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Old July 17, 2019, 07:05 PM   #476
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From Ray Lambert's Every Man A Hero

"Our roles as medics meant we were responsible for the general health and well-being of the troops. That turned us into inspectors -- of food and sanitation, and what back in the states would be called 'houses of ill repute.'

"Whorehouses would be a cruder but more accurate term.

"I went out on these inspections, escorted by the local gendarmes. Most of these places, which had apparently been functioning for quite a while had apparently been functioning for quite a while before our arrival, were located on a single street, while a handful of others sprinkled nearby. We'd inspect the houses themselves for cleanliness, then line up the girls and check them for sores and other telltale signs of disease. They all had, or were supposed to have, doctor's papers declaring that they were healthy. Without those, they wouldn't work.

"I remember designating one house off-limits, but otherwise every place we checked were in order.

"I also had to designate one home for officers, where enlisted men would be barred. That was easy. The officers got the house with the ugliest women."

Page 62.
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Old July 22, 2019, 07:12 PM   #477
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In May, 1942 while the German Sixth Army was approaching Stalingrad, they were supported by the Fourth Air Fleet commanded by Col. Gen. Wolfram von Richthofen. A cousin of the famous Red Baron, he had fought alongside of him in his squadron in WW I. Von Richthofen found himself under fire from army AA guns. Opps! Upon landing, von Richthofen sent a note that read, "While it is a delight to see the fighting spirits of the German troops against aircraft, may I ask that they direct their fighting spirit against the
Red Air Force?"
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Old July 25, 2019, 12:18 PM   #478
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Quote:
"I also had to designate one home for officers, where enlisted men would be barred. That was easy. The officers got the house with the ugliest women."
So much for RHIP...

"Rank Has Its Privileges"

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Old July 26, 2019, 06:19 PM   #479
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I'm sure many here read the classic, With the Old Breed. Eugene Sledge (nicknamed Sledgehammer by his buddies) wrote a follow-up book, China Marine, which recounts the K/3/5's post-war occupation of China with the purpose of disarming the Japanese Kwangtung Army. Sledge's battalion was fortunate enough to draw duty in Peking and went along the route that the Marines took to relieve Peking during the Boxer Rebellion.

When Sledge earned enough points, he was finally rotated home and reunited with his family. His brother was a major in a tank battalion and had been injured three times. After a while, his father, who was a USMC LTC who treated marines in WW I for shell shock pulled Sledge aside and offered a bit of advice.

Quote:
"First, never become embittered because many other men had safe, comfortable war assignment, all too often obtained through political influence. That's the way of cowards in this world. Two, never feel sorry for yourself because of what you endured. On the contrary, feel fiercely proud that you served with the finest and fought against the fiercest enemy, and lived to tell the tale. Three, if you ever drink alcohol, do it in moderation. Alcohol can be a wonderful escape from bad memories, but it is addictive, will make you act the fool, and ultimately ruin you."
(p129)

Sound like good advice even today.
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Old July 29, 2019, 05:53 PM   #480
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Today I read of a muzzle loader used by an old man in World War II. His opponent is armed with a M-1 Garand in 30-06.

"Toward evening, another rear guard slowed our advance. As we moved along a narrow forest road in column of squads, the armor following behind, I heard single shot. By this time, I could identify almost any German weapon by its sound, but this one I'd never heard before.

"Our advance scout quickly captured another German, an old man dressed in hunting clothes who appeared to be in his late seventies. He stood in the middle of the road where he'd fire his single-shot muzzle loader at the point man, then surrendered meekly. We smashed the old man's weapon against a tree, and told him to go home."

Captain Charles Scheffel, Crack! and Thump: With a Combat Infantry Officer in World War II, (Camroc Press, Llano) 2007, p. 208.
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Old August 17, 2019, 05:08 PM   #481
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Never volunteer.

Quote:
"I was assigned to Camp Hood, Texas. Some men's names were called; they were then told they'd be called when they were assigned.

Of those not called, the sergeant asked, "Who wants to drive a jeep?" Several men held up their hands in eager anticipation. "Fall out over there and follow the Corporal," he said.

The volunteers jumped at the chance and did as they were told. The corporal took them to some garbage cans and said, "You will clean these cans until they shine. Here are the soap and brushes."

"But we were told we'd get to drive a jeep," they complained.

