invasion of sicily


Chips the War Doggie,

During World War II there was a great need for US Military service dogs, and to recruit more dogs a program was created where civilians could donate their pets for the cause. One such doggo was a German Shepherd/Collie?Siberian Husky mix named Chips. Chips took onto his military training quickly and he became a guard dog with the 3rd Infantry Division. He even guard President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during the Casablanca conference in 1943. However, it was in battle where Chips would show his bravery.

Chips took part in the invasion of Sicily on July/August of 1943. In one incident his platoon was pinned down by a hidden machine gun bunker. Chips broke loose from his handler and literally stormed the bunker, jumping through the firing slit and viciously biting the four Italian soldiers within. The soldiers ran out of the pillbox in terror and surrendered to the Americans. Chips was wounded in the action, and as a result was awarded the Purple Heart. In another incident Chips alerted his unit to an enemy ambush. During the ambush, he carried a phone line attached to his collar back to the rear so that his men could call for reinforcements. 

Chips would continue to serve on the Italian front, later took part in the Allied invasion of Southern France in August of 1944, and the subsequent invasion of Germany. He was discharged in December of 1945 and returned to his family.. Throughout his service, he performed many more brave acts, and never failed to alert his fellow soldiers to dangers such as incoming artillery, enemy aircraft, and enemy ambushes.  For his feats and bravery in the face of combat, he was award the Silver Star and the Distinguished Service Cross. Quite impressive for a humble doggo.

Chip’s fame spread across the United States which unfortunately led to a problem.  The Commander of the Order of the Purple Heart complained to both President Roosevelt and the War Department stating that by awarding medals to a mere dog they were demeaning the men who had also been decorated. As a result Chip’s medals were revoked and US policy was changed so that dogs were recognized as equipment, not combatants. 

sheilikhal  asked:

Actually need more wacky WWII hijinks because it gives me LIFE. PLEASE. PLEEEEASE.

hell yeah dude put on your learning pants because today we’re gonna talk about a guy named John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming “Mad Jack” Churchill

Jack Churchill was an English dude who had previously spent some time in the military, but by the time WWII rolled around was mostly spending his time dicking around and enjoying his favorite two perfectly ordinary hobbies- archery and bagpipes. He did archery for a couple movies and even won a number of bagpiping contests because dude was totally a weeaboo, but, like for Scotland instead of Japan. A wee-aboo (get it??? no? okay i’m sorry)

But then WWII breaks out and Jack Churchill cuts short his professional bagpiping career to re-join the Army, only this time he took said bagpipes with him, along with his bow and a mothafuckin longsword, because yeah that’s a totally normal thing that people do.

Like he was so over the top about this fuckin sword that he became known for the saying “any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed”, which presumably sounded cool then but nowadays sounds like something you’d see poorly photoshopped onto a picture of a dude wearing a fedora and holding a sword he bought for $20 from that one weird store in the mall

look real close at what the dude on the right is holding

As might be expected of a dude who brought AN ACTUAL LITERAL SWORD to the biggest gunfight in history, Churchill also pretty much immediately develops a reputation for being completely batshit, starting when his unit ambushes a German patrol in France.

“check this shit out” says Churchill, and then he straight up SHOOTS ANOTHER HUMAN BEING WITH A BOW AND ARROW IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 1940, becoming the only dude to kill another dude with a longbow in WWII because seriously what the fuck

after that, he joins the Commandos, because clearly the normal Army just wasn’t hardcore enough for a dude who willingly opts for a longbow instead of a gun in combat situations. During the Allied invasion of Sicily, he (complete with bow, longsword, and bagpipes) led his Commando unit in an attack on a town near Salerno, in which he:

  • “led personally the attack on a German 4 gun battery”
  • led a troop consisting of one guy on an advance into the town in which they personally captured 42 Germans (out of 100+ captured by the mission as a whole)
  • won a Distinguished Service Order for his “powers of endurance and the cool and unflinching manner in which he exposed himself to danger so that he seemed to bear a charmed life”

(from his recommendation for the VC. available via the National Archives)

eventually his luck ran out during a battle in Yugoslavia, where the story goes that he stood on a hilltop, all the men around him dead or wounded, and played “Will Ye No Come Back Again?” on the bagpipes until the Germans chucked a grenade at him. But even a grenade to the fucking face was not enough to kill Jack Churchill. Nothing was enough to kill Jack Churchill.

