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#333088 11/11/2017 12:14 AM
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Dave Offline OP
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Tell us about battlefields or sites connected with war that you have visited. Big, small, out of the way. Please, no cut-n-paste essays from Wikepedia grin


The oldest and probably most significant that I have visited was Battle in Sussex - the site of the Battle of Hastings. To set the scene, Edward the Confessor, King of England had died in early 1066. Harold Godwinson had claimed the throne and been crowned. William, Duke of Normandy claimed the crown had been promised to him and decided to invade England and depose Harold.

He landed in late September and went in search of Harold and his army. They met on October 14, 1066 about 8 miles North of Hastings. Harold and his dismounted men occupied the top of a hill and formed a shield wall. They were armed with swords, lances, and the feared Saxon war axes. Best estimates say he had about 7000 men.

William, with about 10,000 including cavalry, surrounded the base of the hill and headed up. He was beaten back most of the day until his troops broke and ran back downhill (or pretended to) and the Saxon broke ranks and followed ... and were cut down. The same thing happened 2 or 3 times and thinned out the Saxons. William ordered his archers to fire in the air so plunging arrows would hit behind the Saxon shield wall. The Saxon were not doing too well when an arrow supposedly hit Harold in the eye. The Normans won.

This profoundly changed the character of England forever.

Dave

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I recently visited the Civil War battlefields around Richmond Virginia. I was amazed that many of the original trenches in the forests have not been removed. You can stand between the two lines and feel how terrible the fighting was. Spent the day driving to the different battlefields. In the area I was in there were battles at both the beginning and the end of the war. I will try and post a couple of photos from the Museum in Richmond.

I attached a few phots, Lee's tent, a uniform from Shiloh, and a house that was used as a surgery during the battles.

Shilo.jpg (65.75 KB, 100 downloads)
Lees tent.jpg (72.68 KB, 100 downloads)
Field hospital.jpg (119.33 KB, 100 downloads)
Last edited by Jim W; 11/11/2017 01:16 AM.
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Years ago I went to Kharkov.. Really nothing there, wilderness where we were. My wifes cousins were metal detecting and looking for depressions in the fields [usually old bunkers underneath!].. They found a lot in the early days and sent many a grided map to Germany's war graves agency so family would know where their relatives had fallen. This was done thru the dog tags found.....


,Warsaw.. Most of that whole city was a battlefield many times during the war.. Fantastic place to visit. Mostly modern now but there is 'Old Town' and it still has portions of the Ghetto wall standing,,buildings rebuilt to exact specs,,a great WW1 memorial..
Many spots along the streets with metal placks describing about the war with 'Hitlerism' and what went on at that spot. And to top it off the absolute best Warsaw Rebellion museum!, great modern made displays and items to see.
Great people, great food.. Seems like history everywhere you look and you can still get lucky with a small collectible if your smart!

Last edited by Gaspare; 11/11/2017 04:54 AM.
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M
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Fort pitt and fort necessity both last summer and both part of the French and Indian war
fort necessity is a wonderfully kept and particularly beautiful national historic battlefield southeast of Pittsburgh
Fort pitt and Fort Duquesne were where Pittsburgh is today really the story helped set the stage for the inevitable conflict that would lead to our war for independence
Fort pitt still has the blockhouse intact and is the site of a neat little museum in the heart of Pittsburgh business district
Neat trip

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Haven't been to many.
Corregidor and Bataan [and Ft Drum], quite a thrill to visit these blood soaked battle grounds that I have read so much about.

States, just Gettysburg and Bull Run.
Shiloh, Antietam and Chancellorsville on the bucket list.


Doug
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Dave Offline OP
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If you have descriptions or comments or pictures, please add. Especially Corregidor and Bataan

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In 2009 my wife son and I traveled to Paris. With the urging of my wife took train to Normandy. Took bus from Bayeaux to Omaha beach then stayed at a beach house at dog green sector of Omaha beach outstanding my son and I spent late afternoon into evening exploring beach, pillboxes and the old evacuation airfield outstanding cheers and best, Ryan

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Dave Offline OP
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Normandy is full of history from the Norman Conquest of England to Omaha beach.

Hope you took in the Bayeux Tapestry

Dave

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Believe it or not I didn't even think to bring a camera with me, I thought it would distract from my enjoyment [this was in the late 90's], so all I have is my memory of it.
Was mind blowing, I was awed. Corregidor is incredible, spent nearly 5 days there and did as much exploring as I could, much of it off the beaten path.
Can be very dangerous, cobras and other dangerous animals lurk, and there are open airshafts and tunnels that you can easily fall into and you'd never get out. Didn't go off my myself too often for that reason, I did climb Malinta Hill by myself and enjoyed every minute of it.

