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Which special ops and or outfits were most notable, impressive or consequential?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Gooner View Post
    There was a well supported parliamentary petition to get Mayne the VC, a 100 or more MPs signed it, but I think that has fizzled out now.

    The citation for which Mayne was recommended the VC - signed by Montgomery - but which 'only' got him a fourth DSO


    Citation:
    "On Monday April 9th 1945, Lt.Col. R.B.Mayne was ordered by the GOC 4th Canadian Armoured Division to lead his Regiment (then consisting of two armoured jeep squadrons) through the British lines and infiltrate through the German lines. His general axis of advance was N/East towards the city of Oldenburg, with the special task of clearing a path for the Canadian armoured cars and tanks, and also causing alarm and disorganisation behind the enemy lines. As subsequent events proved the task of Lt.Col. Mayne's force was entirely and completely successful. This success however was solely due to the brilliant military leadership and cool calculating courage of Lt.Col.Mayne who, by a single act of supreme bravery drove the enemy from a strongly held key village thereby breaking the crust of the enemy defences in the whole of this sector.
    The following is a detailed account of the Lt.Col's individual action which called for both unsurpassed heroism and cool clear sighted military knowledge.
    Lt.Col.Mayne on receiving a wireless message from the leading squadron reporting that it was heavily engaged by enemy fire and that the squadron commander had been killed immediately drove forward to the scene of the action. From the time of his arrival until the end of the action Lt.Col. Mayne was in full view of the enemy and exposed to fire from small arms, machine guns, sniper rifles and Panzerfausts. On arrival he summed up the situation in a matter of seconds and entered the nearest house alone and ensured the enemy here had either withdrawn or been killed. He then siezed a Bren gun and magazines and single handly fired burst after burst into a second house, killing or wounding the enemy there and also opened fire on the woods. He then ordered a jeep to come forward and take over his fire position before returning to the forward position where he disposed the men to the best advantage and ordered another jeep to come forward. He got into the jeep and with another officer as rear gunner drove forward past the position where the Squadron Commander had been killed a few minutes previously and continued to point a hundred yards ahead where a further section of jeeps were halted by intense and accurate enemy fire. This section had suffered casualties and wounded owing to the heavy enemy fire and the survivors were unable at that time to influence the action in any way until the arrival of Lt.Col.Mayne. The Lt.Col. continued along the road all the time engaging the enemy with fire from his own jeep. Having swept the whole area with close range fire he turned his jeep around and drove down the road again, still in full view of the enemy. By this time the enemy had suffered heavy casualties and had started to withdraw. Never the less they maintained intense fire on the road and it appearded almost impossible to extricate the wounded who were in a ditch near to the forward jeeps. Any attempt of rescuing these men under those conditions appeared virtually suicidal owing to the highly concentrated and accurate fire of the enemy. Though he fully realised the risk he was taking Lt.Col.Mayne turned his jeep round once more and returned to try and rescue these wounded. Then by superlative determination and displaying gallantry of the very highest degree and in the face of intense enemy machine gun fire he lifted the wounded one by one into the jeep, turned round and drove back to the main body. The entire enemy positions had been wiped out, the majority of the enemy having been killed or wounded leaving a very small percentage who were now in full retreat. The Squadron having suffered no further casualties were able to continue their advance and drive deeper behind the enemy to complete their task of sabotage and destruction of the enemy. Finally they reached a point 20 miles ahead of the advance guard of the advancing Canadian Division thus threatening the rear of the Germans who finally withdrew. From the time of the arrival of Lt.Col.Mayne his gallantry inspired all ranks. Not only did he save the lives of the wounded but he also completly defeated and destroyed the enemy."
    Yep, that citation is mentioned in the book.
    It's pretty much a disgrace that he didn't get the VC, but four DSO's (and that citation) give an idea what he was like, pity the Germans on the receiving end of Paddy when he was in war mode.

    Macintyre mentions that some thought he went over the top at times, for instance in one raid he led an SAS team in shooting up an airfield at night, (and Germans and Italians were so spooked they were shooting at each other half the time,) the SAS wrecked most of the planes and retired, Paddy told his squad to wait at the rendezvous point and then went back with three men with thompson machine guns, calmly walked into the mess hut and killed and maimed about thirty mostly unarmed German and Italian pilots.
    Is that going over the top? Surely not.

    Did you see him with Monty, huge bloke, (albeit Monty was a bit of a shorty wasn't he?)

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

      Having visited Eben Emael, it's the person that said let's use gliders against this fort who is the true genius.

      Better than Pegasus Bridge in its importance.
      Seen plenty of photos and film of Eben Emael, but that's not the same as in the flesh, is it as formidable as it seems?

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Aussie View Post
        Did you see him with Monty, huge bloke, (albeit Monty was a bit of a shorty wasn't he?)
        Heavyweight champion in boxing at his University. Never made Captain of the Rugby team though, unlike the shorty.

        the-rugby-union-1st-xv-of-saint-pauls-school-london-featuring-their-picture-id451595528?s=612x612.jpg

        image.jpg

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        • #64
          I'm going to go into bat for a few groups that don't get shelves of books published about them - unlike Commonwealth & German Special Forces.

          First I'll throw the Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces into the mix.

          Not sure how large they were at their peak, but probably not much more than 10-15,000 at any one time. Generally operated in units of 500-1000. At the forefront of the Japanese campaigns of 1941-2, during which time they were spectacularly successful. Had a couple of parachute units that did combat drops.

