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Operation Overlord. D-Day

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by PeterMac on 09.06.14 17:00

There were Wellington bomber pilots aged 19, who graduated to Halifax and Lancasters aged 20 or 21.
These days parliament is being asked to consider whether they should be allowed to drive at night, or with more than two passengers ! !

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by lj on 09.06.14 18:59

@PeterMac wrote:There were Wellington bomber pilots aged 19, who graduated to Halifax and Lancasters aged 20 or 21.
These days parliament is being asked to consider whether they should be allowed to drive at night, or with more than two passengers ! !


Amazing isn't it? There were resistance fighters of even younger 15, 16 year who had the fate of whole families in their hands.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by tigger on 09.06.14 19:31

Not generally known that Audrey Hepburn aged 14 or so , distributed leaflets from the resistance, with news from the BBC - it was illegal to listen to it . in fact I believe it was illegal to have a radio at all.

i know this is true because an old mentor of mine who was in the resistance, got arrested and shipped to Dachau, knew her.
My old mentor was at the Nuremberg trials.


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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by lj on 10.06.14 6:22

If I am not mistaken she was in Arnhem during operation Marketgarden.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by PeterMac on 10.06.14 7:24

@lj wrote:If I am not mistaken she was in Arnhem during operation Marketgarden.
The family had terrible time during WWII, some being executed, others taken to forced labour camps.
It is said that her extraordinary body shape was caused partly by the malnutrition they all suffered.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by lj on 11.06.14 5:56

@PeterMac wrote:
@lj wrote:If I am not mistaken she was in Arnhem during operation Marketgarden.
The family had  terrible time during WWII, some being executed, others taken to forced labour camps.
It is said that her extraordinary body shape was caused partly by the malnutrition they all suffered.


A lot of families suffered that PeterMac. Especially in the western part hunger was devastating, there was even death of starvation. Interesting was that there was no type II diabetes during those years. At least the Dutch can look back with pride on the many, many people who did their part in the resistance. Sadly many of those were murdered, often after being tortured.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by PeterMac on 11.06.14 7:29

@lj wrote:
A lot of families suffered that PeterMac. Especially in the western part hunger was devastating, there was even death of starvation. Interesting was that there was no type II diabetes during those years. At least the Dutch can look back with pride on the many, many people who did their part in the resistance. Sadly many of those were murdered, often after being tortured.

Britain did not suffer in the same way of course, but as an observation British health was also at its peak during rationing. No sugar, very little processed flour, very little butter, very little meat, but lots of vegetables (dig for victory) and everyone walking or cycling to work.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by aquila on 11.06.14 7:48

@PeterMac wrote:
@lj wrote:
A lot of families suffered that PeterMac. Especially in the western part hunger was devastating, there was even death of starvation. Interesting was that there was no type II diabetes during those years. At least the Dutch can look back with pride on the many, many people who did their part in the resistance. Sadly many of those were murdered, often after being tortured.

Britain did not suffer in the same way of course, but as an observation British health was also at its peak during rationing.  No sugar, very little processed flour, very little butter, very little meat, but lots of vegetables (dig for victory) and everyone walking or cycling to work.
The Scottish branch of my family ate quite well when things got to the point of desperate hunger. My Grandfather used to go and shoot a deer from the Duke of Hamilton's estate. Fed the village for ages.

 laughat

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by tigger on 11.06.14 7:54

@PeterMac wrote:
@lj wrote:
A lot of families suffered that PeterMac. Especially in the western part hunger was devastating, there was even death of starvation. Interesting was that there was no type II diabetes during those years. At least the Dutch can look back with pride on the many, many people who did their part in the resistance. Sadly many of those were murdered, often after being tortured.

Britain did not suffer in the same way of course, but as an observation British health was also at its peak during rationing.  No sugar, very little processed flour, very little butter, very little meat, but lots of vegetables (dig for victory) and everyone walking or cycling to work.

Food was not rationed in Holland after the war  whereas I believe sugar and various other things were rationed well into the '50's in Britain.  An old friend of mine who was ten when the war ended, always pointed out where - aged 17 - he was able to buy a whole pound of sweets for the first time when rationing ceased.

During the war in NL people walked to farms and sold mostly their jewellery in return for food. Even flower bulbs were used as food.
I believe it was the RAF who initiated Operation Manna, food drops over the Western Netherlands.
The Swedish white  bread in particular was literally Manna from heaven, my parents used to tell us these stories decades later.

