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Obscure Facts#4 - 11/19/2016 1:03:39 PM   
m10bob


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The New Guinea campaign was one of the worst fought in all of WW2, and morale amongst the troops suffered as much as one might expect, considering an active foe and the harsh environment and crippling diseases present, such as Malaria.

One enterprising Australian officer wanted to do something to help the morale of the troops and began a camouflage contest, with the best by a unit being treated with a leave for the entire unit at home.

The contest was won by the 39th Battalion, which when granted the leave...deserted to a man.


Source:DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS OF WW2...Jim Dunnigan and Albert Nofi...ISBN 0-688-12288-4




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< Message edited by m10bob -- 11/19/2016 1:07:12 PM >


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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/19/2016 2:31:34 PM   
crsutton


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Which is why you don't send an entire unit on leave at once. There is no peer pressure to go back.

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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/19/2016 3:31:12 PM   
Yaab


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Too bad the environment effects are so muted in the game. Rotation? That is for the air art!

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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/19/2016 3:40:20 PM   
MakeeLearn

 

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Over the hills and far away....

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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/19/2016 9:03:25 PM   
Reg


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Looks like a slight exaggeration to me.....

2nd AIF (Australian Imperial Force) and CMF (Citizen Military Forces) unit war diaries, 1939-45 War, AWM52 8/3/78 - 39 Infantry Battalion

Note the entry for 23Jan43;
"The Bn marched out of the area* to SOPUTA area with a strength of 7 Off. and 25 ORs."
(* Gona)

and for 02May43;
"Adj and 180 trps returned from leave."




< Message edited by Reg -- 11/19/2016 9:14:41 PM >


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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/20/2016 3:11:17 AM   
SheperdN7


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By any chance can you group up all of these "Obscure Facts#1... #2....#.... etc."threads into 1 thread titled "obscure facts"? Trust me, I love these little tidbits of info but I just think we could reduce the amount of clutter on the main forum if we group all this info into one thread

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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/20/2016 4:59:05 AM   
JeffK


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In lieu of your (or the book)providing detail such as date & location.

While in New Guinea, where would the Battalion desert to???

If back in Australia, On 25 March the Bn (as well as 49Bn) were given 14 days leave, travel time not included so as a Victorian Bn you could add 10 days travel each way.

Then, as Reg says, On 2 May Adj & 180 men returned from leave, allowing the rear party of 20+ to take leave.
As Bn strength would only be around 300-400 men this represents the majority.

In May, 30 Bde was to be converted from a Militia Bde to an AIF Bde so any men not qualifying for AIF service may not have returned to unit.

After shipping to PM in early 1942, trekking over the Owen Stanleys, fighting a witdrawal over the OS then fighting back over the OS before performing a creditable role at Gona/Buna the poor buggers deserved a few extra days!

< Message edited by JeffK -- 11/20/2016 5:14:47 AM >


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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/20/2016 1:14:31 PM   
m10bob


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

In lieu of your (or the book)providing detail such as date & location.

While in New Guinea, where would the Battalion desert to???

If back in Australia, On 25 March the Bn (as well as 49Bn) were given 14 days leave, travel time not included so as a Victorian Bn you could add 10 days travel each way.

Then, as Reg says, On 2 May Adj & 180 men returned from leave, allowing the rear party of 20+ to take leave.
As Bn strength would only be around 300-400 men this represents the majority.

In May, 30 Bde was to be converted from a Militia Bde to an AIF Bde so any men not qualifying for AIF service may not have returned to unit.

After shipping to PM in early 1942, trekking over the Owen Stanleys, fighting a witdrawal over the OS then fighting back over the OS before performing a creditable role at Gona/Buna the poor buggers deserved a few extra days!



