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Peter Robinson expressed his opinion on Twitter today that President Truman did not approve the use of the nuclear bomb. “Truman never approved the use of the bomb–or disapproved it,” He wrote. “The military considered it one more weapon, like a new submarine or aircraft. They kept Truman informed. But they did not ask his […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QOTD: Ride onward, hero, into legend


“If I should be killed, I want you to bury me on one of the hills east of the place where my grandparents and brothers and sisters and other relatives are buried.”

“If you have a memorial service, I want the soldiers to go ahead with the American Flag. I want cowboys to follow, all on horseback. I want one of the cowboys to lead one of the wildest of the T over X horses with saddle and bridle on.”

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Myron Ferch’s Poems


Myron J. Ferch is not a household name, perhaps even among the Ferches. But Myron Ferch served as a private from 1941-1945 in World War II, notably in Papua New Guinea. He wrote a slim book of poems, Wartime and Other Poems. The cover shows him and his dog in front of a sheep wagon (Myron was from McCone County in Montana). His niece, Sally, owned a copy, signed by the author and autographed, “To a very nice niece. I hope your trail is a pleasant one.” Sally gave the booklet to her daughter, who gave it to me.

Myron set his down his war experiences in verse. I’ve chosen this one to share, entitled “The Letter from Mother”:

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Peanut Butter Crackers, Gunsmoke, and His Rubix Cube: In Search of My Grandfather


Growing up, I only had one grandparent. My mom’s mother, who, for a variety of reasons, my dad wished to largely keep my sister and I away from, and who died when I was 7. I’m never quite sure of how much this difference from others my age affected me; on the one hand, there was little point in pining after something I had never had, but that didn’t always mean that seeing my peers bring grandparents to every significant school occasion, and excitedly report on all of the neat adventures they got to go on with them, didn’t sometimes rankle. That vague feeling of a missed connection has waned over the years, as I was lucky enough to be kind of informally ‘adopted’ by one of my best friend’s maternal grandfather, and to have been given a second family in a community of (mostly 50 and over) Benedectine monks. Still, questions linger, questions that I didn’t really feel comfortable posing to my parents past a certain age. 

Most of them centered around my paternal grandfather, Charlie. My dad was always full of stories about his mother, who he compared to me (when I maybe wasn’t meant to be there) in terms of devotion and bullheadedness to his siblings, and the little aquatinace that I had with my maternal grandmother didn’t really leave me wanting more. My mom’s dad, meanwhile, had passed in the late ‘70s, and seemed a distant, somewhat painful memory even to her. Charlie, though, existed as a kind of aura around my dad’s stories, a cheerful and mischievous but indistinct presence who bore 7 kids and 50 something years of marriage with equanimity and good humor. The most I concretely knew about him was that he drove my grandmother crazy playing with a Rubix cube at the dinner table, ate peanut butter crackers by the thousands, and died a few months before I was born.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Death of a Sweetheart


Dame Vera Lynn dead: We'll Meet Again singer dies aged 103 | Metro ...Dame Vera Lynn has died at the age of 103.

Vera Margaret Welch was born on March 17, 1917, and was just 22 when she began driving herself to London Underground stations to sing to people taking shelter from the German air raids. Her biggest hit, We’ll Meet Again, was recorded in 1939, and was followed by years of selfless service to “her” troops as she’d go anywhere, at whatever danger to herself, to perform for them, including a tour of Japanese-occupied Burma to perform for the British guerilla troups there.

In this episode, British author and filmmaker Damien Lewis sits down with Dave to discuss his new book, Churchill’s Shadow Raiders: The Race To Develop Radar, WWII’s Secret Invisible Weapon. The discussion (and the book) centers on a Top Secret mission to “snatch and grab,” Adolph Hitler’s prize possession; a rather highly advanced radar that enabled German anti-aircraft guns to decimate British bombers and otherwise run roughshod over anything and anyone that stood between the Third Reich and Hitler’s dreams of conquest. The daring courage and relentless tenacity of fledgling airborne commandos, spurred on by Winston Churchill over the objections of senior government officials, literally saved the war effort and became the genesis of the SAS. It’s a fascinating book, and a riveting conversation that you don’t want to miss.

Dave also welcomes Ricochet Member and Moderator Randy Weivoda onto the program to talk about various happenings with Ricochet Members, including plans for a large Ricochet Member Meet Up, next year in Louisiville, Kentucky. Interested? Listen for details!

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Friday Digging (and Cooking) for Victory Post: V-E Day +75!


Ladies and Gentlemen of Ricochet, I bring you across-the-pond greetings from Auntie Pat (97 in July, may she live forever). She wishes you a very happy V-E day, thanks those of you with WWII service members in your families, hopes you are well, and that you have a very nice summer and Fourth of July. She’s currently locked down and holding her own in a facility in Birmingham in the UK.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. National Former POW Recognition Day


Today, April 9, 2020, is National Former POW Recognition Day. President Trump issued the annual proclamation yesterday. This may seem like an odd day, disconnected from familiar weekends or events, but it is a very specific date, fraught with terrible significance.

