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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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  3. I suspect that this award was not a personal award, rather it was part of the blanket Congressional Gold Medal awarded to OSS personnel, passed by Congress in 2016. A press release from one of the Senators from my state: https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2016/2/senate-passes-bill-to-award-congressional-gold-medal-to-oss-veterans And the actual legislation, see https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-114publ269/html/PLAW-114publ269.htm The act clearly references the bronze copies of the gold original which is, I presume, now since the act required same, held at the Smithsonian. And here's another recipient of the same bronze copy https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/05/07/after-74-years-army-veteran-recognized-for-wreaking-wwii-chaos-with-oss/ And another: http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20180402/secret-wwii-commandos-rewarded-for-valor I am certain these awards are far more than just well deserved and, perhaps, somewhat belated, but my personal opinion is that they are not quite the breathless excitement exuded by some of the writers.
  4. He did not receive the Medal of Honor (please do not use abbreviations for decorations). He was awarded with a Congressional Gold Medal for his service as an OSS officer; in fact, what he actually received was a bronze copy of a Congressional Gold Medal. Again, this was NOT a decoration with the Medal of Honor. Congressional Gold Medals used to be important, but can also simply be a case where someone pushes their congressperson hard enough to insert wording in a funding bill and, viola, a medal is awarded. But they don't hand out gold medals, they simply say the award has been made, provide a picture of a generic real thing, put the announcement in the Congressional Record, and and cough up a replica. Illustrative in itself. Don't think I am demeaning the gent, I am not. Sounds like he was involved in the Jedburgh program . . . pretty hairy stuff . . . dropping 3 to 5 man teams into occupied France where they were pretty much on their own. Hopefully they would meet up with the local resistance, but if not . . . well, the results could be, and often were, terminal. The question in my mind is why was he not decorated by the Army? USMC personnel involved in these activities were decorated during and after the war; Peter J Ortiz, for example, was twice decorated with the Navy Cross for his behind the lines work in France for the OSS. If the Army failed to decorate Mr. Gleb, then it is nice to see someone take notice of his service by whatever means. Rant mode on: And of course, if you read the articles on Mr. Gleb, you see the constant repetition of "retired Captain". No reflection on him, but this is journalism run amok, people writing phrases without any conception of what they're saying. Mr. Gleb may be retired, at his age I would hope so, and his terminal rank was Captain, AUS, but that does not make him a retired Captain by any stretch of the imagination. Sometimes, when it comes to history and common sense, I think once a journalist's fingers hit the keyboard they loose the ability to think things through. Rant mode off.
  5. After doing a little research I found the source article that this post was lifted from: https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/06/25/world-war-ii-intelligence-officer-given-congressional-medal/ The author of your article took the liberty to add "of Honor" to the piece. Perhaps a little research by the editor would save this site some embarrassment. The article should be spiked.
  6. I'm confused ... which medal did this gentleman receive? The title says one thing and the article says something entirely different. By the way, can you stop using the term "Congressional Medal of Honor"? Its official title is just "Medal of Honor" -- adding "Congressional" does nothing to further distinguish the medal.
  7. Rich Beketa

    Unknown uniform

    Can anyone help identify the uniform's country of origin? Thinking that it's post WWI but before WWll. Any help you can provide would be much appreciated.
  8. Dan Ross

    Meuse-Argonne and Verdun

    EDIT: I want to apologize because I just saw the forum section for battlefields and monuments!
  9. Kronprinz Bunkers- Argonne Forest

