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Thread: Unusual and unsung units

  1. #1
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    Default Unusual and unsung units

    A thread for units in all nations which were or are the opposite of the famous combat etc units which attract all the attention but which often would not have got very far without some of the unusual and unsung units.

    One of my favourites is the Canadian Forestry Corps in both world wars, which made a major contribution without going anywhere near the front:
    http://www3.nfb.ca/ww1/wartime-film.php?id=531249

    Australia had Farm Companies which, among other things, set up farms in Australia to provide fresh food to supplement tinned rations for troops moving through remote areas: http://www.anzacday.org.au/history/w...sty_track.html

    Many nations had botanists engaged in a wide range of activities of potential military value (all you'll get here is the first page unless you subscribe to jstor): http://www.jstor.org/pss/4354228

    None of it glamorous, but still important as part of the overall effort.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Unusual and unsung units

    Good topic, RS.

    Among others, in Britain, were the Bevin Boys

    Bevin Boys were young British men conscripted to work in the coal mines of the United Kingdom, from December 1943 until 1948[1]. Chosen at random from conscripts but also including volunteers, nearly 48,000 Bevin Boys performed vital but largely unrecognised service in the mines, many not being released until years after the Second World War. 10% of all conscripts 18-25 were picked for this service.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bevin_Boys

    The Womens Land Army
    The Women's Land Army (WLA) was a British civilian organization created during the First and Second World Wars to work in agriculture replacing men called up to the military. Women who worked for the WLA were commonly known as Land Girls.

    In effect the Land Army operated to place women with farms that needed workers, the farmers being their employers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_Land_Army


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: Unusual and unsung units

    I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the various "Native Auxiliaries" in both PNG, the Solomon Islands, and Malaysia for example.
    I have in mind here that in PNG, the Solomons, and elsewhere the local natives would often voluntarily be formed into stretcher-bearer parties and similar to evacuate wounded Allied soldiers from a combat zone. Very often, those same natives would go unacknowledged in the Official Histories, despite being regarded with great Thanks by the Allied troops. The Poem "Fuzzy-Wuzzy Angels" provides an unusually eloquent testament to the esteem in which in PNG native auxiliaries were held by Australian Troops.
    It is to be found in (of all things) a book by Martyn Page "For Gawdsake don't take Me!" Published in 1978.

    Kind and Respectful Regards RS*, Uyraell.
    Last edited by Uyraell; 07-11-2010 at 01:37 PM. Reason: Typo.

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    Default Re: Unusual and unsung units

    69th Mess Tin Repair Workshop (V) - Without their valiant efforts many a soldier's compo meal would have been eaten cold.
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

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    Default Re: Unusual and unsung units

    Not unusual in WWII, and must have been huge in Germany's horse drawn army, but now quaint are units and soldier specialists such as blacksmiths and saddlers associated with horses. For example http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb....shopftord.html
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Unusual and unsung units

    Quote Originally Posted by student-scaley View Post
    69th Mess Tin Repair Workshop (V) - Without their valiant efforts many a soldier's compo meal would have been eaten cold.
    Pardon my doubt, but this sounds like an invented unit for joke purposes. Was it a real unit?
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Unusual and unsung units

    Wehrmacht blacksmith in Russia:



    Not to forget an important element of every division:

    Bakery company:


    Butcher platoon:
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

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    Default

    Another one from a butcher unit. Doesn't look like a bad job...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

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    Default Re: Unusual and unsung units

    Quote Originally Posted by flamethrowerguy View Post
    Another one from a butcher unit. Doesn't look like a bad job...
    Looks like the quoits section.
    http://www.jjsoz.com.au/quoits/buy_quoits.html
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Unusual and unsung units

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Looks like the quoits section.
    http://www.jjsoz.com.au/quoits/buy_quoits.html
    Being a father of a 3-year-old I know this annoying game to the extreme incl. blisters on my fingers.
    When will they start to use soft rope instead of that barbed wire stuff?

    But my last photo rather shows something like that:
    http://www.germandeli.com/ringwurst.html
    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

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    Default Re: Unusual and unsung units

    Quote Originally Posted by flamethrowerguy View Post
    But my last photo rather shows something like that:
    http://www.germandeli.com/ringwurst.html
    True, but it also shows the best fed / beefiest and possibly happiest German troops I've seen.

    Which just confirms that the fighting troops in any army are never as well supplied as those further back who aren't doing any fighting.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Unusual and unsung units

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Pardon my doubt, but this sounds like an invented unit for joke purposes. Was it a real unit?
    What?!? You've never heard of the glorious 69th Mess Tin Repair Workshop (V)! Next you'll be telling me you haven't heard of the 1st Bn Loamshire regiment..
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

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    Default Re: Unusual and unsung units

    Quote Originally Posted by student-scaley View Post
    Next you'll be telling me you haven't heard of the 1st Bn Loamshire regiment..
    I have heard of the Loamshire Regiment.

    But so far as I am aware the 1st Bn, and any other Bns this vastly undistinguished unit might have had, at best distinguished itself as postal addresses. Not unlike Patton in his greatest feat of arms without leaving Britain.

    Unlike the NAOU, which had little need of post offices.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Unusual and unsung units

    Not heard of the 69th? Unbelieveable.

    There was a small team from Walter Reed Army Hospital attatched to 5th SGG in RVN.

    A few of them spent time at my camp in 1968 studying and treating the high incidence of Hookworm in the locals.

    I saw some GIs who ran a small water purifying rig and some others who sat about in tents with longtools repairing typewriters.
    M 1st trip there I sat next to a military court stenographer who practiced on a shorthand typewriter the whole trip.
    Lots of ither similar stories.
    Not everybody got to run aound looking for trouble.

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    Default Re: Unusual and unsung units

    Quote Originally Posted by forager View Post
    Not heard of the 69th? Unbelieveable.
    I know, it's not like their a made up unit like the bath & shower squadrons!
    "There is no country on the face of the earth to which the principle of citizen-soldiership is so well adapted as our own, for the freedom possessed by Britons is of so general and real a character as to cause the humblest in the land to feel deeply the neccessity of preserving the safety and independence of the nation of which he is a part"

    The Volunteer's book of facts 1863

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