M*A*S*H, The real medical Units

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The Beginning

WWI 1914  – 1918, the French military used automobile-chirurgical units during this war and shortly after the Americans join this war they established their first mobile hospital following the French example.

The MASH Unit

The Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) refers to a US medical unit serving as a fully functional hospital in a combat area of operations. The units were first established in August 1945.

Principles for a mobile medical unit and their implementation were established through trial and error in the dental field during World War II 1939  –  1945 by Major Vincent P. Marran, medic in Patton’s Third Army. The effectiveness of his efforts were widely admired and supported by the command structure, but no formal designation was established at that time.

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Dr Michael E. DeBakey & Col. Harry A. Ferguson formally established the concept of the MASH program, it was decided it was a better concept than what was already in  use during times of conflict, random individual systems of portable surgical hospitals, field hospitals, and general hospitals used during World War II 1939  –  1945.

It was designed to get experienced personnel closer to the front, so that the wounded could be treated sooner and with greater success. This proved to be highly successful; during the Korean War, a seriously wounded soldier who made it to a MASH unit alive had a greater than 97% chance of survival once he received treatment.

MASH structure

Mobile Army Surgical Hospital had personnel including 10 medical officers, 12 nursing officers, and 89 enlisted soldiers of assorted medical and non medical specialities. On one occasion, a unit handled over 600 casualties in a 24-hour period.

MASH units played an important role in the development of the triage system; a technique that underscores emergency rooms (ER) medicine in hospitals today. In the field they used a colour coded system as shown below:

Black Deceased or so severely wounded that there is no hope for survival.
Red Requires immediate treatment in order to survive.
Yellow Not in immediate danger but requires medical care. Requires observation.
Green Wounds or injuries that aren’t completely disabling. Referred to as “walking wounded.”

This system allows for caregivers to prioritise patient’s wounds and injuries in order to get those who are severely injured treated as soon as possible. The patient’s status is determined an overview of their respiratory, perfusion, and mental status.  The current triage system consists of colour coding; each patient (and at times their different wounds) are tagged with either a black, red, yellow, or green tag making it easy for all those concerned to instantly see what each patient required.

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MASH units have played a vital part in many conflicts since WWII, they first cam into their own during the Korean War 1950  –  1953.

High casualties in the front line called for onsite care, such as ambulances and medical tents. Having learned from World War II that transporting wounded soldiers to rear hospitals was highly inefficient in reducing mortality rates, MASH units were established near front lines to supply mobile and flexible military medical & surgical care.

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MASH onsite paramedic care and air ambulance systems decreased post evacuation mortality from 40% in World War II to 2.5% in the Korean War, that percentage in its self is something that requires recognition….

This post is dedicated to all those medical and none medical staff from any country who safe life’s on the front line…..without you many more would not survive…thank you!

 

UK & US World War II infantry weapons

Here is a list of infantry weapons from WWII for the UK & US, list taken from Wikipedia.

To know more about each weapon, click on it and you will be taken to Wikipedia.

 United Kingdom

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Sidearms

Rifles

Sub-machine guns

Machine guns

Shotguns

Anti-tank Weapons

Grenades

Mortars

Flamethrowers

Sniper rifles

Knives

 United States of America

USA weapons

Sidearms

Rifles

Assault Rifles & Battle Rifles

Sub-machine guns

Machine guns

Sniper rifles

Shotguns (Commonly used by the Marines in the Pacific theater, limited use in Europe)

Anti-tank weapons

Flamethrowers

Recoilless rifles

Grenades

Grenade launcher

Mortars

Edged weapons

Collins #18 machete V44 (used by raiders and pilots) M1917 bolo knife M1909 bolo knife

Buy the book from amazon:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1695079817

The D Day Darlings Live in Concert 2019

I needed to share with everyone…Yes i am going to see these wonderfully talented girls live in concert

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D-Day Darlings, Friday, 05 Apr 2019 at 1:30 PM. Doors 12:45 PM | St Peter’s Church, Sudbury,  Suffolk

Other dates and venues available, check out their website..at the bottom of the page

Bringing the true spirit of the wartime era alive, The D-Day Darlings sing the heartfelt harmonies that kept Britain smiling through its darkest times with popular WW2 songs such as We’ll Meet Again, I’ll Be Seeing You, Land of Hope and Glory, and Bless Em’ All.

