Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

What's the most famous single weapon of WWII?

Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by Triton, Jul 14, 2015.

Tags:
  1. Triton

    Triton New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Germany
    Douglas Bader's Spitfire lacks drama. Warspite should be more popular too, she played a critical role a lot of theaters during the war.
    Richthofens Red Triplane (no matter which one) is far more popular than his Albatros planes because he died in it.
    Bismarck didn't survive her maiden journey although declared as unsinkable - the Titanic of all warships.
    Enola Gay or Little Boy are hard to beat.
     
  2. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    20
    The German Soldier's sidearm. That makes it singular.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,617
    Likes Received:
    1,656
    Location:
    God's Country
    [​IMG]

    Following your lead Mac_bolan00




    This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

    My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

    My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...

    My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...

    My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...

    Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

    So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace!



    Makes it MY Rifle, singular!
     
  4. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    5,896
    Likes Received:
    870
    This is actually a good question...as we can see...many options. I think of big bertha before red baron for ww1...ww2? Yamoto...bismark....? Wonder what the chinese would answer...
     
  5. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    75
    agree with you on Bismarck. On the basis that Gibson is more 'famous' than Tibbets and the Lancaster more famous than the B-29 and the Bouncing Bomb more famous ( as in far less 'horrific' ) than the first atom bomb ...well, you can see where I'm going with this..
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    Michigan
    But Hood and PoW are mentioned almost everytime Bismarck is in any history. Hood however saw much longer service and combat on a number of occasions prior to being sunk. PoW also saw service afterwards and her demise as part of Force Z would likely have given her more exposure in East Asia. Bismark may well be most famous in Europe but it's at least an open question there. (Bismarck being a more famous individual than Admiral(?) Hood might also have some impact there). That brings up the question of just how famous Graf Spee would be in relation to Bismarck. Her service in the South Atlantic would seam to imply greater noteriety in South America and perhaps Africa.


    But the OP's examples made it clear he was asking for specific weapons so "a Lugger" was not what was requested.
     
    Triton likes this.
  7. Triton

    Triton New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Germany
    The problem with Hood and PoW is: They were regarded as "loosers" today.

    Hood was 20 years old when meeting Bismarck but did achieve almost nothing in all these years. Even worse, she took part in "Operation Catapult".

    PoW or "the ship that ran away" had a short life cramped with action all around the world, you forgot that she carried Churchill to the meeting with Roosevelt. Yes, she damaged Bismarck, which caused Lütjens to abandon her mission, but she withdraw from the battle. Which was the right decision but her reputation was damaged.

    Memphis Belle is a symbol for the allied bombing campaign over Europe.
    Enola Gay ended the war but it started with? Right "Schleswig-Holstein" the old pre-dreadnought battleship shooting at a polish fort near Danzig. But she was obsolete even in WWI, so it is hard to call her a symbol for WWII.
     
  8. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I don't agree with "even worse". Operation Catapult had to be done.
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,904
    Likes Received:
    1,687
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    And the Bismarck isn't?


    The Memphis Belle "myth" was created by US military propagandists...She was neither the first bomber to complete 25 missions - That title went to the 330th Bombardment Squadron’s B-24 "Hot Stuff", who flew her 25th mission on February 7, 1943(months before the Memphis Belle flew her 25th). "Hot Stuff" flew 5 more missions, for a total of 30, before she was recalled home for a war bonds tour. Tragically, on her way home, in terrible weather, and low on fuel, she crashed into the side of an Icelandic mountain.

    Nor was the Memphis Belle the first B-17 to complete 25 missions, that title goes to the B-17 "Hell's Angels" of the 358th Bombardment Squadron, which flew her 25th mission on May 13th, 1943(only days before the Memphis Belle flew her 25th). However, the crew of Hell's Angels signed on for another tour, flying a total of 48 missions, before returning stateside for their own war bond tour.


    The first German "official act of war" was the Luftwaffe bombing of Wielun. The Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on Danzig minutes later.

    Still, you can effectively argue that the staged German "false flag" attacks, like the Gleiwitz incident, were the first opening attacks of World War II.
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,904
    Likes Received:
    1,687
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    Seconded.
     
  11. Triton

    Triton New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Germany
    No. Today it is regarded as a sign of determination to keep on fighting, but the Battle of Britain was sign enough.
    Catapult was a) almost useless, sinking an old and slow battleship but leaving most of the fleet unharmed. And b) leads to german-friendly first years of occupation with a lot of support especially from the french Navy.

