Sunday, December 05, 2021

Some interesting tales from World War II

by ROGER GREGORY Contributing Writer
| November 17, 2021 1:00 AM

Some interesting side posts from World War II. Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England, June l4, 1940, Churchill rises to speak to the House of Commons. He looks at his pocket watch. It is a Breguet. I have never heard of it, but the interesting thing is that George Washington, Napoleon and Wellington all also had Breguet watches.

Next: England was losing battles in the war, he needed a winning general so he picked General Alexander as the overall commander. He then selected a relative unknown to lead the British 8th Army, General Montgomery. Montgomery was a man of charisma with bones of a sparrow.

Montgomery boasts to Churchill: “I don’t drink or smoke and I am 100 percent fit.” Churchill responded “I drink and I smoke and I am 200 percent fit.”

Then there was General George Patton. Time Magazine wrote xthat “Patton is tough and muscular”. The New York Times wrote that Patton was “ America’s two-gun general.” (Patton carried two pistols). Once some one asked Patton if the pistol handles were pearl? He replied, “Pearl handles are for [wimps], these are ivory.”

April 4, 1943: There is a bull’s eye on Paris, there are 133 U.S. B-17 bombers , each carrying six 1,000-pound bombs. They are now over Paris, the Parisians think they are going to get bombed but the bombers fly over Paris to a suburb and bomb and demolish the Renault factory where the Germans are building 1,500 trucks, tanks, and armored cars each month, no more. I was friends with one of these B-17 pilots, Cliff Rankin, who passed away a year ago at 98. Wonderful man. That is another story. Most all of this from a book, “Taking Paris”.

Roger Gregory is a Vietnam veteran and business owner in Priest River.