Author Topic: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links  (Read 19365 times)

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Offline Bardolph

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #45 on: April 29, 2016, 11:48:00 AM »
Good stuff. I used Google Street View a few years back when I was putting together a miniatures version of La Fiere Manoir to get the lay of the land and buildings. Also was able to follow the path of Harrison Summers at "WXYZ" when I was researching a scenario to represent his action there. The cool thing is there are lots of WWII recon photos available online as well so you can compare and correct where things have changed since the war.


Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #46 on: April 30, 2016, 09:43:58 AM »
Battle of Thermopylea, Phthiotis, Greece, Late Summer 480BC

In 480 BC, the Persian King Xerxes invaded Greece with a massive army, estimated to be anywhere from 70,000 to 200,000 men.  The Greek city states, often at war with each other, were slow to coordinate and react.  Eventually, a force of about 7,000 Greeks (I have also seen much lower estimates), with a core of 300 Spartans, led by the Spartan King Leonidas, took up a defensive position in a small pass directly on Xerxes route to Athens.

For two days, the Greeks, with their large heavy shields, held off the much larger Persian force.  On the third day, a local farmer led a portion of the Persians along a mountain path, around the Greeks.  All of the Spartans were killed (except one who was sent back by Leonidas with a message for the Greek coalition).  While the Greeks only delayed Xerxes for approximately a week, most historians seem to agree that this gave the Greek more time to gather forces and prepare.  While Xerxes would eventually take Athens, he eventually lost a major battle at Platea the next year, and he had to retreat from Greece.

Approximate location of the Day 1 and Day 2 Greek line, and main battles.  At the time of the battle, the ocean came up to where the road is today.  So the pass between the mountains and sea was very narrow.
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.7960038,22.5346203,3a,81.3y,191.14h,85.31t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sP3bvgSw1rZoBmZctiv9QXg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The Leonidas memorial
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.7964243,22.5364993,3a,75y,347.21h,92.35t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sqlcVvqDSQOL1YzUAaeBQ9g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

This video is a quick overview of the modern day battlefield.  One issue with it is that the presenter says there were 1400 Greeks.  While I have seen this number elsewhere, Wikipedia elaborates a much larger number of 7,000. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl6oEeTeHbw

Another video overview,  with much a less steady hand, but more information.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN0sGnyDN90
"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" - 1910

These are the saddest of possible words:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
      Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
      Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

"Tinker to Evers to Chance"
"where doubles go to die"

These three players helped the Cubs win four National League championships and two World Series from 1906 to 1910.

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #47 on: April 30, 2016, 09:45:57 AM »
Good stuff. I used Google Street View a few years back when I was putting together a miniatures version of La Fiere Manoir to get the lay of the land and buildings. Also was able to follow the path of Harrison Summers at "WXYZ" when I was researching a scenario to represent his action there. The cool thing is there are lots of WWII recon photos available online as well so you can compare and correct where things have changed since the war.

I agree, Google street view is a real boon for wargamer's.  Also for house hunting, and vacation planning....:)

I would be interested to see any good links for WWII recon photos.
"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" - 1910

These are the saddest of possible words:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
      Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
      Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

"Tinker to Evers to Chance"
"where doubles go to die"

These three players helped the Cubs win four National League championships and two World Series from 1906 to 1910.


Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2016, 11:37:29 AM »
Also have a ton of map links if you want a dump of those ;)

Great links, yes, please post your map links...I love good maps.
"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" - 1910

These are the saddest of possible words:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
      Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
      Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

"Tinker to Evers to Chance"
"where doubles go to die"

These three players helped the Cubs win four National League championships and two World Series from 1906 to 1910.

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #50 on: May 01, 2016, 01:12:26 PM »
Battle of Palo Alto, May 8, 1846, Brownsville, Texas

The first major battle of the Mexican American War, was a defensive action by Mexican General Arista.  The Mexican army had started to besiege the US Fort Texas, on the northern bank of the Rio Grande river, near modern day Brownsville.  Gen Zachary Taylor, with a force of over 2000 troops, marched from his base at Ft. Polk to relieve Fort Texas.  Mexican General Arista, with a force of over 3500 troops, set up a defensive line to block the US relief force.  While the Mexicans outnumbered the US forces, Mexican artillery fire was ineffective, and a Mexican cavalry charge was repulsed by a US infantry square.  After spirited fighting, Taylor’s force won the day using superior artillery tactics.

Views of the Battlefield
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Palo+Alto+Battlefield+National+Historical+Park/@26.0211831,-97.473565,3a,90y,184.25h,67.39t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-jGFOsQsdZfM%2FU8gyH59tEgI%2FAAAAAAAAKC8%2F_lPEYg1aqBoTXCRA51oyvuG9Lo1VaJLKQ!2e4!3e11!6s%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com%2F-jGFOsQsdZfM%2FU8gyH59tEgI%2FAAAAAAAAKC8%2F_lPEYg1aqBoTXCRA51oyvuG9Lo1VaJLKQ%2Fw203-h101-n-k-no%2F!7i4000!8i2000!4m2!3m1!1s0x866f97925a5c2337:0x8eb9d17681c20c5e!6m1!1e1

