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From a 1949 Army historical report titled "The Reorganization of the Canadian Militia, 1919-1920";

". . .Unfortunately, the Otter Committee rendered no official report in full, . . ."
That's excellent. Thanks. It certainly shows how whatever the Committee reported was implemented.

Tomorrow Will Be a Good Day: My Autobiography, Captain Sir Tom Moore

An interesting and pleasant read from a gentleman whose steady pace up and down his garden inspired a nation.

1678 - Ayrshire, Scotland

If you want to understand

"no standing armies"
"no armies billeted on the citizenry"
"the right to bear arms"
"separation of Church and State"
"Whigs and Tories"
"Presbyterian Kirk and Episcopal Church"
"Tcheuchters and Sassenachs"
" The Scots-Irish"
"The American Revolution"
"Trump, Brexit, Johnson and populism"

Read this book.

Real Scotsmen don't speak Irish nor wear kilts. They speak English and wear trousers.

The Highland Host of Charles II, visited on the Covenanters of Ayrshire to force them to break their presbyterian Covenant with God and impose another episcopalian covenant, or bond, to accept the King's authority over their church, predated by a year the Dragonnades of Charles II's cousin Louis XIV which attempted to do the same thing to the Huguenots of France.

Kilwinning, the Mother Lodge of the Masons, is in Ayrshire.
Just finished reading "Dünkirchen 1940: The German View of Dunkirk" by Robert Kershaw (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59808543-d-nkirchen-1940)

This book as you can imagine from the title is all about the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from the port city of Dunkirk (which the British call Operation Dynamo) but from the point of view of the German forces and not the normal allied viewpoint.

The book uses letters, diaries, and first-hand accounts from participants in the battle to tell the story and explain why the British were able to evacuate from Dunkirk and more interestingly why the German forces did not destroy them on the beach while they were waiting to be evacuated.

If you have read any of the author’s other books such as “It Never Rains in September: The German View of Market-Garden and the Battle of Arnhem, September 1944” you will know how much detail and care he puts into his writing. This book I feel lives up to the standard he set with his previous books and provides an interesting look at one of the most iconic events of the Second World War from the German perspective.

If you are a fan of military history, especially that of the Second World War then I recommend this book. I think you will enjoy it.
Just finished Chris Hadfield's "The Apollo Murders". Is there anything this man can't do well?

My fiction preferences changes with the years. While generally staying with mysteries and espionage procedurals, my current preference leans towards realistic settings of pre-war or Cold War Europe. This book, while not hitting all those characteristics (but close enough for gov't work) surprised me by making the implausible plausible. Okay, there may be one or two minor plot points that perhaps stretches the bounds of credulity, but not enough to overshadow a good read. Highly recommend it.
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Have not read it yet, but intend to.

“Unraveling the Myth of Sgt. Alvin York: The Other Sixteen.” by James P. Gregory Jr.

It tells the stories of the other sixteen soldiers involved.

An interesting description of what actually happened....

From the film ‘A Bridge Too Far’. Prisoner scene on the Bridge.

A German soldier walks across the bridge waving a white flag.

Major Carlyle: “That’s far enough, we can hear you from there.”

Major Carlyle to Lt-Col. Frost: “Rather an interesting development Sir.”

German soldier: “My General says there is no point in continuing this fighting, he is willing to discuss a surrender.”

Lt-Col. Frost to Major. Carlyle: “Tell him to go to hell.”

Major. Carlyle to the German soldier: “We haven’t the proper facilities to take you all prisoner, sorry.”

German soldier: “What?”

Major. Carlyle: ‘We’d like to, but we can’t accept your surrender. Was there anything else?”

German soldier walks away.

Lt-Col. Frost, looking at his watch: “Alright.”

The real events.

Pages 301 to 303 of ‘A Bridge Too Far’, by Cornelius Ryan.

[Tuesday, 19th September 1944]

Major-General Heinz Harmel, the Frundsberg Division commander, was irritable and more than a little frustrated. Despite constant pressure from General Bittrich, he had still been unable to bludgeon Frost and his men from the Arnhem bridge. “I was beginning to feel damn foolish,” Harmel recalls.

