Cleaning up after WWII

What happens to the detritus left of the fields of battle after a war is rarely touched on in print or on film.  Whether the remains are human or mechanical, something has to be done with them.  wwiiafterwwii has put together an excellent look at how the mechanical remains were disposed of or reused.

Since starting wwiiafterwwii, I receive from time to time suggestions for topics. These are wide-ranging but two in particular seem very popular: WWII weapons in the Vietnam War, which has been touched on several times; and a general question of how the world “cleaned up” WWII battlefields after the war. For the latter, I was surprised at how very little is written about it so perhaps this will be of interest.

One of the reasons WWII battlefields did not remain littered with vehicles for long was that, with the lone exception of the USA, all of the major warring powers made some official level of combat usage of captured enemy arms during WWII. The most formal was Germany’s Beutewaffe (literally, ‘booty’ or ‘loot’ weapon) effort, which encompassed everything from handguns to fighter aircraft with an official code in the Waffenamt system; for example FK-288(r) (the Soviet ZiS-3 anti-tank gun), SIGew-251(a) (the American M1 Garand rifle), and Sd.Kfz 735(i) (the Italian Fiat M13/40 tank). Captured gear was assembled at points called Sammelstelle and then shipped back from the front lines for disposition.

Read the rest of this great article here: Cleaning up after WWII

Just Jeepin’ around Geilenkirchen

A jeep manned by Sergeant A Schofield and Trooper O Jeavons of 1 SAS near Geilenkirchen in Germany Nov 1944. The jeep is armed with three Vickers ‘K’ guns (2 double and 1 single mount), and fitted with armoured glass shields in place of a windscreen. The SAS were involved at this time in clearing snipers in the 43rd Wessex Division area. No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit Hewitt (Sgt)IWM Colourised by Paul Reynolds

via laststandonzombieisland: Just Jeepin’ around Geilenkirchen

Consolidated B-24H Liberator: Citizen Soldier’s Armor. — The Dreamy Dodo

An aircrew of the 455th Bombardment Group, 743rd Bomb Squadron (15th AF) standing in front of the B-24H Liberator “TePee Time Gal” at San Giovanni Airfield (Foggia), Italy, 1944-45.
He -according to some sources it’s Major David G. Bellemere- is wearing a sample of typical late-WW2 clothing. Of interest are the M-2 armor vest (used by “armor-seated” crews), M-3 armor apron and M-3 flak helmet- that helmet was worn over an A-11 helmet, B-8 goggles and A-14 oxygen mask. Our friend shows his healthy individualism with those neat 1940 Pattern RAF boots.
The Americans, as usual, always overkill with any kind of gear. Better safe than sorry.

Photo: USAAF.

via Consolidated B-24H Liberator: Citizen Soldier’s Armor. — The Dreamy Dodo

76 years ago today over England

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Pattern of condensation trails left by British and German aircraft after a dog fight over Britain, 18 Sep 1940 ww2dbase

70 German Ju 88 bombers escorted by 100 Bf 109 fighters crossed the English Channel at noon and were intercepted by British fighters of No. 11 Group RAF; 60 of the bombers would reach London, England, United Kingdom and drop their bombs. At 1600 hours, 200 bombers in multiple waves attacked targets in Kent in southern England; they were engaged by fighters of No. 11 and No. 12 Groups and suffered 23 bombers and 10 fighters lost, but they were able to shoot down 12 British fighters in exchange. Overnight, London was bombed by several waves of bombers; Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, and other cities were also attacked.

via ww2db