    © Daniel J. Ross Photographs

  10. Inside a bunker in the Argonne

    © Daniel J. Ross Photographs

  11. Devil Dog Fountain 2016

    © Daniel J. Ross Photographs

  12. Belleau Wood

    © Daniel J. Ross Photographs

  13. A couple of weeks ago I spent the weekend exploring the Meuse-Argonne Forest and Verdun. Day 1: I started my Argonne exploration seeing the battle of Vauqois. This small village on top of a a massive hill that overlooked all of the Verdun and beyond became a massive struggle for occupation between the Germans and French. For months they would continuously charge at the bayonet to claim just feet of ground. Eventually, it came to it that the only way to take the area was underground. Beneath the hills both Germans and French dug tunnels to set explosives to blow each other off the ground. Today, you are able to walk this battlefield and even get tours into the German Tunnels; the French tunnels being closed to the public due to collapses. Photo gathered from http://www.webmatters.net/ My next stop would be to the Kaiser Bunkers. Here (if you have played Battlefield 1) is where the Kaisers son would take up post to over watch the battle of Verdun. In 1918, the AEF would fight a bloody battle to take these bunkers and push towards the town of Varness-Argonne. Photo taken by myself. Next, I would travel to the site of the Lost Battalion. Let me tell you, Hollywood does no justice to where they actually fought. The site of where the Battalion fended off the defending Germans is a steep, narrow side of the mountain where you would think it impossible to dig small trenches and holes to hide from incoming enemy (and friendly) artillery. God bless those men. Photo taken by myself. I visited the site of the Battle of Montfaucon. Here would be another struggle for a small village overlooking the Argonne forest. The battle obliterated the village which stood for centuries before. What's left of the site is a ruined church where, in the picture below, you can see a pill box that was constructed by the Germans out of the church ruble to fend of the Americans. Photo taken by myself. Lastly, I visited the largest U.S. Cemetery in Europe: The Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery. Containing 14,276 Marines, Soldiers, and Sailors who lost their lives in the 1918 fighting. Photos taken by myself. Day 2: The next day I did an extensive exploration of the Battle of Verdun. Starting out with Fort Vaux you enter on a self guided tour through these dark, gloomy and damp halls where the men fought a bloody and gruesome fight. With gas and flamethrowers pouring into the halls to kill the men inside. There is so much to see on these hills overlooking Verdun, I feel you need more than a day to explore it all. We all know the Forts of Douaumont and Vaux but there is so many more around the area to visit and explore. If you have the guts to do it, and a flashlight, you can walk into the woods and find different forts with entrances wide open still and explore. I Do reccomend watching for those 20 meter drops though. The staff will recommend you to not enter these dwellings but it is free of will to do so. I also highly recommend to study the trench lines and fighting beneath the forts for you treasure hunters. Walking down the south-eastern side of Fort Douaumont you will find a lot of shell casings, mortar rounds, and plenty of other things. BE ADVISED: There are still some contaminated spots and hundreds of thousands of pounds of unexploded ordinance. If you do not know what it is DO NOT TOUCH IT. That's my best recommendation! Anyways folks, I hope I did not bore you too much with my rambling on and hope you found the photos fascinating! Below are more that i took of both the Meuse-Argonne and Verdun. The Lost Battalion Memorial German Cemetary Vauquois Memorial Verdun: Then and now. Verdun Cemetery
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  15. Gerhard Meyer

    Please stop using the term "awarded"

