Hvor lang tid ville det tage at mobilisere en hær under 2. verdenskrig?

Hvor lang tid ville det tage at mobilisere en hær under 2. verdenskrig?

Hvor lang tid ville det tage at mobilisere væbnede styrker i et vestligt land i løbet af det 20. århundrede? Nærmere bestemt under og omkring 2. verdenskrig. Jeg leder også efter antallet af tropper.


Jeg går ud fra, at din formulering refererer til den generelle mobilisering af væbnede styrker i en større nation, typisk omfattende flere hære, luftstyrker og flåder.

I første verdenskrig havde alle de store nationer i Europa en to ugers tidsplan for generel mobilisering, med undtagelse af Rusland (seks uger) og Storbritannien (6 måneder). Rusland krævede længere tid på grund af både større afstande og et meget "tyndere" jernbanenet. Storbritannien krævede 6 måneder, fordi meget af dets arbejdskraft ville være fra udlandet (Indien, Sydafrika, Australien, New Zealand og Canada). Disse Dominion -hære ville i første omgang mobilisere lokalt og derefter blive transporteret først til Storbritannien og derefter til Frankrig. Barbara Tuchmans Kanoner fra august er en stor ressource for denne periode.

Bemærk, at evnen til at mobilisere en væbnet styrke otte gange så stor som din stående hær på bare to uger kræver årtiers forberedelse og en specificeret permanent infrastruktur:

  1. Obligatorisk militærtjeneste på 2 år fra 18-20;
  2. Efterfulgt af 8 års obligatorisk reservetjeneste i 4 uger / år;
  3. Efterfulgt af yderligere 10 års obligatorisk Landwehr -service på 2 uger / år.
  4. En almindelig stående hær ~ 12% så stor som den sidste ønskede hær
  5. Et land, der ikke er større end Tyskland i 1914, med et meget tæt jernbanenet og ekstremt detaljerede mobiliseringsplaner.
  6. En professionel generalstab

Bemærk også, at dine mobiliserede enheder kun kan dukke op ved jernbanestationer med tilstrækkelig skinnekapacitet til at håndtere de ankomne mænd og udstyr, og tilstrækkeligt åbent land til deres bivuak. Den tilgængelige jord omkring Aachen i 1914 var kun 1/3 af den krævede for de bestemt tropper, hvilket krævede en invasion af nabolandet Belgien på dag 5 frem for dag 15. Denne eventualitet var ukendt for alle undtagen tyske mobiliseringsplanlæggere.


Anden Verdenskrig er mere kompliceret. Ser man f.eks. På Frankrig, var det meget mindre forberedt end 25 år tidligere. Selvom generel mobilisering blev opnået på "dage" (dvs. måske lidt hurtigere end i 1914), var det et totalt rod.

  • Der var ikke blevet truffet bestemmelser om at undskylde mænd, der arbejder i væsentlige industrier, såsom ammunitionsproduktion. I løbet af de næste par måneder skulle disse mænd identificeres, fjernes fra deres enheder og vende hjem. I mellemtiden var en stor del af hæren berøvet livsnødvendige forsyninger og udstyr.

  • Mange af reserveenhederne, der bestod af ældre mænd, havde modtaget meget mindre uddannelse end i 1914. Denne uddannelse skulle nu planlægges og udføres på et akut grundlag. Selvom dette for det meste var afsluttet i maj 1940, betød det, at de franske væbnede styrker, mens de tilsyneladende var "mobiliseret" i slutningen af ​​september 1939, ikke var i nærheden af ​​kamp klar til foråret 1940.

Ironisk nok og modsat forventning gennemgik maj og juni 1940 Klasse B reserveenheder af mænd i 40'erne og slutningen af ​​trediverne udført betydeligt de Klasse A reserveenheder af mænd i slutningen af ​​tyverne og begyndelsen af ​​trediverne. Dette menes at skyldes fast tilstedeværelse af veteraner fra første verdenskrig.

I modsætning hertil tog den amerikanske mobilisering i Anden Verdenskrig 2,5 år; hovedsagelig fra december 1941 til juni 1944. Da man kun havde en lillebitte regulær hær og ingen meningsfuld reserve i slutningen af ​​1941, måtte hele operationen med at rejse og oplære over 11 millioner mænd (tak Jon Custer) konstrueres fra bunden. De flådefartøjer, som dets sømænd ville bemande mod Japan, havde for det meste ikke engang deres køl lagt i december 1941.

Jeg tror, ​​at den eneste nation, der mobiliserede en steady-state på omkring 1 million mænd under våben, er Canada. Af disse er fordelingen efter service groft:

  • Hær: 55.000 i 1939 til ~ 730.000 i foråret 1944
  • Luftvåben: 3.000 i 1939 til ~ 260.000 i foråret 1944
  • Navy: 3200 i 1939 til ~ 110.000 i foråret 1944

Denne mobilisering tog næsten 5 år, fra sommer og efterår 1939 til foråret 1944.


Mobilisering af det amerikanske hjemmefront

Anden Verdenskrig begyndte officielt i Europa, da Tyskland invaderede Polen i 1939. I 1940 var krigen i Europa i fuld gang, og de allierede, de nationer, der kæmpede mod Tyskland og Italien, herunder Storbritannien og Frankrig, havde brug for amerikansk støtte. På dette tidspunkt var USA ikke involveret i krigen. Den accepterede dog at give de allierede våben og andet krigsmateriale. Denne aftale ændrede dagligdagen i USA, da amerikanerne begyndte at deltage i en bred samlet indsats for at støtte den fjerne militære kampagne. Den største udfordring involverede industriel mobilisering, konvertering af amerikansk fremstilling fra produktion af civile varer til produktion af krigsmateriale. Amerika havde meget at gøre for at gøre klar til krigsproduktion. Det måtte vågne op fra en økonomisk stilstand, der blev forårsaget af den store depression. Den store depression var den alvorligste økonomiske krise, USA nogensinde har oplevet. Det begyndte i slutningen af ​​1929 og varede i hele 1930'erne. Depressionen førte til bremset forretningsaktivitet, høj arbejdsløshed og social uro i mange områder af landet.

For at guide og koordinere den massive mobiliseringsindsats oprettede den amerikanske regering talrige midlertidige føderale agenturer, herunder War Resources Board, Office of Emergency Management, Office of Production Management, Supplies Priorities and Allocations Board, War Production Board, Office of Economic Stabilization, Defense Plant Corporation og Office of War Mobilization. Under vejledning af disse agenturer medførte amerikanske virksomheder og arbejdere en kæmpe stigning i amerikansk industriel produktivitet, og samlet set skabte mobiliseringsindsatsen dramatisk vækst i store private virksomheder.


Forbrydelser begået af USA under 2. verdenskrig

Når man tænker på krigsforbrydelser i anden verdenskrig, tænker man på Holocaust, Nazistpartiet og Nürnberg -retssagerne.

Krigsforbrydelser begået af de allierede er noget, som de fleste ikke er klar over. Selvom det kan argumenteres for, at de krigsforbrydelser, der blev begået af USA, ikke var lige så grufulde som Tysklands, var de stadig ødelæggende.

Massevoldtægt i Asien og Europa

En af krigens tragiske vejafgifter, der ofte bliver overskredet, er voldtægt. Dette er en grusom forbrydelse, og historikere er enige om, at amerikanske soldater voldtog titusinder af kvinder. Disse voldtægter fandt sted både under krigen og i dens umiddelbare efterspil.

Præcise skøn er umulige at opnå, men bogen Taget med magt anslår, at cirka 11.000 kvinder blev voldtaget i Tyskland mellem 1945 og 1946.

Selvom broderskab med tyske kvinder var forbudt, erklærede en amerikansk kommandant, at kopulation uden samtale ikke var broderskab.

Tyskland var ikke det eneste land, hvor disse grusomheder fandt sted. Det allierede land Frankrig led også af denne krigsforbrydelse. Hundredvis af franske kvinder rapporterede, at de blev voldtaget af amerikanske soldater under landets frigørelse fra tysk besættelse.

28. infanteridivision i USA på Champs Élysées i paraden “Victory Day ” den 29. august 1944.

