Discussion in 'Historiography' started by Gage, Mar 4, 2006.
Your Husband sounds like a good bloke and intelligent too.
Your Husband sounds like a good bloke and intelligent too.
Well, I have to agree - but then again I am biased!
While we were on our "beach" holiday the people we were staying with suggested that he become a tour guide as his knowledge was greater than theirs - and they were born there!
I have to confess, I went on the holiday prepared to be bored to death. We started the tour at the Pegasus Bridge museum (where I sobbed uncontrollably at the letters home), had lunch at Cafe Gondree (prepared and served by Arlette) and I was hooked.
You are in good company on this Forum
as I was in the Uk over the Christmas period I therefore missed your "sermon" - and I can only agree with you but you missed my point - I only stated that I wished I had been as young as the others who were playing games during and after the war.......
you should recognise after your trip to Cassino - Anzio - Ortona - Sangro last year that the games I was caught up in were not all that enjoyable - or funny- in fact they were mighty dangerous ! !
You are in good company on this Forum
Indeed I am!
My interest in WW2
I was a school boy during WW2 on our way to school we would talk to the German POW’s sometimes they gave us chocolate, talk to anybody in those days for sweets (a different story to-day).
I remember our Troops and Tanks going through the village for the Normandy Invasion.
Everyone out cheering them on as they marched past; including the POW’s. Some of them were really giving encouragement to our boys.
Panther Ausf G 122
Remember not the words of your Enemies, Only the silence of our Friends.
It seems to me that I've always been interested. Having relatives in both World Wars certainly sparked an interest. But being a kid in the 70s, that had a big impact too. Who can remember "Saturday Night at The Movies" BBC? ...Always introduced by the sound of someone playing those huge kettle drums and in my childhood memories ...always a WW2 epic.
Reading your copy of Warlord or Victor ( do kids read these now? Can you even buy these comics nowadays?) Or those pocket sized 'Commando' comics. What classic tales they told. It was through those that I first became fluent in German and Japanese ... Mien gott en hemal ... AAIIEEE!!!!!!! Of course I've forgotten it all now.
Everybody played outside. "C'mon ... up the fields, we're playing commandos". Getting sent to your room was a real punishment. Nowadays, getting kids to leave their rooms is like a punishment for them.
As for actionman in the 70s, there was a real fighting machine. Scar on the face from previous action, hard as nails crewcut, 'eagle eyes' for those tricky behind enemy lines missions, taking out two German guards with his bare hands and then making an escape on their motorbike and sidecar , making it back in time for tea. What's he do now? Rides about on a BMX with a Vidal Sassoon wash and blow dry cut handing out asbo orders to the evil Dr X for farting in public.
I think it must have been these.
Getting sent to your room was a real punishment. Nowadays, getting kids to leave their rooms is like a punishment for them.
Absolutely classic!!! Sadly, probably bang on target. But, a superb observation none the less.
My dad had been an artillery Lieutenant in the Portuguese Army during "those times", and he had his stories to tell. I can still remember him describing what he later found out to be Op. Torch from his POV of a 3.7" AA gun captain at night, terrified under the constant engine drone, waiting for a fire order that fortunately never came.
He had quite a few books on WW2 which I split with my brother (Clostermann's, Paul Carell, Rudel, etc). Also I read my brother aviation magazines from the late 60s onwards (that's where I got my English from), and started myself subscribing to Airfix Magazine in 1972.
As my brother was gluing airplane kits I decided to be different and go on tanks. About the same time, and through Afx Mag I became acquainted with wargames, and it all grew from there.
Somewhere in the 70s my group decided to go on WW2 wargaming (Napoleonics was the rage back then) and we met to decide who was going to do what, in God's Own Scale (1:300 or Micro Armour, for the uninitiated). As I came late to the meeting I got stuck with the Russians and again it all grew on from there, nickname and all
I managed to hang on to my Father's spurs, my mother having got rid of whatever else he had kept, such as a 3.7 AA shell or two
I think my brother has some photos of his, but as he's working in Köln it's very difficult to get anything from him.
From the first time I heard tales of the great battles of WW2 in primary school, I was intrigued.
My grandmother used to tell stories about how life was during the occupation of the germans... Especially one story she told me when I was about 10 years old... My grandparents lived on a farm, and one day when she was home alone she was looking out the window, she saw what appeared to be a young german soldier running towards their outhouse. The soldier entered the outhouse with haste. My grandmother already wasn't fond of the way the germans had intruded their lives, so she was furious because this young man had taken the privilege to use their outhouse without asking. She ran outside and started yelling at the german to get out of her property. He fumbled out of the door, pants halfway down, looking petrified, saying "sorry sorry" and quickly disappeared again. My grandmother never received any visits from germans again.
Another thing that got me interested in the subject was when I spoke to my brother in laws grandfather who helped out a local resistancegroup called The White Stone group on various occasions. He talked about how they operated. Picking up packages dropped in fields by the RAF at night time. Gathering intelligence etc. Some members of the group were eventually captured by the gestapo and executed.
Really there was no option as I was born in early 1938. Lived with my Gandparents from 1941 to 1946.
