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Opinion article by WW2 vet in The Onion

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  • Opinion article by WW2 vet in The Onion

    Opinion article from The Onion. I wonder if Ken Burns knows about this vet?


    "From The Beaches Of Normandy To The Streets Of Paris, My Platoon Was A Bunch Of P*****s"
    By Phil Schebler
    September 5, 2007
    (edited for content)

    Like many good men my age, I was in the Big One, and I can tell you firsthand that war is hell. It's day after horrifying day of your worst fears come true. And when it came time to face those fears and be men, I could always count on my fellow leathernecks in the 202nd, without fail, to knuckle under and scatter like frightened little children.

    You know, people like to throw the term "hero" around a lot when they talk about my generation. But I don't believe the men of the 202nd were heroes. No sir. The heroes were the ones who didn't stay curled up in their foxholes sucking their thumbs or jamming their fingers in their ears. The heroes were the ones who refused to pledge their complete and unwavering allegiance to Hitler the moment the enemy was in earshot. The heroes were the ones who didn't pretend to be dead for hours and sometimes days after a battle had been decided.

    Those were the real heroes.

    I don't know if it was fate or coincidence that brought us together, but I can say I served with 39 of the most craven, gutless p*****s you ever laid eyes on—every last one of them quicker to cry than a colicky newborn. By God, there wasn't a major battle in the European Theater we didn't flee from like a flock of spooked pigeons. Even "Old Blood and Guts" Patton himself said we were the biggest bunch of lily-livered pisspants ever to disgrace the U.S. Armed Forces, and that's no exaggeration.

    Yes, everyone knew our platoon. The Scamperin' Squirrels, they called us. Our girlish, high-pitched screams gave courage to Jerry from Nice to Luxembourg. "That's the Squirrels," the Krauts would yell, and they knew they didn't have a chance in hell of sustaining any losses.

    I remember the Battle of the Bulge like it was yesterday: All us young men shoving one another out of the way, tripping over the wounded and dead with our white flags flapping in the frigid winter wind. Those images will be with me forever, even though I was blinded by tears most of the times I dared to open my eyes. We eventually surrendered to a confused Ardennes dairy farmer at the end of that first terrifying day. Boy, you should have seen the look on his face.

    But hell, who didn't we surrender to? The enemy, the Allies, each other, it made no difference. One Panzer division refused to take us prisoner out of pure disgust. Can't say I blame 'em, really. We would drop our weapons at the first sound of tanks, planes, jeeps, horses, thunder, or almost any kind of shouting. I don't think I fired that damned gun more than once. None of us did. To be honest, we weren't too partial to loud, sudden noises.

    And Normandy. Let's not forget Normandy. We were there, too. If you look closely at some of those old photos, you can just make out our Higgins Amphibious bobbing on the horizon, speeding away from Omaha Beach as fast as we dared until we were forced to turn around because of seasickness and a terrible fear of sharks. We eventually stormed a secluded little cove and waited it out until we were certain we could timidly skulk unseen through the streets of Paris.

    No such luck, as it turned out. We were over a week late and the grateful Parisians still showered us with flowers while we cowered in the middle of the Champs-Élysées. I've never been so scared in my entire life, pinned down by that ceaseless barrage of daffodils. I'll always remember what my best buddy, Jimmy Conroy, said to me that day, a single tear—the first of many, many more—rolling down his cheek. "We ain't gonna die here, Phil," he said. "We're going to die old men."

    And he was right.

    Say what you will about the Squirrels, but every last one of us survived the war. We even got Purple Hearts, though there was some curiosity about how every member of a 40-man platoon could get shot in the foot on the same day in an Allied barrack 200 miles from the front lines.

    There may be little talk about our part in the Second World War, but we secured our place in history as the most yellow-bellied, spineless members of the Greatest Generation that ever was.
    All your ACG posts are belong to us!

  • #2
    It's from the Onion, pretty much identifies whether it was worth wasting my time reading it I suppose.

    Most unlikely piece of drivel I have read in a while.

