military trivia .....

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Jay, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Jay

    Jay New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,286
    Location:
    Indiana
    Until my father told me, I never where the term "the whole nine yards" originated. It may be old hat for some, but I thought the answer was pretty neat.












    Returning pilots were often asked by their armorers how much ammo needed to be replaced in their aircraft. The .50 cal belts in many fighter aircraft just happened to be 27 feet long........the response many times was "the whole nine yards".
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2005
  2. jamesed

    jamesed New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Clackamas County Oregon
    A couple of items of Trivia.

    1. What was the frist foreign country or part of a foreign country occupied by US Forces in World War Two?


    2. What ship did the english battle fleet mistake for the KMS Bismarck when it began its attack on the Bismarck on 24 May 1941? The battleshp HMS Prince of Wales and the crusers HMS Norfolk and HMS Suffolk each fired a couple of broad sides at the vessel.

    3. Where and when was the first infantry battle between american forces and German Forces in the World War Two time frame?













    1 On April 10, 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared a protectorate over the Danish coloy of Greenland and ordered US Land, Sea and Air Forces to repell any invaders in Greenland.


    2 The USCGS Modoc. The Modoc was spotted by the Bismarck some hours earlier but didn't open fire on the cutter. Such could not be said of the English.

    3 On September 12 1941 the USCGS Northland sent a 12 man landing party ashore at Franz Joseph Fjord on the east cost of Greenland for an assualt on a German Weather station. The attack captured 3 men and a code book. The germans were taken ito custody and interned for he duration of the war in the United states.

    Remember all this shooting and fighting took place before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  3. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    10,657
    Location:
    SW MS
    Jay, I never knew that either. Thanks for the enlightenment!


    Jamesed, thanks for the WWII trivia!
  4. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Messages:
    13,854
    Location:
    At SouthernMoss' side forever!
    I knew about the whole nine yards and that the Norfolk, Suffolk and Prince of Wales fired on one of our ships. However, I didn't remember that it was a Coast Guard Cutter.

    I did know about the Greenland adventures, also.

    It sure does bring back memories of those times. Thanks, Jay. :) :)
  5. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    4,446
    Location:
    Pea Ridge, FL
    A yard was one sail on a square rigged sailing ship..
    To have the whole nine yards means being under full sail.
  6. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    10,657
    Location:
    SW MS
  7. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Messages:
    13,854
    Location:
    At SouthernMoss' side forever!
    It had to have an origin earlier than the sixties, I grew up hearing that expression, in the late 30s and 40s. Don't know the real origin but we always heard during and following the war, WWII, the fighter belts as being "the whole nine yards".
  8. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2001
    Messages:
    9,141
    Location:
    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Well, I guess that proves that we shouldn't go off half-cocked, until we know the full answer, lock, stock, & barrel. :)
  9. jamesed

    jamesed New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Clackamas County Oregon
    How the Marines adopted the Garand M-1 rifle.

    Initally the Marines refused to accept the M-1 Garand because it was not as accurate or dependable as their M1903 rifles.

    That all changed when at the higth of the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Marines on Guadalcanal were reinforced by the US Army's 164th Infantry regiment that was armed with the Garand. During one night, a Japaneese Banzi attack on the 164th, was easily stopped even theough the 164th was light on the number of machine guns. The rapid fire of regiments M-1's more than compensated for the lack of machine guns.

    Shortly after that night General Van Griffit of the Marines requested that the Marines be issued the M-1.
  10. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2001
    Messages:
    9,141
    Location:
    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    .....and, as the story goes, when the 1st Marines were finally relieved, a lot of those M-1s left with them.

