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Old August 22, 2021, 02:36 PM   #526
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From Lt. Moisey Gitmanovich

Born in Odessa, Moisey Gitmanovich volunteered for the Red Army on the first day of the war and attended officers' school where he graduated and became a platoon commander.

"I had my observation hole, and I had three or four such holes [that I was in charge of]. At night I walked between my stations to check how my soldiers were doing. One time I went, and there was quite a distance between them, about four or five kilometers. There was a snowstorm and I lost my way. Fortunately, I kept close to our trenches through the snowstorm. I just lost my bearings. It was a blizzard, I couldn't see anything, and suddenly, I was getting shot at. I got down on the ground. I was get[ting] shot [at] and I could hear someone yelling curses in Russian. I understood these were our guys. I answered. They said, "Deserter!" And they grabbed me and led me to their commander. Obviously, defection was a punishable act, execution. [They] started questioning me. I started explaining, telling them what happened. They wouldn't believe me: why would I go out in a blizzard? There was nothing I could do to prove [my innocence] to them. And then I remembered that, after all, I'm a Jew, and, forgive me, but I took off my pants to show them that I'm a Jew. They all started laughing and they said: Germans kill a man with that badge. And that's how they let me go."
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Old August 24, 2021, 09:51 PM   #527
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Soviet style road rage circa 1943?

This involves a T-34 tank commanded by Gennady Aizenshtadt.

Gennady Aizenshtadt - "I had a young driver in my crew. The hatch would open when he drove. One time we were traveling and the tank was weaving from side to side like this. Someone was following us in a car and wanted to pass, but we kept getting in his way. My driver could not see what was happening behind him. He eventually got in front of us and stopped us. A captain or a major got out, drew his pistol . . . and killed him."

Interviewer "—The tank driver?"

Gennady Aizenshtadt - "Yes, the tank driver. There were two women and a young man in the car with him. I ordered my tank crew to open fire and killed them. When we arrived at our destination, I reported on the incident and did not suffer any repercussions."

Available here (I read the transcripts since I don't speak Russian): https://www.blavatnikarchive.org/item/2327
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Old August 31, 2021, 04:24 PM   #528
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Your patriotism sucks

In the Great Patriotic War, the Soviets really played up their propaganda and within a few days of Germany's invasion the song, The Sacred War, was composed. It is still played today in Russia before that big parade in Moscow. If you guys watched any documentaries, you probably heard it before. http://youtu.be/viUnzgXPrDg

Well, at one hospital the wounded learned the war was over. They sang neither that song nor the national anthem. Thankfully SMERSH was not summoned.

Quote:
At noon the hospital chief, the lieutenant colonel of the medical services, lined up the hospital staff and invited the patients whoever could stand. The chief congratulated us on the victory and said: "My dear friends. We have received the most prised decoration—we survived." And suddenly one wounded soldier without an arm started singing the Katyusha song. We joined in and afterwards we asked: "Why did you start singing "Katyusha"? Why not the national anthem? Why not "The Sacred War"? And he said—he was older than us by about ten years—he said: "Guys, this is a pre-war song but this song was with us throughout the war. It told us about the loyalty of our wives. So it's impossible not to think about them today."
Sweetheart and wives over socialism.

Here is Katyusha (I had to look it up) https://youtu.be/7J__ZdvsZaE

I'm finishing up looking for images for my book on WW II sniping & snipers.

Source for anecdote: https://www.blavatnikarchive.org/item/5307
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Old September 26, 2021, 09:54 AM   #529
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Snipers annoy the 36th Infantry Division

The following incident involved the 36th Infantry Division (Texas).

Quote:
"It was the story of two GIs from one of our other regiments who, during the fighting on the Riquewihr-Mittlewihr area, had fallen on some fairly lush days when they found a wine cellar fully stocked with rare old wines. For them the war had stopped for a while as they sampled the various vintages and compared notes on them.

At that time, Colonel McGrath, of the moustache, had taken command of one of our battalions. One day he called m in a great stir over the fact that sniping had driven him into the basement of the home where his CP was loated and he wanted to know what the hell the regiment was doing to round up the snipers.