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Palo+Alto+Battlefield+National+Historical+Park/@26.0195055,-97.4744555,3a,87.3y,61.59h,70.75t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-e3wjULkYt4s%2FU8gyHygLdkI%2FAAAAAAAAJ2U%2Fk7U2oOsiF1kdsMUCJm_8stfCf0S6jBi_w!2e4!3e11!6s%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com%2F-e3wjULkYt4s%2FU8gyHygLdkI%2FAAAAAAAAJ2U%2Fk7U2oOsiF1kdsMUCJm_8stfCf0S6jBi_w%2Fw203-h101-n-k-no%2F!7i4000!8i2000!4m2!3m1!1s0x866f97925a5c2337:0x8eb9d17681c20c5e!6m1!1e1

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Palo+Alto+Battlefield+National+Historical+Park/@26.0215988,-97.473726,3a,75y,257.08h,63.47t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-sDksnU7f0GI%2FU8gyHw2WwrI%2FAAAAAAAAJ38%2FPHJYz-t6dCgCqKjSUOyz5O5sKWQNYiJFw!2e4!3e11!6s%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2F-sDksnU7f0GI%2FU8gyHw2WwrI%2FAAAAAAAAJ38%2FPHJYz-t6dCgCqKjSUOyz5O5sKWQNYiJFw%2Fw203-h101-n-k-no%2F!7i4000!8i2000!4m2!3m1!1s0x866f97925a5c2337:0x8eb9d17681c20c5e!6m1!1e1

Battlefield Park Entrance
https://www.google.com/maps/@26.0178289,-97.4810243,3a,46.5y,70.22h,84.03t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1srS4PkcRjc87VTqLqPwrRxA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1
« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 01:51:25 PM by ArizonaTank »
"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" - 1910

These are the saddest of possible words:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
      Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
      Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

"Tinker to Evers to Chance"
"where doubles go to die"

These three players helped the Cubs win four National League championships and two World Series from 1906 to 1910.

Offline Bardolph

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #51 on: May 01, 2016, 11:10:28 PM »
Not sure if I should post em here or on a separate thread but... mods can move it if they feel appropriate:

http://www.cartocassini.org/
http://www.oldhickory30th.com/Maps.htm
http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/ncmaps&CISOPTR=467
http://www.microimages.com/geodata/742_0/Afgan%20GM%2050K%20topo/Afgan%20GM%2050K%20topo_GoogleMaps.html
http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/web03/atlases/AtlasesTableOfContents.html
http://www.archive.org/details/atlastoalisonshi00alis
http://www.maproom.org/00/13/index.php
http://autorealm.sourceforge.net/
http://www.civilwarhome.com/links3.htm#Maps
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/civil_war_maps/index.html
http://cartanciennes.free.fr/cassini/
http://project.oldmapsonline.org/collections
http://www.davidrumsey.com/
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/view/search/where/Spain?q=spain&sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort,Pub_Date,Pub_List_No,Series_No
http://www.digam.net/thema.php?lpt=177&PHPSESSID=9313576cea6646456e5d4ffd008239ec
http://liveweb.archive.org/http://www.halegaming.com/
http://cff2doc.googlepages.com/ferrarisAll.html
http://greif.uni-greifswald.de/geogreif/
http://www.simmonsgames.com/research/authors/USWarDept/Gettysburg/index.html
http://www.cwmaps.com/freemaps.html
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/map_sites/hist_sites.html
http://lazarus.elte.hu/hun/digkonyv/topo/3felmeres.htm
http://www.maphistory.info/imageeurcont.html
http://library.mcmaster.ca/maps/ww1/ndx5to40.htm
http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Johnston%2C%20Alexander%20Keith%2C%201804-1871%22
http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=subject%3A%22Historical%20geography%22
http://www.kbr.be/collections/cart_plan/ferraris/ferraris_nl.html
http://makingmaps.net/2011/11/11/map-symbols-land-use-latvia-1920s/
http://map.tylermade.co.uk/
http://www.nexus.net/~911gfx/sea-ao.html
http://lt1.mcmaster.ca/ww1/wrz4mp.php?grid=28
http://mapy.amzp.pl/tk25_list.cgi
http://www.ngi.be/NL/NL1-4-2-3.shtm
http://www.thefewgoodmen.com/thefgmforum/showthread.php?2038-Normandy-landscape-gallery&s=2d457fcd4a8fe36c4724cb789bc3bcfe
http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/his/rep-rap/doc/cmhq/cmhq130.pdf
http://igrek.amzp.pl/mapindex.php?cat=TK25
http://www.murat.ca/maps.htm
http://chingfordgames1.homestead.com/kriegspiel.html
http://www.vintyri.org/vintyri/vccindex.htm
http://www.simmonsgames.com/research/authors/GermanyHeerGeneralstab/Germany25/TextGerman.html
http://digital-library.usma.edu/collections/maps/
http://www.angelfire.com/wa/rogerswhome/awisouthern.html
http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/
http://maps.vlasenko.net/soviet-military-topographic-map/map50k.html
http://www.hipkiss.org/cgi-bin/maps.pl
http://geographie.ipt.univ-paris8.fr/rubriks/carto/cartorub/rechercheplanisphere.php
http://www.nypl.org/blog/2014/03/28/open-access-maps
http://digitalarchive.mcmaster.ca/islandora/object/macrepo:32223/-/collection
http://loisirs.ign.fr/patrimoine/espace-photo.html
http://lmharchive.ca/second-world-war-air-photos/
http://ncap.org.uk/
http://geocalvados.calvados.fr/wvsInternet/resources/index.html


Some may well be out of date but pasting the address into http://archive.org/index.php will often find a captured version of the page.

