frieze in dayroom of infirmary

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postwarblue
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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by postwarblue » Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:22 pm

I can still remember how a boy I used to play with, Michael Handley (later he was also at CH) told me to lie flat if I heard a V1 engine cut out. As he was a year older, 8 to my 7, I deferred to his superior knowledge. Fortunately this was never put to the test.

There's a V1 dangling from the ceiling in the IWM for those who want to go see.

By ca.1952 one could buy a pulse jet for a model aeroplane, somewhere between 12 & 18 inches long I suppose. The Rudolf brothers in Col B, in our CH which did not do Health and Safety, had one such that flew in circles on a tether. Even more exciting than the little solid fuel Jetex rocket motors that were such fun skidding round the dayroom floor biting the unobservant in the ankles.
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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by Foureyes » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:28 am

Pulse jet.
Ah, yes, the memories return. Did one not have to pressurise the fuel tank with a bicycle pump?
David :shock:

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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by michael scuffil » Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:28 am

J.R. wrote:I appreciate we are wandering off topic, however......

Another trick/stunt tried by daring pilots of the faster mach fighters, was to draw up alongside a V,1 and try to wing tip under the short fins on the rocket, and tip it violently off course, thereby completely upsetting the missiles gyro system.
There is at least one photo on the net of a Spitfire doing this. As Spitfires were much slower, presumably they came in from a steep angle. http://www.brianmicklethwait.com/index. ... ping_a_v1/

Thanks for the info about the launch sites in the Netherlands, David. It was the only possibility by then. (Curious to think that the Germans still occupied much of the Netherlands 6 months after the first German city, Aachen, had been taken.)
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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by postwarblue » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:29 am

Foureyes wrote:Pulse jet.
Ah, yes, the memories return. Did one not have to pressurise the fuel tank with a bicycle pump?
David :shock:

Since you mention it, that's reminded me, yes there was a piece with a bike pump to get the thing going.
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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by John Saunders » Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:34 am

Whilst on the subject of V1s- My father commanded batteries of Heavy Ack Ack guns (4.7s I think) on the South Downs during the V1 invasion..He told me that the guns used the rockets as targets since they came over like pheasants. However he was reticent about the success rate.
Incidentally to further the wartime experience,I remember being taken to the London docks to visit a U Boat which had been captured on the surface. Put me off the Navy for life! The date was probably 1944.
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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by Kit Bartlett » Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:09 pm

I know that we are getting somewhat off the original thread in talking about V 1 s in association with the Infirmary day room frieze but one anomaly regarding the extended German occupation of Europe has always puzzled me.
Why was no attempt made to liberate the Channel Islands until V. E. Day when all France had been liberated by September 1944 ?
Was it fear of German reprisals and considerable loss of life if an invasion had been attempted ?
The inhabitants and the German Occupation Forces were all close to starvation as no ships visited any of the islands in this period apart I believe from one Red Cross vessel.
The nearest Island was only a stone's throw ( six miles actually) from the French mainland.

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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by J.R. » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:21 pm

You are getting onto one of my pet subjects, Christopher.

There are many good books on th C/I's occupation. PM me if you want details.

The main reason the liberation was delayed was down to Churchill.
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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by Kit Bartlett » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:56 am

Dearv John.
I was interested in your note about the Channel Islands Occupation. Should like to see a copy of your book collection on the subject.
I used to attend regularly the Tunbridge Wells Book fair held at King Charles's Church Hall and there was often a visitor who frequently asked for any books on the Channel Islands. Is there a society for this subject ?
Regards, Chris Bartlett

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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by Kit Bartlett » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:58 am

Dearv John.
I was interested in your note about the Channel Islands Occupation. Should like to see a copy of your book collection on the subject.
I used to attend regularly the Tunbridge Wells Book fair held at King Charles's Church Hall and there was often a visitor who frequently asked for any books on the Channel Islands. Is there a society for this subject ?
Regards, Chris Bartlett

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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by J.R. » Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:05 pm

I used to visit Guernsey regularly from the early 1950's, having relatives there until recently.

