Hiroshima Day

I believe Zhukov was once asked what orders he would give to soldiers about to advance into an area known to contain a minefield. He replied, "The same orders I would give them if the minefield wasn't there".

There is no doubt the Red Army contained some highly professional soldiers and officers. But the Soviet high command also took the view that the Germans would run out of ammo before the Red Army ran out of fresh bodies. And they were proven right.
sort of.

the Russians had worked out that most of the casualties were breaking through the German front, once they got through, they ran wild and made lots of germans into good Germans.
He was actually discussing tactics with a Eisenhower. He noted that by breaking straight in when they hit the German lines, he denied the Germans the time to bring in reinforcements to the breakthrough. He observed that the losses to mines were no worse than attacking a front well defended by machine guns and artillery.

see the slow build ups that Montgomery was famous for that allowed The Germans to build up defences in depth and turn his battles into attritional warfare.
 

Bodenplatte

War Hero
I seem to remember that the RAF lost around 57,000 in the European theatre during WW2 - how many brave men did the USAAF lose?
This is one of those questions which leads to all sorts of debate. The 8th Air Force, flying out of East Anglia, suffered 27,000 fatal casualties. The Eighth did not start flying missions until August 1942 though, and did not penetrate German airspace until (I think) January 1943 with a raid on Wilhelmshaven.
You have also got to consider that the US had a heavy bomber formation, 15th Air Force, flying out of Italy. The task of the 15th was to attack targets in Italy, Austria, Balkans, and Southern Germany. However, they penetrated pretty far north, and hit Berlin on a few occasions. It was felt that operating out of Italy could help to skirt around the bad weather problem which caused the cancellation of so many missions from UK. The RAF did not deploy heavies to any theatre outside NW Europe. So to get a comparative RAF/USAAF casualty figure, I guess you must add 15th Air Force losses to those of the Mighty Eighth. Call 10,000 Forgotten Fifteenth fatalities.

If you look at PoW, when an American heavy bomber (B-17 and B-24) went down, a crewman had a much better chance of staying alive and becoming a PoW than his RAF counterpart, something like three times the survivability. Three factors, I believe, accounted for this; relative difficulty of accessing escape hatches - it was easier for a B-17/B-24 crewman to reach a properly sized escape hatch; the fact that American crews would be struggling to escape in daylight rather than in the pitch black of a RAF heavy; and finally, the unbelievable ruggedness of a B-17 to keep flying after enormous damage meant that US crews often had precious extra seconds or minutes to bale out.
 
There is no doubt the Red Army contained some highly professional soldiers and officers. But the Soviet high command also took the view that the Germans would run out of ammo before the Red Army ran out of fresh bodies. And they were proven right.
They'd also learned the same lesson that Sydney Jary did in Normandy: every second you spent not moving forward in the attack was a second spent under German indirect fire, which in turn meant fewer men to attack with.

Sir Hugh Gough learned the same lesson in India against the Sikh's artillery - close with the enemy and accept the casualties as the lesser price of victory.
 
Japan had the form with SS Behar, SS Tjisalak, SS Jean Nicolet, MV Mamutu, SS Vyner Brooke on Banka island, the Nauran lepers, being put in boats and then sunk, the strafing of POW and Repulse survivors, the strafing of numerous allied fliers and shipwrecked sailors, civilians and natives
It didn't do them any favours overall as word of machine gunning shipwrecked men etc soon got around.

I've seen footage from the cockpit of a Beaufighter strafing Japanese survivors of the ship they just sunk. Even the narrator on the newsreel was a bit "Up yours Tojo " about it all.
This was shown in cinema newsreels at the time and was indicative of the nations mood towards the Japanese.

I'm not excusing the Japanese atrocities one bit or saying we were as bad as them, but if you're part of an organisation that has unnecessary cruelty as policy then do not expect a happy time when things go awry.

I believe the clip was in the 3 part "Hell in the Pacific" TV programme. Recommended viewing IMHO.
 
