Friendly fire....?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Lucky13, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Just how much material was damaged, destroyed or in case of soldiers, wounded or killed, due to friendly fire during WWII?
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  3. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Cheers mate!
    I only asked, because in the program about USS Atlanta, it was said that she was hit by friendly from USS San Francisco....
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Wow! And I picked a site about US Navy Causalities!
     
  5. swampyankee

    swampyankee Active Member

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    I suspect that reliable data are not that easy to obtain; indeed, they may not even exist -- performing a forensic analysis on battlefield casualties was probably a very low priority. Some writers have reported rates as high as 30%; I suspect that's far too high.
     
  6. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Maj. Preddy, 328th FS, 352nd FG, was downed by U.S. Army AA that had been firing at a Fw190 near Leige, Belgium on 25 December 1944. It was determined that he could have bailed out successfully (he did managed to jettison the canopy), but his wounds from the .50 cal. AA were mortal. Two other P-51s of his 10 ship flight were hit, also.

    During Operation Bodenplatte (1 January 1945), the Luftwaffe lost a considerable amount of aircraft and pilots to friendly AA, as the Kreigsmarine and Wehrmacht hadn't bee advised of the operation and the Luftwaffe planners inadvertantly routed a large portion of the attacks over heavily AA defended areas.
     
  7. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    There is a ton of incidents. Some off the top of my head that involve the RAAF are-
    14 sqn Hudsons bomb the USS Sargo off the Western Australian coast
    Ace Gerald Johnson shot down a 4 sqn Boomerang over New Guinea - pilot servived
    US B-25's returning from the 10 October strike on Rabaul opened fire on RAAF Beaufighters heading to the target
    Australian machine gunners fired on and damaged the first RAAF P-40's to arrive in Port Moresby, 1942
    RAAF beaufighters P-40s strafed and sunk two US PT boats of New Britain - 8 sailors were killed
    RAAF Beaufort attacked and shot down by US Navy PB4Y Liberator - all crew lost
    Like I said these are just some off the top of my head, I'm sure there are many more.
     
  8. Wavelength

    Wavelength Member

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    There are lots of cases of warships FF incidents throughout the war too. In fact Adm Scott was killed on the Atlanta by FF fire from the San Francisco during the Battle of Friday the 13th.

    Fear of a friendly fire accident would cause many naval commanders to freeze up during naval battles too. That is exactly why The Battle of Barents Sea turned out badly for the Germans.
     
  9. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention all the casualties on aircraft carriers from runaway aircraft and accidental gun discharge on landing or crashing...
     
  10. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    Newer histories cite a USN DD's torpedo may have been the cause of the crippling hit on HMAS Canberra off Savo Island
    USN ships hit each other with direct fire as noted above
    Several instances of LW friendly fire noted in the JG-26 books
    US Bombers dropped 'short' of the line of resistance during Operation COBRA, Gen McNair and others were killed
     
  11. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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  12. Wavelength

    Wavelength Member

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    I see the list does include the George Preddy incident.
     
  13. Wavelength

    Wavelength Member

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    This topic kind of hits close to home so I have debated if I should post this. A good friend of mine married an F-18 pilot. His F-18 was shot down by FF in 2003 and he was killed.
     
  14. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Saw surprised to learn this:

    1940, 28 June – Italian Air Marshal*Italo Balbo*and his crew were killed when Italian anti-aircraft guns at*Tobruk*shot down their*Savoia-Marchetti SM.79.
     
  15. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    Nothing is ever new. The British army lost more troops to USA fire than they suffered from the entire Iraqi armed forces in the First Gulf War.
     
  16. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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  17. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Here's a few more:

    On September 6, 1939, just three days after Britain went to war
    with Germany, a young Shropshire pilot, Pilot Officer John Hulton-Harrop, age 26, became
    the first operational casualty of Fighter Command when he was shot down in a tragic case
    of 'Friendly Fire' soon after he took off from North Weald fighter station.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    In preparation for the D-Day landings on Utah beach, the US Forces were conducting a series
    of exercises on a stretch of beach called Slapton Sands, near Plymouth. In an area comprising
    around 30,000 acres a total of 3,000 people (750 families) 180 farms with livestock were
    evacuated. This enormous task had to be completed in six weeks.

    During the actual exercise, while maneuvering for position in Lyme Bay on the night of April 27
    the landing ships were attacked by nine German motor torpedo boats, E-boats, from Cherbourg
    in France. Two of the landing craft, LST 507 and LST 531 were sunk and others damaged. On
    board the two landing ships the casualties were severe, 638 men killed (197 sailors and 441
    soldiers) and hundreds injured. This was more than ten times greater than the casualties
    sustained in the real assault on Utah Beach on June 6 (43 Americans killed, 63 wounded).
    Altogether, including casualties from other ships and those killed by friendly fire on shore, a
    total of 946 Americans gave their lives during Operation Tiger. News of this disaster was kept
    a closely guarded secret for many months.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    After the attack on Pearl Harbor, US army personnel started digging trenches along the
    beaches in anticipation of a seaborne invasion. Every fifty feet or so along the beach, a
    gun crew with 30 calibre machine guns took up their positions. At around 8pm on
    December 7th, seven planes were seen trying to land on an airstrip on Ford Island.
    Misjudging the length of the runway the pilots decided to go around again for a second
    try. As the planes came around again the gunners, thinking they were Japanese,
    opened fire and shot down all seven. The planes were their own aircraft from the carrier
    USS Enterprise out at sea.
     
  18. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    I think the only Challenger tank to be taken out in combat was lost to another Challenger. The number of FF incidents always increases with the number of people groups in action. I know the spitfire and hurricane wernt popular in Russia because they were mistaken for 109s
     
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