World War Two.

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World War Two.

Postby lliam » Mon Jun 02, 2003 2:52 pm

Conscript.
-----------


"Of course, its done him worlds of good", they said,
"He's twice the man he was - a puny chap
he used to be, if you remember - always at books and that,
but since he joined
he's broadened out. They've made a man of him;
You wouldn't know now".

Deep-sunk in rain-soaked ditch, with weeds and filth
stopping his mouth, the soldier lies;
swollen and black, his face turns to the skies
in blank, unquestioning stare, his body, tight
and big as flood-drowned pig, lurches and sways,
to wind and water. Yes, he's broadened out -
he's twice the man he was; a pity, though,
his life should run, like bright oil down a gutter,
to implement some politician's brag.


His world went out
through that neat hole in temple, quickly and easily
as words from windy mouths. And loves unknown,
and skies unseen, and books unread,
forever lost, he's dead.


You wouldn't know him now.
Lliam.

I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted - George Best
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Re: World War Two.

Postby Jeff Dutton » Mon Jun 02, 2003 4:30 pm

The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
- by Randall Jarrell

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.
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Re: World War Two.

Postby lliam » Mon Jun 09, 2003 8:03 am

World War II Remembered.
===========================

HOME FRONT: The ban on pleasure driving may be extended to Ohio and the Carolinas within the next few days as the first concrete step in a comprehensive overhauling of the gasoline rationing system (June 8) … A professor of speech who tangled with the German mind during World War I and observed Japanese students at the University of Hawaii nearly 20 years later convinced East High school graduates that they can meet and destroy Axis fanatics with one weapon — courage — at commencement exercises last night (June 10) … The Memphis Belle, veteran of 25 trips against the enemy over Europe, is coming home under her own steam with her crew, including Tech. Sgt. Harold P Loch of Green Bay (June 10) … The wire services have already told the story of how Capt. Thomas J. Classen of West De Pere and his eight bomber crewmen came through to safety after 66 days in Japanese-controlled Pacific waters, and during a brief visit here, Capt. Classen told his story, with the current issue of Yank magazine carrying a full account (June 11) … Terming rumors of immorality among women in uniform as unfounded and Nazi propaganda, recruiters here in charge of enlisting women in the service issued a joint statement indicating that names of persons under suspicion of circulating these rumors will be turned over to the FBI for investigation (June 12) …

EUROPE: Prime Minister Winston Churchill, giving the House of Commons a review of his war conferences in Washington and North Africa, hinted today at vast Allied offensive moves in the making, promised an intensification of the air war against Germany and voiced confidence that the U-boat menace was rapidly being overcome (June 8) … Allied planes dropped a demand for the unconditional surrender of Pantelleria on the Italian island yesterday, it was announced today June 9) … Allied air forces, steadily whittling away at Axis resistance on the Mediterranean outposts, have executed new air assaults on bomb-scarred Pantelleria and Sicily in connection with a scouting raid by British commandoes against Lampedusa, it was announced today (June 10) … Lampedusa Island has been occupied, a special communiqué from Gen. Eisenhower’s headquarters announced tonight (June 12) … Waves of American four-engined bombers, pushing a possible pre-invasion aerial offensive against Sicily, shattered installations at two big airdromes yesterday and ran up the two-day toll of enemy planes hit in attacks on this strategic island to at least 158 (June 14) ...

PACIFIC: Jungle-wise Allied infantry are in action against Japanese defenders of the Salamaua-Mubo area along the northeast coast New Guinea coast 140 miles above Bune, a communiqué revealed today (June 9) … The Japanese, who seldom have been disturbed in the island stepping stones seized southeast of Singapore, leading toward Australia, were given their second grim hint in 10 days by far-ranging Liberator bombers yesterday of things to come (June 9) … Japanese airdromes at Rabual, New Britain, where the enemy was believed to have scored of parked aircraft, were hit with nearly 40 tons of bombs yesterday in a damaging three-hour raid (June 11) … Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s bombers were credited officially today with raining havoc on six Japanese strongholds in the arc of islands above Australia (June 12) … American airmen, carrying out a series of furious bombing and strafing raids on the enemy’s bases, and Chinese Commandoes, striking coordinated blows at his rear, have fashioned new successes along the upper Yangtze front of the Chinese theater, Chungking dispatches reported today (June 14).
Lliam.

