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Tell the War Stories?

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  • Dick.
    Tell the War Stories? [ Merlin, I slept under 105 m.m. cannon firing overhead. Not much sleep but I think low flying fighters are worse. F15 are really
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2012
      Tell the War Stories?

      [ Merlin, I slept under 105 m.m. cannon firing overhead. Not much sleep
      but I
      think low flying fighters are worse. F15 are really disruptive. We had a
      buzz the western part of the city. He hasn`t given a reason but he is
      debrifed and has been grounded. The local rag has interviewed a pearl
      harbour survivor. He was on the Nevada and stayed in the Navy for thirty
      years. He said it just rained death all day. The Nevada was run aground
      after taking 7 bomb hits. His ship group is now disbanded. There are so
      few left there is no one to participate. So tell those war stories, it
      is good to know what is really bad and what is just a hinderance. Thanks
      Merlin. Bill ]

      My wife keeps saying tell the war stories, and write them to
      organisations which collect them. But I don't really think that I am
      the right person to tell them; for two reasons. One being that I was
      only a boy, not a responsible adult. The other reason was that I knew
      (know) nothing about life before the war; so it was all I knew. The odd
      thing to me was when it ended and there was no war. Yet I am glad that I
      saw all that, for in doing so I saw the very best (as well as the worst)
      in humanity. I have never been as proud of humanity as I was during the
      six years of war.

      Unfortunately films (movies) don't tell this story. And much of the
      filmed documentaries during the war were nothing but propaganda. And
      British people never did talk like you see in old movies. They talked
      exactly the same as they talk today. And with all due respect all
      American war films are a pathetic joke. There was one very good TV
      documentary series called The World at War. About thirty hours of it if
      I recall. War is HORRIFIC. Religions talk of a hell, there is no hell,
      but war is worse than anything which religions could invent. And it
      isn't the dead who suffer, it is the living.

      Before too long there will be nobody around to speak of war such is in
      both of those wars. Try and imagine what it felt like being the only
      tiny country left in Europe standing alone, with nothing, no army, no
      equipment, no food, no prospects, in the face of that lot. Yet there
      wasn't a choice. It was survive or die. British people could not
      have lived that way under such a diabolical regime. It was not a chess

      Apart from Pearl Harbour America knew nothing about war, it still
      doesn't. True enough some Americans do for they took part in it, and
      they were over here. I remember them well. They have also instigated
      wars elsewhere since then and have lost enough of their people. You
      mentioned low flying aircraft attacking in the ships. Did you ever see
      the Stuka Dive Bombers machine gunning people in the streets who were
      going to work and going shopping? But the worst part was death falling
      from the sky every day for six years. The first war was more or less
      hand to hand fighting, but WW2 was a technological war. What if the
      Germans had had Spitfires? And what if they had got the atomic bomb
      first? Why don't veterans like talking about the war? Because words
      cannot describe it; and it is too horrific. Plus they want to forget it.
      But we must not forget it. Had you been a boy here in those days it
      would be writ larger in your memory too.

      But, you know, it is strange, for all the normal things of life still go
      on at such times. People are people are they not. The little things in
      life are the big things. And they always will be. But as for that first
      eight months of the bombing of London then I don't remember too much
      of it. Just bits here and there. We were bombed out right at the
      beginning of it and had no place to live. So I found myself down here
      close by to where I am living now in West Somerset, and just for a short
      while down near Plymouth when it too got obliterated while I was there.
      But we were only away for a short time and were soon back up in London
      again, where I stayed until I was seventeen. And then I left of my own
      accord. London died when the war ended, not while it was on. While it
      was on London was alive. But I think London died in the mid fifties.

      When I hear young historians talking about that war I just want to walk
      away, or scream. They have no idea what it was like, for they were not
      there. Talk to the people who were there. They know what it was like.
      Neither of my wives knew anything about it for one was not born and the
      first one was tucked well away from it all in the depths of the country.
      But all those who I knew who knew it are all long gone. I sure hope that
      humanity never ever sees anything like that again. Let alone lives under
      it all. But as for me then I am not qualified to speak of it really for
      I was only a boy, and you know what boys are like don't you. Life
      was new and it was all an adventure to be explored. The question here
      is as to who wanted war and why? We sure didn't. But when something
      is shoved upon you then what can you do? You get on with it. As did
      they. I am glad that I saw it. But it would have been better not to have
      had to have seen it. War and suffering like that is no way to live. So,
      mate, I have seen the best of times and the very worst of all times. The
      bitter and the sweet. What shall I do with it? Humanity is the best of
      it and the worst of it. Choose your path. Who wants to be a part of the
      best of it and who wants to be a part of the worst of it? A person can
      choose either way. That is our challenge; and our choice. As for war
      then it ought to be against those who want war. Those who see a profit
      in it.

      Dick Richardson

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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