History

Old Soldiers’ Yarns

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World War Two veterans welcome the respect that comes with their once having been a member of the armed forces. This is a normal human trait, but chances are they were hardly volunteers. The then young conscripts were press ganged into the armed forces against their will. If there was genuine enthusiasm for war then conscription would be neither necessary nor desirable.

Of the 16 million American servicemen drafted into military service during World War Two, less than 1/30 (600,000) actually volunteered. The majority of those who did so jumped before they were pushed. They were smart enough to know that by signing-up they would be better considered and rewarded than those who waited for the ominous envelope to land on the hallway doormat. Besides, a volunteer had some choice as to what service branch he served in; conscripts had little or no choice.

At the onset of America’s entry into World War Two, conscripts discovered that bed-wetting earned them an honourable discharge. This is an unfortunate choice of words, but that is how it was. After this ruse was discovered, the incidence of bed-wetting shot up by 1,200 per cent in one Texas training camp alone. The haemorrhage was stopped only when the War Department issued a circular removing bed-wetting as a ‘psycho-neurotic discharge.’

The U.S. economy suffered more hours lost through armed forces desertion than it did through civilian strikes.

Leading up to the US draft (conscription), the number of unemployed in the United States reached 11 million. With no social security available the jobless were desperate for any work. The prospect of three hearty meals a day, a clean bunk with shower facilities, new clothes and shoes with no rent to pay, career opportunities, sport, travel, free laundry and in the pocket $21 a month (a lot of money then) held irresistible appeal. It gets better as there would be no fighting to do. US President F D Roosevelt had pledged to the electorate, “We shall not send your sons abroad.”

Similar social deprivation existed in Britain. Millions of bread-winners were unemployed and unable to feed their families. There was no such thing as social security or benefits as we know them today. There was the means test, which meant that you would have to sell your furniture before the state would offer a meagre token of assistance. Such was the soul-destroying humiliation of wending one’s way through the vetting procedure that few took that course for the few shillings it might provide if successful.

Men in such distressing circumstances were entirely dependent upon family support. Many would turn their hand to whatever task they could, others openly begged on the streets. Alternatively, they would be obliged to ask for state assistance.

When veterans parade then respect not their contribution to the war effort. Respect instead that many wore uniform not to fight German infamies, but as a means of surviving their own government’s failings. ~ Michael Walsh

Related books: THE ALL LIES INVASION, WITNESS TO HISTORYTESTIGO DE LA HISTORIA: HISTORIA SIN CENSURA (SPANISH EDITION),  FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAKMEGACAUST, THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH, and DEATH OF A CITY

Art related books: Sculptures of the Third Reich: Arno Breker and Reich Sculptors, Volume I , Sculptures of the Third Reich: Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, Volume II, Porcelain of the Third Reich: Supreme Ceramics and Porcelain Lost to War, The Red Brigands, Ransacking the Reich by Michael Walsh.

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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WHEELEUROPE ARISE TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROESMEGACAUST,  DEATH OF A CITYWITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTERTHE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and IIFOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAKIMMORTAL BELOVEDTHE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG,  THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH ,    SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS  SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH:  JOSEF THORAK AND REICH SCULPTORS ,   The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS , SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S , PORCELAIN OF THE THIRD REICHSupreme Ceramics and Porcelain Lost to War and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

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MICHAEL WALSH is an Irish British-born journalist. His 70 books include best-selling historical books  THE ALL LIES INVASION, WITNESS TO HISTORYTESTIGO DE LA HISTORIA: HISTORIA SIN CENSURA (SPANISH EDITION),  REICH AND WRONG,  HEROES HANG WHEN TRAITORS TRIUMPH , HEROES OF THE REICH,  THE FUHRER’S PROCLAMATION TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE ,  FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAKMEGACAUST, THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH,    PORCELAIN OF THE THIRD REICHSupreme Ceramics and Porcelain Lost to War and  DEATH OF A CITY

MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 70 books include best-selling RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL, AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS,  THE LAST GLADIATORS, A Leopard in Liverpool, RISE OF THE SUN WHEELEUROPE ARISE, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, THE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II, and many other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

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Art related books: Sculptures of the Third Reich: Arno Breker and Reich Sculptors, Volume I , Sculptures of the Third Reich: Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, Volume II, Porcelain of the Third Reich: Supreme Ceramics and Porcelain Lost to War, The Red Brigands, Ransacking the Reich by Michael Walsh.

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4 replies »

  1. Great article, Mike. It was a little different in Canada. Every W W 2 serviceman I knew volunteered with something akin to pride. But, the reason was the slick propaganda and actually believing Britain could be lost to German aggression. Little did they know that Hitler had no intention of invading England and desired peaceful relations. Little did they know, Winston Churchill would bankrupt the British Empire over greed and self-aggrandizement. And, little did they know Franklin Delano Roosevelt would take every farthing the Empire had before committing troops to fight in Europe. Churchill and Roosevelt are considered heroes and Hitler is considered a scoundrel. What is being taught as history today is complete rubbish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lied about so much……………… ‘Television lies. All television lies. It lies persistently, instinctively and by habit. Everyone involved lies. A culture of mendacity surrounds the medium and those who work there live it, breathe it and prosper by it. I know of no area of public life – no, not even politics – more saturated by a professional cynicism. If you want a word that takes you to the core of it, I would offer ‘rigged’. ……… is it dishonest for the presenter to imply that the pundit in the chair is free to offer any opinion, when the truth is that 50 pundits were telephoned but only the fellow prepared to offer the requisite opinion was invited?’ ~ Matthew Pariss. British Press Awards Columnist of the Year. Daily Mail, 21st April 1996

      Like

      • I got rid of my television account some years back and am glad I did. I miss some sports, mainly football and tennis on the tube, but, I can always stream it from the internet. Without the constant bombardment of propaganda, my life has been much richer for this decision.

        Liked by 1 person

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