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Wartime and the Blitz

Wartime miscellany

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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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1 of 6  Thu 27th Jul 2017 6:06pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2376

At the outbreak of war the gov't imposed a ban on the assembly of big crowds at sports events. The West Indies cancelled their tour and went home. First class cricket season stuttered to a close until 1946, brought an end to many celebrated players. Hedley Verity, Yorkshire slow left-arm spinner, in his last game against Sussex, took 7 wickets for nine runs. He died from wounds as a prisoner in Italy in 1943. Denis Compton, outstanding, spent the war abroad but came back to play in the Test Match 1946/7, scoring a century in each innings. The Oval was to be a POW camp (didn't happen) but lines of wooden poles were set in concrete in the ground, took 45,000 rolls of turf to put it right.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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2 of 6  Fri 28th Jul 2017 4:23pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2376

With the allies planning to invade France in the future, the troops needed realistic training, and in August 1943, ships of the Royal Navy put American troops on Slapton Sands in Devon. The landings went well in fine weather, the G'Is making many friends with the Navy and civilians in the country pubs. But then in November the people of Slapton and surrounding villages received notice from the Admiralty that they had to move furniture, animals, everything, within the next six weeks - no reason was given. That they did not know because there was a tight security cloaking the event. Slapton Sands in Start Bay had a resemblance to Utah Beach in Normandy. 750 from 180 farms and hamlets were ordered out of 9 parishes. But it was the old folk that suffered most, some had never left their homes before. In one of the fields black GIs built a large camp, the first black people Devon had ever seen. Soon the place was awash with Americans, military vehicles growled along the country lanes. Eisenhower considered it essential to accustom the men to the noise and fury of battle. April 44 - the first flotilla of slow moving LSTs set out from Plymouth the night before. The first landing was planned at 7.30 next morning, but right from the start things went seriously wrong. A British cruiser was to lay down a bombardment for thirty minutes, at the same time troops on land were to fire live rounds over their heads. But several of the LSTs were delayed, the officer in charge ordered the whole thing a delay of 1 hr - but some of the LSTs didn't receive the message, and went ashore during the bombardment and were killed by friendly fire. But worse was to follow the next day. Another group left Plymouth that night, should have had two destroyers as escort. One was damaged in a collision, the other was left behind because of bad communication, leaving the LSTs without protection. German E-boats, fast moving craft, were regularly patrolling the Channel, based in Cherbourg - the LSTs were sitting ducks. That night 749 American soldiers and sailors died. Altogether 946 US servicemen died. A lot of them drowned, they had their life jackets on wrongly. Survivors were sworn to secrecy. On land in Devon, the disaster was suppressed for 9 months, then reporters were allowed to visit - they found black US troops clearing the area, but their reports were censored.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime miscellany
pageb45
Goderich, Ontario, Canada
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3 of 6  Fri 28th Jul 2017 5:57pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:30

Another reason for the high death toll of U.S. troops was the fact that when the soldiers jumped into the water, their steel helmets jerked upwards with the force of impact, and the firmly attached chinstraps effectively garrotted the wearer.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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4 of 6  Sat 29th Jul 2017 9:06am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2376

pageb45, I have never heard that before, I heard most of them drowned because they had mistakenly fastened their life-jackets round their waists, rather than under their arms, with the result they turned turtle in the cold water, weighed down by their equipment. I can fully understand what you're saying, for the airbourne had the same problem in a reverse way. I had twists once, meaning the two lift webs wound round each other, pressing the helmet over the eyes, the straps cutting into my throat (like turning a piece string round your finger). I dared not press my head back for if the twists ran up the lift webs then your chute collapsed. What we were taught to do was wait, find out which way they turned and kick your twists out, all this with your head bent into your chest, your breathing cut off, and little time before you hit the deck. Although this happened often I never heard of anyone dying this way. But thank you for your reply. My regards, Kaga.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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5 of 6  Sat 29th Jul 2017 4:29pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2376

Yesterday's Southern News did a small piece on the 70th anniversary of the Palestine trouble. Plenty of Coventry kids in that.
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime miscellany
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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6 of 6  Sat 25th Aug 2018 8:34am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2376

The face of this coin is of the picture below - three gliders, thirty men aboard each, had app. three minutes to exit the plane, capture three bridges intact before the Panzers crossed the bridges or detonated the bridges, this would either be the success or failure of the D-Day landing (the whole operation in darkness). The gliders had to fly in total darkness, land in a small field as close to the bridges as possible - the men had to exit the plane and do the job in total darkness and quiet before the Germans could detonate the bridge, then hold until the paras had dropped and joined them - the whole thing was the success or failure of D-Day, the 127,000 men getting off the beaches and establish a bridgehead. It is a commemorative D-Day coin, perhaps I should not have written anything, but few people would know what the picture on the coin was about. Edited by member, 25th Aug 2018 11:42 am
Wartime and the Blitz - Wartime miscellany

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