Amerikanske troppers holdning var ikke anderledes i Stillehavet. Et skøn siger, at 10.000 kvinder blev voldtaget alene på Okinawa. Voldtægtene stoppede ikke efter den japanske overgivelse, da der blev rapporteret 1.336 hændelser i de første ti dage efter overgivelsen i Kanagawa.

En ung etnisk kinesisk kvinde fra en af ​​den kejserlige japanske hærs ’s “ komfortbataljoner ” bliver interviewet af en allieret officer. Nordkoreanske sygeplejersker fanget af sydkoreanske og amerikanske soldater. Fangede nordkoreanske kvinder blev undertiden voldtaget af amerikanske soldater.

Lemlæstelse i Stillehavet

Efter Pearl Harbor startede USA militære kampagner i Stillehavet. Den primære fjende var Japan, og mange soldater på begge sider omkom. Krigsforbrydelserne begået af amerikanske soldater under denne kampagne er klart dokumenteret.

Det værste var lemlæstelse af japanske lig for at tage pokaler som deres kranier. Praksis var udbredt blandt tropperne og nåede et punkt, hvor øverstkommanderende for Stillehavsflåden beordrede direktiver mod den i 1942 og 1944.

Nyheder om Bataan Death March udløste forargelse i USA, som det fremgår af denne propagandaplakat

Amerikansk regerings propagandaplakat fra 2. verdenskrig med en japansk soldat afbildet som en rotte

I Trophies of War, siger professor i historie, James Weingartner, at lemlæstelse ikke var ualmindeligt. Det Nevada Daily Mail løb en historie i 1944 om Francis Walter, der præsenterede præsident Roosevelt med en brevåbner lavet af en japansk soldatarm.

Charles Lindbergh blev engang spurgt, om han bar knogler på vej hjem fra Stillehavet. Toldagenten fortalte ham, at praksis var så almindelig, at dette var blevet et rutinemæssigt spørgsmål.

Bombningen af ​​Dresden

I februar 1945 startede britiske og amerikanske bombefly bombardementskampagnen i Dresden, der varede i tre dage og nætter. Selvom dette ikke var krigens værste bombemission, blev 25.000 mennesker dræbt.

Dresden efter bombeangrebet. Foto: Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1994-041-07 / Ukendt / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Historikere, der mener, at bombningen af ​​Dresden er en krigsforbrydelse, påpeger, at målet var civile og udført som en demonstration af magt til Sovjetunionen.

Et britisk notat fra Royal Air Force, der blev udsendt til bombeflyene, synes at understøtte denne teori. I notatet stod det, at kampagnen ville vise russerne, hvad Bomber Command var i stand til. Det faktum, at industrielle mål i byen var uskadte, giver også troværdighed til denne opfattelse.

Dresden, 1945, udsigt fra rådhuset (Rathaus) over den ødelagte by. Foto: Deutsche Fotothek CC BY-SA 3.0

Der var to officielle undersøgelser fra USA om bombningen. Begge fandt handlingen berettiget, men de afvises stort set af forskere i dag. Rapporterne ses som en kalkning af bombningen af ​​en af ​​gerningsmændene.

Frauenkirche-ruiner med en figur af Martin Luther, der overlevede bombningerne. Foto: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-60015-0002 / Giso Löwe / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Operation Teardrop

Operation Teardrop var det amerikanske svar på Adolf Hitler ’s U-både i Nordatlanten. Kampagnen forløb stort set efter plan og folkeret. Der er kun én hændelse, der gik så langt ud af hånden, at det endte med at være en krigsforbrydelse.

I 1945, U-546 sank USS Frederick C. Davis, dræbte 126 af besætningsmændene. Da U-båden derefter blev sænket af USS Flaherty, 32 overlevende blev taget til fange. Alle fangerne skulle have været sendt til en krigsfangelejr, men 8 blev trukket til side til afhøring.

En redningsflåde med overlevende fra U-546 midt i en gruppe af US Navy destroyer eskorter den 24. april 1945

De 8 fanger blev gentagne gange slået, udsat for udtømmende fysisk belastning og anbragt i isolation. Torturen fortsatte i over to uger, indtil Tyskland overgav sig. Efter overgivelsen blev fangerne flyttet til Fort Hunt, hvor de igen blev udsat for hård behandling og forhold.

En overlevende fra den tyske ubåd U-546 kommer ombord på USS Bogue

Koncentrationslejrsslagtning

Selvom vi i bakspejlet forstår, hvor brutal Holocaust var, måtte befriende allierede tropper opleve den bogstavelige konsekvens af det. Der er ingen måde at forstå det chok og rædsel, de måtte have følt, når de konfronteres med koncentrationslejre. Spørgsmålet er, om dette undskylder de krigsforbrydelser, de begik som følge heraf.

Da amerikanske soldater befriede koncentrationslejren Dachau, fandt de niogtredive jernbanevogne fyldt med lig. Overgivelsen af ​​lejren var hurtig og smertefri, men den frygtelige opdagelse efterlod soldaterne tørst efter hævn. Hvad der derefter skete, varierer, afhængigt af hvis konto du læser.

Gates ved hovedindgangen til Dachau koncentrationslejr, 1945

Ifølge kommandanter på stedet blev 12 til 16 tyske fanger henrettet med maskingevær. Ca. 30 flere tyskere blev henrettet den dag, ifølge oberstløjtnant Felix Sparks. Først løjtnant Howard Buechner påstår, at 520 tyskere blev dræbt, hvoraf 346 var en masseudførelse.

“No Mercy! ”, af Arland B. Musser. I stedet for at tage dem som krigsfanger, henrettede amerikanske tropper omkring 60 SS-officerer ved befrielsen af ​​Dachau. Foto: Tractatus CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Biscari -massakren

Da de allierede invaderede Sicilien, fandt de deres første triumf i deres kampagne for at tage Europa tilbage. Problemet kom kun 4 dage senere med den største massakre, der blev begået af amerikanske soldater. Drabene er blevet kendt som Biscari -massakren, opkaldt efter den flyveplads, amerikanerne forsøgte at erobre.

Den 14. juli 1943 slagte amerikanske tropper 73 krigsfanger i 2 hændelser. Den første hændelse fandt sted under kommando af sergent Horace West. Hans mænd stormede flyvepladsen og tog mere end 40 fanger. Et par blev sendt til afhøring, mens de andre blev stillet op og henrettet via maskingevær.

Senere samme dag tog kaptajn John Compton og hans mænd 36 fanger. Den amerikanske tolk spurgte fangerne, om de havde skudt, da mange var klædt i civil tøj. Han fik intet svar. Imidlertid fortalte Compton ’s løjtnant ham, at de havde. Dette fik Compton til at give ordre om at skyde fangerne.


Lange krige og industriel mobilisering: Det bliver ikke anden verdenskrig igen

Efter en generations fravær er interessen for lange krige mod jævnaldrende modstandere vendt tilbage og dermed en interesse for mobilisering. Mange observatører - fra Eliot Cohen til ledende medarbejdere i Joint Staff til David Barno og Nora Bensahel - har advaret om det. Lange krige kræver industriel mobilisering, og når strateger og planlæggere tænker på disse ting, tænker de på Anden Verdenskrig og alt det, der fulgte med: konvertering af civil industri til militær brug, masseproduktion, en lang opbygning af styrker og endelig, veludstyrede, massive hære, der overvælder modstandere.

Men en lang krig i dag ville være en helt anden. Faktisk ville nedslidning efter omkring ni måneders intens peer -konflikt slibe de amerikanske væbnede styrker ned til noget, der lignede militæret i en regional magt. Hæren ville for eksempel først og fremmest være bevæbnet med infanterivåben med tunge ildkræfter fra pistolbiler og en strøm af moderne udstyr erhvervet fra kæmpende indenlandsk produktion og hvad logistikere end kunne skrue op på verdensmarkedet. Denne situation opstår, fordi den amerikanske regering ikke har tænkt seriøst over industriel mobilisering. Det er langt lettere at baske sig på varme minder om Anden Verdenskrig end at stå over for de hårde valg, som mobiliseringsforberedelse medfører.

