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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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61 of 71  Mon 17th Dec 2018 9:32am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2863

Hilaire Belloc was a Member of Parliament around 1900. He wrote a book in 1911, 'The Four Men', a 140 kilometre journey on foot across Sussex from Robertsbridge in the east to Harting in the west. A guy called Bob Potter read it in the thirties, decided to follow his footsteps - the war intervened, he did it in the fifties, but now some of the countryside was roads. He kept to the book as much as possible. He then wrote his book 'Across Sussex with Belloc' - beautiful country villages, scenery, etc. I decided I had to do this walk in stages. I was 71 years of age, 26 Nov 1998. I caught the train to Robertsbridge - this was one of the most beautiful walks one could imagine.
Favourite Books
Roger Turner
Torksey
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Thread starter
62 of 71  Thu 7th Feb 2019 10:43pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:572

I have just finished a book I received for Christmas. It was a cracker. It was about a Royal Navy ship called "Erebus" and it was written by Michael Palin. Erebus was a small sturdy Bomb Vessel 342 tons, but strong as she was built she was further strengthened for exploration work in Antarctica where she was used to construct observatories to make calculations in connection with the True Magnetic Pole. She operated in tandem with a similar vessel named "Terror" and eventually they both sailed under the overall command of John Franklin to discover The North West Passage. This was ill fated and both vessels and their crew disappeared. Many expeditions were sent to discover their fate, with very little result although some stories told by the native Inuits did begin to throw some light on some of the crew`s endings. The vessels on the other hand remained lost since 1845/6 until comparatively recently when the Erebus was located. The book is not all gloom and doom. There are accounts of good times in Tasmania when they refitted and there is also a time on the Falkland Islands. But the strength of the book is in the telling. Michael Palin must have done endless research and tells a good "yarn" almost recreating the excitement for me anyway of "being there". I thoroughly recommend this book.
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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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63 of 71  Tue 4th Jun 2019 10:39am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2863

Roger Turner. On my shopping list, thank you. I read a book about a ship, Henry . . . something, in WWII. Full of mustard gas in a port in Italy, Germans bombed and sank it. A thousand or so Italian civilians were gassed. Britain was the only country to bomb Rome. Michael Portillo's book Hidden History of Britain talks of Shepton Mallet Military Prison, but no word of the small hospital that belonged to it - to me, clouded in some mystery, attached to it that no one talks of, or any one knows about. Hospital vanished without trace. Also read that an SOE agent had a phial of germ warfare on his person but the author could not find out what happened to it or any more details.
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mcsporran
Coventry & Cebu
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64 of 71  Tue 4th Jun 2019 1:58pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:416

The ship would be the John Harvey.
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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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65 of 71  Mon 10th Jun 2019 10:32am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2863

Roger Turner. Hanskurt von Bremen was commander of U-boat 764, the most decorated U-boat commander. He wrote a memoir from the boat's log in the eighties, a best seller. But Heinz Guske was one of the crew, and was shocked by the number of false reports in the log. Now a civilian, not under threat from the military, he exposed the commander, and 'fact from fiction'.
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Ken Dickson
High Hesket Cumbria
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66 of 71  Mon 10th Jun 2019 5:02pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2015  Total posts:49

Kaga, I would like to know your source for stating that Hans Kurt Von Bremen was the most decorated U-boat commander. I am an ex Royal Navy Submariner with an interest in German U-boats during WWII. I have two volumes of Clay Blair's 'Hitler's U-boat war which give details of all U-boat patrols conducted during WWII. Volume 1 is 'The Hunters 1939-1942' and Volume 2 is 'The Hunted 1942-1945.' Hans Kurt von Bremen 's wartime record is undistinguished. He sank 3 ships for a total tonnage of 2,334 tons. His decorations were; 1940 Minesweeper War badge, 1942 Iron Cross 2nd Class and 1942 Iron Cross 1st Class. I can find no further decorations for him. In contrast, Otto Kretschmer in U99 sank well over 210,000 tons. His decorations were; October 1939 Iron Cross 2nd Class, November 1939 U-boat War Badge (1939), December 1939 Iron Cross 1st Class, August 1940 Knights Cross, November 1940 Knights Cross with Oak Leaves, December 1941 Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Crossed Swords. He is also rated number 1 in the German list of U-boat Aces.
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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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67 of 71  Tue 11th Jun 2019 2:23pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2863

