Bravest Large Group of WWII participants?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by smilefan, Apr 28, 2011.

?

Bravest Large Group of WWII

Poll closed Jun 27, 2011.
  1. USAAF

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. USN

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. USMC

    14.3%
  4. RAF

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. British civilian population

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. British merchant marine

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Wehrmacht

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Luftwaffe

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Kreigsmarine

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. Imperial Japanese Navy

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. Imperial Japanese Army

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. Russian Army

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  13. Russian civilian population

    14.3%
  14. Poles (civilian, resistance armed forces)

    71.4%
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  1. smilefan

    smilefan New Member

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    #1 smilefan, Apr 28, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
    In your opinion, which large group of people during WWII gave a particulatly
    galant performance in the war. One which may be inspiring to you personally.
    I have included some civilian populations as well. Detail and define
    what bravery by that group captured your imagination.

    USAAF – Daylight bombing offensive ETO. Over 18,000 aircraft lost in ETO.

    USN – Early days of the Pacific war up to the Battle of the Solomons. Kamikaze attacks.

    USMC – Pacific Island hopping campaign.

    RAF – Battle of France, Battle of Britain, Night bombing campaign (44% casualty rate).

    British civil population – Battle of Britain (60,000 British civilians killed).

    British merchant marine – Battle of the Atlantic. 30,000 merchant seaman lost.

    Wehrmacht – Eastern Front after Kursk, and the Defense of the Reich after BOTB.
    Estimate over 4,000,000 killed. 30% loss rate.

    Luftwaffe – Particularly the Defense of the Reich against overwhelming odds.

    Kreigsmarine – Specifically the U-Boat force. Highest loss rate of any WWII participant service branch with 28,000 of 40,000 crewmen lost.

    IJN – Pacific war after the Solomons. Kamikazes. Over 400,000 KIA, about 20% loss rate.

    IJA – Pacific island defenses. Estimate 1.3 million KIA, about 25% loss rate.

    Russian Army – Entire Eastern Front conflict. Over 8,000,000 dead, estimate 25% loss rate.

    Russian civilian population – Entire Eastern Front conflict. Estimated that 14,000,000 Russian civilians died as a result of WWII.

    Poles (armed forces, resistance, and civilian combined) – Battle of Poland, Warsaw resistance risings in ’43 and ’44. 2,500,000 Polish civilians and 3,000,000 Polish Holocaust victims dead (about 16% of civilian population).

    Detail your responses. Feel free to add any large group you feel is overlooked by these options .
     
  2. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    The Polish Army in the west who were in North Africa Tobruk, Italy ,Monte Cassino, They were the Cork in the Falaise Gap , the Polders and Breskins and Arnhem in Holland which in my biased and humble opinion were the toughest ops in Western Europe
     
  3. smilefan

    smilefan New Member

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    I also voted for the Poles on the basis, not only of the armed forces
    participating from beginning to end in the ETO, but the brass balls of Warsaw partisans
    who staged two armed uprisings during occupation by the world's most
    well-armed, well-trained Army.
     
  4. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Courage takes many forms and is a personal matter. I respect all veterans from any country who served with honour, and admire the quiet modesty of most veterans. To try and label one mass group as being "braver" than another is, frankly, asinine!
     
  5. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Maybe assine but certain segments got stuck in it more then others
     
  6. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    Or asinine even.

    I'll vote for the Polish, who between Hitler and Stalin, had no luck at all.

    The bravest individual was without doubt my father, who invaded France singlehanded in 1944 and liberated several highly defended wine cellars.*








    *Ok, it was D-Day plus 8, but at least he turned up.
     
  7. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Anyone who has been under fire will know you cant answer this question. Bravery is often a conditional reflex. Something that just happens. People are scared to death, anyone who has been under fire that says otherweise is full of cr*p frankly. But people would not let your mates down. People under fire dont think about getting killed, just what has to be done to stay alive and keep your people alive.

    I think people that live through that experience know that fear reaches a certain level, and then just levels off, no matter what the threat. Its hard to overcome that fear, and suppress it so the job gets done.

    But I dont think people thin they are acting nobly or differently at the time these things are happening. Its just happening, and they are trying to do their job as best they can......
     