Her er det grundlæggende problem: Store krige mod jævnaldrende konkurrenter brænder våben og ammunition op med en voldsom hastighed langt ud over, hvad den stærkt konsoliderede og skrøbelige amerikanske forsvarsindustri kan producere. Amerikas forsvarsindustrielle base er designet til effektivitet i fredstid, ikke massekrigsproduktion, fordi opretholdelse af uudnyttet mobiliseringskapacitet er dyrt. Kongressen og Pentagon mener, at våben er dyre nok uden at betale for noget, der måske aldrig er nødvendigt.

Lad os se på tanke som et eksempel, men den samme dynamik gælder for fly, skibe og ammunition (og mennesker for den sags skyld, men det er en anden artikel i sig selv). Den amerikanske hær har 15 pansrede brigadekamphold i den regulære styrke og reservekomponent, med i alt omkring 1300 kampvogne i dem (90 pr. Brigade). Bag disse "operationelle" tanke er omkring yderligere tusinde i uddannelsesenheder, vedligeholdelse og FoU. Og der er flere hundrede i "boneyard" i forskellige forfaldsfaser.

Det er svært at forudsige nedslidning i peer -konflikter, fordi sådanne konflikter - heldigvis - er sjældne, men vi kan få glimt. For eksempel mistede israelerne i 1973 400 ud af 1700 kampvogne, en hastighed på cirka 1,1 procent om dagen i løbet af de 20 dage med stadig mere skæve kampe. De arabiske hære tabte langt mere. Det store tankslag ved Kursk i 1943 forårsagede meget høje tanktab - tyskerne tabte 14 procent om dagen i løbet af to ugers kamp eller 110 procent af deres oprindelige styrke - men det var et kort engagement af usædvanlig intensitet. I anden verdenskrig mistede den gennemsnitlige amerikanske infanteribataljon på frontlinjen 2,6 procent af sit personale om dagen, selv uden større kampe. Det er derfor rimeligt at antage, at en intens kollegekonflikt ville ødelægge omkring 1 procent af tankstyrken hver dag. Det inkluderer tab fra alle kilder - kamp, ​​opgivelse under tilbagetog, sænket undervejs til teater og ulykker.

Med alle 15 pansrede brigader engageret ville den pansrede styrke i gennemsnit miste 13 kampvogne om dagen eller 390 om måneden. Ved at trække udskiftninger fra kampvognene i vedligeholdelse og træningsbasen kunne de pansrede brigadekamphold forblive på fuld styrke i cirka to måneder. Derefter ville styrken falde støt: til 74 procent i måned fire (960 kampvogne), 55 procent i måned fem (715 kampvogne), 41 procent i måned seks (533 kampvogne) og så videre. I måned 10 ville styrken være nede på 158 kampvogne - to pansrede brigades værdi.

Vil industriel mobilisering ikke give erstatninger? Ja, men ikke nok. USA har kun bygget (faktisk opgraderet fra ældre versioner) 20 til 60 kampvogne om året i de seneste år, med måske et lige stort antal fra udenlandsk salg. Til sidst kan produktionen ifølge hærens budgetdokumenter stige til 28 om måneden. Med andre ord ville tankproduktionen, når den var fuldt mobiliseret, erstatte cirka to dages tab hver måned. Medtagelse af disse udskiftninger i beregningen ovenfor tilføjer en måned til tidslinjen. Med mere tid og penge kunne industrien (General Dynamics i dette tilfælde) udvide produktionen yderligere, men den har en lang vej at gå.

Så hvad skal man gøre? For det første skulle USA trække udstyr ud af "boneyard", få det til at køre og sende det til fronten. For tanke betyder det at bruge alle de gamle M-1A1'er, den ikke-digitaliserede version uden den forbedrede brandkontrol, opgraderede rustninger og integrerede computere i den nuværende M-1A2SEP-version. Til sidst ville den originale M-1'er fra begyndelsen af ​​1980'erne med den mindre 105 mm kanon, i stedet for den nuværende 120 mm kanon, være nødvendig. Der ville ikke være tid eller kapacitet til at opgradere til den nyeste version. Regerings- og entreprenørfaciliteter vil blive overvældet med at reparere kampskader og bygge nye kampvogne. Brug af så gammelt udstyr er i modstrid med 50 års praksis, hvor det amerikanske militær kun har kæmpet med det mest moderne udstyr. Bagsiden er imidlertid, at modstandere ville stå over for den samme nedslidningsdynamik og gennemgå deres egen mængde- og kvalitetskrise. Med andre ord, hvis konflikten var i Europa, ville amerikanske kampvogne ikke stå over for moderne russiske kampvogne som T-90’ere, men ældre kampvogne som T-80’ere eller T-72’ere. Så det ville være en jævn kamp.

Samtidig skal logistikere gå til civiløkonomien og købe, hvad der kan tilpasses der. Tilpasset betyder ikke, at den civile produktion skal flyttes til militærspecifikationsproduktion, for det ville tage for lang tid. I Anden Verdenskrig tog industriel mobilisering år, begyndende med franske og britiske krigsordrer i 1938, men først producerede de masser af udstyr, der var nødvendigt for at gå head-to-head med Tyskland og Japan indtil 1944. Winston Churchills ord i House of Commons, der minder om mobiliseringsudfordringen under første verdenskrig, gælder her:

Her er historien om ammunitionsproduktion: første år, meget lidt andet år, ikke meget, men noget tredje år, næsten alt hvad du vil have fjerde år, mere end du har brug for.

"Tilpasning" i en sådan situation betyder at tage, hvad civiløkonomien producerer, male det grønt og sende det frem. Noget "civillignende" udstyr kan blive produceret relativt hurtigt. Produktion af MRAP'er (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected - hovedsagelig pansrede pistolbiler) steg for eksempel inden for et år under Irak -krigen. Tilpasning gælder også for den doktrin, der er nødvendig for at bekæmpe en sådan styrke. Så efter seks eller otte måneders kamp kan hærens vigtigste kampvogn være MRAP -pistolbiler, men det er bedre end ingenting.

Endelig bliver logistikere nødt til at købe, hvad de kan fra verdensmarkedet, noget det amerikanske militær ikke har gjort på en større måde siden første verdenskrig, da franskmændene udstyrede Amerikas dårligt forberedte ekspeditionsstyrke. Der er dog mange præcedenser i andre lande. Da Storbritannien overtog Falklandsøerne i 1983, leverede USA ammunition. Da Irak og Iran kæmpede en otteårig dødskamp fra 1980 til 1988, søgte begge aggressivt på verdensmarkedet for at finde udstyr, hvor de kunne. Så når den amerikanske industri ikke er i stand til at producere udstyr i de nødvendige tal, bliver USA nødt til at gøre det samme. Fordi NATO -allierede kan engagere sig selv eller opbygge deres egne væbnede styrker, ville USA skulle gå til andre lande. Brasilien ville være et godt eksempel, da det har en moden våbenindustri. Radikale foranstaltninger, som at tilbyde at købe de egyptiske og marokkanske tankstyrker, ville være berettigede. Det lyder fjollet, men de har en masse amerikanske kampvogne, der hurtigt kunne indarbejdes i den amerikanske hær.

Selvfølgelig kan optimistiske antagelser få problemet til at forsvinde. F.eks. Ville investeringer i fred i flere milliarder dollars i mobiliseringskapacitet fremskynde produktionen fra krigen. Imidlertid har militærtjenesterne aldrig været villige til at gøre det, idet de stod over for mange kortsigtede budgetkrav og med mobiliseringskapacitet, der lignede ineffektivitet i et allerede ineffektivt erhvervelsessystem.

En lang periode med strategisk advarsel, som skete i Anden Verdenskrig, ville også lette mobilisering, men det er usandsynligt, at det vil ske i en fremtidig krig. Det er svært at forestille sig begivenheder, der ville være så chokerende for amerikanerne, at de ville starte et udkast og totalt mobilisere industrien, men det ville ikke samtidig bringe USA i krig.


