquitos.
I'm not sure I understand the reference.

We Americans bombed ball-bearing factories (Schweinfurt?) and Sweden was
complicit with Germany (as Thailand was with Japan), particularly in the
shipping of iron ore, all of which was used to kill allied soldiers.

I don't understand the reference to the de Havilland Mosquito?
charles
2017-12-09 18:08:33 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by charles
Post by harry newton
NOTE: I posit that there is no such thing as a neutral country, so
that tempers my hatred of Sweden for what they did with respect to
aiding and abetting the Germans.
but they still sold us ball bearings. "Shipped" by Mosquitos.
I'm not sure I understand the reference.
We Americans bombed ball-bearing factories (Schweinfurt?) and Sweden was
complicit with Germany (as Thailand was with Japan), particularly in the
shipping of iron ore, all of which was used to kill allied soldiers.
I don't understand the reference to the de Havilland Mosquito?
because they were used to transport ball bearings from Sweden to the UK
--
from KT24 in Surrey, England
harry newton
2017-12-10 01:01:30 UTC
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Post by charles
Post by harry newton
I don't understand the reference to the de Havilland Mosquito?
because they were used to transport ball bearings from Sweden to the UK
Thank you for that information. I was well aware of the many evils
perpetuated upon the Allied cause by Sweden, the iron ore being perhaps
only the penultimate insult - but I had bin hitherto unaware of any
"neutral-like" trading with the Allies.

Googling, the first page-hits found this paper:
Did Swedish Ball Bearings Keep the Second World War Going?
Re-evaluating Neutral Sweden's Role by ERIC B. GOLSON
Some takeaways from the summary:
* 58% of German supplies and 31% of British (i.e., half as much for Allies)
* All exports favoured Germany over the Allies
* Ball bearings prices depended on the position of the acquiring country

The discussion in the paper contrasts Alan Milward's view that Swedish iron
ore allowed the war to maim & kill many Allied soldiers (which I must state
is clearly the view that I hold), while Martin Fritz's view is that it
wasn't enough to alter the course of the war.

With respect specifically to ball bearings, apparently SKF had the
requisite IP and resources to make the best bearings, even better than
American ball bearings of the time.

The paper says that the Swedish deliveries of SKF ball bearings to Germany
are often stated to have significantly improved the well-known German
ability to prolong the killing and maiming of Allied soldiers - but this
author thinks that isn't the case.

Unbeknownst to me, there was a SKF subsidiary in Philadelphia and Skefko in
Luton, England - in addition to the well known Schweinfurt AG factories
where many gallant Allied soldiers were maimed and killed.

A telling sentence regarding Swedish complicit duplicity is as follows:
"Sweden rarely honoured its agreements on ball bearings exports.
Changes in quantities delivered and prices depended [only] on the
relative strength of the recipients [at each point in the war]."

In the summary of what I learned, I now know that the Swedes did
"something" that a neutral would do, which is trade (however unevenly) with
both sides - while they did *everything* that neutrals always do, which is
gouge the recipients and supply what amounts to the enemy with the means to
further the ability of the Germans to maim and kill Allied soldiers.

NOTE: I have a historical dislike for the fact that most people think a
country is "neutral" simply by declaring their neutrality - which is NEVER
the case (it's impossible in fact). The only neutral country is one that
hasn't been attacked yet (for whatever reason - generally because it gives
the closest belligerent what it wants but not enough to have the other
belligerents declare war upon it).
harry newton
2017-12-10 01:04:46 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Did Swedish Ball Bearings Keep the Second World War Going?
Re-evaluating Neutral Sweden's Role by ERIC B. GOLSON
Mea culpa. In my ad-hoc review I forgot to cite the site!
<http://www.econhist.gu.se/digitalAssets/1341/1341645_golson.pdf>\

Did Swedish ball bearings keep the Second World War going?
Re-evaluating neutral Sweden's role, by Eric B. Golson
London School of Economics
Correspondence e.b.golson AT lse.ac.uk
Peter Moylan
2017-12-10 05:38:51 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by harry newton
Did Swedish Ball Bearings Keep the Second World War Going?
Re-evaluating Neutral Sweden's Role by ERIC B. GOLSON
Mea culpa. In my ad-hoc review I forgot to cite the site!
<http://www.econhist.gu.se/digitalAssets/1341/1341645_golson.pdf>\
Did Swedish ball bearings keep the Second World War going? Re-evaluating
neutral Sweden's role, by Eric B. Golson London School of Economics
Correspondence e.b.golson AT lse.ac.uk
Something related happened in Australia.

<URL:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalfram_dispute_of_1938>

In 1937-1938, Japan wanted to buy iron from Australia to use for weapons
in their war against China. The unions were opposed to this, putting
them in conflict with a government that wanted to sell the iron, and
incidentally appease Japan. In the most famous case, at Port Kembla, the
dock workers refused to load iron into a British ship bound for Japan,
leading to an 11-week lockout. Eventually the attorney-general used
strong anti-union laws to force the ship to be loaded in January 1939.

(The first Japanese attack on Australia didn't happen until 1942.)

Ever since then, that attorney-general, who subsequently became Prime
Minister, has been known as "Pig Iron Bob".
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
harry newton
2017-12-10 12:56:19 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
n 1937-1938, Japan wanted to buy iron from Australia to use for weapons
in their war against China. The unions were opposed to this, putting
them in conflict with a government that wanted to sell the iron,
That's interesting, especially since the Australians had instituted the
"Brisbane Line" of defense, against Japan - which was never used - but was
seriously contemplated.

Interesting. Thanks. I knew Darwin was actually bombed by Japan, but I
didn't know there was this pig-iron conflict.
Peter Moylan
2017-12-11 02:15:24 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by Peter Moylan
n 1937-1938, Japan wanted to buy iron from Australia to use for
weapons in their war against China. The unions were opposed to
this, putting them in conflict with a government that wanted to
sell the iron,
That's interesting, especially since the Australians had instituted
the "Brisbane Line" of defense, against Japan - which was never used
- but was seriously contemplated.
The Brisbane Line wasn't proposed until 1942, as far as I know. By that
time Japan was an active enemy. In 1937 it was just a country to be
watched carefully.
Post by harry newton
Interesting. Thanks. I knew Darwin was actually bombed by Japan, but
I didn't know there was this pig-iron conflict.
The news about Darwin was censored in the southern states, supposedly to
help morale. It was only later that we discovered the extent of the
attacks on Darwin.

Newcastle's direct experience of battle was limited to one submarine. It
fired a few shots into the city centre, although it must have been
really aiming for the steel works. Our coastal defences fired back and
missed, and then the submarine went away again.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-11 08:29:49 UTC
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On 11/12/17 02:15, Peter Moylan wrote:

<snip>
Post by Peter Moylan
Newcastle's direct experience of battle was limited to one submarine. It
fired a few shots into the city centre, although it must have been
really aiming for the steel works. Our coastal defences fired back and
missed, and then the submarine went away again.
The above reminds me of a piece that appeared in a "Not the Nine O'Clock
News" publication, "Not 1983", a fat book of satire in calendrical form.
I lost the book decades ago, but the piece in question went something
like this:

THE NEPTUNE DIARY

4,600,000,000 BC - small part of giant molecular cloud undergoes
gravitational collapse
4,599,000,000 BC - accretion of molecules forms planetary mass
4,598,000,000 BC - internal structure of planet established
4,597,999,999 BC - planet settles down into peaceful period
4,250,000,000 BC - peaceful period superseded by tranquillity
3,750,000,000 BC - tranquil period abruptly truncated by dormancy
1,500,000,000 BC - dormancy gently interrupted by new peacefulness
1,200,000,000 BC - serenity quietly replaces peace
900,000,000 BC - another dormant period begins
4 January 1983 AD - small spiky object appears in sky
19 March 1983 AD - small spiky object is getting closer
13 June 1983 AD - small spiky object flies past
13 June 1983 AD (later) - all quiet again after the excitement
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
harry newton
2017-12-11 18:42:56 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
Newcastle's direct experience of battle was limited to one submarine.
I didn't know about that either - so it's good to know.
I knew about the Brisbane line, and Darwin being bombed, but not Newcastle
being shelled.

