On This Day In History....in here for your military themed anniversaries - big and small

And so it came to pass that on this day in 2001 OP ENDURING FREEDOM was launched.

A rock solid, fully planned and supported Op to ensure a thousand year 20 year period of complete and utter stability in Afghanistan.

In accordance with Clauswitz and Sun Tzu a rich American President and a British PM the political will was fully unified both in terms of coalition partners and internally. All the previous lessons of invading fighting assisting Afghanistan had been thoroughly analysed and the challenge of establishing a western style democracy in a hard-line Islamic country with more alignment to a medieval style of governance were completely achievable with 1 generational turn.

Troops were trained in hot conditions for wintry tours and freezing conditions for summer tours. Troops were suitably trained.

Absolutely every no expense was spared to ensure helicopters, vehicles and other stuff was available to the plucky British Toms and their partners. Indeed, so low was the perceived threat that not even 1 bullet should have been fired from any one of the high powered assault rifles that our eroes carried (albeit this figure was later amended to about 3 trillion). Indeed, such a benign Op allowed many other fighting Nations to not even bother leaving the safety of their bases to carry out such mundane and totally unnecessary things like foot patrols.

Yes, a shining big (rolled in glittery glitter) example of what British spunk teamed up with USA firepower and money can do to change the stupid folk of the East.

Keep that template and Post Op Report for the future boys. We may need to do it all again as successfully as the last time.
 
On this day in 1571, 450 years ago, the Battle of Lepanto took place.
Lepanto was possibly the greatest naval battle in the history of the Mediterranean, and took place between the galley fleets of the Ottoman Empire on one side, and the European Holy League (primarily the Spanish Empire, Venice and the Papal States) on the other. Both sides saw the engagement as a latter-day crusade, and the Ottoman defeat made Lepanto the high water mark of their dreams of conquering Europe, beginning their long decline that would continue to the First World War. Apart from the addition of gunpowder weapons, the galleys had changed little since the days of the ancient Greeks,and this battle was the last great historical moment decided by human oar-power.

Battaglia_di_Lepanto.jpg
 
October 8th,

1918Sgt. Alvin C. York almost single-handedly killed 25 German soldiers and captured 132 in the Argonne Forest in France. Corporal Alvin C. York’s platoon was advancing toward the Decauville railway when they were hit with machinegun fire from all sides. The doughboys captured one gun, but the noise drew the fire of the remaining German emplacements, killing six and seriously wounding three Americans. As the most senior of the remaining doughboys, York went out alone to engage the enemy with just his rifle and service revolver, picking off the machinegunners one by one. When the fighting was over, York had single-handedly eliminated 35 machine guns, killed more than 20 Germans and taken 132 members of a Prussian Guards regiment as prisoners. A modest man, York shrugged off his heroic actions, saying, “It’s over; let’s forget it.”


1942Fight at Matanikau River, Guadalcanal. This Third Battle of the Matanikau was a U.S. success: the Marines mauled a Japanese infantry regiment and disrupted their offensive by capturing assembly and artillery positions on the east bank of the Matanikau.


1944 – The Battle of Crucifix Hill occurs just outside Aachen. Capt. Bobbie Brown receives a Medal of Honor for his heroics in this battle. The Battle of Crucifix Hill took place on Crucifix Hill (Haarberg) (Hill 239), next to the village of Haaren in Germany and was a part of the U.S. 1st Division’s campaign to seize Aachen, Germany. The Battle of Aachen was part of the Drive to the Siegfried Line. The hill was named after a large crucifix mounted on the top of the hill. The objective of the battle was to gain control of the hill, which was laced with a maze of pillboxes and bunkers, so that the main objective of encircling Aachen could be completed. The hill was held by units of the German 246. Volksgrenadierdivision.
 
On this day in 1066 aged 44, Harold Godwinson, King of England died of wounds after nine hours hard fighting the Normans.

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RIP bruv, you are wiv the Angles now - the Angles being the Germanic peoples who settled Britain in the post-Roman period of course....
 