Skandinaviske lande under 2. verdenskrig

Indlæg af Chaser & raquo 06. marts 2005, 02:40

Hej fyre!
Var ikke sikker på, hvor jeg skulle stille dette spørgsmål, men her lyder det:
Jeg læste for nylig en bog om de skandinaviske lande i 2. verdenskrig, nu har jeg et spørgsmål: Hvorfor besatte de nazistiske soldater ikke Sverige, men besatte Norwey og Danmark?

Indlæg af Sun Tsu & raquo 06. marts 2005, 14:19

Indlæg af Qvist & raquo 7. mar 2005, 15:12

Den tyske grundlæggende strategiske holdning til Skandinavien var, at det tjente tyske interesser bedst, hvis de forblev neutrale. Denne holdning blev ændret i foråret 1940, stort set som følge af frygtede allierede handlinger for enten at trække de skandinaviske lande ind i krigen eller få fysisk kontrol over det skandinaviske territorium. Flere sådanne ordninger blev diskuteret i forbindelse med planer om at sende bistand til Finland under vinterkrigen, noget der kun kunne gøres gennem Norge og Sverige. Kriegsmarine så også klare fordele i baser langs den norske kyst og pressede derfor på for invasion af deres egne årsager. Norge blev invaderet af disse grunde, og Danmark blev besat, fordi kontrol over dansk territorium var uundværlig for at sikre tidlig luftdækning over Sydnorge specifikt og for at sikre kommunikationslinjerne over havet mere generelt.

Inden for denne tingordning var der ikke noget klart behov for at invadere eller besætte Sverige. Der var ingen mulig allieret adgang til Sverige, så længe tyskerne kontrollerede Norge og Danmark, og Sverige var en stor leverandør af jernmalm til den tyske krigsindsats, noget som kun kunne blive forstyrret ved invasion. Også de svenske væbnede styrker var stærke nok til at kræve en seriøs storstilet operation for at overvinde, noget som tyskerne ikke havde midler til samtidig med at ansætte stort set hele flåden til en norsk operation, der endda overlappede i takt med den store offensiv på kontinentet. Svenskerne gav yderligere grunde til at blive efterladt i fred ved at tillade transit af tyske styrker og forsyninger til Norge, selv mens kampene varede.

Indlæg af Sun Tsu & raquo 7. mar 2005, 15:20

Indlæg af Qvist & raquo 7. mar 2005, 15:45

Ingen? Jeg ved, at de var svagere end i de senere år af krigen, men de svenske væbnede styrker var ret store, ikke sandt? Der ville i hvert fald ikke have været tale om bare at gå ind og tage kontrol om morgenen som i Danmark, eller om at rulle hele landet op med et par infanteridivisioner, som i Norge. Men jeg ville blive glad for at høre nogle flere detaljer om dette, jeg går lidt mere end generelle indtryk.

Indlæg af D. von Staberg & raquo 7. mar 2005, 16:30

Størrelsen er ikke alt, hvad du kender Den svenske hær består af 5 infanteridivisioner og et par uafhængige infanteriregimenter med understøttende artilleri, et kavaleribrigade og to tankbataljoner. Alle kampklar enheder var imidlertid koncentreret i nord på grund af vinterkrigen (3 divisioner værd for tropper) den resterende del, så hæren ikke blev mobiliseret og ville til dels have været uegnet til kamp på grund af udstyrsmangel og mangel på uddannede officerer og Mænd.

Hvis tyskerne havde haft tropperne til overs i ugens startign med den 9. april 1940, kunne de have dimensioneret store dele af det sydlige og vestlige Sverige ved coup de main. Den største infatrienhed i Skåne den 10. var et dansk firma, som havde formået at flytte ind i Sverige fuldt udstyret.

Luftvåben og flåde var ikke meget bedre, svenskernes få tvillingmotorbombefly forsøgte faktisk at komme i luften og komme inden for Sunds rækkevidde, men deres jagerledsagere havde ikke været i stand til at tage på grund af dårligt vejr.
Søværnet havde ingen større fartøjer på nogen måde enar de sandsynlige invasionsområder, som for det meste var ubeskyttet af kystartilleri.

Indlæg af WalterS & raquo 08. marts 2005, 01:34

Indlæg af Qvist & raquo 08. marts 2005, 09:45

Tak for oplysningerne - det ser ud til, at jeg havde overdrevne forestillinger om svensk styrke. Det vil jeg huske på i fremtiden.

I øvrigt var Norge og Sverige i et omfang sammenflettet problemer med hensyn til den svenske malm, da meget af det blev fragtet ned ad de norske kystbaner efter at være blevet skinner til Narvik. Så kontrollen over Norge var også kontrol af den svenske malm i et betydeligt omfang.

Indlæg af Chaser & raquo 09. marts 2005, 22:39

Indlæg af Stephan & raquo 13. mar 2005, 11:43

Læste Göring hjalp Sverige med ikke at blive besat. Det er velkendt Göring var glad i Sverige med en elsket svensk kone og så sig selv som en ven af ​​Sverige.

Min hovedkilde i en ikke særlig god, en science fiction -forfatter, men han har den genoplivede Göring som hovedperson og gjorde sandsynligvis god research. Han undersøgte google om de andre karakterer.

Re: Skandinaviske lande under 2. verdenskrig

Indlæg af KalaVelka & raquo 21. mar 2005, 20:15

Chaser skrev: Hvorfor besatte de nazistiske soldater ikke Sverige, men besatte Norwey og Danmark?

Hvor mange af de tyske soldater var medlemmer af NSDAP?

Indlæg af John T. & raquo 29. mar 2005, 23:49

Qvist skrev: Nej? Jeg ved, at de var svagere end i de senere år af krigen, men de svenske væbnede styrker var ret store, ikke sandt? Der ville i hvert fald ikke have været tale om bare at gå ind og tage kontrol om morgenen som i Danmark, eller om at rulle hele landet op med et par infanteridivisioner, som i Norge. Men jeg ville blive glad for at høre nogle flere detaljer om dette, jeg går lidt mere end generelle indtryk.

Generelt vil jeg støtte quists korte version og WalterS -tilføjelse.

Svenskere kan lide at forklejne de væbnede styrker, det gør svenskernes handlinger lettere at forklare.
Sverige var bestemt stærkere senere under krigen, men sammenligning af Sverige med Norge giver nogle proportioner til svensk svaghed:

Sverige havde flere mænd under våben den 8. april, end det lykkedes Norge at mobilisere under krigen.

-I 1936-1938 brugte Sverige dobbelt så meget som Finland på militært forsvar og mere end fire gange det norske forsvarsbudget.

- Sverige havde cirka dobbelt så meget artilleri ammunition pr. Pistol som finnerne i september 1939. Bortset fra AAA, hvor det var syv gange så meget.

- den svenske "fredstidsprogram for fredning" i vinteren 1940 producerede månedligt, lignende mængder kunstig ammunition som den komplette norske bestand. Den norske bestand på 6 til 9 cm ammunition, hvor 5% af svenskerne i april 1940.

- Kvoten af ​​svenske AT-kanoner til tyske tanke ansat i Norge var 5: 1.

- En håndfuld svenske byer havde flere luftværnskanoner hver end den komplette norske opgørelse.

Det svage svenske luftvåben, (jeg joker ikke - det var svagt i forhold til Luftwaffe) havde 5 gange antallet af Gladiator -krigere som norsk luftvåben, og en tredjedel af piloterne havde kampoplevelse fra vinterkrigen.

Svensk flåde var låst inde i Østersøen, men havde et dusin moderne subs, hvis man tæller de tre internerede polske subs. Og en overfladeflåde, der havde matchet den tyske flåde op til midten af ​​trediverne.

Denne form for sammenligninger accepteres ikke let i Sverige, da det kan få læseren til at tro, at Sverige havde nogle muligheder under 2. verdenskrig og forvirrede med "velkendte fakta".
Bemærk, jeg siger ikke, at Sverige kunne have stået alene mod Nazityskland.

Så kan jeg lide at imødegå nogle af Daniels argumenter:

Den mobiliserede styrke var i den forkerte del af landet, faktisk men også uden for rækkevidde fra tyskerne, ingen hurtig halshugning af hoveddelen af ​​felthæren.