By now he knew that the paratroopers were nearing the end of their supplies and ammunition. Also their casualties, if his own were an example, were extremely high. “I had determined to bring tanks and artillery fire to bear and level every single building they held,” Harmel says, “but in view of the fight they were putting up, I felt I should first ask for their surrender.” Harmel ordered his staff to arrange for a temporary truce. They were to pick a British prisoner-of-war to go to Frost with Harmel’s ultimatum. The soldier selected was a newly-captured engineer, 25-year-old Sergeant Stanley Halliwell, one of Captain Mackay’s sappers.

Halliwell was told to enter the British perimeter under a flag of truce. There he was to tell Frost that a German officer would arrive to confer with him about surrender terms. If Frost agreed, Halliwell would once more return to the bridge to stand unarmed with Frost until the German officer joined them. “As a POW I was supposed to return to the Jerries as soon as I delivered the message and got the Colonel’s answer and I didn’t like that part of the business at all,” Halliwell says. The Germans brought Halliwell close to the British perimeter where, carrying the truce flag, he crossed into the British-held sector and arrived at Frost’s headquarters. Nervously, Halliwell explained the situation to Frost. The Germans, he said, believed it pointless for the fight to continue. The British were surrounded with no hope of relief. They had no choice but to die or surrender. Questioning Halliwell, Frost learned that ‘the enemy seemed to be most disheartened at their own losses.’ His own spirits lifted momentarily at the news and he remembers thinking that ‘if only more ammunition would arrive, we would soon have our SS opponents in the bag.’ As to the German request for negotiations, Frost’s answer to Halliwell was explicit, “Tell them to go to hell,” he said.

Halliwell was in full agreement. As a POW he was expected to return but he did not relish the idea of repeating the Colonel’s exact words and, he pointed out to Frost, it might prove difficult to return through the lines. “It is up to you to make that decision,” Frost said. Halliwell had already done so. “If it’s all the same with you, Colonel,” he told Frost, “I’ll stay. Jerry will get the message sooner or later.”

On the far side of the ramp Captain Eric Mackay had just received a similar invitation but he chose to misinterpret it. “I looked out and saw a Jerry standing with a not-very-white hanky tied to a rifle. He shouted “Surrender!” I promptly assumed that they wanted to surrender, but perhaps they meant us.” In the now nearly-demolished schoolhouse in which his small force was holding out, Mackay, still thinking the German was making a surrender offer, thought the whole idea impractical. “We only had two rooms,” he says. “We would have been a bit cramped with prisoners.”

Waving his arms at the German, Mackay shouted, “Get the hell out of here. We’re taking no prisoners.” The medical orderly, ‘Pinky’ White, joined Mackay at the window. “Raus!” he shouted. “Beat it!” Amid a series of hoots and cat calls, other troopers took up the cry. “Bugger off! Go back and fight it out, you bastard.” The German seemed to get the point. As Mackay recalls he turned around and walked quickly back to his own building, “still waving his dirty hanky.”

Harmel’s attempt to seek a surrender from the spirited, beleaguered men on the bridge had failed. The battle began again in all its fury.
The battle began again in all its fury.
And they promptly got their asses handed to them.


Bravado has its place. It worked in the Bulge. Not here.

But then my old man got to do that in Sicily.

And they promptly got their asses handed to them.


Bravado has its place. It worked in the Bulge. Not here.

But then my old man got to do that in Sicily.


Wahooooo Mohammed!

28 March 1943

1030: Situation becoming critical. Bde informed. Reply received, ‘Hang on at all costs, things are rosy everywhere else’. C.O. gives the order that if the situation makes it necessary, the enemy will be charged with the bayonet on a signal from the hunting horn.

1100: Situation very serious, our own Artillery doing great work dropping rounds 100 yards in front of our positions. Enemy progress being slowed down. Fierce fire fight in progress.

1115: Shouts of “Whoa Mohammed” from A & C Coys made us think they’d gone in with the bayonet, but it was an expression of satisfaction at seeing our shells land among the enemy. Situation easier though still serious. Enemy progress checked. Heavy firing continues…