    Personally I think the word "award or awarded" is fine. It has little to do in suggesting that the recipient was actively and purposefully seeking such an award. It is also not likely. To qualify for any medal of honour requires the kind of bravery that few would actively and purposefully seek. Very unlikely.
  16. I'm not aware of the 19th century poems, but I am aware of Ricard Kauder - yes, an Austrian Jew, - who was formally on Canaris's staff, while run by the notorious NKVD operative Sudoplatov. He was actually stationed in Sofia, Bulgaria for most for the war. I don't think that anybody can make a definitive call on what spy network was the most effective. What's remarkable about Kauder is that he would be also instrumental in supplying Ben Gurion with the Czech made weaponry in 1948.
  17. Clearly, you're not a WIlhelm Busch fan (there's a rather good small museum devoted to his work in Hannover). That would be "Max und Moritz", initially a 19th century series of seven illustrated poems about two badly behaved lads. As a name purloined for an intelligence network, it was initially an Austrian based operation, that later got absorbed by Germany. But "SImilar" to the XX Committee? Not really on the same scale. Despite an endless stream of fictional works, Information between the UK and Germany was pretty much 100% controlled by British Intelligence.If Germany knew something (or rather, THOUGHT that they knew something) then it was because it was being spoon fed to them. They HAD no agents in the UK - they just thought that they had!
  18. The Soviets ran similar networks, such as 'Max and Morris' in the west and Sorge's in the east.
  19. Previously, with some of these polls there has been an option to vote "none of the above" and to ADD an item. My money would be on "The Intelligence Battle". Germany's attempt to defeat the RAF while crippled by a glaring lack of accurate intelligence was (IMHO) doomed from day one. At the start of the war, The British effectively "rolled up" Germany's entire intelligence-gathering network in the UK. That by itself would have been disastrous, but to make things worse, the majority of the agents who had been arrested having been charged with espionage, found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged, then agreed to change sides, in exchange for their lives. Add to that the work of Alan Turing and Tommy Flowers and the "Golf, Chess and Crosswords Society" (As they flippantly referred to the Government Code and Cypher "School") which was soon routinely decoding wireless traffic that Germany believed to be UNcrackable. And a picture emerges that not so much of a battle... more a massacre. Plus, of course, with Germany occupying such a large (and UNfriendly) area, information about GERMAN forces generally flowed in the opposite direction like a torrent; Throughout the war, Germany was continually wrong-footed because it believed the skilfully created lies fed to its own "intelligence network" by Britain's "Twenty Committee". And - unlike Germany - The Brits WERE able to check if their tricks WERE working - because they were "reading Hitler's mail". Not every "battle" involves shooting: I'd argue that the struggle to gain intelligence supremacy was AT LEAST as important as the (rather later) battle for Air supremacy.
  20. I just finished reading The Naval War against Hitler, by Donald Macintyre. On page 445, Vice-Admiral Ruge, a distinguished German writer on naval affairs said: Between August 1944 and April 1945, the 250 plus ships on the Arctic run carried over 1,000,000 tons of war material. The weapons, equipment, and vehicles allowed the Russians to equip 60 motorized divisions which gave them not only a numerical but a material superiority at focal points of the battles. Thus the Anglo-American sea power also exerted a decisive influence on the land operations in Eastern Europe. That pretty well sums that up.
  21. Joe Rich

    Help needed please!

    Shannon, I know this is not much help, but it does not appear to be a US uniform. But the picture makes me think that it might be early or mid 20th century. Can you give me about a rough date, and the general place this picture was taken at? I am in the middle of putting together my family tree also. So I know how hard finding pieces can be. Try the Family Search site by the Latter Day Saints. They have a great database and its free.
  22. Emmanuel Endlessme

    Biological Warfare

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TxShy0vSIg
  23. Emmanuel Endlessme

    Biological Warfare

    Do you want to learn more about the history of biological warfare? Here is a new video I uploaded about this topic! Bibliography and sources included! W.I.T,H Channel ! Thank You! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TxShy0vSIg
  24. Ron, now that I've retired with more time on my hands, I've started reading up on the details of recent wars. As of now, I am on the Battle of the Atlantic. The British military traditions make the British a military force not to be underestimated. I am looking forward to reading about the UK's actions in Vietnam. There was a British major that walked us over the Korean battlefield. I think he was from the embassy in Soul. The US had many units stand proudly in other battles of that war. We also had some very embarrassing cases where whole divisions broke and ran.
  25. Ron Walker