Cheers!

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #52 on: May 28, 2016, 07:35:02 PM »
Suvla Bay, Gallipoli Campaign, Dardanelles, Turkey, August 6 - 10, 1915

The Gallipoli campaign of 1915 was an Allied attempt to knock Turkey out of WWI.  For a brief moment, a naval campaign to destroy the Turkish forts guarding the gateway to Istanbul, almost succeeded.  But a combination of bad luck and Allied caution led to the naval campaign quickly losing steam.  Undaunted, the young British First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, pushed, prodded and cajoled the Army to provide troops to land on the Gallipoli peninsula.  The idea was to take the remaining forts from land, and guarantee the fleet safe passage to Istanbul. 

The landings at Gallipoli in April 1915, produced little result, and the land campaign quickly bogged down.  The Turks and Allies settled into trench warfare, sometimes within sight of beaches.   

In late summer of 1915, the Allies decided to attempt a breakout.  The plan was to land fresh troops, one of Kitchner's New Army corps, several miles behind the Turkish lines.  A successful landing would force the Turks into a retreat.  The place chosen was Suvla Bay.  On the evening of August 6, 1915, the British IX Corps, made up of the 10th (Irish) Division and the 11th (Northern) Division landed mostly unopposed. 

This is a view of the landing areas.  If you look at the map, the large salt lake was dry during the attack. 
https://www.google.com/maps/@40.3175308,26.2193118,3a,75y,143.12h,74.3t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sKPbntckcF-kvhEAutJIBnw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

In one of the most infamous examples of inept generalship in WWI, the British commander General Stopford, had his 25,000 troops sit on the beach for almost two days.  The IX Corps could have easily pushed past the scant 1,500 Turks who held defensive positions on the high ground around the beaches.  Because of his inaction, Stopford would eventually be relieved; but it was too late.  By the time the IX Corps decided to move off the beaches, the Turks had been reinforced with several divisions, and their new commander, Mustafa Kemal, had built defensive positions that the British and Irish would pay dearly trying to penetrate. 

This is a view of Green Hill.  One of the Turkish defensive positions that was hotly contested once the British tried to move off the beaches.  The British 11th Division was given the task of taking this area.  The view is from the backside of the Turkish side of the hill.  If you spin the view around, you will see the Green Hill war cemetery.
https://www.google.com/maps/@40.293146,26.2798136,3a,75y,256.05h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sASgpAV3lQ3xUBHvLUSX9aQ!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DASgpAV3lQ3xUBHvLUSX9aQ%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D97.558304%26pitch%3D0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

Eventually, like the rest of landing sites at Gallipoli, Suvla Bay would turn into a trench bound battle of stalemate.  In the end, the Gallipoli campaign was a complete Allied failure, and a great Turkish victory.  The Allies withdrew in January 1916.  Among the causalities, was Winston Churchill's early career; he was demoted and became the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Suva Bay was a bitter experience for the Allies.  For this reason, it is memorialized in the Irish revolutionary song "The Foggy Dew"; 'for it twas better to die neath an Irish sky than at Suvla....'
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 03:17:02 PM by ArizonaTank »
"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" - 1910

These are the saddest of possible words:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
      Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
      Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

"Tinker to Evers to Chance"
"where doubles go to die"

These three players helped the Cubs win four National League championships and two World Series from 1906 to 1910.

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #53 on: July 02, 2016, 09:32:18 AM »
Battle for Stonne, Champagne-Ardenne, France, May 15  - 17, 1940

As part of the German 1940 invasion of France, Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), German General  Heinz Guderian , commanding the XIX Panzer Corps, made an aggressive thrust to seize river crossings over the Meuse and push on to Sedan.  To help secure the bridgehead, Guderian ordered the 10th Panzer division, and the Gross Deutschland Infantry regiment, to attack across the Stonne plain and seize the village there.  Seeing an opening to attack the relatively lightly defended bridgehead, French General Charles Huntziger, ordered elements of his XXI Corps to counter-attack at Stonne, in the hopes of collapsing the German river crossing.

The first French attack, saw the Gross Deutschland IR defending the town with anti-tank guns against an onslaught of French Char B-1 bis tanks.  The heavily armored Char B-1s were very difficult to kill, and it was only at the edge of the village where the Germans stopped the attack, when GD AT gunners took out three of the Char B-1s at point blank range.