'Well Mac,' I said, 'we're getting the same treatment. The trouble is that the sniping isn't localized. Yesterday, supplies to one of the other battalions were held up for almost 3 hours and the graves registration officer was pinned down under his jeep for an hour or more.'

'You get those bastards, hear?' McGrath yelled.

Several days elapsed with more reports of snping being made to our headquarters in Riquewihr. Finally, we began to see that the pattern of sniping emanated from a vineyard just outside of Riquewirh. We hastily put together a task of force of two TDs, infantry, and mortars to take the vineyard under fire.

As we did, all kinds of fire was directed from the center of the vineyard to targets lying anywhere around its perimeter. The TDs opened fire and sent a number of their 3in shells screaming into the vineyard. Mortars joined in the cannonading and the infantry, formed as skirmishers, started their walk through the low vines.

The battle reached a crescendo and I took shelter behind a shed near one corner of the vineyard. I could see GIs, on their bellies, working into the spot from which the hostile firingg was coming. Suddenly all shooting stopped and I could hear voices exlaiming rather loudly over something.

Shortly, our men caame back - escorting two GIs who had' been on a drinking spree for over a week. One was short and swarthy, the other tall and stoop-shouldered. They hadn't shaved for a week or ten days and they were grimy with dirt.

I later learned from the men who had finally captured the snipers that the two had dug a circular trench inside the vineyard and had stashed in it, not only German weapons and ammo, the use of which completely fooled us, but a very large supply of wine.

Each of the men was brought before General Stack, then temporarily commanding our regiment, and while he managed to maintain his usual icy and acerbic mien, I caught him, once, covering a smile with one hand.

'I tought I'd have to laugh right out loud,' he said as we recounted the story when I met him on my G-1 rounds. 'That tall GI didn't care about anythingg we were telling him about the seriousness of his and his buddy's actions. He kept looking at the wine bottles we'd taken from him and you knew that his one care in the world was to get back to them.

To make the story complete and save it from becoming another tale of disaster, it should be noted that during the ten-day fusilade of snipers' bullets, no one was scratched, which says something about the capacity of the men to fire their weapons. If anything occurred, later, to cause the two snipers to regret their daliance with the bottle, I never hrad of it. They probably received minor company punishment.

The officer in charge of the task force that rounded up the offenders told us, after the men were led away, that he had heard them greet the GIs who'd come after them with the following statement:

'Where the hell have you been you jerks?' We been fightin' the Germans for a week and no one came to help us. We been fightin' and fallin' back, fightin' and fallin' back. What kinda army is this, anyway?'"
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Old October 10, 2021, 04:18 PM   #530
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Not a sniping story but some things were done right. A rangefinder was brought in to confirm the distance. A gun was set up ready to engage. The target had established a pattern. This incident took place in the Western Desert near El Agheila (450 miles from Tripoli and 700 west of Alexandria).

Quote:
The El Agheila position was direct in front and facing us about 700 yards waay were Italians with a stiffening of Germans. Due to the supply problem, orders were given that ammunition could not be fired unless attacked. After a short while the Italians began to realize this and started to take liberties. One day, before the heat haze occured, an Italian climbed out of his trench, raised his hand in the Fascist saluted and shouted, 'Viva Mussolini.' Turning his back to us, he dropped his pantaloons and squatted to answer the call of nature. We obseved with surprised interest. The next day, this fearsome Italian soldier gave a repeat performance. This was going too far for Frank Dillon and he said, 'We're not takng that!' The following day our range-taker, Chris Shambroook ensured that we had the correct distance, and Frank expertly laid his Vickers on the correct spot. Being good soldiers, we had some spare ammunition. As we waited, a jeep pulled up and out got Brigadier Douglas Graham, the Officer Commanding 153 brigade. He immediately wanted to know what was going on, so the situation was explained about trying to teach this Italian a lesson and also that we had some spare ammunition. He said, 'All right, but you had better not miss!' Our Italian did not let us down. He jumped up to what was to be his third performance and although he did not know it, his finale. When he began to exalt his love for Il Duce, Frank made final adjustments to the Vickers. Suddenly, the Brigadier's telephone began to sound, but he ignored it! The Italian duly dropped his trousers, Frank fired a short burst and the Italian fell headfirst into his trench. The Brigadier laughed and congratulated us. A wound in the bottom is not generally considered life threatening, but the next time that Italian used the toilet, he would have to decide which hole to wipe. When the Brigadier returned the call from HQ, they asked why he had not answered. He said, 'I was busy watching my men shoot an I-tie up the arse!'
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Old December 7, 2021, 10:37 AM   #531
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Comrade Sergeant, may I have the last page of your newspaper?

