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Andy

D-Day 75 event in Portsmouth

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Was a good send off preceded by 3 P2000 Archer class and the Mont was followed out by HMS St Albans then all the small craft such as WW2 MTB`s etc..The Dockyard webcam followed the departure very closely and even zoomed in on the passengers on the deck.

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2 minutes ago, Paully said:

Was a good send off preceded by 3 P2000 Archer class and the Mont was followed out by HMS St Albans then all the small craft such as WW2 MTB`s etc..The Dockyard webcam followed the departure very closely and even zoomed in on the passengers on the deck.

Don't forget SMS Tug 'Yorkshireman' also doing a salute, although I can't understand why she wasn't at the front.

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Nice one Neil,

I do the same trip every 10 days and goodness me, it's easy to forget the bravery of all those young soldiers - so many of them were a one-way ticket...:(

Chris

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Watching the coverage makes you realise how brave they were a 95 year old veteran said on the news this morning that he wasn’t a hero only the fallen were hero’s , I would disagree with that they were all hero’s doing what they did.

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The courage these young men showed, was beyond our modern day comprehension. May they all rest in a very deserved Peace. Thank you...

 

   As the Boudicca sailed I heard a loud prolonged blast of a whistle, which I took to be the Boudicca itself..According to the commentator it wasnt...It was the Bretagne....a lovely tribute.........Merci

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My father in law went over D-day+4 as an ambulance driver, and survived - like many he was reluctant to talk about it, but he did have reservations about holidaying in France with us, saying that some villages greeted them with open arms as 'liberators', but in others the shutters were up and they were spat at in the street. (When he did eventually go over with us he couldn't believe the welcome he got from French people) Later on he was at Belson and had to help bury bodies - for that reason he said he would never ever visit or forgive Germans.  I would like to think that generations since have different attitudes, but respect the sacrifices made by these guys.

 

Edited by nottingham
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I wished I had talked to my Grandad more about the war my Dad talked to my Grandads brother on my mothers side and he told a story about how he hadn’t met his brother in about 3 years and by chance saw him when they were docked at St Nazaire on different ships and they both got permission to go ashore and see each other the next time they met would be months later (at least) I presume after their meeting would be when my Grandad was a POW in Italy and the horrors that came with that, he always claimed he speak Italian but the only Italian I heard him say was Lambrusco .

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In my experience, they didn’t like to talk about it that much.  Especially to close family.  Both my grandad and my wife’s were happy to tell the funny stories, but kept the serious stuff to themselves and wanted it to stay that way.

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My Father in Law was the same. He wasnt at D Day but was wounded in North Africa then landed in Sicily, fought through Italy into Austria, then ended up in Palestine. Never spoke about it and we didnt discover his medals until we were planning his funeral. He opened the chink slightly, when his eldest Grandson joined the RAF but then not much. They had seen the terrors of war and I think they didnt want to burden the future generations with the horror of the past. They were also a generation to look up to and admire. 

    My wife was very quiet watching tv today, quietly remembering her Dad and the conversations she would love to have had.......

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Anyone in our neck of the woods watching BBC South Today last night, Mont got a fair bit of footage, she just happened to be sailing directly towards the camera, and at some point she filled the view.

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My dad's dad was in the Buffs and made it through Africa, Sicily & Taranto. He died in Southern Italy the day before D Day and is buried in Carbonara just outside of Bari. I managed to visit the war graves back in 1999 but sadly my dad had gone by then.

On the other hand his step father jumped ship and went AWOL in Australia to mine for opals before the MP's had him, through the years before he passed away the contrast effected my dad quite badly.

When I was older we'd sit and talk of my Grandfather which would upset him even though he didn't remember him. I'd tell my dad that he was Spartacus as he died on the road to Brindisi too...

My mother's Dad worked with electronics and early computers and spent a lot of time down south and across the Atlantic. After the war he invented stuff for AMTRAK GWR then BR etc. I've a huge amount of notebooks, old film & papers of his which were left to me.

The wife's Grandfather on her mum's side owned ocean going tugs in Holland and was tasked with recovering warships in the channel. He also towed Mulberry harbours across to France and up to Garlieston Bay where they were tested. He led a full life and used to tell amazing stories. Her dads dad was in the 141st Regiment Royal Armoured corp and landed on D Day. He never talked of what he saw. I didn't meet him often and he died in the mid '90's.

Strange coincidence is that both of our paternal grandfathers were both in the Buffs by either choice or conversion.