Wearing original WRAF uniforms, the delightful darlings can perform against a backdrop of original 1940’s film footage, taking the audience on a journey into the heart of an era where troops were being serenaded by the likes of ‘Dame Vera Lynn’, who is an advocate of the show. Also proudly supported by The Royal British Legion, the Forces’ favourite sweethearts do their bit for our nation’s heroes with each performance, having raised almost £40,000 to help the charity so far.

The D-Day Darlings boast a long list of major credits including The Imperial War Museum, The Black Country Museum, The RBL’s Festival of Remembrance, Royal Hospital Chelsea and RAF Cosford’s Veterans Parade. Perfect for any military or forties-themed event, they create the atmosphere of wartime Britain with authentic 40s glamour, quality vocals and professionalism.

Follow them on

https://twitter.com/TheDDayDarlings

website: http://ddaydarlings.co.uk/

watch a video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=QJ6P14cHIzg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A54jr8cb6AM

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Check out their website for tickets….

Bletchley Park visit 15th Feb

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Background

Bletchley park was a British top secret codebreaking establishment during WWII.

The British government code and cipher school was housed here with it’s main objective being to intercept axis forces communications with priority given to Enigma and Lorenz ciphers.

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Recruitment

Alastair Denniston commander of operations for GC&CS 1919  –  1942 was told by Winston Churchill to leave no stone un-turned in recruiting the best minds in Britain.  With this in mind he firstly turned to the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, then in 1941 he had the Daily Telegraph run a crossword competition, those that completed the crossword where then discretely approached and asked about entering the war effort.

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However, at this stage they were not told what they would be doing or in fact where they would be working.

The main body of personnel where made up of mathematicians, physicists, engineers, crypt-analysts, linguistic, later thinkers, chess champions.

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Some of the main personnel at Bletchley Park were, Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, Hugh Alexander and Stuart Milner-Barry and many more.  They were all top people in their respective fields.

By the end of 1945 there was 10,000 personnel working at Bletchley and its sub stations.  75% of these were female, of middle class backgrounds, all held a degree in one field or another, civilian and uniformed personnel all worked a long aide each other.

Training

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After their initial basic training they all under went special training at the “Special Intelligence School” which was set by John Tiltman and located at RAF Buckingham and later Bedford.  The locals used to call this place the “Spy School”.

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Some of  Bletchley achievements

Bletchley personnel achieved success on land, sea and air campaigns and shortened the war by at least two years,

Tommy Flowers  –  The worlds first programmable electronic computer “Colossus” 1943.

Jane Fawett  –  credited for the decoding of a message that led to the sinking of the battleship “Bismark”.

Harry Fensom  –  creator of the “Tunny Machine”, for decoding Lorenz ciphers.

Joan Joslin  –  work led to the sinking of the “Schamhorst”.

Dilly Knox  –  cracked the code of the commercial enigma machines.

Alan Turing  –  designer of the  “Bombe” electro – mechanical device.

Personnel also provided the Royal Navy with vital intelligence to cut of Rommel’s supply chain.

Secrecy

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Within British intelligence the highest classification during WWII was “Most Secret”, Bletchley and the work done there was even higher than that.

All personnel had to sign the official secrets act, however, some of the security warnings went even further, “DO NOT”, talk in billits, by your own fireside, talk at meals, talk in transit, in other words “NO TALKING”!! anytime anywhere, to anyone, not even those you work with.

There was breaches in security though with the most serious one been that of John Cairncross, a soviet mole/spy who infiltrated Bletchley, he was a member of the Cambridge spy ring.  He was sending intelligence and material back to Moscow.