It wasn't the all American show they would have you believe. The A Bomb secret was given to the Americans and then moved to Los Alamos, see Wiki "Tube Alloy." I was nearly the RAF Lancaster's that delivered the bombs, watch this;

 
The BBC was at it again on the 9am news covering the anniversary of Nagasaki and Ben Brown interviewing a bright eyed female academic from Nagasaki University.
First question from Ben Brown: 'And how much hatred do the Japanese have for the Americans'? She'd obviously not been told about the Rape of Nanking, the Burma-Siam railway etc. If I was Japanese, I would be more concerned about the residual hatred held for the Japanese by the Chinese, the Koreans, the Philipinos, not to mention anyone else in the area with a well honed grudge.
 

lextalionis

Old-Salt
The BBC was at it again on the 9am news covering the anniversary of Nagasaki and Ben Brown interviewing a bright eyed female academic from Nagasaki University.
First question from Ben Brown: 'And how much hatred do the Japanese have for the Americans'? She'd obviously not been told about the Rape of Nanking, the Burma-Siam railway etc. If I was Japanese, I would be more concerned about the residual hatred held for the Japanese by the Chinese, the Koreans, the Philipinos, not to mention anyone else in the area with a well honed grudge.
Isn't the BBC just used these days to amuse the very, very young and the very, very old with Peppa Pig and deformed children's TV presenters? Real adults don't watch it (except for repeats).
 

clothears

War Hero
You lot might find this interesting.

Growing up in western Canada, our next door neighbours were a Canadian family of Japanese descent. Mum and Dad were a bit wary at first because they knew survivors of the POW camps in Burma.

My birthday is around now and the lady next door would always get me cakes from the Japanese bakery for my birthday. One year she decided to tell me her story. She'd survived Hiroshima, which made no sense to me as she was Canadian born.

Turns out she had quite a life, just before Pearl Harbour, her Mum took her back to Japan to find a husband. The west coast Japanese were not big on family intermarriage. Well, they got stuck in Japan and faced some hostility as they were Canadians in many eyes.

She saw the atomic blast, suffered as all survivors due. When the US occupied Japan, they were amazed to find her and she wound up working for them for a few years as an interpreter.

Finally, they were repatriated to Canada. No husband found in the old country. No family in our area wanted their son to marry her to do "atomic contamination". Finally she met a young man who didn't care (he'd spent the war years interned). They married and eventually we moved next door.

When Canada gave out apology money (a paltry $10K to those who had had property seized and been interned) she wasn't eligible because she wasn't interned. $10K came nowhere close to what those families lost. Most of the coastal BC fishing fleet had been Japanese, a guy I went to school with, his grandparents had owned a very valuable corner in downtown Vancouver.

Her funeral and celebration of life was awesome, she died of pancreatic and bowel cancer at a good age. Her family had all of her post war pictures on display. There she was in her early 20s in a US uniform sitting on a jeep chatting to Generals.
 
It wasn't the all American show they would have you believe. The A Bomb secret was given to the Americans and then moved to Los Alamos, see Wiki "Tube Alloy." I was nearly the RAF Lancaster's that delivered the bombs, watch this;

This has already been posted; I refer the learned gentleman to post @129. The modified Silverplate B-29s were available for the atomic missions (but only just). Because of the early problems with the Boeing B-29, the Lancasters were identified as possible back-up delivery planes for the bombs due to the Lancaster's larger bomb bay and ability to carry heavy bombs. It was, however, slower than the B-29 Superfortress and couldn't fly as far without refueling. It made sense though to train up a squadron of Brylcreem Boys in case the teething problems of the Boeing plane were not solved in time.

On the 9th of August it was Nagasaki's turn.

b-29-bockscar.jpg
Fat Man Bomb.jpg
 
It wasn't the all American show they would have you believe. The A Bomb secret was given to the Americans and then moved to Los Alamos, see Wiki "Tube Alloy." I was nearly the RAF Lancaster's that delivered the bombs, watch this;

That’s a very one-sided appreciation of a very much wider situation. It’s disingenuous to say “the A Bomb secret was given to the Americans“ when the US was already working on it. What really happened was that the UK realized it did not have the industrial might to construct, nor could the RAF assure the safety from bombardment, the facilities necessary in the UK, so the Quebec agreement sought to share the research thus far, and ensure that the weapons were built, but not to be used against each other nor shared elsewhere. See my post on page 2 or so of this thread concerning scale. It’s astonishing to this day.

The Lanc option was indeed an option, but the Silverplate mods to the B-29 obviated the need. Not to say that the RAF couldn’t have done the job, but it would have needed AAR, which was a bit of a new science For such aircraft. The (vanilla) B-29 program cost more than the weapons. Silverplate on top of that.

I agree that it was a bit of a poor outcome for the UK in the late 40s and 50s with the McMahon Act and termination of the information sharing, but in an era of Communist threat, McCarthyism and most especially the British traitor May, it’s understandable. Thankfully corrected in the 60s with the Nassau Agreement.
 

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