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Author Topic: PzLdr History Facts  (Read 34996 times)
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PzLdr
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« Reply #555 on: August 01, 2018, 10:50:37 am »

By 1944, the Polish government in exile, in Britain, was caught between a rock and hard place. The rock was the Red Army, rapidly approaching the Vistula, the armored embodiment of encroaching Soviet power [coupled with the Soviet backed 'rubber stamp' Lublin Committee, Stalin's intended Polish government]. The hard place was Poland's erstwhile 'ally', Great Britain.

The British had gone to war against Nazi Germany over Poland, having guaranteed Polish territory and sovereignty against the demands of Adolf Hitler [one might argue that Britain triggered the war. Germany had offered Poland a junior partnership in the Axis, in return for the Polish Corridor, Danzig, and free passage for German troops to attack the soviet Union. Britain's guarantee may have influenced the Poles to say 'No'].

But as World War II progressed, British attitudes, shaped by the facts that [a] Britain could not defeat Germany by herself, and that the Red Army was bearing the brunt of the combat, and could beat Germany, led to a potential splitting of the ranks. All that was needed was one spark.

That spark was the discovery, by a German signals unit near Smolensk in 1943, of the mass graves of some 4,400 Polish soldiers, airmen, and civilians at a place called Katyn.

Ever since the Poles, dragged along by Britain, had become allied with the soviets, they had pestered Stalin over the whereabouts of some 20,000 plus unaccounted for Poles held by the Soviets since the Soviet alliance with Hitler, and the dismemberment of Poland in 1939. Now they knew.

The Polish Government in Exile refused to go along with the story that the Poles of Katyn had been murdered by the Germans. They demanded a forensic investigation by the International Red Cross [the Germans had conducted such an investigation with experts not only from Germany and other, including neutral  countries, as well as Poles].

The result was that the USSR broke off diplomatic relations with Poland, but Churchill and the British froze the Poles out. And then the Red Army approached Warsaw.

There was an underground organization in Poland, the home Army. It's commander was Bor Komoroski. And in the summer of 1944, it was decided to rise against the Germans and establish a free Warsaw, governed in the name of the Government in Exile, when the Soviets rolled in.

Except they didn't. The Red Army halted on the east bank of the Vistula, and was sitting there when the Home Army rose. And now the Poles faced a massive German retaliation with small arms, and no support from the Soviets. And the retaliation was massive. The Luftwaffe ranged over the city much as it had in 1939. The Germans brought up railroad guns and huge mortars. Panzer troops, engineers with flame throwers began a street by street assault. And then there was the SS.

The commander of the Germans in warsaw was SS Obergruppenfuehrer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski. Bach had been the Higher SS andPolice Leader Designate for Central Russia. He had been in command of anti-partisan warfare in the East. He was anasty piece of work. And in addition to the army and Waffen ss troops he commanded, he had two 'special' units assigned to him, the Dirlewanger Brigade [composed of ex-poachers and criminakls and commanded by a rapist], and the Kaminski Brigade [Russians fighting for the Germans. Both units engaged in such barbaric behavior that Dirleweanger was withdrawn, and Kaminksi was shot by the SS.

The Western Allies tried to help by organizing air drops of weapons, ammunition and supplies. But the Soviets wouldn't provide them with landing sites to refuel for the return trip, so they were largely ineffective.

The outcome of the battle was a foregone conclusion, although Bach-Zelewski allowed the Poles prisoner of war status [observed more in the breach than reality]. Perhaps he was looking beyond the war.

But after the Poles surrendered, Warsaw's suffering continued. Hitler ordered the city razed. And over 90% of it was, by explosives, bombs, flamethrowers. when the Germans were done, Warsaw, for all practical purposes had ceased to exist. It was that rubble pile that greeted the T-34s, JS-2s  and ground troops of the Soiets when they entered it much later.It had been a grand, and elegant gesture. But by the end of the war, poland was, in fact, if not in for, ruled by Stalin and his army, NKVD, and Polish lackeys.

And Bach-Zelewski? He testified for the prosecution at Nuremburg, avoiding the noose [Goering supposedly almost went over the rail after him when he appeared]. And many of the Free Poles who had served in the British Army, winning stellar victories in Italy, especially in the capture of Monte Cassino, and fought so hard in Market-Garden, became exiles in a land that had, in the final analysis, sacrificed their homeland for realpolitik.
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« Reply #556 on: August 01, 2018, 11:28:31 pm »

See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p.16
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« Reply #557 on: August 05, 2018, 11:26:02 pm »

See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p. 16
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« Reply #558 on: August 05, 2018, 11:51:31 pm »

1902: ARTHUR FLEGENHEIMER, JR. IS BORN

Athur Flegenheimer , Jr is born. Arthur will collect several nicknmaes in his life,the "Beer Baron of the Bronx" being one of the better known. But the most common, and famous one, was the sobriquet he stole from another criminal - "Dutch Schultz".

Schultz went from small time crime to working for Arnold Rothstein, in an all star cast that included Legs Diamond, Lepke Buchalter, Meyer Lansky and one 'Lucky' Luciano. But Schultz struck out on his own, and began selling bootleg, including his own beer, initially in the Bronx.

Schultz rose, and remained as an outrider. His well known tightfistedness with his gang's profits led to wars with both Legs Diamond and Vincent "Mad Dog' Coll both former associates. Schultz's wars were both bloody, and very public. In fact, after Coll gunned down some children in a drive by aimed at a Schultz associate, the Commission had him whacked.

Schultz was one of the first major gangsters Thomas Dewey went after, on an income tax evasion charge. Tried in extreme nothern New York, Schultz beat the rap.