Instead, he was knocked unconscious, captured, and sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp with other VIPS, because in a literal sitcom of a situation the Germans had gotten him mixed up with Prime Minister Churchill’s brother (also named Jack)

fortunately the mix up didn’t end up mattering much since my dude Jack Churchill immediately escaped the camp anyway

he was recaptured shortly after and transferred to a new camp that was apparently more Mad Jack-proof because he stayed there for about 6 months before getting free (I found some conflicting accounts of how this was accomplished, whether by more Fuckin Extra Shenanigans or by the Nazis simply abandoning the camp) and then walking 150 km god damn kilometers until he met up with some Americans with whom he could fuck shit up until getting back to his own forces

he was eventually posted to Burma but the war ended p much just as he got there, which must have been a relief to anyone living in Burma who valued not having arrows in their vital organs

he stayed in the army after the war, eventually fighting in the middle east. To give you an idea of how he spent his later years, here’s a quote from his 1996 obituary:

When not engaged in military operations Jack Churchill was a quiet, unassuming man, though not above astonishing strangers for the fun of it. In his last job he would sometimes stand up on a train journey from London to his home, open the window and hurl out his briefcase, then calmly resume his seat. Fellow passengers looked on aghast, unaware that he had flung the briefcase into his own back garden.

what the fuck, Jack Churchill. what the fuck.


Fischia il vento 

I am naming this after the powerful song of the Italian Resistance. This depicts Romano exchanging information with a beaten and worn down France (Representing the French Resistance). I like the head cannon that Romano went behind his brother and helped the allies right before the invasion of Sicily in 1943. I also like to think that he played a hand in his people’s liberation of Naples that same year.

There are some obvious references to George deValier’s Bésame Mucho and Auf Wiedersehen, Sweetheart.

Romano- “I didn’t know you were still alive. You shouldn’t be wearing that band on your arm. You were always so flashy and obvious.”

France- “I wear it with pride. It is the symbol of my people. Besides, what more can they take from me? You are doing the right thing, you know?”

Romano- “Of course I know that, you bastard! I am done with my people suffering. Just.. Never tell Veneziano I played a role in this.”

Did Jerome Squalor lose VFD’s trained lions?

O, Jerome Squalor, what hasn’t been written about you?

Probably a lot. Professional doormats and wet blankets make for poor literary protagonists.

Now, Jerome seems to belong to Lemony’s cohort of friends and colleagues. It’s the generation commonly believed to be children/teenagers throughout “All The Wrong Questions” then adults in “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. However, he’s a bit of an oddball. Jerome indeed developed a close friendship with volunteers such as Jacques Snicket and the Baudelaire parents, and yet never became part of VFD until much later in life.

Have we ever considered why? It’s strange that his friends would keep their involvement in the organization a secret from him for so long. We see in “All The Wrong Questions” that Lemony wasn’t exactly shy of revealing a ton of VFD lore to the people he deemed worthy, once he had taken time to know them properly. Jerome, for some reason, was kept in the dark for YEARS.

This Sleuth believes his unique treatment was the consequence of an unfortunate event. We will modestly refer to it as “the snowy hook-up from hell”.

Find out more about this theory after the cut.

[NOTE TO READERS: I missed you too. It’s good to be back.]

Keep reading

Today marks the anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Sicily when U.S. Navy ships landed U.S. Army troops on the southern coast of Sicily. The Battle of Gela was the opening engagement of the battle, with the Allies securing a naval victory that convinced leaders of the importance of naval artillery, which was the case for USS Shubrick and some unfortunate Italian tanks. 


An American soldier inspects the hole from 75-mm shell in the side of a German tank Pz.Kpfw. VI “Tiger”. Italy, 1944.
Padded German tank Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. E “Tiger” 508 battalion of heavy tanks (schwere Panzer-Abteilung 508) and new Zealand American production tank M4 “Sherman” of the 20th armor regiment (20th Armoured Regiment) on the road between Giogoli (Giogoli) and the city of Saluzzo (Galuzzo) South of Florence.
Tiger Tank Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. H (tactical number “8”) heavy tank company Meyer (Schwere Panzer-Kompanie Meyer (s.Pz.Kp. Meyer). Own machine name “Strolch” (Vagabond). On the frontal armor of the emblem of the company — a shield with the Baltic cross (Baltenkreuz). The company was formed in July 1943 and sent to Italy in response to the invasion of allied troops on Sicily. In early 1944 the division became part of the 508-th heavy tank battalion (Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 508). Italy, July 1943.
Soldiers of the 5th US army, with the support of their tanks run past the wrecked and burned German heavy tank “Tiger” during the street fighting in Rome.
American soldiers of the 3rd infantry division of the U.S. examines the wrecked and burnt-out German tank Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf. E “Tiger” 508-th tank battalion at the entrance to the town of CORI (Cori). Tanks knocked out by allied aircraft. 24 may 1944 the battalion lost 7 tanks in Measles and 11 in the area of Giulianello. CORI, Italy may 28, 1944.
Two German tank Pz.Kpfw.VI “Tiger” go through the streets of the destroyed Italian city. 508 HTB
British soldiers inspect the abandoned “Tiger” №211 504 heavy tank battalion of the Wehrmacht (s.Pz.Abt. 504) on the road in Italy
Italian children playing on an abandoned German tank Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. H “Tiger” (no. 222) from the 504-th heavy tank battalion (504. S. Pz.Abt.). The machine is fitted with transport tracks.
German tank Pz.Kpfw. VI “Tiger” Ausf. E 508th Panzer battalion incapacitated by allied aircraft in CORI, Italy. 24 may 1944 the battalion lost 7 tanks in Measles and 11 in the area of Giulianello. May 31, 1944.
A British soldier examines a burnt-out German tank Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. H “Tiger”.

anonymous asked:

Before I get to my question, Lovino could be deprived from the name Lovinus "little wolf", and it is an actual name despite belief, just rarely used. Now to my question: WWII, do you know how happy the South Italians were when the Allies started invading? I remember reading somewhere that many were happy when the Americans came. I know Romano joined the Allies in WWII, I just want to know the reception from his people. (This was hard, I didn't want to bring up politic/current issues..)

I’ve never really heard of the name Lovinus, besides, the Latin word for wolf is ‘lupus’ so such a thing would be derived from that. I’m sorry, but, you didn’t really fact check that and it’s very much not true. The closest thing in Latin that would mean ‘little wolf’ would be along the lines of Lupulus? Lovino is not a name. There is no record on it. Lovinus is not a word. No record on it. I don’t know where you heard that, but, it’s not true.

The closest thing to it is Rovino, which would loosely be around meaning ‘I ruin, I fall, I spoil’, and could’ve been a mistranslation through Japanese (give the L to R translations). This, still, is not a name. It’s just a word.

The most likely name, is Lavinio. This is heard from my Italian friends themselves, that’s probably what it’s from. Lavinio is still a incredibly uncommon name, and I have no idea what it means because of how little there is on it. So, all three options are out. No, it does not mean little wolf.

On to the invasion: mixed feelings, overall. Yes, it was liberation from German occupation, therefore many people were happy and praised the Americans and helped them, but there was still a lot of harm done by the Allies (which is common and overlooked, since the winners write history); Allies bombed and shelled the island of Sicily and other parts, mainly Naples.

Naples had suffered hundreds of bombings and air raids from the Allies, in their means to ‘liberate it’, they had killed upwards of tens of thousands of civilians, though their target was supposedly the Germans. This would lead up to what is known as the ‘Four Days of Naples’. 

So, while the Germans had been ordered to reduce the city to “cinders and mud”, the Allies were already doing that for them, destroying many buildings, many homes. This combined effort left the city in such shambles, as well as most of the rest of southern Italy, that even 20 to 30 years later a lot of it wasn’t repaired due to it’s economical state (a general fact, but also a first-hand experience from my grandmother who visited family in Calabria). 

Neapolitans tried to be their own heros, the Italian resistance and the carabinieri doing their part to drive occupiers out. (Apparently Naples was award the Gold Medal of Military Valor for this, I didn’t know that!)

Of course, any country that went through the hell they did would be happy to see heroes, there’s plenty of pictures of this happiness:

An Italian civilian policeman provides an American soldier a refreshing drink of water following Operation Husky: the Allied invasion of Sicily and the capture of the town of Troina from Axis forces. (Troina, August 1943)

A British Army soldier of the Eighth Army waves to Italian civilians who have adorned him with flowers following the liberation of the Sicilian city of Catania during the Allied invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky).

An Italian woman kisses the hand of a soldier of the U.S. Fifth Army after troops move into Naples in their invasion and advance northward in Italy, on October 10, 1943.

So, overall, there’s mixed feelings around this. Civilians were harmed but most were elated to have refuge from the Allies, who provided aid, but there’s still ill feelings around the bombings and air raids, even if not blatant because - again - the winners are the ones who write the history.

( Sources: x x x x

Also, around this topic, I love the book – while historical fiction – ‘Fire in the Hills’, a sequel to Stones in Water, by Donna Jo Napoli. It is honestly one of my favorite books in the entire world. It revovles around this specific period, the liberation from German occupation, and the Italian resistance (my favorite part). It talks about the resistance and how they fought to liberate Naples, and how it moved north to liberate them as well. 