14th October 1661: 360 years ago today the Tangier Regiment of Foot was raised on Putney Heath. On it’s return to England in 1684 it was restyled The Queen’s Regiment. ‘Pristine Virtutis Memor’

Edited to add: There will be a ceremony at the Memorial on Putney Heath at 1030hrs tomorrow (Saturday 16th inst.) to mark the occasion.
 
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Which would rather piss him off as he was of Danish descent . Not quite as big a Cnut as William.
Phef, don't believe that Norman propaganda böllocks, he actually died a hermit in Chester during the reign of Henry I, many years after Senlac Hill, Tropper was their at the battle and at Harold's death and told me.
 
This is quite a well known photograph, which is often reproduced to illustrate the astonishing capacity of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress to absorb combat damage and still stay flying.

de lancey crew1.jpg

As today is the 77th anniversary of the incident, it’s worth reproducing it again, with a bit more back story than is usually given.

The plane is Lovely Julie of the 398th Heavy Bombardment Group out of Nuthampstead. On October 15th 1944, piloted by Lt Lawrence M Delancey, her mission was to attack railway targets in Köln.
There were a few changes to the normal Delancey crew for this mission; as the regular co-pilot, Lt Grady L Crumbie was unable to fly due to an ear infection, his place was taken by Lt Phil Stahlman who only had this one final mission to fly in order to complete his 30 mission tour.
Delancey was missing another regular crew officer up front too; his usual navigator, Lt Mike Ryan, had been assigned as Group Lead Navigator and as such was flying in the Mission Commander’s plane. He was replaced as navigator by Lt Ray Le Doux who was usually Lovely Julie’s bombardier. 19 year old S/Sgt George Abbott was whistled up from his usual waist gun position to sit in the nose and toggle the bomb release when he saw the lead bomber unload. Known as a “Togglier” he also operated the Bendix chin turret if necessary. Abbott’s usual place in the waist was filled by a replacement, T/Sgt Russ Lachlan.

Flying at 27000 feet Lovely Julie was slightly damaged during the bomb run, but immediately after bombs away an 88mm flak shell pierced the chin turret and exploded in the nose compartment causing the damage shown in the photographs and instantly killing George Abbott. Ray Le Doux - who would normally have been in the bombardier’s seat - had a miraculous escape. He was sitting in the navigator’s position a mere three feet away from Abbott yet he received only superficial wounds when the shell exploded. When you look at the photographs, with the port side cheek .50 Browning ripped out of position and dangling outside the plane, it is almost impossible to see how anybody in the nose could have survived.

delanceys crew2.jpg


George Abbott would have been sitting almost directly above the chin turret, and Ray Le Doux at the navigator's table on the right. I think I can make out the remains of the table, possibly with a map attached. At 27000 feet, in the open air, Ray Le Doux managed to climb back and up on to the flight deck.

The oxygen and radio/intercom systems were out of action, as were nearly all of the pilots instruments, but Delancey realized that Lovely Julie was responding to controls. He descended rapidly to an altitude where the crew could breath, and sent back co-pilot Stahlman to tell the men in the rearward crew positions to stay aboard.

All navigation instruments and maps had been lost, and the pilots only had a compass and altimeter working. Forward vision from the cockpit was almost nil as wrecked metal had been blown up as far as the top turret. Ray managed to crawl through the debris to stand behind the pilot, and gave him instructions as to what course to fly in order to reach somewhere - anywhere - in England. Flying at only 2000 feet, they became a target for flak from any gunners who caught sight of the damaged plane. Once over England Ray then recognized landmarks in familiar English locations, and from memory he guided Delancey back to Nuthampstead.

One report that I have read by another 398th navigator claims that the Group became lost after hitting the target and drifted as far as Frankfurt a/M before getting a fix and returning to UK via Trier. So Lovely Julie, out of formation, alone, and despite her wounds, was the first returning B-17 to reach Nuthampstead. Coming in low, the waiting staff on the control tower and the ground crews heard her before they saw her - the 150mph wind blowing through the fuselage created an almighty howl. When they spotted her they could hardly believe their eyes.

