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Contributed by 
Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper
People in story: 
Tom Canning
Location of story: 
U.K. - Africa - Italy - Austria
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A3537506
Contributed on: 
17 January 2005

A Tankman’s Tales

It has been said that a soldiers life is broken up to exact measurements, whether he is a regular or like the majority, signed on for the emergency, the emergency in this case was the 1939 / 45 World wide conflict. The measuring scale being in the form of a percentage table of 50 % interest — 25 % sheer boredom — 10 % happiness — 12 % horror and 3 % of sheer terror. I hasten to add that not all soldiers were held to this measurement but a minority were, and too many failed to survive the 3 % sheer terror.
Therefore I have compiled a list of tales from my particular service days, avoiding the initial Infantry training at Bury St. Edmonds with the Beds / Herts regiment, on to the Tank training at Barnard Castle with the 61st Regt R.A.C. which was supervised by the Horse Guards and SSM Christie of unforgettable memory, to the Embarkation on the SS Franconia at Liverpool and on to Gourock and finally arriving at Algiers in 90 degree heat ! This was the beginning of a long trail through North Africa — Italy - Austria before finally seeing the white cliffs of Dover for the first time, after some four years away.! These tales will tend to agree with the scale of measurement which highlights the life of the soldier.

1) - A2239959 — Algiers with 145th R.A.C.
2) — A1143361 — Tunisia 1943
3) — A3521170 — Welcome to Italy
4) — A2106370 — Music in Wartime Italy
5) — A3480716 — Addendum to music
6) — A1149158 — Canadians in Italy
7) — A3300788 — 1st and 5th Cdn. Divs.
8) — A1145710 — D day Dodgers
9) — A1145314 — Rome 1944
10) - A1124218 — Green Envelopes for Tank Bde — Rimini
11) - A2260568 — Characters at war
12) - A2221804 — Gothic Line — San Martino
13) - A3281906 - Two Great Men
14) - A2656622 — Operation Woodchoper
15) - A1149040 - The Yalta Aftermath
16) - A1172774 — The Vienna Tattoo
17) - A2656992 - Army Beds
18) - A1163396 — Strassburg Pt. 1
19) - A1169192 — Strassburg Pt. 2
20) - A 1171135 — Strassburg Pt. 3
21) - A3375812 - Hot Showers and clean underwear..

Check the direct links below for immediate access to the stories.

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Message 1 - A Tankman's Tales

Posted on: 17 January 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

DIRECT LINKS to Tom's compilation of stories
A Tankman’s Tales

It has been said that a soldiers life is broken up to exact measurements, whether he is a regular or like the majority, signed on for the emergency, the emergency in this case was the 1939 / 45 World wide conflict. The measuring scale being in the form of a percentage table of 50 % interest — 25 % sheer boredom — 10 % happiness — 12 % horror and 3 % of sheer terror. I hasten to add that not all soldiers were held to this measurement but a minority were, and too many failed to survive the 3 % sheer terror.
Therefore I have compiled a list of tales from my particular service days, avoiding the initial Infantry training at Bury St. Edmonds with the Beds / Herts regiment, on to the Tank training at Barnard Castle with the 61st Regt R.A.C. which was supervised by the Horse Guards and SSM Christie of unforgettable memory, to the Embarkation on the SS Franconia at Liverpool and on to Gourock and finally arriving at Algiers in 90 degree heat ! This was the beginning of a long trail through North Africa — Italy - Austria before finally seeing the white cliffs of Dover for the first time, after some four years away.! These tales will tend to agree with the scale of measurement which highlights the life of the soldier.

1) - A2239959 — Algiers with 145th R.A.C.
2) — A1143361 — Tunisia 1943
3) — A3521170 — Welcome to Italy
4) — A2106370 — Music in Wartime Italy
5) — A3480716 — Addendum to music
6) — A1149158 — Canadians in Italy
7) — A3300788 — 1st and 5th Cdn. Divs.
8) — A1145710 — D day Dodgers
9) — A1145314 — Rome 1944
10) - A1124218 — Green Envelopes for Tank Bde — Rimini
11) - A2260568 — Characters at war
12) - A2221804 — Gothic Line — San Martino
13) - A3281906 - Two Great Men
14) - A2656622 — Operation Woodchoper
15) - A1149040 - The Yalta Aftermath
16) - A1172774 — The Vienna Tattoo
17) - A2656992 - Army Beds
18) - A1163396 — Strassburg Pt. 1
19) - A1169192 — Strassburg Pt. 2
20) - A 1171135 — Strassburg Pt. 3
21) - A3375812 - Hot Showers and clean underwear..

Check the direct links below for immediate access to the stories.

 

Message 2 - Strasbourg Part 3

Posted on: 18 January 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

For Strasbourg Part 3, click here A1171135

 

Message 3 - Strasbourg Part 3

Posted on: 18 January 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Peter -
I think that you will find that Strasbourg is somewhere on the Eastern Borders of France whereas the Strassburg I was at was about 20 miles North of Villach, in Karnten Austria and around ten miles West of Sant Veit
in the beautiful Gurk Valley !
cheers

 

Message 4 - Strasbourg Part 3

Posted on: 18 January 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Well spotted Tom! What a <bleep> I was! Strassburg it is, I've given the spell-checker the order of the boot. :)

Peter

 

Message 5 - Strasbourg Part 3

Posted on: 18 January 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Peter -
perfectly understandable if your spell checker was made in Japan - translated into English by an American who do not usually have the faintest idea of the English language

 

Message 6 - Strasbourg Part 3

Posted on: 27 February 2005 by Pam Richardson (nee Baldwin)

Tom/Peter

What lovely banter there is between the two of you. You certainly bring a smile to our faces. There's no stopping me now - I found your pages!!

Where do you find the spell checker for this site? - or do you type on a word doc first!

Regards
Pam (Richardson)

 

Message 7 - Strasbourg Part 3

Posted on: 27 February 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Pam -

Since you have now found our respective pages you will now be fully enlightened as to the merriment we enjoyed in our vacations in the beautiful and "sunny" Italy.

Not only in Italy but North Africa and also Austria will be found other sources of the same type of merriment, all owing to the largesse of the British Government of the day.

We can never thank them too often for allowing us to avoid the travail of sitting in yet another academy, as it was Field Marshal Smuts himself who stated that we, in marching with the 8th Army, had attended the finest University of the times. It would be too cynical to observe that there was a singular lack of degrees in our demobilisation packages !

All this of course, meant that in the latter days, we had to put up with competition from fresh faced teenagers. On further thought, this was not too much competition !
Spell checkers ? - I never use mine as I went to school in the early days in Scotland whereas others ...well !
best regards
tomcan

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