          Then there were Russian units parachuted in to help organise partisans in places like Belarus.

          Not a lot in English on these guys. I get the impression they did something similar to SOE & the OSS, but often operated in larger units. Their impact varied, but they played a significant role in messing up German logistics as part of Bagration.
          Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Gooner View Post

            Heavyweight champion in boxing at his University. Never made Captain of the Rugby team though, unlike the shorty.

            the-rugby-union-1st-xv-of-saint-pauls-school-london-featuring-their-picture-id451595528?s=612x612.jpg

            image.jpg
            Would that be a young Paddy sitting second from the right in the top picture?

            In their escapades in Europe, the SAS brigade suffered some 330 casualties,( including over 60 POW's shot on Hitlers Commando Order) but had killed, wounded and captured over 30,000 Germans.
            At the end of the war the the SAS were rewarded by being instantly disbanded. Thankfully they were reinstated in 1947.

            And poor old Paddy by some miracle survived the war, to be killed in a car crash in 1955.

            A film of Blair Mayne's life has long been mooted, according to wiki, would be well worth seeing, almost non stop action.

            The question is WHO would get the starring role?

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            • #66
              Originally posted by Aussie View Post
              .

              A film of Blair Mayne's life has long been mooted, according to wiki, would be well worth seeing, almost non stop action.

              The question is WHO would get the starring role?

              Well obviously it has to be Danny DeVito!

              Lodestar possessed not one redeeming virtue, nary a one!
              Neither honesty, honour or humanity did he have.

              Generosity, courage, kindness, loyalty and perseverance were not in his canon.
              Moderation, frugality, diligence and humility were to, him utterly alien.
              His epitaph, should it ever be written eons from now will read “Truly he was life unworthy of life!”

              Make way for lodestar!




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              • #67
                Originally posted by Aussie View Post

                Would that be a young Paddy sitting second from the right in the top picture?
                I did know …


                British Lions 1938 South Africa

                mt-07.jpg
                http://www.rugbyrelics.com/museum/bi...37-ju.htm#1938

                A film of Blair Mayne's life has long been mooted, according to wiki, would be well worth seeing, almost non stop action.

                The question is WHO would get the starring role?
                Liam Neeson was supposed to be trying to raise funds for the movie. Twenty years ago he might have made the part as well.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Aussie View Post

                  Seen plenty of photos and film of Eben Emael, but that's not the same as in the flesh, is it as formidable as it seems?
                  Yep, and its huge.

                  Try to get photos up this weekend.
                  How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                  Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                    I'm going to go into bat for a few groups that don't get shelves of books published about them - unlike Commonwealth & German Special Forces.

                    First I'll throw the Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces into the mix.

                    Not sure how large they were at their peak, but probably not much more than 10-15,000 at any one time. Generally operated in units of 500-1000. At the forefront of the Japanese campaigns of 1941-2, during which time they were spectacularly successful. Had a couple of parachute units that did combat drops.

                    Then there were Russian units parachuted in to help organise partisans in places like Belarus.

                    Not a lot in English on these guys. I get the impression they did something similar to SOE & the OSS, but often operated in larger units. Their impact varied, but they played a significant role in messing up German logistics as part of Bagration.
                    The SNLF were never some sort of special troops. They were simply naval infantry. That is, sailors seconded to be a landing force. By 1940, the IJN had formed on a more or less permanent basis about 6 to 10 of these units primarily as base defense forces. Each was for all intents an infantry battalion. By mid war, many had been altered to be more like a coast defense battalion with far more heavy weapons and only a company or so of actual infantry.

                    The sailors used in these units were not hand selected or anything. They were simply the guys that were available and had gotten basic infantry training as part of their initial training. The "special" part of the title really just means the equivalent of "formed for the purpose." That is, they were really just naval infantry landing battalions. Their necessity was because the IJN didn't have the equivalent of the US Marine Corps, or the Royal Marines to draw on for infantry units.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Gooner View Post

                      I did know …


                      British Lions 1938 South Africa

                      mt-07.jpg
                      http://www.rugbyrelics.com/museum/bi...37-ju.htm#1938



                      Liam Neeson was supposed to be trying to raise funds for the movie. Twenty years ago he might have made the part as well.
                      These pics are a bit easier, would be on the right standing, and in the other, 6th from the left back row.

                      Liam would have been perfect, Irish and all, but as you say, a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.
                      Must get the thinking cap on, must be huge, and SCARY.

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

                        Yep, and its huge.

                        Try to get photos up this weekend.

                        Thanks, be looking forward to them.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Aussie View Post

                          These pics are a bit easier, would be on the right standing, and in the other, 6th from the left back row.

                          Liam would have been perfect, Irish and all, but as you say, a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.
                          Must get the thinking cap on, must be huge, and SCARY.
                          Maybe Sean Bean could have done Mayne. Not huge (5'10") but he did okay as scary in Sharpe's Rifles and a few other roles.

                          But he's 59 to Neeson's 66, so Bean is getting up there too.
                          "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by KRJ View Post

                            Maybe Sean Bean could have done Mayne. Not huge (5'10") but he did okay as scary in Sharpe's Rifles and a few other roles.

                            But he's 59 to Neeson's 66, so Bean is getting up there too.
                            Yep, Sean is certainly a tough nut, unfortunately a bit on the short side, but heck, can't they use camera angles and plenty of make up?

                            Still thinking on it.

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