Murphy’s Laws of Combat

Murphy’s Laws of Combat

The lighter side of writing about wars…

Maiden on the Midway

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  • Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you are.
  • No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.
  • Friendly fire ain’t.
  • The most dangerous thing in the combat zone is an officer with a map.
  • The problem with taking the easy way out is that the enemy has already mined it .
  • The buddy system is essential to your survival; it gives the enemy somebody else to shoot at.
  • The further you are in advance of your own positions, the more likely your artillery will shoot short.
  • Incoming fire has the right of way.
  • If your advance is going well, you are walking into an ambush.
  • The quartermaster has only two sizes, too large and too small.
  • If you really need an officer in a hurry, take a nap.
  • The only time suppressive fire works is when it is used on abandoned positions.
  • The only thing more accurate than…

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My friend Jim

I have a close friend.

Very close, yet so very far.

I live in Quebec and Jim lives in Manitoba.

We have never met…

We have never met in person.

Only on the Internet.

Maybe his father Jim met my wife’s uncle on the Athabaskan.

Sailor Jim L'Esperance

Jim L’Esperance

 

Maybe my wife’s uncle did not recollect exactly the story he told us on a summer day in Monkland, Ontario. I remember it was in July 2009.

How could I forget what he told us although he did not say much?

Was he really on the Athabaskan on that faithful early morning of April 29th, 1944?

Could he have made up a story to impress us as some veterans did?

Athabaskan sinking 1944

 

I don’t think he did.

So I got curious and started searching about that Unlucky Lady, a Canadian destroyer I never knew had ever existed.

I got lucky…

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This is how Jim and I met on this blog about a ship I knew nothing about.

I have been writing about it since August 2009.

Lest We Forget  is the title of this blog so no one will ever forget that faithful morning of April 29, 1944.

27/v/44 – Fighter Direction Tender Exercise

Short posts on this blog but always interesting information.

Broody's war

27th May 14:00
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Robinson
Navigator (R): Self
FIGHTER DIRECTION TENDER EXERCISE – FDT 217
Three fair runs off the Devon & Dorset coast. Out over AFV
[Armoured Fighting Vehicles] School, Bovington. A Hun turned up right down on the deck but we were NOT allowed to go for it.
2:15


Fighter Direction Tenders were, in effect, floating command and control centres. They were the eyes and ears for the large scale invasion forces off the beaches of Normandy in June of 1944. There were 3 Fighter Direction Tenders designated FDT 13, 216 & 217.

Amongst the equipment on board was CGI radar, and these ships would have controlled the aircraft of 488(NZ) Squadron in a similar way to the land based GCI Stations we have already come across.

During the D Day Invasion, FDT217 was located off the British beaches…

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War Tales

Capt. Johnson: the Piper Cub beat the Germans – As a military plane it had no equal, he says

Click here.

Excerpt

The Piper Cub, used as an artillery spotter plane, did more to defeat the German Army in World War II then any other American airplane, according to Capt. John Johnson.

“The Air Force just went over and dropped bombs on German cities, but the Army’s Piper Cub observer planes spotted enemy positions for American artillery that tore up the German artillery and troops,” he said. “These Cubs did more damage to the Germany Army than our bombers and fighters.”

Capt. Johnson: the Piper Cub beat the Germans – As a military plane it had no equal, he says

Another interesting War Tales

War Tales

As a spotter for an artillery unit, Capt. Johnson put twice as many hours in the air as an Air Force pilot during the Second World War. As a spotter for an artillery unit, Capt. Johnson put twice as many hours in the air as an Air Force pilot during the Second World War. Photo provided

The Piper Cub, used as an artillery spotter plane, did more to defeat the German Army in World War II then any other American airplane, according to Capt. John Johnson.

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The Case of the Phantom MTB and the Loss of HMCS Athabaskan

Excerpt

In the early dawn hours of 29 April 1944, the destroyer HMCS Athabaskan plunged to the depths of the English Channel, her hull wracked by two powerful explosions.

HMCS Athabaskan

One hundred and twenty-eight young Canadians died with her. Fifty-two years later, in the article “I Will Never Forget the Sound of Those Engines Going Away: A Re-examination into the Sinking of HMCS Athabaskan” that appeared in this journal, Peter Dixon advanced the theory-which was presented as fact-that the second explosion, the one that sealed the destroyer’s fate, was caused by a torpedo fired by a British motor torpedo boat (MTB).

MTB

The most significant warship loss in Canadian naval history, the theory goes, was caused by friendly fire. That is not so. When primary evidence overlooked by Dixon is considered and the recollections of witnesses recorded decades after the event are scrutinized, it becomes abundantly clear that Athabaskan could not have been the victim of a British torpedo.

Phantom MTB and the HMCS -em-Athabaskan–em-