The train stopped at a small station and we disembraked. The guards permitted us to walk over to the nearest field to relieve ourselves. One could tell that many people must have previously used this field as a latrine. It was not a pretty sight. I noticed that the Sergeant was reading the Russian newspaper, PRAVDA, so I approached him.

"Comrade Sergeant," I asked, "would it be possible to have the last page of your newspaper?"

"Oh, yes?" the Sergeant looked up at me, flipped the paper over in his hands and then studied the last page. "Why do you want the last page?"

"I'm needing some toilet paper, if you don't mind."

The Sergeant glared at me before shouting.

"You want my newspaper?! You want to wipe your ass with PRAVDA?? What are you, some kind of counterrevolutionary?!" Get out of here!!"

We all used the grass that was growing in the field...
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Old January 4, 2022, 10:37 AM   #532
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War time expediency and Filipino guerilla handloading during WW II:

"For the primer, we used sulphur mixed with coconut shell carbon. Later we were able to get hold of some antimony and add it to the mixture. Then it worked 80 to 90 per cent efficiently. Our main source of powder was from Japanese sea mines that we would dismantle. We'd mix in pulverized wood to retard the burning because mine powder is too violent for a rifle bullet. It took us blowing up about five rifles - blowing off the firing pins, the extractors, and the bolts - to find out about that."
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Old January 4, 2022, 10:50 AM   #533
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How would you like to have been the one behind those rifles?
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Old January 4, 2022, 01:30 PM   #534
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It only gets worse before it gets better Shane.

"All measuring was done rudely, by thumb and by guess and by God. You'd pour the powder into the cartridge with a little homemade funnel sort of thing until you thought you had enough. Then you'd put the piece off the brass curtain rod into the cartridge and crimp the cartridge around it with a pair of pliers. Presto, you had a bullet. Each bullet had to be tested for fit because all our cartridges had been fired once or twice before. We'd load and extract each bullet. If the shoulder was too big, we'd crim it down. If it was too small, we'd say that was fine."

It only gets worse and sometime later I'll continue the story.
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Old January 5, 2022, 10:30 AM   #535
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The story continues:

"Getting the right measure for the mixture was Kuizon's business [Kuizon was the son of a pharmacist]. It was all trial and error. When there was an error, the cartridge would blow up the gun. Powder flashes would come out between the bolts and burn his hands. One morning he broke three rifles in succession, burning his hands three times and jolting his shoulder so badly his toes ached.

"'Sir, I do not like this work, sir,' he admitted finally. 'I will put the rifle on a table sir, and test by long distance, sir.'

"Finally we managed to dragoon an apothecary's scales and after a few more tests 'by long distance' no more rifles blew up. Using this ammunition was haard on our buns, but it worked and killed a Jap to beat hell. The boys liked them because mine powder gave the bullets so much power they never had to figure windage."

The above was from Ira Wolfert's American Guerilla in the Philippines and is based on the experience of Lt. Ilif David Richardson, USNR. There are other things like distilling alcohol for vehicle fuel, restoring telegraph lines by straightening out barbed wire and using soda bottles for insulators, printing currency (they had a jeweler who engraved - they didn't have to worry about counterfeiting because no one else had paper), improvised uniforms, etc. A book like this would be banned by an authoritarian government.
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Old January 6, 2022, 02:49 PM   #536
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GI goes to the Aid Station for a bullet wound. Luckily it had only grazed his leg and the doctor cleaned the laceration, sprinkled sulfa powder over it and taped it up. The Doc then suggests he sees the dentist about the tooth. The GI had tried to see the dentist before but the drunk told him to go away.

