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Thread: Syrian Army use of WW2 German Armoured Vehicles post WW2

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    The 1948 war, was fought with WW2 surplus on both sides.

    Because of the "convoluted" politics at the time (and only the names have been changed to protect the guilty), it was a mash-up on the battlefields. The Israelis received quite a lot of ex-German equipment, from the Soviets, funneled through Czechoslovakiaicon, as it then was. Egypt, Jordan, etc were supplied mainly by the Brits.So, it was not unknown to witness Spitfires dueling with Bf109s (actually Czech-built "Avias"), but with the "Messerschmidt wearing the Star of David and the Spitfires re-badged for an Arab country. Israel managed to acquire a couple of "left-over" B-17 bombers and these "found their way" to the eastern Mediterranean.

    As for small arms, substantial quantities of weapons no longer needed by the Wehrmacht arrived, again, often via Czechoslovakia, but having been "collected" by the Red Army. Franceicon played a discreet role at this time as well.

    What was Stalin up to?

    Basically, he wanted to remove both Britishicon colonial "influence" AND the increasing US presence from the region. So, if the region could be destabilized by arming BOTH sides, then the place would be ripe for a political realignment. Don't forget that the Nazis put quite a bit of effort into cultivating Arab "nationalism" during WW2. The Mufti of Jerusalem was a regular visitor to Berlin. Hitler wanted access and "influence", the Mufti wanted the usual power and influence, so a deal was struck. Hitlers enthusiasm for killing Jews and his willingness to provide weapons and training were big features. Then, there was the Suez Canal.

    When all of that came unglued in 1945, The Mufti and his mates needed a new "patron / strong horse". Who better than Stalin and the Red Army?.

    Note that by the time of the death of Stalin (great movie, by the way) the wheels were well in motion. The '56 war was "round 2", by which time, several Arab sates were well down the road to being re-armed by the Soviets, but there was still a lot of the old Germanicon surplus on the books. However, the Soviets were moving beyond supplying "used guns" and into industrial-scale developments, particularly in Egypt.

    Also remember the other "events" of 1956:

    The Soviets were stirring things up in Aden and other places as part of their "de-colonization" programme. Meanwhile, the ruthlessly crushed a civil uprising in Hungaryicon, re-learning some hard lessons in urban warfare in the process. The Hungary "lesson" was the primary operation; Aden was the "diversion". It worked as intended. The parlous state of Brit intelligence services (primarily owned by the Soviets since the 1930s), did not help, either.
    Last edited by Bruce_in_Oz; 10-20-2020 at 09:11 PM.

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    Really Senior Member GeeRam's Avatar
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    The Israeli War of Independence was also the only time that Spitfires fought against Spitfires, as the IAF acquired 50 odd Spitfires from the same Czechicon source as their Avia S-199's, and the Egyptian's had Spitfires as well, as did of course the RAF in the area, and the IAF even shot down some unarmed RAF recce Spitfire's on the last day of the war, mistaking them for Egyptian AF Spitfires, ironically, one of the IAF pilots was a Canadianicon WW2 'ace' who had served with the RAF during the war.

    Prior to this Egyptian AF Spitfire's had strafed a RAF base, and RAF Spitfires took off and shot down 5 of the Egyptian AF Spitfire's, which I think maybe the last time RAF pilots flying RAF aircraft have scored air-to-air victories.
    Just the thing for putting round holes in square heads.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeeRam View Post
    ironically, one of the IAF pilots was a Canadianicon WW2 'ace'
    Buzz Beurling? George Beurling - Wikipedia
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    There was a documentary recently about Buzz Beurling, a few weeks ago, here in the UKicon. My understand from the documentary was that he hadn't actually made it to Israel because the aircraft that he was ferrying had crashed en-route, killing him. In other words he was traveling to Israel to join the Israeli airforce and also delivering an aircraft at the same time when there was an accident that killed him. Obviously the documentary may have been wrong or I may have misunderstood what was said in it but if he was killed before he got to Israel, he can't have flown for them in combat.

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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    Buerlings plane crashed and burned on take off from Rome IIRC. Some people felt it was not an accident, but who knows. The same was said about Gen. Sikorski and many others.

    I have an elderly friend who had a relation who was killed when the multi-engined a/c he was piloting crashed after take off from a UKicon base in WWII. By my friend's account, the crash was found to be caused by sabotage upon investigation, but I can't recall his description of exactly how it was done now except that it involved either a blockage or disconnection in the engine bays. When we meet again I must ask him about that, given his high intelligence and veracity, I don't question the account.

    As for the USSR supplying the nascent state of Israel, the Zionist movement was almost entirely socialist before independence, and Stalin no doubt hoped to encourage a drift to the left there, whereas in fact the realities of power probably had the opposite effect.
    Last edited by Surpmil; 10-22-2020 at 01:51 AM.
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

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    The Spit MkIX that lives down the road from me fought in this war and then made its way to become a playground toy in a kibbutz until it was rescued and restored.



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