This view is looking toward the main French axis of advance from German positions
https://www.google.com/maps/@49.5494007,4.9234943,3a,75y,224.3h,66.26t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ssPAPNSrrXWr6H8t1mMn2aQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Here is the memorial in the village, complete with Char B-1 bis
https://www.google.com/maps/@49.5504107,4.9251355,3a,75y,315.16h,75.24t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0OgnttcezEJ1kwi_kxso7Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

There aren’t many good battle maps available on the internet, but this one on a French forum is a very good depiction of the May 15 French attack.  Note that the three knocked out Chars are marked on the map.
http://batailles-1939-1940.historyboard.net/t1589-carte-de-stonne

The battle was a seesaw affair, with the village changing hands 17 times during the course of the two days.  The Char B-1 was a surprise for the Germans.  While very slow and unreliable, the tank’s heavy armor, outclassed German capabilities at this point in the war.  On May 16, a Char B-1, commanded by Captain Pierre Billotte managed to kill 13 Panzer IIIs and IVs and take 140 hits, before being forced to retreat.

https://aw.my.com/us/news/general/pierre-billotte-hero-france

In the end Germans were able to reinforce Stonne with two more infantry divisions, and the Germans retook the village for the last time on May 17th.  The French counter-attack failed; it was a bold stroke that could have changed the course of the war, but was stopped by tenacious German defenders.
 
While the battle is somewhat obscure today, the German veterans of WWII remembered it as deadly test of wills; they dubbed it the ‘Verdun of 1940.”




« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 11:55:20 AM by ArizonaTank »
"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" - 1910

These are the saddest of possible words:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
      Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
      Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

"Tinker to Evers to Chance"
"where doubles go to die"

These three players helped the Cubs win four National League championships and two World Series from 1906 to 1910.

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #54 on: October 13, 2016, 01:07:26 PM »
Battle of Hastings, near modern day Battle, East Sussex, England, October 14, 1066

Tomorrow is the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. 

It is not exaggeration to say Hastings is the most famous battle of English history.  William, Duke of Normandy, and descendant of Viking raiders who settled in Normandy, invaded England to claim the English throne.  The invasion was triggered after Harold Godwinson, an Anglo-Saxon nobleman, crowned himself King of England, after the death of Edward the Confessor.  William believed that he had a more legitimate claim to throne than Harold, and during the spring and summer of 1066 he assembled an invasion force to take England away from Harold. 

William, after some delay, landed about 10,000 troops, including archers and cavalry, at Pevensey in late September.  At the same time, Harold, already had his hands full.  Another foreign force, the Vikings, had invaded northern England.  So Harold first marched 200 miles north to York, to defeat the Vikings at Stamford bridge.  Harold then turned around, marched back south, and positioned his very tired 7,000 troops in front of William’s advancing invasion force.

Harold, took up a superior defensive position at the top of a hill, and William came at him with ferocious frontal attacks.  The result was an all-day battle, with the Normans making repeated attacks against the Anglo-Saxon shield wall.  The battle ended, when Harold was killed by an arrow in his eye, and the Anglo-Saxon feudal army subsequently disintegrated. The rest is history.

Here is the traditional site of the battlefield.  William built an abbey on the site several years after the battle, to commemorate his victory.  This view is of the abbey grounds, and you can see where the alter was, that supposedly marked the place where Harold fell.

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9144185,0.4875878,3a,75y,23.74h,83.69t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sP1AdT6rMrNrvgwuBa5EdWw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

This article has an interesting discussion of the place where Harold is thought to have fallen:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/13/king-harolds-death-place-moved-after-battle-of-hastings-experts/

Over the years, there have been several new theories about the site of the battle.  Mostly driven by the fact that traditional site does not seem to have much archeological evidence.  The below is a link to the British Channel 4's excellent TV show “Time Team,” that discusses other theories that say the traditional site of the battle is wrong.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/10486441/Battle-of-Hastings-fought-at-site-of-mini-roundabout.html

Here is the Time Team episode.  Worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhAXPI3ueW0
« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 01:02:34 PM by ArizonaTank »
"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" - 1910

These are the saddest of possible words:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
      Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
      Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

"Tinker to Evers to Chance"
"where doubles go to die"

These three players helped the Cubs win four National League championships and two World Series from 1906 to 1910.

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #55 on: November 04, 2016, 09:14:35 AM »
Operation Biting, Bruneval, Saint-Jouin-Bruneval, France, February 27-28, 1942
"The Bruneval Raid"

In late 1941, as British bombers ramped up the night bombing campaign of the German Reich, Allied planners were becoming increasing alarmed at the effectiveness of the German radar defenses.  In order to determine how best to jam this radar network, the British set out to examine the German radar sets. 
Aerial reconnaissance soon found an isolated “Wurtzburg” radar set located on a cliff near the coastal French town of Bruneval.  Because the site was well protected from a sea-side assault, a combined para-drop, seaborne evacuation was planned.  The idea was that the paras would land behind the sea facing defenses, capture as many radar components as possible, neutralize the German defenses from behind, and then evacuate by sea.
The unit given this task was C Company of the 2nd Battalion of the British 1st Parachute Brigade.  Most of the 120 men had joined the paras from Scottish regiments.  The plan was to drop in three sections.  One section, would rush the villa where the radar was located.  One would secure the route out, and the other would provide security. 
The main assault group landed in the correct place, and was able to quickly seize the radar location and start taking parts.  They even captured one of the radar operators.  One of the security groups was dropped in the wrong place, but quickly got their bearings and were able to secure the route out. 