Thanks!
David Kleinecke
2017-12-11 21:44:21 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by Peter Moylan
Newcastle's direct experience of battle was limited to one submarine.
I didn't know about that either - so it's good to know.
I knew about the Brisbane line, and Darwin being bombed, but not Newcastle
being shelled.
Do you know about Santa Barbara being shelled?

Not exactly SB - a few miles west.
harry newton
2017-12-11 22:47:06 UTC
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Post by David Kleinecke
Do you know about Santa Barbara being shelled?
Not exactly SB - a few miles west.
Yes. As I recall, they shelled, I think, San Diego.

Also I knew about the incendiary balloons that ended up in Washington or
Oregon.

I guess they were trying to get back at us for firebombing Tokyo.

Googling for the details on the shelling,
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=japanese+shell+california

It seems to catch the "Bombardment of Ellwood".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardment_of_Ellwood

According to that article, the Japanese submarine I17 officer, Nishino,
chose that location based on a perceived slight from before the war to
shoot one or two dozen deck-gun shells into the oil storage facility.
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-10 11:49:11 UTC
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Post by charles
Post by harry newton
Post by charles
Post by harry newton
NOTE: I posit that there is no such thing as a neutral country, so
that tempers my hatred of Sweden for what they did with respect to
aiding and abetting the Germans.
but they still sold us ball bearings. "Shipped" by Mosquitos.
I'm not sure I understand the reference.
We Americans bombed ball-bearing factories (Schweinfurt?) and Sweden was
complicit with Germany (as Thailand was with Japan), particularly in the
shipping of iron ore, all of which was used to kill allied soldiers.
I don't understand the reference to the de Havilland Mosquito?
because they were used to transport ball bearings from Sweden to the UK
They transported Niels Bohr in a Mosquito too.
Due to their expreme speed and altitude capabilities
the Mosquitos were beyond German capabilities for interception.
Northern Scotland was in range from Stockholm,

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-10 12:56:16 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
They transported Niels Bohr in a Mosquito too.
I think they took his whole family.
I didn't know how though.
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-10 15:09:33 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
They transported Niels Bohr in a Mosquito too.
I think they took his whole family.
Out of Denmark, yes.
Bohr went by military Mosquito alone,
on a matress on the bomb bay doors. [1]
Post by harry newton
I didn't know how though.
The others followed later.
BOAC operated a civilian Mosquito service,
for VIP passengers and high value cargo,

Jan

[1] There is a Niels Bohr anecdote connected with it.
On arrival, the pilots were quite worried
about the state of their very special passenger.
During the flight they hadn't been able
to talk to him on the intercom.
It turned out that Bohr was fast asleep.
He couldn't put his helmet on because his skull was to big.
(so he had no oxygen mask)
He must have passed out during the climb to 10 km.
harry newton
2017-12-10 19:42:03 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Bohr went by military Mosquito alone,
on a matress on the bomb bay doors.
Interesting. Thanks. I enjoyed the story of the helmet and the oxygen!
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-11 10:02:42 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Bohr went by military Mosquito alone,
on a matress on the bomb bay doors.
Interesting. Thanks. I enjoyed the story of the helmet and the oxygen!
I'll add another then.
Legend has it that the pilots had orders to drop Niels Bohr
when there was a risk of him falling into German hands.
Other accounts however say that Bohr
was strapped in a parachute harness,
which would have given him at least a chance of survival,

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-11 18:42:55 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
I'll add another then.
Legend has it that the pilots had orders to drop Niels Bohr
when there was a risk of him falling into German hands.
Other accounts however say that Bohr
was strapped in a parachute harness,
which would have given him at least a chance of survival,
Well, we killed Yamamoto and the Germans killed Strafer Gott by shooting
them down, so, it did happen during the war.

Churchill's book even talks about a big fat guy that got shot down simply
because he got on a plane in Lisbon heading toward England - where it was a
*passenger* plane that the Germans shot down - thinking they were getting
the big boy.

Googling for the details, this seems to be the story Churchill wrote about:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BOAC_Flight_777

Eight German planes just to shoot down an unarmed unescorted civilian
plane?
Sam Plusnet
2017-12-11 21:25:49 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Bohr went by military Mosquito alone,
on a matress on the bomb bay doors.
Interesting. Thanks. I enjoyed the story of the helmet and the oxygen!
I'll add another then.
Legend has it that the pilots had orders to drop Niels Bohr
when there was a risk of him falling into German hands.
Other accounts however say that Bohr
was strapped in a parachute harness,
which would have given him at least a chance of survival,
A parachute harness is no guarantee of a real working parachute.
--
Sam Plusnet
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-12 10:59:39 UTC
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Post by Sam Plusnet
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Bohr went by military Mosquito alone,
on a matress on the bomb bay doors.
Interesting. Thanks. I enjoyed the story of the helmet and the oxygen!
I'll add another then.
Legend has it that the pilots had orders to drop Niels Bohr
when there was a risk of him falling into German hands.
Other accounts however say that Bohr
was strapped in a parachute harness,
which would have given him at least a chance of survival,
A parachute harness is no guarantee of a real working parachute.
I know. The Belgians even have a parachute murder case,

Jan
Cheryl
2017-12-12 11:31:52 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Sam Plusnet
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Bohr went by military Mosquito alone,
on a matress on the bomb bay doors.
Interesting. Thanks. I enjoyed the story of the helmet and the oxygen!
I'll add another then.
Legend has it that the pilots had orders to drop Niels Bohr
when there was a risk of him falling into German hands.
Other accounts however say that Bohr
was strapped in a parachute harness,
which would have given him at least a chance of survival,
A parachute harness is no guarantee of a real working parachute.
I know. The Belgians even have a parachute murder case,
An attempted murder involving a parachute is before the UK courts now.
The victim survived the jump.
--
Cheryl
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-12 16:34:03 UTC
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Post by Cheryl
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Sam Plusnet
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Bohr went by military Mosquito alone,
on a matress on the bomb bay doors.
Interesting. Thanks. I enjoyed the story of the helmet and the oxygen!
I'll add another then.
Legend has it that the pilots had orders to drop Niels Bohr
when there was a risk of him falling into German hands.
Other accounts however say that Bohr
was strapped in a parachute harness,
which would have given him at least a chance of survival,
A parachute harness is no guarantee of a real working parachute.
I know. The Belgians even have a parachute murder case,
An attempted murder involving a parachute is before the UK courts now.
The victim survived the jump.
The Belgian one was succesful, that is,
Successful if you don't mind spending 30 years in jail for it,

Jan
charles
2017-12-12 16:36:22 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Sam Plusnet
Post by harry newton
Bohr went by military Mosquito alone, on a matress on the bomb bay
doors.
Interesting. Thanks. I enjoyed the story of the helmet and the oxygen!
I'll add another then. Legend has it that the pilots had orders to
drop Niels Bohr when there was a risk of him falling into German
hands. Other accounts however say that Bohr was strapped in a
parachute harness, which would have given him at least a chance of
survival,
A parachute harness is no guarantee of a real working parachute.
I know. The Belgians even have a parachute murder case,
as does England, but it's attempted murder.
--
from KT24 in Surrey, England
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-12 18:13:05 UTC
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Post by charles
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Sam Plusnet
Post by harry newton
Bohr went by military Mosquito alone, on a matress on the bomb bay
doors.
Interesting. Thanks. I enjoyed the story of the helmet and the oxygen!
I'll add another then. Legend has it that the pilots had orders to
drop Niels Bohr when there was a risk of him falling into German
hands. Other accounts however say that Bohr was strapped in a
parachute harness, which would have given him at least a chance of
survival,
A parachute harness is no guarantee of a real working parachute.
I know. The Belgians even have a parachute murder case,
as does England, but it's attempted murder.
Rank amateurs, those Brits.
Always muddling through,
never do it right the first time,

Jan
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-12 18:13:06 UTC
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Post by Sam Plusnet
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Bohr went by military Mosquito alone,
on a matress on the bomb bay doors.
Interesting. Thanks. I enjoyed the story of the helmet and the oxygen!
I'll add another then.
Legend has it that the pilots had orders to drop Niels Bohr
when there was a risk of him falling into German hands.
Other accounts however say that Bohr
was strapped in a parachute harness,
which would have given him at least a chance of survival,
A parachute harness is no guarantee of a real working parachute.
No, but given a working parachute Bohr would have suvived,
probably unharmed, despite him not having
any parachute jumping experience.