The Soviet Union were never officially told about Bletchley and its activities due to the fact that Churchill never really trusted them, even though we were fighting on the same side.

In contrast, after America joined the war the co-operation between the US and British intelligence was cemented by a number of American cryptographers  joining the team.

Attacks on Bletchley

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There was only ever one axis forces attack on Bletchley, November 20 – 21st 1040, bombs reportedly ment for Bletchley railway station fell within the Bletchley estate.  Hut 4 was hit and so much so it shifted off it’s foundation by two feet (2ft).  The interesting thing is though, they winched it back onto it’s foundation whilst the personnel continued to work, no health and safety back then hey!! eeek….no thats trust!

My Visit

So the drive down took two hours, pleased I wasn’t driving… thanks son..

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Map of the grounds

There is a guy at the gate, he may or may not stop you, the vehicle in front of us was stopped, I hope the gate guy was embracing his position and asking for your clearance to enter!!! we didn’t find out, but it would be kind of cool hey..

admission fee Adult £18.50,    Souvenir Guidebook £6.00, once you have bought your ticket you can use it for one year to return as many times as you like for free.

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Once through the payment area, you have to follow a certain path in which you have a couple of projectors giving you some WWII background.  There is also some interactive tables here, well worth having a go on… by the way, watch out for these throughout, they are everywhere and a most..

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Interactive table

also in this area you will find some glass cabinets full of authentic books, as I looked at these I couldn’t help but imagine these on someones desk or constantly in their hand..

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it’s worth looking out for these on the walls too, they have some great information on them…see below

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as your leaving this first hall you can’t help but notice this war time motorcycle, shown below

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just before you leave this area to enter the park you can pick up a free handheld audio guide, just remember to return prior to leaving…

I our point of call was the radio communications hall, see map, this is full of all manner of old radio communication equipment, some of it interactiveIMG_3864

Onto block 8, down some stairs into the exhibits, there is everything in here, as I had firstly written about the Lorenz and Enigma machines in the first part of this blog, here is where you find out all about them…hope you like reading folks…. I found this fascinating, IMG_3869

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more picture from here in the photo gallery folk’s

on to hut 3, this hut has be be one the best we all thought, from the point of view of authenticity, the could see and spell its age.  It was the most important hut in the park.

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Next huts 11 and 11a,  hut 11 has 4 mock up Bombe machines, its quite cold in there too, but with four of those machines in this small hut I bet it was loud…

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Hut 11a shows how there work impacted some parts of the war and again has many interactive things to do,

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there is also a working Bombe machine in this hut pictured below

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working Bombe machine
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the plague with information

there are many interactive exhibits in this hut

We next walked up to the garage area, there are 4 exhibits here,

On to the main mansion now and wow what a building, the interior alone is breathtaking not forgetting of course the important part it played in park, but its ceilings alone are some of the nicest I have seen.

enter through the main door, the very same door that Churchill and all the top people had used, following in the footsteps of these soldiers, civilians and politicians felt unbelievable.

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The Mansion

The large windows to the left is the office of the park commander,  office shown below

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This is on the wall inside his office

We moved onto the library which was used some subsections, please read belowIMG_3902

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Thats about it from our visit to Bletchley park, check out all the pictures in the gallery.

Just before we left we felt hungry so we decided to find somewhere to eat, and oh boy did we, its about 10 minutes away, food is great and priced well, check out the pictures below

thats beef in yorkshire pudding wrap, its bloody great I can tell you £4.99

 

 

Spitfire

History of Sorts blog.. found this blog by following a link from DC Gilberts site and thought it was well worth a re-blog..great piece of Spitfire history, read it below800px-Spitfire_VII_Langley_USA

History of Sorts

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I am not an aviation expert and even less of a military aviation expert, far from it. But that is what makes the Spitfire so special. Despite my ignorance in all matters aviation I do know what a Spitfire is, and like me anyone who doesn’t have a clue about airplanes they still will recognize a Spitfire.