    I think I'll go back to reading reliable stuff like Global Warming
    Life is change. Built models for decades.
    Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
    I didn't for a long time either.

    Comment


    • #3
      While fear is common place for any combat situation, this account is just too far over the top to be taken serious. I don't believe 90% of it.
      ACG QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
      ¿Cualquier persona fija en el nude? Slug

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      • #4
        What was the point of that silliness?
        The truth? You can't handle the truth! No truth handler you! I deride your truth handling abilities!
        Sideshow Bob.

        Comment


        • #5
          What a complete pile of rubbish...

          I could always count on my fellow leathernecks in the 202nd
          202nd? is that the guy's unit? give me a break, since when the Marines landed in Normandy, liberated Paris and fought in the Bulge anyway?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Boonierat View Post
            What a complete pile of rubbish...



            202nd? is that the guy's unit? give me a break, since when the Marines landed in Normandy, liberated Paris and fought in the Bulge anyway?
            Good point!
            ACG QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
            ¿Cualquier persona fija en el nude? Slug

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            • #7
              Pure unadulterated horse fritters... steaming fresh as it cascades to the ground!

              IMO... anything with The Onion on it is as bad.

              On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

              ACG History Today

              BoRG

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              • #8
                Isn't the Onion just made up stories that are supposed to sound true?

                I think it is meant to be funny. I don't think anything on their site is true.
                Publisher
                Armchair General Magazine
                Weider History Group

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                • #9
                  You're right, Eric. Everything on their site is not to be taken seriously.

                  On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

                  ACG History Today

                  BoRG

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Eric Weider View Post
                    Isn't the Onion just made up stories that are supposed to sound true?

                    I think it is meant to be funny. I don't think anything on their site is true.
                    Yeah, Everything is a parody, Their motto (Tu stultus es) is Latin for "You are dumb".


                    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28369
                    Northern Irish, Serbs, Hutus Granted Homeland In West Bank
                    June 20, 2001 | Issue 37•23

                    ...Bloodshed also marred the "Festival Of Human Brotherhood," a weeklong, nationwide event celebrating the founding of Ethniklashistan. On Monday, 11 people were killed in a skirmish between Basques and Sikhs near Nablus. The same day, six were killed and dozens injured on the streets of Bethlehem when Somalis and Greek Cypriots exchanged gunfire and grenades.

                    Dozens of shifting alliances have added to the confusion and chaos. In a pre-dawn border raid Monday, Burmese Karen rebels attacked a Tamil settlement. By late afternoon, the Karens were driven back by the Tamils, who were newly armed with Israeli anti-personnel missiles smuggled into the West Bank by Zionist fundamentalists who had allied themselves–some say only as a temporary ruse–with the Tamils.

                    On Tuesday, guerrilla fighters made up of an uneasy Palestinian-Papuan alliance attacked an Irish Protestant church near the Golan Heights, killing 121 Irish worshippers with nerve gas before being repelled by a nearby faction of Protestant-sympathizing Zapatista rebels from the Chiapas region of Mexico.

                    The violence continued that evening, when the severed heads of 20 Chechens were paraded through the streets of Jericho by Azerbaijani extremists. The killings are thought to be in retaliation for rocket attacks by a band of pro-Armenian Chechen rebels, who have thus far evaded Azerbaijani attempts to flush them out of their encampments in the hills with prolonged shelling...
                    Instances in which The Onion has been taken seriously:
                    Originally posted by Wikipedia
                    Upon occasion the straight-faced manner in which The Onion reports non-existent happenings has resulted in outside parties mistakenly citing Onion stories as real news.

                    * An article on Harry Potter inciting kids to practice witchcraft was believed by many to be real and was forwarded by many "concerned Christians." Columnist Ellen Makkai and others who believe the Harry Potter books "recruit" children to Satanism have also been taken in by the article, using quotes from it as "evidence" for their claims.

                    * In 1998, controversial minister Fred Phelps posted the Onion article "'98 Homosexual-Recruitment Drive Nearing Goal" on his "God Hates Fags" website as "proof" that gay people were indeed actively trying to "recruit" others.

