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Great book

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Forum Name: Book Reviews
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Printed Date: August 12 2020 at 10:52pm
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Topic: Great book
Posted By: Honkytonk
Subject: Great book
Date Posted: March 12 2020 at 9:46am
I just finished reading a really good (really big) book on Canadian soldiers in Europe during WW1. At the beginning, as with all the Allied soldiers, it developed into a static war, a meat grinder. Artillery and machine guns ruled the battle field. Then the gas... During this time, the Canadians learned lessons paid for in blood, but slowly became a very dependable force for the Allies. Their tactics evolved to a point where the acheived many victories on the field. Vimy Ridge, Mons, Passhendaele, Amiens. To the point the British started calling them Shock Troops, which is the title of the book. One line in particular caught my eye. Marooned in an isolated salient, outnumbered 8-1 and facing counterattack after counterattack, one old sweat said " We fired our Lee Enfields continuously for 12 hours. Hundreds of rounds through each rifle. So much the barrel was protruding and the linseed was sweating out to the point we could hardly hold them. Not one of them failed to fire." 

Pretty good testament to the men and the rifle...



Replies:
Posted By: Marco1010
Date Posted: March 12 2020 at 12:39pm
Seem to recall reading a similar situation when British troops move into Burma against the Japanese. Fighting off banzai charges their Lee enfields got so hot that they had trouble aiming due to the steam coming off the hot rifles in the tropical rain. Lee enfields are tough.
NZ troops at gallipoli often used them to club to death the turkish troops as the fighting got too close for anything else. Im sure most posters on this site would be horrified to consider taking one of the pride and joys out and proceed to use it like a baseball bat!!!   
/ http://www.armymuseum.co.nz/gallipoli-stories/" rel="nofollow - www.armymuseum.co.nz/gallipoli-stories/ tells it like it was.


Posted By: Shamu
Date Posted: March 12 2020 at 1:36pm
They were "Main Battle Rifles", I've referred to the brass butt plate of mine as the "Less than Lethal Force Option"!

I remember one day I bought my first L-E this side of the pond it was the Allentown gun show! I'd had to surrender everything in the U.K. When I emigrated because it would have been horribly expensive & time consuming to import them into America!

I also bought a cleaning kit, sling, targets, & some MilSurp ammo.
We were headed to the State Game Lands 100 yd range off of Pa 100 & the skies opened.
We stopped at a garage & picked up a stapler & one of those el cheapo "Gortons Fisherman" sou'wester with a cape & leggins & carried on.
I zeroed & shot it in the pouring rain.
One other guy showed up looked at the rain & left.
I had to finally stop because the steam from the heated bits was blocking my sight picture.

They are tough old girls, far more tolerant of weather than many far more expensive sporting rifles.



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Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)


Posted By: Zed
Date Posted: March 12 2020 at 1:49pm
In the WW1 diary of Harry Drinkwater; he mentions that during a firefight while on watch one night; the rifles were getting too hot to hold; so they kept swapping them with rifles of their fallen comrades. His friends loading them any handing them to him on the step. However when they were next on parade, he got a fine for not presenting the rifle he was issued with!
Harry kept a diary for the entire war and wrote it up just afterwards. It is a very worthwhile read; and it's still in print.

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It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!


Posted By: Stumpkiller
Date Posted: April 13 2020 at 10:58am
It's hard to imagine most of the warfare in WWI.  Gas, trenches, 24/7 artillery bombardments, charges across No Man's Land, trench raids, endless mud and filth.  Hopefully mankind will never see it's like again.

There is a whole series of books called "VCs of the First World War" and the titles include that plus the focus (i.e. "VCs of the First World War: Cambrai 1917".  Various authors.  Well worth looking up.  Our local library had some but not all.

Absolutely astonishing some of the actions that were recognized with the VC; not that our CMoH is a cinch to pick up.  Sadly most were presented to next of kin. 

One that sticks in my mind is a soldier that got separated from his company and, what else, he attacked and actually captured a group of Germans.  The tragedy is that later that day he was killed by a sniper and his body never recovered. 


