The Guns Of Yesteryear

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts' started by sapper, May 18, 2005.

  1. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Recently, well back last summer, (For the 60 anniversary) At the invitation of the BBC. I went to a deserted village in the Purbeck Isle. Tyneham. This village was taken over for battle practice during the war, and has remained in the armies hands ever since.

    While there, I, and the Colonel that commanded the Royal Ulster Rifles, part of the Third British Infantry Division invasion on Sword Beach "Monty's Ironsides" contributed some bits and pieces to BBC television for the Anniversary..

    While there, Rodney Legg, a well known local journalist brought in a "De-activated Sten gun" Just to get the feel of a Sten again. I picked it up and was absolutely amazed to find how heavy it was, during the war, the Sten was looked on as a "Light weapon" It was a gun that I loathed, having nearly shot my best mate Harry in the head…It did not kill him, just parted his hair.

    That immediately makes wonder? if the Sten was that heavy, how in hell’s name did I cart a Sten and a blasted Bren gun across France, Belgium, and Holland?

    Do you think folks? that it contributed to my never growing very tall? For now, I just wonder how I ever managed to run at speed across and open space under the enemies gaze, carrying the blasted thing. How Heavy?
  2. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    I suppose the answer is too damned heavy!

    But oh sapper, it is amazing what fit young soldiers will do and think nothing of it.
  3. halfyank

    halfyank Member

    I know my Dad was amazed at how hard it was to shift a "duce and a half" like he drove all through the war when he had a chance to drive one in the early 70s. Those young guys certainly can do things they never could consider doing later in life.

    Dad also laughed at all the complaints leveled against the civilian Jeeps in the 70s. He said they spent about as much time on two wheels as they did on four, and without seat belts, roll bars, airbags, or any safety equipment other than maybe a steel helmet, with chinstrap undone of course.
  4. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    while talking about that era, I cannot come to terms with the fact that I used to drive a half track back from the front line to the HQ, to collect the next days battle
    oders, just try to imagine driving a half track at night (One O clock in the morning) with sporadic shelling going on, and trying to peer through a rectagular slit with thick glass.

    In recent years I have seen a half track, and I just cannot believe that I ever drove the thing...let alone at night, and even more, under shell fire.

    I look at one now, and I cannot even get in the blasted thing.
    But then, we were super fit young men. Were we a different race of men? for I look around now, and somehow, I think we were.

    By the way, while on this subject of war, the avaerage life expectancy for a man that landed on D Day, was just six weeks. That is borne out by our Divison, they sufferd roughly its total strenght in casualties during the campaign

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