"The dentist was the same drunken idiot I had gone to in Cologne. Now he stood waiting for me eagerly with a foot-powered field drill in his hand attached to a pedal stand operated by a very young assistant.

"He looked in my mouth and snorted in exasperation. 'You have an impacted wisdom tooth. Why didn't you come sooner? Have you been grinding your teeth?'

"'Yes,' I said, 'But only when I'm being shot at.'

"'Well, I can't do anything until the swelling goes down,' he added.

"'I did come in when it wasn't swollen and you sent me away. Don't you remember?'

"He laid down his drill in disgust. 'Why should I remember you? You guys all look alike when you come in here. Come back when it's not swollen,' he slurred.

"'If I do, you'll just tell me I'm faking.' He looked away as he waved me to the door, at which point I boiled over. 'If you don't know what the hell you're doing, you better get a dentist in here who does, you god damned drunken idiot.'

"His face was now purple with rage as he spun around screaming, 'Get the hell out of here, Corporal. I'm reporting you for insubordination.'

"'Lots of luck, Jerk. You don't even know who I am. We all look alike, remember?'"

With that the gallant corporal departed. The PFC who was the pedal pusher rushed after him and offered him a bag of ice which the corporal accepted.
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Old January 9, 2022, 10:48 AM   #537
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Disband the cavalry.

During WW II a guerilla unit decided to raise a cavalry unit. They weren't going to to charge the enemy or anything hollywood glamorous like that. Instead the horses were used for increased mobility. The trouble was that the enemy could aways detect their presence. Horse apples are hard to hide and if the unit stayed in any area, you could smell them.

Rather than be destroyed, the cavalry unit was disbanded and the horses went to the farms/ranches.
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Old January 14, 2022, 09:34 PM   #538
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Sunshine patriots/guerillas or Please be on the right side of history

"Most odious of all were the "parasites' and the "peso patriots," swines who had been pro-Japanese early in the war but turned pro-American when it became obvious the Allies would win, scoundrels who had done nothing more strenuous than wait for MacArthur to come and save them but who now strutted about waving pistols, seizing food, bellowing at "civilians," and telling everybody what fierce guerilla fighters they had always been, all the while trying to exchange their worthless Japanese currency for U.S. dollars. One American guerilla observed glumly that the whores in Manila had contributed more to the Allied cause than these "sunshine patriots" because the whores had at least put thousands of Japanese soldiers in hospitals with venereal diseases."

From Lapham's Raiders: Guerillas in the Philippines 1942-1945, page 196.
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Old January 20, 2022, 11:11 AM   #539
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German goose thief

Stealing was a punishment crime in the Whermacht. When a member of his guncrew brought in a goose, there was no complaint and all shared in its consumption. An angered sergeant from the victim unit swept through, found the feathers and bones and demanded the gun commanding private's name. He was soon summoned to regimental HQ.

"Gefreiter Bidermann, I have here a report regarding a theft. What was stolen?"
"A goose."
"And who is responsible for this theft?"
"I am a responsible."
"And from exactly where was it stolen?"

Bidermann's hesitation to answer that unexpected question told the Hauptman (Captain) that his mind was racing for answers to protect his guncrew. The Hauptman then began to lecture him on the need for discipline and that theft cannot be tolerated. The Captain would forward the report with a recommendation for punishment. Each word from the Hauptman struck Biderman like a shot from a spandau. Then the Hauptman rose from his chair and smiled.

"Take a seat, Gefreiter Biderman," he said with a more humane tone. After Biderman sat, the Hauptman produced a bottle of schnapps and poured one for himself and Biderman and for the adjutant. They drank to the company and after a few rounds, Bidernman was dismissed.