The caricatures of ivory tower professor
are just plain wrong for the Bohrs.
Both were strong, well built man.
Niels and his brother Harald both played soccer
in Denmark's national team.
Niels as keeper, so he was quite capable of jumping
and taking hard falls.
Harald, the mathematician, played forward,

Jan

J. J. Lodder
2017-12-10 15:09:32 UTC
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Post by charles
Post by harry newton
Post by charles
Post by harry newton
NOTE: I posit that there is no such thing as a neutral country, so
that tempers my hatred of Sweden for what they did with respect to
aiding and abetting the Germans.
but they still sold us ball bearings. "Shipped" by Mosquitos.
I'm not sure I understand the reference.
We Americans bombed ball-bearing factories (Schweinfurt?) and Sweden was
complicit with Germany (as Thailand was with Japan), particularly in the
shipping of iron ore, all of which was used to kill allied soldiers.
I don't understand the reference to the de Havilland Mosquito?
because they were used to transport ball bearings from Sweden to the UK
Now you made me look it up.
I found that the transport was by specially built blocade runners too.
Most of it, I would guess.
Fast motor boats, originally intended for naval use,
but requisitioned for the Merchant marine.

They could run the blockade of the Skagerak between Norway and Denmark
at night, under cover of darkness.
The best known one seems to have been the Gay Viking,
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_Viking>

Gay was still gay, at the time,

Jan
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-12-10 15:23:54 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by charles
Post by harry newton
Post by charles
Post by harry newton
NOTE: I posit that there is no such thing as a neutral country, so
that tempers my hatred of Sweden for what they did with respect to
aiding and abetting the Germans.
but they still sold us ball bearings. "Shipped" by Mosquitos.
I'm not sure I understand the reference.
We Americans bombed ball-bearing factories (Schweinfurt?) and Sweden was
complicit with Germany (as Thailand was with Japan), particularly in the
shipping of iron ore, all of which was used to kill allied soldiers.
I don't understand the reference to the de Havilland Mosquito?
because they were used to transport ball bearings from Sweden to the UK
Now you made me look it up.
I found that the transport was by specially built blocade runners too.
Most of it, I would guess.
Fast motor boats, originally intended for naval use,
but requisitioned for the Merchant marine.
They could run the blockade of the Skagerak between Norway and Denmark
at night, under cover of darkness.
The best known one seems to have been the Gay Viking,
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_Viking>
Gay was still gay, at the time,
Still is, in France. Someone said this morning (in relation to Jean
d'Ormesson, who also died this week) that France was "le pays de
gaiété". He wasn't talking about sexual preferences.
--
athel
Paul Wolff
2017-12-10 20:06:29 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by charles
Post by harry newton
Post by charles
Post by harry newton
NOTE: I posit that there is no such thing as a neutral country,
that tempers my hatred of Sweden for what they did with respect to
aiding and abetting the Germans.
but they still sold us ball bearings. "Shipped" by Mosquitos.
I'm not sure I understand the reference.
We Americans bombed ball-bearing factories (Schweinfurt?) and Sweden was
complicit with Germany (as Thailand was with Japan), particularly in the
shipping of iron ore, all of which was used to kill allied soldiers.
I don't understand the reference to the de Havilland Mosquito?
because they were used to transport ball bearings from Sweden to the UK
Now you made me look it up.
I found that the transport was by specially built blocade runners too.
Most of it, I would guess.
Fast motor boats, originally intended for naval use,
but requisitioned for the Merchant marine.
They could run the blockade of the Skagerak between Norway and Denmark
at night, under cover of darkness.
The best known one seems to have been the Gay Viking,
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_Viking>
Gay was still gay, at the time,
Still is, in France. Someone said this morning (in relation to Jean
d'Ormesson, who also died this week) that France was "le pays de
gaiété". He wasn't talking about sexual preferences.
The phrase "Gay Paree" probably still survives as a distant memory for
some. Something to do with dancing girls I believe, m'Lud.
--
Paul
harry newton
2017-12-10 19:48:29 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Now you made me look it up.
I found that the transport was by specially built blocade runners too.
I didn't know about any of this ball-bearing stuff, but what I looked up
indicated that the British received roughly 1/3 their needs while the
Germans received roughly 2/3 their needs from Sweden, both at prices
relative to their standing in the war at the time.

I do remember also an incident where the Swedes raped Britain unmercifully
to obtain a (V2 rocket?) that had fallen in their lands. I'll need to look
that one up though as I remember Churchill complaining that the Swedes
gouged them dearly for the privilege).

My main philosophical points are two:
1. There is no such thing as a neutral country, and,
2. Sweden has very little to be proud of in their conduct during WWII.

Their neighbors, Finland to be sure, and arguably Norway, although less so,
have a LOT to be proud of (I don't fault Finland for changing sides, for
example, because they fought hard when they could - and - they didn't
really fight the Russians or the Germans when they said they would).
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-09 21:42:58 UTC
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Post by charles
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Ah, another fool who thinks that Copenhagen
is the capital of the Netherlands.
I admit confusion of the "small countries" of Western Europe.
My main recollection is that they all collapsed without a fight save for
Finland (who fought the Russians) and the so-called "neutral" countries
(who, in reality, were on the German side to varying degrees from Sweden,
which as a German ally, to Switzerland which one could argue was slightly
more balanced).
NOTE: I posit that there is no such thing as a neutral country, so that
tempers my hatred of Sweden for what they did with respect to aiding and
abetting the Germans.
but they still sold us ball bearings. "Shipped" by Mosquitos.
But they sold the Germans more of them,

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-10 01:09:54 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by charles
but they still sold us ball bearings. "Shipped" by Mosquitos.
But they sold the Germans more of them,
Twice as many, in fact.
<http://www.tandfonline.com/author/Golson%2C+Eric+B>

<http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03585522.2012.693259>

31% of the British total
58% of the German total

Bearing in mind that I"m sure the American allies supplied much of the
British total which is not apparently counted in those numbers.

They gouged the British based on the relative strength of the country,
which is what all complicit nations do.

I see nothing for Sweden to be proud of in WWII.
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-10 11:49:11 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by charles
but they still sold us ball bearings. "Shipped" by Mosquitos.
But they sold the Germans more of them,
Twice as many, in fact.
<http://www.tandfonline.com/author/Golson%2C+Eric+B>
<http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03585522.2012.693259>
31% of the British total
58% of the German total
Bearing in mind that I"m sure the American allies supplied much of the
British total which is not apparently counted in those numbers.
They gouged the British based on the relative strength of the country,
which is what all complicit nations do.
I see nothing for Sweden to be proud of in WWII.
They did save all of the Danish Jews,
after Niels Bohr in person asked their king for help.
Only about 4000 in all, but still.

Jan
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-09 21:42:58 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Ah, another fool who thinks that Copenhagen
is the capital of the Netherlands.
I admit confusion of the "small countries" of Western Europe.
My main recollection is that they all collapsed without a fight save for
Finland (who fought the Russians) and the so-called "neutral" countries
(who, in reality, were on the German side to varying degrees from Sweden,
which as a German ally, to Switzerland which one could argue was slightly
more balanced).
Your recollection is wrong. Only Denmark gave in without much fighting.
The Dutch for example not only fought,
but they inflicted a very painful defeat on the Germans.
(the only one of the whole Blitzkrieg)
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_The_Hague>
The Dutch destroyed a significant fraction
of the German airborne capability.
Post by harry newton
NOTE: I posit that there is no such thing as a neutral country, so that
tempers my hatred of Sweden for what they did with respect to aiding and
abetting the Germans.
A sarcastic Danish comment on Sweden was:
Why didn't they invite the Germans to come and invade them?
The answer seems to have been that invading Sweden
wouldn't have given Germany anything that the Swedes
weren't giving them voluntarily already.
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
So mass murdering mostly women and children from the air is not cruel,
but murdering those responsible for it (if caught) is?
There is merit to the distinction - but it's philosophical indeed.
Especially in light of the fact nothing was ever done about Katyn.
Post by J. J. Lodder
I heard it originally about the artillery.
When ze English start shooting ....
You are probably correct as I was recalling the joke from memory, but it's
probably that when the Americans start with artillery, everyone is scared
because the Americans used materiel like it was going out of style.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Perhaps, but silly where the French are concerned.
The French have nothing to be proud of, particularly *later* in the war,
when they fought everyone but the Germans in North Africa, until Darlan was
basically told he'd be executed by Mark Clark if he didn't order a
capitulation in Algiers for the entire French Forces who were literally
inviting the Germans west while literally fighting the British/Americans
east.
You are talking about the wrong Frenchmen.
Post by harry newton
If you read Churchill, Eisenhower, and Bradly, as I have, you might
conclude, as I have, that the French fought everyone except the Germans.
If you read Patton you will find that he had great problems
in keeping Leclerc in check.
Leclerc had great problems accepting that you can't advance
without being ordered to,

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-10 01:36:12 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Your recollection is wrong. Only Denmark gave in without much fighting.
While I admit that NOBODY inflicted any defeat on the Germans until
Stalingrad, El Alamein and Tunis, all later in the war - I also agree that
no continental country stood a chance at that time.

