Deadliest winters of WW2

Discussion in 'Latest News' started by sambh, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. sambh

    sambh New Member

    Hi there, I'm doing some research for a documentary.

    I'm looking for stories of how equipment failed in the cold, supplies couldn't make it to the front line and how the cold winters were some of the deadliest times of WW2. I believe 1942-1942 was one of the worst winters, with both the German's and Russian's lose of life running into the hundreds of thousands.

    Does anyone have any info, stories or any other winter battles of particular magnitude or interest?

    Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you!
  2. Peter T Davis

    Peter T Davis Administrator Moderator

    The most interesting story I've heard about the effect of winter on supply lines on the eastern front in WW2, is probably the opposite of what you're looking for in fact, but noteworthy nonetheless. During the Siege of Leningrad, winter of 1941-42, the Russians were able to get some supplies into the city over frozen Lake Ladoga. It's a huge lake, and the Germans were able to intercept a high percentage of what the Russians tried to send, but being such a vast area to patrol some did get through. These were the original Ice Road Truckers.
  3. zuukko

    zuukko New Member

    I've heard stories how Finnish snipers would freeze their lungs purposely so that when they took a shot they wouldn't be noticed as easily, i don't know if it's true or just made up but it is interesting nevertheless.
  4. Peter T Davis

    Peter T Davis Administrator Moderator

    How would freezing lungs help them from being discovered?
  5. jayjacinto

    jayjacinto New Member

    This is quite interesting, but I'm just wondering, granting freezing ones lungs on purpose is possible, how does it help avoid being noticed? If they are trying to be unnoticeable to the enemy infantry, aren't they positioned far enough to be invisible?
  6. zuukko

    zuukko New Member

    Haha, sorry i've misremembered the whole thing, they would freeze the snow under their chest so that when they fired their weapons the snow wouldn't give their positions away that easily.

    Just read more on the subject and apparently Finnish snipers would also pack their mouths full of snow so their breath wouldn't be noticed by the enemy, this is probably where i got the idea of freezing lungs. :p
  7. jayjacinto

    jayjacinto New Member

    Some of Hitler's plans during WWII were actually miscarried because he basically forgot about the upcoming winter due to his confidence. A quartermaster general actually reported that they are running out of resources AND personnel due to the bad weather. Hitler's eastern army suffered about 700,000 casualties because of that.
  8. Vladimir

    Vladimir Siberian Tiger

    How can they pack their mouth with snow? After a few minutes the teeth will get permanently damaged, and there is a good chance of hypothermia and other serious conditions.
    vashstampede likes this.
  9. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    I second that. First "freeze lungs", then "mouth full of snow"... @ zuukko, please get your facts straight before making any more posts.
    Vladimir likes this.
  10. 2times

    2times New Member

    Winter of 1939/1940 during the Phoney War was rather harsh.

    The worst weather has to be somewhere in Russia or Finland though, surely.
  11. Jordan H

    Jordan H New Member

    I was pretty confident that Hitler advanced up the North Eastern front and attacked Russia because Hitler thought that Russia would become a beacon of hope towards the rest of Europe. Then Russia would join in attack Germany once they figured out all of the horrible things that Hitler and his army were doing. So he attacked Russia out of fear, not out of confidence. It's funny how he was trying to avoid a two-front war, and ended up in one anyways.
  12. 2times

    2times New Member

    I agree with you saying that Hitler had attacked Russia out of more towards fear, and not confidence. I feel as if he was thinking that if he did not destroy Russia's military defenses and government soon, then they would eventually make the first move and conquer Germany.
  13. foodietr

    foodietr New Member

    In the war in Tibet, I have heard tales where the cannons would freeze by the time it was fired. Also firing the tanks in the chilling winters was very difficult as the explosive would probably die down before the tanks were fired.
  14. Spowys

    Spowys Member

    Do you think that excessive heat would be preferable to that. It always seems like cold is awful to trudge through and it makes things more difficult, but isn't that better than it being so hot that everyone is dehydrated or dying of heat stroke? I imagine that has a large effect on machinery as well.

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