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Old October 21, 2023, 05:09 PM   #576
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Don't shoot tires with BB guns. The BBS will bounce right back at you with considerable speed. I am lucky I didn't put my eye out as a kid and it just hit me in the belly.
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Old November 19, 2023, 11:48 AM   #577
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Scattering of German troops in WW II.

During the iniitial invasion of Russia (Soviet Union), some motorized German troops scattered in panic.

Quote:
Suddenly there were screams, people running around, and buzzing noises all around us. We looked around surprised, and then ran as if possessed by the devil, wildly flailing about with our arms. The whole company was trying to escape from a swarm of bees. Some really greedy boys had knocked over the beehives to get at the honey and the bees were getting their revenge for the robbery. When the bees had finally calmed down and quiet reigned once more, the culprits had to suffer at the hand of their badly treated comrades.
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Old December 9, 2023, 09:19 PM   #578
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Control files

Dr. D. Janda (ret.) served under Surgeon General Koop and was warned never to attend a party at #41's house. He was advised that something would be done to drug him and he would be placed into bed with men/women/boys/girls and those photos would be placed into a control file (blackmail). This happens to almost all politicians in DC. Now that you know what a control file is, here's the relevance to this incident.

Back after Germany fell in 1945, a popular lieutenant got drunk and accidentally shot himself in the foot. Remember, guns and alcohol don't mix. Anyway, he was afraid he might not be able to return to the states with the unit so with the captain's consent, he was squirreled away at a local home. The doctor came from battalion to dress his wound daily until it healed.

Quote:
"While Lt. Baxer was bed ridden, we decided to play a little joke on him.

We rounded up a woman mannequin and one evening while he was asleep in his bed and pretty well wined up, we slipped the mannequin into his bed. One of the guys took pictures with him and the mannequin in different positions.

Some days later when Lt. Baxter was sober and the pictures had been developed, we showed it to him. Well, he became unglued as we laughed and heckled him mercillessly. He hopped around the room, chasing and cursing us, trying to destroy the pictures.

We finally gave him all of the photos with the negatives but not before we had our full measure of fun. Finally he laughed along with us saying, "You conniving SOBs."
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Old January 14, 2024, 03:58 PM   #579
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Pre WW II German gun confiscation

On July, 1944 PFC Frank Harold was captured in Normandy. He survived several USAAC strafing runs on the RR.

"On Nov. 5, 1944, PFC Frank, who by now was healed from the wound and able to work, asked Karl (German supervisor of PoWs), "Many Germans are good, hard-working people. How did the German people allow Hitler into power?"

"Hitler did it through intimidation and bypassing the Reichstag [German Congress]," Karl replied. Then he told Frank that "Unarmed German SS came and had us register all firearms. They said they didn't want the weapons but just wanted to make sure who had them. Then several months afterwards, a German Army halftrack came, and armed SS soldiers ordered me to give up the guns listed."

"I don't have guns anymore," Karl had said.

But the SS officer told Karl, "You have ten minutes to hand over the guns, or we will kill your wife and kids."

"They got the guns," Karl stated, while adding, "then we could do nothing."

From Mark Hager's The Last of the 357th Infantry: Harold Frank's WW II Story of Faith and Courage, page 171.
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Old January 15, 2024, 12:26 PM   #580
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I like Ike.

Just read a story about a fomer PoW and Ike. Liberated, the former PoW was in a chow line at Camp Lucky Strike (repatriation camp for former PoWs and GIs who had enough points to return home) and was given a small amount of pudding. He asked for more and the server/soldier said, "I'm in charge of the pudding. You'll eat what I give you." Someone from behind the GI/former PoW said, "You give the man what he asked." The cook/server said, "No!" and then he looked up and saw SHAEF Commander General Eisenhower standing behind the former PoW. Shocked the cook/server had a sudden change of heart. "Yes, sir, boss! Yes, sir, boss!" Ike afterwards announced that they would be allowed one phone call home.

See p. 208 of The Last of the 357th Infantry.
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Old January 15, 2024, 02:26 PM   #581
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1st US Sharpshooters

I worked 3 years at Gettysburg, working for every division in the Park except the one I desired to make a career. One of my favorite areas was Pitzers Woods, where the US Sharpshooters got in a hot scrape against Alabama troops.

On that second day of the battle, one hundred sharpshooters fired on average 95 rounds per man. They were supported by some infantry outfits or vice-a-versa. Another interesting fact is that over the course of the three days, the 1st US SS, with 450 rifles, fired 14,400 rds, according to Berdan.
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Old January 16, 2024, 12:16 PM   #582
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Piss on it!

During the blackpowder era, when a musket fouled from blackpowder residue, some soldiers urinated down the barrel to rinse out the fouling. Here's a WW II equivalent.

One new replacement "saw movement and attempted to shoot, but the M1 misfired. The sergeant leading the patrol grabbed the rifle, which was dirty, and told the private to clean it immediatly. He told him not to waste water, but to piss the dirt off, which the soldier did."