This is exactly why I provided the source for this claim..The unit has an otherwise fantastic history.
Here is a page from one of my favorite sites concerning "all things Australian"..It only has one strange comment near the bottom suggesting a "mysterious reason" for the unit being removed from the OOB..

http://diggerhistory.info/pages-conflicts-periods/ww2/pages-2aif-cmf/39-battalion.htm

< Message edited by m10bob -- 11/20/2016 1:17:00 PM >


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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/20/2016 1:23:52 PM   
m10bob


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quote:

ORIGINAL: SheperdN7

By any chance can you group up all of these "Obscure Facts#1... #2....#.... etc."threads into 1 thread titled "obscure facts"? Trust me, I love these little tidbits of info but I just think we could reduce the amount of clutter on the main forum if we group all this info into one thread



This is how we have done it for years, and the other forumites have accepted that format for those years.
These interesting (and sometimes controversial points) have been entered individually for those who like them.

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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/21/2016 4:07:45 AM   
Reg


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Hi Bob,

Not trying to be biased or anything but I just can't see the evidence there...

Could be a bit of a Furphy* here though it would make a good story if true.

(Maybe those 180 trps were rounded up...)


* Furphy - Wikipedia


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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/21/2016 4:44:26 AM   
JeffK


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I believe the comments on "Diggerhistory" an attempt to make a story out of nothing.

The entire 30 Brigade was disbanded, not just 39 Bn. The Brigade was only formed in January 42, while attached to 6th Div at the time it was the "odd man out" The imminent return of 19 Bde to its parent Division saw the understrength 30 Bde the perfect canditate for disbandment.

At this time Australia was suffering a manpower shortage, keeping some 15 Divisions plus a growing Air Force & Navy plus the inevitable "REMF" could not be continued. Losses in 40 odd months of combat were biting as well.

Prior to May 1943, 5 Infantry & 12 Light Horse/Motor Bns were disbanded or merged, In this mid 1943 period there was a shake up of the Armoured/Motor Divisions, some of the Infantry Divisions converted to a Jungle TOE and the Australian base changed from a defensive stance to becoming a base for counterattack into Papua New Guinea and places North.

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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/21/2016 12:42:04 PM   
m10bob


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

I believe the comments on "Diggerhistory" an attempt to make a story out of nothing.

The entire 30 Brigade was disbanded, not just 39 Bn. The Brigade was only formed in January 42, while attached to 6th Div at the time it was the "odd man out" The imminent return of 19 Bde to its parent Division saw the understrength 30 Bde the perfect canditate for disbandment.

At this time Australia was suffering a manpower shortage, keeping some 15 Divisions plus a growing Air Force & Navy plus the inevitable "REMF" could not be continued. Losses in 40 odd months of combat were biting as well.

Prior to May 1943, 5 Infantry & 12 Light Horse/Motor Bns were disbanded or merged, In this mid 1943 period there was a shake up of the Armoured/Motor Divisions, some of the Infantry Divisions converted to a Jungle TOE and the Australian base changed from a defensive stance to becoming a base for counterattack into Papua New Guinea and places North.



I may be showing an amount of prejudice here.
When looking at that units' valorous history and their deeds in combat, for me, (a combat vet with EXTREME experience), it is very acceptable for me to think a unit just might go "over the hill", (for a time anyway), when finally allowed out of that harsh arena.
This has nothing to do with cowardice, as it does with sanity.
From this standpoint, you might understand why the claim might be credible. In the end, I was not there.It is not MY claim.



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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/21/2016 7:55:35 PM   
bobdina

 

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We do it for ot=things to ponder with over 57 pages no reason not to merge these

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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/22/2016 5:36:16 AM   
JeffK


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quote:

ORIGINAL: m10bob


quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

I believe the comments on "Diggerhistory" an attempt to make a story out of nothing.

The entire 30 Brigade was disbanded, not just 39 Bn. The Brigade was only formed in January 42, while attached to 6th Div at the time it was the "odd man out" The imminent return of 19 Bde to its parent Division saw the understrength 30 Bde the perfect canditate for disbandment.

At this time Australia was suffering a manpower shortage, keeping some 15 Divisions plus a growing Air Force & Navy plus the inevitable "REMF" could not be continued. Losses in 40 odd months of combat were biting as well.

