A bit of WWII trivia

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Ursus, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

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    As many of you know, Brazil sent troops to Italy during WWII. (They actually saw action agaisnt German troops). These soldiers were and are known in Brazil as "Smoking Cobras". Does anyone know why?
  2. Pat Hurley

    Pat Hurley Former Guest

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    I didn't know that, and I don't know the answer to your question. But your background information is unclear to me.

    Since Italy and Germany were Axis powers (allies), why would Brazil fight against German troops? Or were Brazil's troops sent after Italy had thrown in the towel and we're fighting on our side?

    How many Brazilian troops were sent and during time frame?

    Pat Hurley
  3. The term originated when Hitler heard that Brazil had declared war on Germany. In disbelief, he said "Brazilians will fight Germans when cobras smoke pipes." :D From that remark the Brazilian troops who fought with the Allies devised a uniform patch.

    Last time I checked, Pat, the Americans (my father among them) and British both campaigned in Italy against the Germans, along with contingents from other allied nations, including Brazil.
  4. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
  5. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

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    Because as Pistol said before, Brazil was on the Allies side. That's the same reason why American and British troops fought the Germans in Italy. For more info just check Xracer link. It's really good info.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2006
  6. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

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    Actually, Pistol it was an anti-war brazilian journalist who coined the term, but it was in fact atributed to Hitler. Brazilian urban legend.:)
  7. ShadowHunt

    ShadowHunt New Member

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    WWII is easy, what about WWI trivia?

    In WWI Germany launched their unrestricted-submarine warfare program. This meant what it said, that German Subs could attack and destroy any boat they saw fit too.

    One of the main ships that the German Subs hit was called the Lusitania. The Lusitania was a British ocean-liner carrying thousands of people including some Americans. German subs launched a torpedo at the Lusitania and there were 2 explosions. Germany states that they only launched a torpedo at the ship because they believed it to be carrying explosives for the British.

    The British announced over and over again that the Lusitania had not been carrying any other explosives and that the subs launched 2 torpedos. In response, Germany has records of only firing one torpedo.

    The Question remains: Did the Germans launch 2 torpedos or was the Lusitania in fact hoardering explosives to the British Army?


    --Good Luck, this one should be a tuffy


    --Derek
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2006
  8. Actually, Derek, it's not a difficult question at all. Since the Lusitania was torpedoed by U-20--on 7 May 1915, while heading east off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, sinking in only 18 minutes--the wreck has been investigated by both divers and robotic vehicles in modern times. There is no longer any doubt that she was carrying munitions loaded in New York and intended for the British military. Shell fuses and small arms ammo were found aboard, though the total amount of munitions has not yet been determined since all her holds cannot be examined. There has long been a controversy about whether the second explosion was a second torpedo (the Germans claim otherwise) or was a secondary explosion caused by the munitions or some other agent. The issue is effectively moot in any event since the ship WAS carrying war material and thus was a legitimate target for attack under the rules of war at that time. Whatever the case, the loss of over 160 American lives in that attack brought the U.S. to the brink of war with Germany, though it was the Zimmerman Telegram incident that finally forced President Wilson (pacificist that he was) to go before Congress and ask for a Declaration of War, in April 1917.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2006
  9. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

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    As said above, the Lusitania was carrying munitions, so the second torpedo or the secondary explosion sunk it. The point is the Germans caused the whole incident.
  10. True, Bear, and strategically it was one of the stupidest moves the Germans could have made, despite the fact that technically the Germans had done everything according to the prevailing rules of war at the time. Use of submarines against civilian targets did not sit well with the American people, and the incident was a major force in hardening American opinion against the German cause and in favor of the British and French. I find it ironic that despite all the treaties and prohibitions placed on the use of submarines after World War I, all of them went out the window immediately when World War II broke out in September 1939. Indeed, one of the first naval orders that went out to American forces after the Pearl Harbor attack was to "wage unrestricted submarine warfare against the Empire of Japan."
  11. ShadowHunt

    ShadowHunt New Member

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    Wow, I thought that would be harder

    Pistol, what all do you know about the Lost Battalion in WWI? I know a little bit about them. I know that the General was a punk who nearly killed an entire battalion just because he wouldn't admit to the truth and tell the officer that there were no french or americans on their flanks.
    -What I'm getting to is are there any secretive facts about the Lost Battalion? If there are any more interesting facts about it (though an entire battalion being almost destroyed is pretty interesting in itself) let me know what you have to share on the subject :)
  12. 17thfabn

    17thfabn New Member

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    Shadow what general are you refering to? The lost battalion in World War I was actual made up of elements of two battalions of the 77th Infantry Division. They were led by Major Whittlesey.
  13. On October 2nd, 1918, units of the 77th "Liberty" Division from New York advanced into the dense terrain of the Argonne Forest in France. History was made over the next 6 days as this unit, the "Lost Battalion", refused to surrender even though they were completely surrounded, constantly attacked, low on ammunition and supplies, had no food, shelter and limited access to water. Of the over 600 men first trapped in the "pocket", only around 200 walked out. They received 3 Congressional Medal of Honors (CMO), many Distinguished Service Crosses (DSC), and many other awards. Their leader, Major Whittlesey, was declared one of the three most important members of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) by General Pershing, Commander of the AEF. Two airmen received CMO's for their involvement in the event, the first attempted air resupply drop in military history. Others trying to releive the battalion also received the DSC. A carrier pigeon, Cher Ami, received international acclaim for heroically delivering a message. A movie of the event was made in 1919, and scores of books on the subject make it one of the most analyzed military actions in history. If that was not enough, Major Whittlesey committed suicide in 1921, and controversy has swirled around the event for over 80 years.
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