Advertisements
Home

Bf 109 pilots in North Africa used to fix bottles of Coca Cola to the underside of their wings so that the drink would cool at high altitude and be ready to drink after landing.

1 Comment

This is from War History OnLine.

Some historical trivia about Coca Cola.

Messerschmitt_Bf_109E_at_Thunder_Over_Michigan

n 1925, the Coca-Cola Company commissioned a brass watch fob in the shape of a Swastika emblazoned with the company logo and the message to drink Coca-Cola in bottles for 5 cents. This may sound shocking today but at the time the Swastika was still a symbol of good luck derived from Buddhist origins and would not become a symbol of evil until the Nazi Party rose to power with Hitler’s ascension to Chancellor of Germany in 1933.

 By the time the Second World War broke out in 1939, Coca-Cola had been operating a production plant inside Germany for a decade. When America entered the arena in 1941, Company Director Robert Woodruff offered all servicemen a subsidy of paying only 5 cents for a bottle of coke. While attempting to drive patriotism behind the brand, the tactic also ensured the company was exempt from wartime sugar rationing and could therefore continue production as normal.

The Coca-Cola employees who were conscripted into the army became vital in helping to install the 64 military bottling plants and distributing the 10 billion drinks required to stock the various US bases and fleet throughout the war. As such these company conscripts or Coca-Cola Colonels as they became known were granted Technical Observer status, equal to that of qualified military technicians, and never saw front line action.  A sweet posting by more than one definition. So well associated with the US troops was coke that the name Coca-Cola even became the password to identify American troops when crossing the Rhine during Operation Plunder in the final stages of the war.

coke-advert-1945

And the Americans were not the only one’s who appreciated the taste of an ice-cold Coke. According to Emperors of Coca-Cola by Murray J. Eldred, German troops discovered a case of Coke left by retreating Allied forces while fighting in North Africa. With great value as contraband, some bottles were acquired by Luftwaffe BF109 fighter pilots who devised an ingenious means of chilling the drink in the hot African sun. Bottles would be wrapped in wet towels before being affixed to the underwings of their planes. Upon returning from flying, where the pilots had sweated profusely under the perspex canopy of their cockpits, they would remove the bottles of coke which had chilled at high altitudes and retained temperature due to the moist towels evaporating in the drag of the wings. – a rudimentary refrigeration technique. A true example of Coca-Colas 1939 advertising slogan, “Whoever you are, whatever you do, wherever you may be, when you think of refreshment, think of ice-cold Coca-Cola”.

Not only a soft drinks company, Coca-Cola briefly diversified into weapons manufacture investing and operating a propellant ammunition loading plant in Talladega, Alabama in support of the war effort. Operating under the subsidiary Brecon Loading Company, an average of 30 railroad cars of ammunition were reputedly produced from their Coosa River Ordnance Plant a day until closure in August, 1945.

 Despite their seemingly unfailing support of Americans at war, what was not known to the average GI was the continual operation of the German Coca-Cola plant throughout the conflict. Adding refreshment and a much needed financial boost to the enemy economy, the existence of this factory has been used over the years to attack the Coca-Cola Company and their questionable support of the Allied war effort. The truth is that even though prior to the war Coca-Cola had hosted various Nazi party sporting events and supplied Coke throughout Nazi Germany, all direct ties between the Coca-Cola Company and this factory ceased with the outbreak of the war and with it, so did the manufacture and sale of Coca-Cola in Germany. But the factory did not stop trading.

Shell-loading.-On-the-firing-line-of-a-large-Midwest-loading-plant-artillery-shells-1943-300x240
With the Coca-Cola syrup no longer imported into Germany due to wartime trade embargoes, Germany’s new Coca-Cola factory director Max Keith gathered his creative managers together to develop a new product from ingredients available outside of war rationing – or the “leftovers of leftovers” as later quoted by Keith. Finally creating a product made from a combination of fruit, pomace and whey the team branded it in the spirit of the imagination which went into its creation – Fanta, from the German fantasie. Reputedly resembling something closer to modern day ginger ale, Keith and his team continued to produce Fanta throughout the war where is was used for more than just common refreshment. Tighter rationing saw many people using it to flavor soups or sweeten stews in place of luxury items such as sugar and spices. Despite being cut off from their American owners during some of the most tumultuous years in modern European history, at no point did Keith or his company succumb to pressure to join the Nazi party. By the end of the war, Max Keith reputedly relinquished the company back to their American owners as well as representing all profits made from the sale of Fanta throughout the war. With a market already established, Coca-Cola relaunched Fanta as an orange drink and the rest as they say is history.

