commonwealth forces


On 7 July 1941 a Wellington bomber of the Royal Air Force was making for home after striking the German city of Münster, in the Rhineland, when it was caught by a Bf 110 night fighter. The resulting damage sustained caused a fuel leak from the starboard wing, beginning a fire at the rear of the starboard engine. The crew made a hole in the fuselage and attempted to douse the flames with extinguishers and coffee from their flasks to no effect. They were left with little option but to abandon the aircraft until a 22-year-old James Allen Ward, a sergeant pilot from New Zealand, volunteered for a last ditch effort to put out the fire. What ensued is simply incredible.

Ward climbed out of the astrodome in the roof of the fuselage - there for celestial navigation and labelled ‘1.’ in the second photograph - with a fire axe in hand. Once out of the aircraft, he put on a parachute and cutting holes in the fabric skin of the Wellington for purchase made his way down onto the wing and across to the burning engine, all while the aircraft was in flight at as best a reduced speed as could be managed. Nearly blown from the wing by the  slipstream from the propeller a few feet ahead, he managed to extinguish the fire and by removing fabric from the area later starved another fire from material to burn. With difficulty he made it safely back into the aircraft, which limped home and made a successful landing.

Ward won the Victoria Cross for his phenomenal efforts, a rare case of doing so and surviving. Sadly however, he was killed on 15 September the same year, still just 22. Piloting another Wellington, his aircraft was hit by flak over Hamburg, Germany; two of the five crew survived. He is buried in the Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in Hamburg.


A one armed Gurkha is more dangerous than 200 Japanese soldiers.

In May of 1945, World War II companies B and C of the 4th and 8th Gurkha rifles found themselves in the unenviable position of being surrounding by Japanese forces in Burma.  On the night of May 12th, Havildar Lachhiman Gurung was stationed with two other soldiers in an outpost guarding his company’s position when suddenly he was assaulted by 200 Japanese soldiers.  The Japanese began by throwing grenades at his foxhole, badly wounding his two comrades.  Gurung grabbed the live grenades and chucked them back at the enemy.  One exploded in his hand, blowing off his arm and blinding him in his right eye.  Undeterred by the grievous wound, Gurung held his ground and continued to fight.  With his left hand, he managed to work the bolt of his Lee Enfield rifle, gunning down the enemy by shooting the rifle with one hand. Often he would hide, then surprise the enemy when they closed in on his position, shooting them at point blank range.  For four hours Gurung fought.  According to soldiers of his company a mere 100 yards away (who were also under attack) he could be heard shouting, “Come and fight a Gurkha!” When Gurung was finally relieved, he was found surrounded by 31 dead enemy soldiers.  Recalling the incident, Gurung states,

“I had to fight because there was no other way. I felt I was going to die anyway, so I might as have died standing on my feet. All I knew was that I had to go on and hold them back. I am glad that I helped the other soldiers in my platoon, but they would have all done the same thing.”

For gallantry and bravery, Gurung was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest honor given by British and Commonwealth Forces. Despite losing an arm, Gurung refused to leave the service, and continued to serve with his unit until the end of the war.

After the war Gurung moved to the UK where he became a farmer.  In 2008 the British Government refused the immigration requests of 2,000 Gurkha soldiers who had served in the British Army, many of whom were veterans of the Falklands War and the Gulf War, citing that they had "failed to demonstrate strong ties to the UK”. Gurung became the main spokesman for Gurkha rights, helping convince a high court that the law was unjust in 2009.

Lachhiman Gurung passed away in 2010, leaving behind a wife and 5 children, one of whom is an officer in the 8th Gurkha Rifles.

Fallout 4 wasn’t perfect and has disappointing flaws, but I’m also thankful I got to make a middle-aged, bisexual woman who’s capability is never really questioned, who’s never really pigeon-holed into “just being a mom”, and gets to write her own story, make her own friends and enemies, build her own political agreements, find her own lovers, and isn’t punished by the storyline for building a rich, developed life for herself.

I can’t emphasize enough how fulfilling it is for me to be able to play an older female character like I can in Fallout 4.

Chevrolet C8 Portee with 2 pounder anti-tank gun in the Muckleburgh Collection, Norfolk, UK.

A portee is a truck that carries a gun on its bed, such that the gun is not fixed permanently to the vehicle.

While the term portee can be used to denote any truck carrying a gun on its bed, it is most often used to describe equipment used by British/Commonwealth forces in the North African Campaign of World War II.

“A squadron of Bren gun carriers, manned by the Australian Light Cavalry, rolls through the Egyptian desert in January of 1941. The troops performed maneuvers in preparation for the Allied campaign in North Africa.”


You know what?

I think most people were disappointed with some of the FO4 dlc because – once again – we were railroaded into defining our character, instead of being allowed to define our character for ourself – which is the entire *point* of role playing.

In the base game, we are railroaded into being a good little suburban parent who doesn’t mind dropping the search for their missing and potentially dead son in order to help every single person in the Commonwealth. We were forced to be good, which is not what role playing is about.

