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Battle for Northern Africa-interesting info


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#26 Kai-Petri

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Posted 20 March 2003 - 09:43 PM

Williamson Murray:Luftwaffe 1933-1945

In early November 1942 ( notice!) Luftwaffe was forced to send 150 Ju 52´s to the Mediterranean, an additional 170 followed at the end of the month (!)This movement of aircraft, combined with the Stalingrad airlift, effectively shut down instrument and bomber transition schools.The development into the Mediterranean also explains why the Luftwaffe found it difficult to transfer more transport aircraft to Luftlotte 4 and the Stalingrad supply effort.

The Luftwaffe lost 128 Ju 52´s in November and December 1942, with an additional 36 destroyed in January (13.9 % of the Luftwaffe´s total transport strength ). When combined with losses at Stalingrad, the Germans lost 659 transport aircraft (56% of the transport force as of November 10 ) by the end of January 1943....

:eek:
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#27 Kai-Petri

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Posted 24 March 2003 - 07:02 PM

Williamson Murray:Luftwaffe 1933-1945

Getting worse for Luftwaffe...

In the period between November 1942 and May 1943, the Germans lost 2,422 aircraft in the Mediterranean theater ( 40.5% of their total force structure as of November 10,1942 )!!!!

888 Fighters
734 Bombers
117 twin-engine fighters
128 Dive bombers
371 transport planes

Luftwaffe strength in the Mediterranean varied from 200 to 300 fighters and from 200 to 300 bombers throughout the period. Thus, combat wastage was well over 200 percent of unit strength.

---------

In 1943 the allied air superiority had become so great that Germans had trouble protecting their airfields in Sicily/Italy:

Losses for German aircraft for July in the Mediterranean was heavy. Luftwaffe lost 711 planes ( 10% of German air force at the end of June ) of which 246 were fighters ( 13.3% ) and 237 bombers ( 14.4 % ).
In August the allied inflicted a further 321 losses. At this point reinforcements dried up.

:eek:
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#28 Kai-Petri

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 08:52 PM

El Alamein:

One final, but key, factor affected the success of British deception plans. Earlier in the desert campaigns, Rommel had quite successfully used wireless intelligence to determine British plans. The commander of Rommel's wireless intelligence was Captain Alfred Seebohm, who had become quite good at determining the British order of battle, dispositions, and intentions. It is fitting that after the British learned of See-bohm's listening post, British wireless intelligence, the Y service, located it.32 On 10 July, an attack was planned on Seebohm's position on a small group of mounds called the "Hills of Jesus." The attack was successful, and most of the intelligence equipment was captured intact. Seebohm himself was mortally wounded and later died in Cairo.

The British learned much about how Rommel had been able to outfox them in previous battles from the equipment found at the Hills of Jesus. They identified areas of poor British wireless security and made changes.

Probably the biggest blow to Rommel's intelligence-collection ability was Seebohm's loss. Rommel replaced the equipment and again began wireless intelligence-collection, but according to Anthony Cave Brown in Bodyguard of Lies, without Seebohm's keen ear for the abnormal, Rommel was "vulnerable to wireless deception."33 Whether or not Seebohm would have detected British deception plans is debatable. What is not debatable is that intelligence played a large and critical role at the Battle of Alam Halfa.

http://www-cgsc.army...Aug02/smith.asp
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#29 Kai-Petri

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Posted 01 April 2003 - 11:29 AM

Some nice DAK pics:

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Generalmajor Ulrich Kleemann (right), 90th Light Afrika-Division Commander, April-Sept. 1942.


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Taking a nap!

