Thursday, July 29, 2010

Propaganda War Movies - Defence Talk Forum

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Propaganda War Movies - Defence Talk Forum

Please go to top of Forum page link for complete essay on Propaganda movies in WWII.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Exploits of my dad (2nd Infantry (Indian Head) Division) at Normandy from a 82nd Airborne Division veteran.

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This is a true story of George W.Tompkins Sr. by his son George W.Tompkins Jr.(82nd Airborne Division) and a personal note of interest by George Jr. about the British 6th Airborne Division.
When my dad  was still alive he described to me his first 5 or 6 hours on Omaha. They were pinned down by heavy German fire coming from the pillboxes. My dad said most of the guys arriving in the second and third waves were sitting ducks as soon as the gates dropped on the landing craft they were just cut down. He described the water at high tide as being a shade of crimson stained by the blood of fallen Americans. It took a few hours of heavy Naval gunfire to level some of the pillboxes before his unit could advance to the first series of hedgerows. He landed on the beach on June 6th a buck Sergeant.
On the second day he was promoted to 1st Sergeant H Company 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry (Indian Head) Division when his 1st Sergeant was killed in action. He was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with 2 oak leaf clusters, the Purple Heart with 5 oak leaf clusters for his actions and a battle field commission to 2nd Lieutenant during the "Battle of the Bulge".

One story he did tell me was after his unit liberated the village of St.Lo. They captured almost a complete infantry regiment. The Nazi CO was a full Colonel. He kept insisting that he ride in a vehicle instead of having to march along with his men because he was a German officer and demanded to be treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention. My father told him twice that only wounded men get to ride, Americans first Germans second. The Colonel insisted one more time so my father shot him in the leg and said OK now you can ride in accordance with the Geneva Convention.


Another interesting story is regarding the British 6th Airborne Division.  It was not until I got to the 82nd that I encountered a very small handful of legit WW2 veterans still on active duty amongst whom was my battalion Sergeant Major Harry S. Tompkins (no relation but in the Army we used to call the First Sergeant or the Battalion Sergeant Major TOP, an affectionate name for TOP KICK or senior most enlisted man.   I used to call the Sergeant Major POP. He never corrected me and would just smile at me. It was on Harry Tompkins that I saw for the first time a pair of Master Jump wings with 4 stars. The 4 stars were for his 4 combat jumps in WW2, that included Sicily, Salerno, Normandy (St. Mere Eglise), and Nijmegan (Holland.)  I engaged him in a conversation about WW2 and in particular I asked about the British 6th Airborne Division. In the US Army our maximum height for jumping was 20,000 feet and the only way you could go above 20,000 feet was to balloon jump. Of course the US Army does not permit balloon jumping however every year that I was in the 82nd two men from every unit were allowed to go to England to get their British Paratrooper Wings and to balloon jump with the British 6th Airborne perhaps the most notorious allied unit to ever hit France. According to POP you could always tell a British 6th trooper because he usually had no front teeth or was missing an ear. Amazed I inquired to find out that while US troops would exit C-47 aircraft via the two rear doors the British 6th would exit via an escape hatch in the floor near the tail of the aircraft. Most of whom would either knock out their front teeth or catch their ear on the hatch on the way out. POP said they were the craziest bastards he ever fought along side of.

WWII Air Gun camera

video
Here is an amazing video of some air gun camera video by P-47 pilots.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Normandy-Then and Now

Here is the link to download the PPS that has these pics and many more for you to watch.  There is also a sound track with the show.
http://rapidshare.com/files/407692768/Normandy_-_1944___now.pps                                                 

Normandy-Then and Now


Normandy-Then and Now


Normandy-Then and Now


Normandy-Then and Now


Normandy-Then and Now


Normandy-Then and Now


Normandy-Then and Now


Normandy-Then and Now


Normandy-Then and Now


Normandy-Then and Now


Normandy-Then and Now


Normandy-Then and Now


Normandy-Then and Now

Here are 12 pics from a PPS (PowerPoint) that show scenes of Normandy from 1944 and a modern day scene of same place.  Then after the 12 pics I will post a link for those who want to download the PPS for themselves.