However, Denmark colors my opinion the most since they didn't last even
until *noon* on the first day for heaven's sake.

What kind of "country" is that?
IMHO, Denmark doesn't deserve existence.

Why? For the simple reason that any state that can't fight even sustain a
one-day challenge isn't a country; it's merely an autonomous province of
some other country.
Post by J. J. Lodder
The Dutch destroyed a significant fraction
of the German airborne capability.
Having an open mind toward the Dutch, I find this summary:
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_the_Netherlands_during_World_War_II>

While Denmark took mere hours to eliminate (which means it's not a
country), the Germans had planned for two whole days to destroy the
Netherlands (still not much of a country).

According to that article, the Dutch may be the only people to surrender
simply because a couple of bombs were errantly dropped on their cities.

The country lasted a total of five days.

HINT: That's not a country in my book. Even France lasted longer.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Why didn't they invite the Germans to come and invade them?
The answer seems to have been that invading Sweden
wouldn't have given Germany anything that the Swedes
weren't giving them voluntarily already.
Exactly.

I posit that only a fool thinks that a country can simply "declare"
neutrality and not be attacked by virtue of that piece of paper (ask
Molotov how valuable a pact of friendship is, for example - and then ask
the Japanese Ambassador, Mr. N. Sato the same thing on the other side of
the sheet of paper).
Post by J. J. Lodder
You are talking about the wrong Frenchmen.
The only French men who didn't attack the Allies were the honorable and
forever remembered Resistance. Notice that I read Bradley's autobiography
so I discount French soldiers in WWII later in the war as Bradley himself
did. I also read Eisenhower's autobiography where his grandson, ever more
diplomatic than any other than Churchill, simply "understood" the lack of
fighting resolve in the French armies late in the war.

The fact remains that the organized French armies under Vichy control
fought everyone except the Germans.
Post by J. J. Lodder
If you read Patton you will find that he had great problems
in keeping Leclerc in check.
I read Bradley. Leclerc was a fool. Bradley, as I recall, was incensed at
French lethargence, and, like what Clark did to Darlan, and what Churchill
did to de Gaulle, he had to issue an ultimatum to Leclerc to use the tanks
he was given to enter Paris.

*ONLY* when faced with the removal of the tanks, did Leclerc even *begin*
to move toward Paris. And, once there, he refused to leave, because there
were Germans outside of Paris.

Read Bradley. Leclerc was a self-serving coward in his book.
Read Churchill. He openly despised Darlan, stating even so much as Darlan
was the most tragic of self-serving figures in all of mankind's history.

Less so with the contentious de Gaulle where Churchill had to force him to
meet with Giraud under the thread of expulsion.

The French have nothing to be proud of in WWII except their gallant
mostly-civilian resistance.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Leclerc had great problems accepting that you can't advance
without being ordered to,
You gotta be kidding. Really.
I read Bradley's autobiography.
Leclerc only burned up Bradley's tanks AFTER being told he was going to be
removed if he didn't advance on Paris.

Really. I don't make anything up.
My memory isn't faulty - but if you want me to find a cite, we can.

Never did the French organized army have something proud to stand up for.
They *always* hated the British and Darlan even thought the Americans were
almost as stupid.

The French were essentially allies with Germany from the day "that truly
dangerous man" Petain was in charge (Churchhill's own words).

The problem I have with the "a truly dangerous man", comment from Churchill
is that he didn't expound on why he thought that, although the context was
duplicity in asking fall all of Britains' air resources at the same time as
he was talking surrender with the Germans.
charles
2017-12-10 08:39:53 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Your recollection is wrong. Only Denmark gave in without much fighting.
While I admit that NOBODY inflicted any defeat on the Germans until
Stalingrad, El Alamein and Tunis, all later in the war - I also agree that
no continental country stood a chance at that time.
However, Denmark colors my opinion the most since they didn't last even
until *noon* on the first day for heaven's sake.
What kind of "country" is that?
IMHO, Denmark doesn't deserve existence.
Why? For the simple reason that any state that can't fight even sustain a
one-day challenge isn't a country; it's merely an autonomous province of
some other country.
Post by J. J. Lodder
The Dutch destroyed a significant fraction
of the German airborne capability.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_the_Netherlands_during_World_War_II>
While Denmark took mere hours to eliminate (which means it's not a
country), the Germans had planned for two whole days to destroy the
Netherlands (still not much of a country).
According to that article, the Dutch may be the only people to surrender
simply because a couple of bombs were errantly dropped on their cities.
Have you seen the photographs of Rotterdam? A couple of bombs????
--
from KT24 in Surrey, England
harry newton
2017-12-10 12:56:54 UTC
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Post by charles
Have you seen the photographs of Rotterdam? A couple of bombs????
Let's put it into perspective with respect to whether a country deserves to
exist.

What other country, in WWII, surrendered merely because a city was bombed?

Tokyo?
London?
Berlin?
Dresden?
Hamburg?
Moscow?
Pforzheim?
Sevastopol?
Swinoujscie?
Osaka?
Darmstadt?
Kassel?

In light of those facts, the Dutch may be the only people to surrender
simply because bombs were errantly dropped on their cities.

They have earned no right to be a sovereign state.
They're welcome to be a province of greater Germany though.
Because that's what they are.
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-10 15:09:37 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by charles
Have you seen the photographs of Rotterdam? A couple of bombs????
Let's put it into perspective with respect to whether a country deserves to
exist.
What other country, in WWII, surrendered merely because a city was bombed?
Tokyo?
London?
Berlin?
Dresden?
Hamburg?
Moscow?
Pforzheim?
Sevastopol?
Swinoujscie?
Osaka?
Darmstadt?
Kassel?
In light of those facts, the Dutch may be the only people to surrender
simply because bombs were errantly dropped on their cities.
Except that the didn't.
The bombardment of Rotterdam was a mistake.
The recall orders failed to reach half the planes.

The bombardment happened while the surrender of Rotterdam
had already been decided upon,
and while negotiations on terms were in progress. [1}

The Marines at Rotterdam were forced to surrender
because they were completely out of ammo,
and bringing up supplies was impossible under the conditions.
Post by harry newton
They have earned no right to be a sovereign state.
They're welcome to be a province of greater Germany though.
Because that's what they are.
You are being silly again,

Jan

[1] The Germans had sent a messenger under white flag with a crude note
saying no more than 'You must surrender immediately'.
The Dutch commander of Rotterdam (after consulting with The Hague)
decided to play for some more time.
He sent a messenger back saying:
'OK but I must know who I am surrendering to
so that I can write out an order to my troops to obey ????.
While the German messenger came back the bombs fell.
There was no causal connection between the bombardment
and the capitulation.
Even then only the North of the Netherlands capitulated.
Fighting went on in the province of Zeeland.
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-12-10 15:25:08 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
Post by charles
Have you seen the photographs of Rotterdam? A couple of bombs????
Let's put it into perspective with respect to whether a country deserves to
exist.
What other country, in WWII, surrendered merely because a city was bombed?
Tokyo?
London?
Berlin?
Dresden?
Hamburg?
Moscow?
Pforzheim?
Sevastopol?
Swinoujscie?
Osaka?
Darmstadt?
Kassel?
In light of those facts, the Dutch may be the only people to surrender
simply because bombs were errantly dropped on their cities.
Except that the didn't.
The bombardment of Rotterdam was a mistake.
The recall orders failed to reach half the planes.
The bombardment happened while the surrender of Rotterdam
had already been decided upon,
and while negotiations on terms were in progress. [1}
The Marines at Rotterdam were forced to surrender
because they were completely out of ammo,
and bringing up supplies was impossible under the conditions.
Post by harry newton
They have earned no right to be a sovereign state.
They're welcome to be a province of greater Germany though.
Because that's what they are.
You are being silly again,
again?
--
athel
harry newton
2017-12-10 19:38:02 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
again?
I was making two points, which came about during the tangential course of
the conversation, which were
1. No country ever surrendered because its cities were bombed, and,
2. Philosophically, it's fair to ask if a state can't defend itself even
for a few hours, is it really a state?

