60th anniversary of greatest victory in man history


max popenker
May 6, 2005, 08:51 AM
On May 9th i will be offline, so i decided to post earlier...


60 years ago, our grand-dads won the biggest and most terrible war in human history.
Let's just stop for a while and remember all those who fought and died for us to live in peace. And let's say THANK YOU for those who still alive.

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May 6, 2005, 09:29 AM
Slava! A hale and hearty THANK YOU to all who helped defeat Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan in the Second World War, AKA The Great Patriotic War. Your sacrifices are not forgotten. Thank You for posting this reminder, Max, and the neat pic, too! :)

May 6, 2005, 09:48 AM
Slava! A hale and hearty THANK YOU to all who helped defeat Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan in the Second World War, AKA The Great Patriotic War. Your sacrifices are not forgotten. Thank You for posting this reminder, Max, and the neat pic, too!

Not too diminsh the sacrifices made by the Soviet Union in the war, but it didn't exactly help defeat Italy or Japan. Stalin declared war on Japan after the US nuked Hiroshima, and victory was a foregone conclusion. I'm not sure if the Soviet Union ever even declared war on Italy, or engaged Italian troops (outside of the few that were part of Germany's invasion forces).

max popenker
May 6, 2005, 09:55 AM
buzz_knox, IIRC Red army defeated an one-million strong manchurian army in continental China.

May 6, 2005, 10:07 AM
Max, you learn something new everyday. But I think it's accurate to say (based on a bit of research) that the campaign had more of an impact on future Soviet combined-arms doctrine and Soviet territorial ambitions than on World War II.

Baba Louie
May 6, 2005, 11:13 AM
The Soviets aligned w/ Germany at first, had the snot surprised out of them by being invaded by a (trusted?) ally, suffered horrendous losses, both military and civilian, then proceeded to kick major butt, needing only a little help (OK maybe a lot of help) from the western front to kinda sorta distract said former ally.

So I'll hoist a drink to all who served on all sides with an exception to the Axis leader who offed himself and caused the whole mess (unless you really want to go back to the Versailles Treaty and blame the French for insisting on the conditions that all knew would come to pass in post WWI Germany).

All were brave, courageous men and women who served and fought.

May it never come to pass again... but if it does, may we be ready.

May 6, 2005, 11:29 AM
I think it's safe to say that were it not for the Nazi invasion of Russia -- a war in which Hitler's forces killed almost as many Russians as Stalin did before and after the war (OK, maybe not that many) -- Hitler would have been able to concentrate all his efforts on an invasion of England, with disastrous results for all concerned.

So here's to all who fight oppression everywhere!

- 0 -

May 6, 2005, 11:33 AM
The Soviets were never really aligned *with* the Germans... They had agreed to accept control of former Polish territory, and had signed mutual non-aggression agreements with the Germans. They were shocked to learn that Hitler's agreements with them didn't mean any more than his agreements with the other countries he had invaded... Hitler hated Communist ideology with a passion, and it was only a matter of time. Aside from that, he was truly and deeply racist to the point of complete delusion. He believed that the racial superiority of the Aryan people made it IMPOSSIBLE for them to lose to the Soviets or anyone else. The guy was nuts.

Soviet losses, iirc, are estimated at some 20 million people. This is, of course, a number that is beyond comprehension in such a context. It is several times greater than the losses suffered by the rest of the allies. Not to take anything away from The Greatest Generation ... but it seems the war in Russia was even more terrible than the war in western Europe.

If Hitler hadn't made the mega-mistake of attacking Russia when he did, the European map might look very different today.

Thanks to all those who had a hand in defeating evil in the 1940s... including my grandfather who I barely remember, from near Chicago, RIP, who helped defeat Japan in the Pacific.

May 6, 2005, 12:03 PM
Hitler lost half his army in Russia, and it was the best half.

It is a foregone conclusion that the Allied invasion of Europe would have been much more difficult had the Axis had twice as many troops there.

May 6, 2005, 12:06 PM
The Soviets were never really aligned *with* the Germans... They had agreed to accept control of former Polish territory, and had signed mutual non-aggression agreements with the Germans.

If by not aligned and "accept[ing] control" you mean that Stalin and Hitler agreed to invade and conquer Poland together (although not as part of a specifically interlinked operation) sure.

Oh, and add to that: continued supplying of food to Germany, even after Germany had made it clear that domination of Europe was the goal. That's why German invasion troops heading into Russia passed Soviet trains delivering food to Germany.