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Bikes on patrol

http://adelaide.apan...~brad/DAK4.html
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#30 Kai-Petri

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Posted 01 April 2003 - 12:27 PM

BRANDENBURG DURING NORTH AFRICAN CAMPAIGN 1941-1943

http://www.forces70....orth Africa.htm

The first Brandenburger Tropeneinheit commando team arrived in North Africa in June of 1941. Their initial task was one of reconnaissance; i.e., determining where exactly the British were located along the front lines and what forces were available to same. I/(Sonder) Kompanie and the II/ Kompanie/III Battalion/Lehr-Regiment Brandenburg z.b.V. 800 were temporarily redesignated as Sonderverband 287. This unit was subordinated to Sonderstab F (Wüstenbrigade Felmy, commanded by General der Flieger Felmy).
During their initial deployment in northern Africa, their (offensive minded) hands were tied a bit because Rommel had a strong aversion to "the war in the dark". Rommel wanted proof that the British Long Range Desert Commando teams (Colonel Stirling commanding) were indeed fighting in such a manner. The "proof" for Rommel came shortly in September of 1942, right before he was to go on vacation when German troops had located six "lost" German officers in Tobruk.

One of the German Afrika Korps officers, Leutnant Zeller, while walking down a side street of Tobruk, had recognized a German officer, Leutnant Großmann, as being none other as his friend and schoolmate from Berlin. But then it also quickly donned on Zeller that his schoolmate had emigrated to the United Kingdom towards the end of 1938 (he was of Jewish heritage). A small scuffle ensued, an Italian soldier was wounded, but neither Großmann or Zeller were harmed. Five other German soldiers, whose origins were dubious at best, were also quickly identified as being British. As a result of further interrogation efforts, Rommel was advised that these six "British" Germans were actually a diversion of Operation "Springtime" (all six British commando team members were actually Germans who had departed Germany before the war because of their Jewish backgrounds). Further German investigation efforts uncovered many time-bombs at key German harbor and supply facilities in Tobruk. These were all defused by the Germans; a few additional British commando team members were also uncovered in the process.

A third component of Colonel's Stirling's plan was to destroy as much of Tobruk's harbor system as they could through a seaborne invasion/infiltration attempt. Because the Germans were now appraised of the situation, surprise was lost on the British. British ships carrying the commando teams hoisted German and Italian flags shortly after entering the headwaters of Tobruk. But the Germans were now expecting this. They damaged the British command ship and effected many casualties onto the attacking British, forcing Sterling to abort his mission (taking high losses as a result).

After this incident, Rommel gave the Brandenburger Tropenkompanie in Africa a free hand in their operational activities with one exception. Rommel stuck to his order on German commando teams wearing enemy (British) uniforms - that was strictly verboten.

On 26 December 1942, von Koenen's Brandenburger commando team (30 men) departed from the Bizerta airfield in Libya loaded onto three gliders. After mid-air release close to their target, they slowly glided towards their destination in central Tunisia - the railroad bridge near the village of Sidi bou Baker spanning the Wadi el-Kbir. The bridge was about 120 feet long, it was protected by French troops. The Germans were successful in their mission, the bridge was destroyed. The commando team then destroyed its gliders and started their 120 mile long track back to the Italian garrison fortress of Maknassi. and returned by foot to German lines (walk at night, rest at day; assisted by many local pro-German Arab tribesmen).
On that same day, a second team of 10 Brandenburger commando's under the command of Leutnant Hagenauer completed a similar mission against a bridge near Kasserini in southern Tunisia. They arrived as planned and destroyed their target (the bridge). As this team was returning towards the German lines, an armored reconnaissance platoon of the Free-French army intercepted them. All 10 German commando team members were captured by the Free-French.
On 18 January 1943, a team of Brandenburger's led by Leutnant Fuchs destroyed the bridge over the Wadi el-Melah in southern Tunisia. The arrived at their target via ground transportation; i.e. trucks. This bridge supported a key Allied supply line in Tunisia, but because of the military situation, the loss of the bridge did not seriously hamper the Allied offensive in Tunisia.

One of the most daring undertakings attempted by the Brandenburger's in Africa was "Unternehmen Dora". This most ambitious plan was to disrupt the Allied supply roads emanating from the Gulf of Guinea to Port Sudan on the Red Sea. These roads were of vital importance to the British 8th Army.Read more from the site...