Those are valid questions.
They are not silly questions.

The first is a bond fide fact; the second is a matter of philosophy; but
even as a matter of diplomacy, any state that can be walked on in just a
couple of days must easily capitulate to the demands of others if they wish
to remain a state.

Hence, they cannot be autonomous with any means.
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-10 21:15:11 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
Post by charles
Have you seen the photographs of Rotterdam? A couple of bombs????
Let's put it into perspective with respect to whether a country deserves to
exist.
What other country, in WWII, surrendered merely because a city was bombed?
Tokyo?
London?
Berlin?
Dresden?
Hamburg?
Moscow?
Pforzheim?
Sevastopol?
Swinoujscie?
Osaka?
Darmstadt?
Kassel?
In light of those facts, the Dutch may be the only people to surrender
simply because bombs were errantly dropped on their cities.
Except that the didn't.
The bombardment of Rotterdam was a mistake.
The recall orders failed to reach half the planes.
The bombardment happened while the surrender of Rotterdam
had already been decided upon,
and while negotiations on terms were in progress. [1}
The Marines at Rotterdam were forced to surrender
because they were completely out of ammo,
and bringing up supplies was impossible under the conditions.
Post by harry newton
They have earned no right to be a sovereign state.
They're welcome to be a province of greater Germany though.
Because that's what they are.
You are being silly again,
again?
Good question. You may well be right.
I was about to give up on him.
OTOH, we wouldn't want the kiddies who might stray into this forum
to get the wrong ideas abbout it, eh?

Anyway, the criterion for a language group to have nationhood
is well known to be having an army and a navy.
Having a neighour who can overwhelm that army and navy
doesn't factor in.

I'll grant you that the Catalonians don't qualify,

Jan
John Ritson
2017-12-11 10:27:53 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
Post by charles
Have you seen the photographs of Rotterdam? A couple of bombs????
Let's put it into perspective with respect to whether a country deserves to
exist.
What other country, in WWII, surrendered merely because a city was bombed?
Tokyo?
London?
Berlin?
Dresden?
Hamburg?
Moscow?
Pforzheim?
Sevastopol?
Swinoujscie?
Osaka?
Darmstadt?
Kassel?
In light of those facts, the Dutch may be the only people to surrender
simply because bombs were errantly dropped on their cities.
Except that the didn't.
The bombardment of Rotterdam was a mistake.
The recall orders failed to reach half the planes.
The bombardment happened while the surrender of Rotterdam
had already been decided upon,
and while negotiations on terms were in progress. [1}
The Marines at Rotterdam were forced to surrender
because they were completely out of ammo,
and bringing up supplies was impossible under the conditions.
Post by harry newton
They have earned no right to be a sovereign state.
They're welcome to be a province of greater Germany though.
Because that's what they are.
You are being silly again,
again?
Good question. You may well be right.
I was about to give up on him.
OTOH, we wouldn't want the kiddies who might stray into this forum
to get the wrong ideas abbout it, eh?
Anyway, the criterion for a language group to have nationhood
is well known to be having an army and a navy.
"and a navy"?
So Mongolia has nationhood because its navy has one ship and seven men,
while Nepal, without any navy, does not have nationhood?
Post by J. J. Lodder
Having a neighour who can overwhelm that army and navy
doesn't factor in.
I'll grant you that the Catalonians don't qualify,
Jan
--
John Ritson

---
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
http://www.avg.com
harry newton
2017-12-11 18:42:52 UTC
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Post by John Ritson
"and a navy"?
So Mongolia has nationhood because its navy has one ship and seven men,
while Nepal, without any navy, does not have nationhood?
I think he meant military, but I don't think the Vatican has a military (at
least Stalin didn't think so) - and they're still a paper country, aren't
they?

I'm not talking about paper countries.
Of those there are plenty.

I'm talking about what happens with these paper countries the moment
someone threatens their borders or their people or their economies or
whatever.

They can ONLY survive if a "real" country backs them up.

It's a philosophical question.
It's the same with neutral countries.

Philosophically, you can't be a neutral unless nobody attacks you.
People only do not attack you for one of only two reasons:
a. They don't want anything you have (or they already got it) [Sweden]
b. They are too strong to attack (I posit this almost never happens)

It's a philosophical question of what a "country" or "nation state" needs
to "be" a nation state, is it not?
harry newton
2017-12-11 18:42:54 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Anyway, the criterion for a language group to have nationhood
is well known to be having an army and a navy.
It's a philosophical question, but if the military can be overcome between
3am and noon, it's not really a military to speak of.

It's more like a Praetorian Guard, or worse - a paper nation (as in paper
tiger).
Post by J. J. Lodder
Having a neighour who can overwhelm that army and navy
doesn't factor in.
Actually it does. Historically anyway. Look at Poland. Who made *all* the
decisions after WWII (and prior during the Congress of Vienna)?

HINT: No Poles did.
Post by J. J. Lodder
I'll grant you that the Catalonians don't qualify,
Almost no small country qualifies so that's why I find it odd that fake
countries like Denmark can exist.

Realistically, these non country countries can only exist if someone else
protects them. It's kind of the same with neutral countries - which can't
exist unless nobody attacks them.

Merely stating you're a country isn't enough (in the real world).
Merely stating you're neutral isn't enough (in the real world).

It's philosophical.
harry newton
2017-12-10 19:38:05 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
The bombardment happened while the surrender of Rotterdam
had already been decided upon,
and while negotiations on terms were in progress.
I guess I went silly I agree but I was trying to make two separate points,
which happened, somehow, to combine, during the conversation.

1. No country surrenders because of bombing of its cities.
It just doesn't happen in reality. None. Not even Japan and the atomic
bomb. I don't know what will happen in the future when you can hit every
city in a single hour, but in the past, no country has ever surrendered
simply because its cities were bombed from the air.

2. One can argue philosophically that a "nation state" must be able to
defend its borders in order to be considered a viable nation state.

This is a much harder argument to make, for, the "Vatican" for example,
wanted representation in Poland, where Stalin famously made his rhetorical
statement "How many divisions does the Vatican have?".
<https://www.hjta.org/california-commentary/how-many-divisions-does-pope-have/>
<https://02varvara.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/how-many-divisions-does-the-pope-of-rome-have/>
<http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1492>
etc.

Looking up the cite for that, I see Stalin said "Pope", but the point is
the same that it's a valid philosophical discussion of whether you can be
considered a country if you can't even defend yourself in the slightest way
(e.g., if you can't hold out until noon) - versus puppet states,
protectorates, autonomous provinces, etc.

