Tag Archives: WW II

The Norwegian Resistance – Max Manus: Man of War

I only just today found out about Max; a Norwegian saboteur and others with him who fought the Nazis after Quisling’s betrayal.  While the film makers may have “created situations for dramatization”, this is a true story, and testament of their gallant, courageous resistance.

Red title is a live link.  English subtitles.

Max Manus: Man of War




Admiral Chester Nimitz

A good biography on Admiral Chester Nimitz

“When I assumed command of the Pacific Fleet in 31 December, 1941; our submarines were already operating against the enemy, the only units of the Fleet that could come to grips with the Japanese for months to come. It was to the Submarine Force that I looked to carry the load until our great industrial activity could produce the weapons we so sorely needed to carry the war to the enemy. It is to the everlasting honor and glory of our submarine personnel that they never failed us in our days of peril.”

Chester W. Nimitz

Jimmy Stewart – He wasn’t play acting

I spent some 45 minutes “websurfing” for more background info on James Stewart, having read Pacific Paratrooper’s post.  He, like many others carried with them the horrors of total war; kept their feelings bottled up, and never discussed their experiences.

Stewart commanded a squadron of B-24’s; although the B-24 has been in the shadow of the more famous B-17, they bore the vicious onslaught of the Luftwaffe just as much, and suffered grievous losses.

From the 458th Bombardment Group:

“Often compared with the better-known Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 was a more modern design with a higher top speed, greater range, and a heavier bomb load; it was also more difficult to fly, with heavy control forces and poor formation-flying characteristics. Popular opinion among aircrews and general staffs tended to favor the B-17’s rugged qualities above all other considerations in the European Theater. The placement of the B-24’s fuel tanks throughout the upper fuselage and its lightweight construction, designed to increase range and optimize assembly line production, made the aircraft vulnerable to battle damage. The B-24 was notorious among American aircrews for its tendency to catch fire. Its high fuselage-mounted “Davis wing” also meant it was dangerous to ditch or belly land, since the fuselage tended to break apart.”

Stewart with his crew by the B-24 “Lady Shamrock”

Below address contains the only photo I could locate of this B-24; their copyright prevents copying this image.  Use the menu:  Hover the cursor over “Photographs”, then Aircraft, finally 445th Aircraft, then click on it.

It is number 51 in a series of 171 images.


More here:  Jimmie Tramel: Jimmy Stewart earned wings before ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

The History of No. 264 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Many thanks to Pierre Lagacé.

His blog: https://johnkellynightfighterpilot.wordpress.com/

This story sparked my interest in part due to the obscure aircraft they used; the Boulton Paul Defiant.  This was an interesting, but badly flawed design, hearkening back to WW I tactics. More on this aircraft HERE

The History of No. 264 Night Fighter Squadron of the Royal Air Force

This is the story you will find on the RAF 264 Website. There are three versions.

Geoff Faulkner wrote version 3 in July 2004.

This is the original that I will use as a template for my ongoing research on unsung heroes, correcting typos along the way and adding photos.

“Whenever mention is made of No. 264 (N/F) Squadron the talk invariably turns to the Squadron’s claim of 37 enemy aircraft destroyed on the afternoon of May 29th, 1940, and though the survivors of this famous action KNOW that the figure is correct, there is no corroboration of their claim in the “Royal Air Force 1939/45”, Vol.1.”

There is nothing strange about this however.  For since the end of the war, we have witnessed a continual reduction in the claims of the “Fighter types” until by now, the absolute minimum must have been reached.  Any further reduction and, on some days, it could only mean that our chaps shot each other down.  And the proof that our figures are up the creek is, we are assured, to be found in German Records.  The Nazis, it seems, never lost any records when they were on the run, except those at Belsen, Dachau, etc.  Had none destroyed by bombs, and never stooped so low as to “cook the books” when it suited their purpose.  Strange, too, that all, those gallant lads who failed to return from Ops. and bomber escorts across the Channel went down empty-handed.  However, to get back to the point, if you believe those things then you accept the fact that “264” did not destroy 37 enemy aircraft on May 29th.

But do we believe them ?……..

Do we hell!

The R.A.F. historians approach the problem from the other end. They quote their own pilots first, and in some cases, add what was witnessed from the ground and then follow up with the enemy records.  The beginnings of history for No.264 Squadron can be traced back to a time when it is admitted that our own record keeping was not too good, to 1918, and, as a result, knowledge of its work is limited, to coastal and sea patrols in the Mediterranean. That it did serve for a few months is well-known, but it appears to have been disbanded by the end of the year.

Gone and forgotten, the Squadron remained off the active list until war came again, and towards the end of 1939 it began to re-form at Sutton Bridge — a well-known Armament Training Camp before the lights went out.

It was here in December, that Cpl. C.S. Bourne, of Kinestanding, Birmingham joined them, and they were then employed in a training role and had 3 Magisters on strength.

“From Sutton Bridge” continues Cpl. Bourne, “We moved to Martlesham Heath to crack on with our training, Fairey Battles were added to our strength early in 1940, then Defiants, and it was here that S/Ldr. P. Hunter took over. My promotion to Sgt. came through before we became operational and moved to Duxford to work alongside No.25 Squadron.

The war moved from Norway to the Low Countries and France, and I remember only too well the early hour in the morning, it was around 5.00 hrs. And we were waiting for the dawn patrol to return, when the C.O. informed me that I was to be ready to fly to Manston in an hour’s time with 2 fitters, 2 riggers, some armourers and a few ACH/GDs, to set up an advanced base for the squadron.  Lobbing in at Manston we were soon caught up in the organised chaos and to try and describe just the difficulties caused by the shortage of petrol bowsers would take pages.  From here our crews were doing 3 sorties a day and then returning to Duxford at night.  Always raring to go, I can well remember the day when they shot down 37 enemy aircraft – and the day when practically the whole of “B” Flight failed to return, I remained at Manston until the evacuation of Dunkirk was complete, then left the squadron on posting to Kirton Lindsey around September, 1940.”

Much more at SOURCE

Anzio 1968

Had to hunt before finding a safe, free source to post this old WW II account.  Anzio was an example of terrible leadership; had we taken the initiative, we’d have caught the Germans flatfooted.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t Patton in charge.  A failure to recognize that we had complete surprise allowed the Germans to rush troops into the area, resulting in needless casualties.


The Battle for Anzio (1968). One of WWIIs bloodiest battles as the Allies smash through the German lines which have enclosed the Anzio beachhead. Four months and 30,000 casualties before the Allies finally march to Rome.
Directors: Edward Dmytryk, Duilio Coletti
Writers: H.A.L. Craig (screenplay) (as Harry Craig), Wynford Vaughan-Thomas (book)
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Peter Falk, Robert Ryan


The odds great, The margin small, The stakes- infinite. Winston Churchill

Symbol in the smoke: Herbert Mason’s iconic photograph of St Paul’s dome emerging from the smoke of raging fires in surrounding streets.

Another perspective of the Battle of Britain.  Intelligence errors which cost the Luftwaffe its edge; their failure to recognize the strategic value of British radar sites, the clever air defense tactics of fighter command, and costly errors committed by both sides.