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Re: World War Two.

Postby lliam » Fri May 06, 2005 3:39 pm

Well, it's almost here, the 60th aniversary of, Victory in Europe.

What's happening in the States Guys?


V.E celebrations Sunday 8 May
-------------------------------


The Royal British Legion, the Mayor of London and the BBC is gearing up for a spectacular concert, free to the public, in Trafalgar Square to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of VE Day.

The two-hour concert features artists such as Katie Melua and opera singer Katherine Jenkins, Daniel Bedingfield, Heather Small, Hayley Westenra, Sir Cliff Richard, Claire Sweeney and Dame Vera Lynn will be making a very special appearance.

The event is free of charge to a capacity audience of 15,000, with millions more able to watch and hear the historic live broadcast on BBC One and BBC London 94.9fm.


British troops arrived in the Danish capital on May 5, 1945, to officially end the Nazi occupation.

In the Netherlands, events kicked off in the southern city of Den Bosch.

"For most Netherlanders born after the war, freedom is as ordinary as clean water and dry feet," said Crown Prince Willem Alexander. "We only notice how vulnerable it is when the water is dirty or the dikes are about to break."

On Sunday morning, the Prince of Wales, British government representatives, veterans and serving members of the armed forces will lay wreaths at the Cenotaph in central London.

Later in the day, several thousand people are expected to attend a Victory in Europe Day commemoration concert in Trafalgar Square featuring rocker Cliff Richard, British pop-stars and war-time singer Vera Lynn, known as the "Forces Sweetheart" for her special performances for British troops during the war.
Lliam.

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Re: World War Two.

Postby dai bread » Sat May 07, 2005 9:48 pm

I am doubtful of the wisdom of celebrating victory over people who are now our friends. It seems like crowing, and rubbing salt in wounds that are best left to heal.

Maybe it's a joining together, everybody saying "Thank God that's over".

Perhaps this reflects my colonial heritage. After all, we don't celebrate any victories over the Maori, even though they gave the British and settler troops an excellent run for their money and the victories are worth celebrating as being achieved against a worthy opponent.

Maori had some victories of their own that they could celebrate if they wanted to.

BTW, I like your poem, lliam. Wilfred Owen, from WW1?

<small>[ 05-07-2005, 10:48 PM: Message edited by: dai bread ]</small>
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Re: World War Two.

Postby lliam » Sun May 08, 2005 6:34 am

DB, if you want to listen to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/radiowm/

Ed Doolan is interviewing 88yr old,Dame Vera Lyne.

we are celebrating, freedom from evil. Lots of allied lives where lost to give us what we have today. We thank our ancesters for their sacrifice. VE day is being celebrated all over Europe. Have a listen DB it might enlighten you.
Lliam.

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Re: World War Two.

Postby GreatCarouser » Sun May 08, 2005 9:44 am

Lliam there seems to be no celebrations or large parades going on in the US to celebrate VE day 60. A Google search of the web and the news yield nothing of significance in the USA. Our President (along with the Israeli President!) were in Moscow for their celebration.

I know the History Channel has been running a number of programs about the war. Last night they concentrated on the Waffen SS. One of the incidents reported was that during the conquest of France and the subsequent retreat by the British to Dunkirk, the SS surrounded, captured, and attempted to execute a British Army unit. A few were able to escape.

Perhaps this was preparation for the SS 'cleansing operations' on the Eastern front. Their (SS) training included indoctrination in the Nazi-Aryan racial superiority theories and this was the rationale for not considering captured Russian soldiers as 'equals' and thus not worthy of being treated as 'prisoners of war'. Why this treatment was extended to British forces (it seems Hitler originally expected the British would see the truth of his theories and might even be allies) is something they left untouched or, rather more probably, I missed in passing.