Ken Dickson, hi. It's a long story, but I'm puzzled by your wanting to know where I got the info' from. It's not important about his medals, it's about the log book. Look - I assume your information is the 2000 era after the book had been 'doctored' or that is what I am trying to find out. Yes I know about HMS Blackwood, Coral, and LCT 1074 and yes that is today's true account, but in 1945 his log book claimed a whole lot more. In 1945 I believe that thirty-three U-boats surrendered in Scotland - heavily censored, no press report, locals told to button their lip. Why so secret -because of reprisals, perhaps? Some time in the fifties a reporter found out, printed an article about the surrender in Scotland, and yes he got the decoration order wrong, but did not mention anything about the log book. I cannot remember the magazine or date. The story of the log book was not brought to light until 1985 when one of the crew disclosed it in his wartime diaries. Now during WWII it was a punishable offence to keep a diary, yet that is what a log book is. So if the crew member is correct, what we have here is a downright 'con' of forty years, over all the European governments and war lords. I find that an incredible story. If the Royal Navy had the log book in 1945 - and yes, they did - why didn't they expose the guy? If one guy did it, how many war stories are fake? Rogers' account of the Erebus' men, doomed to die, and knew it, took me back to a twelve year old boy. 1939, the wireless told us the submarine 'Thetis' was in trouble and could not be rescued, the crew knew they were about to die. Reports that the crew could be heard banging, glued to the wireless, tears in our eyes, and not a damned thing anyone could do - and that reminded me about U-boats and Scotland.
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Ken Dickson
High Hesket Cumbria
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68 of 71  Tue 11th Jun 2019 5:51pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2015  Total posts:49

Kaga, I was pointing out that people reading your post will take it as read that Hans Kurt von Bremen was the most decorated U-boat commander, when he clearly wasn't. My information had nothing to do with ' 2000 era after the book had been doctored.' I have not read Guske's book, but I will. What Clay Blair says in his Vol 2 Hitler's U-boat war, 'The Hunted 1942-1945.' with reference to this incident is : U-764, commanded by Hans-Kurt von Bremen. came upon convoy Outbound North 222. Von Bremen reported the convoy, then dived. A section of it passed overhead but he did not shoot, then or later. U-441 and U-963, plus 4 other Type VII's, attempted to join U-764, but it was a case of too little too late and none of these 7 boats was able to mount a proper attack. U-764 surrendered at Loch Eriboll. A radioman on U-764, Heinz F.K.Guske, harshly criticised Bremen's failure to attack in his shrill book, The War Diaries of U-764: Fact or Fiction? (Which you have read). Guske, in turn, has been denounced by his shipmates for manufacturing lies. Guske, in 1985, read the magazine "Schaltung Kuste", on German U-boat history., which led him to write about what he believed were deceptions in the diary and memoir. Guske obviously disapproved of his captain's non-action and I would suspect have a grudge, of course I have no evidence to suggest that Guske still bore that grudge in 1985. Yes, an interesting and puzzling story. How truthful are the real wartime diaries that have come down to us. The majority of diaries that have been forged or seriously tampered with, have been identified. This is because few events take place under the gaze of a single human being, and so there is usually one individual ready to challenge dubious accounts. They are still trying to find where the missing logbook from HMS Conqueror, the submarine that sank the Belgrano, is. Best of luck in solving the U-764 issue.
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Osmiroid
UK
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69 of 71  Tue 11th Jun 2019 11:03pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2013  Total posts:390

Currently reading this:
Favourite Books
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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70 of 71  Wed 12th Jun 2019 9:23am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2863

Ken Dickson, You have solved it as far as anyone is going to know the truth. I thought a number of the crew complained, but if it was a one man grudge, back in the fifties you had great difficulty finding anything out, so the story would be a little local hearsay I would imagine. I would loved to had a chat with you about submarine life, but it's not to be, but many thanks for your reply. Regards, Kaga.
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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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71 of 71  Fri 14th Jun 2019 5:12pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2863

About 4/5 weeks ago I read a story in a Daily Mail Saturday edition about spying for MI5. The story I could not believe. I have just read the book (64 pages) called 'Operation XX and Me : Did I have a choice?'. I'm more convinced it's rubbish, it's not even good fiction, the guy doesn't even know the basics of army procedure. How do people get away with trash?
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