But now he was persona non grata in New York City, where in addition to his other rackets, Schultz had taken over and expanded the numbers racket in Harlem and elsewhere. Schultz moved his headquaters to New Jersey.

With Dewey still on his case, Schultz asked the Commission to have Dewey killed. While a feasibilty statement by Murder, Inc. indicated it could be done, the commission, led by Luciano and Lepke, voted 'No'. Schultz then swore he'd do it himself. He'd signed his own death warrant. In 1935, Charlie "The Bug" Workman, a Murder, Inc. hit man, and 'Mendy' Weiss, Lepke's top torpedo walked into the  Palace Chiop House. and by the time they walked out, Schultz's numbers name, "Abba Dabba" Berman, Schultz's body guard, and another associate were dead, and Schultz, caught by Workman in the Men's Room was mortally wounded.He died several days later.



1930: JUDGE CRATER DOES A HOFFA, BEFORE HOFFA.

A New York State Supreme Court Justice, Judge Joseph Crater spent a busy August 6, in  1930. He went to his chambers, destroyed various documents, moved other papers to his apartment [his family was on vacation in Maine, where the Judge was due to return], arranged a withdrawal from his bank to the tune of Five Large, and went to dinner with a lawyer and a show girl. Crater left them to go see a Broadway show, walking down the street. No one ever saw him again. He was legally declared dead in 1939, at the request of his wife.

 
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« Reply #559 on: August 07, 2018, 04:43:59 pm »

It started as one of Japan's operations to isolate Australia from the U.S.  While Carrier Division 5 was getting savaged by the american Navy [SHOKAKU suffered heavy damage, ZUIKAKU suffered heavy combat aircraft losses, the Light Carrier SHOHO was sunk], for the loss of the SARATOGA, and heavy damage to YORKTOWN. Japanese troops occupied the Marianas islands, with Tulagi being the primary objective, but with Guadalcanal, to its south, slated for an airbase from which Japanese aircraft could interdict the approaches to both Australia and New Guinea. Japanese engineers began to work on that airfield almost immediately after the occupation, with the U.S. and Australia almost immediately aware of what was going on.

A Japanese airfield on Guadalcanal would not be allowed to stand. And so on this date, in 1942, United States Marines invaded Guadalcanal, driving the Japanese engineers and their support troops into the jungle, and seizing the airfield. The stage was now set for a series of battles, both on land and at sea, that would eventually see the Japanese withdraw the reinforcements they had sent in, mostly by fast destroyers [part of the "Tokyo Express"]. But before that happened there would be fierce fighting on land [where Americans first dealt with the "Banzai" charge, in the air, and at sea [Savo Island, the shelling of Hickham Field by the battleship KONGO, and other actions].

And when it was over, the U.S. not only held the island, but over the period of fighting had attritted not only significant numbers of Japanese on the island, but had severely reduced Japanese air power in the region, as well as sinking major elements of the Imperial Japanese Fleet.

And it all started today, in 1942.
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You can get more with a smile, a handshake and a gun than you can with a smile and a handshake - Al Capone
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« Reply #560 on: August 08, 2018, 12:04:42 am »

See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p.5
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« Reply #561 on: August 08, 2018, 12:06:05 am »

See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p.5
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« Reply #562 on: August 08, 2018, 11:19:27 pm »

See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p.17
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« Reply #563 on: August 08, 2018, 11:36:19 pm »

The first Atomic Bomb explosion at Hiroshima didn't do it. The declaration of war on Japan on 8 AUG didn't do it. But the second A-bomb [plutonium based, as opposed to the Uranium bomb dropped ENOLA GAY], coupled with the soviet invasion of China, Manchuria and Korea, as well as the Sakhalin Islands did do it. They forced the Japanese to quasi-unconditionally surrender, on August 15th, 1945.

The U.S. government, and military, had been contemplating the potential loss of life for allied soldiers  and marines in an invasion of the Japanese home islands. The predicted numbers of dead and wounded after the bloodbath on Okinawa was sobering.The naval blockade, and the sinking of most of the merchant marine, and the Imperial Japanese Navy didn't bring the Japanese to the table.The destruction of almost every worthwhile target by LeMay's incendiary bombing brought no results.

So the U.S. turned to a revolutionary weapon - an atomic bomb. And when the first, dropped on Hiroshima failed to achieve the result of bringing the Japanese to heel, on August 9th, 1945, a second bomb, made of plutonium instead of Uranium was dropped by the B-29 BOCK'S CAR on the city of Nagasaki, with higher death tolls and more destruction. And still the Japanese government wavered, with the 'hawks' refusing to consider surrender.

But coupled with the Soviet declaration of war, and the invasion of Manchuria, China, the Sakhalin islands and Korea, the cumulative effect of the bombs forced the Japanese war cabinet to split 3 to 3. And for the first time since the Meiji Restoration, a sitting Emperor cast the deciding vote for peace, having secured immunity for his person from war crimes, and having retained his right to rule under allied supervision.
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You can get more with a smile, a handshake and a gun than you can with a smile and a handshake - Al Capone
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« Reply #564 on: August 13, 2018, 12:20:21 am »

See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p.17
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« Reply #565 on: August 13, 2018, 12:23:04 am »

See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p.17
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You can get more with a smile, a handshake and a gun than you can with a smile and a handshake - Al Capone
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« Reply #566 on: August 15, 2018, 11:32:54 pm »

See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive. p. 17
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« Reply #567 on: August 15, 2018, 11:34:21 pm »

See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p.17
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« Reply #568 on: August 16, 2018, 10:52:34 pm »

See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p.17
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« Reply #569 on: August 16, 2018, 10:55:14 pm »

See "PzLdr History Facts" Archive, p. 17
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