Nearer the end of the war the occupied countries were stripped of food products and also tobacco as Hitler knew full well that he'd lose the support of the country if they no longer had enough food, coffee, tea and tobacco.

Must read up on operation Manna. I think it was before the end of the war.

Here is a link! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operations_Manna_and_Chowhound

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by Snifferdog on 11.06.14 7:57

A train killed a horse near where my mom lived as a young teenager during ww2 in the Netherlands. Due to the food shortage there the carcass did not go to waste, and it was eaten by the townsfolk.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by aquila on 11.06.14 8:04

Needs must when hunger drives.

My parents' families had shotguns, gun dogs and fishing lines. Rabbit was frequently on the menu. My Welsh grandmother kept goats and sent the milk to the hospitals. The women on both sides could skin a rabbit, chop a chicken's head off and gut a fish without batting an eyelid. Both sides of the family grew their own vegetables.

I still smile when I think of my Scottish family and the rest of the village dining on venison things got to starvation point. Grandad the poacher!

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by PeterMac on 11.06.14 9:30

And there was the old story of the restaurant which admitted putting some horse meat in the rabbit pies.
Under pressure they admitted it was 50%.
One rabbit, one horse.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by bobbin on 11.06.14 10:17

@tigger wrote:
@PeterMac wrote:
@lj wrote:
A lot of families suffered that PeterMac. Especially in the western part hunger was devastating, there was even death of starvation. Interesting was that there was no type II diabetes during those years. At least the Dutch can look back with pride on the many, many people who did their part in the resistance. Sadly many of those were murdered, often after being tortured.

Britain did not suffer in the same way of course, but as an observation British health was also at its peak during rationing.  No sugar, very little processed flour, very little butter, very little meat, but lots of vegetables (dig for victory) and everyone walking or cycling to work.

Food was not rationed in Holland after the war  whereas I believe sugar and various other things were rationed well into the '50's in Britain.  An old friend of mine who was ten when the war ended, always pointed out where - aged 17 - he was able to buy a whole pound of sweets for the first time when rationing ceased.

During the war in NL people walked to farms and sold mostly their jewellery in return for food. Even flower bulbs were used as food.
I believe it was the RAF who initiated Operation Manna, food drops over the Western Netherlands.
The Swedish white  bread in particular was literally Manna from heaven, my parents used to tell us these stories decades later.

Nearer the end of the war the occupied countries were stripped of food products and also tobacco as Hitler knew full well that he'd lose the support of the country if they no longer had enough food, coffee, tea and tobacco.

Must read up on operation Manna. I think it was before the end of the war.

Here is a link!    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operations_Manna_and_Chowhound

My English aunt was in Germany, one week before World War II was declared, staying with a family on a Church Friendship Exchange scheme that had been running for years. Many families had become very close friends.
During the war, the Germans were reduced to those rations per month that the British were able to have per week.
My grandmother used to work in the Sainsbury’s of the day, measuring the cheese and butter rations to the absolute ounce. Not a shred over, not a shred under.

Towards the end of the war my grandmother/ family had heard of the starvation growing in Germany and via the Red Cross, managed to get a small food parcel (gathered together from their own rations) to this German family.
Months later a letter arrived, again via the Red Cross. There were tear marks on the paper. The food had arrived just in time to stop their own deaths but the daughter, exchanged with my aunt, who had married, had lost her baby, nevertheless.

In 1990 I went to Amsterdam with my own children. In the restaurant that evening a huge family gathering of locals was in full party swing. Everyone so happy. I leant across to ask what the people were celebrating. When they discovered that I was English the older people all came over and started hugging us and saying, ‘Thank you, Thank you, Thank you so much for the food, we were almost dead.’ They said that many had died from eating tulip bulbs they were so starved.
I was taken aback and stuttered ‘but I didn’t send food’, they said, ‘yes, but your forefathers did and that saved our lives’. We got pulled into the party.

Now, ref the previous ruckus vis a vis a French (hero) general. That is a name that one dare not utter where I live in the French Alps.
The resistance is deeply entrenched here, memories fiercely defended, even now. A local regiment is named after the Englishman whom they consider to be a real hero, Tom Morrell, an English resistance leader, who co-ordinated so much action and support for the French resistance and who parachuted with many British resistance workers/soldiers, onto the Plateau des Glieres, holding it for months from the enemy.
The regiment is NOT named after the general who, from the relative safety of the UK during the war, apparently encouraged the French people to resist, and who was not seen as the leader.