Shortly before the capitulation of all German and Italian forces in north Africa, the surviving members of the Brandenburger's in Africa were withdrawn and brought back to Brandenburg in Germany. Their next missions would take them to the Balkans.
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#31 Kai-Petri

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Posted 09 April 2003 - 09:13 AM

The British subs at Malta

http://web.ukonline....t/sm/malta.html

On 10th January 1941, Commander G.W.G. ('Shrimp') Simpson, RN, arrived in Malta and took up his duties as Commander (Submarines), Malta. His orders from the C-in-C Malta, were simple,

'Stop all supplies from Italy to Tripoli'

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The 10th Submarine Flotilla, between January 1941 and April 1942:

Headquarters Staff:
Captain GWG Simpson RN, CB, CBE.
Cdr G Tanner RN, OBE
Lt Cdr (E) SA McGregor, RN, OBE
Lt Cdr R Giddings, RN, OBE

HMS Upright (Commanded by Lieutenant E.D. Norman DSO, DSC and then J.S. Wraith DSC) (1 Cruiser 1 destroyer, 4 supply ships and 1 floating dock for 23,408 tons)

HMS Utmost (Commanded by Lieutenant-Commander R.D. Cayley DSO) (1 transport and 6 supply ships for 43,993 tons)

HMS Unique (Commanded by Lieutenant A.F. Collett DSC) (1 AMC, 1 transport and 2 supply ships for 20,382 tons)

HMS Upholder (Commanded by Lieutenant-Commander M.D. Wanklyn VC, DSO) (2 destroyers, 3 submarines, 3 transport, 10 supply ships, 2 tankers and 1 trawler for 128,353 tons)

HMS Usk (Commanded by Lieutenant P.R. Ward and then Lieutenant F.P. Darling)

HMS Ursula (Commanded by Lieutenant P.R. Ward and then Lieutenant A.R. Hezlet DSC) (2 supply ships for 14,640 tons)

HMS Undaunted (Commanded by Lieutenant J.L. Livesay)

HMS Unbeaten (Commanded by Lieutenant E.A. Woodward DSO) (2 submarines, 2 supply ships, 1 tanker, 1 collier and 2 schooners for 30,616 tons)

HMS Union (Commanded by Lieutenant R.F. Galloway) (1 supply ship, 2,800 tons)

HMS Urge (Commanded by Lieutenant-Commander E.P. Tomkinson DSO and Bar) (2 cruisers, 1 destroyer, 1 transport, 5 supply ships and 2 tankers for 74,669 tons)

HMS P33 (Commanded by Lieutenant R.D. Whiteway-Wilkinson DSC) (1 supply ship, 6,600 tons)

HMS P32 (Commanded by Lieutenant D.A.B. Abdy)

ORP (Polish) Sokol (Commanded by Commander Karnicki VM, DSO) (1 destroyer, 2 supply ships and 1 schooner for 7,462 tons)

HMS P34 (Commanded by Lieutenant P.R.H. Harrison DSO, DSC) (1 submarine, 1,461 tons)

HMS P31 (Commanded by Lieutenant J.B. de B. Kershaw DSO) (1 cruiser and 1 supply ship for 12,100 tons)

HMS Una (Commanded by Lieutenant D.S.R. Martin and then Lieutenant C.P. Norman) (1 supply ship, 1 tanker and 1 schooner for 15,355 tons)

HMS P38 (Commanded by Lieutenant R.J. Hemmingway DSC) (1 supply ship, 4,170 tons)

HMS P35 (Commanded by Lieutenant S.L.C. Maydon) (1 supply ship and 1 salvage tug for 4,471 tons)

HMS P36 (Commanded by Lieutenant H.N. Edmonds DSC)

HMS P39 (Commanded by Lieutenant N. Marriott, DSC with Lieutenant J.D. Martin as spare commanding officer)

Between January 1941 and December 1942, the Italians lost 171 ships in the Mediterranean, totalling over half a million tons. A high proportion of those losses were inflicted by the submarines of Malta, supported by those from Alexandria/Beirut and Gibraltar. Losing half a million tons of shipping was key to the Axis defeat in North Africa.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

However, to this fine record we must add some sad details. Unbeknown to the commanders of the successful submarines, some of the Italian shipping sent to the bottom of the Mediterranean carried British and Allied Prisoners of War:

PORPOISE (Lt Cdr Pizey) of the 3rd Flotilla, torpedoed the Sebastiano Venier 9/12/41. She was beached at Methoni. In excess of 400 P.O.W.s were lost.

