Information, articles, stories photographs and memory's from the 1st and 2nd world wars.
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Well done Bandsman, a great link indeed ! Warrenpoint played it`s part in that invasion also. a lot of American GI`s did their final training for the invasion in the fields and hills around the Point and some of those LCT`s may have been built in the Warrenpoint shipyard.
This reply is a bit late as I haven't been on the forum lately, but I agree with northbrook...thank you bandsman for the timely reminder & the link. My dad was one of those who trained in the Mournes for the invasion.northbrook wrote:Well done Bandsman, a great link indeed ! Warrenpoint played it's part in that invasion also. A lot of American GI`s did their final training for the invasion in the fields and hills around the Point
This is from the official history of the 5th Division, (my dad was in the 10th Infantry of the 5th)
“The rugged countryside of County Down and the steep forbidding heights of the Mourne Mountains provided an ideal background for the pre-invasion training. This period topped off a long and close association of the menin the arduous and gruelling assignments, which produced the esprit, typified by the old unofficial slogan of the Tenth Infantry. "When it is getting tough for everyone else, it is getting just right for us."
Bill Breckinridge (Major in command of the 1st Battalion of the 5th who had been with the men, including my dad, since 1941 in Iceland, prior to Pearl Harbour) said that the country was almost a duplicate of the hedgerows in Normandy, which led both him and Colonel Bell to think that was where they were to be sent. They banged up a lot of vehicles, to the displeasure of the Division people, but learned how to operate in the hedgerow country. A first sergeant decided that the rifle grenade wasn't any use against the hedgerows, as it would explode on anything instead of penetrating. They unscrewed the tail of a 60mm mortar shell and lashed it on the rifle discharger, setting the round on long delay, firing it off the rifle. He felt it was one of the two developments that helped clear the hedgerows, the other being the clipper attached to tanks.
Believing that the Germans didn't like to fight at night, a lot of training exercises were at night. As a result, the l0th didn't mind the night, and knew how to keep their direction and not get lost. It was valuable. The exercises also were aimed at getting the men in top physical condition. Each problem that they had required that they climb three mountains “run up them, as a matter of fact." And, after they captured the third mountain, they had a day of exercise. Later, after getting to France, one of the men remembered the training, referring to "those thirty- five mile stretches in Ireland."