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Old 10-31-2020, 03:29 PM   #1
Tessen
 
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Default WW2 Which job would be most dangerous?

Out on foot patrol in WW2 Which job is most dangerous?

For instance radio man or flamethrower guy? I mean who would want to volunteer to be flamethrower guy!
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Old 10-31-2020, 04:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: WW2 Which job would be most dangerous?

Flamethrower guy. They hit the tank and you go up in flames.
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Old 10-31-2020, 05:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: WW2 Which job would be most dangerous?

Radio men actually had it very bad. All sides had standing orders to take them out. Snipers looked for them, and air and artillery strikes would actually be directed onto radio men.

Flamethrower operators are often seen as having had a terribly dangerous job, but flamethrowers didn't explode that often when hit, and the fear and hate directed at them that supposedly got them killed in greater numbers isn't really something borne out by casualty figures.
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Old 10-31-2020, 05:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: WW2 Which job would be most dangerous?

I wouldn't choose between infantry but that is definitely the most because they remained in action for weeks at a time. Other jobs had similar casualty ratios but retired to fairly comfortable positions in between.

On second thought I would think a Japanese infantryman in the Solomon's or New Guinea. There was no food because it was at the bottom of the Ocean and the Americans, the Australians, the Natives, heck even the INSECTS were trying to kill you. And usually succeeding sooner or later.
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Old 10-31-2020, 06:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: WW2 Which job would be most dangerous?

I'd think it likely that flamethrower guy wouldn't be going out on a patrol with a flamethrower. Those things are big and bulky, perhaps even heavy.
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: WW2 Which job would be most dangerous?

Most dangerous job of WWII? Kamikaze pilot.

(I know; you said "on foot patrol.")
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: WW2 Which job would be most dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Flamethrower operators are often seen as having had a terribly dangerous job, but flamethrowers didn't explode that often when hit, and the fear and hate directed at them that supposedly got them killed in greater numbers isn't really something borne out by casualty figures.
The flamethrower guy's job did get more dangerous when he tried to get close enough to _use_ his weapon. :)

As noted flamthrower might not be a common loadout for patrol. It's best use was against pillboxes. On TV I learned about a Marine Medal of Honor I recipient from WWII who emptied 6 flamethrowers into 7 pillboxes leopard-crawling all the way up and back to get his next one.

As of a few years ago he was not only still alive but apparently ridiculously healthy. At least he could still carry a 70 lb flamthrower on his back and demonstrate its' proper use with relish.

I think the statistics put an automatic rifleman/LMG-carrier's job ahead of flamethrowers in terms of danger.
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Old 10-31-2020, 09:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: WW2 Which job would be most dangerous?

One job that I haven't seen mentioned is the cable layers, supposedly that was fairly risky.

Granted in some cases it was the unit that was the risky part.
Being part of a prisoner unit in the german or russian armies would be incredibly dangerous.
On the allied side, the Maori battalion suffered 70%+ casualties.

[Edit] Cable laying might not technically be part of an infantry foot patrol.
Also Spike Milligan's job for much of the war
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Old 10-31-2020, 10:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: WW2 Which job would be most dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
Flamethrower guy. They hit the tank and you go up in flames.
Not really so much as is usually portrayed. Flamethrower fuel doesn't ignite easily. For the most part, a hit to the flamethrower is going to cause either a slow leak or a burst of inert gas (the burst can itself be dangerous, mostly by knocking the operator off his feet, which might be really bad if he is throwing flame at that exact time).

What really makes it dangerous is that it is a short-ranged weapon with limited ammunition that very visibly advertises the user as a walking war crime. Because even if your best friend used a flamethrower yesterday, the guy who uses one on you is breaking the rules of civilized warfare.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: WW2 Which job would be most dangerous?

In terms of 'how much does the enemy want to shoot you', it's worse to be the radio man. In terms of 'how easy is it for the enemy to shoot you', it's worse to be the flamethrower man (as one can be used at long range from behind total cover, the other is a short range weapon that makes you incredibly visible and can't shoot out of a lot of cover).
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