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Although there have been many other majestic fighters during WWII like for example the Mustang.

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It is the Spitfire which is most recognizable of all of them. As I said earlier everyone knows how a Spitfire looks like.

The Spitfire was designed by Reginald Mitchell of Supermarine Ltd., in response to a 1934 Air Ministry specification calling for a high-performance fighter with an armament of eight wing-mounted 0.303-inch (7.7-mm) machine guns.

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One of the Spitfire’s most important contributions to Allied victory was as a photo-reconnaissance aircraft from early 1941. Superior high-altitude performance rendered it all but…

View original post 164 more words

Macedonia Visit

The area once known as Yugoslavia entered WWII on 6th April 1941.

Background information

on the 24th March 1941, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia fearing an invasion from the axis powers signed the Tripartite Pact, pledging cooperation with the axis forces.  However, on 27th March 1941 he was overthrown by a military coup d’etat with support from the British.

Peter II, then only 17 years old was deemed old enough to rule and was placed in power.  As a direct result of this Yugoslavia withdrew it’s support of the axis powers and as a consequence on 6th April 1941 Germany and the axis forces invaded Yugoslavia.

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Italian soldiers entering Ohrid April 1941
Italian soldiers entering Ohrid April 1941

The area was broken up with Bulgarian forces controlling central and eastern areas, western areas were occupied and controlled by Italian forces.

Italian and Bulgarian soldiers on the Albanian border
Italian and Bulgarian troops on the Albanian border

On 11th October 1941 the People’s Liberation Army along with the Yugoslavian Partisan movement started a  political and military campaign, their main objective was to resist the occupation of Macedonia by Bulgarian, German, Italian and Albanian forces.

Yugoslav POWs supervised by Bulgarian soldiers with a German armored car
Yugoslav POW’s supervised by Bulgarian soldiers with a German armoured car
Ohrid, Bulgarian occupation zone refugees from Albania
Ohrid, Bulgarian occupation zone refugees from Albania

 Ohrid today

Following in the footsteps of all those involved in this campaign this is my visit to Ohrid, the town today is a beautiful place to visit, full of great architecture with inviting people and cafe’s to sit and watch the world go by.

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for all the pictures from Ohrid see the picture gallery. here . Like all the other towns, cities I have visited it’s hard to imagine how it was back during WWII.

As part of my visit to this wonderful country I had to go to Bitola, it is the oldest city in the country.  In the ancient world it was known as (Heraclea Lyncestis) founded by Phillip II ( father of Alexander the great).

With this in mind it is a must for all those travelling to Macedonia…

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Heraclea with old ruins below

 

See all the pictures from Bitola in the picture gallery. here

Skopje City

Skopje was seized by the German army on the 8th April 1941 and they left he Bulgarian army in control of the region.  The city was liberated by partisans on 13th November 1944 by Yugoslav, National Liberation Army and the newly allied Bulgarian people’s army.. The Bulgarian army having switched sides in September 1944…

Partisans marching through liberated Skopje Nove 1944
Partisans march through Skopje after liberation

Macedonia and the surrounding regions were not left out of the German’s final solution, many jew’s and other’s were transported out to concentration camps.

Skopje today

Today the city is thriving, there is so many things to see and do there.  However my visit was really about going to see the holocaust museum.

Skopje Holocaust museum
Skopje Holocaust Museum

This museum is a must, open Tuesday to Friday 09.00  –  19.00 and Saturday and Sunday 09.00  –  15.00.  entrance is free but there is a charge for guided tours.

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for all pictures see the gallery, here

There was almost 24,000 deaths or casualties during the occupation of this area, this is broken down as follows:

7,000 Jews, 6,726 ethnic Macedonians, 6,000 Serbs and 4,000 Albanians.

 

 

 

 

China Visit part 3 Beijing

sorry for the delay in bringing this last blog on my China visit.

Beijing in a great city, packed with great places to eat and can cater for most pallets.