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Charlie P.

Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.


Posted By: paddyofurniture
Date Posted: April 13 2020 at 11:23am
Originally posted by Honkytonk Honkytonk wrote:

I just finished reading a really good (really big) book on Canadian soldiers in Europe during WW1. At the beginning, as with all the Allied soldiers, it developed into a static war, a meat grinder. Artillery and machine guns ruled the battle field. Then the gas... During this time, the Canadians learned lessons paid for in blood, but slowly became a very dependable force for the Allies. Their tactics evolved to a point where the acheived many victories on the field. Vimy Ridge, Mons, Passhendaele, Amiens. To the point the British started calling them Shock Troops, which is the title of the book. One line in particular caught my eye. Marooned in an isolated salient, outnumbered 8-1 and facing counterattack after counterattack, one old sweat said " We fired our Lee Enfields continuously for 12 hours. Hundreds of rounds through each rifle. So much the barrel was protruding and the linseed was sweating out to the point we could hardly hold them. Not one of them failed to fire." 

Pretty good testament to the men and the rifle...

Where did you get the book?


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Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.


Posted By: Honkytonk
Date Posted: April 13 2020 at 11:24am
Our local public library... which is on lockdown now.


Posted By: paddyofurniture
Date Posted: April 13 2020 at 11:30am
Originally posted by Honkytonk Honkytonk wrote:

Our local public library... which is on lockdown now.

Thanks!


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Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.


Posted By: hoadie
Date Posted: April 13 2020 at 1:19pm
HT: Your gonna hafta sell yer 1st born to cover yer late fees on that book!!(by the time this virus is over)

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Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: Honkytonk
Date Posted: April 13 2020 at 1:33pm
I actually returned it before the lock down, but signed out two others. Hopefully I'll get amnesty! The library has done something cool. You can go on line to order a book, then they will deliver it.


Posted By: Zed
Date Posted: May 28 2020 at 11:33am
I got chance to read read a few books during confinement. 
1. Codebreakers, the story of Bletchley Park; it's a collection of memoires from the people that worked there. It is interesting; but most of these people are very high IQ, so they are explaining some of their methods of calculation and code breaking. It is very interesting; but some of the "technical" stuff is a little hard to grasp just from reading it. 

2. Monty's Ironsides. an interesting insight into the British Armoured division.

3. British Snipers to the Reich. written in 1948 by a Sniper/Instructor following from D-Day to VE Day. 
I found this book an enjoyable read


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It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!


Posted By: paddyofurniture
Date Posted: May 28 2020 at 11:44am
Thanks!

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Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.


Posted By: Goosic
Date Posted: May 28 2020 at 12:49pm
Bill O' Reilly's  Legends & Lies is a good read.
Shoot Low Boys ~ They're Ridin' Shetland Ponies by Louis Grizzard
Skunk Works by Ben R. Rich & Leo Janos
Yeager by General Chuck Yeager & Leo Janos
Douglas Adam's The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy 
Star Trek Federation The First 150 Years by David A. Goodman
Hot Rod by Henry Gregor Felsen


Posted By: Shamu
Date Posted: May 28 2020 at 2:26pm

If you can find them.

The Jungle is Neutral, F Spencer Chapman.

A Pattern Of Islands (We Chose The Islands) Arthur Grimble.

This was the tale that as a youngster made me want to go globe trotting to exotic places.




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Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)


Posted By: Tonsper
Date Posted: May 28 2020 at 6:45pm
A read that I would like to finish is what is on the Vimy Memorial. I have two great uncles whose names are on there and whose bodies were never recovered. I was there once when I was seven but could not read fast enough to find the names. My grandfather and two other uncles fought in WWII and my father was in during Korea. All carried and shot Lee-Enfields. I wish that I could find their rifles and could hear those rifles' stories.

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Waiting for first light. Shook hands with the devil.


Posted By: 303 Hunter
Date Posted: May 28 2020 at 8:47pm
The two volume, Canadians at war (WWII) books, are a interesting read.

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The Lee Enfield is to the Canadian north what the Winchester repeater was to the American west.   Cal Bablitz



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