P38 (Lt. Hemmingway) sank the Ariosto 15/2/42. 138 P.O.W.s lost.

UPHOLDER (Lt Cdr Wanklyn) sank the Tembien 27/2/42. More than 400 P.O.W.s lost.

TURBULENT (Cdr. Linton) (3rd Flotilla) torpedoed Nino Bixio 17/8/42. 336 P.O.W.s lost.

UNRUFFLED (Lt. Stevens) sank Loreto 13/10/42. 130 P.O.W.s lost.

SAHIB (Lt. Bromage) sank Scillin 14/11/42. 787 P.O.W.s lost.
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#32 Kai-Petri

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Posted 19 April 2003 - 04:33 PM

http://www.bharat-ra...ages-1939c.html

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Flag captured from the 90th Panzer Light Division at Ruweisat Ridge. Circa 1942

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Caravan of General Von Arnim, German Army, who surrendered to the 4th Indian Division (a.k.a. Fighting Fourth) in Tunisia, Africa.

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An Italian soldier surrenders to a Jawan, during Operation Crusader, of an unnamed Division and Regiment, on 08 December 1941.
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#33 Kai-Petri

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Posted 30 April 2003 - 08:40 AM

Rommel´s greatest victory: The battle at Gazala

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The British opponent

Neil Ritchie was born in 1897. Educated at Lancing College and Sandhurst Military Academy he was commissioned into the Black Watch in 1914. In the First World War he fought in France and in Mesopotamia where he won the Military Cross in 1918.

Ritchie remained in the British Army and by the outbreak of the Second World War had risen to the rank of brigadier. In 1939 Ritchie went to France as a member of the British Expeditionary Force and served as chief of staff under General Alan Brooke.

After the evacuation from Dunkirk Ritchie joined the Southern Command where he served as chief of staff under General Claude Auchinleck. Auchinleck became commander in chief of British troops in the Middle East in July 1941 and four months later he appointed Ritchie as head of the Eighth Army. This was a controversial decision and critics pointed out that Lieutenant General Ritchie's last command had as leader of a battalion in the First World War.

Auchinleck and Ritchie launched Operation Crusader until 18th November, 1941. Initially this was very successful and Erwin Rommel was forced to abandon his siege of Tobruk on 4th December, and the following month had moved as far west as Archibald Wavell had achieved a year previously.

Aware that Wavell's supply lines were now overextended, and after Rommel gained obtained reinforcements from Tripoli he launched a counterattack It was now the turn of the British Army to retreat.

After losing Benghazi on 29th January, Claude Auchinleck ordered his troops to retreat to Gazala. Over the next few months the Eighth Army, under Ritchie, established a line of fortifications and minefields. Erwin Rommel launched his offensive on 26th May.

http://www.spartacus...k/2WWrichie.htm

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The overview of the attack

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More precise German troop movements

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The Germans were pushed into the cauldron and waited to be destroyed there. The British hesitated ( Ritchie ) and meanwhile the Italians made a supply route through the mine field and the Germans got the ammunition for their 88´s before the British attacked. The fatal error for Ritchie!
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By May 28, the Axis armored units behind the Allied lines were in trouble. Rommel had lost more than one-third of his tanks, and the remainder were running short on fuel and ammunition. On May 29, the Italian Trieste Division cleared a path through the center of the Gazala Line. That opening became a lifeline to Rommel's panzers. On the 30th, Rommel consolidated his armor in a defensive position that came to be known as "the Cauldron."


The Axis had seven German and three Italian regiments to the British fourteen armoured regiments. The British had also received some of the new American Grants with thicker armour and a 75mm gun and if fact had 700 tanks in service with another 400 in reserve or in the Nile delta. By now each armoured regiment of the 7th Armoured Division had 24 Grants and 20 Honeys.The British outnumbered the Germans and Italians 2 to 1 in tanks.