The Bataan of WW2 fame is far gone forever, much of it is developed, cultivated and trashed in what was wild jungle back then but there are still a few gems, didn't explore nearly enough to get a good picture of it.

Fort Drum was absolutely amazing, for those that don't know it was/is a fortified island near Corregidor.
In the early 1900's the US razed the island nearly to the sea and built it up with steel and concrete in the shape of a battleship, and it had 4 14" guns to back it up.
They were the only guns we had during the siege that could fire with impunity. Japanese fired a ridiculous amount of ordinance into it, including the largest caliber mortars ever made [In the high 200's, Germans may have had one bigger] ,,, They did nothing but chip the concrete, never penetrated and in fact only suffered a few casualties during the entire siege.
The big guns were firing right up until the surrender [though their effectiveness was limited due to our near total loss of the air, which made spotting nearly impossible] - The big guns were spiked and surrendered along with Corregidor.
[I think it was crewed by around 300, less than 50 survived brutal captivity ... I'm doubting if there are any Drum vets left with us]

We took it back in 1945, and it has been moldering in the bay every since. Very tough to access it, the fort was made obviously to be hard to access. You have to go on a relatively calm day, you hire a sampan or banca to take you out there and walk a plank to one of the few areas that its even possible to get to.
An amazing wreck, and also extremely dangerous. The upper deck is sound but the lower decks are full of cavernous holes and weakened cement - Much of it wrecked by scrappers, plowing into floors and walls for rebar over the years.
It has 4 levels,1st 2 are dangerous but doable, third is nearly impossible and mostly flooded, 4th is gone forever, caved in and flooded when we retook the fort in 1945 with 100's of Japanese still entombed in it.
Big guns we still standing proud when I was there, in the same positions they were when they were fired the last time and spiked in 1942. They have since unfortunately sunk back into the turrets, from deterioration and scrappers.
It is now off limits and you would be subject to arrest for even sailing close to it.

Anyone interested in Corregidor/Bataan [and the other fortified islands, there are more than Corregidor and Drum] has to visit this site

http://corregidor.proboards.com/board/21/trip-reports

And this sub forum if anyone wants to learn more about Ft Drum with lots and lots of pictures, including a guy who had the stones to enter the 3rd level [had to bring a raft with him]

http://corregidor.proboards.com/board/10/concrete-battleship

Last edited by Skynyrd; 11/16/2017 03:55 AM.

Doug
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Dave Offline OP
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Thanks, Doug. Much Appreciated

Dave

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Dave Offline OP
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I have been lucky in that I lived outside the US and traveled a lot on business.

The most remote site I visited connected with war was Qoin Hill Airfield on the northern side of the island of Efate in the New Hebrides Islands... Now "Vanuatu".

Vanuatu is a group of many islands about 1000 miles east of northern Australia. See top map.

Apart from about 270,000 people there isn't much there except tree, cows, pigs and fish. Beautiful crystal clear water and warm year around.

Vanuatu became important in mid 1942 When the Japanese began building an airfield on a remote island called Guadalcanal. It was the closest non-Japanese land to the Solomon Islands.


Vanuatu_map.png (71.68 KB, 31 downloads)
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Dave Offline OP
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The airfield is on the north coast of Efate, the island with the largest city - Port Villa. See map above.

If you look at the map below on the top right corner of Efate, you can see the airfield.

It was a staging airfield for Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. It was home to USMC fighter squadrons VMF 141, 212, and 236.

Also below is a picture of F6F fighter that I think was shot there

Map_of_approach_to_Efate_Island.jpg (78.98 KB, 30 downloads)
F6F-3_Hellcats_.jpg (110.43 KB, 30 downloads)
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Dave Offline OP
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This was the field in December of 1977. Nothing left at all.

IMG.jpg (52.41 KB, 30 downloads)
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Those jungle strips get reclaimed quickly, surprised it wasn't overgrown.
Apparently the runway surfacing hindered growth for quite some time, probably layers of hard packed gravel and sand.


Doug
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Dave Offline OP
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Doug,

The runways were made of crushed corral and seashells because they drained quickly after the twice daily rains. At least two or three feet deep. Most stuff, after the war would get a start then die because the roots never sunk into permanent moisture.

Same thing on New Caledonia's abandoned B-17 field at Plaine Des Gaiacs.

Dave


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