The landing zone for the main assault group:
https://www.google.com/maps/@49.6715118,0.1714239,3a,75y,204.31h,71.99t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1srYCc0TvBuV2WIgioAo8Zjg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The spot where one of the security groups "mislanded"
https://www.google.com/maps/@49.660541,0.1636387,3a,75y,288.16h,86.37t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s_xmdr2u2s6sh9l_V2rFpmQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The route that the assault force took to the beach for pickup:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bruneval,+76280+Saint-Jouin-Bruneval,+France/@49.6654957,0.1632304,3a,60y,39.91h,91.04t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sHQGpuowSYvr_tNlPUiHutA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x47e022c6b6705f55:0x260c14494e59dfd2!8m2!3d49.663033!4d0.163853

The beach where the six Royal Navy landing craft picked up the raiders:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bruneval,+76280+Saint-Jouin-Bruneval,+France/@49.6671772,0.1598447,3a,75y,223.07h,95.97t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-HF33vrIPUmE%2FWAie58feMPI%2FAAAAAAAAqUE%2FHzEEwQZlvOMH-A0n1ZhmZCO8bfSIdGTuQCLIB!2e4!3e11!6s%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com%2F-HF33vrIPUmE%2FWAie58feMPI%2FAAAAAAAAqUE%2FHzEEwQZlvOMH-A0n1ZhmZCO8bfSIdGTuQCLIB%2Fw203-h100-k-no-pi-0-ya6.5000167-ro-0-fo100%2F!7i6144!8i3072!4m5!3m4!1s0x47e022c6b6705f55:0x260c14494e59dfd2!8m2!3d49.663033!4d0.163853!6m1!1e1

The Germans were taken by surprise, and while they did resist, they could never provide a coordinated counter-attack.  While prowling German torpedo boats did cause some concern, the Royal Navy was able to pick up all three parts of C Company as planned. 
The result was very successful raid.  The first use of British paratroops ever.

And of course, there is plenty of good stuff on the internet about this raid.  I recommend the following youtube documentary as a good overview for those that want to know more:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXEao3JgJYc
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 06:17:44 AM by ArizonaTank »
"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" - 1910

These are the saddest of possible words:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
      Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
      Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

"Tinker to Evers to Chance"
"where doubles go to die"

These three players helped the Cubs win four National League championships and two World Series from 1906 to 1910.

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #56 on: November 25, 2016, 08:57:27 AM »
Operation Anthropoid,  Prague, Czechoslovakia  (currently the Czech Republic), May 27, 1942
The Assassination of SS Obergruppenfuhrer Heydrich

In late December 1941, the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) secretly dropped a group of soldiers from Czechoslovakia’s army in exile into Czechoslovakia.  Two of the Czech soldiers, Josef Gabcik and Jan Kubis had trained in Scotland to assassinate the Nazi’s number three in command, Reinhard Heydrich.  Heydrich, the head of the Gestapo and one of the architects of the Holocaust, was also the Nazi governor of Czechoslovakia, stationed in Prague. 

After landing, Gabcik and Kubis contacted the local Czech resistance.  With local support, the pair mapped out Heydrich’s routine.  They chose to attack him during his daily commute from his home in the Prague suburbs to his HQ in Prague Castle.  The plan was simple, while Heydrich’s car slowed on a tight turn, Gabcik would step in front of it, and pepper Heydrich with a Sten sub machine gun.  The attack was set for the morning of May 27th, 1942.  From the start, almost nothing went right.  Gabcik’s Sten jammed and Heydrich and his driver returned fire with their side arms.  At some point, Gabcik tossed a British anti-tank grenade under the car, but this seemed to do little damage.  Hitting nothing with their pistols, Gabcik and Kubis fled. 

Gabcik and Kubis believed that their mission had been a total failure.  However, shrapnel from the grenade had hit Heydrich in the back.  The SS Obergruppenfuhrer died on June 4th, from infections in the wound. 

This is the location of the attack, marked by the red pillar memorial
https://www.google.com/maps/@50.1179929,14.4651797,3a,75y,172.07h,86.03t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sbB6E3S_hDNj7_ge3RD-Mzw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


Gabcik and Kubis, along with a group of other parachutists, were hid by the Orthodox Bishop of Prague in the Church of St Cyril and Methodius.  A traitor betrayed their location, and on June 18, 750 SS troops surrounded the church in order to capture the Czechs.  After a six hour gun battle, the Czechs were all killed, either by the Germans, or by their own hand.

Church of St Cyril and Methodius.  Bullet marks from the gun battle are preserved above the memorial.
https://www.google.com/maps/@50.0758391,14.4168664,3a,75y,22.72h,92.89t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sy_mN4hme5DCTbwdIOKi9uQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


Nazi reprisals against the citizens of Prague and Czechoslovakia where immediate and ferocious.  Over 5,000 civilians were executed.  An entire village was killed because the Germans had the mistaken belief that Gabcik and Kubis had come from there.  The Nazi’s hunted down and killed the immediate family members of anyone involved.  The Orthodox Bishop of Prague and the priests who hid the Czech soldiers were executed.