The Hauptman did process the report with recommdendation for punishment. However, concurrent with it was an observation that a Fiseler Storch had landed nearby and that a number of officers had descended upon some sheep, scooped them up and carried them back to the Storch. The registration number came back to Corps HQ. The good Hauptman also recommended that the officers who stole the sheep should also be punished. In the end, no one was punished.

From In Deadly Combat: A German Soldier's Memoir of The Eastern Front, by Gottlob Herbert Biderman. P 99-101.
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Old February 2, 2022, 06:42 PM   #540
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Who touched my honey and the case of fragging w/in the SS

"Who took the honey out of my jar!?"

Oberscharfuehrer was angry and his squad was lined up and standing at attention. Everyone knew who the thieves were but no one said a thing.

"Muller 17 and I looked at each other, and then stepped forward." They knew their entire squad would be punished if the responsible culprit didn't step forward.

They were given punishment exercises which included crawling through the mud, climbing over the haystack, running around some houses and so on. Worse was they were given the night watch that interrupted their deep sleep. That was to change. On Nov. 1, 1942 they in Ukraine and near villages with Germanic names like Marienheim or Gustavsfeld.

They saw Russian messenger dogs that scurried between the villages. Someone started shooting at the dogs but missed. This caused the Russian soldiers in the village to return fire.

"Muller 17 (so named because there were so many Mullers that each Muller was given a number to distinguish him from the others) and I hit the ground, then suddenly Muller 17 pointed in front of us and said: 'Look, there lies Oberscharfuehrer Scrhamm.'

"I looked in his direction and saw the one who had tormented our lives over the past few days.

"'Shall I shoot him through his legs?', Muller 17 said with a big grin on his face, and before I could say or do anything he aimed and shot.

"Nobody, except me, saw him do that.

"The bullet went right through the leg of Obserscharfuehrer Schramm.

"With all that shooting around us, nobody would ever know we did this.

"Shortly after the shot, we heard somebody shout, 'Two volunteers to get Obescharfuehrer Schramm out of there.

"Muller 17 and I looked at each other, we grinned, and volunteered to transport Schramm out of there.

"When we reached him, I could see the bullet went through his right thigh."

They put Schramm on a tent canvas and dragged him on the ground 20 meters back before they could safely lift him and carry him to a motorcycle sidecar.

But wait, there's more.

"Months later, when he came back to our unit, his attitude completely changed. In his mind we were the ones who saved his life, when he was wounded. Nobody else volunteered to get him out of that firefight, only the two of us did, and we got his eternal gratitude for that. Never again did we have to do night watch, never did we have to do dirty jobs or dangerous assignments."

So much for fragging within the SS.

Sharpshooting and sniping stories from my recent research may be found here:

https://www.thehighroad.org/index.ph....36853/page-20
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Old February 6, 2022, 02:29 PM   #541
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First, I'm not laughing at the people of New Guinea. I also acknowledge that they were good allies and contributed to driving the Japanese back on their island during WW II. Here is some pidgin English with the first being the Lord's Prayer and the second the Ten Commandments:


Prayer Bilong Big Master

Fader ubilong mipella
Ustopalong Heaven,
All hearem talk about U.
Kingdom bilong U I kum
Along ground allsame along Heaven.
Give mipella Kai Kpi alongday
Forgive wrong bilong mipella
Allsame mi forgive wrong alone nothapella.
Take along us not to wrongdo
Mipella folla U awaay from wrong
Upella bilong Kingdom cum
Same power. Same Glory
Allsame now. Allsame Time. Amen.

Commandments Mipella Do

1. Man I got onepella God, Inogot notha pella God
2. Man Ino try make nothapella God
3. Man Ino swear.
4. Man I keep No. 1 day, No. 1 day belong Big Master
5. Man I good along. Fader, good along mimma
6. Man Ino kill.
7. Man Ino take Mary bilong nothaman
8. Man Ino steal
9. Man Ino like along nothapella. I talk true all time
10. Man I see good something bilong notha man, Ino wantim alltime.