Brakes and engine cowl flaps were the only hydraulically operated ancillaries on a B-17. Everything else was electrically powered. Julie's electrically powered undercarriage extended, but Delancey had noticed hydraulic fluid sloshing around and realized he would have little, if any, braking. Despite having almost no forward vision, relying on observations from Stahlman and Le Doux, he managed a good landing on Nuthampstead’s 6000 foot concrete runway finally rolling off into mud as can be seen in some photos. As the other crewmen dismounted, Larry Delancey remained seated until George Abbott's remains were removed from in front of him, and did the captain's traditional duty of being the last to leave the airplane. The Group Flight Surgeon recognised the signs of combat shock in Larry and prevented others, including Group CO Colonel Frank P Hunter, from approaching Larry until he was ready to shift for himself. Hunter and others on the ground were in an emotionally fragile condition anyway - earlier that morning they had witnessed the first 398th bomber to roll crash on take off, exploding with full bomb and fuel load just 1000 yards from the end of the runway. (Hunter himself was to die over Düsseldorf three months later.)

Doctor Sweet sent Julie's survivors to a "Flak Farm" rest centre for a few days before they were returned to duty.

Delancey’s crew survived their tours. Larry received a Silver Star for his part in the Köln raid, and died of cancer in California in 1995. Ray Le Doux received a DFC. He passed away in Oregon in 1989. Phil Stahlman received an Oak Leaf Cluster to his previously awarded DFC. He went on to a career as an airline pilot with Eastern Airlines, retiring in 1984 and dying in Florida in 2005.

George Abbott’s remains were repatriated after the war, and are buried in his home town, Mount Lebanon PA. His name, along with almost 300 other KIA of the 398th is etched into a memorial window at St George’s church at Anstey near Nuthampstead.
His sister, Lois, died as recently as March this year aged 93.

Delancey_601_19441115.jpg


The Delancey Crew.
This photo was taken a month to the day after the Cologne raid. Larry Delancey is standing left.
Ray Le Doux standing right, and George Abbott's image is in the oval post-mortem cartouche.
It looks like Larry and Ray had not yet received their medals. The other officers are the two who were not aboard
Lovely Julie on 15th October - Grady Cumbie with his ear infection and Mike Ryan who was flying in the Group Command aircraft.
Tour-expired Phil Stahlman (below) had rotated back to the US by the time this pic was taken.

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14th October 1661: 360 years ago today the Tangier Regiment of Foot was raised on Putney Heath. On it’s return to England in 1684 it was restyled The Queen’s Regiment. ‘Pristine Virtutis Memor’

Also 14th October 1962, the Cuban Missile crisis began

Where a U2 in the early days before Bono, offered incontrovertible evidence that Soviet-made medium-range missiles were in Cuba
 
Phef, don't believe that Norman propaganda böllocks, he actually died a hermit in Chester during the reign of Henry I, many years after Senlac Hill, Tropper was their at the battle and at Harold's death and told me.
You make my point, Since they were also of Danish decent through Rollo ( no not Rolo) To have died 50 years after the event as a Hermit was some feat. Besides how old is Tropper, can’t more than ancient centurion
 
Tropper was gods adviser on the creation of the World so older than our own decrepit centurion.
 
October 17th
1777
General John Burgoyne with British forces of 5,000 men surrendered to General Horatio Gates, commander of the American forces at Schuylerville, NY. In the fall of 1777, the British commander Gen’l. Burgoyne and his men were advancing along the Hudson River. After Burgoyne had retreated to the heights of Saratoga, the Americans stopped and surrounded them. The surrender was a turning point in the American Revolution, demonstrating American determination to gain independence. After the surrender, France sided with the Americans, and other countries began to get involved and align themselves against Britain.


1781Cornwallis was defeated at Yorktown. Cornwallis’ options had been running out. He had even tried sending blacks infected with smallpox over enemy lines in an attempt to infect the American and French troops. After a futile counterattack, Cornwallis offered to surrender.


1941 – The U.S. destroyer Kearney DD-432 was damaged by a German U-boat torpedo off Iceland; 11 Americans were killed


1943 – The last operational German auxiliary cruiser, Michel, is sunk by the American submarine Tarpon off the Japanese coast. The German raider has sunk 17 ships during its cruise.