Stalin really believed that Hitler was a kindred spirit, intended on co-dominating Europe with Hitler, and felt betrayed when the invasion happened.

May 6, 2005, 12:19 PM
"60th anniversary of [the] greatest victory in man [sic] history"

So, the CBI and Pacific Theaters don't count? :scrutiny:

The epic Battles of Midway and the Coral Sea, the Marianas Turkey Shoot and the eradication of the Japanese merchant fleet by our subs were mere sideshows? Care to tell those who fought on Iwo Jima, Saipan and the Phillipines that the "real" war was in Europe?

Get back to us on VJ day. ;)

May 6, 2005, 02:51 PM
Both of my parents went through WW2: my Dad as an officer in the Royal Air Force, my mom back home in England, working in war industry and spending many nights on the rooftops putting out incendiary bombs.

Mom's permanently comatose now, and close to death, and Dad (in his mid-80's) spends most of his time looking after her. Not a happy way to close out lives that have been full of adventure. Nevertheless, I'll be sending them both a "thank you" for their service.

Harry Tuttle
May 6, 2005, 03:10 PM
Sunday, May 6, 1945

In Occupied Czechoslovakia... Street fighting in Prague continues between the Czech resistance forces and German forces.

On the Eastern Front... Fighting continues in Czechoslovakia, near Olmutz and in East Prussia, on the Frische Nehrung.

On the Western Front... The US 97th Division, part of US 5th Corps of the US 3rd Army, occupies Pilsen in Czechoslovakia. The US 12th Corps advances toward Prague but the army is ordered to halt the advance and allow Soviets to occupy the rest of the country as has been arranged.
In Yugoslavia... German forces continue to resist in the north against the partisan army.

In Burma... Troops from the British 26th Indian Division, part of British 15th Corps, advancing north from Rangoon link with British 17th Indian Division, part of British 4th Corps, at Hlegu. The Japanese 28th Army is cut off as a result. Scattered Japanese forces remain in Burma from west of the Sittan River toward Thailand and in the southwest of the country. British mopping-up operations continue, limited by the monsoon weather conditions.

In the Philippines... On Luzon, elements of the US 25th Division, part of US 1st Corps, capture the Kembu plateau. On Mindanao, the US 24th and 31st Divisions overrun Japanese positions north of Davao, where the Japanese 35th Army (General Morozumi) is concentrated.

In the Ryukyu Islands... On Okinawa, the Japanese offensive loses momentum. Japanese forces have sustain losses of at least 5000 killed. Even while it has been going on, American forces have made gains near Machinto airfield and Maeda Ridge.

In the Dutch East Indies... On Tarakan, Japanese forces retreat from the town of Tarakan.

In the Andaman Islands... The battleships and cruisers of British Task Force 63 shell Port Blair.


Wednesday, May 9, 1945

In the Soviet Union... The Soviets celebrate VE Day.

On the Eastern Front... German forces in Czechoslovakia and Austria continue to resist. The Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front liberates Prague, the last capital to fall to the Allies. Czechoslovak rebels assist the Soviet advance into the city. German forces holding out in East Prussia and Pomerania capitulate to forces of the Soviet 2nd and 3rd Belorussian Fronts. The 3rd Ukrainian Front advances westward in Austria and reaches Graz and Amstetten, where they make contact with American troops.

In Yugoslavia... Forces of German Army Group Ostmark (Lohr) continue to resist in Croatia and to the north.

On the Western Front... In the south, among the prominent captives are Goring and Kesselring who surrender to the US 7th Army. In Copenhagen, the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, the only major German warship still afloat, surrenders.

In the Philippines... On Luzon, forces of the US 145th Infantry Regiment, an element of US 11th Corps, captures Mount Binicayan and patrols into the Guagua area. On Mindanao, the US 24th Division continues to defend its bridgehead over the Talomo river against Japanese counterattacks but fails to build a bridge. The US 31st Division breaks off its attacks in the Colgan woods to allow air and artillery strikes on the Japanese positions.

In the Ryukyu Islands... On Okinawa, the US 1st Marine Division captures Height 60 after eliminating Japanese positions on Nan Hill. The US 77th Division continues attacks on Japanese strong points north of Shuri. The Kochi Crest area has been secured by American forces.

In Burma... The British 82nd West African Division occupies Sandoway in its advance south from Taungup, along the Arakan coast.

