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Quirky Military-Historical factoids

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by robin303, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. robin303

    robin303 Helicopter Nut

    Sep 27, 2009
    Austin, TX
    You might enjoy this from Col D. G. Swinford, USMC, Ret and history buff. You would really have to dig deep to get this kind of ringside seat to history:

    1. The first German serviceman killed in WW II was killed by the Japanese ( China , 1937), the first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians ( Finland 1940); highest ranking American killed was Lt Gen Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps. So much for allies.
    2. The youngest US serviceman was 12 year old Calvin Graham, USN. He was wounded and given a Dishonorable Discharge for lying about his age. His benefits were later restored by act of Congress.
    3. At the time of Pearl Harbor, the top US Navy command was called CINCUS (pronounced 'sink us'), the shoulder patch of the US Army's 45th Infantry division was the Swastika, and Hitler's private train was named 'Amerika.' All three were soon changed for PR purposes.
    4. More US servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions, your chance of being killed was 71%.
    5. Generally speaking, there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For instance, Japanese Ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane.
    6. It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5 th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. Tracers had different ballistics so (at long range) if your tracers were hitting the target 80% of your rounds were missing. Worse yet tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of loading a string of tracers at the end of the belt to tell you that you were out of ammo. This was definitely not something you wanted to tell the enemy. Units that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double and their loss rate go down.


    7. When allied armies reached the Rhine, the first thing men did was pee in it. This was pretty universal from the lowest private to Winston Churchill (who made a big show of it) and Gen. Patton (who had himself photographed in the act).
    8. German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City, but they decided it wasn't worth the effort.
    9. German submarine U-120 was sunk by a malfunctioning toilet.
    10. Among the first 'Germans' captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until they were captured by the US Army.

    11. Following a massive naval bombardment, 35,000 United States and Canadian troops stormed ashore at Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands . 21 troops were killed in the assault on the island. It could have been worse if there had been any Japanese on the island. AND - HITLER & BINLADEN DIED ON THE SAME DAY, May 1.

  2. GlocknSpiehl

    GlocknSpiehl NRA Life Member Silver Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Miami, FL
    SIde fact I read too: gunners for bombers were heavily recruited from recruits who had experience in hunting birds with shotguns. Seems they needed very little training in how to lead a target.
  3. tsmo1066

    tsmo1066 Happy Smiley

    Aug 31, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Adolf Hitler had a Cousin who served in the US Navy during WWII as a Pharmacist's mate.
  4. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

    Sep 28, 2009
    The german bombers that could reach the US probably couldnt have made it back.
  5. Dunno - design range was 9500 miles?

    Although I seem to recall some goofball plan about a one-way trip to NYC with U-Boats doing Lifeguard Duty. Don't think it was seriously considered.
  6. raven11


    Jan 27, 2009
    wouldn't have mattered , its like the Doolittle Raid. It doesn't matter if you didn't destroy anything of value, but the psychological victory of a American city coming under attack would have diverted men and material from the front
  7. devildog2067


    Apr 20, 2005
    So when I saw this thread, I thought to myself: I think I saw this on GT before, and I think I remember posting a fact-checking-type reply to this chain email. I wonder if I can find that response, it'll save me the trouble of typing it up again.

    So I googled a bit, and found the old thread. It's the same chain email, and it was posted by the same guy.

    Dude, you posted this thread before.

    And in THAT thread, someone pointed out that many of these are inaccurate:

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012