Bravest act on the Allied side.

Discussion in 'General' started by The Aviator, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Another one, this time for category #1:

    The commanders of the Acasta and the Ardent, which stood up to the Gneisenau and Prince Eugen trying to cover the retreat of the Glorious, in ´39.


    I'll second that one!
    Both blown to pieces. Having read a good book which had a chapter devoted to the Glorious sinking, it should never have happened!

  2. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    In my eyes, everyone who fought in World War II is a hero, I pick no favorites. :)
  3. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

  4. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    With apologies, I have read and/or heard of so many individual acts of bravery that it is almost impossible to rank then in order. What has always amazed me most is not the single act or a specific battle but how those men did what they did, day after day, week after week without let up. There is obviously courage involved in rising to a specific occasion but to me, the heroic stamina involved to face death each and every day will always be simply awesome.
    Until his recent passing, I knew a quiet, self effacing veteran who discouraged any personal praise by answering, "all I did was drive a truck". I accepted that for some time until someone informed me that it was a gasoline tanker and his nightly run was to the front to re-fuel tanks. Of the comrades he lost, there was never much left to identify. Quiet, steady courage!
  5. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Lt Arthur Heal RE 246 Field Company Third Div "Monty's Ironsides" For his courage in the taking of "Hillman" The bravest act by anyone, anywhere on the Normandy Invasion coast.
  6. Mullet94

    Mullet94 Senior Member

    I think it would be too hard and wrong to say what was the single bravest act by the Allies. But the group of men that I have the utmost respect for is the merchantmen and the men on the convoy escorts during the Battle of the Atlantic.

    When I think about the place I would have least liked to have served it's on the convoy's going backwards and forwards with the threat of a U-Boat attack, I'm not sure I could have handled the psychological threat posed by them. The thought of having to go through being sunk, drowned or stuck on a lifeboat in the middle of the Atlantic is terrible, stick me in the infantry any day.
  7. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    dead right mate.
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    While agreeing wholeheartedly with Mullet & Sapper (re the Merchant Navy men) I must mention that in my experience most servicemen completely respected the roles that other units played and would not have wished to have changed jobs with them.

    As an example, I can remember, as a wireless op in Ack Ack, saying to a passing infantryman "I wouldn't have your job for a pension mate !" only to have an passing infantryman say exactly the same thing to me when I passed him by in my Honey tank a year later !
  9. TheSaved

    TheSaved Junior Member

    It's obviously impossible to pick out the "bravest" in this massive war filled with innumerable moments of courage.

    One instance that always made me shake my head in wonder though was the action of the USN destroyers in San Bernadino Strait during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Can you imagine the guts it must have taken for a small handful of destroyers to repeatedly charge a Japanese battle line composed of such ships as the Yamato???

    Battle off Samar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  10. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    One of the RE Gentlemen sent me some stickers

    "Follow the Sappers. First in.....Last out... of the bar that is"
  11. Franek

    Franek WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    My choice would have to go the the British at the bridge at Nigmegan.A lot of brave men died in that battle. (Operation Market Garden)
  12. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Going in under fire constitutes bravery.... so all are heros

  13. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    I've read that Mayne was the most decorated British Serviceman of the war.
    Is that right?
    Four DSOs isn't exactly common (along with the controversial VC ommision).

    Certainly looked the part:
    I have recently got the book SAS History Of The Special Raiding Squadron, 'Paddys Men' and at the end of the book is a Citation for an award of the VC to W/Major(T/LT COL) 87306 Robert Blair for a action on April 9th 1945 but instead of the VC he recived a third bar to his DSO.Now while im aware of plenty of speculation about Blair being awarded the VC I did not know he was auctually cited for one, anyone else know of this?. The citation would certienly appear to compare very well with other VC awards that I have read of being given:confused: so who decided otherwise, looking at the citation it looks most likely Monty put the mockers on it:unsure: if this is news I will post the citation in full. Jason
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    The decision whether to give a VC has always been a strange one and one as of yet I have failed to understand so the jury is still out although I suspect a bit of local politics, propaganda and if you die helps.

    In recent times I've read quite a few DCM's from WW2 and some of them exceeded some of the VC's awarded for the same period.

  15. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    The decision whether to give a VC has always been a strange one ....

    The first Divisional history I read (WW1) said something like Corporal X got his VC, but many more earned one that day. And a little later in the history, Private Y's action was recommended for a VC, but the reply came back 'he was only doing his job'
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I can believe it Geoff.

    I may start a thread of DCM's that were recommended for VC's in WW2 :unsure:
  17. red devil

    red devil Senior Member

    We have had website owners ask us to mention their sites when members post images that aren't their own.
    I too have been guilty of this in the past.
    We're just trying to keep the site on the right side of Copyright law if that is possible.

    In a football forum I had a club avatar, I was told to remove it -copyright - by the club concerned (MUFC). Also I quoted a work of WW2 which was not recognised, I forgot, and I got one angry letter!!

    Back on topic, I do not think heroism can be categorised into one action over another. ANY action where a person puts himself, or herself, in harms way, to achieve the aim of helping others is worthy of note. My own particular WW2 hero is Capt FJ Walker RN (and all his men).
  18. machine shop tom

    machine shop tom Senior Member

    As my dad was a participant in the Battle off Samar, I'll cast my vote for that action. Lacking that particular personal connection, there are far too many other examples to pick one that is head and shoulders over any others.

  19. spidge


    As my dad was a participant in the Battle off Samar, I'll cast my vote for that action. Lacking that particular personal connection, there are far too many other examples to pick one that is head and shoulders over any others.


    Hi Tom,

    A very difficult question indeed and there were thousands of examples in every part of LandSeaAir.

    The personal pride is foremost in our minds. I knew only that my dad was critically wounded by a mortar bomb taking Tobruk in 1941 and I was proud of him being there.

    At his funeral in 1982, a couple of the guys in his company attended the funeral. They told my mum that if not for dad they would have been dead.

    They were caught in the open by a number of Italian machine gun emplacements which dad took on with his bren and became the alternative target and spent three months in hospital.

    If they are trained well - They do their job.


  20. prgreycloud

    prgreycloud Junior Member

    Re VC recommendations that were 'downgraded' to DCM/DSO Lt Kenneth Tuffnell from the Lanc Fusiliers was recommended for the VC whilst attached to the 1st East Lancs in the battle of the bulge. I've posted his citation on the site already if you do a search under 'tuffnell' - I'm sure I should be able to post a link but don't know how to..... His VC was changed at 2nd army level, having been approved at regimental, brigade, divisional and corps level. There is certainly some 'luck' in what the individual ends up with. Let's also not forget those who have fought and died and who might well have been recognised for their bravery but for the fact no-one was there to witness it.

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