From Between Tedium & Terror, page 133.
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Old February 6, 2022, 09:27 PM   #542
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"A very funny hoax was pulled on Charley Norvell yesterday when he received in his mail his Captain Marvel pin [comic book character popular in the 1940s] and membership card, personal letter from Captain Marvel telling him to help the war effort by saving scrap paper. That was a tremendous laugh. Herndon is the one responsible. Poor Charley will never live it down. Fellows go about yelling 'Shazam' at him, and 'Here comes Captain Marvel!' Everybody has been hilarious about it."

Talk about Hayduke style trolling circa 1944. Ditto pages 189-90. Here's the Captain Marvel pin and things that probably came with it. It's amazing what you can learn from books.
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Old February 13, 2022, 04:15 PM   #543
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Major Joe Collins meets Lt. Col. George C. Marshall...

"My firsrt contact with Colonel Marshall occurred when he slipped quietly into the back of a lecture hall moments after I started my first lecture, which had been postponed when I came down with a bad case of laryngitis. To explain the postponement, I had begun with a story about a visit of a Senate investigating committee to an American camp at the French port of Brest during World War I, when I spotted Colonel Marshall in the hall. All I had read or heard about him had drawn him as a grave, humorless man, all business. I had some qualms about continuing the story, which told about a visit of this committee to a model trench system used at Brest to familarize newly arrived American soldiers with what combat trenches were like. But I was too far committed, so plunged ahead. 'The senators were met at the entrance to the trenches by an officer guide. In a subdued voice he said, 'We are in a communication trench leading to the front. Follow me.' A bit farther on he stopped in a widened section of trench containing two 80-mm mortars, manned for this occasion by a section of infantrymen. 'We are now in a mortar position supporting the front-line troops,' whispered the guide as he ducked under some overhead cover. The senators followed, keeping their heads well below the parapet as they proceeded past a machine-gun nest in the front line until they came to the end of the trench where two soldiers were sprawled under a camouflage net, surrounded by loops of barbed wire. 'We are not at a listening post,' said the barely audible guide. 'How far away is the enemy?' whispered the comittee chairman. 'About four hundred miles,' came the reply. 'Then what in the Hell's going on here?' roared the chairman as he straightened up. Pointing to his throat, the guide replied, 'I lost my voice.'' When I came to the denouement Colonel Marshall laughed as heartily as anyone else."

page 48-50 of Lightning Joe: An Autobiography by Joe Collins.
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Old February 28, 2022, 10:17 PM   #544
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Viktor Survorov's The Liberators: My Life in the Soviet Army

Suvorov talks about the failure of central planning. The Soviets want to increase food production but realize they can't make people work harder. Lazy people will always be lazy because they know they get paid the same as the hard worker. So, they hit upon the idea of making fertilizer that can be given away for free to the communes. This means no one will have to work harder yet production will increase!

Communes are told to come 'n git it. Trouble is, with that great central planning, no one thought of getting trucks to transport the mess. Score one for central planning. Viktor's commune has only three trucks. One is for milk. Can't contaminate that. One is for water. Can't use either. So, they use their sole truck for fuel to transport it. Each truck is required to transport a ludicrous oad that is impossible given the time frame. Another victory for central planning. Viktor notes that trips by trucks that should take hours takes minutes. What? So, when his truck is loaded, he follows the others and like them, dump the fertilizer into the Dneiper River! It kills the fish. Another victory for central planning. Along with other drivers, Viktor is caught and made to haul one load back. But it's too early to use it and the commune has no place to store it. Central planning wins again! So Viktor dumps it into his own garden. Too much in too small a space and it reeks! The soil is ruined and now he can't grow food for himself. Opps. Unwilling to do time for counter-revolutionary activity of improper disposal of the fertilizer and unhappy at the prospect of starving, Viktor runs off and joins the glorious Soviet Army where he can at least get fed.

His book is filled with lessons about communism and why it fails.
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Old April 13, 2022, 04:50 PM   #545
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Kid's logic

Currently reading Taking Risks: A Jewish Youth in the Soviet Partisans and His Unlikely Life in California. He moved to San Francisco and didn't pass away until a few years back. We might have crossed paths there too. Too bad I never took the time to speak with the veterans there.