The SS accepted volunteers from captured lands and had no problem once the volunteer was found to be of the correct race with giving command positions even when these positions placed say, a Dane for example, in command of Germans. Some of these volunteers were urged on by the fear of Communism in their native lands. They felt they were fighting 'the good fight'.

Here is a link to an article addressing dai bread's point of view. I'm of two minds here. I'd have more faith in 'the new Germany' were it not for the many reports of the 'nostalgic Aryan youth movements' I read from over there as well as the rampant anti-Semitism that still exists throughout Europe. Of course I don't live there and the media can be a rather powerful magnifying glass, but 60 years versus 2000+ of religious persecution provide an 'interesting' perspective. As do incidents like this.

In passing, I'd like to note it seems there is some evidence indicating Hitler was very impressed with the way the USA solved its own 'lebensrarum' (sp?) problems and used our methods of controlling and clearing Native Americans as a model for his own sweeping plans....

In closing I'd like to thank all those who sacrificed during those years. It's very probable I'd not have been born had the outcome been different. It's been an interesting, if not always happy, ride so far and I'm grateful for having had the opporunity to share it with you...

<small>[ 05-08-2005, 11:00 AM: Message edited by: Great Carouser ]</small>
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Re: World War Two.

Postby Shapley » Mon May 09, 2005 7:59 am

Lliam,

The local VFW's had memorial celebrations at cemetaries and war memorials around the area, but there don't seem to be any large-scale celebrations.

V/R
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Re: World War Two.

Postby Angie Parkes » Mon May 09, 2005 1:04 pm

Hi Lliam,

There was a lot of media coverage in Canada about this -- major retrospectives, interviews with veterans, civilian survivors, and children of both.

Our public celebrations, though, have mostly taken place in Holland. I doubt if our American friends know, and perhaps it's not widely known in England, that Canada has a special relationship with Holland as a result of WWII. Princess Juliana and her children were evacuated to Ottawa and Juliana gave birth to the Princess Margriet there in a hospital room declared Dutch territory for the purpose. When she returned to Holland at the end of the war, Juliana sent Ottawa 100,000 tulip bulbs as thanks. This year, the Ottawa Tulip Festival will display over 2 million tulips.

Another link, just as strong and also one of the reasons for Juliana's gift, is that Canadian soldiers liberated about 90% of Holland (other Allied armies liberated the rest), and the Dutch remember this every VE Day. Dutch children ar taught Canadian miltary history, something that most Canadian kids don;t get in school. This year, our government gave every Canadian veteran who was part of the liberation $1,000 to go to Holland to take part in the special ceremonies for the anniversary. Our political leaders were there with our veterans for the ceremonies. The governor-general went to the Russia meeting.

There have been lots of stories, and the "Canadian chocolate soldier" stories as the Dutch call them, are ubiquitous. Many Canadian soldiers gave their chocolate rations to the Dutch children who were still suffering from the "hunger winter" of 1945 when about 22,000 Dutch died from starvation. For nearly all of these children, it was the first they had ever seen chocolate, which is a bit like saying that a child from Newcastle had never seen coal.
Cheers,
Angie
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Re: World War Two.

Postby Angie Parkes » Mon May 09, 2005 1:54 pm

Folks might be interested in this:

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2005/05/08/how_good_was_the_good_war?pg=full

Note that today Russia is commemorating their losses of 27 million combatants and civillians in WWII, known in Russia as the "Great Patriotic War".
Cheers,
Angie
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Re: World War Two.

Postby dai bread » Wed May 11, 2005 1:09 am

lliam, the link you posted gets me to the BBC's site, but where do I go from there?

The concept of fighting evil has been put forward before, particularly when we were losing the Peace in a big way as Germany & Japan prospered and Britain & the commonwealth were still struggling. It's true, of course, that the Axis powers were governed by incredibly evil people, and threw up others as evil in lower ranks, (ask any Chinese) but that was a while ago now.

The only comment I've heard from a German was from a 16-year-old girl who said her generation had put WW2 behind them as a piece of history.

The 2 items GC posted were reported in our paper as well. Prince Harry's foolishness attracted a lot of unfavourable comment. Clearly the boy has no idea of his own country's history.

