How not to blow something up - Evelyn Waugh, 1942

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by flamingo, Sep 25, 2007.

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  1. I just came across this for the first time in a while, and it had me almost wetting myself laughing (again). I had to share it!

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  2. And appears in his collected letters also. It is one of the funniest anecdotes I have ever come across, and also good material for lectures when dealing with the need for accuracy.

    (edited once for mong spelling)
  3. I can't read it without uncontrolled laughter - I had to stop typing twice! :lol:

    Although I remember as a young nurse nearly doing something similar - giving a patient 100mg, not 100mcg of some drug or other (your life in their hands!) Luckly one of the old and the bold stopped me when I was seen taking a second box of ampoules out of the cupboard, when all I should have needed was 1/2 an ampoule!
  4. sounds like a good unit to be in.

    the trouble is that the commandos used to be a fantastic unit.

    indeed, the first paras were all commandos

    now luck at the *******, ******* useless **** twats who surrender to ******* iranians

    well **** me pink
  5. Were they? I know a chap who was ex RE who would disagree with you...
  6. Truly hilarious - is the rest of the book (The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes) that good?
  7. its worth having on a bookshelf. Not all funny, but very good "dipping into" reading. (One to keep near the lavatory!)
  8. Thanks - will certainly give it a try!
  9. ” Were they? I know a chap who was ex RE who would disagree with you... “

    Now there’s a thing, so do I. Actually the one I’m thinking of has been floating around the web for years, tacking gently onto a forum, then chunking out his service story by instalments. Actually, if you miss any you can go to any number of sites and catch-up there.

    It’s an interesting perspective, which one of course accepts as true, like……being the first overland to Pegasus Bridge??? Strange because No.6, as stated in relevant War Diaries, were sniped, machine gunned and generally engaged from Sword to the Orne. Just think, all they need do was go as Sappers and they could have waltzed it. No doubt they could also have leaned against the bridge for a smoke when they got there, like a Sapper, impervious to the sniping on the structure which caused casualties among Ox's and Cdos?

    The Cdos in Italy could have done with these ‘specials’, like in place of the ones who took so long to lift mines on a mud causeway the Cdos decided to press on through regardless. Then, old sweats often come out with things. Like the time I was listening to a couple of 2 Bde'rs who were answering questions for some youngsters on Greece – very enthusiastically I would add as that area is not among the popular thumbnails. All of a sudden a man walked up and took over the dialogue? They let him finish, then one of the Cdos continued exactly thus:

    “You were in Greece then?”
    ______ “Greece, yes I was in Greece”

    “Who were you with?”
    _______ “The SAS”

    “S..A…………….oh yeah, I remember them………………. You weren’t all that!”
    8O :wink:

  10. Sorry No. 9. Chap I was thinking about was a neigbour where I used to live. Don't know if he was ever on the net. He was ex RE turned Para Regiment not Para RE. Mind you, the hole in his leg that was a souvineer of Market Garden was impressive!

    I'm afraid I don't really follow your post, otherwise.
  11. I don't get your post either No 9? were there not sappers in every glider?!


    P.S. I do believe Capt Cheeky here on ARRSE will have something to say about the 30 Sappers involvement in the Battle for Pegasus Bridge...
  12. Did a similar thing on a course a few years ago. Making the improvised claymore, ammo tin, bag of nails etc. Instructor says, "Use half a stick of PE4". B0llocks, thinks I, two sticks'll do it.

    Dutifully place ammo tin on bank, arrange Figure 11s around in enemy poses, retire to firing point and press button. On return, bank is now GBFO hole 12 feet across, Figure 11s still artfully arranged, completely undamaged and with slight grins, I'm sure.

    Young Angular firmly reminded of his place in the Universe by aforementioned Instructor. :oops:
  13. 12' or 1.2' Angular?! 8)
  14. Well, from where I'm sitting now, 12 foot of course. :D

    It was certainly far too big, compared to the total lack of damage to the targets.

    Edited to add: Maybe that's why they made me an officer...put me somewhere where I couldn't cause any significant damage :wink:

  15. :D Understood Angular... It's a bit like asking an 'Angler' about the size of fish caught - the story just wouldn't have the same effect if said 'Angler' came out with Oh! all of approx: 0.46kg in weight :wink: