Operation Blackcock-The battle of the Roer Triangle

History of Sorts

roer_triangle_mapOperation Blackcock was a World War II military operation carried out by the 7th Armoured Division, the 43rd Wessex Division, and the 52nd Lowland Division, from the British 2nd Army, to clear the Roer Triangle formed by the towns of Roermond, Sittard and Heinsberg, near the Roer River, on the border between the Netherlands  and Germany, from January 14 to January 26, 1945.

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Operation Blackcock was planned and executed along three axis. The left axis, constituted by 7 Armourd Division, captured the bridge across the Roer in Sint Odiliënberg. The centre axis, formed by the 52nd Lowland Division, took Heinsberg. The right axis cleared the area south-east of Dremmen and was conducted by the 43rd Wessex Division. This axis would use the break in the German defense line that was to be created by the Lowland Division.

A turning point in Operation Blackcock was the battle for the Dutch village of Sint…

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Herbert Brenon-Forgotten Irish Oscar nominated Movie Director

History of Sorts

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I pride myself to be a bit of a movie buff, but to my amazement I had never heard of this Oscar nominated and ‘Photo Play-Medal of Honor’ winner.

Today marks his 139th birthday. He has been credited for directing at least 124 movies and shorts, which is an amazing feat by any measure.

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Herbert Brenon (13 January 1880 – 21 June 1958) born Alexander Herbert Reginald St. John Brenon was an Irish film director, actor and screenwriter during the era of silent movies through the 1930s.

He was born at 25 Crosthwaite Park, in Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, to journalist, poet and politician Edward St John Brenon and Francis Harries.

In 1882, the family moved to London, where Herbert was educated at St Paul’s School and at King’s College London.

Before becoming a director, he performed in vaudeville acts with his wife, Helen Oberg. Started as a stagehand…

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The tragic life of John Paul Getty III

History of Sorts

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Most people will be aware of the name Getty be it from Getty Oil or Getty Images

Getty Oil was founded by J.Paul Getty sr. in 1957 Fortune magazine named him the richest living American,while the 1966 Guinness Book of Records named him as the world’s richest private citizen, worth an estimated $1.2 billion (approximately $8.8 billion in 2016).At his death, he was worth more than $2 billion (approximately $8.3 billion in 2016). A book published in 1996 ranked him as the 67th richest American who ever lived, based on his wealth as a percentage of the gross national product.

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Despite his wealth, Getty was notably frugal.Getty famously had a pay phone installed at Sutton Place, helping to seal his reputation as a miser. Getty placed dial-locks on all the regular telephones, limiting their use to authorized staff, and the coin-box telephone was installed for others.

He famously negotiated his grandson’s, John Paul Getty…

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Love and War

History of Sorts

It wasn’t only death and destruction during WWII, sometimes there was time for a bit of romance and love.

Whispering sweet nothings

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US Army Nurse kissing a Corporal. They were just married

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A daughter awaiting her father’s arrival home

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This “no, no, not yet” goodbye

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Welcome home, a family re-united.

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The kisses and tears of a goodbye between soldiers and their sweethearts after a brief leave in 1944, at Penn Station, New York City

A Canadian soldier and his new British girlfriend

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A soldier’s day off, might as well make the most of it.

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The Sacrifice

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Marlene Dietrich

History of Sorts

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On her birthday it is time to look back at Marlene Dietrich’s WWII efforts.

Marie MagdaleneMarleneDietrich ( 27 December 1901 – 6 May 1992)was a German actress and singer who held both German and American citizenship. Throughout her unusually long career, which spanned from the 1910s to the 1980s, she maintained popularity by continually reinventing herself.

In the 1920s in Berlin, Dietrich acted on the stage and in silent films. Her performance as Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel (1930) brought her international fame and resulted in a contract with Paramount Pictures.

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Dietrich starred in Hollywood films such as Morocco (1930), Shanghai Express (1932), and Desire (1936). She successfully traded on her glamorous persona and “exotic” looks, and became one of the highest-paid actresses of the era. Throughout World War II, she was a high-profile entertainer in the United States.

Dietrich was known to have strong political convictions and…

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Pan Am Flight 103-Lockerbie

History of Sorts

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Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Pan Am Flight 103,Lockerbie bombing

I am not going in to great detail into the story because so much has already been written about the terror attack. I will highlight some of the passengers stories.

A total of 270 people, including young children and students, died in the air and on the ground in the 1988 attack.

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Four days before Christmas 1988, Bruce Smith received a frantic call from his son that Pan Am Flight 103, en route from London to New York, had blown up.

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Smith, a Pan Am pilot who had flown the same kind of plane on the same route, raced to New York’s Kennedy International Airport and arrived in the crew room in time to see live television pictures of the fire ignited by the crashing fuselage in Lockerbie, Scotland. He knew almost instantly that his wife, Ingrid…

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The real Edmund Reid

History of Sorts

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I absolutely love the BBC/Amazon Prime TV Drama “Ripper Street” and I think the last season was the best season so far.

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I only found out recently that the main character in the show was based on the actual inspector in the Jack the Ripper case, Edmund Reid.

Detective Inspector Edmund John James Reid (21 March 1846 in Canterbury, Kent – 5 December 1917 at Herne Bay, Kent) was the head of the CID in the Metropolitan Police’s H Division at the time of the Whitechapel murders of Jack the Ripper in 1888.

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Edmund Reid was born in Canterbury, Kent in 1846. Prior to joining the police he worked as a grocer’s delivery boy, a pastry-cook and a ship’s steward before joining up in 1872 (Warrant no. 56100), serving in P Division (Camberwell). At the time of his joining he was the shortest man in the police force – at…

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Pearl Harbor

History of Sorts

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Today marks the 77th anniversary of Japan’s biggest mistake in WWII, the attack on Pearl Harbor

Allegedly Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” after the attack and he was proven to be right.

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Inevitably the US would have been involved at some stage but the Pearl Harbor attacks made them more determined.

Rather then going into too much detail of that fateful day I will post pictures below,because after all a picture paints a thousands words.

The Media:

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USS Arizona

Mortally Wounded and Sinking

USS West Virginia and USS Tennessee

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The Attack

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The aftermath

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The Violent Water Polo Match

History of Sorts

Water polo is not really known to be a violent sport .However today 60 years ago during the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games a Water polo match between Hungary and the Soviet Unions nearly resembled a world was 2 sea battle.

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The “Blood in the Water” match was a water polo match between Hungary and the USSR at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The match took place on 6 December 1956 against the background of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and saw Hungary defeat the USSR 4–0. The name was coined after Hungarian player Ervin Zádor emerged during the last two minutes with blood pouring from above his eye after being punched by Soviet player Valentin Prokopov

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In the morning before the start, the Hungarians had created a strategy to taunt the Russians, whose language they had studied in school. In the words of Ervin Zádor: “We had decided to try and…

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WWII Christmas Dinner

History of Sorts

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When we think of Christmas dinner now, we think of indulgence a non stop culinary feast, an abundance of food and drink.

During WWII however, it was anything but that. In most occupied countries people were trying to survive on very little food. In the US, UK and Canada food was rationed.Rationing was introduced in stages during the war, and it was one of the most concrete ways  life on the home front was impacted, Stamps and coupons were distributed to the homes as the means of rationing.

But people were innovative and still enjoyed Christmas meals during WWII albeit in a different configuration, even on the battlefield.

It could be argued that those Christmas dinners were better, not because of the quality but because they were real treats and would be appreciated more.

Below is just an example of a WWII Christmas recipe, try it out some day.

Christmas…

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