Today, the Czech Republic remembers Operation Anthropoid as an act of resistance and sacrifice.  The Czech ministry of defense has published a pretty good booklet on the subject that is available here:
http://www.army.cz/images/id_7001_8000/7419/assassination-en.pdf
« Last Edit: November 28, 2016, 06:54:09 AM by ArizonaTank »
"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" - 1910

These are the saddest of possible words:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
      Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
      Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

"Tinker to Evers to Chance"
"where doubles go to die"

These three players helped the Cubs win four National League championships and two World Series from 1906 to 1910.

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #57 on: December 18, 2016, 03:38:14 PM »
Defense of Tros-Ponts Belgium, Battle of the Bulge, December 18 - 21, 1944

A major part of the German plan for the Battle of the Bulge, was a powerful armored thrust to the Meuse by the 6th Panzer Army.  To accomplish this, the cream of the German armored forces, were allocated to Kampfgruppe Peiper, made up of elements from the 1st SS Liebenstandarte Division.

Right from the beginning, Peiper's heavy armored spearhead, including King Tiger II tanks, was unable to achieve much speed.  This was mostly due to constrained terrain, that forced his armor to stick to the roads, allowing small units of American troops to cause major delays.

Tros-Ponts, Beligium was one such place.  Peiper's superior firepower was hobbled by determined Americans, using the terrain to their advantage.  On December 18th, a depleted company of US combat engineers, and a lone 57mm AT gun, successfully defended, then blew the bridge crossings over the Ambleve. 

This action is described in Hugh Cole's Official US Army History of the battle.  Available here: (by the way, it has some excellent color maps at the back of the pdf of the book)   http://www.history.army.mil/html/books/007/7-8-1/CMH_Pub_7-8-1.pdf

Page 267 - 268

While the engagement in Stavelot was still in progress, Peiper turned some of his tanks toward Trois Ponts, the important bridgehead at the confluence of the Salm and the Amblève. As Peiper puts it: “We proceeded at top speed towards Trois Ponts in an effort to seize the bridge there. . . . If we had captured the bridge at Trois Ponts intact and had had enough fuel, it would have been a simple matter to drive through to the Meuse River early that day.” One company of Mark IV tanks tried to reach Trois Ponts by following a narrow side road on the near bank of the Amblève. The road was almost impassable, and when the column came under American fire this approach was abandoned. The main part of the kampfgruppe swung through Stavelot and advanced on Trois Ponts by the highway which followed the north bank of the river. Things were looking up and it seemed that the only cause for worry was the lowering level in the panzer fuel tanks. Missing in Peiper’s calculations was an American gun, the puny 57-mm. antitank weapon which had proven such an impuissant answer to German tanks. Trois Ponts gains its name from three highway bridges, two over the Salm and one across the Amblève. The road from Stavelot passes under railroad tracks as it nears Trois Ponts, then veers sharply to the south, crosses the Amblève, continues through the narrow valley for a few hundred yards, and finally turns west at right angles to cross the Salm and enter the main section of the small village. A number of roads find their way through the deep recesses of the Salm and Amblève valleys to reach Trois Ponts, hidden among the cliffs and hills. Most, however, wind for some distance through the gorges and along the tortuous valley floors. One road, a continuation of the paved highway from Stavelot, leads immediately from Trois Ponts and the valley to the west. This road, via Werbomont, was Peiper’s objective. Company C, 51st Engineer Combat Battalion, occupied Trois Ponts, so important in the itinerary of the kampfgruppe. Quite unaware of the importance of its mission, the company had been ordered out of the sawmills it had been operating as part of the First Army’s Winterization and Bridge Timber Cutting Program, and dispatched to Trois Ponts where it detrucked about midnight on 17 December. Numbering around 140 men, the company was armed with eight bazookas and ten machine guns. Maj. Robert B. Yates, commanding the force, knew only that the 1111th Engineer Group was preparing a barrier line along the Salm River from Trois Ponts south to Bovigny and that he was to construct roadblocks at the approaches to Trois Ponts according to the group plans. During the night Yates deployed the company at roadblocks covering the bridge across the Amblève and at the vulnerable highway underpass at the railroad tracks north of the river. On the morning of 18 December a part of the artillery column of the 7th Armored Division passed through Trois Ponts, after a detour to avoid the German armor south of Malmédy; then appeared one 57-mm. antitank gun and crew which had become lost during the move of the 526th Armored Infantry Battalion. Yates commandeered the crew and placed the gun on the Stavelot road to the east of the first underpass where a daisy chain of mines had been laid. A quarter of an hour before noon the advance guard of Peiper’s main column, nineteen or twenty tanks, came rolling along the road. A shot from the lone antitank gun crippled or in somewise stopped the foremost German tank, but after a brief skirmish the enemy knocked out the gun, killed four of the crew, and drove back the engineers. The hit on the lead tank checked the German column just long enough to give warning to the bridge guards, only a few score yards farther on. They blew the Amblève bridge, then the Salm bridge, and fell back to the houses in the main part of town. In the meantime one of the engineer platoons had discouraged the German tank company from further advance along the side road and it had turned back to Stavelot 7. Frustrated by a battalion antitank gun and a handful of engineers, Kampfgruppe Peiper now had no quick exit from the valley of the Amblève. With but one avenue remaining the column turned northward toward La Gleize, moving through the canyons of the Amblève on the east side of the river.