    Catapult was stupid and ruthless. The french ships were trapped in the Mediterranean, in a harbour in North Africa, how could they be of any use for the german Navy?

    Bismarck sank Hood with her third(?) Salvo and Churchill sent out the entire Royal Navy to chase her. She was a David. I don't think she should be regarded as a "looser". In summer 1941, the atlantic war with surface ships was history for the Kriegsmarine, a tragedy like Bismarck was inevitable.
     
  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,904
    Likes Received:
    1,687
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    Fixed that for you.

    While the Bretagne exploded, the Provence would spend a few months on the bottom before being refloated and sent, in early November, 1941, to Toulon for full repairs. The modern Dunkerque would also spend a few months on the bottom. However, her temporary repairs took some time longer than those of the Provence, and the Dunkerque would not return to Toulon until Frbruary 20, 1942.


    Yet all eventually returned to France with no damaged inflicted during their voyages.

    So, the French ships are "trapped" in a North African harbor...
    The Tirpitz was also "trapped" in Norway, and look how many Allied naval forces were tied up watching her.

    At Mers-el-Kabir, you have two old battleships and two new ones. So, you would need to have at least 3 times the forces guarding against Tirpitz, watching the 4 French battleships in Mers-el-Kabir.

    The British could not run the risk of having the French Fleet taken over by the Germans/Italians, no matter how many promises the collaborationist Vichy Government gave them.


    The "major" difference between David, and the Bismarck...David won his battle, the Bismarck lost hers.

    The Bismarck sank...That is all that matters. Whether she was sunk by a PT Boat or an entire fleet, she still sank.

    While she did fight heroically and against overwhelming odds...She still sank.

    Whether scuttled or sunk by shell fire and torpedoes...She still sank.

    No matter how you slice it...There is still a "1" in the "Lost" column.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    Michigan
    I don't see how that negates their fame at all. Titanic is probably the most famous passenger liner after all.
     
  14. Triton

    Triton New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Germany
    Strasbourg was undamaged and in Toulon. The RN didn't care about it. They knew, that there is no way to capture a foreign fleet. Catapult was a symbolic act, nothing more.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1248615/Mass-murder-stroke-genius-saved-Britain-As-closer-ties-France-planned-betrayal-forgive.html

    The Bismarck sunk and that is why she is famous.

    The question is, which weapon will be showed at the cover of a book about WWII? Which is a symbol? Nothing can take away fame from ships like "Hood", Graf Spee, Arizona or planes like the Memphis Belle, that is not the intention or the question.
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    Michigan
    If it's a book about WWII in general I wouldn't expect to see the Bismarck on the cover. Even if it's naval combat in the Atlantic Tirpitz, one or both of the twins, Graf Spee, or Eugen is as likely a candidate as Bismarck even if retricted to German ships. If it's naval combat in general then the most likely ships are from the RN, USN, or IJN.

    I was taking "most famous" to mean "most well known". In Europe Bismarck is going to be right at the top of the list although others such as Hood and PoW may rank up there with her. In SE Asia PoW is lkely more well known than Bismarck but still probably less well known than Yamato or Missouri, In the US especially on the west coast Enterprise is going to be at the top of the list as well. I'm not even sure how one would go about gathering the data to support any particular choice with any real confidence.
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,904
    Likes Received:
    1,687
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    They didn't? What about Admiral Rene-Emile Godfroy's "Force X", althought they were interned, not captured, still, the effect was the same.
     
  17. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    20
    popularity has to stay with the home crowd. name-recall to the enemy is at best 15 minutes of fame. so what were the favorite ships for each country? with japan, i'm guessing the carrier Akagi. with the germans i'm also guessing it's the bismark.
     
  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    Michigan
    If you asked someone in the US to name a German warship from WWII I'm almost certain that the most common answer would be "Bismarck". The same is likely true in Britain. A similar poll about Japanese warships the answer would likely be "Yamato". I have no idea what would happen if you conducted a such poll in Germany and asked about British or US ships. I'm not even sure what the answer would be in the US if you asked about US ships. As to how it relates to the thread at hand the responses in China and India would have some considerable impact and I don't have a clue what they would be.
     
  19. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Messages:
    6,092
    Likes Received:
    1,686
    Location:
    Perfidious Albion
    Major Smith and lieutenant Schaffer's MP40s.
    Never has so much hot lead been sprayed at so many from so few reloads. If they'd managed to make more than two the war might have been shortened by a year...

    [​IMG]
     
    Otto and George Patton like this.
  20. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    5,896
    Likes Received:
    870
    I believe made by the same company who brought us Stallone's M60...
     

Share This Page