Role playing is about choice. The choice to define your character as you will. It’s not about assuming the role of the preestablished character that the writers wanted you to be (that’s a JRPG). It’s about being handed a blank slate with a vague background and defining for yourself how this character fits into the given world and lore.

We were never once allowed to do this with Nate and Nora. In the base game, we are forced to be good – even if we play a sarcastic asshole who complains, they are still forced to help out, which renders the entire dialogue wheel practically pointless when all dialogue choices lead to the same result.

Settlement building is not a choice, it’s something that’s crammed down our throats, because the developers wanted us to always have an option for defeating the Institute, that option being the Minutemen. Honestly? I think they should have allowed us to choose to ignore the Minutemen if we wanted, and if we wound up with no help against the Institute at all, we’d be forced to join the Institute or destroy it on our own – a consequence to our choices! Fancy that!

The point is, we were so railroaded into being good that when dlc finally gave us the option to be evil, it made zero sense. And once again, it was not really an “option.” If you buy Vault Tec Workshop and Nuka World, you are punished for choosing the “good” path by not getting to see the content. We are railroaded – once again – into defining our character, only this time it’s in a way that makes *zero sense* for the way we were forced to play them before.

Why in god’s name would the Sole Survivor – who spends the entire game discovering the grissly experiments of Vault Tec and is a result of a grissly experiment themselves – suddenly work with this evil faction??? It’s kinda like Akuze!Shepard being forced to work with Cerberus, only the SS has no good reason to be joining a faction that once screwed them over, while Shepard was using Cerberus to save the galaxy because no one else would.

Again with Nuka World, why would the Sole Survivor suddenly join up with raiders after we’ve been forced to hate them for the entire base game? And then if you take the good path, you are punished for it by missing out on half the dlc. The good path should have been just as rewarding as the evil path. Why not make the SS take over Nuka World as another settlement? Why not allow us to control the trade center and lead the traders and maybe even make easy money off them???? Why punish us for not following yet another set of railroaded choices????

You can’t even choose to dislike Gage. SS is forced to be all buddy buddy with him, cracking jokes and tiptoeing around leading the raiders, when the dlc can not continue until you say you will be overboss. No choice. No choice to define how our character feels about the situation. The dialogue is exactly the same. You can refuse the job, crack a joke, take the job, ask a question, but in the end, you will still be Overboss or just miss out on the content.

Once again, we are shoehorned into a role, and if we don’t play along, we are punished for it. The obvious solution was to make both the evil path and the good path equally rewarding, but Bethesda totally failed at this. In an attempt to please fans who hated being railroaded into a good character, they – once again – totally disregarded what we really wanted.

What do we want, Bethesda? To role play. To ROLE PLAY goddammit.

Why don’t you figure out what role playing is before you make another game?


Musee des Blindés Part 20

1) BTR-50. Russian amphibious APC based on the PT-76’s chassis. Unlike the rest if he BTR series, the BTR-50 is tracked. the BTR-50 has a flat, boat-shaped hull and is made of all-welded steel. It has the ability to transport up to 20 fully equipped infantrymen, who sit on benches that run across the full width of the troop compartment. They mount and dismount the APC by climbing over the sides of the hull. This example is in a bad state and was probably captured in the 1991 Gulf Souvenir Shopping Trip.

BTR-50. Transporte de personal blindado anfibio basado en el chasis del PT-76. Al contrario del resto de la serie BTR, el BTR-50 usa orugas. Este vehículo tiene un casco de fondo plano en forma de bote hecho de acero soldado. Tiene la capacidad de transportar hasta 20 soldados totalmente equipados, quienes se sientan en bancas que recorren todo el compartimiento de tropas de forma longitudinal. Se montan y desmontan del vehículo escalando por los lados del casco. Este ejemplo esta en mal estado y fue probablemente capturado en 1991.  

2 & 3) Sexton. Canadian SPG from WWII. It was based on Canadian-built versions of the M3 Lee and M4 Sherman tank chassis. The Sexton mounted a 25-pounder gun (3.25-inches) firing a 11.5 kg (25 lb) shell. It found use in the Canadian and British Army, as well as numerous other Commonwealth and associated forces. Just after the war, a number of Grizzly and Sextons were sold to Portugal, who used them into the 1980s.

Sexton. Cañón autopropulsado canadiense de la SGM. Basado en los chasis de las versiones canadienses de los tanques M3 Lee y M4 Sherman. El vehículo montaba un cañón de 17 libras (83 mm) que disparaba un proyectil de 11.5 kg. Encontró uso en los ejércitos canadienses y británicos, junto con otras fuerzas del Commonwealth y asociados. Justo antes de la guerra, cierto numero de Sextons fueron vendidos a Portugal, quienes los usaron hasta los 80.   

4) M47 Patton. American medium tank of the postwar period. It was a development of the M46 tank mounting an updated turret and was in turn further developed as the M48 Patton. The M47 was the U.S. military’s primary tank, intended to replace the M46 and M4 medium tanks. The M47 was widely used by U.S. Cold War allies and was the only Patton series tank that never saw combat while in US service.

