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Everything posted by PeterMacD

  1. Third Battle of Gaza ends: British forces capture Gaza from the Ottoman Empire. Order of battle for the British (Allies) XX Corps (commanded by General Philip Chetwode) 10th (Irish) Division 53rd (Welsh) Division 60th (2/2nd London) Division 74th (Yeomanry) Division XXI Corps (commanded by Lt-General Edward Bulfin) 52nd (Lowland) Division 54th (East Anglian) Division 75th (Territorial & Indian) Division Desert Mounted Corps (commanded by General Henry Chauvel) Anzac Mounted Division Australian Mounted Division Yeomanry Mounted Division Arthur Drummond Borton VC, CMG, DSO (1 July 1883 in Cheveney, Kent - 5 January 1933 in Southwold, Suffolk) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross. He was a lieutenant colonel in the 2/22nd (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) Territorial Force), British Army during the World War I when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC. On 7 November 1917 at Palestine, Borton deployed his battalion for attack and at dawn led his companies against a strongly held position. When the leading waves were checked by withering fire, he moved freely up and down the line under heavy fire and then led his men forward, capturing the position. At a later stage he led a party of volunteers against a battery of field-guns in action at point-blank range, capturing the guns and the detachments. His fearless leadership was an example to the whole brigade.
  2. The Charge of the Light Brigade was a disastrous cavalry charge led by Lord Cardigan during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War. It is best remembered as the subject of a famous poem entitled The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, whose lines have made the charge a symbol of warfare at both its most courageous and its most tragic.
  3. The Battle of Agincourt was fought on 25 October 1415 (Saint Crispin's Day), in northern France as part of the Hundred Years' War. The armies involved were those of the English King Henry V and Charles VI of France. Charles did not command his army himself, as he was incapacitated. The French were commanded by the Constable Charles d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party. The battle is notable for the use of the English longbow, which the English used in very large numbers, with longbowmen forming the vast majority of their army. The battle was also immortalised by William Shakespeare as the centrepiece of his play Henry V.
  4. Got my vets badge a year ago - nice little memento. A shame that copies are being made and sold to whoever wants one, vet or not.
  5. The Battle of Ashingdon was fought on October 18, 1016, at Assandun, which is now believed to be Ashingdon in southeast Essex, England, though the location is still debated. It was a victory for the Danes, led by Canute the Great, who triumphed over the English army led by King Edmund II ('Ironside'). The battle was the conclusion to the Danish reconquest of England. Canute had besieged London with major support from the English nobility against the Saxon hierarchy; particularly the Southampton nobles. The siege was in response to Edmund's reconquest of recently Danish-occupied Wessex, as well as conducting various indecisive offensives against Canute's army. London had withstood the siege and Edmund repulsed the Danes, but needed troops following a successful attack against the Danes in Mercia. Leaving London, Edmund risked travelling into the countryside, dominated by enemies and at risk of being attacked by Danish soldiers. Canute's intelligence became aware of Edmund's movements, and while marching through Essex, Edmund's army was intercepted by Canute. The surprise interception overwhelmed the English, causing some of them to desert, and the Danes poured on the English, killing much of the nobility. Some sources claim that the Danes were losing ground, and that Eadric Streona had previously made a deal with Canute to desert the other English forces. Following his defeat King Edmund II was forced to sign a treaty with Canute in which all of England except for Wessex would be controlled by Canute, and when one of the kings should die, the other king would take all of England; his sons being the heir to the throne. After Edmund's death on 30 November, Canute ruled the whole kingdom. A few years later saw the construction of St. Andrews memorial church in 1020 on the hill of the site of the Battle in Ashingdon, which still stands to this day. The church was founded after Canute's succession to the throne in 1020.
  6. I bet it wasn't when you were a kiddy. It brings back alot of memories for me. Living in a cold damp council house, only three channels on the TV and one of them was only on for half a day. Power cuts and hand me downs. Reheated leftovers for tea. Toys that broke if you played with them. No wonder the army was a doddle!
  7. For all you real nostalgia freaks out there, the long running children's TV programme Rainbow was first aired on ITV. Now children, everybody sing along... Up above the streets and houses, Rainbow climbing high, Everyone can see it smiling Over the sky. Paint the whole world with a rainbow.