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My paternal grandfather was a captain in a signals regiment. He landed on Sword beach in the third wave sometime in the afternoon of 6th June '44. I believe he travelled over with most of the headquarters staff. I don't think he saw much in the way of direct combat but, like the others mentioned above, never spoke about it and my father has pieced together his war record from the medals, citations and photos he left behind and with help from the Imperial War Museum archives. We believe he was among the troops which helped liberate the Belsen camp. He finished the war in Berlin where he stayed for a couple of years working with the army to restore order and where he met my grandmother who was an army typist. He lost both his brothers very young. The first died of typhoid in Singapore while serving with the merchant navy in 1938 and is buried there. The second was a RAF pilot shot down over northern Germany and is buried in the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Kiel. My father has visited both on his travels. My grandfather died in 1979 so I have only a vague memory of him but he lived an interesting life doing jobs as diverse as working as an accountant for BP in Iran just before the revolution and running a pub in Petersfield (Hampshire) which is now strangely my father's local. My maternal grandfather had eyesight problems and so didn't serve but was an air-raid warden (as well as a bank-manager) in Weston-super-Mare and was kept busy as the Germans often mistook the town for Bristol on their bombing runs. Ed. 

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I suppose the news channels will move swiftly on after today, which is a shame.  They probably won't acknowledge the 6 weeks of hard fighting in Normandy after D-Day as we fought to take Caen - which was initially a Day 1 objective.  If you research Operation Epsom and Goodwood you will see how doggedly the Germans fought and how horrendous our losses were.  And then a lightning dash through France and another bloody winter on the German border as the Germans rallied once more.  Incidentally, whilst this was going on my German maternal Grandfather was in his 40's, commissioned in the Luftwaffe, and running medevac troop trains from Greece through the Balkans to the Vaterland.  He never spoke of it (running German transports through Yugoslav partisan territory wasn't much fun) to his dying day.  God bless, Opa.

But finally, it was a shame that the only vessel they could find to take the Vets to the beaches was registered in Nassau. Makes you wonder what tonnage we could lay our hands on for troop transport if it all kicked off tomorrow. I bet Fred Olsen wouldn't be interested...

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The news channels gear their output to public consumption and naturally in the circumstances focus on D Day itself. Those of us with a more in depth knowledge of the history can place it into context with the subsequent battle of Normandy and breakout to the Rhine. I don't think you can reasonably expect any more interest from the bulk of today's population, most of whom have only the vaguest grasp of even recent history.

Personally I have visited most of the sites associated with the D Day landings and the subsequent fighting inland and also the various military cemeteries which marked the progress of the invading forces. I have also visited many of the WW1 Western Front sites. Verdun strikes a chill into your heart even now.

Interesting to hear of your German maternal Grandfather's experiences. Not all Germans were bad obviously and all credit to him. But over the years when visitintg differerent areas all over the Continent one thing that has made a deep impression on my Wife and myself is the sheer number of memorials to executions and atrocities by Nazi forces during the WW2 period. You see them everywhere.

I do not associate these in any way with most of today's German citizens who have been brought up under very different conditions and who I have always found to be extremely pleasant people and I sympathise with the burden thay have to carry relating to the actions of many of their forebears for whom they are not in any way responsible.

I really don't think that the port of registry of Boudicca is in any way significant. It is just a paperwork and taxation issue in the same way that today's 'Cunarders' are registered in Bernuda. Very few ships of significant size are registered in the UK these days. Shipowners have always been unsentimental when it comes to such things.

Edited by cvabishop
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Fair points CVA.

It was interesting that my Grandfather fell in love with Greece, always promised my Grandmother that they would go and visit his old haunts, but he could never summon up the courage to face up to those historic demons (yes, I'm not denying the atrocities) and actually go back. Anyway, I will definitely fulfil a promise to myself next year and visit the beaches in Normandy. Having previously visited German coastal positions in Hirthsals, Frederikshavn and Jersey, I don't underestimate the scale of the task we faced at all

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Your Grandfather should have gone back. Many Germans fell in love with Greece and rightly so.

As it happens we are off to western Crete on Saturday for a week. The apartments we are staying at are particularly popular with Germans who are welcome. On a previous visit we met a German couple who had settled in the area and run a small tourist business. They were very nice people and clearly loved the island as we do.

Not very far from where we are staying is the German Military Cemetery where many of the parachutists that invaded Crete are buried. There is an Allied military cemetery at Souda Bay not all that far away too. What a waste of such young lives.

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10 hours ago, Paully said:

The courage these young men showed, was beyond our modern day comprehension. May they all rest in a very deserved Peace. Thank you..

I think you've summed it up very nicely.

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