685px-Montgomery_receives_Order_of_Victory_HD-SN-99-02756_cropped

Coca-Cola even managed to win the tastes of high placed Russians during the Cold War which followed the end of the Second World War. General Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov – a Russian hero of WWII and staunch opposer of Stalin, befriended US General Dwight D. Eisenhower during their mutual occupation of Berlin and was thus introduced to Coca-Cola. Taking a liking to it but knowing he couldn’t be seen associating so closely with a western icon, Eisenhower collaborate with Coca-Cola to produce a one off colourless soda with the same flavour especially for him. They sealed it in a round bottle with a white cap and labelled it with a red star to represent that of a standard bottle of Russian vodka. True to their advertising slogan at the time;

“Where there’s Coke there’s hospitality”.

Sources 1,2

Advertisements

Dr. Seuss’ World War II Propaganda Films: Your Job in Germany (1945) and Our Job in Japan (1946)

Leave a comment

This is from Open Culture.com.

I learned something new about Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel. 

Most of us come to know the work of Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel through his children’s books (I, for instance, remember Hop on Pop as the first book I could read whole), and while he remains most famous as a prolific teller and illustrator of surreally didactic tales for youngsters, his productivity entered other cultural areas as well. Perhaps the most surprising chapter of his career happened during the Second World War, when Seuss, who had already demonstrated his strong anti-Hitler, anti-Mussolini, and pro-Roosevelt sentiments in political cartoons, went to work scripting propaganda films.

Having joined the U.S. Army in 1943 as a Captain, Seuss went on to take charge of the Animation Department of the Air Force’s First Motion Picture Unit. Working under Frank Capra toward the end of the war, he wrote the short films Your Job in Germany and Our Job in Japan, both intended to get American soldiers into the right mindset for the occupations of those defeated countries. “With your conduct and attitude while inside Germany, you can lay the groundwork of a peace that could last forever,” says the narrator of the former, “Or just the opposite.”

Unlike the similarly G.I.-targeted Private Snafu cartoons we featured last year, nothing of Seuss’ fanciful style comes through in these films, which use all-too-real footage to illustrate to “our boys” as vividly as possible what could go wrong if they let their guard down in these only-just-former enemy territories. “The German lust for conquest is not dead,” the narrator warns, “it’s merely gone undercover.”  The German people, he insists, “must prove they have been cured beyond the shadow of a doubt before they ever again are allowed to take their place among respectable nations.”

Our Job in Japan also holds out the prospect of a prolonged peace — “peace, if we can solve the problem of 70 million Japanese people.” But this short doesn’t have quite as damning a tone as Your Job in Germany; instead, it focuses on how best to rehabilitate an “old, backward, superstitious country” full of impressionable people “trained to follow blindly wherever their leaders led them.” According to the script, the eminently teachable and adaptable “Japanese brain” just happened to fall under the sway of warlords who decided it could “be hopped up to fight with fanatical fury.” Patronizing, certainly, but a far cry from the popular conception in the west at the time of the Japanese as a cruel, power-mad race inherently bent on bloodshed.

Seuss himself had a history of anti-Japanese cartooning (also featured on our site), but it seems his views had already begun to turn by the time of Our Job in Japan, which argues only for setting an example demonstrating that “what we like to call the American Way, or democracy, or just plain old Golden Rule common sense is a pretty good way to live.” As a result, no less a player in the Pacific theater than Douglas MacArthur found the film excessively sympathetic to the Japanese and tried to have it suppressed, a kind of controversy that never erupted around the likes of Hop on Pop. But as far as the actual winning of Japanese hearts and minds goes, I suspect Seuss’ children’s books have done a better job.

10 U.S Memorial Day Facts you might not know

Leave a comment

This is from War History OnLine.

For Gold Star families every day is Memorial Day.

I am a Gold Star family member.

IMG_8448-640x480

The Memorial Day in United States commemorates all those men and women who lost their lives while protecting the nation. Following are some important facts about the American Memorial Day.

