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Thread: Generals who also carried rifles.

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Generals who also carried rifles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    A seminal picture of Gen. Matthew Ridgway from the Korean War, one of America's finest, and most underrated twentieth century generals IMHO. This pic is a classic denoting the "pineapple" grenade he wore in Korea. I'm not sure if he wore it in WWII as commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, but it was worn not so much as a 'final option' as it was to set an example for his initially beleaguered army in Korea that was in dire need of retraining after MacArthur's debacle and subsequent dismissal. The U.S. Army's combat performance was vastly improved by Ridgway's leadership and insistence on reestablishing basic infantry fundamentals and training the Army had largely ignored during post-war era of anticipated atomic "push-button" warfare...

    *Incidentally, Ridgway's nickname was "Old Iron Tits" lol...

    Great pic. Also from the Korean War, General Walton Walker, who abely led the fight until his death in a vehicle accident. Since he was one of those type of generals who was always was all over the battlefield visiting the troops, I bet he always had a rifle handy too.

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Generals who also carried rifles.

    For example I can mention Gen. Annibale Bergonzoli "Barba elettrica" ("Electric shave") that during a first line inspection lead personally a counterattack of his troops even in bayonet clash. The fact happened during the war of Spain in september 1937 and was reported in Italian and Nationalist magazines and newspapers.
    Last edited by DVX; 07-16-2012 at 05:09 PM.

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Generals who also carried rifles.

    General Maletti who was killed at Nibeiwa Fort was (according to various reports) killed while manning an LMG (against Matilda II's), attacking out of his dugout with an SMG or while directing his anti-tank guns personally (although this report also claimed they destroyed 35 of 57 Matilda II's employed in the attack, quite a feat as 7RTR had 48 tanks and not all were used in the assault).

    No matter how he was killed though all reports I have seen, have him personally fighting to the end.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Generals who also carried rifles.

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    General Maletti who was killed at Nibeiwa Fort was (according to various reports) killed while manning an LMG (against Matilda II's), attacking out of his dugout with an SMG or while directing his anti-tank guns personally (although this report also claimed they destroyed 35 of 57 Matilda II's employed in the attack, quite a feat as 7RTR had 48 tanks and not all were used in the assault).

    No matter how he was killed though all reports I have seen, have him personally fighting to the end.
    Leccy, btw, have a look to this page (help yourself with google translate, even if part of text is in English) I think you can find it interesting. (And I add that the picture in article has been taken from this site and comes from those posted by me :-D )

    http://www.difesa24.it/post/Matilda-...i-Compass.aspx

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Generals who also carried rifles.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVX View Post
    Leccy, btw, have a look to this page (help yourself with google translate, even if part of text is in English) I think you can find it interesting. (And I add that the picture in article has been taken from this site and comes from those posted by me :-D )

    http://www.difesa24.it/post/Matilda-...i-Compass.aspx
    Reading the thread there are some things omitted about 7RTR and its Matilda II's. The Regt rarely fought as a single entity and when attacking the camps was actually split up with parts being sent to different camps, after attacking some of the Infantry commanders refused to release the Matilda's (claiming they needed them in case of an Italian counter attack) so further reducing the numbers available. Many others suffered jammed turrets (after the first action the REME crews carried oxy- acetylene to gut the shell splinters). In some case tanks without working guns or jammed turrets were sent into action for the morale boost.

    I am going back home this weekend hopefully so will see if I can dig out my list of when and where the Matilda II's were during the battle of the camps. May even still have copies of 7 RTR daily report logs for the period.

    Regards Nibeiwa itself, it was a very tough fight and if I recall the light's and cruisers had attempted to attack once already but suffered heavily from Italian artillery fire. It was not the only time the Italians fought hard and earned the respect of the British Commonwealth forces. The tankers and artillery especially were reckoned to be good quality soldiers even if the kit they had was not always the best.
    Last edited by leccy; 07-22-2012 at 10:19 AM.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Generals who also carried rifles.

    I, too, have read that Rommel thought well of some Italian formations; and their pilots and naval special operations people have a good reputation - although as you said, they didnít always have the best equipment.

  7. #22
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    Default Re: Generals who also carried rifles.

    Quote Originally Posted by muscogeemike View Post
    I, too, have read that Rommel thought well of some Italian formations; and their pilots and naval special operations people have a good reputation - although as you said, they didnít always have the best equipment.
    Rommel said too "If the German soldier has astonished the world, the Italian bersagliere has astonished the German soldier"...
    He said too Italians don't like the war. Probably both sentences were sincere and true. But which people likes the war?
    Probably some peoples, northern and anglosaxons, (Americans, Germans, Britons for example...) see the war as an unpleasant matter of fact when it happens. Other peoples, southern and latin, like Italians and Frenches, see it as a terrible fact and a terrible burden when it happens. A slight but significative difference. Just my opinion of course.

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Generals who also carried rifles.

    Google lt. Gen. Robert Eichelberger Firing Machine Gun During Buna and there is an image of a general shooting a Thompson.

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Generals who also carried rifles.

    Ok reference 7 RTR and losses during Operation Compass in 1940/41.

    One Matilda II was destroyed Gitana, it along with two other tanks reached the beach during the attack on Sidi Barrani when Gitana had a track shot away. The crew stayed in the Matilda II until they had fired all of their ammunition then abandoned it after setting fire to it. So it was not destroyed directly by Italian fire but by its crew as a result of being immobilised and out of munitions.

    The one penetration people mention was not an armour penetration, during the attack on Nibeiwa one of the drivers had slid back his visor and a round went through the hole injuring members of the crew, the vehicle itself was not penetrated or destroyed.

    Many suffered track damage and jammed turrets from Italian weapons, many others broke down (there were few transporters so they had to drive everywhere, in some cases they had the assistance of heavy trucks to tow them so saving some of the wear and tear).
    Last edited by leccy; 07-22-2012 at 02:14 PM.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  10. #25
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    Buffalo, New York
    Posts
    7,404

    Default Re: Generals who also carried rifles.

    Quote Originally Posted by muscogeemike View Post
    I would expect "Viniger" Joe Stillwell would have, he appears to have been that kind of guy.
    I saw footage of Vinegar Joe carrying an M-1 Carbine in Burma circa 1944 IIRC yesterday....

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