The resistance was every bit as treacherous as being on the front line, but resisters didn’t need to be ‘co-opted or induced’, they did it out of endemic commitment.
People had to work clandestinely, not only not to be discovered by the ‘enemy’ but also not to be ‘denounced’ by their own neighbours, of the same betraying nature as their Vichy Marshal Petain, for a spit of tobacco, or any other inducement, but maybe sometimes for more understandable reasons if by threat on the lives of their own loved ones.

This is an area that lives off tourism but it is only very recently that notice boards at the entrance to villages have been ‘under strong encouragement’, removed. These notices stated that the villages had been decimated by the ‘Bosch’.
Reprisals for any infraction against the ‘enemy’ were deliberately and violently, bloody and way out of proportion to any infraction against the enemy. Whole villages were slain, ‘pour encourager les autres’, to ‘persuade others….’

As much as society splits today, there are those who see the sense in ‘giving’ to keep a society cohesive and self-supporting, and there are those who can only think of ‘taking’ and will sell their own mother for a dime.
What we learn from war is its futility and the enormous price paid. But the battle plays out every moment of every day, the need to keep evil out, demands constant vigilance from the good.

This forum contains both categories of personality, and it is in honour of truth, honesty, justice, and those who have gone before us, that the good will push, as did those in the wars, until those honours are paid.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by Garrincha on 11.06.14 10:22

Hello Bobbin - that is a lovely piece of writing

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by PeterMac on 11.06.14 10:40

That was another thing. The nation's teeth - particularly the children's' teeth, were better in 1945 than then were from 1953 when sugar rationing came off.
Then people started crunching boiled sweets, ramming the sugar deep into the pits between the cusps.
And the obesity began.

Re the Netherlands,
In 1967 a group of friends (aged 17) cycled south from Rotterdam to Triere, then Moselle, Rhein, Holland - (and visited my uncles grave in Telgelen), Ijsselmeer, and back.
On two occasions we were having a quiet drink in a rural pub, and were recognised as Brits.
And the beer flowed, and the uitsmijter was paid for by someone.
It was a very humbling experience.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by Snifferdog on 11.06.14 10:53

Interesting memories from Aquila Bobbin and others. There were many heroes and innocents who fought and were killed.  We should never forget the many made in all sincerity to others.  Hopefully people will consider who benefits financially from wars before getting swept up in others propaganda.  
I have a photograph passed down to me of Mussolini, his girlfriend and others hanging from their feet on public display after being executed.  It lies in an old tin pencil crayon box.  A horrible momento, but a reminder of the cruelty of war.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by plebgate on 11.06.14 11:08

@Snifferdog wrote:Interesting memories from Aquila Bobbin and others. There were many heroes and innocents who fought and were killed.  We should never forget the many made in all sincerity to others.  Hopefully people will consider who benefits financially from wars before getting swept up in others propaganda.  
I have a photograph passed down to me of Mussolini, his girlfriend and others hanging from their feet on public display after being executed.  It lies in an old tin pencil crayon box.  A horrible momento, but a reminder of the cruelty of war.
All the lives lost and nothing has been learned.  The Powers that Be still send our kids off to be killed and maimed.   CANNON FODDER.   Makes me so annoyed.

Should be a law, I believe, that if our Government decide to get involed in any further wars then their kids and relatives should be sent off also, front line duty a must.  

We might then possibly see a distinct lack of enthusiam to be seen as poodles.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by aquila on 11.06.14 11:16

I lived in Crete for several years. Crete was invaded by the Germans. They parachuted into Maleme and took over the houses of local people to establish their HQ. My friend's grandfather was shot. Once the war was over, her grandmother donated a large piece of land to the German war cemetery saying 'they are all someone's son, they all died here and it's right to offer them dignity in death'.

Given the feelings in Crete about the invasion, this was an extraordinary act of kindness from a woman who had lost her own husband at the hands of German soldiers. There is something so Christian and spiritual in that offering.

There is also a beautiful little memorial put up by the locals of Galatas for the Welsh Regiment who fought alongside them. It is noticeable for its daffodils and is tended by the villagers.

There is a graveyard in Souda for all the allied forces who fought there. I defy anyone walking around that cemetery to come away with a dry eye.

sorry if I'm rambling.

