One for the big fella ...

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Calilasseia
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One for the big fella ...

Post by Calilasseia » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:15 am

If Gawdzilla is still reading the forums, someone might like to point him here. This is a story that will even have his eyes on stalks, and given what he's got up to in his time, it takes someone a bit special to outdo our big lizard. But I think I've found the man.

I've just found this frankly incredible article by the BBC, devoted to the life and times of Adrian Carton de Wiart, a soldier who managed to fight in three major wars, starting with the Boer War, then moving on to World War I, and finishing his military career as an escaping POW in World War II.

What makes this article remarkable, is that you're left asking yourself the question "how the hell did this man continue living?", when you hear the catalogue of injuries he collected during his career. To give some measure of the man, he won his Victoria Cross, for action during the Battle of the Somme, in which he fought despite having previously lost a hand and an eye. He was observed pulling pins from grenades with his teeth, then throwing them with his one good arm.

He then went on to serve in World War II. Most people would have forgiven him for taking a rest from fighting, after having won a Victoria Cross at the Somme (and for that matter, during the hideous firefight that was the battle for La Boisselle!), but he wasn't the sort to remain still for long. During World War II, he survived having his transport aircraft shot down, swam to shore, and was then captured by the Italians. He then set about escaping from their prison camps, on one occasion managing to remain on the run for eight days, despite not speaking a word of Italian, and, courtesy of his missing eye and left arm, possibly the easiest escaping POW for the Italians to find and recapture. Oh, he was 61 years old at the time.

If he had not existed for real, no one would regard a story about a character like this to be anything other than a wild fantasy. Indeed, many would probably question the sanity of a fiction writer making up a character like this. But, he was very much real, and engaged in all of the frankly hair raising activities listed above. In short, when you look at the almost absurd array of medals in his personal collection, all of them were earned.

I'm still asking myself how he managed to die in his sleep at 83.

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Re: One for the big fella ...

Post by klr » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:24 pm

I read that earlier today, but thanks for posting it here. More proof that you usually have to be plain nuts to win a VC, and extremely lucky to stay alive. :tup:

Although for a moment, I thought the thread was going to be about Liam Neeson. :?
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Re: One for the big fella ...

Post by Ayaan » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:45 am

'Zilla says thanks. He already knew about the guy - but I don't think there is much he doesn't know about WWI and WWII. :hehe:
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Re: One for the big fella ...

Post by Pappa » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:18 pm

Ayaan wrote:'Zilla says thanks. He already knew about the guy - but I don't think there is much he doesn't know about WWI and WWII. :hehe:
He should have a film made out of his life story. Oh, and Adrian Carton de Wiart should too. :mrgreen:

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Re: One for the big fella ...

Post by piscator » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:35 pm

Gawdzilla might bring up Chief Petty Officer Adam Brown, who became a legend in Seal Team Six after he quit meth, became a SEAL, lost his right (dominant) eye in combat, and his right (dominant shooting) hand in a convoy wreck, and then completing the 9-month Seal Team Six selection. He also earned quite a bit of praise from the British SBS, with whom he was on secondment during the incident of Quala-i-Jangi. Chief Petty Officer Brown was later killed in a firefight on his 330th mission when a snatch & grab operation blew up in Komar Province, Afghanistan.
By most accounts, he killed over 100 men in combat after he lost his right eye and hand.

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Re: One for the big fella ...

Post by Calilasseia » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:00 pm

Ayaan wrote:'Zilla says thanks. He already knew about the guy - but I don't think there is much he doesn't know about WWI and WWII. :hehe:
How many terabytes of storage has he devoted to Hyperwar recently? :)

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Re: One for the big fella ...

Post by Don't Panic » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:16 pm

Ayaan wrote:'Zilla says thanks. He already knew about the guy - but I don't think there is much he doesn't know about WWI and WWII. :hehe:
...and WWIII...
Gawd wrote:»
And those Zumwalts are already useless, they can be taken out with an ICBM.
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