Something From History You Probably Never Knew...

OneTenner

Old-Salt
Werent a majority of the Germans entombed there due to IIRC cooking rations too close to flamethrower fuel and Handgranate?
I did find the following relating to a fire in a tunnel - French, not German though
"Early in the battle the French lost the great fort of Douaumont, which has served the Germans as a secure forward base since then. On the French side, a similar role is served by the Tavannes Tunnel. Running under the last line of fortifications before Verdun, this railway tunnel has become a field hospital and forward shelter from German artillery.

Unfortunately for the French, the same kind of disaster strikes the French in the tunnel as befell the Germans in Fort Douaumont in early May. Rockets being carried into the tunnel by mules are somehow ignited. They set off a chain reaction, detonating grenades, more munitions and inflammable fuel stores. The result is a series of explosions and then an uncontrollable fire, with men killed by flame or blast, or trampled to death as they attempt to flee to safety. More than 500 men lose their lives in the inferno."


From Battle of Verdun – World War 1 Live

There is also information relating to the Gallwitz tunnel, which was unfinished, I have been down into it through a ventilation shaft but only to the first level (ventilation corridor), as the tunnel is sealed there is a high level of probability of dead air, the AQM was flashing a warning and we didn't have caving BA with us so chose to go no further.
VERDUN. Gallwitz-Tunnel auf Mort Homme. Toter Mann (in German)

A good account of the battles of Verdun here The Battle of Verdun 1916 - the greatest battle ever (in English)
 
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During WW Part 2 the Biro brothers fled from Hungary to Argentina where they happened across an English gentleman who thought that their ball-bearing nibbed pen would be excellent for Air Ministry use. He forwarded some examples to the local Air Attaché.

After typical indifference and delays ( during which the USAAF adopted the design ), Miles Aircraft decided to produce the pen in the UK but Sir George had to fight the Ministry of Labour to permit 17 unskilled girls to be allocated to the project. Their first batch was ordered by the RAF as the Eterpen to replace fountain pens used by navigators.
 

Zhopa

War Hero
First time I have heard the suggestion of "intercepted by the Germans and rebroadcast with an anti-American bias" as opposed to it being less than wholly enthusiastic about the Americans to start with. Does anyone know if that is actually the case, as opposed to wishful thinking on the part of the letter writer?
 
I don't think this is widely known. Certainly not in Hollywood.

The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 11 December 2019 Letters to the Editor

View attachment 436707




US casualties, Ardennes campaign
KIA 19,000
WIA 47,500
MIA/POW 23,000

UK casualties, Ardennes campaign
KIA 200
WIA 969
MIA/POW 239



It's like saying Dieppe was a US operation because 50 Rangers fought there
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
Broadly in line with my knowledge of it - definitely more likely that some of the 'drier' historians recount it - I do remember hearing / reading him falling or being thrown into the dry moat, entering the fort by an open door in one of the casemates, the only gun in action was a 155mm, engaging distant targets. None of the cupolas or casemates were manned. Kunz(e) was finally credited with leading the capture in the 1930's when the 'Great War Comittee' reviewed the capture, along with his promotion, he was also awarded a portrait of Kron Prinz Wilhelm, coincidentally, there is also a tunnel in the Verdun area named after him where ~200 Germans are interred after several collapses due to shelling, chiefly from French arty. on Mort Homme, with support from (I think) hill 216.
A certain French solder fought there and went onto greater things wasnt it De Gaulle ?
 
US casualties, Ardennes campaign
KIA 19,000
WIA 47,500
MIA/POW 23,000

UK casualties, Ardennes campaign
KIA 200
WIA 969
MIA/POW 239



It's like saying Dieppe was a US operation because 50 Rangers fought there
If it was successful they would have taken all the glory

Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
 
First time I have heard the suggestion of "intercepted by the Germans and rebroadcast with an anti-American bias" as opposed to it being less than wholly enthusiastic about the Americans to start with. Does anyone know if that is actually the case, as opposed to wishful thinking on the part of the letter writer?
I've posted the full text elsewhere and it is nowhere near as bad as was made out. The Germans did manage to get an edited version out (print? rebroadcast?) where Monty says "I beat Jerry at El Alamein, etc., and I've got the measure of him, etc.", and missed out the rather substantial bits where he praises American soldiers to the heavens and singles out specific units. From memory he said that he moved British troops into positions to cover the Americans in such a way as to not interfere with their supply lines, i.e. "don't worry Yank, we've got your back so you just have to worry about killing Germans to your front". The version that came out was edited to say that the British moved in to stop the Americans from running away.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
During the French intervention in Mexico (1862–1867), Paso del Norte served as a temporary stop for Benito Juárez's republican forces until he established his government-in-exile in Chihuahua. After 1882 the city grew with the arrival of the Mexican Central Railway. Banks, telegraph, telephone, and trams appeared, indicating the city's thriving commerce, in the firm control of the city's oligarchy of the Ochoa, Samaniego, Daguerre, Provencio, and Cuarón families.

In 1888, Paso del Norte was renamed in honor of Juárez.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
UK casualties, Ardennes campaign
KIA 200
WIA 969
MIA/POW 239

It's like saying Dieppe was a US operation because 50 Rangers fought there
....one of the British KIA was my Dad's cousin.

