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#291762 - 02/11/10 09:38 AM Re: Where in the world is Bren? [Re: Ajax]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
 Originally Posted By: Ajax
As fascinated as I am by the WWII era, I tend to steer away from things that deal with the camps (concentration as opposed to POW). Being aware that human being are capable of such unspeakable cruelty just overloads my poor innocent brain. I have some wonderful film documentary series on WWII and the actual scenes of the camps are so disturbing and depressing that I often find it all too much to comprehend. \:\(

I hear you Jack, I feel the same way. Some of what's going on in other parts of the world these days make me question the human condition as well.
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#291778 - 02/11/10 12:26 PM Re: Where in the world is Bren? [Re: Adrian]
Argon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/24/04
Posts: 1443
Loc: Oak Ridge, NC
20 Years ago, I subscribed to the Time Life WWII book series and read every one cover to cover. I was a little older than draftee age at that time but still well within the age group that fought. The first one where I began to try and imagine how anyone could actually fight was the Battle of Tarawa. I tried to imagine wading through 500 yds of neck deep water weighted down with 100 lbs of equipment in the face of machnine gun, mortar and artillery fire. Can't really imagine it. I don't know if I could make my feet move, my knees bend - etc.
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#291780 - 02/11/10 01:02 PM Re: Where in the world is Bren? [Re: Argon]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6250
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Originally Posted By: Argon
20 Years ago, I subscribed to the Time Life WWII book series and read every one cover to cover. I was a little older than draftee age at that time but still well within the age group that fought. The first one where I began to try and imagine how anyone could actually fight was the Battle of Tarawa. I tried to imagine wading through 500 yds of neck deep water weighted down with 100 lbs of equipment in the face of machnine gun, mortar and artillery fire.


Yes, a slight miscalculation of the tides at Tarawa had most of the vessels that were moving the men from the ships to the beach hanging up on the reef forcing the men to wade/swim all the way to the beach under withering fire from the island.

 Originally Posted By: Argon
Can't really imagine it. I don't know if I could make my feet move, my knees bend - etc.

I was in combat only once (Vietnam). I can't really speak for you, but I suspect you would surprise yourself with what you could do. I know that in a matter of seconds. I had the following conversation with myself.

"HOLY ****!!!!!!! There are people out their trying to KILL ME. WTF! I'm a nice guy! I open doors for ladies! I squeeze the toothpaste from the end of the tube! Why me??? How come they want ME dead??? What can I do??? What can I POSSIBLY do to prevent them from KILLING ME???? First thing I gotta do is keep them out there, cuz if they get in here their odds of success increase dramatically. How do I keep them out there??? I'm guessing curling up in the fetal position and whimpering won't get it done. I GOT IT!!!!! I have to throw things at them..................LIKE BULLETS."

So, you sit there, wondering if your bowels are going to betray you, and you begin to do your job. You fall back on your training and just do it. You do it cuz that's the only thing that is going to save your little terrified white butt (assuming your butt was white and little to begin with, and is still white).

What I cannot fathom is doing that day in and day out for months, getting a few days/weeks off and then doing it again day after day for months, getting a few more days/weeks off and then doing it again...........to infinity. I don't know if I could stand the cumulative affect of that much terror and devastation. How the survivors of World War II stood it and didn't end up crazier than a loon is beyond me.




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Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#291785 - 02/11/10 02:11 PM Re: Where in the world is Bren? [Re: Ajax]
JaimeG Offline
aficionado

Registered: 12/25/02
Posts: 556
Loc: Ashburn, VA
Interesting insight. I always wondered what really goes through a soldier's mind during battle. My grandfather fought in the Korean War, I’ve never got a chance to ask him this, I was too young when he died. Great post Jack.
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#291787 - 02/11/10 02:33 PM Re: Where in the world is Bren? [Re: Ajax]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16273
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I saw the Polish WWII movie Katyn recently and thought it was an excellent, if depressing, movie. It was nice watching something from a non-American perspective.

It focuses on an event called the Katyn Massacre, where the Russians killed upwards of 20,000 Polish prisoners of war, but blamed it on the Germans. They only admitted to being responsible for it in 1990.
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"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#291788 - 02/11/10 02:38 PM Re: Where in the world is Bren? [Re: pmbuko]
JaimeG Offline
aficionado

Registered: 12/25/02
Posts: 556
Loc: Ashburn, VA
Cool, it's on Netflix instant watch. thx



Edited by JaimeG (02/11/10 02:41 PM)
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The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns to sail. --Lindborg

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#291790 - 02/11/10 02:40 PM Re: Where in the world is Bren? [Re: JaimeG]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16273
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
So, I now associate Bren with WWII. Congratulations, Ajax. \:\)
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#291800 - 02/11/10 04:58 PM Re: Where in the world is Bren? [Re: pmbuko]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
There are many stories that are never 'officially' told in reg's to the wars that have been fought. One that struck me concerned the allied D-day invasion on Europe. Apparently there were a number of allied soldiers who committed suicide on the way across the English Channel, too much stress I guess....some simply jumped over the side of the boats in the middle of the channel.

It's always good to talk, make that LISTEN, to a vet and hear firsthand what went on. You'll hear all kinds of amazing stories both good and bad.
_________________________
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#291803 - 02/11/10 05:04 PM Re: Where in the world is Bren? [Re: Adrian]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16273
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
 Quote:
t's always good to talk, make that LISTEN, to a vet and hear firsthand what went on. You'll hear all kinds of amazing stories both good and bad.

I agree. Unfortunately -- or perhaps fortunately -- so many veterans refused to discuss what they witnessed or took part in after they came home.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#291804 - 02/11/10 05:28 PM Re: Where in the world is Bren? [Re: pmbuko]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
My grandfather(rip) was an MP in London during the blitz and wanted to forget the war ever happened and wouldn't discuss it with anyone. My mother told me it completely changed his life.
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Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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