How does WW2 era Physical Training compare to today?

Discussions on all aspects of the United States of America during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Carl Schwamberger.
Felix C
Member
Posts: 617
Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
Location: Miami, Fl

How does WW2 era Physical Training compare to today?

Postby Felix C » 20 May 2017 00:44

I understand the burpee was invented for use during WW2. I do them and find them beastly.

How advanced was PT back then?

I see caloric intake was well understood.
Last edited by Felix C on 20 May 2017 17:11, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Sheldrake
Member
Posts: 1397
Joined: 28 Apr 2013 17:14
Location: London

Re: How does WW2 era Physical Training compare to today?

Postby Sheldrake » 20 May 2017 09:04

Check them yourself
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/re ... M21-20.PDF
http://wartimecanada.ca/sites/default/f ... Tables.pdf
http://www.artofmanliness.com/2011/09/1 ... war-ii-gi/

and WW1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-RL5Wj4gug
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot9K-rS4A3M
WW1 PT involved much less lying on the floor - no sit ups etc. Probably because there may not always be facilities to wash clothes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbskETyWw9U

Canadian schools can try ww1 PHYSICAL TRAINING
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aR402gklok

You won't find many modern gyms offering bayonet exercises ....

Felix C
Member
Posts: 617
Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
Location: Miami, Fl

Re: How does WW2 era Physical Training compare to today?

Postby Felix C » 21 May 2017 00:10

Thanks. Have to admit all of the requirements in art of manliness are still doable at my half century mark age.
No bayonet training though which is a shame.

South
Financial supporter
Posts: 1859
Joined: 06 Sep 2007 09:01
Location: USA

Re: How does WW2 era Physical Training compare to today?

Postby South » 21 May 2017 07:19

Good morning Felix and Sheldrake,

I understand the question is re physical training. I believe it is pertinent to add the current environment to properly discuss PT.

From one of my veterans magazines, an article mentions: "Mission Readiness, a nongovernmental organization representing over 600 retired admirals, generals, and top military leaders, released a report in 2010 which noted that 27% of young adults are too overweight to fight in the military (this percentage balloons to over 50% when other health problems are included). ... "

As an aside I had bayonet training in the US Army. See FM 21-150, originally titled "Hand To Hand Combat" and then retitled "Combatives". Can only guess but it's probably now retitled to "Be Nice; Try To Understand...".

~ Bob
eastern Virginia

Felix C
Member
Posts: 617
Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
Location: Miami, Fl

Re: How does WW2 era Physical Training compare to today?

Postby Felix C » 21 May 2017 17:32

Hahaha about the lack of fitness. Good Morning to you as well. Just returned from our morning weekend boot camp in the park and we did the entire GI course. It was fun. Plus a quantity of uphill-downhill 100-150lb farmer's walks which simulates carrying ammo cans in each hand. Plus other stuff we normally do that was not fun. We are all late 30s to 53.-me.

Then we have been at it for three years so everyone is conditioned.

I did read in Band of Brothers and others related to the airborne training at Toccoa where the standards where much higher than for infantry. There was a serious hill run in their training and apparently everything was done on the double as they say. That would be too much for me.

Winters of BOB fame did mention he credits the impressive PT for part of their success later on the battlefield. Heightened physical Stamina I presume is what he meant.

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 6170
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: How does WW2 era Physical Training compare to today?

Postby Carl Schwamberger » 22 May 2017 03:09

South wrote:...
From one of my veterans magazines, an article mentions: "Mission Readiness, a nongovernmental organization representing over 600 retired admirals, generals, and top military leaders, released a report in 2010 which noted that 27% of young adults are too overweight to fight in the military (this percentage balloons to over 50% when other health problems are included). ... "

...


In 1917 & 1940-41 large numbers on men undergoing induction physicals were found unfit. Underweight, too many missing teeth, poor eyesight, collapsed feet, ... poor nutrition during the Depression years affected the health of millions of young men. My father suffered from residual effects of Ricketts, he managed to conceal it well enough to gain a ROTC scholarship in 1938.

After the early years the leadership & training cadre was established and standards were reduced to allow filling out the lower ranks & cannon fodder with lower category men.

When I went through USMC recruit training in 1974 the 'Fat Platoon' was a fixture of the recruit depot. A portion of every new training platoon formed diverted to the fat farm for remedial preparation before continuing with training. There was also a "Alphabets Platoon" where semi literates slipped in by the recruiters were given a crash course in reading and elementary math.

South
Financial supporter
Posts: 1859
Joined: 06 Sep 2007 09:01
Location: USA

Re: How does WW2 era Physical Training compare to today?

Postby South » 22 May 2017 10:54

Good morning Carl,

True, however, ...

WWI and WWII had conscription, the draft.

Today, the potential military labor pool is comprised of volunteers.

Thus, ... and I realize I'm partly steering the thread off topic ... the large numbers of Defense Department contractors.

~ Bob
eastern Virginia

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 6170
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: How does WW2 era Physical Training compare to today?

Postby Carl Schwamberger » 22 May 2017 17:24

South wrote:Good morning Carl,

True, however, ...

WWI and WWII had conscription, the draft.

Today, the potential military labor pool is comprised of volunteers.

Thus, ... and I realize I'm partly steering the thread off topic ... the large numbers of Defense Department contractors.

~ Bob
eastern Virginia


The underlying point there is standards adjust to needs. The present US military has both the need and luxury of only accepting the highest category recruits. It was much the same during the initial mobilization of 1940-41. Most of the intake at the time were where the future cadre, the company grade officers and NCOs and highest skill technicians were to be drawn from. The same logic was behind the large scale purge of the newly mobilized National Guard, Reservists, and even Regular Army 1941-42.

Back in the 1970s there was a need for top category recruits, but those were difficult to obtain through the mid 1970s. So the luxury of briefer training was not there.

South
Financial supporter
Posts: 1859
Joined: 06 Sep 2007 09:01
Location: USA

Re: How does WW2 era Physical Training compare to today?

Postby South » 22 May 2017 18:29

Good afternoon Carl,

Well received.

I understand.......conceding I'm not knowledgeable about current US military needs.

Much contractor skilled military labor obtained from Virginal locales.

~Bob
eastern Virginia


Return to “USA 1919-1945”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot]