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Thursday, 6 June 2019


My late father was amongst those men whose real war started on the Normandy beaches on this day 75 years go. His battalion landed on Sword at 10am - their objective Caen. However, the Germans, as we know, mounted a vigorous defence and they took many casualties. My father was wounded by mortar shrapnel in the battle for the little village of Cambes on the 9th, and missed the taking of Caen. He was back however for the liberation of Belgium and the Netherlands and the fierce battles for the Rhine approaches and for the crossing itself - then onward, finishing the war on 4th May, nearly eleven months later, with the battle to take Bremen. A light infantryman to his boot soles, he must have appreciated Lord Wavell's words
The Infantry man always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, and he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms ... So let us write Infantry with a Capital I; and think of them with the deep admiration they deserve. And let us Infantrymen wear our battledress like our rue, with a difference, and throw a chest in it, for we are the men who win battles and war.
Other service arms are available, as they say.

Father's gongs - familiar ribbons that will be on display today
 And following yesterday's post I can't resist quoting AEP in the Telegraph today -
Does it worry me that US companies might gain access to NHS contracts? Of course not. Matt Hancock’s disqualified himself from the Tory leadership with his tub-thumping warning that "the NHS is not for sale".  Mr Hancock, the NHS already is for sale. Private firms secure 70pc of NHS clinical contracts. They run hospitals. European companies bid under EU procurement law - which recently forced an Oxford NHS trust to farm out its PET-CT imaging for cancer to a sub-contractor against the vehement protest of doctors. Europe’s 'big pharma' are not exactly pussy cats.

What is the ground - other than visceral anti-Americanism - for preventing US companies from also bidding for work, and bringing world-class competition? It does not undermine the NHS as a social welfare institution to put this tendering process on the table - which is what Donald Trump surely meant after correcting himself - any more than it is already being undermined. The Government can still regulate prices and the quality of service as it does now.

Chlorinated chickens do not bother me either, perhaps because I ate so many during a large stretch of my life in the US. The EU’s food safety regulator EFSA says there are “no safety concerns” at relevant doses. I happily eat Spanish salad leaves from supermarkets soaked in the same "pathogen reduction" rinsing.
Oh, and I understand there's some event in Peterborough today in which the Conservative Party does not seem to be involved. So hardly worth mentioning, then. 


Cheerful Edward said...

You rightly honour your father, Raedwald.

Mine survived the Battle Of Arnhem.

Let us put aside our differences and reflect.

DeeDee99 said...

Broadcast coverage of the Normandy landing commemorations has been pretty good and very respectful of the courageous young men who participated. I especially enjoyed Her Maj's comment about her generation being a resilient one ..... possibly a slight dig at the snowflake generation we have now bred.

Unlike BoJo, Hancock hasn't understood that the CONs are facing obliteration. He thinks, like Labour, all he has to do is shout "NHS" and all those lost voters will come back to the Tory heel. Some no doubt will; many won't. And it's the many who won't who will make the CONs unelectable.

Span Ows said...

Reprise and respect.

One point that stunned me and I write it NOT to belittle the sacrifice 75 years ago but to highlight the ridiculousness of some:

From SteynOnline back on 11/11 last year "Exactly a century ago - on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month - the guns fell silent on Europe's battlefields. The belligerents had agreed the terms of the peace at 5am that November morning, and the news was relayed to the commanders in the field shortly thereafter that hostilities would cease at eleven o'clock. And then they all went back to firing at each other for a final six hours. On that last day, British imperial forces lost some 2,400 men, the French 1,170, the Germans 4,120, the Americans about 3,000."

"The dead in those last hours of the Great War outnumbered the toll of D Day twenty-six years later, the difference being that those who died in 1944 were fighting to win a war whose outcome they did not know. On November 11th 1918 over eleven thousand men fell in a conflict whose victors and vanquished had already been settled and agreed."
[my emphasis]

Dave_G said...

I respectfully thank those who's efforts and sacrifice brought about peace in Europe but, like Span Ows, despise those that take us into war on false pretenses and/or consider conscripts (and volunteers) as fodder to push their ideals.

Conflict seems ever present across the world and I fear for the current generation who are being lied to over issues that will (inevitably in my eyes) bring about their own 'sacrifice' once again.

Cheerful Edward said...

You make a valid point Span. My paternal grandfather was one of those killed.

Let us not forget either, the twenty million Russians - and the rest of them - who perished in WWII.

It was they who did the grimmest of the donkey work.

Raedwald said...

Agree all - Never again.

It's encouraging that the State - everywhere - has lost its power to compel young people to kill eachother. Not a single person I know under 30 - and most of those older - would recognise conscription as legitimate, and none would obey. Vietnam was possiby the last war mounted by an advanced democracy in which young people complied wuth the State.

That doesn't mean that the young are all unwilling to fight - just that they need to believe, individually, that the cause is just before they pick up a weapon.

That, surely, must be an advance.

Cheerful Edward said...

Yes, dictatorships, such as Galtieri's, will always send in conscripts to die in vain, alas.

leila said...

All agree never again Yet the duplicitous May with an actor's face at the commemorations has done a fair amount of Russia baiting in her career as the worst PM ever.Somehow this government, the next government has to contained regarding the NWO desire for continual conflict .We could spend some time on formulating the best approach to achieve this.

Bill Quango MP said...

Arnhem was a horrendous battle for the allies. With WW1 levels of casualties in the two weeks of operations.

Caen is very similar.

For all the glory and success and extreme risk of D-Day, it was a very successful and very casualty light experience, for the numbers involved. It had been planned for so long, and trained for, for so long, and had all the lessons learned from pervious disasters, applied. Involved the UK'sgreatest strength, its navy, in the calculations of force. And had overwhelming numbers of all forces at all points of the invasion. {With the exception of tanks for the US forces on day 1.}
Special forces were deployed in a multitude of active roles.As were resistance and deception operations.
A huge success.

Sadly, the fighting that followed,by necessity, though far less fraught with catastrophic risk, was far, far more attritional. With infantry, UK and US, reeceiving the highest losses from 1944 onwards.

Anonymous said...

I heard all that on the BBC - not!

Charles said...

Hello, my father survived the Burma campaign in the forgotten army. I do think politicians should shut up at a ceremony like this, the less May says the better.

Mr Ecks said...

Cheesy--more of your crap. Like that puke Galloway (when trying to peddle the same "soviets saved us" BS on the 1917 commie anniversary) you conveniently forget how Uncle Joe was very big pals with his fellow socialist Adolf Hitler from 39 to 41.

Nor as some leftist liars have claimed was this Unc Joe playing for time. He seems to have trusted Hitler and continued his murder purge of Red Army officers all the way through and took zero precautions against what happened in 1941.

In fact German tanks rolled into France in 1940 topped up with soviet supplied fuel and firing shells filled with soviet supplied explosives.

Joe also ordered the always far too numerous French Commie Party to undermine French morale in the Phoney War period. They did this with some success esp in the army--but it doesn't take much to demoralise the French Army.

When Adolf turned on his fellow socialist --who also shared a hatred of Jews tho' tempered in Joe's case by his hatred of nearly everybody--Uncle Joe and Russia were totally unprepared and Joe all but shat his pants with terror.

The Russian people inspired by their great history and their Orthodox faith (which Joe had tried to destroy and then had a change of "heart" once war broke out)fought back and won.

Which they could not have done without colossal tonnage of goods and supplies sent by capitalist America. And for which British sailors paid their lives on Artic convoys.

So don't come any more of your commie "socialism won WW2" shite.

Mark said...

Indeed Ecksy. Never forget that Stalin was Hitlers greedy grasping ally right up until 22nd June 1941. He pretty well made irrelevant the British naval blockade that might otherwise have done Germany some harm.

The Soviet people suffered terribly but Stalin's incompetence did for a good few million.

And Stalin did essentially nothing to help with Japan.

The Soviets did nobody any favours during the war. They were always Hitlers target as he needed their land and resources to be able to resist the American (Jewish in Hitlers eyes) global hegemony he foresaw. He would have attacked Stalin sooner or later sure as night follows day.

Thud said...

Well said Mr. Ecks, commies and the Nazis, different shite same smell.

anon 2 said...

Yes, Mark @ 15:5 -- They were always Hitlers target as he needed their land and resources to be able to resist the American (Jewish in Hitlers eyes) global hegemony he foresaw. He would have attacked Stalin sooner or later sure as night follows day.

The plan was to surround the US on all sides: the Atlantic, South America (Hitler had allies/supporters there); Japan covered the Western US .... and so control of Russia would have cut off polar egress ....
I think the Americans realised that before they allied themselves with us.