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The Greatest Generation


sandhiller
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I recently read D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose that describes how French fluent young women were recruited and landed in France. It took an amazing bravery to live and work in conditions that could, and did, lead to torture and death.

Yes, greatest generation for sure.

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Remarkable ladies, and a remarkable generation. We need not forget their sacrifices that made this country great once upon a time. 

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5 minutes ago, Sledgehammer said:

Remarkable ladies, and a remarkable generation. We need not forget their sacrifices that made this country great once upon a time. 

Absolutely agree. Sadly I think we are in the minority now. Most people have forgotten. 

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Was gonna say sadly I think we have. 

3 minutes ago, 1466fan said:

Absolutely agree. Sadly I think we are in the minority now. Most people have forgotten. 

 

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All of the agents who went into occupied Europe should be remembered. It was a very dangerous game they played. 3-6 agents on the ground in Greece helping the Greek resistance kept about 6 full German divisions tied down. Divisions that could have made a huge difference in Italy or on the Normany beach head or in Russia. IIRC it was something like 19 divisions in France. All to provide security and hunt down the resistance. 

Now for some odd information. And trust me. I'm not detracting from the agents on the ground nor the resistance fighters but if you look at numbers they are astounding. The vast bulk of the population of the following countries either were resistance members or provided support to the resistance. Holland, Belgium, Greece. In France it was the opposite. They figure only 3-5% of the population supported or were members of the resistance. Imagine what it would have been like had 80% or more of the population had been involved.

"Operation Jedburgh was a clandestine operation during World War II, in which three-man teams of soldiers of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the Free French Bureau Central de Renseignements et d'Action ("Central Bureau of Intelligence and Operations") and the Dutch and Belgian armies in exile were dropped by parachute into occupied France, the Netherlands and Belgium. The objective of the Jedburgh teams was to assist allied forces who invaded France on 6 June 1944 with sabotage and guerrilla warfare, and leading local resistance forces in actions against the Germans."

 

Lots of interesting stuff out there.

 

Rick

 

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14 minutes ago, from H to 80 said:

I have always had a great amount of respect for that generation, no matter if they fought abroad or contributed at home, they all made a lot of sacrifices.

If you think about everyone of them who served or worked on the factory floor had survived the Great Depression prior to doing their part. And it was a world wide depression that actually was one of the reason that Hitler was able to gain power in the first place.

Rick

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It's hard to wrap my mind around what those"kids" endured and accomplished. Young people these days have no idea how easy they have it 

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30 minutes ago, oldtanker said:

In France it was the opposite.

Exactly! But after the war a significant part of the population claimed to have been resistance fighters. Viva De Gaulle!

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Dad was in a pacific in WWII. Ran a landing craft up to the beaches and dropped off marines who ran ashore into machine gun fire.

One of his friends was in a ship that was bombed at pearl harbor. Explosions woke him up. He ran topside because he assumed the boilers had blown and quickly realized they were under attack and went to his battle station.

Another was a marine who was in a machine gun crew. He carried a steel plate to put under the tripod of his machine gun so it would not bury itself into a sand. One time the landing craft hit a reef and stopped short. When he got in the water it was over his head and he sank because of the heavy steel plate strapped to his back. He ran along the bottom until his head was above water and he could breath again.

Another of dads friends was captured by the Japanese. We waged a very successful submarine war against the Japanese so the islands were very short on supplies and food. The Japanese soldiers got first pick of the food, local civilians second, the POWs got whatever was left. They mostly got water soup flavored with rotten foodstuffs. They were malnourished to say the least. They sometimes put soybeans in the soup. He said if he could just get one soybean in his cup of soup he felt so much better that day. Ill never forget that story.

As an adult a friend was from Germany. Her father was in the German army during WWII. I asked him about it. He was a private and just followed orders. He was captured by the Americans. After the war they lived in east Germany.  They fled to west Germany before the Berlin wall. My friend, his daughter translated for us.

They all died in the 1990s.

Thx-Ace 

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The world wide depression enabled many dictators, quasi dictators and other totalitarian governments.

Hitler in Germany.

Mussolini in Italy.

Stalin in the USSR.

The empire of Japan was a totalitarian government but not a democracy and probably not due to the world depression.

FDR in the USA was not a dictators but was not far from it. He ignored the tradition of Presidents only serving two terms (died in office during his 4th term). Tried to pack the Supreme Court with additional Justices, etc.

All these governments were democracies, actually republics. Just because you have elections or a king dose not mean you have freedom or oppression or will do what is right or wrong. 

Thx-Ace 

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27 minutes ago, acem said:

All these governments were democracies, actually republics.

Well, not really. Italy was a constitutional monarchy like England with Mussolini as Prime Minister but really dictator. The USSR was ruled by a one party only with Stalin as chairman but essentially dictator. Germany, well, calling the Führer anything but a dictator is absurd. He consolidated president and chancellor to do it. It was no longer in any sense of the word a republic.

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41 minutes ago, acem said:

They all held elections and professed to be freely elected. All were popular with their citizens, with the possible exception of Stalin. Thx-Ace 

Yeah but elections with only one party really don't count.?

Popular with their citizens until they weren't. Demagogues all.

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4 hours ago, 1466fan said:

Absolutely agree. Sadly I think we are in the minority now. Most people have forgotten. 

I would agree except that it is impossible to forget that which one didn’t know. 
Sadly we don’t seem to teach history anymore. 
I have never heard of these ladies before now. Great story I shall not forget. 
Thanks to all of our Vets. 
Thanks for this thread. 

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......speaking of Ladies......there is a book out regarding  the trials and tribulations  of the hundreds  of New Zealand and Australian  Nurses, serving in the First World War....

....another story of incredible courage and dedication  to the wounded and dieing soldiers.....in  shocking conditions......and because   the "ANZAC"    girls were just that ....Aussie's and Kiwi's .....they were regarded as 'inferior'  to the British nurses......another burden among  the ever evolving issues of lack of any adequate supplies..be it food, water  and of course lack of medical supplies...

..Wife said read this book.....it  is a wonderful, but horrifically captivating story...

Mike

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I knew a gentleman who was in the OSS in Greece.  I never could get him to talk about ti though.  He said he took an oath of secrecy and intended to honor it!  I think he saw or did things he would rather forget, as so many of those in combat did.

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4 hours ago, New Englander said:

Yeah but elections with only one party really don't count.?

Popular with their citizens until they weren't. Demagogues all.

I could expound a whole lot more on this, but it would make the thread go poof. All I will say is we need to pay attention to history. 

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1 minute ago, Lazy WP said:

I could expound a whole lot more on this, but it would make the thread go poof. All I will say is we need to pay attention to history. 

Can I like this post more than once?

????????????

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38 minutes ago, Lazy WP said:

I could expound a whole lot more on this, but it would make the thread go poof. All I will say is we need to pay attention to history. 

Ya know I gotta say I was thinking the same thing, this is history, I’ve got my thoughts, there are a lot of thoughts, without pushing any boundaries and I’m not expounding now, why don’t we talk and see how the boss interacts.

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58 minutes ago, Ihfan4life said:

Yet sadly, WW1, and WW2 history isn’t being taught anymore... 

I really don't know about this, but I will say kids here are being schooled in the meaning of rememberance day and the fact and reasons for the wearing of the red poppy and the gathering at memorials.

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