When General Ritchie finally counter-attacked on 2nd June the British attack suffered heavy casualties as a result, particularly against the ant-tank screen. A typical example of this was how the Axis would wait until the British tanks emerged from a protective smokescreen and then opened fire with anti-tanks, including 88mm's. Over the next few days most of the conflict centred around the Cauldron Area. On 2nd June an attack by 5th RTR and 'B' Bty 4 RHA, was hit by a sandstorm and in the ensuing chaos the guns were overrun with the 5th RTR being reduced to just one Grant and two Honeys. This left 3rd RTR as the only effective tank unit of 4th Armoured Brigade. The various column of 7th Motor Brigade were then ordered to help hurry and help the defenders at Bir Hacheim. On 3rd June the 22nd Armoured Brigade was attached to strengthen the tank force of the Division. On 5th and 6th June a whirling tank and anti-tank battle took place around the Cauldron, but by the evening of 6th June the British tank strength was reduced to 170 and when the Axis attacked again they scattered the 7th Armoured Division for the second time in ten days. On 7th June the Division strength was 54 Grants and 34 Honeys, all manned by very tired crews.

---------

On the cauldron battles alone during the beginning of June the allied lost 150 tanks and 6,000 soldiers in two days by the axis strategy.


http://www.btinterne...battles1942.htm
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#34 Kai-Petri

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Posted 01 May 2003 - 03:52 PM

That was the (series of ) battle(s) that led to the conquering of Tobruk, by the way!

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Plaque commemorating the battles near Tobruk

http://www.galenfrys...obruk_libya.htm

;)
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#35 Kai-Petri

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 12:19 PM

As I have not read earlier very much on the nazis and Islamic connections I recommend to read this "lightly"...Hopefully later more on this.

http://www.frontpage...ble.asp?ID=4934

SS chief Heinrich Himmler was known to remark that he regretted that Germany had adopted Christianity, rather than "warlike" Islam, as its religion, and there is a disturbing amount of twisted but very real logic in his remark.

Hitler himself was even given an Arabic name: Abu Ali

:eek: :eek: :confused:

Heinrich Himmler’s planned grand alliance between Nazi Germany and the Islamic world. One of his closest aides, Obergruppenführer Gottlob Berger, boasted that

"a link is created between Islam and National-Socialism on an open, honest basis. It will be directed in terms of blood and race from the North, and in the ideological-spiritual sphere from the East."

Major Nazi sympathizers of this era include Ahmed Shukairi, the first chairman of the PLO; Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat, future presidents of Egypt; and the founders of the Pan-Arab socialist Ba' ath party, currently ruling Syria and Iraq. One Ba'ath leader has since recalled of this time:

"We were racists, admiring Nazism, reading their books and sources of their thought. We were the first who thought of translating Mein Kampf."

:eek:
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#36 urqh

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 01:06 PM

Kai, you must also put this into perspective of the times and the much anti British feeling of the days before ww2 when the British were seen by some Arabs as no different...the Nazis were not in their lands..the British were and we were brutal when necessary...the enemy of my enemy is my friend...To say that Anwar Sadat was a Nazi follower only hints at the sidelines of his polotics and beliefs at a time when his country was owned and run by an imperial nation that he did not want running his country...He seemed to more likely admire anyone who rebelled against Imperialism...many more did...He had same admiraton for Ghandi.

We must also look at events and people in Germany at that time too...Im sure you are aware of the zionist..and im saying zionist as a politial movement not anit semitic...attempts before war in Germany to align themselves with the Nazis..realising too late what they were doing..