  1. Since its very humble beginning on May 5, 1866, the Memorial Day was celebrated on 30th May every year. However in 1971 US congress established a new date for the day, and announced the last Monday of May as official Memorial Day.
  2. Initially the memorial day only commemorated U.S. personnel died during a deadly civil war from 1861 to 1865, but later it took under its wing all those who died for the country.
  3. A total of 620,000 Americans perished in the civil war, while 644,000 Americans lost their lives in all the other conflicts since then. American Civil War is still the single most deadly conflict of the American history.
  4. The ‘national moment of remembrance’ was set at 3 pm on Memorial Day. This was made possible by ‘the national moment of remembrance act’ in 2000 signed by President Clinton on Dec. 28.
  5. The Memorial Day had varying standings in past, one of which was a different name for the day. It used to be called the Democratic day. It was believed that soldiers died upholding the democratic values of the young nation.
  6. Red poppies have always been associated with the remembrance of the dead soldiers. People wear poppies to pay respect and tribute to those who made sacrifices for the nation.
  7. The most interesting fact about the memorial day is that although Federation celebrates the memorial day along with most of states remembering the union soldiers, however many states still celebrate the memorial days for confederate dead soldiers.
  8. About 5,000 people attended the first ever Memorial Day ceremony held at Arlington National Cemetery, the Democrat and Chronicle reports.
  9. Most of the deaths that took place during the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865 were as a result of a small pox outbreak. The total number of deaths is estimated to be around 620,000 – 365,000 Union while 260,000 confederate soldiers.
  10. Following is the estimate of the total number of American causalities since the Civil War.
  • In the Civil War 620,000 Americans died
  • WWI, 116,516 U.S soldiers died
  • In the Second World War 405,399 Americans died
  • Korean War killed 36,574 Americans.
  • 58,220 American soldiers were killed in Vietnam War
  • In Operation Desert Storm a total of 148 Americans died in the battlefield while another 145 died elsewhere during the operation.
  • 4,422 Americans died in the Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • In Operation New Dawn 66 U.S Army personnel were killed
  • 2,318 Americans perished in the Operation Enduring Freedom.

U.S. Military No Longer Able to Fight Two Wars at Same Time

Leave a comment

This is from The Washington Free Beacon.

I have read that our troop levels are lower than they were before the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor getting America into the second world war.

Liberals fail to understand the real purpose of the military they think the military should be the international meals on wheels.

The true purpose of the military is to win by killing the enemy and breaking their things.

 

Report finds that shrinking armed forces are less able to respond to global threats.

 

The United States military does not currently have the ability to fight two major wars simultaneously, according to a new report, a significant reduction from the capacity enjoyed by defense officials for decades.

The Heritage Foundation’s “2015 Index of U.S. Military Strength”concludes that the armed forces “would be ill-equipped to handle two, near-simultaneous major regional contingencies (MRC).” The two-MRC goal was largely attained during the Cold War, when U.S. forces engaged in a conflict every 15 to 20 years while maintaining ground forces in other regions to ensure stability and deter aggressors.

That strategy enables the U.S. military to defeat one adversary in a conflict while preventing another aggressor—seeking to take advantage of the United States’ preoccupation with the first conflict—from defeating it in a separate theater.

But this strategy is no longer feasible, according to the report.

“The consistent decline in funding and the consequent shrinking of the force are putting it under significant pressure,” the report said. “Essential maintenance is being deferred; fewer units (mostly the Navy’s platforms and the Special Operations Forces community) are being cycled through operational deployments more often and for longer periods; and old equipment is being extended while programmed replacements are problematic.”

“The cumulative effect of such factors has resulted in a U.S. military that is marginally able to meet the demands of defending America’s vital national interests.”

If current automatic budget cuts remain in place, nearly $1 trillion will be slashed from the Defense Department’s funding in the next decade. Almost all of the service branches are already in “marginal” condition, according to the report.

The Army only had 12 brigade combat teams (BCT) ready for action at the end of last year, while the Obama administration’s last major defense review in 2010 called for 45 active BCTs. The Navy is 24 ships short of the total fleet it recommended to Congress in January 2013. And the Marine Corps could shrink from 188,800 active personnel last year to 175,000 by 2017, increasing deployment frequency for troops that have had less time to train.

The report said the Air Force was in the best relative condition of the services.

The size and readiness of the U.S. armed forces are declining during a period of global instability not seen since the Cold War. The report said the threats to U.S. vital interests are “elevated” from Iran, Middle East terrorism, and North Korea.

The threat levels are even higher from Russia and China, according to the think tank. Russia “possesses the largest nuclear weapons arsenal among the nuclear powers (when short-range nuclear weapons are included)” and has demonstrated a willingness to harm U.S. allies in Europe—as evidenced by its ongoing destabilization of Ukraine. China has been modernizing its nuclear and conventional forces in recent years and “is taking increasingly assertive steps to secure its own interests in [the Asia-Pacific region] independent of U.S. efforts to maintain freedom of the commons for all.”

The report also expressed concerns about the state of U.S. nuclear forces. Defense officials are not developing any new nuclear warheads, and weapons and delivery vehicles are not replaced for long periods—heightening the risk of failure.

“Nearly every other nuclear power is carrying out a modernization program that involves warhead and delivery system upgrades,” the report said.

The Heritage military index, released for the first time this year, will serve as a “baseline” for assessing U.S. defenses in the future, the think tank said. Presidential administrations, the Pentagon, and the services release several reports periodically on defense strategy and posture but lack a consistent measure for grading the armed forces, according to the Heritage report.

%d bloggers like this: