The war stories we don't hear

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by ches, Sep 15, 2010.

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  1. I've long held an interest in those little stories of WW1 & WW2 about the other of the way places & incidents & their experience, contribution or complete lack of participation in said conflict.
    The story of the early commando raids to the small island bases in the Artic is particularly interesting (apparently a load of Norwegian nationals came back with the raiding party & joined the Norwegian forces over here).

    Anyone got any ditties about far flung places etc that had something interesting happen there?
  2. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    • Like Like x 1
  3. Not "far flung" but unusual :- Two Men Went to War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This is a true story of 2 men from the Royal Army Dental Corps who stole a boat and invaded France with 2 pistols & some grenades and attacked a German Radar station! They were court martialled for desertion on their return but thanks to the remarkable coincidence that their attack coincided with a Commando raid on another part of the same Radar station at the same time, confirmed their attack! The Sergeant was still reduced to corporal and the private given 28 days in military prison, lenient in wartime!!
    • Informative Informative x 2
  4. Ravers

    Ravers LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I spoke to an old fella at a BBQ recently who looked pretty unassuming. We got onto military matters and after a few beers the dits were in full flow.

    To cut a long story short, the bloke I was chatting to was a 2lt with a long disbanded inf unit and was captured at Dunkirk. He was imprisoned but managed to escape with his mates and ended up in the Italian mountains somehow where they trained and raised a partisan army and sat out the rest of the war carrying out small raids and generally ******* people about as much as possible. As time wore on, all his British oppos were killed and by the end of the war he was the only one left, he was eventually liberated by the yanks and got a lift home where everyone had assumed he was dead.

    On hearing this jaw dropping story I enquired as to why he hadn't committed his memoirs to paper, his response was simply; ''my story was nothing compared to some of the stuff other people got up to in the war, we just did what we had to do.''

    Most interesting half hour of my life.
    • Like Like x 8
  5. Brief biography of Sgt (later Major) Peter King here:

    Though depicted in the film as an old WW1 veteran he was actually 25 at the time. He was allowed to transfer to the Commandos afterward and saw action in North West Europe with No.4 Commando in 1944-45, initially as a troop sergeant major but later being commissioned and awarded the MC. King emigrated to New Zealand after the war. He served as a Capt in 16 Field Regt RNZA in Korea and was made DSO while serving as an FOO with 1 KOSB. Later served as a Maj and UN military observer in Kashmir.

    EDIT- more detail here including DSO citation:

    Peter King - Distinguished Service Order > Korean War > Artillery Heritage > New Zealand Artillery : Southern Gunners : Live Firing


    Viewing Page 5137 of Issue 36786

    7536394 Serjt. Frederick Peter KING (328163) is
    granted an Immediate Emergency Commn. from the
    ranks in the rank of 2nd Lt. 3rd July 1944.

    Viewing Page 5000 of Issue 37302

    Lieutenant Peter Frederick KING (328163), The Duke
    of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Chalfont St. Peter,

    EDIT- Captain Peter King DSO MC No.4 Commando

    Citation for his MC whilst serving as a Lieutenant with No.4 Commando:
    Lieutenant Peter F. King ws/Lieut.328163 DCLI, No.4 Commando
    "Since 6th June 1944 this officer has continually been conspicuous both in action and on patrol, and displays the highest qualities of leadership and courage. He had fought in all the actions that the Commando has been involved. For example on the night 9th-10th April 1945 Lieut. King with a partyof two crossed the Volkerak into the enemy held island of Overflakee. During the night he made extensive reconnaissance of enemy dispositions, lying up the next day to observe the habits of the enemy. He determined to remain longer and penetrate deeper, and during the following two days directed a large number of harrassing artillery shoots against the enemy, frequently from positions within the danger zone. Lieut. King withdrew on the night 12th-13th April 1945 with very complete information on the enemy dispositions in the south eastern half of the island. (L.G.11.10.45) (from the book Commando Gallantry Awards of WW2 by George Brown)
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  6. Saw a TV movie of the Dental Corps lads exploits only the other day. Pair of nutters.

    Ref Ravers old fella story, thats the type of little gems i'm thinking of. Unassuming geezers who think, fcuk it i'm not going to give up & end up as utter heroes in every sense.

