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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:32 pm
by Dragunov
what is a shibboleth? a sort of password that distinguishes a certain group of people from outsiders. heer's a ww2 Finnish shibboleth:

Höyryjyrä: (IPA [høyryjyræ], Engl. "Steam Roller") Finnish soldiers in World War II used this as a password, as only a native Finnish speaker could properly say this word, which contains the Finnish front vowels Ö, Y, and Ä in combination with the rolled R used in Finnish. The leading H /h/ is particularly hard for Russian speakers, since the same sound does not exist in Russian; analogous Russian sounds /g/, /ɦ/ and /x/ are distinguishable.

that word... it hurts me eyes. :shock:

Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:22 pm
by phylo_roadking
Yep, one of those Finnish words you have to swallow your own snot to say properly.... :?

Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:33 pm
by Dragunov
if you thought all the M-16 rip-offs were bad...

the Tarkka-ampujakivääri m/85 (sharpshooter rifle m/85) is a sniper rifle used by the suomen armeija that is really a modified old mosin-nagant. supposedly it is the oldest rifle in military use, some old mosin parts dating back to 1890.


looks nothing like the old spitz, though, and probably alot better. :up:

rock on, Finland! i'm going ta sleep.

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:00 pm
by panzermahn
Okay, I don't know whether this fact is strange or not;

In the 1930s, Italian fascist commander General Italo Balbo flew to United States together with a squadron of Savoia Macchettis. He was made a Sioux chief (an American Indian tribe) and probably the first and only Fascist (and also probably the only Italian) to be made a chief (i think it's a honorary title) of an American Indian tribe.

There is also a street in Chicago (Chicago's 7th Street) that were named after Balbo (General Italo Balbo street) but I don't know what happen to the name after that street when Italy declared war against United States.


Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:29 pm
by phylo_roadking
Italo Balbo was actually one of the great heroes of aviation, among other things he embarked on a world tour leading a flight of I think 20 SM flyingboats in 1933 with a long stopover crossing America because of the large emigrant Italian populations. A lot of cities around the world probably had streets named after him as they used to do! He argued big time I think with Mussolini and was shipped off as governor of Libya. He was killed in a "friendly Fire" incident when he was shot down by the Italian Navy over then Italian-held Tobruk in 1940, and it has always been said it was a political assasination.

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 9:13 pm
by Dragunov
wasn't the Ferrari emblem a modified thingy from a downed italian fighter ace?

more random facts:

the me-163 was nick-named the 'powered egg'

mussolini had the lights on in his room while he slept. this was meant to promote a 'superhuman' image, one 'o those 'i'm so cool, i don't need to sleep' things. but i look at it now and we can all say the mussolini was afraid of the dark.

'stalingrad' is a subway station in Paris.

the JS2's HE shell power alone could knock the turret off a tank (unknown type)

the Governer General's Horse Guards (GGHG) had a few nicknames worth noting-
the GeeGees
Good God, How Gorgeous!
God's gift to Hungry Girls

and time for a random story:

(i forgot where, when and which sources. sorry)

a group of 100 or so Germans were surrounded by brit troops. knowing that the Germans would fight, but it was useless since the Brits had tanks and because the brits didn't want to lose anybody in unneccesary fighting, they brought up a sherman(or churchill) flamthrower tank. the Brits then lit a tree that was in front of the building on fire. the flame must have been terrifying, as the Germans soon walked out of the building, hands held high.

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:06 pm
by Dragunov
'schmeisser' is also german slang for one who throws things really hard without any accuracy. sounds like me.

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:46 pm
by Dragunov
Russ speak

Tiger= any tank
Ferdinand= an SP

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:38 pm
by Dragunov
the famous pic of the soviets raising the sickle and hammer above berlin had to be retouched because the man supporting the flagbearer had more than one watch.

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:01 pm
by Dragunov
swing was illegal in Nazi Germany (the famous swing/jazz composers being black) so therefore Eva in Der Utergang shoud not have asked for swing music while she danced, the Führer would have decapitated her.

random facts on the Sten:

it had a tendancy to 'run away', to continue firing after the trigger had been released.

if you used the mag as a grip, you could make the mag misfeed and jam.

the Sten was known as the 'plumber's abortion'

because of its tendancy to fire when dropped, some clevear Britons used it as a room clearer: they would throw a cocked and loaded sten into a room full of Jerries and it would set off and sipn around, shooting everything until it ran empty. (i don't see foot hits as killers, but it would produce one heck of a distraction!)
Thirty Rounds Later by Norm Carlson

This article, orignally appearing in the April 1994 issue of Legion Magazine, described well how the Sten came to earn its reputation.
Illustration by Barbara Spurll, originally appeared in Legion Magazine April 1994 issue.

Our unit had moved back into the lines occupying yet another the area known as the Jamestown Line...It was April 1953, early spring and the nights were still long and black. The stress of occupying a new position was upon the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. We had moved in during the night, the relief had gone off without too many hitches, and the day had been spent...trying to figure out where the heck we were.