Dad asked me to search for his memorial tablet, before he himself died last year.

Cousin is commemorated near Bastogne.
 
First time I have heard the suggestion of "intercepted by the Germans and rebroadcast with an anti-American bias" as opposed to it being less than wholly enthusiastic about the Americans to start with. Does anyone know if that is actually the case, as opposed to wishful thinking on the part of the letter writer?
The source is mentioned on Wikipedia, apparently the statement was edited and rebroadcast by the Germans and mistaken by American listeners for a BBC broadcast. It sounds like a very cunning bit of black propaganda targeting the Americans' known dislike of Montgomery.


The bit that I found most interesting in that;

"Speaking subsequently to a British writer while himself a prisoner in Britain, the former German commander of the 5th Panzer Army, Hasso von Manteuffel said of Montgomery's leadership:

The operations of the American 1st Army had developed into a series of individual holding actions. Montgomery's contribution to restoring the situation was that he turned a series of isolated actions into a coherent battle fought according to a clear and definite plan. It was his refusal to engage in premature and piecemeal counter-attacks which enabled the Americans to gather their reserves and frustrate the German attempts to extend their breakthrough.

However Ambrose, writing in 1997, maintained that "Putting Monty in command of the northern flank had no effect on the battle". "
 
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The source is mentioned on Wikipedia, apparently the statement was edited and rebroadcast by the Germans and mistaken by American listeners for a BBC broadcast. It sounds like a very cunning bit of black propaganda targeting the Americans' known dislike of Montgomery.


The bit that I found most interesting in that;

"Speaking subsequently to a British writer while himself a prisoner in Britain, the former German commander of the 5th Panzer Army, Hasso von Manteuffel said of Montgomery's leadership:

The operations of the American 1st Army had developed into a series of individual holding actions. Montgomery's contribution to restoring the situation was that he turned a series of isolated actions into a coherent battle fought according to a clear and definite plan. It was his refusal to engage in premature and piecemeal counter-attacks which enabled the Americans to gather their reserves and frustrate the German attempts to extend their breakthrough.

However Ambrose, writing in 1997, maintained that "Putting Monty in command of the northern flank had no effect on the battle". "
If anyone still has a copy of Purnells History Vol 6, the issue is recorded there by Elstob and Mac Donald. pp2325 onwards.
 
The British OH, Victory in the West, Volume 2 Chapter 8 gives a good description of the period. Including Eisenhower's reasons for putting Monty in charge of the northern flank. Bradley didn't like it from the start, oh well.
 
That in itself is a tale well worthy of this thread, thrice over.

I won't pretend I recall all the details as recounted by the late, great (and half-pissed) Prof Richard Holmes when (after a good rustic French lunch of coq au vin, au vin :thumleft: ) he guided us HQ ARRC orrsifers around the site.

For a start, IIRC, the Sgt Kunz (great name) only got inside the wire surrounding the fort because he was flung over it by a shell exploding nearby.

I suspect he may have been rendered a tad gaga by it, because, having entered the fortress, pistol in hand (doors all unlocked? FFS, France!) he was able, unopposed, to bolt the entire garrison into a single room (once again IIRC - where they were having lunch?) without them knowing.

After which, he goes exploring, and stumbles upon the rations store.

At which point, he pulls a chair up to a table . . . . and gets stuck in to a monster one man, broad daylight, under bombardment, behind enemy lines midnight fvcking feast

Then, as it happens, somehow word gets back to Herman RHQ, that the fort is in their hands, and the Wegimental Adjutant (think Capt. Darling, at this point), spots a risk-free gongertunity, and reports back that it is he wot dunnit.

For which (unbeknownst to Sgt Kunz) the Adj - BoJo to a Tee - claims the credit, and is awarded Der Eisenerkreuz.

A fact which escapes the attention of Sgt Kunz until several years later, by which time he has risen to the rank of Sgt in a provincial police force.

He was, understandably, miffed. So, he went 'through channels', as they say.

Astonishingly, that paid off :thumright:

The former Adjutant was exposed as a Walt, disgraced and stripped of his stolen valour, which was properly and very publicly awarded to our gallant combat gourmand, who was also elevated (by way of compensation) to commissioned rank in his police force.

Brilliant story. You simply couldn't make this shit up!

I may have some details wrong, but I'm confident the thrust is within acceptable bounds for accuracy.
Superb mate
 
Similary, but somewhat allegedly, the same fate was suffered by Edmund Ironside, Ethelred the Weak, Useless, Corrupt Fcukwit's son:

On 30 November 1016, Edmund died. The location of his death is uncertain though it is generally accepted that it occurred in London, rather than in Oxford where Henry of Huntingdon claimed it to be in his version of events, which included Edmund's murder by suffering multiple stab wounds whilst on a privy tending to a call of nature.[8] Geoffrey Gaimar states a similar occurrence with the weapon being a crossbow, but with a number of other medieval chroniclers including the Encomium Emmae Reginae not mentioning murder, it is thought Edmund's cause of death may possibly have been caused by wounds received in battle or by some disease, but it is certainly a possibility that he was murdered.

Wikipedia jobby.

History would have been very different if a certain man of felixible loyalties named Eadric Streona hadn't allegedly seen some advantage in bumping him off. Allegedly.
Tyrion Lannister walt
 

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