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Forum Oi! → Chit-Chat → Untold details of history

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1


I have heard the Navy has great food. I suppose that serves to keep up morale when they are on voyages for long periods of time. The ocean can be monotonous. It is supposed to be beautiful at night though. You can really see the stars.

2

You might want to read some of the old histories. I found such books as Sir Edward Creasy's '15 decisive battles', published 1851 written in a way that bring the people involved to life in a way that modern writing does not. I still have an original edition somewhere. I especially remember the impact of his description of the life of Joan of Arc. You must get an original edition. Later stuff edits. Later editions I have seen also leave out the extensive footnotes and references without which the bare text is lifeless and cold and makes little sense.
Details? I am aware of how some of the civilian skilled production workers in wwii were driven to exhaustion and beyond madness by military supervisors.  Of some of the horrible moral dilemmas of those who make war possible. Of the ineffable suffering of a parent who waits in vain for decades after the war is "over" for a baby boy lost and MIA to come home. Are you sure you want details?
In dealing with events still in living memory remember the dictum that those who talk don't know, and those who know don't talk.
Fiction often gets to the heart of the matter better than memoirs. 'All Quiet on the Western front' a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. That and his other book were ordered burned by the Reich. 'Slaughter House Five', Vonnegut's paean to the burning of Dresden, protested by some in the US. Of course, "We Were Soldiers Once and Young'.  'Hearts in Atlantis'. All of those things should be read with people so they can be discussed. Art is meant to be appreciated with someone.
It is too easy to let the past take over one's life. Historians are noteworthy for becoming withdrawn and solitary and/or going off the deep end. Do be careful. 
Reality can be a bitter pill.

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It's crucial to know what the rank-and-file experience, but too many agenda-driven political and military leaders ignore that.

4

Neptunes Inferno about Guadalcanal

5

Every star you could ever imagine if the marine layer allows you full vision.  The food depends on whose making it and how long you've been out.  While being at sea is cool it's an awful lot of water that grows monotonous after awhile.  The color of the water normally reflects the sky and during storms it's hard to tell where the sky ends and water begins.
You really only go to certain places on the boats so they tend to get really small which of course means people get on each other's nerves after awhile.  The best way is to keep your mind occupied as you travel from place to place and always keep an open mind when you hit different ports.  All in all it's really pretty cool once you develop your own coping style.


6

Personal history always becomes lost within a couple of generations.  Parents tell the tales to their children who in turn pass it on to their's.  The difference is your kids have their own tales so naturally your grandchildren lock into them.
It's kind of weird how your grandkids look at you in amazement for things you take for granted because it's how it was.  Naturally there's the stuff you only tell your sons and grandsons after they're grown like you and the fellas chasing honies all beer'ed up.  Don't know of many who talk about the horrors of it much.  It's generally the much softer "how it was" and why.  The rest you just keep to yourself because all the talking in the world never changes anything.
I'm truly sorry Nam and all the rest will become mere footnotes in history given everything everyone went through.  It's how it is and always will be I suppose.  Guess it's why people forget or never knew which keeps wars happening rather than folks using their common sense to avoid the damn things.  There's never any winners or losers.  Just those who didn't make it and those who did spend a lifetime wondering how and why they came home.

7

According to my mother who grew up in Wilmington Delaware her friends and family would go into Philadelphia when there was  a ship moored for public visitation because they always got great food that was unobtainable to them as civilians.

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Fascinating. I see you have experience with that.

9

Yes Ma'am.  Some of the most boring and exhilarating times of my life.  In all honestly I personally didn't like shipboard chow as it was pretty tasteless but it was filling to a point.  Made it all the much better tasting local foods in places like the Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and so on.  Western Pacific is always the best "liberty" (free time) because the cultures are so different than our's.  Real eye openers in learning peoples as they truly are in their native lands.

10



Took tours of several WWII submarines and was told the same thing.  All the food was the best they could get their hands on as needed something to break up the monotony.

11

Well everybody is entitled to his decision.However, if you are short of manpower and weapons and the enemy attacks you in large nos you are in a bad or critical situation particularly when you feel that everybody is looking at you to pull them out alive. When in actual combat a lot changes very quickly its your response that gets you out. A critical situation is a bad one as far as you are concerned.


12

My uncle,(many generations removed), John King, joined the militia and was sent up north during the French-Iroquois War.  He was Seventeen at the time.  He fought in the Battle of Lake Champlain and he was hit in the foot by a musket-ball that broke a bone there.  Unable to fight further, he was dismissed and his friend sent with him to help him get back home.  They hiked for a week or so, during which his shoes gave out.  Then their supplies ran out and John grew feverish from his injury.  John told his friend to go on without him and reluctantly the friend agreed.
Alone in the nearly endless forest, John lay down to wait for death among the roots of a big tree.  After a few days he was mighty hungry and damp, but he found himself feeling better and his fever was gone.  So he decided to keep on going until he couldn't go further.  It took him two more days of slow progress, but finally he came upon a cabin and "the good Christian folk there" took him in and nursed him until he had healed.  Once mended he was able to make it back the rest of the way to Pennsylvania and family.
This account was contained in an old Bible that my Great Grandmother found and later copied  into small record of family stories from the 18th Century.  I wish there was more, but having this account is rare as it is.  The idea of this teenager hiking barefoot through the forests, barefoot with a broken bone in his foot from Lake Champlain to Pennsylvania has always popped into my mind when I thought things were getting too hard for me.

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