                    * On 7 June 2002, Reuters reported that the Beijing Evening News republished, in the international news page of its 3 June edition, translated portions of "Congress Threatens To Leave D.C. Unless New Capitol Is Built". The story discusses the U.S. Congress's threats to leave Washington for Memphis, Tennessee or Charlotte, North Carolina unless Washington, D.C. built them a new Capitol building with a retractable dome. The article is a parody of U.S. sports franchises' threats to leave their home city unless new stadiums are built for them. The Evening News is Beijing's most popular newspaper, claiming a circulation of 1.25 million. Evening News later retracted the article, responding that some American newspapers "lie intentionally to make money."

                    * In late March 2004, Deborah Norville of MSNBC presented as genuine an article entitled "Study: 58 Percent Of U.S. Exercise Televised".

                    * The Danish television station TV 2 posted a story that took the Onion article titled "Sean Penn Demands To Know What ******* Took [email protected] gmail.com" seriously.

                    * The Monthly Call to Life blog, a pro-life site, denounced the article "I'm Totally Psyched About This Abortion!" for the author's supposed enthusiasm for getting an abortion. The post (which contains a graphic image at the top of the page) has remained for several months without an acknowledgement that the article cited is actually satire.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Trouble with this parody is that its very poorly written by someone who has only a very superficial knowledge of WW2.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It was decent. And you guys are taking it far too serious.
                        Wisdom is personal

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What is sad, is how many people actually use the internet for scholarly purposes, when in truth, it's a simple matter to put stuff on the internet, and not need to worry about there being anything "physical" to be left to check.

                          For instance, if the article had been written in a print newspaper, the article would exist on actual physical media, not just an easily alterable electronic medium.

                          This is why I don't normally join in with people like The Doctor, who has a love for posting charts and tables, and others, with their oft quoted statistics when arguing a case.
                          Because if it was found on the net, it could have been faked.

                          I get all my opinions from materials I held in my hands, everything else, well it's hard to get excited about, as it only takes a clever mind to fool a supposedly clever person.

                          But as was mentioned, the leathernecks comment killed the piece. After that I was merely reading as I was bored and killing time. But the Marines content ensured the article was from a non existent person from a fictional unit.
                          I guess someone just felt like pissing off anyone that had ever served in uniform.

                          Generally speaking, anything meant ONLY to **** off someone, is rarely truly universally funny. Especially if the content of the material has no connection with fact or reality.
                          That's why I can tolerate political satire or commentary from comedians, because, they are usually poking fun at real people who have done real things.
                          Life is change. Built models for decades.
                          Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                          I didn't for a long time either.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Eric Weider View Post
                            Isn't the Onion just made up stories that are supposed to sound true?

                            I think it is meant to be funny. I don't think anything on their site is true.
                            Yes, that's exactly right - and on that basis, it was pretty funny if you ask me. It's just a parody on the usual sort of war-stories you hear, I don't see any harm in it as no-one's going to take it seriously.

                            Dr. S.
                            Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

                            www.sinisterincorporated.co.uk

                            www.tabletown.co.uk

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Eric Weider View Post
                              Isn't the Onion just made up stories that are supposed to sound true?

                              I think it is meant to be funny. I don't think anything on their site is true.
                              haha! well said! I did put a WINK in the original post but I should have put this in the jokes forum...my fault.

                              How could you not know it is pun/sarcasm/parody with such ridiculous lines as...
                              "The Scamperin' Squirrels, they called us. Our girlish, high-pitched screams gave courage to Jerry from Nice to Luxembourg. "That's the Squirrels," the Krauts would yell, and they knew they didn't have a chance in hell of sustaining any losses."

                              and...

                              "We would drop our weapons at the first sound of tanks, planes, jeeps, horses, thunder, or almost any kind of shouting. I don't think I fired that damned gun more than once. None of us did. To be honest, we weren't too partial to loud, sudden noises."


                              LMAO!!
                              Last edited by Patrocles; 06 Sep 07, 07:22.
                              All your ACG posts are belong to us!

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