May 6, 2005, 04:29 PM
I was 6 yrs old when my father left to join the Marine 2nd Division. Fought on Saipan, Tinian and I think one or two smaller islands. Also into Japan just as soon as war ended.

May 6, 2005, 06:04 PM
My father-in-law was a submariner in the Pacific, and was in Japan during the occupation for a couple of years.

Today he's lying in a hospital bed, dying from cancer.


May 6, 2005, 06:09 PM
Both of my grandfathers went to Europe. One served as a navigator on a B-17 with the Eighth Air Force. The other was a batallion surgeon in the 103 Infantry Division.

May 6, 2005, 07:51 PM
60 years ago, our grand-dads won the biggest and most terrible war in human history.

Man, you're making me feel old. That was my dad that fought in Europe last time around.

My grandaddy did WWI! ;)

Harry Paget Flashman
May 6, 2005, 09:58 PM
My father joined the Army in 1939 and became an Army Air Corps pilot in 1943. He flew in the ETO and was 'riffed' back to enlisted status after the war. He was a sargeant when the Korean War began and was re-commissioned and continued to fly in the Air Force until retiring in 1961 as a Major. All of my uncles served in the Navy during WWII.

May 6, 2005, 11:05 PM
My Godparents were both in the initial phases of being rehabilitated from their captivity in one of Hitler's death camps. The Holocaust may have been a Jewish experience, but Hitler's death camps were an equal opportunity institution. My Godparent's crime was to be Polish Catholic. 30 years later I can remember hearing my Godfather, a man as tough as wrought iron, screaming in the middle of the night through the dividing wall of our duplex.

I'll thank the veterans who helped liberate them from the camps. Even if all they did was pick up cigarette butts at Fort Dix. It was answering the call that made them heroes, not what they did when the call was answered.

May 6, 2005, 11:28 PM
Although it may only be a relatively small consolation of the event, Hitler's lunacy and subsequent defeat did presumably lead to the creation of Israel. Out of the ashes of war a phoenix did arise.... :D

May 6, 2005, 11:52 PM
That was my first war (of three) and it did not end for us until Sept. 2,1945 when Japan signed the papers on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay !!!
So sez: The OLD Utahskibum

Tom Servo
May 7, 2005, 12:36 AM
Actually, the Soviets lost 22 million troops, all told. Of course, most historians agree that it would have been 1/3 of that if someone smarter and less vicious than Stalin had been in charge. I've seen estimates as high as 2 million for friendly-fire casualties and troops who "hesitated" on the battlefield and were shot by their own officers. When it came to strategy and intelligence, Stalin really should have delegated.

Even then, Hitler should have read some history...NEVER screw with the Russians on their own turf; it just ends in tears.

Sad thing is, the British and French declared war over Hitler's annexation of Poland and Czechlosovakia, but in the end, all they ended up doing is going from one form of tyranny to another under Stalin. The Poles (who were instrumental in cracking Enigma) and Czech wouldn't breathe free air again for almost 50 years.

My family is Danish, so of course, half spent the war being occupied, while the other half left to fight for the British. My grandmother was a nurse sent to Berlin to treat POWs and saw the Red Army do some really terrible things to civilians. In the end, this was the war where America a) proved that we were a true world power with a vested interest in the affairs of the world at large, and b) that our armies were not only unflinching in the face of the enemy, but merciful and noble in victory. All of my ancestors remember American troops as having real class.

My great uncle was an RAF pilot who was shot down just north of Dunkirk, and several American GIs crossed 2 miles into hostile territory to rescue him. He's never forgotten.

All of which makes our recent snubbings from the French and Germans in the UN even more astonishing. I seem to remember the US rebuilding the Europe that they'd destroyed through two bloody wars, but I guess I was mistaken...

May 7, 2005, 02:28 AM
My grandfather was in the 246th Combat Engineers and fought from Omaha Beach (landed 6 hrs into the battle) through the Ardennes into Germany. He lied on his application and enlisted when he was 16. His heroism and the heroism of all of his brothers in arms astounds me.

Thank you to everyone who served.

May 7, 2005, 06:34 AM
My grandfather was a member of the 801st Tank Destroyer Batalion and went in on one of the later waves on D-Day. The TDs got bounced from one command to another, but at one point they were assigned to the 3rd Army under Patton.

He received the bronze star and was eventually given a battlefiend commission to 2 Lt. After his European service, he was sent back to the US as a Captain and was assigned as training officer for the MD National Guard.