This is the approximate location of the American roadblock where Peiper's main column was stopped by the lone 57mm AT gun (looking from the American side towards the advancing kampfgruppe):
https://www.google.com/maps/@50.3760881,5.8768563,3a,75y,83.86h,84.23t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sxpuPA8nDd4f9cYNrns1jAA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The highway underpasses mentioned in the text.  The kampfgruppe had to traverse this easily defended choke point.  Viewed from the German side.
https://www.google.com/maps/@50.3761316,5.8762212,3a,60y,324.22h,91.21t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s9vUPCp6xxjWy5DbM7S7FrQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

This is the main Stavelot highway bridge over the Ambleve.  This was blown as part of the American defense
https://www.google.com/maps/@50.3753975,5.8734069,3a,75y,37.2h,75.48t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1srVBAhmeWb-i5XoXuGYe-Dw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The side road, where a platoon of the 51st stopped a company of Pz IVs (looking from the German point of view):
https://www.google.com/maps/@50.3734397,5.8750208,3a,75y,245.08h,77.34t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sM6cY8WqlMq6YICvoRyfFxA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Another description of the Dec. 18th battle is at:
http://www.battleofthebulgememories.be/stories26/us-army25/486-defense-at-trois-ponts-company-qcq-51st-engineer-combat-bn.html

Peiper was not done with Tros-Ponts yet.  On the 19th, the 51st Engineers were relieved by 2/505th Parachute Regiment.  And another fight ensued on Dec. 21st.  The description of this fight, in the words of the Commander of "E" Co. 2/505th is at:
http://505rct.org/album2/vandervoort_b.asp

In the end, the Germans were never able to fully clear Tros-Ponts, and like Bastogne, it's very existence, blocking a vital portion of the road net, doomed the German advance. 

Memorials to the defense of Tros-Ponts can be seen on Google:
https://www.google.com/maps/@50.3757522,5.8738245,3a,46.6y,159.31h,78.8t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sW4Z_SYgDk9P7fxeaPUyhpw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

A web site describing the memorials.
http://ardennes.secondworldwar.nl/monuments-trois-ponts.php#.WFXXQ8EiyAg

Finally, for wargamers.  Here is an interesting GHQ micro-armor scenario, with some great maps of the location.  However, it should be taken with a grain of salt, since some of the information seems to be a little off (understandable since it is a reprint of a 1993 article, pre-Internet times, when research resources were not as accessible).
http://www.ghqmodels.com/newsletters/novdec2013.pdf












« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 05:32:46 PM by ArizonaTank »
"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" - 1910

These are the saddest of possible words:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
      Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
      Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

"Tinker to Evers to Chance"
"where doubles go to die"

These three players helped the Cubs win four National League championships and two World Series from 1906 to 1910.

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #58 on: February 11, 2017, 01:26:20 PM »
Battle of Monocacy, near Frederick, Maryland, July 9, 1864
“The Battle that Saved Washington”

In the early summer of 1864, Grant stripped troops from the defense of Washington, D.C., for his final push against Lee and Richmond.  He was confident, that the South was on its last legs.  Even if Lee did try to invade the North again, there were several Union forces available to stop him.

From Lee’s side of the table, he desperately needed something to force Grant to lessen the pressure on the CSA forces fighting tooth and nail to save Richmond.  Also, Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley, under David Hunter, were creating havoc, threatening to cut off the Valley as one of Lee’s supply sources.   So in late June, Lee dispatched Jubal Early, with Stonewall Jackson's old corps of 15,000 men, to clear the Valley and cause as much havoc as possible. 

Jubal Early’s corps met David Hunter at the Battle of Lynchburg on June 17-18, forcing Hunter to retreat into West Virginia.  This left the Valley wide open for Early’s march north.  The next Federal force, at Harper’s Ferry, stepped aside, leaving the route to Washington wide open.
 
Early’s march, then took him into Maryland, where he planned to turn southeast at Frederick, and move straight into Washington.  But Union Major General Lew Wallace (who would later write “Ben Hur”), heard about the Confederate advance from B&O Railroad agents, and he quickly mobilized his forces in Baltimore to march out and stop Early. 

With prompting from the B&O Railroad President, Wallace chose to defend the rail and road bridges at Monocacy Junction, a critical transportation choke point.  Wallace’s command at Baltimore was made up of training units, so he had only 2,500 relatively green troops, not nearly enough to stop Early.  Wallace wired for reinforcements, and on July 8th, he was joined by veteran troops from Brigadier General Rickett’s division, who had been rushed from Grant’s 6th Corps.  In total, Wallace now had about 6,000 men, to Early’s 12,000.

The battle started in the mid-morning of July 9th, with a spirited attempt by Confederate troops under Ramseur to force their way over the main river crossing.  They were met with dug in artillery and infantry, and despite heavy skirmishing, the Federals would not be dislodged.