Grandad was gassed at Ypres and Dad was killed in 1942.
Started work at 15 and a few of my early workmates were WW1 Veterans who tried to scare the youngest of us with their gorey tales. I later found that most of what they related was true.
From the time I was 18 many of my workmates were WW2 Veterans. Not only English,there were Poles,Lithuanians,Latvians,a Russian and several Jugoslavs who fought with the Royalists. I occasionally meet up with one of the latter group. As I was the youngest of the team I worked with they looked after me, with one of the Poles trying to get me to marry his daughter. No Chance(talk about Red Rum).
To go fast forward,at the Invitation of The Government I took"Early Retirement". After catching up with the to do jobs around the House I decided to try and find out how Dad lost his life. There was some mystery about his Death as it was recorded as "missing believed to have Died as a P.O.W. 26/10/42 - 14/11/42".
When I contacted the M.O.D. a reply came by Mail stating"After almost 50yrs,and with scattered Records,there is no way of knowing how your Father died". The next step was to approach T.R.B.L. with the same question. When the answer came it was a Duplicate of what the M.O.D. had said.
Thinking about matters for about twelve months I decided to see my M.P. Alan Meale. It took about three weeks but I was finally told that Dad had been one of over 800 who was on the Italian ship the S.S.Scillin when she was sunk by the P212. A British Submarine.
I started to read up on the incident and advertised for any of the 27 survivors. Over a period of time 6 were contacted. For several years I found out as much as I could about Dads Death from the Survivors and from various other sources.
In 1992 I visited his Memorial at El Alamein. Since then five more vists have been made to Egypt.
Not a lot more to add.
Dad gave me a cigar box full of his badges and medals and things when I was in cadets. It has been a lifelong study and collecting habit he created that day.
That is my dream, to have an office such as that!
Well, I couldn´t tell for sure, but my mother has (somewhere) a lot of drawings I did as a 3 or 4 year old, in which I was already depicting strafing jets and rolling tanks.
Whether it was the fact that my father, even though a professional soccer player, was always very close to the Guatemalan Armed Forces, or that I was born in the years of the Internal War and the tension with Old Albion because of the Belize situation, I don´t really know. One of my late grandfathers might also be responsible, because he was always telling me stories about the October ´44 Revolution here in Guatemala, interspersed among the usual ghost stories from his native hamlet, and fairy tales.
What got me interested ?
A buff envelope, headed OHMS, dated September 1942 and containing an ivitation to present myself to a Primary Training Unit in Bury St.Edmunds, Hertfordshire on the 1st October 1942.
I have maintained my interest ever since
I was revisiting this thread (as I have a strong need to give my tuppenceworth to it) when I stumbled on your contribution - as usual you have a knack of bringing us all back down to earth with your quiet honesty - 'buff envelope...' - there is no answer to that!!!
My kindest regards,
And my very best regards to you Sir !
ex 49th LAA, ex 4th Q.O.H and ex HM Forces
I grew up in the Air Force (US), so being around the military was nothing new to me. It was in the mid-late 70's, though, and Vietnam was still fresh on everyone's mind, so as kids we played more cowboys-n-indians, Star Wars (still love the originals!), or GI Joe. But whenever I'd happen to catch one of the old classic war films (Bataan sticks in my mind, especially near the end when they wander out into the foggy field to find the sniper), I'd always sit down and watch. It was fascinating! Until Mom caught me, that is...how someone who was anti-war ever married a military man, I'll never understand...*g* I distinctly remember being stationed on Guam, and during several forays into the boonies, running across a concrete bunker. I always wondered how guys could see those things in time to do anything about 'em, or how one was supposed to shoot into those tiny openings...I imagined all the Marines storming the beaches were sniper-grade never-miss-a-shot Carlos-Hathcock-style shooters, and Harlem Globetrotter grade grenade chuckers. I remember always being fascinated with propeller-driven warbirds (the P38 in particular) and the A10. Gotta love a plane designed around a gun!!!
Later on, after getting out of the Navy, I was rather pissed with my ex-wife so I did several things that she swore I would never do...ran a marathon (knees still hurt) and bought a book. "Baa Baa Blacksheep" by Greg Boyington. Been hooked ever since.
Long before I started reading about WW2, we had a friend of the family who was involved in a model air show team called the Hawks Hurricanes. His basement was absolutely loaded with expensive fying models of Stukas, Spitfires, B-52's and Zeros that he made by hand. In addition, he had all kinds of models of tanks, and diaramas of German soldiers in battle. He insisted on using "Von" between his first and last name, even if it was not his birth right, and would say things like "Ve have Vays to may you talk!" in jovial conversation with my parents. I don't really think he aspired to be a Nazi at heart, but he joked around about it, which was pretty wierd looking back at it now. But all that ww2 stuff he had in his home left an impression on me that remained until I was old enough to start reading and comprehending history. The weapons, political and military leaders, icons and landscapes of the theatres of war are extremely powerful visually, even to young minds when they do not completely understand what they mean. I tend to trace my interest back to a time when my mind was most impressionable.
I went with school to see Schindler's List and the interest came from that and has grown a lot since
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