My favorite story is how they used to tank their vehicle and knock out the back wall of a farmhouse that had an advantageous bead on a road from the front window. They would then aim their gun out the front window, using the front of the house as concealment.

He said that it was a great surprise to find that they managed to pick the only house in that region with a full basement.....and got to inspect it in great detail when the floor crumbled and their tank destroyer crashed into the basement. :eek:

El Tejon
May 7, 2005, 08:59 AM
The USSR didn't help defeat Italy or Japan? :confused: Govno! Tell that to the Guards that smashed the Italians around Stalingrad or the Army that defeated the Japanese in Northern China. :)

I cannot believe this thread has been open this long and you guys have not commented on the weapons shown in the photo, especially the rifle the soup drinker has. :D

May 7, 2005, 09:15 AM
My grandfather, rest his soul, was in the Navy somewhere in the pacific theater at the time. He never spoke of it beyond that.

Double Naught Spy
May 7, 2005, 09:48 AM
60 years ago, our grand-dads won the biggest and most terrible war in human history.

First of all, the WWII did NOT end on 9 May 1945. The Germans surrendered and we have VE day, but the war was not over. I sort of see this celebration of winning "the biggest and most terrible war in human history" comment being along the same lines of the attitudes of many in the Manhattan project who wanted to stop work on the atomic bomb because Hitler was dead. Some of them saw no reason to continue work as they had nothing against the Japanese. What a load of manure.

The notion that WWII was the most terrible war is undoubtedly biased with ignorance. There have been many horrendous wars, but at least some of the fighting in WWII was somewhat regimented to classical fighting. WWI saw the use of gas bombs that did unimaginably horrible things to its victims. The Civil War saw wholesale amputations because medical practices were nowhere up to speed for dealing with they types of injuries being sustained.

May 7, 2005, 10:58 AM
not Americans. Aren't those Pssh sub-guns? :scrutiny:

El Tejon
May 7, 2005, 11:46 AM
Well, they are Soviet. I cannot tell if they are Russian (the Evil Empire was more non-Russian than Russian). I thought for sure some gun nut would start in on soup drinker's raffle. :D

Flying V
May 7, 2005, 11:50 AM
not Americans. Aren't those Pssh sub-guns?
PPSh submachine guns, a Degtyarev light machine gun, and a Simonov AVS-36 rifle.

May 7, 2005, 11:51 AM
There were many heros on all sides. Young men who defended their comrades and their homeland. However, when to comes to leaders, there were few heros. Stalin was as much a part of the start of agression at the beginning of WW2 as was Hitler. The nonagression pack was also so that the Soviets could capture countries such as Finnland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, eastern Poland and do more purges in their own republics without German interference. Stalin was every much as evil as Hitler. It is not well known, but many Americans and British came to the aid of countries such as Finnland early in the war (before we declared involvement). Young men such as 17 year old Christopher Lee (who would later play Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) volunteered to join the Finnish army but arrived too late to be of much use. Many Americans donated money and material to these countries to oppose Soviet invasions. It is estimated that Stalin killed probably as much or more of his own people as Hitler did. The only political heros that I could possible honor were Winston Churchill who rallied his people to have the courage and strength to resist Germany and Halle Sellasie who courageously opposed the Italians with very little material.
The real question is why we were relatively silent about agression by both Germany and the Soviet Union. I believe the only reason Germany attacked the Soviet Union when they did was because of the disasterous manner in which the Soviet Union attacked Finnland. I think the Germans thought the Soviets were a pushover and would have conquered them in short order. They underestimated the degree that Stalin would sacrifice his own people to oppose the Germans.
As I said before, my accolades are for the common soldier who bravely fought to oppose tyranny wherever it occured not for the leaders who ordered many of them to their death.

May 7, 2005, 01:34 PM
I visited Arlington Cemetery a few years ago, part of a weekend hanging out in DC.

Near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier there was a American Legion volunteer, an elderly man who was directing people around and helping with seating. In a quiet moment I started talking with him.

He was a WWII Pacific vet, in the Navy. He had an amazing little story to tell. He said he was one of only 34 men known to have been at both the beginning, and the end of the Pacific war.

He was serving at Pearl on December 7th 1941, and had served as a crewman on the Missouri at the surrender ceremony.


May 7, 2005, 01:58 PM
My Uncle is still at Normandy. One of these days I will be able to go and see him. Another Uncle fought across Europe with Pattons 3rd.
Never forget what happened, and never allow it to happen again!