Four figures affected Sadat's early life. The first, a man named Zahran, came from a small village like Sadat's. In a famous incident of colonial rule, the British hanged Zahran for participating in a riot which had resulted in the death of a British officer. Sadat admired the courage Zahran exhibit on the way to the gallows. The second, Kemel Ataturk, created the modern state of Turkey by forcing the downfall of the Ottoman Empire. Not only had Ataturk thrown off the shackles of colonialism, but he established a number of civil service reforms, which Sadat admired. The third man was Mohandas Gandhi. Touring Egypt in 1932, Gandhi had preached the power of nonviolence in combating injustice. And finally, the young Sadat admired Adolf Hitler whom the anticolonialist Sadat viewed as a potential rival to British control.

British Army 1939-1945 - World War II Tribute Video

 

 

[URL="http://youtu.be/Zbp_4XBmD4w"]

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 


#37 Kai-Petri

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 06:43 PM

Thanx Urgh,

Indeed the muslims had not been under German control so it was easy to think anything else would be better. One thing for sure.

On Gandhi I just read that he proposed the British the unarmed way to deal with them;let the Germans invade England and win the lot that way...I guess Churchill was not very happy about this idea...?Heard of that?

:confused:
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#38 urqh

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 07:36 PM

No....I hadnt heared that from Ghandi..

Dont think none violent demonstrating action would have had much affect against Hitler somehow...

Think its a large case of countries like India not realising or actually realising but dont care as long as Occupying force are gone ...which they saw Brits as..same in Egypt etc..didnt look at what would fill the void afterwards..

We certainly didnt control these places as an act of generosity..or a call to educated the masses of the world..we did it for trade..and ourselves not for Indians or Burmese or Egyptians..but no different than many other nations doing the same..

The Indians wanted to administer their own country..and why not..right or wrong..their country...Same as the educated classes of the timme In Egypt..Problem is...if it had happened before ww2 then Egypt and Sadat etc would not have been allowd to keep their independance and it would not have been the Brits that would have taken it away..

Same for India..no matter how much I look on Ghandi as doing the right thing for his people..if he had achieved what he achieved before ww2 then it would have been short lived in my view...Its might sound contradictory of me..but Brits holding on to India and not letting Ghandi and others have independance before ww2 did India a good service..and ourselves of course..The main problem with British imperialismm is that we never knew when it was time to go...

Japanese as an example used our own imperialism as a weapon against us...and successfully too..

But we were not the beneloant imperialists some in my own country would have us believe...Looking at our history I see the need for Empire and trade at various times of our history and im not totally against it..im not the lefty some think I am..well not that far..

Bt a good old Indian incident and why maybe some Indians and same can be said of Egypt or Burmese..peoples, and teh reason for Bohse etc...could be seen in the likes of Amristar..the Godlen Temple incident..??

Why the heck should local populations not look at the likes of the Nazis in early days before war and look at the enemy of my enemy is my friend when we had many such examples..Im not going to be political here..but I can see it all happening again now..they say one should look at history and not repeat the same mistakes..that does not happen in my view...we have a circle that is repeated time and again in mankinds history..

Nasser, Sadat and others in my view can be excused for their original views..

Sorry for long winded post..

British Army 1939-1945 - World War II Tribute Video

 

 

[URL="http://youtu.be/Zbp_4XBmD4w"]

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 


#39 urqh

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 07:48 PM

http://www.forgotten...s/amritsar.html

Amritsar massacre..The start of the end?

British Army 1939-1945 - World War II Tribute Video

 

 

[URL="http://youtu.be/Zbp_4XBmD4w"]

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 


#40 Kai-Petri

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 08:51 PM

Indeed Urgh,

these are hard questions! Interesting as well that we have very different back grounds. I am living in a country that has fought for its place forever and we have some 1,000 kms of border with Russia...You, on the other hand have a long history of your country ruling the world!

Anyway, that was just a thought...

But the time when to change the ruler in those countries, that is a hard question. The race question still lives on there and the 1984 massacre at Golden temple: I still can remmeber it. Now who´s the good leader?

:(

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In May 1984, Sikh extremists occupied the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Gandhi responded in early June when she launched Operation Bluestar, which killed and wounded hundreds of soldiers, insurgents, and civilians. Guarding against further challenges to her power, she removed the chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh just months before her assassination by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984...
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#41 urqh

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Posted 02 May 2003 - 09:45 PM

Agreed Kai...And yes the Brits were not the only ones to instigate an amritsar massacre...as I say..history repeats...I dont go with the old saying we learn from history..we quite plainly dont.

