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World War II Trivia

By jd in MLP
Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 02:39:27 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

For all war-geeks, here's a site that covers all sorts of trivia concerning World War II. Read it and grimace at the insanity.

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Example trivia, from the "Lesser Known Facts of the Second World War":

Prior to the capture of Wismar in northern Germany, the German 102nd Infantry Division had made contact with the British and offered to surrender. Instead they were asked to continue holding a 20 km line at Bad Doberan against the Russians who were approaching the town. As soon as Wismar was fully in British hands the Division could then withdraw to the west, thus avoiding capture by the Russians. Here we have a German Division, as prisoners of war, but still fighting against the Russians (our allies) and under the orders of a British officer!. It was a strange War!!.


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World War II Trivia | 10 comments (10 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Henry V again or EU before its time? (4.33 / 3) (#1)
by Pac on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 10:58:18 AM EST

"In a last desperate attempt to save France from capitulating and to keep her army fighting, Churchill and General De Gaule proposed that Britain and France become one united nation." "The two Governments of the United Kingdom and the French Republic make the declaration of indissoluble union and unyielding resolution in their common defence of justice and freedom against subjection to a system which reduces mankind to a life of robots and slaves." "The proposal caused an uproar in the French Cabinet of which Churchill wrote 'Rarely has so generous a proposal encountered such a hostile reception'." The funny point is that both De Gaulle and England were to become very hostile to the whole European Union idea after the war. Insane as it may look, it was clear a genial way out of a clear defeat. And I am certain that the outraged members of that French cabinet regreted their decision to the end of their lives.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners

Yes I read about that (3.00 / 1) (#2)
by nobbystyles on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 11:11:54 AM EST

In William's Shirer's 'The Fall Of The Third French Republic" which analysed France's defeat in May 1940.

Nice idea as I think it would have been a better foundation for the EU than the post war Iron and Coal Community but I doubt that the English and French people who have a traditional animosity going back centuries uniting their countries even in the face of Nazi agression. It took a few more years of war before the Europeans would unite and the UK stayed out of the EEC until 1973....

[ Parent ]
IIRC (3.00 / 1) (#6)
by Merekat on Thu Sep 06, 2001 at 06:01:54 AM EST

The UK stayed out because De Gaulle vetoed their membership, no?
I've always had the greatest respect for other peoples crack-pot beliefs.
- Sam the Eagle, The Muppet Show
[ Parent ]
An Ironic RPG Term (1.00 / 1) (#3)
by Valdrax on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 02:10:21 PM EST

If you've ever played table-top RPGs for long enough, you've probably heard the phrase "Polish Mine Detector" used to describe the use of a member of the party to detect traps laid out by an enemy by having that member walk into all of them.

From the linked article:
"[...] Polish signals officer, Lt. Jozef Kozacki, designed the first practical electronic mine-detector called the Mine Detector Polish Mark 1."

I just find it ironic that one of the first pratical real-life designs for a mine detector was actually an example of ingenious Polish engineering. It kind of flies in the face of all the old Polish jokes that led to the coining of the term in the first place.

How about that (none / 0) (#5)
by fluffy grue on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 09:28:50 PM EST

Amazing, it's a propaganda stereotype which isn't true? Unbelievable!

I guess that my Polish grandfather maybe did work on the Viking space probes after all! I had no idea!
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Traffic accidents (3.00 / 1) (#4)
by gsl on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 06:18:55 PM EST

In the six months from May to November, 1940, the RAF had killed 975 German civilians in air raids over Germany. At the same time, road accidents in Germany had killed 1,845 persons.

I read somewhere, I think in Len Deighton's "Fighter", that more people were killed in traffic accidents in Britain during the war than died in the air, flying fighters or bombers.

Sadly I don't have the book with me so I can't give the exact numbers. Certainly if you're interested in the general craziness of war, there' a fair dose of it in Deighton's books - "Fighter", "Blitzkrieg" and "Blood, Tears & Folly".


One bit that fascinated me... (3.00 / 1) (#7)
by jd on Thu Sep 06, 2001 at 10:01:42 AM EST

Roosevelt didn't play very nice, did he? I wonder where that additional 38 million ended up. Anyone know if the White House was throwing some really expensive parties, around this time?

In one of his famous speeches Churchill asked America 'Give us the tools and we will finish the job'. But America wouldn't 'give' anything without payment. After two years of war, Roosevelt had drained Britain dry, stripping her of all her assets in the USA, including real estate and property. The British owned Viscose Company, worth 125 million was liquidated, Britain receiving only 87 million. Britain's 1,924 million investments in Canada were sold off to pay for raw materials bought in the United States. To make sure that Roosevelt got his money, he dispatched the American cruiser, 'Louisville' to the South African naval base of Simonstown to pick up forty two million Pounds worth of British gold, to help pay for American guns and ammunition!.Not content with stripping Britain of her gold and assets, Roosevelt now proceeded to 'strip the flesh off the bone'. In return for 50 old destroyers, he demanded that Britain transfer all her scientific and technological secrets to the USA. (American science had been lagging years behind the British at this stage). Also, he demanded leases on the islands of Newfoundland, Jamaica, Trinidad and Bermuda for the setting up of American military and naval bases.

Quote. Lord Beaverbrook was later to exclaim 'The Japanese are our relentless enemies, and the Americans our un-relenting creditors'.

Lend Lease (3.00 / 1) (#8)
by ucblockhead on Thu Sep 06, 2001 at 12:48:17 PM EST

What is interesting is that the US sent as much or more "Lend Lease" stuff to the USSR, and never got a cent in return for it.

This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

uh (3.00 / 1) (#9)
by westgeof on Thu Sep 06, 2001 at 02:29:20 PM EST

Well, you'll also notice that the Americans and Russians weren't on friendly terms after the war, either. If I loaned you $50 and then engaged in a fued with your family, I doubt I'd get my money back either.

As a child, I wanted to know everything. Now I miss my ignorance
[ Parent ]
Uh...yeah. (3.00 / 1) (#10)
by ucblockhead on Thu Sep 06, 2001 at 04:00:25 PM EST

That was my point.

Friends get drained while enemies get free stuff.
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

World War II Trivia | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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