    List of weapons used by the U.S during Vietnam

    The soldiers involved in the battle you describe were mostly from the "Glosters", which despite the name, recruited as much from Bristol as from Gloucester (The two cities are about 60 miles apart) My Maternal Grandfather was a "Gloster" during WW1. Recent re-organisations of the British army (for which read "RiF") have amalgamated the Glosters into "The Rifles"; Rifle regiments have a fine tradition of their own, but the Glosters go back in history as a particularly good county regiment of LINE INFANTRY; carriers of the Brown Bess, not a Baker rifle. You're probably aware that the British generally march "in threes"; during a running battle in Egypt (during the Napoleonic wars) the Glosters, attacked on both right AND left flanks by French cavalry reformed in twos, and fought "back to back". As a battle honour, the regiment's soldiers wear not one, but TWO cap badges - a miniature one clipped on the BACK of their beret as well as the usual sized one on the front. (The regimental magazine is titled "The Back-badge").It's stuff like that which generates and perpetuates "esprit de corps". How can you even THINK of running away, when the men who wore that uniform, that regimental badge, set such an heroic example for you to follow? And it works - even for conscripts! After shooting off ALL of their ammunition, and falling back into a smaller and smaller mountain-top position, it became impossible to continue to re-supply them by air, and the survivors were captured and imprisoned by the Chinese. They were known affectionately back home in Bristol as "Fred Karno's Army" - a play on the name of their commanding officer and a popular Vaudeville troop. (I think Charlie Chaplin might have been with the real "Fred Karno's Army") Even in captivity, their courage remained unabated.
  26. Ron, you are 100% right. The saying in the US is the rich man goes to college and the poor man goes to work. In those years, the poor and the politically unconnected got drafted. As far back as the War Between the States, the "draft" system had problems. I once went to an 18 month US Army school I was not qualified for. There were several draftees there that lived in the area. They were drafted for two years, spent 18 months training and 2 months on leave. That left two months for them to serve on active duty. I find it hard to say this was not planned out. They got a great technical education. I went to an infantry unit on the Korean DMZ. I once wrote an article about a UK regiment that fought a pitched battle just south of the Im Jim river in the winter. Like you said, they were way undermanned when they were attacked by the Chinese Army. That was not uncommon. But they did a great job before the bullets ran out, and the British artillery ruined their gun tubes. The US's combat troop to support troops have always been lopped sided. In Vietnam, it was about 11% combat to 89% support troops. This is about what I remember. We had basses there bigger than a lot of our cities here in the US. Today, I don't even want to think about it.
  27. R Leonard

    Please stop using the term "awarded"

    The correct term, in US service, is "decorated" as in a full dress awards parade when the command is given by the adjutant: "Colors and personnel to be decorated . . . Center . . . March!" At which point the band plays an appropriate number, the colors come forward from the center of the formation, and the personnel to be decorated come traipsing out from wherever they had been stashed and form a line, senior decoration to the right as they face the reviewing stand and between the colors and the reviewing party. 'Struth for certes the word "decorate" is rarely used by anyone to describe pinning or hanging a medal on someone. That being said, "received" is okay and, yes, even "awarded," in the non specific vernacular, but never, ever, any form of "win" or "won" . . . performing an act for which one is decorated is/was not a competition. And a posthumous award, usually given to the next of kin . . . the decoration, whatever it might be, is presented to such, though the reality is for Medals of Honor, Navy Crosses, Distinguished Service Crosses, and Air Force Crosses, the top tier medals for valor in US service, presentations are usually fairly public affairs. Below that, such presentations tend to be less ostentatious and are generally fairly private affairs usually conducted in an office somewhere. By the end of the WW2, posthumous decorations were simply mailed to the next of kin with a nice letter from somebody important and the citation.
  28. Philip Whitehouse

    Hitlers underestimation of Russia.

    It's true that Finnish troops did wear the German M1916 helmet, (with white covers) But it doesn't necessarily follow that they were issued as a result of any German alliance:-they also used captured Soviet helmets. Further ,the characteristic German helmet were also used by the Chinese army (as previously mentioned) and also the army of the Irish Free State.
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