The Boston Globe article is a good one. I'd heard about the French whitewashing, but the extent of Russian casualties was a surprise. I'd thought the figure was 20 million, which is bad enough.

For the extent to which the U.S. was responsible for the liberation of Western Europe, read Chester Willmott's "The Struggle for Europe". It dates from 1954 if I remember rightly, and Willmott is an Australian, and could be expected to be pro-British. Instead, the emphasis is heavily on the U.S. The book was an eye-opener for me, brought up as I was on tales of British heroism.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: World War Two.

Postby Angie Parkes » Wed May 11, 2005 10:15 am

Originally posted by dai bread:
The only comment I've heard from a German was from a 16-year-old girl who said her generation had put WW2 behind them as a piece of history.

Prince Harry's foolishness attracted a lot of unfavourable comment. Clearly the boy has no idea of his own country's history.
On CBC Radio on Friday mornings, the usual host for the news show "The Current" is replaced by a well known person who is not a broadcaster. Last Friday the guest host was retired Canadian general John de Chastelain (Lliam, you may be familiar with his name as he was brokering the arms decommissioning in Ireland not that long ago). He spoke to Ingo Stawitz, a spokesperson for the German far-right National Democratic Party (NPD). The NPD was mobilizing a march of 10,000 people on the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to protest VE Day celebrations. The party has not won much support, and the German government has made efforts to ban the party as it is frankly neo-Nazi, but the amount of support it does have is scary. Mr. Stawitz declared that people were tired of hearing about Germany's role in WWII and the Holocaust, and that is time to move on. He also claimed that there was never a peace treaty signed with Germany and that it is under control of the Allied nations and is not independent. His party, of course, wants to change all that. I found it frightening.

As for Harry's foolishness, it was an incredible affront to British, Commonwealth, and other Allied service men and women, not to mention his own grandmother! I can't think that anyone pretends that Princess Elizabeth was treated just like anyone else, but she did wear the uniform and serve in the Army. With any luck they'll pound some sense into him at Sandhurst, or at least respect for the people who gave their lives to defend the island over which he might one day be king (a remote chance, I know, but George VI didn't expect it, either).
Cheers,
Angie
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Re: World War Two.

Postby lliam » Wed May 11, 2005 1:52 pm

DB,
When You get to the website Click on the right hand side listen live BBC WM
The interview with Dame Vera Lynn is repeated on Fri evening- 20.00--21.00 BST

I can't comment anymore on your second issue.

What Prince Harry did was, just a young man enjoying himself at a fancy dress party and nothing more.

quote...
The Boston Globe article is a good one. I'd heard about the French whitewashing, but the extent of Russian casualties was a surprise. I'd thought the figure was 20 million, which is bad enough.

It was 20 Million Russian in the war, maybe the other 7 Million was whom Stalin murdered.
Lliam.

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Re: World War Two.

Postby Angie Parkes » Wed May 11, 2005 4:53 pm

Originally posted by lliam:
What Prince Harry did was, just a young man enjoying himself at a fancy dress party and nothing more.
Lliam, maybe out here in the colonies we get a little more bent out of shape about such things! :D

Were you pleased to see Tony Blair return? How about the steep drop in his majority? I heard a CBC piece on the immigration issue and how it was playing such a huge role in the election some time after you brought up the subject. I may not have paid attention if it were not for your heads up so I'm glad you mentioned it.
Cheers,
Angie
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Re: World War Two.

Postby lliam » Thu May 12, 2005 8:37 am

Hi Angie, no, I didn't vote for him.

The immigration issue, is a huge problem.

At the moment screams are coming from the house of commons for Blairs resignation.
Lliam.

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Re: World War Two.

Postby Angie Parkes » Thu May 12, 2005 10:49 am

I'd read that the Labour party would drop him in the Thames but for the laws against dumping. Generally the leader takes the fall for a poor showing at the polls but he still has a majority government.

