‘A SNIPER’S GIFT OF A GOODNIGHT KISS’ – A verse of respect and remembrance using just some of the words and phrases gifted us from the trenches of WW1

Even if I don’t understand every word… Mike conveys the message.



I was ‘arguing the toss’ with Private Jenkinson

A ‘badmash’ who would not ‘muck in’

The camaraderie of a ‘fair whack’

Simply caused him to grin a foolish grin

And cause a great commotion

Debating who would get to use the ‘dixie’

And fry the ‘bully beef’ and ‘barkers’ up

Yet scoffing it would prove risky

For no sooner had we calmed down

The smell of ‘pear drops’ filled the air

So it was grab the ‘thingumyjig’ mask

And say a little prayer

For no one wants to ‘cop it’

In a ‘cubby hole’ wet and dank

Rather a ‘gasper’ and a ‘lucifer’

It’s the same for any rank

Then the cry ‘over the top’ came

From a ‘brass hat’ of poshest voice

No time for ‘poodlefakers’

No time to think of choice

It was clearly ‘zero hour’

We are to tackle the ‘Squareheads’

Best get to it; our duty

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East and West (5)

Part 5

Pacific Paratrooper

Men of Burma who signed up. Men of Burma who signed up.

Up until 1937, the 20 Burma Rifles were a regiment within the Indian Army.  It was then later made part of a separate Burma Army.  Being as the country was considered by most to be “backwater” and unlikely to be included in any war, this army was still in its infancy as 1941 evolved.

Royal Netherland East Indies forces Royal Netherland East Indies forces

On the Netherland East Indies (NEI), known today as Indonesia, had the Royal Netherland East Indies forces for defense, but they were literally cut off from their government due to the actions of Hitler in Europe.  This military was no match for the highly trained Japanese invaders and after being under the thumb of the Dutch for so long, the civilians welcomed a change.  Their minds were quickly snapped into reality as the Japanese proceeded to drain their resources and dissolve any personal freedoms they…

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What to do if New Zealand is Invaded

Little known facts about WWII

History Geek

A while ago I shared some advice on how to survive an air raid and another post on what dangers you should watch out for in the aftermath.  I’m pleased to let you all know that so far none of my readers have had the opportunity to use any of the advice.

However one reader did ask about the availability of cheesecloth so they could air raid proof their windows.  The good news is that air-raid preparation products such as cheesecloth are readily available on TradeMe.

The source of my advice on air raid safety was my original 1943 copy of the NZ Civil Defence Wardens’ Handbook.  I thought I’d return to this invaluable resource once again, this time to look for advice on what to do in the event of a full-scale enemy invasion…

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East and West (4)

East and West Part 4

Pacific Paratrooper

Germans amass on Norway coast, 9 April 1940 Germans amass on Norway coast, 9 April 1940

Although the April 1940 fiasco in Norway was Churchill’s responsibility as the First Lord of the Admiralty, Chamberlain paid the political price.  Winston Churchill became the Prime Minister of Great Britain and her Empire, yet he remained dismissive of Japan, her own power, and wanted nothing less than an all-out war with Germany.

Norwegian village burned during a battle, April 1940 Norwegian village burned during a battle, April 1940

The book, The Great Betrayal: Britain, Australia & the Onset of the Pacific War 1939-42, by David Day, explains the problems in detail that faced Australia, the ambitions of Menzies and the danger both New Zealand and Australia teetered on during this period far better than I can in my limited space.

Wirraway Wirraway

As the date for Japan’s ‘Operation Z’ to commence crept ever closer, Australia’s obligation of compliance with British imperatives, left the country with no aircraft capable of…

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What Did FDR Know? – Part 5

5th part on FDR and what he knew

Masako and Spam Musubi

Minidoka_1 My dad’s oldest brother, Uncle Yutaka, in the back row, center. He is posing with the Block kitchen crew at the Minidoka, Idaho “War Relocation Center”, circa 1944. Notice their living quarters behind them.  They lived in plywood barracks covered only with tar paper.  There was no plumbing nor toilets installed.  Photo courtesy of my stateside cousin, Janice (Kanemoto) Hew.

So you likely see from reading Parts 1 through 4 of “What Did FDR Know” that Japan really never had a chance…  A chance to win WWII.

Their chances were nearly nil largely due to the US breaking two key Japanese codes.  One was JN-25, the code used by the Imperial Japanese Navy.  The other, as we’ve read, was “Purple”, the secret cipher used by the Japanese diplomats.  Simply put, we knew exactly what they were doing as well as what they were going to do in all aspects.


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East and West (3)

Post No. 3 of East and West…

Pacific Paratrooper

FDR & Cordell Hull, 1940 FDR & Cordell Hull, 1940

If Manchuria was controlled, the Japanese felt they would have the advantage over Russia.  Since the Chiang Nationalist government did wish to spend the money or the energy to combat Japan – but – still have communism squelched in the country, Manchuria was given up.

When the US started economic sanctions in 1939, Japan required new territories to supply their resources.  They issued a request to the French  for permission to enter Indo-China.  In September 1940, the Vichy government agreed.  The southeast portion of Asia was occupied, without incident, by the Japanese on 27-29 July 1941.

Vichy government, 1939 Vichy government, 1939

The US was incensed and proceeded to convince other countries to freeze Japan’s assets; the ABCD, (American, British, Canada, Dutch), power’s economic blockade began.  By mid-1941, relations between Japan and the ABCD countries had basically reached a point of no return.  The New York Times newspaper…

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East and West (2)

Post No. 2 of East and West…

Pacific Paratrooper

The caption should read, "Tenno HEIKA banzai" The caption should read, “Tenno HEIKA banzai”

Caption correction of the shout is courtesy of Mustang Koji who can be found HERE!!

Click photo to read caption.

On 18 February 1931, the League of Nations, with America in the lead, issued the “Nonrecognition Doctrine” which pushed Japan’s anger even further.  [ to read what is also known as the Stimson Doctrine – click HERE!!   US Ambassador Joseph Grew in Tokyo persisted in his warnings against this action.  But, even the in-coming president [FDR] and Secretary of State, Cornell Hull argued for the status quo.

Ambassador Joseph Grew, 1939 Ambassador Joseph Grew, 1939

Stimson w/ the Doctrine, 1939 Stimson w/ the Doctrine, 1939

In 1936, FDR and his drive for naval appropriations caused 50,000 veterans to stage a March for Peace in front of the White House.  Children were organized under a banner of “Money for schools, not battleships.”  Privately, FDR raged about isolationists and pacifists as early as…

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East and West (1)

A new series of posts from gpcox…

Pacific Paratrooper

There are centuries of information on this subject, but I’ve done my best to shorten the data, and maintain  the gist of affairs as they occurred:

A lithograph of Cmdr. Perry's fleet in Japan A lithograph of Cmdr. Perry’s fleet in Japan

Japan’s involvement with the West began early in the 16th century.  The Western missionaries and the contrasting firearms trading caused a disruption of the feudal lord system.  Later on, Dutch trading at Nagasaki became an avenue of scientific and political knowledge.  After which, the US naval mission and “Black Ships” of Commodore Matthew Perry in the mid-1800s basically forced Japan to open its doors.

Commodore Matthew Perry Commodore Matthew Perry

By the end of the 19th century, the views of the Asian world by the Anglos were of “Manifest Destiny” (global supremacy).  The British Union Jack flew over nearly one-third of the planet and the US wanted in.  But, after teaching the island nation how to conquer territory, the…

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