We're not lost, Sergeant, We're in … France


Top-ranking posts

Being the end of the year, I thought I’d look at some statistics and share them.

My top-ranking posts since I started this blog is dominated by one post, but the top 5 are all good posts:

Thanksgiving 1944         1,413

This got a huge number of hits due to being linked at Ace of Spades, thanks to our friends at Bring the Heat. On Thanksgiving of 1944, Eisenhower ordered that all soldiers have a turkey dinner. For airborne engineer John Carter, that provided a very humorous story that I was able to post the video of. I have some further videos of an interview with Carter and a couple of other stories. He’s quite a comedian.

Young Marine Passes         297

While the Marine Corps is made up of strong men, they also have strong hearts. A couple of times recently, they’ve made young men with terminal illnesses honorary Marines. The story of Cody Green and his honor guard, SGT Mark Dolfini, can’t help but move one to tears.

Denzel Washington at the Fisher House         236

Denzel Washington is among my favorite actors. He has great range and conveys the emotions of his characters very well. Some of his roles have been as military men and he’s gotten attached to the Fisher House. Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. When Washington visited the Fisher House at Brooke Army Medical Center in 2004, his generosity launched an urban legend.

The Beast of Omaha         148

Heinrich Severloh was a German machine gunner at Omaha Beach and the horrors he helped inflict that day stayed in his dreams until his death in 2006.

The end of an era         136

For about a decade, Paul Woodadge built up a battlefield tour business in Normandy, expanding from a one-man operation, hiring several others to lead tours. Battlebus was the best tour company in Normandy and even had tours in Bastogne. Unfortunately, running a complex business and dealing with French tax and employment laws meant that Paul stopped being able to lead tours himself. While I lamented the end of an era, it meant that Paul could go back to doing what he loved. He also had time to publish Angels of Mercy: Two Screaming Eagle Medics in Angoville-au-Plain on D-Day (Normandy Combat Chronicles) (Volume 1)



Bulge Sniper Reloads

When he arrived in Europe as a replacement, Ted Gundy was handed a sniper rifle because he’d scored the highest in his company during training. Today, sniper selection and training is far more complex and involved, but, truth be told, Ted Gundy would likely be a sniper if he enlisted today. Given a replica of his old rifle and 65 years later, Gundy showed he is still a marksman.

Today, Gundy’s gait might be uncertain, his hands shaky and his hearing electronically enhanced (but not always quite enough), but when he settled behind “his” 03 Springfield A4 sniper rifle, none of that mattered.

From a basic rest, he proceeded to make hits on a silhouette target -at 300 yards. Each one was better than the previous, with the final round landing dead center.  Shooting Wire, February 8, 2010

I think this was passed to me the reenactors I know, but I’ve lost the original email, so can’t tell you which one passed it along. Gundy watches Shooting USA on TV and had emailed them about the long-range shots modern snipers make. When they realized they had a sniper from the Battle of the Bulge, they coordinated with the Army Marksmanship Unit (established back in 1956 by Eisenhower) to grant Gundy a chance to make a 1000-yard shot himself. It made for marvelous television.




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