  8. Mata Hari, the archetype of the seductive female spy, is executed for espionage by a French firing squad at Vincennes outside of Paris. She first came to Paris in 1905 and found fame as a performer of exotic Asian-inspired dances. She soon began touring all over Europe, telling the story of how she was born in a sacred Indian temple and taught ancient dances by a priestess who gave her the name Mata Hari, meaning "eye of the day" in Malay. In reality, Mata Hari was born in a small town in northern Holland in 1876, and her real name was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle. She acquired her superficial knowledge of Indian and Javanese dances when she lived for several years in Malaysia with her former husband, who was a Scot in the Dutch colonial army. Regardless of her authenticity, she packed dance halls and opera houses from Russia to France, mostly because her show consisted of her slowly stripping nude. She became a famous courtesan, and with the outbreak of World War I her catalog of lovers began to include high-ranking military officers of various nationalities. In February 1917, French authorities arrested her for espionage and imprisoned her at St. Lazare Prison in Paris. In a military trial conducted in July, she was accused of revealing details of the Allies' new weapon, the tank, resulting in the deaths of thousands of soldiers. She was convicted and sentenced to death, and on October 15 she refused a blindfold and was shot to death by a firing squad at Vincennes. There is some evidence that Mata Hari acted as a German spy, and for a time as a double agent for the French, but the Germans had written her off as an ineffective agent whose pillow talk had produced little intelligence of value. Her military trial was riddled with bias and circumstantial evidence, and it is probable that French authorities trumped her up as "the greatest woman spy of the century" as a distraction for the huge losses the French army was suffering on the western front. Her only real crimes may have been an elaborate stage fallacy and a weakness for men in uniform.
  9. 1597: England was spared a Spanish invasion at Falmouth by the intervention of the weather. For the third time a huge Armada had been assembled, with over 140 ships carrying 9,000 men. The best of the English fleet was absent under the Earl of Essex, engaged in fruitless patrolling off the Azores hoping to catch the Spanish silver convoy from the West Indies, and the approach of the Armada was quite unsuspected in England. Fortunately, a gale caught Don Martin de Padilla's ships some thirty miles (48km) off the Lizard, scattering the fleet and sinking 28 of his ships. The first inkling the English had of their close escape was when one of the Spanish ships was forced to come into port at St Ives - even worse, it transpired that her master had previously spent three years on reconnaissance around the English coast helping plan the invasion. The episode helped secure Essex's fall from favour with Queen Elizabeth. Only one year previousely the ill fated Spanish Armada had tried and failed to invade the south coast of England.
  10. The Second Boer War, commonly referred to as The Boer War and also known as the South African War (outside of South Africa), the Anglo-Boer War (among some South Africans) and in Afrikaans as the Anglo-Boereoorlog or Tweede Vryheidsoorlog ("Second War of Independence"), was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902, between the British Empire and the two independent Boer republics of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic). After a protracted, hard-fought war, the two independent republics were absorbed into the British Empire.
  11. 1965 : 1st Air Cavalry Division commences operations In the first major operation since arriving the previous month, the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) joins with South Vietnamese Marines to strike at 2,000 North Vietnamese troops 25 miles from An Khe in the Central Highlands. The 1st Cavalry Division was a new kind of division, which was built around the helicopter and the airmobile concept. The division contained 434 helicopters and had the capability to move one-third of its combat power at one time into terrain inaccessible to normal infantry vehicles. During its first major mission, faulty U.S.-South Vietnamese coordination prevented their forces from entrapping the North Vietnamese Army 325th Infantry Division, but they managed to reopen Route 19, between Pleiku and An Khe, the main east-west supply route in the region. During the course of its employment in South Vietnam, the "First Team," as the 1st Cavalry Division came to be known, would prove to be one of the most effective U.S. combat units in the war. The unit's first major operation was the Pleiku Campaign. During this action, the division conducted 35 days of continuous airmobile operations. The opening battle, the Battle of Ia Drang Valley, was described in the book We Were Soldiers Once...And Young which was also the basis of the subsequent Mel Gibson film We Were Soldiers. The unit also earned the first Presidential Unit Citation (US) presented to a division during the Vietnam War.
  12. The monkey-hanging legend is the most famous story connected with Hartlepool. During the Napoleonic Wars a French ship was wrecked off the Hartlepool coast. During the Napoleonic Wars there was a fear of a French invasion of Britain and much public concern about the possibility of French infiltrators and spies. The fishermen of Hartlepool fearing an invasion kept a close watch on the French vessel as it struggled against the storm but when the vessel was severely battered and sunk they turned their attention to the wreckage washed ashore. Among the wreckage lay one wet and sorrowful looking survivor, the ship's pet monkey dressed to amuse in a military style uniform. The fishermen apparently questioned the monkey and held a beach-based trial. Unfamiliar with what a Frenchman looked like they came to the conclusion that this monkey was a French spy and should be sentenced to death. The unfortunate creature was to die by hanging, with the mast of a fishing boat (a coble) providing a convenient gallows. In former times, when war and strife The French invasion threaten'd life An' all was armed to the knife The Fisherman hung the monkey O ! The Fishermen with courage high, Siezed on the monkey for a French spy; "Hang him !" says one; "he's to die" They did and they hung the monkey Oh! They tried every means to make him speak And tortured the monkey till loud he did speak; Says yen "thats french" says another "its Greek" For the fishermen had got druncky oh!
