Most individuals will be able to give you the key dates and historical details of the Second World War. But did you know that throughout Europe, Britain really practised the least amount of rationing? Or that Germany treated their flying “aces” in a special way? James Holland, a historian, discloses some little-known facts regarding the battle in this article.
In 1940, France possessed more soldiers, artillery, and tanks than Germany.
It is widely believed that the Germans won the Second World War by stomping their way to victory with an army and air force that were more advanced and mechanised than anything the Allies could muster in May 1940. World War II was completely different in actuality.
Only 16 of the 135 German divisions were mechanised, or outfitted with motorised transportation, on May 10, 1940, when the Germans launched their offensive. The remainder required a horse-drawn cart or human power. There were 117 divisions in France alone.
Germany only possessed 7,378 artillery pieces, whereas France had 10,700. The disparity didn’t end there; the French possessed 3,254 tanks to the Germans’ 2,439, the majority of which were larger, better equipped, and more heavily armoured than the German panzers.
It surprises me how high the UK prioritises manpower.
Before the war started, Britain made the decision to concentrate its combat capacity on air and naval power; it wasn’t until France fell that British powers realised the Army would also need to expand significantly.The Ministry of Aircraft Production, rather than the navy, RAF, army, or even the merchant fleet, received first priority for personnel in the UK up until the spring of 1944. A remarkable feat, especially in light of the fact that Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain never had more than 750 fighters, is the fact that Britain alone produced 132,500 aircraft during the war.
Only 1% of Allied commercial ships were lost.
In the North Atlantic, Arctic, and Home Waters, Allied shipping losses during the Second World War were only 1.48 percent. There were 323,090 distinct sailings in all, of which 4,786 were sunk. 2,562 of them were British, although on any one day, there were often 2,000 British ships cruising somewhere in the world.
Convoys were generally rather safe, despite the fact that some suffered greatly. The worst-affected vehicles were independent sailings and stragglers from convoys, although speedier independent sailings were required to reduce the convoy system’s disadvantages of long unloading times and traffic jams.
Japan possessed Kamikaze rockets.
In all of Europe, Britain had the fewest rations.
The war’s most seasoned field commander was Field Marshal Alexander.
By the end of the war, Field Marshal Alexander was well-known to every Briton in the nation, but his popularity has since declined. He had a remarkable career and was the only officer in the conflict to command front-line soldiers at every level.He commanded the Nowshera Brigade in the Northwest Frontier in the 1930s, the First Division in France in 1940, and British forces in Burma in 1942 after rising to the rank of acting Brigadier during World War One. Before assuming the position of Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean, he oversaw the Middle East Forces and two army units.In the British Army, he was especially exceptional because, during the war with Russia in 1919–1920, he oversaw German forces in Latvia.