March 28, 1988, President Reagan signed Public Law 100-269, “A joint resolution designating April 9, 1988, and April 9, 1989, as ‘National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day.’

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. History and the Vector of Shame


Perhaps you have seen the meme that shows WWII soldiers and says something along the lines of “they stormed the beaches for us, we’re just being asked to stay on our couches.” As far as exhortations to stay home go, I suppose it is one of the less annoying and more anodyne ones, but it’s still full of a smug, pompous, and scornful shame directed at us today, extolling the virtues of our honored ancestors over and against the alleged sins of our current generation.

It absolutely reeks of the sort of derision that says “not only are you no better than them, but you’re actually likely a great deal worse since we have to nanny you into staying in your own home.” It is an appeal to heroic nostalgia for a sepia-toned and non-existent past, where somehow the people were “more real,” more manly (or womanly) than today. Putting aside my general annoyance with such nannyism, as a perpetual student of history, I also have to cry foul over the comparison and call it what it is: bilge.

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SF authors are generally viewed as being mainly concerned with the future, but Connie Willis is more interested in the past…and, particularly, the way in which the past lives in the present. Her novels and short stories explore this connection using various hypothetical forms of time displacement. In Lincoln’s Dreams, a young woman starts having […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. John Garand: The Forgotten History of the Man Who Invented the Iconic M1 Garand Rifle


“In my opinion, the M1 rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised.” — General George S. Patton

Today is John Garand’s Birthday! Any gun nut – er, “firearms enthusiast” – worth their salt has heard of the M1 Garand (it rhymes with “errand,” by the way). This .30-06 semi-automatic rifle is one of the most iconic American firearms of all time, and was the standard-issue weapon for American infantry troops during World War II and the Korean War. Drill teams and honor guards continue to use this in the present day, such is its role as a symbol of the American military.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Spitfire’: Amazing and Beautiful


Can a documentary about the British WWII fighter, Spitfire, be a beautiful thing to watch? It can. This is probably the most beautifully rendered documentary about the remarkably engineered plane, the young men and women who flew it to defend Britain and later the island of Malta and parts of the Mediterranean that has aired. Sprinkled throughout are the remembrances of those who flew successive versions of the aircraft. It’s a heartfelt and touching documentary with some amazing present day footage of this aircraft in flight. It’s available now on Netflix. When you have some free time away from the relatives and your obligations, treat yourself.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Book Review: British Intelligence Gathers Germany’s Secrets


When World War II started, British Intelligence embarked on one of the war’s most audacious information-gathering projects.

They outfitted cells in the Tower of London for prisoners of war to secretly eavesdrop on inhabitants’ conversations.

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I don’t know the answer to the question and so I am asking it with the hope that there is someone here who knows the law governing the European Union. Boris Johnson has been “ordered” by a rump majority in Parliament to request an extension of Brexit in just over two weeks. He is to […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America reflect on the 75th anniversary of D-Day and applaud President Trump’s address at Normandy. They also discuss Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden walking back his position change on the Hyde Amendment and facing criticism from his rivals for not backing taxpayer-funded abortions. And they get a kick out of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly telling allies she would rather defeat President Trump and then see him prosecuted than have the House launch impeachment proceedings.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Winds of War: Herman Wouk Dead at 103


He was many things. A gag writer, a sailor at war, a novelist, the grandson of a rabbi. But above everything else, he was a storyteller. Herman Wouk has died at age 103.

He is best remembered for his breakthrough novel, The Caine Mutiny, and an epic pair of television mini-series The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Caine won the 1951 Pulitzer and was made into a classic film starring Humphrey Bogart as the mentally unstable Captain Queeg.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. This Week’s Book Review – Code Name: Lise


I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday.

Book Review

“Code Name: Lise” reads like a thriller and a romance, yet is solid history


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Family – A Life – A Republic


I started the New Year 2019, with goals — you know, the usual. Get in shape, eat better, exercise, and purge all the junk. By junk, I mean discarding old business info, tax returns, and loads of saved memorabilia. There is the dilemma. I have boxes and bags and volumes of family photos. I have the physical snapshots of a life. Mine. It will take time to sort through, and I am wondering how others deal with purging, organizing and passing on a lifetime of assorted collections?

I was looking at the photos I do have on display in my house. There’s my dad as an MP at a check post in occupied Japan. There’s two of my Uncle Al as a soldier before the ruins of a bombed out Germany. My aunt said my relatives went in later — they were young, when the war was wrapping up, as part of the rescue teams. My Uncle Bo was deployed to Italy during the reign of Mussolini – no pictures.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. 74 Years Ago Today

LST-460 at Guadalcanal.

My father lost two first cousins in the Second World War. One was lost in the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in July 1945. The other was killed in a Kamikaze attack on his ship, LST-460, 74 years ago today.

His name was Gordon Spredeman. He received a posthumous Silver Star for his actions in the sinking of the ship. Unfortunately, I don’t even have a picture of him. But his Silver Star citation reads as follows:

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This month of Thanksgiving was marked by the quiet passing from this world into the next, of someone who risked her life to save members of the Jewish Resistance during a time when pure evil threatened everyone in its path. With determination and courage to fight back, this small group of nuns stepped out to […]

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