Valid points:
1. No state has ever been bombed into submission by bombing its cities
2. A state that can't defend itself from the slightest rebuff - might not
actually be a state (that's a philosophical question of course)
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-12-09 17:04:05 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Lo and behold, there is an American who can spell 'Arnhem' correctly.
Arnhem is easy to spell for we Americans compared to Nig... Nij... Nijim...
Nijimenijen... Nijigmen... Nignemegen... (click ... click.... google ...
google) ... Nijmegen!
Well, it was Nimwegen, only 600 years ago,
or Noviomagus, 2000 years ago.
'Van Nimwegen' is still a family name.
Somehow Arnhem all to often comes out as Arnheim,
which is the German spelling.
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
As for content: you shouldn't explain the fiasco by
exaggerating the influence of a single factor.
I think the main factor was the same main factor at Dieppe.
Quite different, I thin.
Dieppe wasn't expected to succeed.
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
The radio problems were caused mainly
by the troops being in dense woodland.
As anyone who has tried to use a walkie-talkie (or GPS)
will know nowadays, but not then.
Not only the radios, but XXX Corps couldn't get through the narrow road.
Then there are the Dutch people holding up the troops unknowingly. Frosts'
troops dropped 8 miles from Arnhem. The Germans resting being of top-notch
caliber... The Germans inheriting the entire plan early on ... and those
bridges ... oh so many of them ... bridge after bridge after bridge ... And
that particular railroad bridge blown at Ost... Oost... Ossterback ...
(click ... click... google ... google) ... Oosterbeek!
Post by J. J. Lodder
This is the kind of thing that may be known by operators,
but that filters up only slowly to the higher ranks.
And previous experience would have done little to prepare them for it,
for it wouldn't have been very noticable in North Africa or in Normandy.
But radios weren't the reason for the disaster at Dieppe.
Post by J. J. Lodder
There were many other causes,
such as the failure to close the Falaise Gap in time,
which had allowed the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions to escape.
(also in part due to poor communications between various commands)
Another Monty fiasco. Patten was biting Bradley's ass daily to be allowed
to close the gap - where I read Bradley's autobiography - he decided to let
Monty do it - who didn't do it until it was far too late.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Another important factor was that Monty
lacked adequate air transport capability.
Monty ALWAYS blamed lack of support from the Americans! Always! He was a
thorn in Eisenhower's side the entire war, and when I read Eisenhower's
autobiography (written by his grandson, David), Monty was the biggest issue
Eisenhower ever faced. Even Churchill's biography feels the need to patch
over the issues the American command had with Monty. I read them all.
(Did Monty or Patton write an autobiography?
Monty did (https://tinyurl.com/y6wtnbyy), if you count war memoirs as
an autobiography. I haven't read it. He claimed to have written it all
with a pencil.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
I haven't read those if they
exist.)
Post by J. J. Lodder
Britain had wasted a quarter of its war time production capacity
on Arthur 'Bomber' Harris' delusion
that he could bomb Germany into submission
using Bomber Command alone.
(and so avoid the need for D-Day and fighting on the ground)
Bombing never ends wars. Never (and don't think that Japan surrendered
because of the atomic bomb because there is a wealth of evidence that
simply destroying the 68th city wasn't why they immediately surrendered
when their plan of having Russia act as a peace mediator failed).
The Americans thought that bombing Hanoi would cause North Vietnam to
capitulate. It didn't, and the USA went on to lose the war
ignominiously.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Capitulation was forced by Russia giving up neutrality entering the war.
The worst nightmare the Japanese could envision
was having Japan divided into a Northern and a Southern occupation zone.
So they surrendered to the Americans asap, whatever the consequences.
As it went they only lost a few Northern islands.
Post by harry newton
Although, I have to admit, while bombing never is influential in wars
(witness the lack of strategic impact on London or Berlin for example),
what does win wars is defeating the other guys' air force (witness the few
sorties of the Luftwaffe over Normandy in early June).
But Harris never acomplished much in that direction either.
In the end the Americans destroyed the Luftwaffe,
Jan
--
athel
harry newton
2017-12-09 17:40:44 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by harry newton
(Did Monty or Patton write an autobiography?
Monty did (https://tinyurl.com/y6wtnbyy), if you count war memoirs as
an autobiography. I haven't read it. He claimed to have written it all
with a pencil.
Thanks. I have only read, so far and in this order, Bradley, Churchill, and
Eisenhower, all of whom, interestingly, had the same feeling about people
such as Montgomery, de Gaulle and Stalin (although tempered differently of
course).

I'll put on my list Montgomery's memoirs, although I personally dislike the
man after having seen a youtube video where he claimed to never have lost a
battle. I should dig up that video to prove that point.

I have a similar dislike for MacArthur... and Mark Clark... to a much
lesser extent though.

For some reason, I admire Patton - but he died too soon I guess, to leave
anything behind except some urine in the Rhine (perhaps an apocryphal
story?).
harry newton
2017-12-09 17:49:05 UTC
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Post by harry newton
I'll put on my list Montgomery's memoirs, although I personally dislike the
man after having seen a youtube video where he claimed to never have lost a
battle. I should dig up that video to prove that point.
Googling can clicking about, this isn't the video, but it is interesting
where Montgomery avoids the classic assumptive Scipio Africanus question by
diplomatically replying the French had good generals (cough cough) and then
by tangentally discussing French general types...


Of course, Montgomery omitted mentioning himself... which is the classic
Scipio-inspired political dilemma ... there should be a name for this
classic conundrum.

I'm still googling though, as we speak, for that interview (perhaps with
Lord Taylor?) where he claims to never have lost a battle...
harry newton
2017-12-09 17:59:20 UTC
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Post by harry newton
I'm still googling though, as we speak, for that interview (perhaps with
Lord Taylor?) where he claims to never have lost a battle...
Found it!


At time 594 seconds, Monty is asked directly:
Lord Taylor: "General, did you ever lose a battle?"
Monty: "No."
Lord Taylor: "That's the important thing, isn't it?"
Monty: "I once said to Winston Churchill 'You like generals who win
battles', and old Winston said 'You're telling me!'

So Monty blatantly and unabashedly lied.

I have little respect for a man who ignores so many dead men under his
generalship.
Mack A. Damia
2017-12-09 17:55:24 UTC
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On Sat, 9 Dec 2017 17:40:44 +0000 (UTC), harry newton
Post by harry newton
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by harry newton
(Did Monty or Patton write an autobiography?
Monty did (https://tinyurl.com/y6wtnbyy), if you count war memoirs as
an autobiography. I haven't read it. He claimed to have written it all
with a pencil.
Thanks. I have only read, so far and in this order, Bradley, Churchill, and
Eisenhower, all of whom, interestingly, had the same feeling about people
such as Montgomery, de Gaulle and Stalin (although tempered differently of
course).
I'll put on my list Montgomery's memoirs, although I personally dislike the
man after having seen a youtube video where he claimed to never have lost a
battle. I should dig up that video to prove that point.
I have a similar dislike for MacArthur... and Mark Clark... to a much
lesser extent though.
For some reason, I admire Patton - but he died too soon I guess, to leave
anything behind except some urine in the Rhine (perhaps an apocryphal
story?).
Another story, I may have shared it before, but I don't think you were
here.

I had a friend in high school, still in touch with him periodically,
whose father was assigned to Patton's headquarters at the close of
WW2.

His father, who was an MD, told this story of Patton's death: After
the surrender, Patton commandeered one of the top German general's
sedan's complete with meat hooks hanging in the back seat to hold kill
from hunting in the Bavarian Forest.

Patton was killed in an automobile accident, but according to my
friend's father, the impact of the crash impaled him on one of the
hooks, and that is what killed him. It was hushed up because that
demise was rather ignominious and worse than a mere car crash.

I have gotten scowls about this story from several military web sites.
I double-checked with my friend a few years ago, and he said that his
father swore by the account.
harry newton
2017-12-09 18:07:14 UTC
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Post by Mack A. Damia
I have gotten scowls about this story from several military web sites.
I double-checked with my friend a few years ago, and he said that his
father swore by the account.
We many never know, I agree. I always heard it was an internal injury where
Occam's Razor supports that theory.

Meat hooks seems overly contrived when you don't need them to kill someone
who isn't all that contentious, and in a simple automobile accident.
Mack A. Damia
2017-12-09 18:39:33 UTC
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On Sat, 9 Dec 2017 18:07:14 +0000 (UTC), harry newton
Post by harry newton
Post by Mack A. Damia
I have gotten scowls about this story from several military web sites.
I double-checked with my friend a few years ago, and he said that his
father swore by the account.
We many never know, I agree. I always heard it was an internal injury where
Occam's Razor supports that theory.
Meat hooks seems overly contrived when you don't need them to kill someone
who isn't all that contentious, and in a simple automobile accident.
There is some secrecy about his death, though, and there is only one
"official version". Supposedly, a 1939 Cadillac sedan.