Just prior to dark, the company commander called his first O - for orders - group. ...we were all briefed on each platoon's position, special weapons, and other concerns - such as a big gap between our left flank and...our neighbouring company. This unoccupied ground was part of a wide valley with a shallow creek running down the middle; anyone could use it for a walkway. The remainder of the valley was covered with last year's tall rice grass, giving cover to a possible enemy approach.

I was to make a recce of the near end of the valley and establish a gun-pit that could be used as a listening post, as well as a fire-pit should we intercept any enemy...Upon establishing the position, I was to report to the commanding officer...We met at the cook's bunker at the rear of the hill...

We told the corporal of our intentions, then the four of us set out - hoping to find a spot of ground high enough to observe from, yet low enough to keep out of sight. The night was black as pitch...With the help of some far-off flares we found a suitable position and after a half-hour of digging had a hole to get down into - just in case. I left a phone at the position and, on my way back to the company position, unwound a roll of phone wire.

I got back to (the) cook's bunker to be met by the corporal, who had...organized a relief party which he had standing by. We were talking just outside a marquee tent being used as a kitchen...Suddenly we were interrupted by a short swishing sound, followed by a sharp bang from the kitchen area. We hit the dirt, sure the enemy hordes had overrun our new position and followed me in...

It had sounded like a rifle shot, the corporal and I agreed. Probably it was a lone sharpshooter firing out of the creek bed. Anyway, he had to be stopped - and the sooner the better. I told the corporal to follow me and we headed out, I with my rifle and he with his Sten gun. We moved to the creek bank and peered over the edge. Naturally we couldn't see a thing so we moved off, following the top of the bank. About this time, some of my high-quality training started to kick in, reminding me not to skyline myself. I stopped abruptly, intending to pass this tidbit on to the corporal and suggest we change our tactics. But, in the darkness, he bumped into me and momentarily lost his footing. While jostling about, there was a heck of a bang as his Sten gun fired...

The shock of having his weapon fire without warning probably caused my comrade's next problem. He dropped his gun. After the initial shot the weapon must have re-cocked itself, because when it hit the ground it recommenced firing. We could see by the muzzle flashes which way the weapon was pointing. Each time it fired, the recoil would spin the gun in a circle, faster and faster. It seemed that each round was headed directly at my feet; no doubt my partner thought the same.

At first we did some shy polka steps to avoid getting hit, but as the rotation speed increased so did our dance. With about 10 rounds to go the muzzle of the weapon started flipping up, as if looking for a larger target. It was then that the first primitive steps of what would later become known as break-dancing came into being...

Illustration by Barbara Spurll, originally appeared in Legion Magazine April 1994 issue.
Illustration by Barbara Spurll, originally appeared in Legion Magazine April 1994 issue.

The firing stopped as abruptly as it had started, leaving us both gasping for air. The corporal picked up his weapon and ripped off the magazine, no doubt to ensure that it couldn't start firing again. We confirmed that the magazine was indeed empty; all 30 rounds had fired without a stoppage.

With great relief we found that neither of us had been hit. Just at that moment, one of the other kitchen helpers arrived to tell us the big bang we'd heard earlier had been caused by an artillery round. A fragment had fallen off in its way north and had torn through the tent, slamming into the steel flour barrel....

We both must have felt like the prisoner who had just been reprieved from the gallows...We started to snicker and, before we knew it, were both rolling on the ground and howling with laughter. I tried to stop; this wasn't normal procedure. Nowhere in the book does it say a patrol can take time out for hilarity, let alone make unnecessary sounds in the night. But the harder we tried to stop, the more we carried on - much to the bewilderment of the others...

Our gaiety was brought to a halt when the company runner appeared, stating: "The OC wants to know what the hell is going on down there. Report to him at once."

...Just as I was moving off, I heard my partner...distinctly say "This stupid weapon is a hazard and I'll never carry it again." ... e=Sten_Gun


Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:36 am
by Reb

The most uncormfortable day of my military career (other than boot camp!) was during a raid into Mozambique. We captured thousands of guns including several truck loads of sten. My position was behind a fifty in the back of our mercedes 2.5 and I found myself standing upon a four to six foot heap of sten guns.

I knew the stories. Supposidly these had all been made safe but you never know. Wasn't fun. Damn guns look like squirt guns anyway.


Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:46 pm
by Matt B.

Just out of curiosity, whose armed forces were you fighting for when in Mozambique? Granted, if I missed something that was stated earlier on pertaining to this question, please forgive me! I assume it was for the US, but I don't know if we (the US' armed forces) ever saw any action there.

Matt B.

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:44 pm
by Reb


You can search on me or Sid and find our occasional blatherings about that.


Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:15 pm
by Matt B.


Sorry I imistakely assumed it was a US-covert operation of sorts. My apologies. :oops:

Come to think about it, I had a friend when I was young whose family left Zimbabwe in the late-70s, now I wonder if his family fled the fighting. This was a long time ago, but his last name was "Badrock." Any chance in H-ll that the name sounds familiar?

Cheers :beer:

Matt B.

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:37 am
by Reb
Sorry - don't recall anyone by that name.