  13. I suppose the BBC called it a tank anyway
  14. don't you mean CVR(T)? I was just using APC as a generic term. 8-)
  15. yeh, coz the army lets you take APCs home for a visit! :what:
  16. 1806: Royal Navy uses rockets for the first time, in a bombardment of Boulogne. The successful wars fought by the British against the Indian princes, especially Tipoo Sahib, introduced the British to rockets. The rockets had not proven particularly effective and did not impress a young Arthur Wellesley, who later became the Duke of Wellington, but captured samples were returned to Woolwich Arsenal in 1804. William Congreve was the eldest son of an official at the Royal laboratory at Woolwich. Congreve had served in the Royal Artillery briefly in 1791 before being attached to the laboratory staff himself. Congreve worked on improving the propellants and inventing warheads for the rocket. Congreve’s own story of his work on rockets begins. ‘ In 1804, it first occurred to me that….the projectile force of the rocket…….might be successfully employed, both afloat and ashore, as a military engine, in many cases where the recoil of exploding gunpowder’ made the use of artillery impossible. Congreve bought the best rockets on the London market but found they had a greatest range of only 600 yards. He knew that the Indian princes had possessed rockets that would travel much further than this. After spending ‘several hundred pounds’ of his own money on experiments he was able to make a rocket that would travel 1500 yards. He applied to Lord Chatham to have a number of large rockets constructed at Woolwich Arsenal, these achieved ranges of up to 2000 yards. By 1806 he was producing 32pdr rockets, which flew 3000 yards. The great advantage of Congreve’s invention was that it possessed many of the qualities of artillery but was free from the encumbrance of guns; wherever a packhorse or an infantryman could go, the rocket could go and be used to provide artillery support. The first service trial took place at sea on the night of 7-8 October 1806. Eighteen boats equipped with rockets on launching frames, rowed into the bay of Boulogne to attempt to destroy the French invasion barges within. Two hundred rounds were fired in thirty minutes. The damage to the fleet was minimal but although the damage to the town is not certain, it was probably very heavy as Lord Lauderdale passing through the next day as he returned from a diplomatic mission, was only allowed to proceed through the town in his coach with the blinds pulled down. Further, during his overnight stop in the town, he was confined to his hotel, to stop him observing any of the damage. Napoleon immediately offered a reward to any French inventor to rival Congreve’s rockets, none succeeded.
  17. I agree - this book is rubbish. The basic military errors are so obvious you can tell that Chris Ryan doesn't write them. A shame really, as he was an excellent squaddie by all accounts. I particularly like the fact that he was the only one of the fated Bravo Two Zero patrol that got away - and the only one that came from the TA!
  18. would a medic partially obscure his red cross badges with cam? Surely it defeats the object.
  19. EXTRACTS for HAMPSHIRE from FROISSART'S CHRONICLES, 1325-1400 ... and as soon as sir Hugh Quieret, sir Peter Behuchet and Barbevaire, who lay and kept the straits between England and France with a great navy, knew that the war was open, they came on a Sunday in the forenoon to the haven of Hampton, while the people were at mass: and the Normans, Picards and Spaniards entered into the town and robbed and pilled the town, and slew divers, and despoiled maidens and enforced wives, and charged their vessels with the pillage, and so entered again into their ships. And when the tide came, they disanchored and sailed to Normandy and came to Dieppe; and there departed and divided their booty and pillages.
  20. 1338: French naval superiority at the start of the Hundred Years War was brutally demonstrated with an amphibious assault on Southampton by several thousand men under the ruthless admiral Hugh Quieret. The town's defences were completely inadequate, and most of the local militia fled. The small garrison of professional troops, backed by the braver elements from the townspeople, defeated the first assault but were then overrun by Italian mercenaries. The French and Italians thoroughly looted the town, but the next morning started to come under attack again, whereupon they withdrew, leaving Southampton in flames.