"Patton and his Chief of Staff,, Major General Hobart Gay, decided to
go pheasant hunting and sight seeing for a day."

http://www.bargaintraveleurope.com/09/Germany_Patton_Accident_Mannheim.htm
Peter T. Daniels
2017-12-09 19:06:18 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by Mack A. Damia
I have gotten scowls about this story from several military web sites.
I double-checked with my friend a few years ago, and he said that his
father swore by the account.
We many never know, I agree. I always heard it was an internal injury where
Occam's Razor supports that theory.
Meat hooks seems overly contrived when you don't need them to kill someone
who isn't all that contentious, and in a simple automobile accident.
I'm having a bit of trouble visualizing "meat hooks hanging in the back seat"
of "a 1939 Cadillac sedan" "to hold kill from hunting."

Were they affixed to the ceiling of the sedan? If they were over the back seat,
what sort of game were they hunting -- squab? How does one "hang" game inside a
car, even one as big as a 1939 Cadillac sedan? (Which doesn't appear to be all
that big a car anyway:

http://www.100megsfree4.com/cadillac/cad1930/cad39s.htm

-- a coupe at the bottom for comparison, which looks veritably tiny.
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-09 21:42:59 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
Lo and behold, there is an American who can spell 'Arnhem' correctly.
Arnhem is easy to spell for we Americans compared to Nig... Nij... Nijim...
Nijimenijen... Nijigmen... Nignemegen... (click ... click.... google ...
google) ... Nijmegen!
Well, it was Nimwegen, only 600 years ago,
or Noviomagus, 2000 years ago.
'Van Nimwegen' is still a family name.
Somehow Arnhem all to often comes out as Arnheim,
which is the German spelling.
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
As for content: you shouldn't explain the fiasco by
exaggerating the influence of a single factor.
I think the main factor was the same main factor at Dieppe.
Quite different, I thin.
Dieppe wasn't expected to succeed.
Post by harry newton
Post by J. J. Lodder
The radio problems were caused mainly
by the troops being in dense woodland.
As anyone who has tried to use a walkie-talkie (or GPS)
will know nowadays, but not then.
Not only the radios, but XXX Corps couldn't get through the narrow road.
Then there are the Dutch people holding up the troops unknowingly. Frosts'
troops dropped 8 miles from Arnhem. The Germans resting being of top-notch
caliber... The Germans inheriting the entire plan early on ... and those
bridges ... oh so many of them ... bridge after bridge after bridge ... And
that particular railroad bridge blown at Ost... Oost... Ossterback ...
(click ... click... google ... google) ... Oosterbeek!
Post by J. J. Lodder
This is the kind of thing that may be known by operators,
but that filters up only slowly to the higher ranks.
And previous experience would have done little to prepare them for it,
for it wouldn't have been very noticable in North Africa or in Normandy.
But radios weren't the reason for the disaster at Dieppe.
Post by J. J. Lodder
There were many other causes,
such as the failure to close the Falaise Gap in time,
which had allowed the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions to escape.
(also in part due to poor communications between various commands)
Another Monty fiasco. Patten was biting Bradley's ass daily to be allowed
to close the gap - where I read Bradley's autobiography - he decided to let
Monty do it - who didn't do it until it was far too late.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Another important factor was that Monty
lacked adequate air transport capability.
Monty ALWAYS blamed lack of support from the Americans! Always! He was a
thorn in Eisenhower's side the entire war, and when I read Eisenhower's
autobiography (written by his grandson, David), Monty was the biggest issue
Eisenhower ever faced. Even Churchill's biography feels the need to patch
over the issues the American command had with Monty. I read them all.
(Did Monty or Patton write an autobiography?
Monty did (https://tinyurl.com/y6wtnbyy), if you count war memoirs as
an autobiography. I haven't read it. He claimed to have written it all
with a pencil.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
I haven't read those if they
exist.)
Post by J. J. Lodder
Britain had wasted a quarter of its war time production capacity
on Arthur 'Bomber' Harris' delusion
that he could bomb Germany into submission
using Bomber Command alone.
(and so avoid the need for D-Day and fighting on the ground)
Bombing never ends wars. Never (and don't think that Japan surrendered
because of the atomic bomb because there is a wealth of evidence that
simply destroying the 68th city wasn't why they immediately surrendered
when their plan of having Russia act as a peace mediator failed).
The Americans thought that bombing Hanoi would cause North Vietnam to
capitulate. It didn't, and the USA went on to lose the war
ignominiously.
But John McCain (an American with a sense of humour)
has said that it gave him an opportunity to serve his country
by intercepting a North Vietnamse rocket.

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-06 15:08:24 UTC
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Post by Harrison Hill
A good metaphor then. The disaster at Arnhem was in no small
part caused by the fact that the Airborne was "out of touch"
with the rest of the world - the radios Monty's staff had
provided for them, weren't powerful enough to contact the front
lines.
Battles are rarely won or lost by a single technical factor, although it
happens, as Urquhart being out of touch with his men of the British 1st
Airborne didn't help things.

I generally blame the generals, not the radios (although it has been said
that Gettysburg would have been won by the rebels had they a single set of
radios) where this particular general goes down in history (as did
MacArthur) falsely claiming he "never lost a battle." At least Bradley
admits he screwed up at the Failaise gap & the Ardennes bulge & Cherbourg
port, and at least the otherwise boastful Patton regretted sending too
small a Force Baum to (ostensibly) rescue his son in law.

The Market Garden disaster, s with the Dieppe raid, was due to many
screwups, and not to a small part to the Germans inheriting the full battle
plan early on in the action.

The book the quote came from is titled "Battles of the 20th Century",
edited by Chris Bishop & Ian Drury, 1989, London.

It's literally two pages per battle for 200 pages for 100 battles of the
20th century, where Monty is responsible for more than a few of the
disasters, and only one notable (but very influential) success.

The quote is on page 160, in the two-page summary titled "Operation Market
Garden: The Battle for Arnhem", 17 September 1944, subtitled "The Allies
stage the greatest airborne assault of the war to capture vital bridgtes on
the road to Germany.

The actual quote is "The bridge at Arnhem was the tip of that springboard,
the Ultima Thule of Operation Market Garden."
harry newton
2017-12-06 17:14:00 UTC
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Post by harry newton
The actual quote is "The bridge at Arnhem was the tip of that springboard,
the Ultima Thule of Operation Market Garden."
It seems Thule (thool lay) [Greek -> Latin -> German -> English = tile] was
apparently a word for a distant "island", which presumably meant Norway,
Orkney, Shetland, Iceland, or Greenland in various interpretations.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thule>

Ultima would be an island too far, far beyond even that distant island.

BTW, I think we learn the most from autobiographies ... where it's
interesting that everyone hates de Gaulle but the British vehemently defend
Monty while the Americans don't.
--
And yes, I know Patton died early ... but maybe someone else wrote a bio?
David Kleinecke
2017-12-06 19:34:19 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by harry newton
The actual quote is "The bridge at Arnhem was the tip of that springboard,
the Ultima Thule of Operation Market Garden."
It seems Thule (thool lay) [Greek -> Latin -> German -> English = tile] was
apparently a word for a distant "island", which presumably meant Norway,
Orkney, Shetland, Iceland, or Greenland in various interpretations.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thule>
Ultima would be an island too far, far beyond even that distant island.
BTW, I think we learn the most from autobiographies ... where it's
interesting that everyone hates de Gaulle but the British vehemently defend
Monty while the Americans don't.
--
And yes, I know Patton died early ... but maybe someone else wrote a bio?
They made a movie.

With at least one very memorable scene.
harry newton
2017-12-06 19:42:10 UTC
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Post by David Kleinecke
Post by harry newton
And yes, I know Patton died early ... but maybe someone else wrote a bio?
They made a movie.
With at least one very memorable scene.
Bradley advised for that movie (so it was a bit self serving on his part).

Nice speeches though.
Very well done (if a bit theatrical).

Patton's real voice, if you've ever heard it, was tinny by way of contrast.


Maybe it's just the audio of the time?
Peter T. Daniels
2017-12-06 20:02:12 UTC
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Post by David Kleinecke
Post by harry newton
Post by harry newton
The actual quote is "The bridge at Arnhem was the tip of that springboard,
the Ultima Thule of Operation Market Garden."
It seems Thule (thool lay) [Greek -> Latin -> German -> English = tile] was
apparently a word for a distant "island", which presumably meant Norway,
Orkney, Shetland, Iceland, or Greenland in various interpretations.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thule>
Thule is the name of a town, or village, or hamlet, on the northwest coast of Greenland.
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by harry newton
Ultima would be an island too far, far beyond even that distant island.
BTW, I think we learn the most from autobiographies ... where it's
interesting that everyone hates de Gaulle but the British vehemently defend
Monty while the Americans don't.
--
And yes, I know Patton died early ... but maybe someone else wrote a bio?
They made a movie.
With at least one very memorable scene.
You mean, "I read your book, you sonofabitch!!"?