Britain has absorbed immigrants since pre-history. What is there about this recent wave that is so different to make people so upset? I got the idea from the CBC piece I heard that the largely Muslim immigrant population isn't assimilating. One young man, with an accent as London as one could get, said that his dad is planning to move back to Pakistan next year, and has been saying this for the past 25.

I know that in Canada there are many perceptions about immigrants that are just not true when the facts are examined: they take jobs away from Canadian citizens, they are a drain on social services, their home culture is at odds with "Canadian" culture. There are many studies that indicate that none of these is actually the case.

This may not be the case in Britain where there may be data to suggest that recent immigrants pose a significant threat to the culture and economy. Are such data available?
Cheers,
Angie
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Re: World War Two.

Postby FlyingSorcery » Thu May 12, 2005 12:43 pm

I can't imagine what it must be like in Britain - to have immigrants out number the natives. Very, very scary. Most of the world doesn't realise how devastating the Great War (WWI) was to the genetic base of Britain. A million men - an entire generation - essentially wiped out. Wow.

My father and his three brothers served in the So Pacific, so VJ day is more of a big deal. Dad was scheduled to be in the first invasion wave of Japan, and I am here because the Bombs successfully ended the war. As it was, Dad was among the first occupying forces in Japan. We could argue the morality of "dropping the bomb", but you'll never change my belief that it was the right thing to do -- AT THAT TIME.

I was in Australia in the late 70's and my friend's dad, also a WWII vet, took me to the Ascot Race Track in Brisbane, where my dad was bivouacked during the war. A very odd, yet moving, experience.
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Re: World War Two.

Postby FlyingSorcery » Thu May 12, 2005 12:54 pm

Originally posted by Angie:
Britain has absorbed immigrants since pre-history. What is there about this recent wave that is so different to make people so upset?
I think Americans see immigration differently. We can get caught up in the "Us versus Them". So often immigrants are perceived as not becoming American, but simply creating pockets of their old homeland.

My perception of Britain - and let me know if I'm wrong - is that the immigrants there do a better job of becoming British. Am I wrong to think that becoming British means a degree of conformity, whereas becoming American implies (and accepts) a bit of rebellion?
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Re: World War Two.

Postby lliam » Thu May 12, 2005 1:25 pm

Disarray of conservatism
==========================

Michael Howard has been shown to be unable to win an election even when fighting a Labour government composed of crooks and war criminals. This means the left wing of the Conservative Party will now start to demand a drift to the left for the party and this will mean the right wing, nationalist section of the party will be further alienated and cut adrift from forming policy in the party. When Tony Blair resigns in the next couple of years and Gordon Brown becomes leader of the Labour Party his victory will be pyrrhic, as by then the global economy will be about to fall apart due to the impact of Peak Oil and rising energy costs. The Labour Party will once again tear itself apart into petty squabbling factions and, in order to hold itself together, come to depend ever more on the immigrant bloc vote and thereby further alienate the white indigenous working class from its ranks. Though the Liberal consensus has been further strengthened by the limited success of the LibDems in this election this has allowed a vacuum to develop on the right of British politics regarding the issues of race and culture. The demise of UKIP and Veritas, the drift to the left of the Conservative Party and the abandonment of the white working class by the Liberals and New Labour means that only the BNP(British National Party) is now placed to move into the mainstream as the party of the indigenous British people.
Lliam.

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Re: World War Two.

Postby piqaboo » Thu May 12, 2005 2:18 pm

I'm familiar with british complaints about immigration from the 60's on.
In the mid 60's, my grandparents were complaining about the "black ring" around the cities (that would be the neighborhoods full of Indian immigrants from one of the colonies in the former British Empire). My Nan wouldnt let us speak to the children next door (who were Indian/Pakistani) "because they were dirty".
They sure didnt look that way to my sister and I!

Sadly for my Nan, when the immigrant families moved out of her neighborhood, the prostitutes moved in. A few years before she moved, 2/3 of the street had redlights in the windows of an evening. The gal next door was particularly popular. Come nightfall, there would be a line of men outside her front door. No other house on the street got as much activity during our visit as "Suzy. Please Ring" (as we called her, quoting from the sign in her window).
Altoid - curiously strong.
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