If you won a bit of money what old battlefield would you visit ?

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Owen, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    We need to lighten this place up with some light hearted chatter.
    We've got far too serious .

    As I've just spent the last few months reading up on the war in the Pacific I think I now need to see Peleliu & Okinawa.
    A reasonable win on the Lotto would be helpful with the airfare.
    Failing that I'd buy a White Scout car & head down to Italy.

    Where would you head off to ?
    dbf and Buteman like this.
  2. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    With my interest in WW2 landing craft I would like to go to Crete to see the 2 Mk1 LCT wrecks I have been researching for nearly 5 years now.

    I would also like to visit Egypt and see Alexandria, Port Suez, Mersa Matruh, Tobruk, Greece, and the evacuation beaches and all the other places the 'Med' LCTs operated, especially Suda Bay in Crete.
    Of course I would combine that with a tour of El Alamein, and all the North African battlefields.

    Ultimately though, if I had the money, I would like to fund a search for my Uncle's LCT which sunk on the 18th of October 1944 off the west coast of Cornwall in convoy OS92/KMS66 and has never been found.

    After that I (as an amateur diver) would follow Owen to the pacific and dive Truk Lagoon.
    Owen likes this.
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    American Civil War as many as time would allow

    Zulu Wars :Rorkes Drift
  4. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    The hell with visiting. After the winter we've had, a permanent move to Truk Lagoon sounds very nice. Murmansk is definitely off.
    Owen likes this.
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Tournai, Belgium - A small, insignificant battle, a brief firefight really, involving a dear friend and where this man lost the finest soldier he ever knew.
    canuck likes this.
  6. spidge


    Well I would be off to get the rest of the headstone photos of my RAAF Australians around the world for a start. I would trace my Dad's footsteps with the 2/8th Battalion (6th Australian Division) in Egypt from Alexander through Mersa Matruh, Sidi Barrani and onto Bardia where the Australians had their first decent engagement, then onto Tobruk fifteen days later where he was the recipient of a Mortar explosion that critically wounded him however survived and fathered four sons. From Dad's Battalion history book, it defines a clear area where dad would have been "knocked"! Tobruk has always held a fascination for me, not so much for the fortitude shown by the Commonwealth Garrison and how that Garrison came together under an Australian (School Teacher) General Morshead and proved that the Germans were not invincible.

    The next part would be the trek to El Alamein where the 9th division were involved and gave another gutsy performance taking close to 30% of that battles casualties. I would then surely visit all of the cemeteries in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

    Next? How could you get so close and not visit Morocco! Casablanca is where I would visit the graves of Flying Officer Leo George Hardiman RAAF (22) at Ben M'sik European Cemetery (On the road to Marrakesh by the way) who is the only Australian, the very young 14 year old Britsh Merchant Navy "Galley Boy", Raymond Victor Steed (at one time said to be the youngest war casualty) and third, next to him, is the grave of Field Marshall Sir Claude Auchinleck. He "retired" to Morocco and died in 1981 at the age of 96. The ages and rank are in quite differing proportions, however they lie equal together in death.

    Anyway, that is the itinerary for the first 6-9 months. I think I should enjoy myself no end!!!


    Owen and RemeDesertRat like this.
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Never thought of something like that close to home.
    There's me thinking of travel to far off places & that's something maybe more rewarding on our doorstep.
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    I liked the concept of this thread with it's "where would you visit if money was no problem"

    Hope you will forgive me if I borrow the thread for a moment to sing the praises of the Lottery's "Heroes Return" which enabled me personally to re-visit two ww2 sites.

    I have always freely admitted that I have been a lucky bastard.

    Fortunate enough to have survived ww2 virtually unscathed and shortly after doubly lucky in meeting my life partner (with whom I have shared the past 65 years ) I have, I feel, made the most of my not uninteresting years.

    In particular I have been able to re-visit some of the haunts of my youth including places that achieved notoriety because of their significance in ww2 history and this thread is as good as any to remind you (and myself) about three particular holidays that I used to return to wartime sites

    Two of these visits were part funded by the generous Heroes Return fund, the last was self funded and probably gave me the most satisfaction.