Water was scarce in combat and urine was not. I'm certain the sergeant after the patrol had the soldier dissassemble the rifle for thorough cleaning. Survival depended on clean firearms.

See 150-1.
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Old January 16, 2024, 12:31 PM   #583
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M1 doesn't do well in sandy / muddy environment. Too many places for the dirt to get into the action to jam it up. Flush with water or pee works.

Same problem with AK. AR actually does better with tighter fit (surprising).

-TL

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
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Old January 26, 2024, 04:28 PM   #584
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Pesky Patton.

New York, July 15, 1943 (UP)

In Sicily, Messerschmitts circled a nearby hill, but Technical Sergeant Richard Redding, stringing a wire atop a telegraph pole and a perfect target, worked on. Someone yelled up from below, "What are you doing up that pole?"
"Working," said Redding, too engrossed to look down.
"How long have you been there!"
"About 20 minutes."
"Don't the planes bother you?"
"Hell, no - but you do!"
At the foot of the pole was, Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr., who had been doing the yelling, kept his peace.

BTW, the movie Patton had a recreation of his speech to the GIs in England. Patton's version of that story was part of the speech. He praised the sergeant for his steadfastness in danger and dedication to the job.
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Old February 11, 2024, 02:10 PM   #585
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Firearm safety

Make sure your bore is clear of any obstruction.

Quote:
"Another fishing story: One of our soldiers had a British rifle, Short Magazine Lee Enfield, a distinctive weapon with a cutoff look where the bayonet stud sticks out beyond the end of the barrel. The water was so clear along the river that he decided he was going to shoot some fish. He concealed hmself on the bank, and when a big fish roamed around in the water just below him, he carefully took aim at the fish and pulled the trigger. Unbeknownst to him,he had stuck the barrel into the water, so his gun just blew up. It bloodied his nose, and his ears were ringing to beat the band. When he pulled his rifle back out of the water, six inches from the end of the barrel had just opened up like a flower."
Arms were in short supply so the barrel ws sawed off and filed down. Muzzle blast was horrible b/c it was only 18" long from the original 24" length. They had to readjust the sight.

However he was of mind to bring the fish back.
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Old March 7, 2024, 12:15 PM   #586
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"The 307th Airborne Medical Company had just cleared a casualty station out of a former monastery in a southern suburb of Nimijen. The paratroopers called it 'the Baby Factory' because SS soldiers were thought to have mated there with racially selected young women. Locals joked that this Strength Through Joy centre should be called the 'Lustwaffe.'

(Note: the monastery never served that purpose since work didn't finish until late 1943).

From Beevor's The Battle of Arnhem.
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Old March 9, 2024, 09:33 PM   #587
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March 3, 1944:
P38 Lightnings were seen flying over Berlin for the first time in WW2, but there were no bombers as the heavies had turned back.

March 4, 1944:
P51 Mustangs from the Fourth Fighter Group, 8th Air Force, based at Debden England became the first single-engine fighters in the skies over Berlin.

Those P51s were from my Dad's group. The "Debden Eagles" -- so-called because they started life as the Eagle Squadrons flying RAF Spitfires with U.S. pilots and U.S. ground crews, but with RAF officers on an RAF base -- were credited as being the first fighter group to achieve an all-the-way to & back bomber escort of B17 heavies to Berlin.

That was the day that Hermann Goering looked up and saw the fighter escorts still with the bombers and knew "the jig was up".

My dad was Flight Chief for A Flight of 335 Fighter Squadron, and he and his ground crews put up all 16 planes, as did 334 and 336 Fighter Squadrons. The Fourth put 48 Mustangs in all into the air that fateful day. While my dad said he and his crews "did the easy part" compared to the pilots, he was always very proud of participating in that event.

~ Let We Forget ~

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Old March 16, 2024, 02:59 PM   #588
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Monty and the lads in Sicily.

@Old No 7. You might want to read Philip Caine's American Pilots in the RAF and his sequel, Spitfires, Thunderbolts and War Beer. Only a handful of American pilots declined entering the Air Corps. The American Sergeant-Pilots received officers' commission which meant substantially more pay than the RAF.

Monty and the lads.

The only other occassion that I had any contact with our Commander-in-Chief was one day when we happened to be lounging around chatting outside our billet. There were three of us just sitting, talking, kicking the sand about with our feet, when one of the lads spotted a car coming over the little bridge that was opposite our billet. He realised straight way that it was Montgomery, who then pulled up and call us over. We immediately thought that we were going to get a dressing down for lounging about. As it happened we were worrying needlessly because when we got to the car, he simply asked us how we were fixed for cigarettes.

When he heard that we didn't have any he said, "Well it just so happens that I have a girlfriend in England and she sends me quite a lot, so I'm sure I can spare a few." With that he rummaged in the back of his veicle and produced some packets; he passed over about 150 in total and said, "No doubt I'll see you again", and drove off.