1943 – The advancing US 5th Army takes Liberi and Alvignano.



1944 – US 2nd Corps (part of US 5th Army) continues attacks toward Bologna, Italy.



1944 – As a diversion for the American attack on Leyte, the British Eastern Fleet sends 2 carriers, 1 battle cruiser and lighter ships on a raid of the Nicobar Islands. Air strikes and shelling are carried out, causing damage.



1944 – In France, US 7th Army continues its offensive around Luneville and Bruyeres.



1944US Task Group 77.4 (Admiral TF Sprague) continues air strikes on Leyte, Cebu and Mindanao. US Task Group 38.4 (Admiral Davison) arrives with 4 carriers and launches air strikes on Luzon. Also, American minesweeping in Leyte Gulf begin and there are minor landings, by elements of the US 6th Ranger bn, on the islands of Suluan and Dinagat at the entrance to Leyte Gulf.



1945 – Iva Toguri D’Aquino, a Japanese-American suspected of being wartime radio propagandist “Tokyo Rose,” was arrested by 3 CIC officers in her Tokyo apartment.
 

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LE
Kit Reviewer

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
October 17th
1777
General John Burgoyne with British forces of 5,000 men surrendered to General Horatio Gates, commander of the American forces at Schuylerville, NY. In the fall of 1777, the British commander Gen’l. Burgoyne and his men were advancing along the Hudson River. After Burgoyne had retreated to the heights of Saratoga, the Americans stopped and surrounded them. The surrender was a turning point in the American Revolution, demonstrating American determination to gain independence. After the surrender, France sided with the Americans, and other countries began to get involved and align themselves against Britain.


1781Cornwallis was defeated at Yorktown. Cornwallis’ options had been running out. He had even tried sending blacks infected with smallpox over enemy lines in an attempt to infect the American and French troops. After a futile counterattack, Cornwallis offered to surrender.


1941 – The U.S. destroyer Kearney DD-432 was damaged by a German U-boat torpedo off Iceland; 11 Americans were killed


1943 – The last operational German auxiliary cruiser, Michel, is sunk by the American submarine Tarpon off the Japanese coast. The German raider has sunk 17 ships during its cruise.



1943 – The advancing US 5th Army takes Liberi and Alvignano.



1944 – US 2nd Corps (part of US 5th Army) continues attacks toward Bologna, Italy.



1944 – As a diversion for the American attack on Leyte, the British Eastern Fleet sends 2 carriers, 1 battle cruiser and lighter ships on a raid of the Nicobar Islands. Air strikes and shelling are carried out, causing damage.



1944 – In France, US 7th Army continues its offensive around Luneville and Bruyeres.



1944US Task Group 77.4 (Admiral TF Sprague) continues air strikes on Leyte, Cebu and Mindanao. US Task Group 38.4 (Admiral Davison) arrives with 4 carriers and launches air strikes on Luzon. Also, American minesweeping in Leyte Gulf begin and there are minor landings, by elements of the US 6th Ranger bn, on the islands of Suluan and Dinagat at the entrance to Leyte Gulf.



1945 – Iva Toguri D’Aquino, a Japanese-American suspected of being wartime radio propagandist “Tokyo Rose,” was arrested by 3 CIC officers in her Tokyo apartment.
a
October 17th
1777
General John Burgoyne with British forces of 5,000 men surrendered to General Horatio Gates, commander of the American forces at Schuylerville, NY. In the fall of 1777, the British commander Gen’l. Burgoyne and his men were advancing along the Hudson River. After Burgoyne had retreated to the heights of Saratoga, the Americans stopped and surrounded them. The surrender was a turning point in the American Revolution, demonstrating American determination to gain independence. After the surrender, France sided with the Americans, and other countries began to get involved and align themselves against Britain.


1781Cornwallis was defeated at Yorktown. Cornwallis’ options had been running out. He had even tried sending blacks infected with smallpox over enemy lines in an attempt to infect the American and French troops. After a futile counterattack, Cornwallis offered to surrender.