Norsk administration var meget centraliseret til havnene, og de fleste mobiliseringsdepoter var inden for få dage fra disse. I Sverige, som en mere landlig end havgående nation, hvor mere jævnt spredt ud over territoriet. Ikke så enkelt at halshugge.

Bemærk, at tyskerne ikke forlod Oslo de første tre dage, så med den tidsramme ville et kup, hovedpersonen i det sydlige Sverige, stadig efterlade de fleste svenske mobiliseringscentre intakte.

Og du nævnte ikke de lokale forsvarsstyrker, de havde omtrent samme uddannelse som den normale norske hær og bestod af mere end 100 000 mand.

BTW var det tre tankfirmaer i 1940, de to batalions, hvor en blanding af tank- og Anit -tankselskaber.

Kort sagt, Sverige havde ikke en offensiv styrke, men langt mere defensiv magt end nordmændene.


Erindringer om en sygeplejerske under 2. verdenskrig

Jeg var seksten år gammel, da krig blev erklæret og arbejdede som fuldmægtig/maskinskriver i min hjemby Smethwick i udkanten af ​​byen Birmingham. Situationen blev betragtet som alvorlig, og da der var forventet bombeangreb, blev der påbegyndt luftangreb, og ARP -enheder blev etableret. Disse bestod af førstehjælp og redningstjenester baseret på ambulancestationer, som ofte bestod af kommanderede kommercielle garager.

Da jeg var juniormedlem i St. John's Ambulance Brigade, besluttede jeg, at jeg ville melde mig frivilligt til den nærmeste førstehjælpspost til mit hjem og meldte mig til tjeneste tre eller fire aftener om ugen. Jeg fik en hjelm af stål, en marineblå boremaskine og et armbånd trykt med ordene 'Førstehjælp'.

De første måneder af krigen var meget stille og kaldtes ofte 'falske krigen', men det skulle være et meget kort pusterum. This period was used to prepare us for any eventuality and was spent in practising and improving our skills. We worked in teams and each ambulance was manned by a driver, a rescue worker (these two duties were sometimes combined) and an ambulance attendant. The ambulances were well equipped to deal with any type of emergency.

The enemy attacks began in mid-1940 and I had my first experience of bombing raids and their consequences. At one time following the air raid alarm, all the ambulances were drawn up in the road in readiness. I was carrying a tray of tea to the waiting drivers and had just started to cross the road to them when a basket of incendiary bombs burst above. Everyone shouted at me to take cover but I was too stunned to drop the tray, and just stood there frozen to the ground! Fortunately for me there didn't appear to be one with my name on it! It was during one of these experiences that I first met and worked with my husband to be. He was in charge of a Rescue Team and had one of the most dangerous jobs. As the intensity of air raids increased we reported for duty on a regular basis and often worked throughout the night. It was a salutary experience and ultimately responsible for my decision to train as a nurse when the time came for me to report for a job of national importance at the age of 18 years.

Accepted for training

In 1941 I applied to a newly built hospital on the outskirts of Birmingham and was accepted for a four year training as a nurse. It was a voluntary hospital (or teaching hospital), adjacent to the University of Birmingham and its Medical School, and was rated at the time as the most modern hospital in the UK.

The National Health Service did not exist of course until 1948 and before that time there were two types of hospital. Voluntary hospitals were dependent on subscriptions, donations by companies and payment for treatment by private patients. Treatment and medical/nursing training was superior to that offered by the other type of hospitals known as infirmaries which were funded by the local authority and often built near a cemetery! Consequently there was an established fear of patients when admitted to an infirmary that it was a one-way trip to this place!

The late Queen Mother, who was then Queen Consort to HM King George VI, declared this new voluntary hospital open in early 1939, and graciously consented to give it her own name - it was known as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. All nurses were required to live in, and at no time were allowed to wear their uniform away from the hospital. Very strict rules were observed including that which forbade marriage during the period of training. A difficult decision for many a young girl whose fiancé was due for overseas combat! We were required to pay £20 for our uniform and textbooks, and the salary for our first year was £18. However we did not have to pay for board and lodging!

Our uniform was designed by Nornam Hartnell and broke away from the traditional striped dress and starched collars and cuffs. Our dresses were pale primrose colour for junior nurses, pale blue for seniors and green for sisters - all with soft, white collars and cuffs. We wore brown capes lined with light fawn and matching shoes and stockings. Starched wrap-around aprons were worn on duty and always removed when we left the wards. At no time were we allowed to wear our uniform off hospital premises. Strict hygiene was observed and cross-infection was virtually non-existent.

The medical profession was male-dominated at this time, and female medical students were noticeable by their absence. The nursing profession was all female and no training existed for male nurses until some time after the war. Hospital porters and orderlies were very few and generally were recruited from conscientious objectors. They gave good service, but junior student nurses were often called upon to carry out tasks usually designated to them. One of my first recollections of this was in my first year of training. I was instructed by the Ward Sister to shave the very hairy chest of a patient in preparation for an operation to remove his spleen. In the preliminary training school, we had been taught to use a cut-throat razor on a life-size model, but never in our wildest dreams did we think we would be called upon to put this into practice. The patient in question recoiled in horror on realising my intention, and quickly offered to do the job himself. Needless to say I was greatly relieved!

Life as a nurse

As air raids and military campaigns intensified, our nursing duties and experiences expanded. We received many air raid casualties from surrounding areas, including those from city hospitals. The centre of Birmingham was attacked relentlessly, and there were admissions of casualties which exceeded our capacity. At one particularly vicious bombardment we were forced to put casualties on stretchers in the corridors due to lack of beds. We could see the glow of fires burning in the city, and our own hospital was subjected to attack by incendiary bombs. Medical students took turns to man the roof-tops of the hospital in fire-watching duties, having been trained to deal with threatening incendiary bombs. It eventually became necessary to evacuate hospital patients from some of the wards in order to make room for air raid victims and much later for military personnel from various campaigns. Emergency units were set up in small cottage hospitals and convalescent homes throughout the surrounding area to accommodate the evacuated patients. Some of the injuries sustained by air raid victims were devastating and made an everlasting impression on the young student nurses involved in their treatment. The memory of some tragic cases remain with me to this day.

However there were lighter moments. During my first year I spent time nursing army personnel who were ill or had been injured during training exercises. One young lieutenant had received a bullet wound in his leg whilst on such an exercise in Ireland. He was admitted at mid-week, two days after rations of sugar had been issued to all patients. I knew that there was a tin of glucose in the ward store cupboard, and offered to get some for him to put on his porridge. Imagine the hilarity in the ward when it proved to be salt and not glucose. I was mortified and decided that I would beg a boiled egg from the diet kitchen to compensate. This would be a great treat and the other officers in the ward were very envious, but it wasn't to be my day! As the young man cracked his egg, it exploded and a horrible green mess appeared. Everyone was of the opinion that it was a deliberate joke carried out by me, but there was great hilarity and the young man forgave me.

Later that week we were informed that there was to be an inspection of the military patients by a Brigadier General. Officer patients were in small wards, but the ranks were all nursed in one large ward. As the top brass made his tour of this ward, a Sergeant Major who was one of the patients, called everyone to attention. I've never seen anything so funny as all patients lying stiffly to attention in their hospital bed!

Surgical and theatre nursing

At the end of my first year I was despatched to work as a junior theatre nurse. The theatre block consisted of five large well-designed theatre suites with state of the art equipment, plus two smaller units for minor surgery. It was tough working under a Theatre Sister who demanded nothing but perfection in our duties, and tolerated fools badly. Fortunately I was well suited to the job and luckily made few mistakes. I loved working as part of a team of dedicated people. This proved to be the turning point of my nursing career as I naturally gravitated towards surgical nursing and in particular theatre work. During the war due to a variety of pressures there was difficulty in arranging a structured form of nurse training, and consequently each student was placed according to their particular interest and ability.

My next theatre assignment was in 1942. Morale throughout the country had been at its lowest ebb during 1941 and also early 1942 with disastrous news from the North African campaign. However when 'Monty' was appointed commander of the 8th Army and arrived in the desert, the North African campaign took a new turn. In early October there was a great Allied victory with Rommel's troops being routed, and Tobruk taken. This news was a great boost to the country, but the hospital was told to prepare to receive many casualties. It was feared that there would be many cases of gangrene due to the slow and tedious journey required to bring the injured back to England.

