wwii: soviet

Cutaway of the ISU-152 heavy assault gun.

Designed to bring the firepower of the ML-20 152mm gun/howitzer to bear in a vehicle form, ISU’s were designed to break down tough German fortifications, and when necessary,  knock out Germany heavy tanks.

Since ISU-152′s were multi-role vehicles, they served the purpose of an assault gun, tank destroyer, direct or indirect fire howitzer. Out of all these roles, indirect fire was the least likely to be used, since it’s direct fire capability was much better.

5

Experimental heavy tank T-100 (USSR)

Performance characteristics:
Release year 1939
The crew of 8
Weight, t 58
Dimensions:
length, m
width, m
height, m
8,495
3,4
3,43
Clearance, m 0,525
Width of Shoe, m 0,7
The armor protection, mm the forehead of the body 60 mm
The Board body 60 mm
Feed 60 mm
The roof is 20 mm
The bottom 20-30 mm
Armament 76.2 mm gun (L-10) L-11
45-mm gun mod. 1934-38.
3 x 7.62 mm DT machine guns.
Ammunition 200 rounds
393 shots
4284 cartridges
Engine “GAM-34-BT”
12-cylinder, 850 HP
Fuel tank capacity, l 1160
Average specific
ground pressure, kg/cm2 0,68
Cruising range, km on the highway - 160
on the ground - 120
Max. speed km/h 35,7

2

The American Paratrooper Who Served in the Red Army During World War II.

When the United States entered World War II in 1941, Joseph R. Beyrle enlisted in the US Army and volunteered for the elite paratrooper service.  After completing paratrooper training and training as a demonlitions expert, he was assigned to the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles) with the rank of sergeant. Little did he know where the winds of destiny would blow him. 

His first two missions were secret clandestine operations in which he covertly parachuted into German occupied France wearing bandoliers filled with gold, which he delivered to the French Resistance. On June 6th, 1944 Beyrle participated in the legendary D-Day drop during the Normandy Invasions. When his plane came under heavy fire he was forced to jump early and only 120 meters above the ground. Despite being separated from his unit, Sgt. Beyrle continued his mission, performing acts of sabotage behind enemy lines which resulted in the destruction of two bridges and a power station.  Unfortunatley a few days later he was captured by the Germans when he accidentally stumbled upon a German machine gun nest.  For the next 7 months he was held as a prisoner of war, where he became notorious as an escape artist, making several attempts, two of which were seccessful.  After each attempt, the Germans tortured, starved, and beat him, then transfered him to a different camp.  During his time in German captivity he was shuffled between seven different camps.  After his 7th escape attempt, which was successful except that he accidentally boarded a train for Berlin, the Germans sent him to a camp deep within Poland, with the idea that it’s distance from the Western Front would discourage him from further escape attempts.  Promptly after arriving at the camp in January of 1945, he successfully escaped and made his way to Soviet lines.

After his escape, he came upon the 1st Battalian of the 1st Tank Guards, where he met the famous lady tank commander Captain Aleksandra Samusenko, introducing her with the greeting, “Americansky tovarishch” (American comrade), while handing over a pack of Lucky Strikes. 

Wanting to get back into the war, Bayrle convinced Samusenko to allow him to join the Battalion. Samusenko agreed, and he was appointed a tank machine gunner.  For the next month he would serve with the Red Army, even taking part in the liberation of the POW camp from which he had escaped.  In February of 1945, he was seriously wounded after an attack by a Stuka dive bomber, and was evacuated to a Soviet hospital. During his recuperation, he met none other than the Soviet supreme military commander, Field Marshal Georgy Zhukov. 

 When Bayrle arrived at the US Embassy in Moscow, he learned that he was officially listed as dead, and that his family back home in Muskegon, Michigan had celebrated his funeral.  As it turns out, when he was captured during the Normandy Invasion, his uniforn and dogtags were taken and used by a German infiltration unit.  The German soldier wearing the uniform was unexpectidly killed in September, the corpse being recovered by the Allies and mistakenly identifed as Bayrle’s and buried in France.  Bayrle returned home in April of 1945, married in 1946 (coincidentally in the same church that held his funeral) and lived a happy life raising three children. In 1994 during the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, he was awarded with medals by both US President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin at the White House. He was also personally awarded a specially made presentation AK-47 dedicated to him by Mikhail Kalashnikov.  Joseph “Jumpin’ Joe” Beyrle passed away in 2004 while visiting the paratrooper training grounds in Toccoa, Georgia. He was buried with honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

2

White Coke for Marshal Zhukov,

At the end of World War II, Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower met with supreme Soviet commander Marshal Georgy Zhukov, and toasted the destruction of the Nazi Third Reich with a glass of Coca Cola. Immediately Zhukov was smitten by the sugary, fizzy American cola beverage, and wanted more.  However there was a problem.  Coca Cola was banned in the Soviet Union, being seen as a symbol of American capitalist imperialism. It certainly wouldn’t do to have the Soviet Union’s highest ranking military officer and most decorated soldier being caught drinking the carbonated milk of the evil capitalist pig-dog.

Zhukov turned to Gen. Mark Clark, commander of the US sector of Allied occupied Austria, if there was some way cases of Coca Cola could be shipped to him in more discreet packaging.  Gen. Clark passed the request on the President Harry Truman, who in turn passed it on to James Farley, Chairman of the Board of Coca Cola Export Operations.  Farley found a chemist who was successfully able to remove the color from Coca Cola while preserving its taste.  The new “White Coke” was then bottled in straight clear bottles which resembled vodka bottles, the cap featuring a red star.  The first shipment of “white coke” for Marshal Zhukov was a case of 50.  It is unknown how much white coke was produced for Zhukov, as the production and distribution of it was a company secret.

The End of Poland (no sound)

October 1939, Soviet and German troops meet at the center of Poland after its defeat, as part of the agreements of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, in which it was stated that the soviets would occupy Eastern Poland, while the Germans kept the west, the Vistula river becoming the new border between the two nations.

The flyers the germans are handing over read: “The German Army salutes the Red Army of workers and farmers, which has always held in the highest respect.” 

El Final de Polonia (sin audio)

Octubre de 1939, tropas Soviéticas y Alemanas se encuentran en el centro de Polonia luego de su derrota, como parte de los acuerdos del Pacto Ribbentrop-Mólotov, donde se estableció que los Soviéticos ocuparían Polonia oriental, mientras que los alemanes se quedarían con occidente, el río Vistula convirtiéndose en la nueva frontera entre ambas naciones.  

Los panfletos que los Alemanes reparten dicen: “El Ejercito Alemán saluda al Ejercito Rojo de trabajadores y granjeros, el cual siempre ha tenido en el mayor de los respetos”.