Wednesday, January 3, 2018

"QUESTIONS I ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT WORLD WAR ll" By Jerry Silvers

I know this is not a comedy piece, but I thought you would find this investigation interesting. I hope you will send me your comments and suggestions to add to my research project. 

What part did South Africa play in the WWII?


As part of the British Commonwealth they participated in North African, Italian, and other campaigns like the liberation of Madagascar. Several pilots joined the RAF.
334,000 men volunteered including Blacks and Asians. 
Approximately 9,000 were killed.

What countries were considered neutral during WWll?
Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and Sweden were the major countries in Europe considered to be neutral. Many countries in Eastern Europe called themselves neutral until they were invaded by either Germany or Russia. Several countries both in South America, Middle East, and Asia also considered themselves neutral.  

What foreign volunteers served in the Japanese Army during WWll?
Korea and Taiwanese troops served in the Japanese Army, some volunteered and Japan had conscription starting in 1944. Japan occupied both Korea and Taiwan and governed them prior to WWII.

How many submarines were lost by the major powers during WWll?


The United States lost 52 submarines with 3500 men died.
Germany lost 793 subs with 28,000 sailors lost.
Japan lost 52 subs, no amount of sailor loss noted.
Great Britain 79 subs, no amount of sailor loss noted.
Italy 88 subs with loss of 3021 sailors.

What military operations did Turkey participate during WWII?
Turkey didn’t join the Allies until Feb. 1945, but their arm forces did not participate in any military operations.  Remember they were a German ally in World War l. Interesting they waited till the end of the war to take sides.
Germany surrendered May 1945
Japan surrendered Sept. 1945

What jet fighters took active combat roles in WWll?

 Messerschmitt ME 262   1430 were built with speeds up to 530 MPH.

British Gloster Meteor   3947 were built from 1943 to 1955. Speeds up to 450 MPH.

What information is available about the German synthetic fuel production during WWll?

This is a bomb out German WWll synthetic oil plant. Since oil resources for Germany were very limited, but they had an abundance of coal, they were able to supply their armies and air forces with synthetic fuel.
The process was to gasify coal developed by Friedrich Bergius in 1913 called the Bergius process.  They were also able to produce rubber, methanol, ammonia, and nitric acid.  By 1944 their plants produced 124,000 barrels per day from 25 plants.
After the war, technology was brought to the United States and 7,000 barrels per day plant built in 1950 in Brownville, Texas.  It shut down in 1955 when the price of oil due to higher world production.

How many combat troops were sent from South and Central America during WWll?

Brazil WWll troops in combat.
Although eight South American and Central American countries declared war, Brazil had direct involvement with 25,700 troops in the Italian campaign. They lost 948 troops.  Mexico also participated in liberation of the Philippines. The squadron called “Aztec Eagles” consisted on 300 men with 25 combat planes.

What was the troop level on the island of Gibraltar during WWll?
The promontory Rock overlooked the relatively narrow entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, thus it became a major Royal Navy base.
The island fortress consisted of 16,000 combat troops living in elaborate tunnel facilities for a 16-month service period. 


In late 1939 they started to build a modern airfield.  They feared Spain would allow German troops to invade. 
French air raids against the island for retaliation for the British attack on the French fleet in Sept. 1940.

Italian air raids -most took place in 1942 along with commando raids. 




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This project will be ongoing with revisions and updates on WWll
questions. (Jerry Silvers)
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"The Message"  Submitted by Grace Silvers

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