When the convoys started to arrive I was on duty in one of the theatres. Three theatres, including the one in which I was working, were designated to deal with the casualties. Because of the large number, it was decided to have two operating tables working concurrently in each of the theatres in order that treatment could be carried out as speedily as possible. Most were suffering from severe and complicated leg wounds, which had been treated by casualty clearing stations at the front. The treatment comprised immobilisation of the limb in what was then called a Thomas Splint (usually used in treatment of fractured thighs). A very thick plaster of Paris cast was applied over this to the depth of 4 - 5 inches. On admission to the theatre, medical students armed with shears removed the plaster cast, while the surgical team scrubbed in readiness to operate.

The discarded plaster splints and dressings were most offensive and gave off a smell which none of us working at the time will ever forget! However they proved to be the salvation of many young men and saved limbs which would surely have required amputation. There was not one case of gangrene and the particular device came to be called the 'Tobruk Splint'. Whilst operating on the first patient at one table, another patient on the second table was being prepared. On completion of the operation the medical students exchanged places with us to put on a fresh plaster cast. The surgical team then scrubbed and started work on the second patient…. and so on throughout the night. We worked non-stop, as did the other theatres - from 4pm until 8am the next morning. We had the enormous satisfaction of knowing that no amputations had been necessary… but the theatre was a sorry mess. The back lobby was full of discarded and stinking plaster casts and there was blood and plaster on the swing doors of the theatre from the hands of the medical students and porters. In spite of this, everyone went off-duty pleased with their night's work and not a twinge of conscience at leaving such chaos to be restored by the on-coming staff!

Theatre became my own special field and I became most interested in the revolutionary plastic surgery being carried out at this time. I was also privileged to work with some of the surgeons who pioneered this work. There was no such thing as nylon sutures of course, and my fine red hair was often called into use. After being sterilised it was used to repair median nerves which had been damaged in forearm injuries caused by shrapnel. It evidently had the advantage of being both fine and strong! We carried out different types of skin grafts, the results of which were painstakingly slow. Seldom did the theatre staff see the end results of our efforts, but many badly burned pilots were supported psychologically by the young nurses who cared for them post-operatively.

I often think of one young man who'd suffered particularly severe injuries. I was called upon to assist three surgeons who had decided to work in unison on this soldier. A Plastic Surgeon and a Facio-Maxillary Surgeon worked together to replace a shattered lower jaw with a piece of bone chiselled from his hip by an Orthopaedic Surgeon. A tube of flesh from his abdomen had been prepared earlier by the Plastic Surgeon, and attached to his wrist. This was called a Pedicle graft and would be used to form a chin. Once the bone had been removed from the hip in readiness for use, the Orthopaedic Surgeon prepared to work on his shattered lower leg. I was kept busy supplying all three surgeons with the correct 'tools of their trade', moving from top to middle to bottom of the table and handing the necessary instruments, sutures etc. My theatre team at this time consisted of one nurse and one orderly! All instruments were selected and sterilised before an operation by the theatre staff since there was no such thing as a Central Sterilising Department as now. I often wonder at the outcome of this surgery on the poor young man.

In May 1944 we had an inkling that something was in the air. We'd been told that we were to remain within call of the hospital if we were on holiday or off duty. When the Second Front did take place on 6th June, wards were emptied in readiness for the expected large number of casualties. The first convoys arrived 9th/10th June and the hospital continued to receive the wounded in the last months of 1944 and early weeks of 1945.

As news of the arrival of convoys filtered through to the public, many were at the railway station to cheer the boys as they were being loaded into ambulances. Precious chocolate and cigarettes were offered to them, and unknowingly to a few German prisoners of war. They were mostly young boys of 15 and 16 years of age, and were convinced that these people were trying to poison them! One ward was entirely given over to the prisoners of war and guarded by the Military Police. Nurses with some knowledge of the German language were drafted to work on this ward. When VE Day was declared on 8th May 1945, there was great relief throughout the hospital and much jubilation! I later joined my husband in Portsmouth after our marriage in June 1945 and continued my work as a Theatre Sister for many years to come.

See also A Romance that nearly went with a BANG! by my husband Ron Goodhand.

© Ophavsretten til indhold, der bidrages til dette arkiv, ligger hos forfatteren. Find ud af, hvordan du kan bruge dette.


What if the French forces entrenched themselves at the Belgian border during WW2

Upon hearing that Belgium was being invaded by German forces, French forces quickly entrench themselves along the border.

I would imagine the blitz would continue with minimal slowing, as the spearhead tactics would easily crush an entrenched line.

Historically, French efforts in Belgium were effective to a degree. What caused the collapse of organized defense was the Germans successful breakthrough at Sedan, an area considered pretty difficult to impassible for an army. Had the French entrenched themselves, its still possible for the Germans to break through there as the length of the French line would necessitate spreading out forces and their focus would be on parts of the French-Belgium border were it was considered much much easier for an army to advance through. Its just a repeat of the attempt to create a line in Belgium with the same issues of lack of deep defense and poor coordination (the French lack of radios in the their tanks vs the German's use of them is cited as one factor for their eventual loss despite having many of the better vehicles). The other drawback is the French gives up on any offensive and just becomes pinned by the German forces that did sweep through Belgium rather than, historically, almost pinning the Germans in Belgium (until that break through in Sedan created panic in the rear and rout at the front line).

They tried. French war planning involved the maginot line funnelling an advance through belgium where under the terms of the Franco-Belgian alliance, the French army would be waiting at pre-prepared positions, of comparable integrity to the Maginot line. But when France did nothing in response to Germany remilitarizing the Rhineland, Belgium returned to their traditional position of Neutrality. In one fell swoop, French military planning of the past 10 years was in tatters. In 1940 the British and French armies were scuppered because they advanced quickly into Belgium to avoid a pitched battle on French soil, so never dug in properly and were outflanked by the German Panzers advancing through the Ardennes. The maddening thing was that these panzers were photographed by allied photographic reconnaisance planes on many occasion but they were dismissed by the Allied High Command.

They attempted to, but without prepared defenses, they really couldn't stand up to modern equipment and tactics.

Any manipulation of the French battle plan for the Western front in 39-40 is pointless in my opinion without some sort of diversion from the tanks and planes the French had. Look at the poor record of French fighters in the early stages of the war.

The French were outgunned in the air badly, both in speed and maneuverability.

French tanks, as well, not only were deployed in the battlefield wrongly, they did not compete with the German armour on a 1 v 1 level.

So if the French dig in, anywhere, I'm not sure it would help. Shoot, they could have spent the previous 20 years leading up to the war building additional fortifications around Paris. Trench warfare was outdated and the Maginot Line and static fortifications grew increasingly obsolete as the war progressed.

It sounds crazy, but I think if the French army wants to avoid total defeat in 39-40, they would have had to retreat their main forces to French Algeria and Morocco, and maybe build up strength and experience in North Africa before coming home in a Dragoon style operation. In my opinion it would be the only way to save men and heavy equipment.

Politically though, there would have been no way the French forces leave the mainland.

i'm not quite so ready to agree with that. they really did have pretty much the most powerful military in europe at the time. and a few tanks that could have given the panzers a challenge. if this force actually had some competent leadership and recognized the german tactics better, i think they stood a very good chance at defending their borders. since they didn't act quickly or competently, the germans had the initiative and steamrolled through france. the whole concept of the tank and infantry tactics the germans used were making the rounds in military circles at the time. french commanders were almost entirely at fault for losing their country.

Well, the maginot line pretty much continued on the Meuse river through Belgium and to the southernmost of the Netherlands. The belgians dismissed it though and declared themselves neutral.