    The Gyrines stole those poor Doggies blind! :D
  11. Jay

    Jay New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,286
    Location:
    Indiana
    Well guys/gals.......I must fess up...... I've never measured the length of the ammo belt on any belt-fed automatic weapon. However, my father flew P-40's, and P-38's in the Pacific, and since I have photos of him loading the ammo belts into the ammo bay of a P-38, I'll stick with the version he relayed to me, if for no other reason than he's' my father. (insert BIG respectful grin here)
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2005
  12. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    10,657
    Location:
    SW MS
    Sounds like a good enough reason to me, Jay! ;)
  13. SixForSure

    SixForSure New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Dakotas
  14. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,078
    Location:
    Indiana
    Actually, the Marines had tested the M1 prior to the war, and WANTED to adopt it but couldn't get any after the Army got first dibs...most Marines who had NEVER fired one didn't want one, called it the Buck Rodgers Toy and other names, but any that HAD tested one wanted one.

    They tested it pretty well too, with test groups made up of memebers of the USMC rifle team and another with recruits right out of Paris or Dago. Experts shot WELL with them, as good as their National Match 03s, and the recruits shot BETTER than they did with 03s....



    This isn't the first time there have been "dueling" stories about old prases and terms, it's happened many times. I have no doubt that BOTH are actually correct, from the perspective of when the "reconteurs" first heard it!


    We had a LONG discussion one time about "Freezing the balls off a brass monkey," and there are stories ALL over the 'net about it, but it turns out the one most quoted, about frozen iron cannon balls ready for service on deck rolling off the rack called a "Brass Monkey" when it was really cold is really an urban myth...
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2006
  15. IBFrank

    IBFrank New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    So. Ohio
    And don't forget the Johnson rifles issued to Pacific Marines. As to the whole 9 yds. It may have been an old sailing wag but I've always heard it was the .50 cal. belt length per gun allowed in most bombers. If you gave 'em the whole nine yards, you were out of ammo and got out your 1911. What was the least desired gunner's position on bombers? Tail or belly?
  16. Red Neck64

    Red Neck64 Former Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    North N.Y.STATE
    The whole nine yards comes from WW1, it refers to the machine gun belts on WW1 aeroplanes it was nine yards long.And has been a popular term since then.
  17. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,636
    Red, there's much debate on the true origin of "whole nine yards."

    Pop, I heard one of the reasons the belly gunner was a hated position was because of the high casualty rate in the belly gun dome, not because of the tailgunner getting more action.
  18. Red Neck64

    Red Neck64 Former Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    North N.Y.STATE
    JohnK3,The whole nine yards baffled me for many years,then one night I was watching the History Channel that I am addicted too.The topic was about aircraft of WW1 and the firepower afforded too them,a ground man was loading a machine gun with a belt of ammo.The narrator stated the belt was nine yards long hence "I GAVE HIM THE WHOLE NINE YARDS"


    Also on the History Channel the topic was bombing aircraft of WW2,I think the B17 was the one with the dreaded belly gun position.Why it was dreaded is if the hydraulic system was shot out, the landing gear could not be lowerd.So if the belly gunner did not have his position lined up with the enter exit hatch,with no hydraulic pressure and landing gear up he was domed.
  19. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,636
    While the History Channel is a good channel and usually has done its homework, it's not an authoritative source.

    It's also been attributed to the nine yards of an M60 ammo belt as used by door-gunners in choppers.

    It's also been attributed to the nine yards of a Browning M2 ammo belt in WWII bombers.

    It's been attributed to the number of cubic yards in a cement mixer.

    It's been attributed to the amount of wool in a Scotsman's kilt.

    It's been attributed to the amount of material in either a man's suit or a nun's habit.

    It's been attributed to the number of yardarms on a sailing ship.

    It's been attributed to any number of things. What's sure about the phrase is that we don't know for sure where it came from.
  20. Red Neck64

    Red Neck64 Former Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    North N.Y.STATE
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
General Military Arms & History Forum World War II Military Aircraft Trivia?-US ONLY Mar 3, 2003
General Military Arms & History Forum squib question in military machine gun Feb 10, 2014
General Military Arms & History Forum Texas Military Forces Museum -Austin TX Jan 6, 2014
General Military Arms & History Forum looking up military service numbers Mar 14, 2013
General Military Arms & History Forum Need help in identifying possible military ammo casings?? Jan 23, 2013