Paris statues molten into shells


#1

In the book “Is Paris burning?” (Collins & LaPierre,1965), about WWII German occupation of Paris, on page 15, it says: “The Germans even changed the face of the city. Almost 2 hundred of its handsomest bronze statues had been torn down. They were shipped to Germany to be melted into shell castings.” May someone confirm this? Also, was the same done in other German-occupied cities?


#2

paris1900.lartnouveau.com/paris0 … _rues8.htm


#3

Vlad,
bronze was not all war booty as you will know as a native Russian. Everything from natural resources, cultural and industrial goods as well as of financial value (national bank treasures, etc.) was looked at and used in the sense of the regime. In some countries more, in others less strict, depending on political considerations.

Hans


#4

Yes, in the Netherlands a lot of church bells were taken out of the towers and shipped to Germany.


#5

Bronze would not have been turned into shell cases (wrong alloy) but could have been used for bearings etc.
In Britain early in WW2 the iron railings around lots of buildings were taken down to aid the war effort and housewives were asked to donate their aluminium pans to help build an aircraft.

War is very costly in terms of materials.


#6

I recently saw, on one of the History channels, discussion of the big “pots and pans” turn in (along with other items) in England and the United States. Turns out, it was more to get people involved with the war and to make them feel they were doing their part for it. Very, very little of the material was ever used, as most of it was unsuitable and the various processes to make it suitable were not worth the efforts and expense involved. The one thing that they did not answer in the study of it is what happened to all that stuff after the war!

Interesting stuff.

John Moss


#7

John

That is discouraging to hear. As Boy Scouts during WW II we would spend each Saturday going door to door collecting every bit a material imaginable. Pots, pans, paper, tin cans, rubber, rags, you name it, we collected it. The Scoutmaster would drive a pickup truck up and down the streets and we would fill the bed in short order. We always assumed it went to a center where it was turned into war materiel. Had we known that our efforts were for nothing we would have spent the day playing baseball instead.

I am somewhat critical of today’s youth who have no understanding or connection whatsoever with the useless and senseless wars now being fought by our young men and women in the Stans. But, maybe they know more than I do. I grow more cynical each day.

Ray


#8

Yes, in Britain I suppose the iron railings removed from buildings, parks, etc during WW2 went to make ships and tanks, and at least some of the aluminium would have gone to make Spitfires. Even some church bells were removed for scrap. But the total amounts would have been a small part of what was needed, and the greatest value would have been in making people think they were “doing their bit” towards the war effort.

But there was no great call for salvage of other materials, and I don’t remember any attempt to ask for brass or copper to be donated, which was a bit surprising. Although I suppose the Cornish and Welsh copper mines may have been revitalised, I don’t think we were by any means self-sufficient in that metal. Most of our copper ore must therefore have been imported by sea, which always makes me wonder why Britain didn’t make more effort to produce steel cartridge cases.

John E


#9

Reminds me that I have such a ‘turn in’ form over here.

It dates from February, 1916 and it shows that the owners of the material were paid a small compensation.


#10

[quote=“JJE”]Yes, in Britain I suppose the iron railings removed from buildings, parks, etc during WW2 went to make ships and tanks, and at least some of the aluminium would have gone to make Spitfires. Even some church bells were removed for scrap. But the total amounts would have been a small part of what was needed, and the greatest value would have been in making people think they were “doing their bit” towards the war effort.

But there was no great call for salvage of other materials, and I don’t remember any attempt to ask for brass or copper to be donated, which was a bit surprising. Although I suppose the Cornish and Welsh copper mines may have been revitalised, I don’t think we were by any means self-sufficient in that metal. Most of our copper ore must therefore have been imported by sea, which always makes me wonder why Britain didn’t make more effort to produce steel cartridge cases.

John E[/quote]
The problem with a manufacturing industry is that it runs at a certain speed and you simply cannot turn the wick up at short notice very easily. You can’t just go out and dig a couple more copper mines just like that.

Actually one of the largely unrecognised achievements in both wars was the way, on both sides of the Atlantic, industry rose to the challenge.

By and large, and I know this is a broad and sweeping generalisation, WW2 in Europe was won for the allies by US industry and its ability to churn out planes, tanks, vehicles, guns and ammo etc plus the ships to transport everything.