It’s also not entirely antagonistic of Germans or Allies, which is usually a problem with WW2 fiction, as the main characters befriend German resistance members that are in Italy, and work with the Allies while also showing how both sides harmed Italy.

And, if you’re wondering, Romano has mixed feelings towards America for this as well, holding a grudge for the harm caused but still appreciate the aid in a definite time of need (though it’s not spoken appreciation).

Winston bloody Churchill should be here…get some of that fricking fat off him.
—  an anonymous marine preparing to embark on the invasion of Sicily as recorded in Marine Commando:  Sicily and Salerno, 1943 with 41 Royal Marines Commando by Raymond Mitchell

anonymous asked:

So what if I want to fight some Chancellors of the Exchequer?

I am both flattered and extremely concerned that months after making this post I am still tumblr’s de facto authority on political pugilism but, hey ho-

Who you should fight: British Chancellors of the Exchequer, 1945 - 2015

Hugh Dalton: “… he was awarded the Italian decoration, the Medaglia di Bronzo al Valor Militare, in recognition of his ‘contempt for danger’…” 

Mate. No.

Stafford Cripps: It should be impossible to lose- he is bald, birdlike, teetotal, and vegetarian- but you will. Do not fight him. 

Hugh Gaitskell: Look, I’m not doing Prime Ministers and opposition leaders all over again I like to pretend I’m not that sad.

Rab Butler: Like ‘Jeb Bush’, this is a stupid nickname because ‘Rab’ stands for ‘Richard Austen Butler’ so you’re basically saying ‘Richard Austen Butler Butler’- what do you mean, how does this help you fight him? Of course you want to fight him, look at the fuckup he’s made of his own name.

Peter Thorneycroft: This guy is top-notch in my book because he called Macmillan out on being a profligate good-times little shit and just walked. Also served with the Royal Artillery. Would not fight.

Derick Heathcoat-Amory: Who

Selwyn Lloyd: What 

Reginald Maudling: Fight himmmmm (but you will die).

Roy Jenkins: That’s Captain Roy Jenkins to you, and I wouldn’t try it, sunshine.

Denis Healey: “After graduation, Healey served in the Second World War in the army initially as a gunner in the Royal Artillery but was commissioned as a second lieutenant in April 1941. Serving with the Royal Engineers, he saw action in the North African campaign, the Allied invasion of Sicily and the Italian campaign, and was the military landing officer for the British assault brigade at Anzio. He was made an MBE in 1945. Leaving the service with the rank of major after the war – he declined an offer to remain as a lieutenant colonel – Healey joined the Labour Party. Still in uniform, Healey gave a strongly left-wing speech to the Labour Party conference…”

…I mean, you can try if you like. But he will kick your ass and then think of a pithy insult to go with it, so I can’t recommend it.

Geoffrey Howe: Ever wanted to get savaged by a dead sheep? Here’s your chance. You can fight him and you can win. Unless your name is Margaret Thatcher.

Nigel Lawson: Nigella’s dad. Do you want to piss off Nigella Lawson? No? Thought not. Do not fight.

Norman Lamont: A member of something called the ‘Cambridge Mafia,’ which predictably is infinitely less hardcore than it sounds, this is nonetheless one former investment banker you really oughtn’t mess with. He puts whisky in his budget box. He takes the UK out of the ERM. He puts the ‘fuck you all up’ in ‘Conservative Chancellor’.

Kenneth Clarke: On the one hand, his nickname is ‘the Big Beast,’ and he survived over 20 years under Thatcher, Thatcher, Destroyer of Worlds. On the other, wears Hush Puppies, so who knows.

Gordon Brown: I know I said I wasn’t doing Prime Ministers but this man was literally known as the ‘big clunking fist,’ as Chancellor he is indestructible and the heaviest of political heavyweights, do not fight if you value your life.

Alistair Darling: You could fight him, but he is gentle and sweet and boring and tired and Scottish, and your victory would be hollow.

George Osborne: “…he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company…”

“Lieutenant Colonel Lyle Bernard, Colorado, 30th Infantry Regiment., a prominent figure in the second daring amphibious landing behind enemy lines on Sicily’s north coast, discusses military strategy with Lieutenant General George S. Patton. Near Brolo., 1943”

On August 11, 1943, Lt. Col. Bernard led an amphibious assault on German forces near Brolo, Sicily.  This photo was likely taken a day or two afterwards as Patton resumed his drive for Messina.