Here is the field where the battle began.  Ramseur’s CSA troops crossed from the right, heading toward the rail bridge over the Monocacy River to the left. 
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.3736003,-77.3945842,3a,54.8y,240.88h,82.92t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sr6sXCijn869Vxc6vmPrM3A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

Here is the bridge over the Monocacy.  The covered B&O rail bridge would have been to the right.  This view is looking toward the advancing Confederates.
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.3686426,-77.389842,3a,75y,339.21h,85.44t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sVXNRjUf4ewDTSE-MW2xzcw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DVXNRjUf4ewDTSE-MW2xzcw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D11.766023%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

Deciding against a frontal assault, Early sent his cavalry around the Unions left flank.  McCausland’s Confederate horsemen initially had easy going crossing the river a mile from the main crossing.  Then they ran into Ricketts’ men, and the CSA cavalry were sent reeling by several well placed volleys.

Not to be deterred, Early then reinforced his cavalry with Major General John B Gordon’s infantry.  Gordon began a fierce attack against the Union left and Ricketts’ men.  While Ricketts held Gordon off for most of the afternoon, eventually, the Union left buckled around 3:30pm, forcing Wallace to retreat.

The rolling countryside where Gordon’s troops clashed with Ricketts’.  This looking across lines.  The Union troops were on the right, the Confederate on the left.
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.3568256,-77.3903725,3a,75y,292.75h,84.05t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sMSpcumHrZCXvAXMRJmVUUg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

While Monocacy was technically a Union loss, it was a strategic victory for the Federal Government.  The fighting at Monocacy held up Early for a crucial day, giving Federal forces more time to organize the defense of Washington.  When Early’s troops reached the outskirts of Washington they were met by recently arrived Union troops, dug-in around Fort Stevens.  The resulting battle dashed Early’s hopes to advance into Washington, and after two days, he retreated back to the Valley.  One interesting side note about the Battle of Ft. Stevens is that it is the only time a sitting US President has come under enemy fire.  Lincoln stood on the ramparts observing the battle, while Confederate bullets plinked all around him.

These are the reconstructed ramparts of Ft. Stevens in the Washington, DC suburbs.
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9648096,-77.0298751,3a,65.3y,124.34h,88.32t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLOkE7ji9FlVBDUNvn4eVig!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

FYSA, my inspiration to look up the location of this battle, is the latest Strategy and Tactics (S&T) magazine No. 303.  The magazine has a great article about Jubal Early’s 1864 campaign to take Washington.  For boardgamers, if you are looking to game Monocacy, there appears to be only one boardgame, published by SPI, as part of the Great Battles of the Civil War series.  However, MMP currently has a title in the works covering both Monocacy and Ft. Stevens. 

This is a pretty good overview of the troop movements on the battlefield that day. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5mCQkzsXz0

A CSPAN discussion of the battle
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFQVpKgztvw

US Army History Article
https://armyhistory.org/the-battle-of-monocacy-9-july-1864/

Battlemap
http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/monocacy/maps/monocacymap.html
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 09:27:54 AM by ArizonaTank »
"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" - 1910

These are the saddest of possible words:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
      Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
      Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

"Tinker to Evers to Chance"
"where doubles go to die"

These three players helped the Cubs win four National League championships and two World Series from 1906 to 1910.

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: Battlefield Tours - Virtually: Google Street View Links
« Reply #59 on: April 01, 2017, 07:59:51 AM »
Lochnagar Crater, the Battle of the Somme, near La Boisselle, Picardy, France, July 1st, 1916

At 7:28am on July 1st, 1916, the British army opened up its Somme Offensive with the explosion of 19 carefully dug mines under German positions.  The largest of these was the Lochnagar Mine, named after a street in London. 

The tunnel was directly sited along the main axis of advance south east of La Boisselle.  The British Royal Engineers had taken nearly eight months to build the tunnel and managed to get directly under a German strongpoint.  The British tunnelers put 60,000 pounds of explosive into the mine. 

The explosion was the largest the world had seen up to that point.  It vaporized hundreds of German defenders, and created a crater 450 feet wide.  The sound was reportedly heard as far away as London.

The Grimsby Chums, an infantry battalion of the British 34th Division were able to quickly occupy the crater, but German counter-attacks from the second line of trenches, and German artillery fire kept the Chums from advancing further.

Here is a view of the Lochnagar Crater today.  It is a private war memorial and sees hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Lochnagar+Crater/@50.0158465,2.6975187,3a,75y,123h,64.35t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-M5DwUSXSQt4%2FV3jpGDWjVJI%2FAAAAAAAAhy0%2F-be5SqeosUg_Irk9zvXkPEOXd1Lvq93qgCJkC!2e4!3e11!6s%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2F-M5DwUSXSQt4%2FV3jpGDWjVJI%2FAAAAAAAAhy0%2F-be5SqeosUg_Irk9zvXkPEOXd1Lvq93qgCJkC%2Fw203-h100-k-no-pi0-ya5.455027-ro-0-fo100%2F!7i9948!8i4736!4m5!3m4!1s0x47dd58f6fc508de7:0x1f612a72b76f1ee!8m2!3d50.0155739!4d2.6973836!6m1!1e1

A good memorial web site is at:

http://www.greatwar.co.uk/somme/memorial-lochnagar-crater.htm
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 08:40:01 AM by ArizonaTank »
"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" - 1910

These are the saddest of possible words:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
      Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
      Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
      “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

"Tinker to Evers to Chance"
"where doubles go to die"

These three players helped the Cubs win four National League championships and two World Series from 1906 to 1910.