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Thread: Dundee WW2 Tragedy

  1. #1
    Administrator Mio's Avatar
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    Default Dundee WW2 Tragedy


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    Very interesting Mio.

    It certainly sounds like a hushed-up D Day related training exercise.

    Dunno if you know this, but the Germans flooded much of the coastal hinterland in Normandy and other low lying parts of Northern France to deter glider landings and paratroops. They breached dams and rerouted rivers etc to turn huge swathes of open country into what were in effect giant lakes.

    When the US airborne dropped paratroops inland on June 5 to take strategic towns and bridges, many landed in the water and, like in the Dundee exercise, many drowned. I think this may even have featured in the Band of Brothers tv series.

    Anyway, my guess is the Tay exercise was aimed at dropping paras, fully equipped into shallow water. But given the prevailing weather, many were blown into open sea.

  3. #3

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    "Seven drowned, while one refused to jump and was court-martialled."
    It's so easy to laugh, it's so easy to hate, it takes guts to be gentle and kind

  4. #4

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    Saw that Loopy, sheer madness.

    I read the article again in the Courier and can make an educated guess on why the tragedy happened.

    Lord Alanbrooke had travelled up from London to observe the exercise. He was CIGS, ie the highest ranked military officer in the Empire forces. He is credited with being the brains behind British successes and of reigning in some of Churchill's more fanciful ideas.

    Anyway, given his status and the fact he seems to have come specially, I guess that the officers in charge decided not to inconvenience him by cancelling the exercise, despite weather and operational warnings that disaster beckoned. Also, I noted that the pilots had flown up from Southern England, meaning they would have been unfamiliar with the terrain.

    So being brutal, it could be said that seven men died not to inconvenience the Chief of the Imperial Staff.

    The matter was hushed up nominally because it was D Day related. But one wonders also if it was hushed up because it was a shameless, and repugnant sacrifice of life for no good reason.
    Last edited by Geckoman; 19-06-2018 at 09:42.

  5. #5
    Eastie International Yoonited's Avatar
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    As an historian, and one that has looked at the fate of Dundonians and Dundee's role in both wars, that is a sad, interesting and new piece of information.

    Not Dundee's Ain in any way, but a sad reflection on how some of the higher in the military regard the working class of Britain, and particularly Scotland as 1915 proves.

    Thanks for that, Mio - I will use some of that when educating my people down here that think it was all about Gallipoli.

    World War II, of course, was merely an extension of World War I. Twenty years and the curse of the Treaty of Versailles and the rejection of Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points.
    Last edited by Yoonited; 22-06-2018 at 11:11.
    I think the worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades.

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    Eastie International Yoonited's Avatar
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    Churchill was a ****, of course. Anybody with a brain knows this.
    I think the worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades.

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