On our return to the billet, we told the rest of the men that Montgomery had given us some cigarettes, but they didn't believe us and just laughed. However, they eventually realised that Montgomery was probably the only person they could have come from. From then on, the men would take turns to sit outside, hoping that lightning would strike twice, but it never did.

I especially can't see either Patton or MacArthur doing that.
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Old March 23, 2024, 06:04 PM   #589
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"...Durnford-Slater went down the road, back toward the Orne. On the way, Durnford-Slater saw a huge German soldier standing by a ditch.

'Shoot him if he moves an inch!' Durnford-Slater shouted to Head. The German's hands flew up.

'Kaput,' the German said with a grin on his face. He was supposted to be acting as a sniper but he was delighted to be taken prisoner.

Durnford-Slater had his batman hold a pistol on the prisoner while conducting an interrogation. The prisoner was wearing a fine lumber jacket.

'You ought to have that,' Head said to Durnford-Slater. Head told the batman to strip the jacket from the German. The batman unthinkingly handed his pistol to the prisoner. Durnford-Slater recaalled, 'The situation was ludicrous: a German prisoner with a loaded revolver, faced by an unarmed British brigadier, a major, and a private soldier. Fortunately this particular prisoner had no guts at all. He surrendered his jacket. Then he handed back the gun."
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Old April 3, 2024, 10:57 AM   #590
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A motorcycle with sidecar driver sabotages a planned night exercise:
Quote:
"I arrived punctually.

'We are going to drive a route now,' said Fitzmann, 'because I intend to carry out a night exercise with the company tonight.'

It was a rainy day and not very suitable for an exercise, I thought to myself. We drove for a distance in the rain. As we were about to drive up a slope, I silently thought, I will screw up your night exercise. Halfway up I let the clutch slip a bit, so that it appeared as if we weren't moving forward. 'Obersturmfuhrer, you have to push!'

He climbed out of the sidecar, positioned himself behind the rear wheel and prepared to push. At that moment I let the clutch out, the rear wheel began to turn and mud sprayed his coat and face. He cursed and I - letting the clutch slip again - said to him, 'Obersturmfurher, you must push harder, otherwise we won't get anywhere.'

'Stop!' he sputtered, 'bacck to Breuna!'

I laughed to myself. When we got to Bruena, I asked him, 'Obersturmfuhrer, what about your night exercise now?'

His reply: 'Damn you, leave me in peace!'

And that's how I saved the company from a night exercise and allowed them to sleep in peace."
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Old April 11, 2024, 01:51 PM   #591
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Advice from a sergeant to German school boys who were drafted into auxiliary service as AA gunners:

"One day next week after school, you will report to the military hosptial in Lesum for your first vaccination, typhoid, I think. There will be five more: dyptheria, cholera, tetanus, dysentery, and yellow fever, you can't say the Army is not looking after you. A word of advice: try to get at the beginning of the line, those butchers have only two needles for 100 men and after fifty the are getting pretty blunt!" In the event, it turned out the needles lasted through perhaps twenty chests (not arms, they might stiffen up), after that it was pretty gruesome. The SM (sergeant major) was probably trying to be kind.
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Old May 14, 2024, 09:05 PM   #592
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Before the portable radio & cell phone

”It was important that the Brigade Commander should receive early information of the progress of his forward troops since this would affect the movement of reserves in the rear. The problem then arose how to ensure the early arrival of the required information, and intense interest was aroused at Brigade H.Q. when it was disclosed that a pigeon would be used to convey the news. In due course the bird arrived and was kept for some days in a special pigeon loft. When the day of the attack arrived the pigeon was given to a soldier to carry. He was to go with the leading sub-units and was told that at a certain moment an officer would write a message to be fastened to the pigeon’s leg; he would then be release the pigeon which would fly back to its loft at Brigade H.Q. The attack was launched and the Brigade Commander waited anxiously for the arrival of the pigeon. Time was slipping by and no pigeon arrived; the Brigadier walked feverishly about outside his H.Q. dugout. The soldiers anxiously searched the skies; but there was no sign of any pigeon.

“At last the cry went up: “The pigeon,” and sure enough back it came alighted safely in the loft.

Soldiers rushed to get the news and the Brigade Commander roared out: “Give me the message.”

It was handed to him, and this is what it read:

I am absolutely fed up with carrying this bloody bird about France.

Imagine the American Civil War if one side had cell phones?
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Old Today, 03:06 PM   #593
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If you've read Edward Blount's books, you'd know that in WW II the GI's love souveniers.

Quote:
"We enjoyed some leisure time, time enough to look through some of the builidngs to see if we could find anything of value, but small enough to carry in our pockets.

"While Fansler and I were looking through a chest of drawers, I saw a metallic object that I thought might be of value. I reached across in front of Fansler and 'click' - I though we had booth been booby-trapped for sure. My luck held and I came out with only a mouse trap hanging on my finger."
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