    I've got a cracking book somewhere about an SAS bloke with the teams working with the Maquis on the Massif Centrale in central France, amazing story of practically living a peaceful existence up in the mountains, able to live in the villages & towns without fear of the Jerrys. A few evenings a week they'd load up the jeeps & pop down the road for a dust up. Boys own stuff.
  7. The death of the lady SOE agent this week sparked a memory

    I once met a bloke who had made a private sacrifice for the greater good.
    Pre war was a gentleman farmer with a modest estate, wife and 2 daughters.
    He went to war and was reported missing presumed killed.
    Wife went on to form a new friendship etc but her husband came back in late 45.
    Had been a hush hush planner/operator with the funnies- SOE- French section/Balkans iirc (Story told to me by he man who ran the estste whilst he was away)
    Sad time for all- children who thought dad gone forever/ wife torn between husband and new friend/ man who returned emotionaly changed.

    There is a memorial to him in his local church (complete with initals after his name so he was rather active whilst away) and I did meet him but we never talked of his war -despite questioning me closely about my service time and training- and altho I've searched for his history there is nothing to find.

  8. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    There are indeed some strange storys in both wars, the German weather stations in Greenland being taken out by free Danish troops, with American support, in 1941, the Brandenburgers in Iraq,and Afghanistan , the Luftwaffe unit in Mosel in Kurdistan, but the Coastwatchers must be some of the strangest of all,or the fact that the SOE was a self financing unit, mainly through it's piracy and smuggling operations in China and the Far East,or the civillian crewed fast motor gun boats used as blockade runners to Sweden which apparently had letters of Marque to act as privateers smuggling ball bearings, along side the BOAC crewed mosquito fast transport aircraft
  9. I once had a chat with a bloke who had walked (fought) from just outside Normandy all the way to Cologne before being shot 3 times and then taken POW.

    His stories of the early war years were very interesting and his only gripe was that he had been shot once and was hung up on some barbed wire on the defences when some evil British infanteer shot him twice more.

  10. Can you expand on the Greenland op & the Brandenburgers in IRQ & AFG stuff? SOunds interesting.
  11. The father of a former g/f of mine was dropped into Jugoslavia to head the British mission with Mihailovich who led the Chetniks! Unfortunately he had died a few years before I met her but apparently was very bitter about the way Mihailovitch was treated by the Allies! According to some of the stories told to her, Mihailovich had led a very successful campaign against the Germans but reports submitted by her father to Cairo were intercepted/received by communist sympathisers in the SoE, who only forwarded positive reports from Fitzroy Maclean who was the British envoy with Tito!
    This article seems to confirm it! :- TRUTH about WW2 Chetniks!!
  12. In a nutshell the Luftwaffe needed Meteorologists to collate weather information to ensure the air war could be fought.
    Special Section F was part of the Axis who helped the Golden Square folk in Iraq.
    The Axis had the idea of a Jihad in India & Afghanistan, creating all kind of havoc for the Indian Army
  13. Soldier_Why

    Soldier_Why LE Moderator

  14. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    The Arctic Weather war took place right through the war in not just Greenland but Jan Mayan, Bear and Spitzbergen Islands and was the only action where the Tirpitz opened fire in anger when during operation Zitronella she fired on a Free Norwegian manned weather station in 1943 in fact one of the German units did not give up until September 1945 making them the last German unit to surrender.

    The first Germans to go to Afghanistan arrived in April 1940 and were lead by Hauptmann Morlock of the Abwehr, and were of about company strength they carried out a number of raids on the North West Frontier.
    In Iraq they took part in the Iraqi attacks against the British base at Habbaniya and the oil fields at Flluja. they had a pretty large force that included a Luftwaffe group which included three JU90s,ten JU52s, nine He111s, twelve ME110s based in Mosel there were also eleven Italian CR42 fighters involved but by August 1941 all were destroyed by the British. the Branden bergers stayed on fighting in small groups in the area untill the end of the war mainly supported by the long range aircraft of Luftwaffe KG200 until
  15. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    In January 1942 the Luftwaffe dropped a 100 ex Indian POWs trained as Fallschirmjager into Afghanistan to make there way into India and carry out sabotage in the Sub Continent, and then smuggled another 100 through the Suez Canal on the Brandt III a Swedish? ship, and even though it was stopped by both the British and US Navy it managed to be "Captured" by a Japanese Cruiser in the Sundra Strait and taken to Singapore.

    In 1943 the units were almost all returned to Germany and formed into a combat division what a waste of what was one of the Germans best assets