The germans showed their gratitude by invading Belgium without any declaration of war. And they did the same to the Netherlands and Luxembourg too, as they were weak nations not deserving to exist anyways. They also bombed Rotterdam after they surrendered, killing a lot of people, cuz Hitler wanted to build some new cool buildings there and bombing it was much cheaper. The danes did pretty much the same, they moved long away from the border to Germany, to signalize that they really were neutral and not give Germany any justification as they fabricated with Poland. Germany didn't care and attacked them without any warnings as well. Same happened in Norway, norwegians forces were ordered to not fire at the germans and not mobilize. But when the germans began to shot and kill norwegians, the officers at Oscarsborg and other fortresses repelled the attacks and in the process killed tousands of germans like at Blücher.

I kind of struggle to see how the germans could see themselves as the good guys in the war really. The only countries that declared war ON Germany was UK and France, after Germany had broken literary a dousin of deals. And Germany did not even try to negotiate afaik.

Germany invaded Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, France, Yugoslavia, Greece, The Soviet Union, Italy. I kind of struggle to see how the germans didn't see themselves as the aggressors, I guess it bowls down to the 'ɽie Wacht am Rhein''-complex. «Everybody in this world is our enemies, so it does not matter how we fight them, for if we lose we will become obliterated. So the victory justifies the means». I don't know, very unrelated to OP, just me rambling here again apparently, F.


Propaganda to Mobilize Women for World War II

The Need for Working Women
Government propaganda during World War II was responsible for much of the change in society's acceptance of women in the workplace. Posters, radio programs, magazine articles, and advertisements showed women in overalls with greasy hands during these years for the first time. Through these media, the Office of War Information (OWI) and other agencies urged women to come out of their kitchens and move into the factories. They also communicated the need for women as nurses and as careful consumers.

The extensive propaganda campaigns were necessary in order to change public attitudes about women's roles left over from the previous decade. In the Depression years, the man of the household was the breadwinner, and since jobs were scarce, men usually received whatever jobs were available (Hartman 1982, 16). Middle-class married women had an especially tough time finding a job many states had even passed laws against married women in the workplace (U.S. Department of Labor 1946, 1). As a result, women stayed home and made a career of running the household. During World War II, the labor force lost many men to the draft, and the few poorer and single women who had already been working took over some of their jobs. But the largest untapped resource for labor was the middle-class woman at home ("More Women Must Go to Work," 74).

To mobilize these women, all of the government propaganda needed to communicate a central theme. The OWI rejected the idea of emphasizing high wages, for fear of an increase in consumer spending, leading to inflation. Instead, it concentrated on personal patriotism and emotional appeals:

The patriotic appeal had two aspects, the positive "do your part" approach and the negative "a soldier may die if you don't do your part" warning. The campaign slogan "The More Women at Work-The Sooner We'll Win" promised women that their contributions could bring their men home sooner. (Rupp 1978, 156)
By mid-1942, the draft was taking from 150,000 to 200,000 men a month, and one million women were needed in the factories if production was to follow schedules ("When Women Wear the Overalls," 70). By September 1943, 10 million men had gone to war, and almost all of the remaining men were already employed:

More than any other war in history, World War II was a battle of production. The Germans and Japanese had a 10-year head start on amassing weapons. . . . the side with the most bombs, aircraft, and weaponry would be the side that won the war. Production was essential to victory, and women were essential to production. (Weatherford 1990, 116)
The Office of War Information was responsible for "selling" the war to women. It sent monthly guides to magazine and newspaper editors and radio commentators, suggesting approaches to war topics. The OWI also allocated air time and print space, so that the media would stress the same themes at the same time. It distributed films and maintained a close relationship with the War Advertising Council. The agency launched campaigns and urged magazines to cover working women in their articles (Berkin and Norton 1979, 344).

These campaigns were initially successful. In December 1941, about 12 million women were employed by early 1944, this number was over 16 million-an increase of 36 percent. In manufacturing alone, a reported 6 million women labored to make weapons for the fighting men (Pidgeon 1944, 2).

The problem for the government seemed not to be employing women in these defense plans, but in convincing women to do the other 82 percent of the work that was unglamorous but had to be done. The War Manpower Commission (WMC) and the OWI tried to point out that every job a woman could take would help to solve the acute manpower shortage. The two agencies wanted to communicate to women that "any kind of service in the labor force is a distinct contribution to winning the war" ("More Women Must Go to Work," 76).

Problems of Working Women
As women entered the labor force in increasing numbers during the war, many problems arose. Childcare, housework, and transportation were all left up to the working woman. This resulted in many women quitting their jobs to take care of these domestic responsibilities ("Women Lagging in War Effort," 24). The largest and most urgent of these problems was childcare. Until this time, middle class women were expected to care for their own children. There were no profit-making childcare centers as there are today. Some factories made their own provisions for workers' children, setting up in-plant care (Weatherford 1990, 169).

Housework was an all-day task. Still, women were expected to handle it by themselves: '"It was an era of cooking from scratch and washing dishes by hand. It was before clothes dryers and permanent press. . . . The work of running a home required a far greater commitment of time [than today]" (Weatherford 1990, 161). If a woman had a job on the night shift in a factory, she would work all day doing household tasks, then all night as well.

With new tires virtually unavailable due to lack of rubber and gas rationing, transportation also reached a new urgency. Many women lived in semirural areas and needed to drive to work. These women often carpooled and drove their neighbors to the factory as well. One woman wrote, "You seldom see an empty back seat" (Weatherford 1990, 162).

Many of these problems had never been an issue before the war. As a result of the mobilization of women, the government woke up to the realities of childcare and women's difficulties in the home. These women communicated their need to share household tasks with their families and this, in turn, illustrated the need for change in stereotyped gender roles.

Volunteer Efforts
Even those women who stayed home played a major role in government campaigns. The OEI and WMC needed to communicate the importance of these women to the war effort, for it was this group that was primarily responsible for complying with rations and doing volunteer work: "In every city and village of the nation women are sewing for the Red Cross, participating in the civilian defense activities, organizing recreational services for members of the armed forces" (Kingsley 1942, 29).

When food production began to stagnate, women were encouraged to volunteer for the Woman's Land Army (WLA). This organization was responsible for taking women out of the cities and onto the farms. At first, many farmers were reluctant to comply with the WLA. They didn't believe city girls, ignorant of the ways farms function, would make a significant difference in food production. But women were the last available resource. By the first summer of the war, women working in agriculture had risen from one to 14 percent. Many of these women were volunteers (Weatherford 1990, 220).

Rationing was a necessary irritation for Americans during the Second World War. Women needed to learn the difference between "certificate rationing," "coupon rationing," and "value points." Such items as beef, wool, silk, coffee and tea, rubber, and even cotton were rationed. Because they were the primary consumers of their families, the government concentrated its messages on rationing toward women. Det Ladies Home Journal printed this reminder: "We still get ten times as much beef a week as people in England, twenty times as much as they get in Russia, and &Mac222fty times as much a week as the lucky ones get in China" (Weatherford 1990, 201).

Military Service
Another major change during World War II with regard to women came when they were able to be inducted into the armed services. At the beginning of American involvement in early 1942, a bill went before the House of Representatives to establish a women's auxiliary in the Army. In May 1942, the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps was formed. (The Auxiliary status was dropped in July 1943 as the Women's Army Corps gained full military status.) Later, the Navy formed the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), the Coast Guard established the SPARS (Semper Paratus-their motto meaning "Always Read"), and the Marines accepted women, called simply "Marines." As of January 1943, all branches of the United States military included women. Two other groups formed to give women a chance to fly. The WAFA (Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron) and the WASP (Women's Airforce Service Pilots) took on the job of testing planes, ferrying them from one American coast to the other, and even towing targets for soldiers to practice on (Weatherford 1990, 43).

By January 1944, over 100,000 women had entered the WACs, WAVES, SPARS, WAFA, and Marines to release men for combat duty (Palmer 1944, 19). The movies and films of the time made up a large part of the propaganda influencing women to join the armed forces. Newspaper and magazine articles, too, showed a glamorized picture of military life (Lotzenhiser 1993). Although their numbers were small, these women were important because they were the first to be recognized with full military status.