  21. 1939: The first troops of the British Expeditionary Force arrived to take up positions on the Franco-Belgian frontier. Following the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the British Expeditionary Force was sent to the Franco-Belgian border. By May 1940, when the German attack began, it consisted of ten infantry divisions in three corps, a tank brigade and a RAF detachment of about 500 aircraft. Commanded by General Lord Gort, although constituting only a tenth of the defending Allied force it sustained heavy losses during the German advance and most of the remainder (roughly 330,000 men) were evacuated from Dunkirk in June, leaving much of their equipment behind. However, the 51st (Highland) Infantry Division was left behind at Saint-Valéry-en-Caux, as it was not trapped by the Germans at the time; it surrendered along with elements of the French 10th Army later in June. The short lived second Expeditionary Force commanded by General Alan Brooke was evacuated from Western France during Operation Ariel.
  22. During this time the HAC also had a stay behind role as observers for long range artillery - much like the SAS they were to wreak havoc on the long logistical lines that would have been created, thus cutting the body from the head - then the US and reserve UK forces would have arrived to confront an enemy severely low on ammo, food and fuel, and if they didn't win the battle they would be able to create a stalemate. Well, that was the plan. My old battalion would have been on the front line as a temporary buffer that was hoped would slow the Red Hordes down for a few hours. Any survivors were to regroup and form guerrilla units to do as much damage to the lines of communications as possible. Bill, try this link for 212 Bty: http://www.army.mod.uk/105regtrav/212_highland_battery/index.htm Their history is below, History of 212 (Highland) Battery (V) 1778 First mention of an "irregular" militia force in Arbroath is made at the time of the 'Meal mobs' when four companies were raised to preserve civil peace. 1779 Town council petitions Govt to provide warships as protection for convoys in the North Sea where havoc was taking place with merchant shipping. 1781 French privateer tries to bombard the town. A Battery, equipped with six12-pounder guns, forms on Ballast Hill in the area of what is now Hill St. 1794 Several Corps of volunteers recruited from all over Angus to provide coastal defence as well as carry out civil duties. 1803 Invasion threatened by Napoleon increases volunteer recruiting - four companies formed in Arbroath. Disbanded after peace is declared. 1859 Threats from the French - a new Volunteer Force is raised. 1860 Corps is combined with the 1st Brigade, Forfarshire Artillery Volunteers with Headquarters in Albany Quarters, Bell Street, Dundee. 1908 Yeomanry, Militia & Volunteers combined into one force - the Territorial Army (TA). 1908 Arbroath Battery issued with 15-pounders - used eventually in France. 1914 Battery mobilised and helped fight in most of the famous battles. 1918 Battery becomes part of 76th (Highland) Field Regiment Royal Artillery, including one battery in Arbroath. 1939 Battery now part of 51st Division sent to Middle East - action in El Alamein to Sicily. Action later - Normandy landings and Bremerhaven 1961 400th Highland (Aberdeen-Angus) Field Regiment Royal Artillery, TA, formed with HQ in Dundee - includes a gun battery in Arbroath. 1967 Govt reorganises TA and becomes the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve. 1967 400th Regiment disbanded. Arbroath Battery loses its guns to become part of Highland Regiment, RA (Territorials) as a Home Defence Unit. 1968 Regiment's arms and equipment were taken away. Regiment all but disbanded. Members keep the establishment ticking over and all ranks are paid a flat rate of £1 per day's training out of Regimental funds. 1969 The Highland Regiment disbanded. Arbroath Battery is retained as a third Battery of the 102 Ulster/Scottish Light Air Defence Regiment, Royal Artillery. 1986 212 (Highland) Battery now part of 105th Regiment. 1992 The Battery saw the introduction of the Javelin air defence system. 2003 Starstreak High Velocity Missile (HVM) is introduced - developing on from Javelin. 2006 Battery converts back to field artillery to the 105mm Light Gun. G Troop is formed with a parade to mark the event on the 1st Dec 06 on Shetland Island.
  23. .....or you can have a phos grenade handy to lob in in case you can't find the Batco wallet! :-)
  24. Bill, The BC would have been attached to a Battalion HQ during the period you have mentioned, as the Arty adviser to the CO. He would have travelled in the TAC (Tactical Headquarters) close to the front line. His FFR (full wheel base) would have been cammed up - that is black and green paint, cam nets and Hessian rolled up, long branches or cam poles - all tied up on the roof. It would have had a driver/operator - that is the BCs signaller who would dismount with him and carry the radio (he wasn't a Batman but the odd cuppa would have been expected! ;-) ) Your vehicle, however, a lightweight FFR, would be used by one of the FOOs (Forward Observation Officer - usually a SNCO or Lieutenant) who would be attached to a Company and provide indirect fire support. His vehicle would be cammed up the same way as described above.
  25. 1066: Duke William the Bastard of Normandy, later known as The Conqueror, landed at Pevensey near Hastings. The battle with Harold was fought on 14 October.
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