"Not so," said the corporal. "You were asked if you wanted to drive a jeep, not that you'd get to drive one. Now clean those cans!"
From page 5 of Foxhole Memoirs: A to Z by . Homer V. Wagnon, Jr.
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Old August 20, 2019, 01:51 PM   #482
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GIs watching a displaced persons camp they liberated.

"On one of my day shifts, I saw a funny thing happen. There was a little stream running through a corner of the camp and the Russian woman would do their wash there. One day, a large woman was doing her wash, when a fist fight broke out between a couple of Russian guys. When she saw them, she walked over, grabbed each one by their shirt fronts and pulled them apart. Then what happened was like a scene from the patty cake routine Bob Hope and Bing Crosby did in the "Road" moves they made later. Both men looked at each other, nodded their heads and each swung a fist, one right-handed and one left-handed, hitting the woman right in the face. She went down like a sack of cement and the two guys went on fighting."

Stan Richardson's Growing Up in a Foxhole, page 120

https://youtu.be/T3aO7xRkkuw
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Old August 21, 2019, 10:43 PM   #483
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4V50 Gary:
Then what happened was like a scene from the patty cake routine Bob Hope and Bing Crosby did in the "Road" moves they made later. Both men looked at each other, nodded their heads and each swung a fist, one right-handed and one left-handed, hitting the woman right in the face. She went down like a sack of cement and the two guys went on fighting."
Yeah, but when she got up!!! There's be преисподняя to pay!!

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Old August 30, 2019, 02:53 PM   #484
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Hey Chubby!

From p. 121 of John Davis' Up Close.

"As we staggered back through the woods, we spotted two guys in a jeep stuck on the dirt road. The driver was an itty bitty fellow in his late teens, while his passenger was older, heavyset and tough-looking. They were lodged in a deep rut, sunk up to their clavicles in mud.

"The driver's eyes lit up when he saw us. "Hey, can you guys give us a push?"

"We'd be glad to. In exchange, would you haul some of this stuff up to our pillbox?"

"Sure. Toss it on the ground and we'll load it up in a minute."

Archie and I got behind the jeep and started to push, but between the deep rut and the combined weight of the two men, we were not making much progress.

"Hey, Chubby," I called out to the passenger. "How 'bout getting out of the jeep?"

The driver leaped out and stood at attention. "This is Gen. Perrin," he said through gritted teeth.

Uh-oh. Only a centipede could have more feet in its mouth.

Gen. Perrin climbed out. At this point in the war, he had made commander of the entire 106th Division as well as other units in the area. He wore a regular field jacket, no insignia. Apparently, he was traveling incognito because he was so close to the front.

The driver shook his head in warning.

"Oh, there's lots more where that came from," I said, with a generous sweep of my arm. "It's there for the picking."

He turned to his driver. "We've got to get some of that stuff."

Dusk was falling rapidly and his words were punctuated by the sound of burp guns nearby. I didn't hear any more explosions, though, so the British demolition guys must have knocked off for the night. The driver looked like he was about to wet his pants. I took pity on him.

"I'm sorry, General. We can't let you go down there."

The General raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean, you can't let me go down there?"

"We'd be negligent in our duty as soldiers if we let you go down there to get your butt shot up."

He looked so disappointed I amended myself. "Look, if you want Archie and me to go with you and cover you, we'll do that, but it's getting dark, there's some shooting going on, and I can't be sure we won't run into some booby traps." The risk was real but I played it up a bit. I didn't want anything to happen to Gen. Perrin on my watch.

The General cocked his head, considering. "Thanks boys, I guess I'll have to pass on that."

His poor little driver started breathing again.

We told Gen. Perrin that he was welcome to help himself to anything we had brought out, but he declined our offer. He did dump off the stuff at our pillbox, which we thought was just grand. He was a peach of a guy, a real frontline fighter."

Note: Brigadier General Herbert T. Perrin was Assistant Division Commander and assumed temporary command of the 106th after its commander, Maj. Gen. Alan W. Jones suffered a heart attack during the Battle of the Bulge. He resumed his post when Maj. Gen. Donald Stroh was appointed to command.
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Old September 1, 2019, 08:52 AM   #485
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Audie Murphy's To Hell and Back

Audie was shot in the hip and visits a wounded buddy.

When I regain the use of my leg, I catch a ride to another hospital twenty miles away. I have learned that Kerrigan is there.

His back is to me when I enter the ward. For a moment I watch as he awkwardly shuffle a deck of cards with his bandaged hand.

"Is this the venereal ward?"' I ask loudly.

"No sir," says a white-faced youngster with his arm missing. 'This is casualty. Convalescent.'

"Then what is that syphilitic sergeant doing here? Kerrigan, I mean."

The ward becomes as silent as an empty church. Kerrigan turns slowly, shaking his head in disbelief.

"Why you mule-headed, rattle-brained, scrambled-eyed whore of a lieutenant!"

Mouths drop open.

"You crawling, creeping crap from Texas. You battle-happy sonofabitch!"

"He never did show the proper respect for officers," I explain to the other men.

"Respect!" he spits. "Why-why, you beagle-eared bastard, what are you doing in the rear area?"

"You'll be tickled to know that I got shot. Yeah. Lost a hunk of my hip."

"Oh, Lord, to think I missed that. Brother, am I glad to see you. You haven't changed a bit."

"And you're uglier than ever."

The ward relaxes.

P. 229-30.
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Old September 5, 2019, 06:49 AM   #486
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P155-8.

I cannot post it here but if you get a chance, read Fred Salter's Recon Scout. It's an account of a cavalryman who is mechanized and fights in North Africa where his unit escorts Churchill and FDR. They participate in Husky (invasion of Sicily) and finally Italy itself. Salter specializes in night patrols which he does, by the most part, by himself.

Salter suffers from combat fatigue and almost guns down PoWs while serving as a camp guard stateside. The officers want him court martial and the colonel reads the file, sees that he is decorated and figures out with his combat fatigue he should never have been put in position to be a guard. He gets Salter discharged (honorably).

It's one of the best memoirs I've read in a long time.
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Old October 22, 2019, 06:45 PM   #487
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9 mm v. 45

"The German soldier was shooting at me with a Luger pistol. I returned fire with my Colt 45 caliber revolver. My gun had more firepower than the German Luger and the echo was so loud in that alley that it sounded like a cannon. The German turned around and ran. I don't think I ever saw him again."

Thus resolves the debate. From page 102 of 9/4 Infantry Rifleman by Thomas W. Smith.
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Old November 7, 2019, 01:28 PM   #488
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Breakfast!

When the light machine gun crew joined the platoon to set up the defensive position in the third captured pillbox, a phone line from that pillbox to the German positions was still alive. Germans on their end did not know the pillbox was occupied by the GI's. A call came from the German end of the line. Answering the call the machine gun crew chief found a surprised, English speaking German on the other phone. A conversation ensued.

The German: "So, why don't you come over to our headquarters?"

The GI: "No thanks. Why don't you come over to the pillbox. Join us for breakfast."

"Breakfast?" What are you having for breakfast?" The German was nibbling at the bait.

"Bacon and eggs." K-ration bacon and eggs, but only a small white lie, a wishful exaggeration by the GI.

"I'm coming over! Watch out for me!" The German found the way to the machine gun position and became a hungry prisoner of war.

Upon interrogation it was found the German was training for his officer's rating. One of his assignments as an English speakig German had been to slip into the American lines at night, tape the phone lines, and monitor phone traffic.

From p144 of Dale Lundhigh's Show Me The Hero.
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Old November 30, 2019, 08:11 PM   #489
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Strike up the Band!

At Luzon, the Twenty-fifth Infantry Division band was entertaining the patients and staff of the Sixty-third Portable Surgical Hospital when the performance was interrupted by the staccatto of Japanese .25 caliber fire. The medical corpsman and the band rushed the patients to safety. Afterward the musicians picked up rifles, formed a skirmish line and under the direction of Warrant Officer and Band Director Raymond Rike (Dallas, Texas), hunted down the Japanese soldier who had rudely disrupted the performance. Victorious, the musicians returned the rifles and after picking up their instruments, finished the show.