Livin in Texas

May 7, 2005, 02:20 PM
I'll leave out the politics for the moment and say thanks to all our allies... including the Russians.

The Russians suffered horribly in WWII. The poorly fed, poorly equipped poorly led, Russian soldier fought bravely against a well trained, well equipped determined enemy. Stalin quickly quit calling on the Russians to fight to defend Communism and subistuted "defend Mother Russia" which the Russian soldier did gallently.

Doubtless history would have been much different had it not been for Stalin... absent a treaty with Russia Hitler might not have invaded Poland. Without Stalin the Russian Army would have been much stronger with competent experienced officers (nearly all of whom were killed in the purges of the 1930s... the commander of the Red Army in summer of 1941 had been a sergent in 1932)

Lets also remember the British who held out alone against the Germans for so many months... and of course the French who didn't hold out at all.

Yugoslavia, the only occupied country to oust the Germans by themselves, Norway who was sold out and carried on the resistance while occupied... and the others.

Thanks to all ( and a Bronx cheer for the French.)



May 7, 2005, 02:47 PM
I'll leave out politics (and the history speeches) and say thanks for the USSR for their contribution to WWII. Tho, I think the invention of "soap" is the greatest victory in man's history. If the USSR had not gotten into the war, I do not think it would have been possible for the Allies to get an unconditional surrender from Germany.

I still remember the first time I was face to face with the Russian Army. We both were staring at each other like the other guys were Martians. They liked our M16's, we liked their AK's. Both sets of officers refused to allow us to trade for weapons. :D

Nice folks.

May 7, 2005, 04:22 PM
I’d also like to say thanks to any of the WWII veterans. My dad landed on the clean beaches of Normandy, which all too soon ran red with the blood of so many heroes. I never knew what he did. He passed away before I grasped the significance of that event. I found some of his medals the other day. I noticed the D-Day medal and ribbon. On the ribbon was a V, so I can only guess what he did.

Let us not forget that many politicians were so eager for peace that they bartered away other’s freedom, Czechoslovakia and Austria come to mind. The world sat by and let a tyrant invade a sovereign area, the Rhineland. Who knows what would have happened if somebody had the backbone to stand for what is right?

Remember, evil doesn’t run away from weakness, but it exploits it. Today, we cannot let our love for freedom be taken away, we must stand up, because one person can make a difference. Remember Sir Winston Churchill.

May 7, 2005, 04:29 PM
The Russian soldier fought with skill and bravery.

That said, he did not fight for freedom or liberation. In fact, he just replaced one oppression with another, and in many ways it was worse.

May 7, 2005, 05:09 PM
Tory, the reason the pic was of Soviet troops is because the original poster, Max Popenker, is Russian. :rolleyes: He is obviously proud of his ancestors that fought in the great Patriotic War, as they knew it. And for all intent and purpose, the war was over for the Russians then, as any planned Soviet invasion in the Pacific theater was made unnecessary by the two atomic bombs we dropped and the subsequent surrender of Japan. I find it kind of ironic that atomic weapons saved perhaps millions of Soviet soldiers lives that would have been lost in Japan.

cracked butt
May 7, 2005, 07:53 PM
I thanked a Vet this morning. I went shopping at Wallyworld at 6AM, when I came out, there was a tall, thin, softspoken eightysome year old selling Buddy Poppies.

I asked him how much the donation was, he said whatever you want to give, and that it goes to help wounded Iraqi war vets. I only had a 5 on me so I slipped that into hi bucket, he said thankyou. I said No, I have much more to thank you for than I can do for you.

May 7, 2005, 11:10 PM
My Father, a US Army Combat Engineer, had fought in the Mariana Islands and was slugging it out in Okinawa on VE Day. Those guys still had a lot of fighting and dieing to do. After finally taking Okinawa they were preparing to invade Kyushu, a Japanese main island, when news of the atom bomb came. August 14 is the actual cease of hostilities.

I also knew (he has since passed away) a Japanese Naval pilot who flew a Zero at Pearl Harbor, was shot down at Midway & rescued by one of his own destroyers. He is one of only a handful of Japanese pilots that survived WWII. He told me the reason he was not a Kamakazi was because they needed his experience.

God Bless those fine honorable men who fought on both sides. It is not their fault which side they were on.

PS - I was born in Occupied Japan.

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