But in that case..at least the troops firing were not doing so commanded by the British and under the delusions of a British officer...

The Indian massacre was committed by own people in own country..not by foreign occupying forces.

We could look on and say...animals what do they think they are doing..but we forget we showed the way.

British Army 1939-1945 - World War II Tribute Video

 

 

[URL="http://youtu.be/Zbp_4XBmD4w"]

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 


#42 Kai-Petri

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 07:18 PM

Was this somewhere before...??

http://homepages.win...rint/index.html

;)
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#43 Kai-Petri

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Posted 20 July 2003 - 06:33 PM

Intelligence for the Tunisia Campaign.

After El Alamein the Germans considerably tightened up on their Army signals security in the Mediterranean. They may have suspected their codes had been read during the battle, but most probably thought that some key sheets had been captured, as indeed had happened months before. Yet reading the various Luftwaffe Enigma keys, the Italian naval C38m, after September 1942 the German surface naval Enigma in the area, Porpoise, and now from December 1942 onwards the U-boat Enigma, Shark, a virtually complete record is obtained of shipping making for the Tunisian ports from Sicily and Italy. By the end of January BP is providing full details of 60 % of all the cargoes, which was not as good as had been obtained during the desert war, but pretty impressive. Virtually every day of January and thereafter BP decrypted the daily unloading returns from Tunis and Bizerta from Army Enigma. And there was ample information on the enemy’s order of battle and the arrival of reinforcements, guns, tanks and ammunition. At the end of January the Intelligence estimate of the number of Axis troops in Tunisia was 75,400, the correct figure being 74,000. Enigma disclosed that the Germans were unhappy about the performance of their Tiger tank crews in Tunisia, and warned about the arrival of the first Panther tank, and that larger numbers of both were coming on Hitler’s orders. The Allies know that Rommel has sent his 21st Panzer division back from Tripoli and that he aims to occupy the Mareth line by mid-February. Despite the increased signals security, BP manages to maintain a high level of success against the Bullfinch (and a variant called Goldfinch broken in December) and Chaffinch keys used by Rommel’s Panzer Army, though this was to fall off in February. Army Y was not functioning too well at this time, though it improved as the campaign went on.



Fish and the Herring Link. From January 1943 until the end of the Tunisian campaign on 10th May, with one short interruption in April, BP is reading the new Fish link, called Herring at BP, established in December for top-level traffic between Rome and the Army in Tunisia. This was the first really valuable fruit of the work of the Testery on the Fish codes. Fish provided only about 330 decrypts per month at this time, often after a delay of three days, but their value was inestimable, partly because of the regular supply returns. Compared with Enigma, the Fish messages were long, but their real strength came from their use at the highest level by Army and above. During this period when Army Enigma was relatively difficult to break, Fish became of even-greater importance for its insight into the state of the German Army in Tunisia, and its supply position, though it rarely offered the tactically important signals that Enigma could provide.



At first the Germans used the Lorenz SZ40 but the SZ42A was introduced briefly on this link in February 1943. There would be four machines working from the same wheel patterns or teeth positions, and a book of settings unique to that two-way link. The work the Testery had to do, by hand with some assistance from the Hollerith punched card machines, was wheel breaking (finding the wheel patterns which applied to all messages); and setting (finding the wheel start positions) that had to be done for each message. At this time the Testery was working from depths (messages which employed the same wheel patterns and settings to provide enough material on which to work with statistical linguistic techniques); depths were frequent at this time, often in the form of two consecutive messages without re-setting. Much longer depths of 15,000 or more characters were required to carry out wheel breaking, whereas setting could be achieved with a depth of 3,000 characters. They are using techniques first devised by Alan Turing (Turingisimus) and Bill Tutte. The Research Section was given the task of devising statistical and mechanical methods that did not depend upon having the luck to find depths, which was just as well because the Germans made a change to the SZ42 machine in December 1943 that eliminated depths. (Thereafter the Newmanry, using the Robinson and Colossus machines, became an essential part of the work. Prof Max Newman of the Research Section had been given the task of developing such machine methods for Fish in December 1942, and his role ‘carrying out research on specially designed machines to bring to notice clues upon which a cryptographer can work’ was promulgated by the Director on 1st February 1943, and at that time seems to have been intended to apply across the whole of BP, though in the event he and his Newmanry section seems to have worked almost entirely on the Fish codes). At this time the teeth patterns on the two motor wheels, which drove the movement of the ten code wheels, change daily, at a time the operator chooses, but the teeth patterns of these code wheels only change monthly or even quarterly.