@Bobbin, what a beautiful post.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by Snifferdog on 11.06.14 11:19

Yes I agree fully Plebgate.  Put them in the frontlines! Then we will see just how enthusiastic they are. flag
Just to add, lovely story Aquila. So true, they are all someone's beloved son.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by RIPM on 11.06.14 12:06

bobbin wrote

Now, ref the previous ruckus vis a vis a French (hero) general. That is a name that one dare not utter where I live in the French Alps.
The resistance is deeply entrenched here, memories fiercely defended, even now. A local regiment is named after the Englishman whom they consider to be a real hero, Tom Morrell, an English resistance leader, who co-ordinated so much action and support for the French resistance and who parachuted with many British resistance workers/soldiers, onto the Plateau des Glieres, holding it for months from the enemy.
The regiment is NOT named after the general who, from the relative safety of the UK during the war, apparently encouraged the French people to resist, and who was not seen as the leader.

I am sorry but as you have mentioned the previous ruckus, you cannot be allowed to peddle  such blatant mis-information.

Can you produce any evidence whatsoever of any Tom Morrell a British hero leading British and French troops in the French Alps.

There is a very famous and revered man Théodose Morel also known as Tom Morel  but it would seem the French on this forum are not allowed war heroes so Tom Morel becomes British, the only problem is he was born on 1st August 1915 in Lyon.

Lyon is in France.

His father was French
His mother was French
He was educated and grew up in France

As far as is known Tom Morel never set foot in England.  The man Théodose known as Tom Morel is a French national hero for very good reason.

The British have many genuine war heroes whose bravery is well documented and rightly so but if a member of this forum chooses to mention people they should do some basic research on the subject.

 Readers from your post could wrongly assume he was not French.  If you have any evidence he was British please provide your references.

 If not, you should withdraw your remarks and before other other readers tell me I am rude, there is an internet, you can check out the facts for yourself.
Untrue statements simply devalue the forum.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by bobbin on 11.06.14 13:04

@PeterMac wrote:That was another thing. The nation's teeth - particularly the children's' teeth, were better in 1945 than then were from 1953 when sugar rationing came off.
Then people started crunching boiled sweets, ramming the sugar deep into the pits between the cusps.
And the obesity began.

Re the Netherlands,
In 1967 a group of friends (aged 17) cycled south from Rotterdam to Triere, then Moselle, Rhein, Holland - (and visited my uncles grave in Telgelen), Ijsselmeer, and back.
On two occasions we were having a quiet drink in a rural pub, and were recognised as Brits.
And the beer flowed, and the uitsmijter was paid for by someone.
It was a very humbling experience.

Exactly that PeterMac, the word 'humbling' is absolutely correct. I felt I had done 'nothing' yet the out-flowing expression of gratitude was so humbling.
It was a gratitude that I had not earned but it was a reflection of the 'good' people who had gone before us.
It made me, and still makes me, believe that above all else, we are nought but guardians of this world and we should leave it a better place for our future generations and NOT spoil it the way it is currently being desecrated.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by lj on 11.06.14 14:45

@PeterMac wrote:And there was the old story of the restaurant which admitted putting some horse meat in the rabbit pies.
Under pressure they admitted it was 50%.
One rabbit, one horse.


 big grin 

Where I grew up there was a real horse butcher. Although not very popular, the meat was said to be very good for scrawny little things like I was. I remember it being rather sweet.

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"Great Escape" man to be honoured

Post by PeterMac on 11.06.14 14:45

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/481544/Bernard-Jordan-City-honour-for-D-Day-veteran-s-great-escape
Bernard Jordan: City honour for D-Day veteran's great escape
A D-DAY veteran who escaped from his care home to attend the 70th anniversary celebrations in Normandy is set be awarded the freedom of his home city.

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by PeterMac on 11.06.14 14:48

@lj wrote:
Where I grew up there was a real horse butcher. Although not very popular, the meat was said to be very good for scrawny little things like I was. I remember it being rather sweet.
You can buy it here in Spain, in the best supermarkets. (Corte Ingles, for example - labelled as Potro = foal) And yes, it is slightly sweet and rich.
Since the recession there is a lot of it about, as people do not want to, or are unable to carry on feeding their animals

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Re: Operation Overlord. D-Day

Post by lj on 11.06.14 14:57

Some great posts here. I was born directly after the war and still saw a lot of the devastation it had brought. What always pained me the most is what it had done to some people. Even now 60 yrs later there are those that are still suffering everyday.  
I do know that in the Netherlands, even in the younger generation there is a deep gratitude towards the liberators: the Brits, Canadians and Americans. I know, there were other nationalities, but these 3 stuck most in the minds of people. 

I think the lesson we learned is to always keep on a very critical way of thinking. Don't believe what your government tells you. Think for yourself. 

And try to keep the peace.


Edited to change ago in later

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