I'll dig out the books I have and mail you ISBN numbers. I'm sure they are still available,
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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by sejintenej » Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:31 pm

Kit Bartlett wrote:Dearv John.
I was interested in your note about the Channel Islands Occupation. Should like to see a copy of your book collection on the subject.
I used to attend regularly the Tunbridge Wells Book fair held at King Charles's Church Hall and there was often a visitor who frequently asked for any books on the Channel Islands. Is there a society for this subject ?
Regards, Chris Bartlett
Might be worth contacting Vièr bliu (Geraint Jennings) on Jersey to discover what information sources he can suggest
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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by Foureyes » Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:28 am

Channel Islands
The Channel Islands were quite deliberately by-passed by the Allied forces in 1944-45, but for very good reasons and as a result of policy decisions at the very highest level: British War Cabinet in the UK, and Eisenhower and Montgomery in France. Nor were the Channel Isl;ands by any means alone in being bypassed.

Following the consolidation of their forces ashore in June/July 1944 the Allies' over-riding concern was to drive the German forces back into Germany, defeat them and end the war. The German forces were still very powerful and could be expected to increase their efforts as their homeland was steadily overrun. This required all the manpower the Allies possessed, plus huge logistic support (fuel, ammunition, medical, etc, etc).

One consequence was that a number of isolated German garrisons on the French coast were deliberately bypassed, leaving relatively small containing forces on the land side, with small naval forces preventing any support from the sea. These included La Rochelle, Lorient, Royan, Ste Nzaire and Dunkirk, all of which held out until the general German surrender on 8 May 1945. (Thus the comment by one contributor that "all of France had been liberated by September 1944" is historically incorrect).

This policy also included the Channel Islands, but, unlike the ports on the mainland, these could only have been reached by sea. One of the (many) lessons learnt by the Allies was that a seaborne landing required overwhelming force, with sustained preliminary sea and air bombardment, which was usually followed by intense house-to-house fighting ashore. Thus, an invasion of the CIs in 1944-45 would have required substantial naval and land forces, which the Allies could not spare, and had they taken place would almost certainly have resulted in large-scale loss of life - including, of course, civilians, ashore.

An added factor was that the Allied navies were desperately short of amphibious shipping, particularly Tank Landing Craft (LCTs). These were essentially motorised barges, with flat bottoms (to ground as far up the beach as possible) and ramps at the front (to allow tanks, vehicles and men to offload directly onto the beach). Many had been lost during D-day and the follow-up, and the survivors were required for the Mediterranean, the Far East (Op Zipper) and operations along the North Sea coast (e.g., the Walcheren landings).

However, the British were very aware of the situation ashore in the Channel Islands and the Government and British Red Cross requested the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to assist. The ICRC obtained the cooperation of the Germans in the CIs, as a result of which a Red Cross ship, the Swedish-operated SS Vega, a small merchant vessel, made six supply runs from Lisbon. Its first voyage reached the CI in December 1944 and the load included: 119,792 Red Cross food parcels, 4,200 invalid parcels, 4 tons soap, 5.2 tons salt, 2 tons medical supplies, cigarettes and some children’s clothing. The ship made five more voyages before the German surrender on 8 May 1945.

The decision to bypass the CIs may seem hard, but wars are riddled with hard decisions. On the other hand, an early surrender by the German garrisons on the main islands could not have been guaranteed, so the Allies would have had to use overwhelming force, one consequence of which would have been civilian casualties.

David :shock:

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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by postwarblue » Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:37 pm

Very well put David.
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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:43 am

One consequence was that a number of isolated German garrisons on the French coast were deliberately bypassed, leaving relatively small containing forces on the land side, with small naval forces preventing any support from the sea. These included La Rochelle, Lorient, Royan, Ste Nazaire and Dunkirk, all of which held out until the general German surrender on 8 May 1945.

This is interesting, and I hadn't heard about it before. Is it known what conditions were like withing these enclaves, or what the relations were like between the German occupiers and the local people?

The only 'pocket' of German occupation I had heard about was the entirely untypical, and frankly grotesque, situation on the Dutch island of Texel (which continued until May 20). Until the 'Georgian mutiny' relations between Germans and Dutch had apparently been cool but peaceful.
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Re: frieze in dayroom of infirmary

Post by Foureyes » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:01 am

'Conditions inside enclaves..?' Sorry, don't know the answers to that. I recall having seen a photo of British and German officers meeting under a white flag outside Dunkirk - I think it was to allow sick civilians to leave, but cannot remember the details and cannot find it now.
David

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