Nurses on duty with the armed forces numbered only 36,000 in 1944 (Palmer, 1944, 19). Those who served abroad during the war received a great deal of publicity in relation to their small numbers. Still, nurses in Bataan had to care for 200 to 300 men apiece. Even before American involvement in 1941, some hospitals had to close wings because no nurses were available to work in them. By 1944 the United States needed 66,000 nurses for the military and 30,000 for civilian duty. To cope with this severe shortage, Congress passed a bill in May 1943 to provide funding for nursing schools. But when even this measure did not improve the situation, 73 percent of Americans polled approved of a draft for women to fill the much-needed nursing vacancies. In the House of Representatives, the Nurses Selective Service Act of 1945 passed 347-42 with 43 abstentions. The Senate Military Affairs Committee favored it, but one month later the Army entered Berlin and ended the war in Europe. When "the tradition of protection for women was placed against the need of wounded men for nurses, tradition was quick to go" (Weatherford 1990, 19).

Postwar Changes
The fact that women came so close to being drafted seems to remain a forgotten part of American history. When the end of the war finally came, Americans were too busy rejoicing to notice this fundamental change in the government's attitude toward women. Congress had agreed that the Constitution made no provisions for the protection of women from a draft, and all in Congress who were involved in that debate agreed that they had the authority to conscript both men and women. If the war had continued, it is likely that women would have been conscripted (Weatherford 1990, 19).

When the Second World War ended, many women wondered what would happen to them. There was no doubt in people's minds that many things had changed, especially regarding women's employment. But for many women, the choice was made for them:

The problem was to avoid massive unemployment after the war, and to government policy makers, unemployed was a male adjective. . . . Eighty percent of . . . working women
. . . tried to keep their jobs. Most were unsuccessful. Layoffs, demotion in rank and pay, outright firings, all eliminated women from their wartime positions. . . . The government assisted women's early retirement by cutting off federal funds for day care in 1946. (Berkin and Norton 1979, 279)
Propaganda was then concentrated on putting women back into the kitchens. Magazines began picturing suburban life and large families. Although the urgency for women in the factories had diminished and propaganda began to focus on homemaking, more women than ever before in peacetime were entering the workplace in the 1950s. They did not receive support or attention on any scale nearly like that of the war years, but the new phenomenon of a woman with a family and career continued to expand and grow.

Government propaganda proved a fast and efficient method for changing public opinion during the war. When the need for women to work and to be careful consumers reached the point of urgency, the OWI and other agencies took it upon themselves to communicate these needs to the American public. The focus of their propaganda was on patriotism and working for the country, but only for the duration of the war.

The propaganda released by the agencies was specific in that regard. The programs, articles, and advertisements communicated the ideals that the government thought the majority of middle-class Americans would support. However, the World War II working experiences aided in breaking down the stereotypical gender roles in the home. As a result of World War II propaganda, women learned and showed they could do additional and important jobs and were further motivated to achieve the advances they have made in the fifty years since the war. As writer Dorothy Thompson put it, "There is no example in which a class or group of people who have once succeeded in expanding the area of their lives is ever persuaded again to restrict it" (Weatherford 1990, 308).


‘A Breath of Freedom’

Post-Nazi Germany was hardly a country free of racism. But for the black soldiers, it was their first experience of a society without a formal Jim Crow color line. Their uniform identified them as victorious warriors and as Americans, rather than “Negroes.”

Serving in labor and supply units, they had access to all the goods and provisions starving Germans living in the ruins of their country yearned for. African-American cultural expressions such as jazz, defamed and banned by the Nazis, were another reason so many Germans were drawn to their black liberators. White America was stunned to see how much black GIs enjoyed their time abroad, and how much they dreaded their return home to the U.S.

/>Black Chaplin shown wearing campaign hat talking to colored troops. On way to fighting zone on August 3, 1942. (AP Photo)

By 1947, when the Cold War was heating up, the reality of the segregated Jim Crow Army in Germany was becoming a major embarrassment for the U.S. government. The Soviet Union and East German communist propaganda relentlessly attacked the U.S. and challenged its claim to be the leader of the “free world.” Again and again, they would point to the segregated military in West Germany, and to Jim Crow segregation in the U.S. to make their case.


How GM's Divisions Tackled the War Effort

(In the coming months Military.com will profile companies that have provided significant support to the U.S. military in times of national crisis. This is Part II of a three-part series profiling General Motors' contribution to America's warfighting capabilities during World War II. This story was adapted from "The Complete History of General Motors 1908-1986.")

As American industry rushed to create what President Franklin D. Roosevelt called "the arsenal of democracy," General Motors rose to the occasion in a big way. And in the process of morphing from automobile manufacturer to war supplier, the company made sacrifices that underwrote the successes American forces would have on battlefields in both theaters in the challenging years that followed.

In February 1942, Fisher Body completely stopped making auto bodies and began assembling the famous M-4 "Sherman" tank in its No. 1 plant in Flint. The operation eventually moved to Grand Blanc and would turn out 11,358 tanks by 1945.

Buick tackled the manufacture of ammunition, churning out 75,000 casings per month for the duration. By the war's end, the division had supplied more than 12.5 million casings.

Buick also retooled to meet the demands of making engines for the B-24 bomber. At first, they talked of about 500 engines a month, but the government doubled its order by the time Buick had its tooling in place. By 1944, Buick's Melrose Park factory was regularly turning out 2,000 engines a month.

To produce the cylinder heads, Buick set up its own aluminum foundry, which it then leased to the government. The initial production target was 25,000 a month, but that was tripled before construction began and the foundry had to be scaled up nine or 10 different times. The goal was later set at 125,000 heads a month, and Buick met it.

The Army also asked Buick to design a new kind of war machine: the tank destroyer. The specs called for a lightly armored, highly mobile tracked vehicle fitted with a 37mm cannon in a 360-degree turret. The Army initially wanted diesel power but settled on gasoline engines to speed up delivery. Buick even devised an automatic transmission for it -- a hydraulic torque converter.

The vehicle was officially known as the M-18, but Buick workers dubbed it the "Hellcat." The division eventually built 2,507 M-18s. The transmission was later made four times bigger to accommodate the requirements for the Pershing tank.

GM's Cadillac division took to making tanks, specifically the M-5. The design was obsolete, but at the beginning of America's involvement in World War II the Army wanted all of them it could get.

Down in Indianapolis, the V-1710 aircraft engine designed by GM's Allison division was a long way from being production-ready, and Allison was hopelessly short of production capacity. Yet it was a vital power unit, destined for both the twin-boom Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" and North American Aviation's P-51 "Mustang" fighters.

In time, GM's auto engineers developed the turbocharged V-12 that was probably the most advanced aircraft engine to see action during World War II. Cadillac's Clark Avenue home plant speeded its production by turning out the required crankshafts, connecting rods, camshafts, and reduction-gear assemblies.

Chevrolet plants produced shells, gun parts, and aircraft engines. The division made around 3,000 armored cars and built a light-armor half-track that saw action in General George Patton's North African campaign. Part of Chevy's Tarrytown plant built 1.5-ton trucks and ambulances for the U.S. Army, while another part produced wing section and fuselage components as a subcontractor to Grumman Aircraft.

Oldsmobile manufactured 48 million rounds of artillery ammunition, 140,000 aircraft machine guns, 350,000 high-precision aircraft engine parts, and 175 million pounds of forgings for military trucks, tanks, guns and aircraft.

Pontiac, as one ad at the time put it, "was at war nine months before Pearl Harbor," first making an anti-aircraft gun for the U.S. Navy and then clearing 200,000 square feet in its sheet metal plant to install the precision equipment needed to make the Swedish-designed Bofors automatic field guns for the U.S. Army.

Pontiac also supplied front axles for the M-5 tanks built by Cadillac and air-launched torpedoes for the U.S. Navy. The torpedoes were a challenge in that each one had 5,222 parts and 1,225 assemblies that had to fit inside a slim envelope about 20 feet long.

In all, more than 113,000 employees left GM to serve while the company churned out $12.3 billion in aircraft, tanks, vehicles and arms.

When it was all counted up after the war, GM had produced 854,000 trucks (including the legendary DUKW, or "Duck" amphibious vehicles), 198,000 diesel engines, 206,000 aircraft engines, and 38,000 tanks, tank destroyers, and armored vehicles, not to mention vast quantities of guns and ammunition.


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