Hotels are a plenty and again for every budget, I generally use trivago.com for hotels whilst travelling, I have found them the best for all pockets.  see the link on the right side of blog.

Tiananmen Square

Following in the footsteps of those soldiers and civilians from China who gave their all during WWII, I find myself in this totally wonderful square in Beijing.  So much here to see and do, you could take a full day just wondering around here, visiting the People’s Heroes Monument, pictured below,

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This monument is dedicated to all those who lost their lives during WWII and other conflicts, there is also the workers statue below,

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There is also the Chairmen Mao memorial to be found in the square, pictured below,

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And of course behind that you will find the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall which is also a must to visit.

In the northern part of the square you will find the totally dominating and all inspiring Forbidden City, I mean, history, this really is and has to be on everyone’s visit list.

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The main entrance and below the interior

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I get that this isn’t anything to do with WWII but it just has to be mentioned regardless of that just for history sake.

From Beijing the next day is yet another none related but has to be mentioned Chinese landmark, The Great Wall, I actually rang my family whilst standing on the wall, it was early in the morning but it just had to be done.  I really don’t think they got it, I did wake them up though..lol

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Totally breathtaking… all my pictures, well not all but a selection, can be found here

 

Help.. which book cover do you prefer?

So I am struggling now with my first novel (book cover) and so I thought I would enlist you help guys…  by the way its coming soooooooon!!

this is the back cover write up which hopefully will help you decide

Berlin 1942
From the smoking ruins of a bombed Berlin brothel, nine shocked and injured female survivors are taken to a secluded retreat by Nazi officer, Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich. They’re not there for official business or for medical treatment though, Heydrich has brought them there for a much more sinister reason.
Trained by the SS officer to gather intelligence, the women are desperate to survive. They turn the tables on their armed captors and kill them. After covering their tracks, the women return to Berlin to ply the only trade they know… with an added twist. Somehow these ‘sisters in arms’ escape the attention of the Nazis despite the high rank of their victim, and their lucrative business thrives.
They haven’t escaped everyone’s notice though. British Intelligence were monitoring Heydrich’s operations for some time, and their attention has zeroed in on the nine women. They dispatch one of their top male agents to make contact…

cover one

front cover 2

cover two

spine and front

cover three

Blue ring assassins

what about this one folks?

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please make your selection and help me sort this out folks… use the comments box please

China Visit Part 2 Shanghai

Before going into China I spent a few days in Hong Kong and was considering my options, do I enter from the south or fly up north and then work my way back to Hong Kong.  Down by the bay there is a walk way with some interesting things to find, if your interested in martial arts that is,  here are some pictures….

It was decided, as on my bucket list was the Great Wall I would head north first, now at this point I should tell you I had just come from Vietnam, also, everywhere else I had so far visited was tropical weather.  In my rucksack was nothing but, t-shirts and shorts.

Although it’s January 2007 it’s still pretty warm in the south, so anyway, I apply for my visa, it takes 24 hours and cost £30.00.

There are changes now and here is a recent table of fees taken from their website:

 

Based on the changes in the exchange rate in recent years, the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in the U.K. will apply new rates for fees of consular documents as of 19th November, 2018. At the same time, in accordance with the principle of reciprocity, the Chinese Embassy and Consulates will increase fees for 5 year multiple entry visa and 10 year multiple entry visa to £170 and £255 respectively.

The fees of consular documents will be adjusted as follows:

Visa Fees

Nationality Regular service Express service
British £85(Except for 5 year/10 year multiple entry visa) £104
£170(Multiple entries for 5 years) £189
£255(Multiple entries for 10 years) £274
American £108 £127
Canadian £59 £78
Israeli £20 £39
Argentina £115 £134
Brazilian £100 £119
Serbian £2 £21
Romanian £58(Single entry) £77
£77(Double entries) £96
£115(Multiple entries) £134
Others £28(Single entry) £47
£42(Double entries) £61
£56(Multiple entries for 6 months) £75
£84(Multiple entries for 1 year and above) £103

The Flight

With visa nicely placed in my passport off I go, it’s about 2 to 3 hours flight depending on the aircraft from Hong Kong to Shanghai.  Cost around £110 today.  I have found that its cheaper to actually pay and book flights around Asia in the country your in rather than from home prior to leaving, but each to their own.

