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Author Topic: Holding off the Nazi invaders with pitch-forks and shotguns...!  (Read 1066 times)

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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In 1940, this little island of ours was in grave danger of invasion by Hitler's armies which were massed just 22 miles away across the Channel, having defeated all before them, including the BEF which had been evacuated from Dunkirk and which had left almost all of its equipment behind. To bolster national morale, Prime Minister Churchill called for the formation of LDVs...Local Defence Volunteers...to prepare to defend their localities in the event of an invasion. They comprised of men who were either too young, too old or too sick to be drafted into the regular army (ironically, emulated by Hitler's "Volksturm" of 1945! ) They were loosely organised along military lines and, initially at least, were required to improvise and supply their own weapons. Gradually, as the supply situation began to improve, they were provided with uniforms and weapons by the government...and their name was changed to the "Home Guard".  In retrospect, the prospect of old and infirmed men holding back well armed and well trained German invaders seems vaguely implausible, but at the time it was all we had and it served to unite the population in a common aim and gave them a sense of being able to "do their bit".

This article looks at how small villages sought to organize their defences. It might seem rather quaint and amateurish now, but back then it was deadly serious!

http://dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2590775/Hand-drawn-maps-real-life-Dads-Army-farmers-drivers-planned-defend-tiny-village-invading-Nazi-troops-Second-World-War.html

By way of a PS...Britain's best loved sitcom "Dad's Army" which dates from the late 60s early 70s and which is still screened today, is centred around a typical Home Guard platoon on England's south coast.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 05:36:10 AM by Tom E. Gunn »
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Offline Jack's son

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Re: Holding off the Nazi invaders with pitch-forks and shotguns...!
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2014, 08:10:45 AM »
The real sad part would have been that the German Army would have cut these villagers down with machine gun fire, in a heartbeat!
And once by God, I was a Marine!
—Actor Lee Marvin, circa, 1967, about serving in WW II

Offline Dr. Davis

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      • Dr. Davis
Re: Holding off the Nazi invaders with pitch-forks and shotguns...!
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2014, 08:29:02 AM »
It doesn't sound too much different then the Germans at the end of the war, Adolph rallying school kids and old men with his propaganda machine, to fight to the end, alot of them, especially the older ones thought it was bull, but the Hitler Jugend were brainwashed with mother's milk just for that moment.
"If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."
Mickey Mantle

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Re: Holding off the Nazi invaders with pitch-forks and shotguns...!
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 11:06:43 AM »
Once the RAF had won the Battle of Britain, the invasion was never going to happen anyway...plus the Royal Navy....which was the world's most powerful navy at the time...would have literally blown them out of the water! Still, as I said in my previous post, by forming the Home Guard, it made the people feel more secure and that they were actively contributing to the war effort, which was no bad thing. As the tide of the war began to turn and the risk of invasion receded, the Home Guard became increasingly unnecessary and were eventually stood down in late '44.

http://www.home-guard.org.uk/
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