The Home Guard - Channel 4 now

Speaking of the Home Guard, does anyone out there by any miracle know which regiment David Freeman-Mitford (Lord Redesdale) served with during WWI?

Desperate for something to read, I decided yesterday to re-read Nancy Mitford's largely autobiographical "The Pursuit of Love". There is an amusing bit about her father’s entrenching tool hung over the family fireplace as a trophy with human blood and hair still stuck to it. Apparently he had used it to “whack to death eight Germans one by one as they crawled out of a dug out.” Funny guy! He served in the Home Guard during WWII.


Book Reviewer
buges said:
Clock says 23:42, i take it that i have missed it, bo11ocks.

was it any good ?
yeah...very fair treatment...made the point that the training at Osterly Park by a number of people with first-hand experience of guerilla warfare from the Spanish Civil War was EXACTLY what the guys wanted.....and why the War Office started to get a bit concerned...largely because the main driving force - Tom Wintringham apparentely - was a proud and unabashed Communist who had commanded the British contingent of the International Brigade....

EDIT: here y'go:
Sixty-six years ago Britain and its Home Guard braced itself for a Nazi invasion. Our modern notions of Britain's defences and Home Guard have been very much formed by the legendary comedy Dad's Army, creating an enduring myth of the Home Guard as a bumbling army of misfits and old men. But were the Home Guard really as incompetent as the men from Walmington-on-Sea portrayed on television? Using witness testimony, archive and archaeological evidence, this series heralds The Real Dad's Army and reveals the untold story of the Defence of Britain; the biggest building project ever undertaken creating a hidden underground network of bunkers and coastline defences. The series also investigates an extraordinary recreation of Hitler's original plans to invade Britain. A unique war game was run at the Military Academy at Sandhurst in the 1970s, which pitted German officers who had planned the real invasion against their former enemies. Francis Pryor retraces the steps, and reveals the result, of what would have happened if Germany had made a combined land and air invasion in 1940. The first film tells the story of Tom Wintringham - the Red Revolutionary - one of the leading journalists of his time, a former communist and freedom fighter from the Spanish civil war. His vision was to mould the Home Guard into a vast guerrilla army. In the unlikely setting of a stately home on the outskirts of London, he established one of the most sophisticated military training centres in the country. Surviving Home Guard veterans explain what life was like in The Real Dad's Army, and demonstrate how they were trained to tackle the Nazis.
Interesting interview with an old chap who'd been a teenage Home Guard in Cornwall when the 'Invasion Imminent' codeword was actually sent out, in Sept 1940.......brought it home to you what these fellers were actually about......he had absolutely no illusions that the battle hardened Wehrmacht would have gone through them like sh1t through a goose....but they still ' grabbed a gat and stagged on '....respect week is all about the fortifications put in place all over the country to slow down the invading Hun....all now slipping into briar-covered hedges....

Le Chevre
That was really good last night!
Wasn't the chappy with all the experience who set it up at Osterly Park called Tom Wintringham?

Yup - here's the link Tom W

Edited to add the link
I Liked the "Roller Skating home guard"" Into action. :) And the "Sticky Bomb" :( Fcuk that thing for a game of soldiers....
I taped it last night, so cant comment of the programme but it looks good.

From memory ther were to parts of the reistance plan, one was the formed unit Home Guard side of things, and the other was the stay behind SOE type of organisation. Does the programme go into them both?


Book Reviewer
Mike_2817 said:
Its due to be repeated on the History Channel in a few weeks/months! Keep an eye out for it next time round...
I am sure I saw it on the History Channel last year sometime.


Book Reviewer
Cpl_ripper said:
And the "Sticky Bomb" :( Fcuk that thing for a game of soldiers....
My dad ( who was an under age LDV at 14 in 1940 - until he got found out and dragged home by his ear) thought they were bloody lethal...and not exclusively to the enemy he subsequently passed out of Infantry training with the Artists Rifles ( later 23(V) SAS) and is not renowned for line-shooting, I took his word for it......he said the sticky bombs worked though :) ...would have been some very dead Home Guards and maybe one or two puzzled , shocked and awed Panzer commanders around !

" desparate times call for desparate measures, Your Majesty....."
Grabbed a gat and stagged on?

Grabbed a bl00dy pike, having watched the programme last night . . . . .

A WW1 18" bayonet welded to a 5' length of steel pipe, Germans for the prodding and provoking of.

Apparently 1/4 million of these pikes were made, but very few were issued as the CoC was too ashamed to hand them out :)
I remember reading about the sticky bomb

It was never cleared for use by the government as it was just as likely to kill the user

However the commandos liked it and took it on and it found its way into use


Kit Reviewer
Did anyone burn a dvd of the programme ?
I'm unable to get Ch 4 and am consequently buggered.
smoojalooge said:
I remember reading about the sticky bomb

It was never cleared for use by the government as it was just as likely to kill the user

However the commandos liked it and took it on and it found its way into use
It was certainly in use in the Army by El Alemein. It was about the only effective infantry anti tank weapon. Somewhere there is a contemporary acocpuntby the journalist Alan Morehead of some brave Assuies knocking out German tanks with them in the 1st battle of El Alemein.

The Home Guard TV programme was good.

Tom Winteringham and his crowd had another indirect influence on the British Army. This crowd included a spanish civil war veteran -a Czech officer called Miksche who wrote a book called "Blitzkreig" published in 1940. As far as I can see is one of the first people to wrtite in English about the merits of routinely forming all arms combat teams at company level and decentralised aertillery as part of a web/ island defence. I wonder if he was the inspiration for some of the innovations that Auickinleck tried to implement in the Werstern Desert -and reversed by Montgomery. Post war the British Army ended up with tactical conceptsa closer to Miktsche's.

Here is a link to a page about Miksche.
I thought that the sticky bomb was only issued en mass to the Home Guard after it was withdrawn from the regular army for being too dangerous (to the user that is).
Anybody watch tonights episode? I thought it was very interesting when it decribed the excercises which took place in the 1970s on Sealion- is there anywhere on the web where I can read up more on these wargames?


My favourite part was a guy who hadn't shot an smg since '43 and still managed to place all the rounds within the circles and reasonably grouped. I thought it was funny....
Re Sticky Bombs,
Does anyone not recall the use of 'sticky-bombs' in Saving Private Ryan.
The exact way to make them was even explained in the film and is in the platoon leaders/commanders handbook which was issued to most ,if not all, junior officers.

Oh and the Commando Magazine had one issue showing them in use, lots of 'eat sticky bomb Fritz' and 'achtungs' too :lol:
Saw it in The Works ,collection of Commando

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