So we are up up and away, approximately 20 minutes prior to landing everyone seems to be putting on coats, getting hats and gloves ready, do they know something I don’t?? it would seem so.  The flight attendant approaches me, do you have any warm clothes? She asks, no I replied, your going to be cold.. its minus 20 in Shanghai!!!!!

so in my mind this is the picture I had

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Knee deep in snow with nothing but shorts and a t-shirt, sandals on my feet.

Arrival

Everyone is looking at me, they all have coats, hats, gloves, me, I look like a crazy westerner who doesn’t know what is about to hit him. Oh boy was they right!

Get through customs and start thinking about where to go and get some North pole clothing, rescued, a very nice Chinese fella took pity on me I think as I stood at the main entrance door.  He asked if I would like a life to a shopping mall, without hesitation I replied, thank would be great thank you.

There wasn’t really any snow about, it was the wind that made it so cold, and that walk to his car was the longest and coldest I have ever made..  Heater now going at full bore, 40 minutes or so later we are shopping, he even stayed with me to make sure I got what I needed, very nice man.

shoes-2833334__340 Fur lined boots, hat, thermal everything, toasty!!!

Shanghai is a great city, the next day I took off in search of the People’s Heroes Monument, not too hard to find, its close by the Pearl Tower and you can see that just about from anywhere.

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The Peoples Heroes Monument id dedicated to all those that paid the ultimate price to free China from occupation by foreign powers.

people's heros monument It’s 79 feet high and so an impressive structure, it looks great at night all light up.

Next was a boat ride on the Huangpu river

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Looking around this great city it is hard to think that it once stood in ruin and tainted with blood, following in the footsteps of those who gave their life’s soldiers and civilians alike in a city that had a totally different sky then.

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Today it has raised from the ashes to become one of the worlds nicest cities, great food, great people and some of the smallest WiFi cafes you have ever seen…

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next on to Beijing…..part 3

 

 

 

 

China WWII part 1

On 7th July 1937 Japan invaded China.  This conflict lasted until 9th September 1945 and cost China almost 10 million life’s, both military and civilian.  With this action China joined many countries in WWII and they were part of the allied forces during this conflict with Japan part of the Axis forces.

Although the total cost of human life in China during the second world war was to say the least vast they seem not to get as much press as other countries that were involved.

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The conflict in China started on the Marco Polo Bridge, see map below, poor quality which I am sorry for ( screenshot stopped working)

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The Japanese and Chinese soldiers were having some kind of dispute which quickly turned into full scale war, a war which would span across the Pacific.

The invasion of China by the Japanese was, as you can see, quite vast, shown here in the map below, red parts shown occupied areas:

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The Japanese starting landing troops  near Shanghai in 1937

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The battle for Shanghai followed, bombing, street fighting as seen below

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In 1943 the allied forces held a conference in Cairo, Egypt, pictured below are Chiang Kai-Shek, Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill during that conference

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Chiang Kai-Shek was the commander in chief of the allied forces in China, pictured below in military uniform

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The conflict in China ended on 3rd September  1945 with victory parades across the country, just as they did across the world in other countries that were involved, see picture below

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This whole conflict could have turned out differently if Adolf Hitler had decided to side with China, however, Hitler felt that the Chinese would in fact loose the war against Japan.  Prior to the war breaking out, one the richest men in China Dr Kung, met with Hitler in an attempt to build up their military with the aid of Germany, this of course failed.

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One of the reasons I love history is due to the fact there is always something new to learn, I for one didn’t know about this meeting…

Part 2 coming shortly, my nine (9) month stay/visit to China…..