  8. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    parsifal, could not agree with you more. I was totally and completely terrified in vietnam, wore my flak jacket day and night, even in the shower. but after a couple of weeks to a month the human mind cannot tolerate that level of stress and you live day by day and the totally abnormal becomes normal SOP.
    And you do indeed live and die for your "mates" as Parsifal says and any thought of greater ideals is gone.
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Bravery is not an attribute that can really be assigned to a large group or population. There were brave people in London during the blitz but there were also plenty who thought surrender or at least some deal with nazi Germany was preferable to the bombing. They said so in conversations overheard and noted by the authorities at the time.It caused the government considerable consternation and a collapse of civilian morale was always feared,particularly after heavy raids as on,for example,Coventry.
    Individual bravery is something else. The TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson's father in law won a V.C. during WWII but Clarkson only became aware of this when his father in law,a Major Robert Cain, died. The Major had never thought it worth mentioning which tells you a lot about the sort of men who display that kind of bravery.
    Steve
     
  10. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    OK you caught me , I never finished my BA in philosphy but I knew what the question implied without it
     
  11. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Daft poll how can you apply a singular and personal human reaction to stress to a group of people numbering up to millions. Thats like applying national stereotypes, the Irish are always drunk and scrapping, the Germans are brutal and efficent, the British are all tea drinking layabouts and the Americans are all fat and know there sisters in a biblical sense.

    None of the above stereotypes are true and you cant say a group is braver than another group.
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I don't think you can vote on this either. There is no way to decide such a thing in my opinion.

    I do however agree with these statements...

     
  13. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    THAT WAS JUST ONE TIME!!!!!!!!!!



    :evil4:
     
  14. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    ".... None of the above stereotypes are true and you cant say a group is braver than another group ....". True.

    But you CAN admire the solidarity and stick-to-it-ness of the folks in MALTA or LENINGRAD. :)

    MM
     
  15. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Dedication to a cause is different to bravery. Sticking it out at leningrad or malta does not necessarily mean that all the soldiers in those places were braver than in other places. It does suggest they didnt have a lot of options, other than surrender, but chose to remain dedicated to the cause rather than take the low road. I dont think that quite meets the criteria of how brave they were. It suggests there were a lot of brave men there, but how brave and how many.....
     
  16. smilefan

    smilefan New Member

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    #16 smilefan, Apr 29, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
    I see many take issue with the subject matter. I have reworded the poll post to
    put the thread in a more positive light. The intention was to offer, for the sake of discussion,
    which large group you feel gave a particularly valiant performance in the war, at least within your
    personal knowledge, understanding, and opinion. Certainly countless deeds of sacrifice went
    unsung, and no man's heroism is "braver" than another's.

    Think of it as a "Which galant group would you like to remember, and why" poll.
     
  17. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking of civilians, Parsifal.

    MM
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Same problem. The civilians of Malta had no choice but to endure. Where were they going to go? Same applies to just about any besieged city or occupied territory.This is not to belittle the effort and sacrifice of the Maltese,nothing could be further from my intention. I'm just stating the obvious.
    What about prisoners,both civilian and military from a range of nations held by the Japanese in appalling conditions,sometimes for years? They endured because they had to but you'd be lucky to find one person who would claim to have been brave. People do what they have to do to survive,this in itself can be remarkable. It is only exceptional individuals who rise above this (in both a civilian and military sense) and it is to these individuals that adjectives like "brave" or "gallant" can be applied. They cannot safely be applied to a large group or population. I know they are but it never really makes sense.
    Steve

    Steve
     
  19. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Still the same problem as before.

    All nations had groups of soldiers or civilians who acted valiantly. Nothing wrong with the topic, and I hope it develops into a good discussion. I just can't set one apart from the other. I mean you had the Americans during the Battle of the Bulge, The Germans fighting for Berlin in the last few days of the war, the British defense of Crete or the Air Crews during the Battle of Britain. I don't think anyone can set aside any one group of men and women apart from the other. Just my opinion however...
     
  20. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I won't vote here either, but another group that hasn't been mentioned, that consisted of many nations, was the underground resistance fighters. A brave lot, one and all.
     
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