1941 – The U.S. destroyer Kearney DD-432 was damaged by a German U-boat torpedo off Iceland; 11 Americans were killed


1943 – The last operational German auxiliary cruiser, Michel, is sunk by the American submarine Tarpon off the Japanese coast. The German raider has sunk 17 ships during its cruise.



1943 – The advancing US 5th Army takes Liberi and Alvignano.



1944 – US 2nd Corps (part of US 5th Army) continues attacks toward Bologna, Italy.



1944 – As a diversion for the American attack on Leyte, the British Eastern Fleet sends 2 carriers, 1 battle cruiser and lighter ships on a raid of the Nicobar Islands. Air strikes and shelling are carried out, causing damage.



1944 – In France, US 7th Army continues its offensive around Luneville and Bruyeres.



1944US Task Group 77.4 (Admiral TF Sprague) continues air strikes on Leyte, Cebu and Mindanao. US Task Group 38.4 (Admiral Davison) arrives with 4 carriers and launches air strikes on Luzon. Also, American minesweeping in Leyte Gulf begin and there are minor landings, by elements of the US 6th Ranger bn, on the islands of Suluan and Dinagat at the entrance to Leyte Gulf.



1945 – Iva Toguri D’Aquino, a Japanese-American suspected of being wartime radio propagandist “Tokyo Rose,” was arrested by 3 CIC officers in her Tokyo apartment.
It's interesting to read what was going on in the World on a given day, particularly the big battles and offensives. It got me thinking about what my Dad would have been doing around this time of year in 1944.

Having had some grenade splinters removed from his leg after the liberation of Paris, at a local Field Hospital, he came back to England probably in late September.

Although he was in 30AU, his home base was RM Eastney Barracks near Portsmouth where he was instructed to undergo further training in preparation for another invasion of Europe, having already arrived in France at 0730 on 6 June by running up the beach.

It turns out that the next invasion would be Walcheren (Scheldt estuary) in early November where he got wet again but probably was helped this time by a Canadian landing vehicle (Buffalo?) as he was attached to them as before.

So, after all those words, I reckon he would have been training either in Scotland or at the 30AU communications house in a side street at Littlehampton on the south coast of England!

Apologies for the drift.
 

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It got me thinking about what my Dad would have been doing around this time of year in 1944.

Having had some grenade splinters removed from his leg after the liberation of Paris, at a local Field Hospital, he came back to England probably in late September.
Your dad was ffrench ?
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Your dad was ffrench ?
No, he was English.

Elements of 30AU went into Paris alongside the US and Free French forces as regular RM infantrymen. They got started on their tasks once all the local factions stopped fighting with each other, and the Yanks had got the Germans under control.

During his time in Paris, 30AU were working for RN Intelligence who were based at the Petit Palace Hotel.

I only got to know this very late on in his life when he gave me a few bits and pieces although, when I was a boy, he did mention D Day and Walcheren a couple of times and that he was attached to the Canadians each time.

He didn't say much really although was great user of the phrase "Bugger the French" as long as I can remember.

That's pretty much all I know apart from having his Service papers, part of a German flag and a couple of photos, all of which I found in his attic after his death. So there we are...
 

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LE
Kit Reviewer
No, he was English.

Elements of 30AU went into Paris alongside the US and Free French forces as regular RM infantrymen. They got started on their tasks once all the local factions stopped fighting with each other, and the Yanks had got the Germans under control.

During his time in Paris, 30AU were working for RN Intelligence who were based at the Petit Palace Hotel.

I only got to know this very late on in his life when he gave me a few bits and pieces although, when I was a boy, he did mention D Day and Walcheren a couple of times and that he was attached to the Canadians each time.

He didn't say much really although was great user of the phrase "Bugger the French" as long as I can remember.

That's pretty much all I know apart from having his Service papers, part of a German flag and a couple of photos, all of which I found in his attic after his death. So there we are...
He'd been taking the piss, everyone knows it was De Gaulle and his ffrench troops alone who liberated Paris, just look at the parade footage.
 
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