From the High Point Enterprise (North Carolina), May 15, 1945, p. 3.
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Old December 21, 2019, 04:55 PM   #490
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So I'm reading old newspapers

Angry captain: "Soldier, you should have been here at 0800 hours."
Private: "Why, what did I miss?"
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Old January 5, 2020, 05:57 PM   #491
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Dunno the truth of this

But I found this item from Walter Winchell column ((Texas) Brownsville Herald, Dec. 15, 1942) amusing:

Good Guy: A British general, inspecting a camp at night incognito, chatted with an Australian sentry and finally talked him out of his rifle - a cardinal sin. Clutching the rifle, he stepped back, revealed his identity and demanded: "What are you going to do now?" The Aussie swung a haymaker, floored the general, and retrieved his rifle. Next morning he was paraded before the general on two charges. On the first, being relieved of his rifle, he was reprimanded. On the second, striking a superior officer, the general complimented him on his swift and decisive action.
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Old February 1, 2020, 04:43 PM   #492
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When company commander Obertleutnant Schmelter left because of an injury, he was replaced by Oberleutnant H. A very unpopular man he once told his men,

"If one of you is wounded, I don't want to hear any wailing or crying. Clench your teeth and show that you are are man!" We veterans thought: 'You arsehole! We'll see how you cry out when you get one.'
Quote:
Now that day had come and I hear Gefreiter (pfc) Ludolf Vizelberg shout loudly, 'Ha, ha, Kameraden, hear how he squeals. He should clench his teeth.' The Oberleutnant hd a fairly severe injury to the upper arm. A splinter had torn out a piece of muscle the size of a fist. Naturally that was very painful, as one can imagine, but he should not have talked big. Later the Company received post from him from a hospital at Konigstein/Taunus. He actually requested that our Speiss (command sergeant major) should send him cognac, cigars, and cigarettes from our canteen store. When the Speiss showed me the letter, I told him, "let me handle it, Oskar, I'll pack it for him.' Then with delight I wrapped some Russian Machorka (nasty cheap Russian tobacco issued to the Russian soldiers) tobacco in a sweaty stock with a small bottle of vodka. 'With best wishes for your recovery but if possible not your return.' It does not sound very friendly, but he deserved nothing better. End!
From Rehfeld's Mortar Gunner On the Eastern Front, Vol. II, pgs 143-4.

(Been doing research on WW II sniping)
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Old April 2, 2020, 06:24 PM   #493
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Fighting the Afrika Korps

A night patrol would almost always consist of one or two sections, either six or twelve men.

Very seldom was there any fighting during these nightly walks, they were undertaken in oder to keep tabs on the enemy positions. However, there were times when these patrols turned to our, and Jerry's advantage.

I first experienced this when Mr. Vernon, our platoon commander, detailed our section for patrol. Just before we set off, we were told that the lads who had done the previous night's walk were volunteering to do our shift. The teal they came up with was that they had made contact the night before, but that the corporal in charge had lost his wallet and knew exactly where he had dropped it.

Fair enough, no complaints, you lot go, we get a good night's kip. Our suspicions were aroused the next morning when two fo the lads who had been part of the patrol were sick as pigs. It was then discovered that they had a crate of Schnapps in their truck. To cut a long story short, they had met up with these Krauts and, instead of doing each other mortal damage, had struck a deal: Schnapps and black bread in exchange for tins of bully beef and some English cigarettes!

It doesn't take much imagination to work out how these encounters happened. The six-man patrol creeps forward towards the enemy position, probably only a lance jack in charge. They became aware of movement to their front almost at the same time as the enemy becomes aware of them. Men being what they are, nobody is too keep to start hostilities. Some bright spark calls out: "Oi, Fritz, you speakada English?"

"What you want, Tommy?"
"Got any Schnapps?" A longish pause,
"Ja, you have English cigarettes?"

And so an arrangement would be made for a rendezvous the following night, to the mutual benefit of all concerned. These exchanges went on for about three weeks before some officer lets the cat out of the bag.

From Rifleman by Gregg
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Old May 20, 2020, 10:47 PM   #494
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Smokless powder being fired in a flintlock (circa 1944)

OK, this is during WW II. At 1:09 Lt. Tom Quigley talks about how First Sergeant Umberger shot a flintlock dueling pistol. He used the charges from 3 45 ACP cartridges, used toilet paper as wadding and wadded up a 45 bullet with toilet paper and fired it (and missed). The pistol survived the abuse too.

https://www.ww2online.org/view/tom-q...92-sniping-bar

Dueling pistols never made it home. When Quigley was injured, he left it in the care of another officer and is probably still with that officer's family.
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Old May 23, 2020, 12:28 PM   #495
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Thanks for posting that! Such a long, but very interesting video. I’m still working on it! Interesting, also, how he loaded that gun, and surprising it held with that load and heavy projectile. Maybe it wasn’t a tight enough fit to really build up pressures.
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