M47 Patton. Tanque estadounidense mediano del periodo de la posguerra. Fue un desarrollo del tanque M46, que montaba una torreta actualizada, y que a su vez fue desarrollado como el M48 Patton. El M47 fue el tanque primario estadounidense, destinado a reemplazar los tanques medianos M46 y M4. El M47 fue ampliamente usado por países aliados a los estadounidenses de la guerra fría, y fue el único tanque de la serie Patton que nunca vio combate durante su servicio con los EE.UU.

5) M48 Patton. American MBT of the Cold War. It was a further development of the M47 Patton tank. The M48 Patton was in U.S. service until replaced by the M60 and served as the U.S. Army and USMC’s primary battle tank in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was widely used by U.S. Cold War allies, especially other NATO countries.

M48 Patton. Tanque de combate principal estadounidense de la Guerra Fría. Fue un desarrollo posterior del tanque M47 Patton. El M48 estuvo en servicio estadounidense hasta que fue reemplazado por el M60, y sirvió como el tanque principal del ejercito y cuerpo de infantes de marina en el sur de Vietnam durante la Guerra de Vietnam. Fue ampliamente usado por aliados de la Guerra Fría de los EE.UU., especialmente por otros países de la OTAN. 

6) M60. American MBT of the Cold War, successor to the M48 Patton and M103 in 1960. With the deactivation of the last heavy tank battalion in 1963, the M60 became the Army’s primary tank during the Cold War. Although developed from the M48 Patton, the M60 series was never officially classified as a Patton tank. Rather, in March 1959, the tank was officially standardized as the cumbersome “105 mm Gun Full Tracked Combat Tank M60.” The M60 was in service at least until the Gulf War as an engineering tank.

M60. TCP estadounidense de la Guerra Fría, sucesor del M48 Patton y M103 en 1960. Con la desactivación del ultimo batallón de tanques pesados en 1963, el M60 se convirtió en el principal tanque del ejercito durante la Guerra Fría. Aunque desarrollado a partir del M48 Patton, el M60 nunca fue clasificado oficialmente como parte de la serie Patton. En vez de eso, en marzo de 1959, el tanque fue oficialmente estandarizado como el bien engorroso “105 mm Gun Full Tracked Combat Tank M60” (NDT: Si wikipedia no tradujo ese trabalenguas, ¡menos lo voy a hacer yo!). El M60 estuvo en servicio al menos hasta la Guerra del Golfo Pérsico como tanque de ingenieros. 

7 & 8) PT-76B. Russian amphibious light tank of the Cold War and one of the few light tanks developed during that period. The PT-76 is used in the reconnaissance and fire-support roles. Its chassis served as the basis for a number of other vehicle designs, many of them amphibious, including the BTR-50, ZSU-23-4, ASU-85 and 2K12 Kub. The PT-76B variant has an improved gun, new muzzle brake and Fume extractor, a revised hull height, added a spotlight and upgraded NV and NBC systems.

PT-76B. Tanque anfibio ligero ruso (sovietico) de la Guerra Fría, y uno de los pocos tanques ligeros desarrollado durante ese periodo. El PT-76 esa usado en los roles de reconocimiento y apoyo de fuego. Su chasis sirvio como base para otros diseños de vehiculos, muchos de ellos anfibios, incluyendo el BTR-50, ZSU-23-4, ASU-85 y 2K12 Kub. La variante B tiene un cañón mejorado, nuevo freno de boca y extractor de humos, una altura revisada del casco, una luz de búsqueda añadida, y sistemas NV y NBC actualizados. 

9) Panzer 61 AA9. Swiss tank of the Cold War period. It was domestically developed in the 1959s when the Swiss government failed to procure modern tanks from abroad. It was constantly upgraded throughout service, doing away with a 20mm coaxial gun, replacing a domestically made 90-mm main gun with a British 105-mm L7. The AA9 variant has both of these revisions.

Panzer 61 AA9 Tanque suizo del periodo de la Guerra Fría. Fue desarrollado a nivel nacional en el 59 cuando el gobierno suizo falló en adquirir un tanque moderno en el mercado. Fue actualizado constantemente durante su servicio, deshaciéndose del cañón coaxial de 20 mm, reemplazando su cañón nacional de 90 mm con un L7 británico de 105 mm. La variante AA9 tiene ambas revisiones.  

Submitted by panzerfluch. Traducción por mi. 

April 28, 1917 - Battle of Arleux

Pictured - British cavalry rest on the road.

British and Canadian troops attacked the town of Arleux on April 28, hoping to pin down German reinforcements from heading to the French sectors of the Western Front. Haig reported: “With a view to economising my troops, my objectives were shallow and for a like reason and also in order to give the appearance of an attack on a more imposing scale, demonstrations were continued southwards to the Arras-Cambrai Road and northwards to the Souchez River.” Casualties were moderate for both sides, but after heavy hand-to-hand fighting the Commonwealth forces took their objectives.

Commonwealth troops from New Zealand leave a Malayan village northwest of Ber base, circa 27 July 1958, during the Malayan Emergency (1948-1960). Search and Destroy tactics became a large component of the military strategy for commonwealth forces fighting this guerrilla war against a communist insurgency. Similar scenes would soon be seen again in the Far East as American forces entered into the fray of Vietnam.