The World War 2 Obscure Trivia Thread


The Sentinel was a tank produced in small numbers in Australia. In common with the Wirraway fighter, it was built as a result of concern from the Australian government that the country could be cut off from both the UK and the USA and would be left to fend for itself against the Japanese.

Australia was basically trying to build an armaments industry from scratch with a very weak industrial base and one of the many issues was the lack of an adequate powerplant for the tank. The solution that was adopted was to link 3 110hp Cadillac engines together, although this was less than ideal.

The tank was further developed into the Thunderbolt and was starting to show some signs of progress but the availability of swarms of M3 and M4 medium tanks from the USA pretty much killed off the entire project. The Australian armored division for which these were destined was also never sent to war. With the focus of the Australian war effort shifting from the Middle East to the Pacific, the men were used as infantry replacements for the fighting in Indonesia.


Which two aircraft, considered second-rate in the country that built them, were individually well loved by pilots from two nations that fought each other?


In no particular order…


IIRC the Soviets were pretty fond of the P-39.

I don’t know that the Corsair was ever thought of as second rate, but the Royal Navy showed them some love at a time when the USN wasn’t interested.

The Hurricane was generally well liked, as was the P-40 even though neither were exactly cutting edge.


The P-36 and the P-39.

The Finns used the P-36 against the Soviets during the Continuation War. They were acquired from Germany who transferred them from the Vichy French military. The P-36 was already under powered before the war even began, but the Finns were able to make good use of them and even called them “sussu”, which is Finnish for Sweetheart.

On the other side is the P-39. The Airacobra was meant to be a bomber interceptor, but constant difficulties with the turbocharger for the Allison V-1710 engine relegated it to low-level duties and training units. The saw service with the USAAF in the Pacific, but were widely adopted by the Soviet Air Force under the Lend-Lease program and were very well liked by them.


This may be one for the myths and misconceptions thread, but what the hell.

In 1942, the US army landed in North Africa as part of operation Torch. They fought their way to Tunisia, taking a beating at the Kasserine pass on the way, before helping to defeat the Axis forces in North Africa. They then invaded Sicily and moved on to Italy, which they helped to knock out of the war. After the Italian surrender, they continued to advance up through Italy, chasing the remains of the German army before them.

In all of that fighting, how many Sherman tank crewmen were killed?


I’ll give you 3/4 credit for getting both countries and one bird (but I won’t say which one).



Wasn’t the Grant/Lee the main US tank in N. Africa, and the Brits had Matilda. Italy didn’t have serious opposition for the Sherman, so, like against Japan, they fought pretty safe.


Nope. The Grant/Lee was an interim tank only and didn’t really see much service with the US Army. AFAIK, they had Shermans when they landed in North Africa.

According to this, over 1,000 Shermans were lost in Sicily and Italy.


It’s not the I-16 is it?


Which is a separate statistic to the number of tank crewmen killed. :wink:

I’ve got a very rough idea, but only because of a recently posted video of a discussion between an Austrian and an Irishman.


The VVS liked the plane, so no. Payneja got really close.


I was wondering if anybody else saw that.

For those who can’t be bothered to watch the video, the statistic is 80 Sherman crew killed in action in the North African/Italian theater throughout the war from Torch to VE day. One American armored division, the 1st fought all the way through in that theater and another, 2nd Armored, or Hell on Wheels fought for part of the campaign although they were transfered to NW Europe for D-Day.

I’ll post a link to the actual figures later if anybody’s interested, but the death rate for crew of the Tommy Cooker, Ronson, death trap Sherman in US service was about 3% throughout the war versus about 18% for infantry.


Fokker D.XXI? Either that or the Blenheim.


Gloucester Gladiator?


Graceful old bird, but no.

And nope for the D.XXI and Blenheim, though you’re barking up the right tree. The ship in question was a “pearl.” A real gentleman’s traveling machine.


Ok, the other aircraft must be the P-40, then. The Soviets used them in the Continuation War with a few being captured by the Finns.

On a separate note, the Finns also had some Brewster F2A Buffalos that they used to great effect but were constantly short on spares during the entire war.


DeHavilland Tiger Moth?


Buffalo it is. The Finns loved them, while they were seen as second rate in the US.

To recap, the Soviets liked the P-39, and the Finns liked the F2A, though neither were highly thought of in the US. Obviously other planes were used that were less than favored in their home country, but these two came from the same nation and were used by enemies.

How 'bout another: By the end of the war, which air force was equipped with planes from France, Germany, and the United States?


I think Finland would meet those criteria again, wouldn’t it?


One of a few nations. Switzerland was another.