It was on a double bill with M*A*S*H all that summer. A brilliant combination.
David Kleinecke
2017-12-06 21:10:52 UTC
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Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by harry newton
Post by harry newton
The actual quote is "The bridge at Arnhem was the tip of that springboard,
the Ultima Thule of Operation Market Garden."
It seems Thule (thool lay) [Greek -> Latin -> German -> English = tile] was
apparently a word for a distant "island", which presumably meant Norway,
Orkney, Shetland, Iceland, or Greenland in various interpretations.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thule>
Thule is the name of a town, or village, or hamlet, on the northwest coast of Greenland.
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by harry newton
Ultima would be an island too far, far beyond even that distant island.
BTW, I think we learn the most from autobiographies ... where it's
interesting that everyone hates de Gaulle but the British vehemently defend
Monty while the Americans don't.
--
And yes, I know Patton died early ... but maybe someone else wrote a bio?
They made a movie.
With at least one very memorable scene.
You mean, "I read your book, you sonofabitch!!"?
It was on a double bill with M*A*S*H all that summer. A brilliant combination.
I never saw M*A*S*H - so Patton slipped off that double bill
sometimes. I don't recognize your quote - all I see is that
big American flag.
harry newton
2017-12-07 00:16:36 UTC
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Post by David Kleinecke
I never saw M*A*S*H - so Patton slipped off that double bill
sometimes. I don't recognize your quote - all I see is that
big American flag.
Patton swore a lot, which is the flag speech.

The read-your-book quote was a Patten statement about how to beat the
Desert Fox (whose book was what got him noticed by Hitler who put Rommel in
charge of his Praetorian Guard). The statement shows up in the movie after
the American disaster at Kasserine where the British called us "their
Italians", when there was a change in command, and Patton defeated the
Afrika Korps (where in the movie it's alluded that Rommel had already been
sent home).

I think Rommel was actually in Africa at the time of this first defeat
after Monty's one major victory; but I'd have to look it up to be sure.
Peter T. Daniels
2017-12-07 04:16:47 UTC
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Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by harry newton
Post by harry newton
The actual quote is "The bridge at Arnhem was the tip of that springboard,
the Ultima Thule of Operation Market Garden."
It seems Thule (thool lay) [Greek -> Latin -> German -> English = tile] was
apparently a word for a distant "island", which presumably meant Norway,
Orkney, Shetland, Iceland, or Greenland in various interpretations.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thule>
Thule is the name of a town, or village, or hamlet, on the northwest coast of Greenland.
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by harry newton
Ultima would be an island too far, far beyond even that distant island.
BTW, I think we learn the most from autobiographies ... where it's
interesting that everyone hates de Gaulle but the British vehemently defend
Monty while the Americans don't.
--
And yes, I know Patton died early ... but maybe someone else wrote a bio?
They made a movie.
With at least one very memorable scene.
You mean, "I read your book, you sonofabitch!!"?
It was on a double bill with M*A*S*H all that summer. A brilliant combination.
I never saw M*A*S*H - so Patton slipped off that double bill
sometimes. I don't recognize your quote - all I see is that
big American flag.
"George C. Patton," as Archie Bunker called him, defeated Rommel in North
Africa because he'd studied his published works on tactics. After the rout,
he raised his fist in the direction of the retreating Field Marshal and
loudly emitted that line.
J. J. Lodder
2017-12-06 21:50:00 UTC
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Post by harry newton
Post by Harrison Hill
A good metaphor then. The disaster at Arnhem was in no small
part caused by the fact that the Airborne was "out of touch"
with the rest of the world - the radios Monty's staff had
provided for them, weren't powerful enough to contact the front
lines.
Battles are rarely won or lost by a single technical factor, although it
happens, as Urquhart being out of touch with his men of the British 1st
Airborne didn't help things.
I generally blame the generals, not the radios (although it has been said
that Gettysburg would have been won by the rebels had they a single set of
radios) where this particular general goes down in history (as did
MacArthur) falsely claiming he "never lost a battle." At least Bradley
admits he screwed up at the Failaise gap & the Ardennes bulge & Cherbourg
port, and at least the otherwise boastful Patton regretted sending too
small a Force Baum to (ostensibly) rescue his son in law.
The failure to close the Falaise Gap in time
set the stage for the disaster at Arnhem.
Everything further on would have been much easier
if the SS Panzer divisions had been caught there.
Post by harry newton
The Market Garden disaster, s with the Dieppe raid, was due to many
screwups, and not to a small part to the Germans inheriting the full battle
plan early on in the action.
The book the quote came from is titled "Battles of the 20th Century",
edited by Chris Bishop & Ian Drury, 1989, London.
It's literally two pages per battle for 200 pages for 100 battles of the
20th century, where Monty is responsible for more than a few of the
disasters, and only one notable (but very influential) success.
The quote is on page 160, in the two-page summary titled "Operation Market
Garden: The Battle for Arnhem", 17 September 1944, subtitled "The Allies
stage the greatest airborne assault of the war to capture vital bridgtes on
the road to Germany.
The actual quote is "The bridge at Arnhem was the tip of that springboard,
the Ultima Thule of Operation Market Garden."
They could have been forewarned.
Rotterdam, May 1940, with a fresh Luftwaffe
and elite German paratroopers
was Hitler's bridge too far,

Jan
harry newton
2017-12-07 00:16:34 UTC
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Post by J. J. Lodder
The failure to close the Falaise Gap in time
set the stage for the disaster at Arnhem.
Everything further on would have been much easier
if the SS Panzer divisions had been caught there.
Patton had the German dick in the Falaise Pocket meat grinder, in his own
words. Lots of Germans escaped - but they did lose a lot of equipment (just
as the British did at Dunkirk).
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by harry newton
The actual quote is "The bridge at Arnhem was the tip of that springboard,
the Ultima Thule of Operation Market Garden."
They could have been forewarned.
Rotterdam, May 1940, with a fresh Luftwaffe
and elite German paratroopers
was Hitler's bridge too far,
The Netherlands (like Belgium) prove there is no such thing as neutrality.
Everyone wants to be neutral. The only ones that stay neutral either play
sides (like America did with Britain or like Sweden did with Germany or
like Thailand did with Japan) - or they are literally of absolutely no
military use to either side (like Switzerland historically is to the
Germans and Allies).

The Netherlands surrendered in 5 days - which shows that they have no
business being a country, IMHO. Even gang fights last longer that it takes
to overrun the little countries of Europe - which can't survive on their
own and therefore have no right to be bona fide countries IMHO.

They'll *always* need someone to hold their hands and protect them.

An example of a bridge too far is Port Moresby & Guadalcanal for the
Japanese, where Churchill famously opined that by attempting to take both,
they lost both, having ignored the math of the latent strength of US
projection of power.

With Arnhem, it was Monty's plan to thrust deep, just as the Germans did at
Falaise, where Eisenhower's plan was to "kick the ball forward" along a
line that had no flanks.

Flanks are always the nemesis of an army. Ask the marines at the Chosin
Reservoir who were attacked from the sides which were supposed to be
defended by always-retreating Asian boys (who never fight for their country
when their country is a democracy).

A corrupt democracy at that.
Don P
2017-12-09 16:51:20 UTC
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Post by harry newton
I was reading a story of yet another of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery's
very many dismal failures as a general when the term "the 'Ultima Thule' of
Operation Market Garden" was used.
This was quite simply the wrong word. Ultima Thule is the desired
ultimate destination that nobody knows: the objectives of Market Garden
(a sequence of towns and bridges) were precisely known and specified in
the operation orders.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
harry newton
2017-12-09 17:34:10 UTC
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Post by Don P
This was quite simply the wrong word. Ultima Thule is the desired
ultimate destination that nobody knows: the objectives of Market Garden
(a sequence of towns and bridges) were precisely known and specified in
the operation orders.
Thank you for that distinction, as it's sort of like the mythical city of
Atlantis then.

It's the first time I had heard the term, so, any and all context is
welcome.
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