http://www.bletchley...8&sectioncode=3
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#44 Kai-Petri

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Posted 01 August 2003 - 12:56 PM

At June, 10th, 1940 (at the very beginning of war) the Regia Marina (Italian Royal Navy) was composed by

6 battleships, two of them of modern 35,000 ton.. type (Littorio type)
7 cruisers of 10,000 ton..
12 light cruisers between 5.000 and 8.000 ton..
12 flotilla leader destroyers
28 modern destroyers
19 old model destroyers
69 torpedo boats
117 submarines of varied type and tonnage

http://homepage.tine...even/itanav.htm

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#45 Kai-Petri

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 02:32 PM

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To remedy the absence of aircraft carriers there was a late attempt by the Regia Marina to deploy the "Aquila " (an ex-merchant liner Roma). At the end of the hostilities, this aircraft carrier was near completion in the port of Genoa . The ship was to embark approximately 51 Reggiane type RE 2001 fighters modified for takeoff and landing on a flight deck.

ex merchant Roma
reconstruction started October 1940-43 at Ansaldo, Genoa
renamed Aquila Mar./42
partially scuttled Sep./43 to prevent use by Germans
damaged by bombing Jun.16/44
damaged by mines Apr.19/45
scuttled by the Germans April, 1945
raised 1946
scrapped 1952

http://www.warships1...quila_specs.htm

Pics:

http://www.warship.g...ila_photos.html
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#46 Kai-Petri

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 11:26 AM

Macchi: the fighters with the hunchback

http://64.224.13.60/...i/macchi_us.htm

;)
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#47 Kai-Petri

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 06:28 PM

November 6th, 1942

In England, Jimmy Doolittle tries again to fly to Gibraltar in his B-17. An American legend for his pre-war aviation feats and the Tokyo raid, he now commands Eisenhower's air forces in Operation Torch. His plane flies alone to Gibraltar. As it passes the French coast, someone shouts, "Bandits at nine o'clock!" Four German fighters (probably Me 110s) attack the Flying Fortress. German bullets slam into the bomber, ripping through the co-pilot's left arm, stitching holes in the fuselage. One bullet narrowly misses Doolittle.
But the B-17 is a sturdy aircraft, and the Germans are at the edge of their range. After two or three passes and no more damage to the B-17, the Germans head home, and Doolittle calmly returns to his maps of Morocco and Algeria.

http://www.usswashin...om/dl06no42.htm
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#48 Kai-Petri

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 06:48 PM

Any SS in Africa Corps? Well sort of any way..

Capt. Ingmar Berndt, Rommel´s aide, an SS officer assigned to North Africa.Berndt has been sent by the Propaganda Ministry to handle Rommel's public relations, making sure that the German media has plenty of flattering stories and film clips of the Desert Fox leading victorious troops from the front.

http://www.usswashin...om/dl03no42.htm
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#49 Erich

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 08:03 PM

There were sepcial Ss security forces only. I have no pics sorry to say.

Also this has been discussed many times in the past, but there were no Waffen SS truppen in Afrika even though plenty of pics of a tropical uniform being worn.......

~E
:aceofspades: E ~

#50 PzJgr

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 02:56 PM

Tropical uniforms were used by the Waffen SS in Greece. Could those be the pics you are referring to?
Stug2.jpg

 





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