    Visit No.1 was Return to Cassino, partly funded by HR scheme and was based in Rome

    Visit No.2 was Return to Messina, partly funded again by the HR and and based in the coastal town of Taormina

    No 3 was Return to Trieste followed by a week in Venice.

    Unfortunately, advancing years have finally put paid to any further overseas visits and I now seem to spend an awful lot of time just looking back at pilgrimages I have made to areas in which I served.

    I urge you all, if and when you can, to visit the places relating to your research.

    The memory of your visit will provide you with wondrous memories in the years to come.

  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    I've always wanted to tour South America, so I thought having just seen a documentary about the hunting down of the Graf Spee, I might visit the area around River Plate, not sure you could call this a 'battlefield', perhaps a battle zone:


    Of course, while I was down that way, I'd like to pop across to the Falklands and visit Goose Green.
  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

  11. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I would want to go to Hong Kong and follow the route of the 2nd Battalion of The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) as they courageously tried to withstand the invasion of the Japanese when they landed in December 1941.

    This 93-year-old would want to walk the paths they trod and the ground they held, as a tribute to their bravery. To stand awhile at the last resting place of my Brother Royal Scots Killed in Action and kneel beside the grave of Captain Douglas Ford GC in Stanley Prison Cemetery.

    Douglas Ford was held in captivity in Sham Shui Po. A British Mission in China was encouraging prisoners to escape from the Japanese P.o.W. camps and Captain Ford became a ringleader in Sham Shui Po, making contact with British Agents and in conjunction with other officers planned a major break out. He pleaded for drugs and vitamins to be smuggled in to the camp, since the men had first to escape from malnutrition. When one of the Chinese 'runners' was picked up, he destroyed all the British records and then waited for the Japanese to come for him.

    Despite torture in Stanley Prison, starvation and a sentence of death, he refused to betray his comrades. After being forced to dig his own grave he was executed by Japanese firing squad at Big Wave Bay on the 18th December 1943 along with Captain L. A. Newnham MC, Middlesex Regiment, and Captain Mateen Ahmed Ansari, 7th Rajput Regiment, Indian Army, who was beheaded.

    Captain Douglas Ford was posthumously awarded the George Cross.

    Joe Brown.
  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Joe,

    I've spoken to a veteran (now sadly no longer with us) who was present at Mount Victoria. One of his most stark memories was the absolute disgust felt by the 2 Royal Scots at the speed at which the defending forces 'gave up' (his words).

    I would join you on this visit, no doubt about it.

    Best wishes

  13. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    The annals of Ww2 history are full of magnificent but heart-rending stories of men like your Captain Douglas Ford.

    Thank you for reminding us of men like him.

    Lest we forget !

  14. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    As some of you know, I'm heading off to Italy in May staying in Cassino and will be at the 70th Anniversary ceremonies :)
    Cannot think of anything else I'd rather do, except perhaps join Owen on another trip to Italy in a white scout car .Can Dan come too? :wink:

    Owen likes this.
  15. Pylon1357

    Pylon1357 Junior Member

    For me, hands down, I would have to be the area around Corriano Italy, where my uncle fell. If time and money permitted, I would also head somewhat further south (if I ever figure out exactly where) to look over the area where a missing member of the Regiment was last seen.
  16. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Seriously, a few weeks in Normandy and Holland, following the route of Canadian forces would be my first choice.

    Ortona a close second.
  17. toki2

    toki2 Junior Member

    Following my father's footsteps from Caen to Hamburg via Belgium and Netherlands then, my father in law's to Sicily, Cassino and Rome.
  18. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Sounds like Canadian 5th Armoured - who were deeply involved in the liberation of the village of Coriano close to San Martino

    where the 1st Division were battling away there - the other place south the 5th were involved was at Melfa in the liri Valley…

  19. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    It would have to be Cassino. There is no other battlefield like it.

  20. South

    South Member

    I'd like to visit Crete, where my husband's Grandad fought and was taken POW.

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