Quote:
"But we refused to take on faith Jewish law and belief. Neither my brothers no my sisters showed the slightest interest in the Torah or talmud, the cornerstone of my father's life. To me they seemed as if they were most obscure and irrelevant writings in the world. I now only violated Shabbes without any qualms if I thought I wouldn't get caught, but also ate tempting Polish sausages once in a while. The son of a respected butcher, I ate kielbasa even on the solemn fast day of Yom Kuppur, though my friends and I went into a deep cellar to do so. We figured that in case God did exist, he wouldn't be able to see us sin so far underground."
The bolded part certainly is kid's logic. I had to laugh at that one.

Book gives quite a bit of insight into anti-semetism in Poland and Ukraine (where the family fled to after leaving Poland in 1939).
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Old April 13, 2022, 06:43 PM   #546
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More from the same book

Pell spoke Polish and some Yiddish. Through his war experience he picked up some Russian, Ukrainian and German. Now he immigrated to America and decided to move to San Francisco. He and a friend catch a bus and when he told his friend he wanted to learn english, his friend told him to look out the window and start reading the signs.

Quote:
"I took his advice and was soon baffled. It appeared that most of the property in the American West was owned by one man named Motel. I saw this sign everywhere and thought it was pronounced "Muhtel," the same as a cousin of mine back in Poland. I asked Paul how this guy (evidently an East European Jew) accumulated so many buildings. He looked at me as if I were a child and, after setting me straight, repeated his recommendations: "Just keep reading the signs."
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Old April 17, 2022, 08:18 PM   #547
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From A Partisan's Memoirs, pgs 99-100.

Book has been sitting at the printers & the publisher anticipates 3-4 weeks for the printer to deliver. I guess release will be concurrent in both the UK and US. Anyway, here's something for 2A fans. This is from a book by a Jewish woman partisan whose family was deported with most being killed.

"A gun was in my hand now. I would learn to shoot, to aim at the enemy. Now, if the enemy pointed his gun on me, I could shoot back. I had the opportunity to avenge the blood of my mother, my father, my sisters, my brother and my sister's two children. I was not afraid of being killed. Responsible only for myself, I no longer had much to lose except for my life. I was prepared to do everything in my power to help the partisans in their fight against our common enemy. I was proud to join the ranks of freedom fighters who lived and fought in occupied territory.

"I also felt strength in knowing I was one of thousands of Jewish, youth among the partisans. They were Jews from cities and farms, Jews from towns and villages, young men and women raised in the tradition of learning and culture to respect one another. They were a peace-loving people who had nothing nothing of war. Few had evfer handled a rifle; now they were forced to fight for their lives. Torn from the lives they had once known, they stood up and fought like lions . Young Jewish partisans were known as the most daring of all.

"I remember before the war, when a Polish officer would come to our house and put his rifle in the corner of the room, I would keep as far way from it as possible. My parents taught me that a rifle meant danger. But now a rifle was a friend. It meant survival, vegeance and self defense.

"I had never dreamt that I would be thinking like this. I never expected to be holding a rifle, and not only to hold one, but to learn how to take one apart and clean it daily. I learned all this and more so that the rifle lying beside me on the wet ground work work when I needed it. A rifle among the partisans was a passport; it was also my pillow. As long as the war continued, I would never part with it. I resolved to volunteer for active combat operations, to fight for my people - for Jewish dignity and Jewish honour - and for the end of the Nazi killing machine."
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Old April 24, 2022, 08:20 PM   #548
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Many depression era children dropped out of school early so they could work and help support the family. Soldiers (generally draftees) who were illiterate but considered intelligent had to be taught to read and write by the US Army. I learned of it from Boy Soldier: Coming of Age During World War II by Russell E. McLogan and the author mentions a soldier from Georgia who never attended school. He asked how to spell "happy." "After I told him how, plus several other simple words, he showed me the books he had used at "goon school" as he called it. There were like "Dick and Jane" readers used in primary grades except the characters were soldiers and the situations military.