WWII quiz-which battle is this? - Defence Talk Forum

WWII quiz-which battle is this? - Defence Talk Forum

The famous church at St. Mere Eglise and a 82nd Airborne Division vet remembers

The famous church at St. Mere Eglise. The second combat jump of the 82nd Airborne Division. I can not remember the name of the movie but actor/comedienne Red Buttons portrayed the paratrooper that got hung up on the church.(The Longest Day-John Wayne and a cast of thousands).  It is a true story and is part of what I was forced to learn as a member of the 82nd. Airborne Infantry.  In addition to Parachute Infantry Regiments some units were designated Glider Infantry Regiments. Thank God they did away with gliders. At the 82nd Airborne Museum at Ft. Bragg they have a C-47 and several gliders in original condition. Some of the gliders still have original German antiaircraft bullet holes in them. It was not uncommon for glider infantrymen to have been shot in the ass. Hell of a way to get a purple heart and a brief stay at an Army hospital in England. One things for sure my predecessors  in the 82nd were some tough sons of  bitches.
Lastly I almost forgot the reason for the guys getting hung up in trees and on church steeples. Some general (probably Matthew B. Ridgeway the first division commander of the 82nd Airborne Division) decided to lower the altitude for combat jumps from 10,000 feet to 600 feet. What he didn't realize is that it takes almost 1000 feet for your chute to fully deploy when jumping from a static line. Thus the poor bastards that jumped into St. Mere had chutes that were barely opened and obviously although not as maneuverable as current chutes it became impossible to maneuver away from obstacles especially in the dark of night. Funny how we learn from serious mistakes. A lot of 82nd and 101st troopers bought the farm at St. Mere Eglise.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Famous Church at St. Mere Eglise.


War Posters - thanks to Ziggy


War Posters - thanks to Ziggy


War Posters - thanks to Ziggy


War Posters - thanks to Ziggy


War Posters - thanks to Ziggy


War Posters - thanks to Ziggy


War Posters - thanks to Ziggy


War Posters - thanks to Ziggy


War Posters - thanks to Ziggy


War Posters - thanks to Ziggy


War Posters - thanks to Ziggy


WWII quiz-which battle is this? - Defence Talk Forum

WWII quiz-which battle is this? - Defence Talk Forum

Propaganda War Movies - Defence Talk Forum

 A new website for this blog  http://militaryhistoryofthe20thcentury.com/
 
Propaganda War Movies - Defence Talk Forum

Friday, July 16, 2010

Propaganda War Movies - Defence Talk Forum

Propaganda War Movies - Defence Talk Forum

WWII Propaganda Films

 A new website to replace this blog  http://militaryhistoryofthe20thcentury.com/

In WWII both Germany and the Allies used propaganda/war movies to help their war effort, but there were major differences in their respective approaches and uses.

While both sides believed they had a just cause for their fight in this war, when it came to trying to prove it with documentary films, the course of the war itself made it harder for Germany and easier for the Allies. The Germans used propaganda documentaries to show not only why they were fighting, but also why they expected to win the war. Their master race theory and the need to expand the nation controlled every event and every use of propaganda, especially in films.

The Allies, at first Britain, and then America, showed why they had to win the war. It was not good enough to show just the fighting. The important message was what would happen if the Allies did not win the war.
Any comments on this would be appreciated before I continue with my factual research to prove this theory. Propaganda movies

Thursday, July 15, 2010

WWII quiz-which battle is this? - Defence Talk Forum

WWII quiz-which battle is this? - Defence Talk Forum

155MM "Long Tom" American field gun

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American 90MM AA gun


American Armored Half-track with twin .50 caliber MGs


Bofors 40MM AA gun


British 25 LB field gun


British Mulberry remains at Gold Beach


Canadian M4 Sherman DD(Duplex Drive) tank

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German field gun


German anti-tank gun in bunker


Direct hit on German ammo bunker


German Metal Bell bunker with several direct hits

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German MG42


Rusting remains of 2 German 88MM guns


Business end of German 88MM gun


German 88MM AA gun

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Twin 20MM AA gun


Up and over the cliff at Omaha Beach


Omaha Beach cliffs


The US Military Cemetery at OMAHA Beach Colleville-Sur-Mer 2


The US Military Cemetery at OMAHA Beach Colleville-Sur-Mer 1


The Canadian Military Cemetery at Bény-Sur-Mer 8


The Canadian Military Cemetery at Bény-Sur-Mer 7