Quote:
Prior to America's entry into the war on December 7, 1941, recruits unable to pass the Minimum Literacy Test were simply rejected. In early 1942, needing substantially more men, the military ruled that up to 10% of inductees could be illiterate so long as they were deemed "intelligent and trainable." In the winter of 1943 this quota was reduced to 5%, as illiteracy began to cause problems in the field. A few months later, however, both manpower needs abroad and the political consequences at home of excessive rejection of black recruits -- whose literacy rates in the 1940s were far below those of white Americans -- caused the literacy requirement to be dropped entirely.

As a result, and out of necessity, the U.S. Army "embarked on one of the largest programs of basic adult education in human history" (Brandt, p. 487). Through the use of special training units -- well-funded, with qualified teachers, specially-designed course material, and small class sizes -- nearly 95% of illiterate recruits achieved minimum literacy within two months, a remarkable success rate. These soldiers were then able to go on to the standard basic training. Later research found that many of these men continued their education after leaving the military.
https://library.syr.edu/digital/guid...ldiers_lit.htm

Want to know what the GI reader looked like? https://archive.org/details/TM21-500/page/n37/mode/2up

It would be a good book to teach a foreigner some english.
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Old May 13, 2022, 07:32 PM   #549
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Never make a soldier do duties shipboard

"One detail the soldiers had to do was to empty the garbage over the side during the dark hours. Supposedly this was to prevent the U-boats from following our trail of garbage to their prey. Hah! All they had to do was to follow the stench. Anyway, I had shirked from this detail until one night I was pressed into service and about six of us ventured around the rails, emptying the cans we found there. My partner and I tried to lift this one can but couldn't even budge it. we asked for aid, and it took five of us to lift it up on the rail and let the gunk inside fall out. We then wandered about trying to see what was loose and available for our six deprived stomachs. What is the use of the Army teaching you to be sly and sneaking without putting it to some use? We then carried our loot back to the lower deck whee the most was consumed in a short while.

"All hell broke loose the next day. Sailors were running around, ships were tooting, destroyers were cutting alongside, and it was a great break in the monotony of the voyage. Seems that someone, obviously a saboteur, had painted a four foot white stripe down the side of our boat. This was done by pouring forty gallons of white lead over the side sometime during the night. Hmmm! And beside that, some lowly bunch of louts had stolen into the officer's mess that same evening and had taken some fresh ham, fresh bread, several #10 cans of fruit cocktail, and the Captain's personal jar of Dijon mustard. An immediate search was launched for anyone with a sweet breath and yellow lips. The tannoy loudly announced that anyone seen throwing anything overboard would be a suspect. This initiated a rush to the rails by the khaki clad masses, all of whom simulated throwing something to the fish. The authorities were perhaps mollified that a mutiny was not happening by the broad grins on our faces.

"An armed truce was established for the remainder of the voyage. I say "armed" because the British crew placed a rifled sentry on their decks to prevent any more pilferage. The ship also had to put two sailors over the side while we were under way so they could apply gray paint to the white "aiming stake." We encouraged thm by making helpful remarks.
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Old May 13, 2022, 07:42 PM   #550
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While on outpost one night I heard this weird caterwauling coming from a direction that wasn't friendly. No one was supposed to be out, so I unlocked my rifle and nudged my sleeping companion awake. We sat there ready but with the feeling that this noise wasn't threatening. Out of the black emerged this staggering figure singing his Native American Indian songs at the top of his lungs. He was one of our unit so we grabbed him quickly, shut him up (it was a court martial offense to be drunk on the forward areas) and hustled him back to our squad. Upon searching Willy we found two canteens full of beer. Being that we had been dry for some time, we took to keeping him awake so he could tell us where this treasure was laying. At daylight we moved through the ruins of this little town and finally discovered this crawl-through where the casks would be rolled out to the drayage. Upon entering this space we found ourselves in a room filled with oaken barrels, all filled with beer. After testing it to see if it was fit to drink, we sent a man back to the platoon to get the jeep and trailer then loaded it with one full cask on board. These casks held about 300 liters. It was hard work!
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