Prior to May 1943, 5 Infantry & 12 Light Horse/Motor Bns were disbanded or merged, In this mid 1943 period there was a shake up of the Armoured/Motor Divisions, some of the Infantry Divisions converted to a Jungle TOE and the Australian base changed from a defensive stance to becoming a base for counterattack into Papua New Guinea and places North.



I may be showing an amount of prejudice here.
When looking at that units' valorous history and their deeds in combat, for me, (a combat vet with EXTREME experience), it is very acceptable for me to think a unit just might go "over the hill", (for a time anyway), when finally allowed out of that harsh arena.
This has nothing to do with cowardice, as it does with sanity.
From this standpoint, you might understand why the claim might be credible. In the end, I was not there.It is not MY claim.



The problem I have is the comments were posted with little research as to their accuracy. I dont mean to imply you are being malicious in your post, but if I posted about a US Army unit deserting (without basis for the comment) you would rightly get your back up.
Both Reg and I have posted comments which bring this article into doubt and are trying to set the record straight.

You can get Dunnigan & Nofi's book in pdf form, its hundreds/thousands of articles have no sources quoted, the book has a very limited list of "Suggested books to read". It looks like a collection of S&T FYI articles.

In this case, the Battalion, Brigade & Division War Diaries do not mention such an occurance, the 39 Bn Association website does not mention it or any "desertion" or conspiracy about its disbandment. I have a few more books to check but most end their story on the Bns relief at Gona.

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RE: Obscure Facts#4 - 11/22/2016 12:23:35 PM   
m10bob


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From: Dismal Seepage Indiana
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quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK


quote:

ORIGINAL: m10bob


quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

I believe the comments on "Diggerhistory" an attempt to make a story out of nothing.

The entire 30 Brigade was disbanded, not just 39 Bn. The Brigade was only formed in January 42, while attached to 6th Div at the time it was the "odd man out" The imminent return of 19 Bde to its parent Division saw the understrength 30 Bde the perfect canditate for disbandment.

At this time Australia was suffering a manpower shortage, keeping some 15 Divisions plus a growing Air Force & Navy plus the inevitable "REMF" could not be continued. Losses in 40 odd months of combat were biting as well.

Prior to May 1943, 5 Infantry & 12 Light Horse/Motor Bns were disbanded or merged, In this mid 1943 period there was a shake up of the Armoured/Motor Divisions, some of the Infantry Divisions converted to a Jungle TOE and the Australian base changed from a defensive stance to becoming a base for counterattack into Papua New Guinea and places North.



I may be showing an amount of prejudice here.
When looking at that units' valorous history and their deeds in combat, for me, (a combat vet with EXTREME experience), it is very acceptable for me to think a unit just might go "over the hill", (for a time anyway), when finally allowed out of that harsh arena.
This has nothing to do with cowardice, as it does with sanity.
From this standpoint, you might understand why the claim might be credible. In the end, I was not there.It is not MY claim.



The problem I have is the comments were posted with little research as to their accuracy. I dont mean to imply you are being malicious in your post, but if I posted about a US Army unit deserting (without basis for the comment) you would rightly get your back up.
Both Reg and I have posted comments which bring this article into doubt and are trying to set the record straight.

You can get Dunnigan & Nofi's book in pdf form, its hundreds/thousands of articles have no sources quoted, the book has a very limited list of "Suggested books to read". It looks like a collection of S&T FYI articles.

In this case, the Battalion, Brigade & Division War Diaries do not mention such an occurance, the 39 Bn Association website does not mention it or any "desertion" or conspiracy about its disbandment. I have a few more books to check but most end their story on the Bns relief at Gona.


We have no argument.
It was not my claim, and as you have observed, I posted the source.

As for your comment that I would "get my back up" had you posted something about an American unit...it proves you know little about me.

I could tell you thing about the 24th Infantry Rgt in Korea and why they were called the "Chines Quartermaster"...or the alleged reason the First Cav has its' patch...and its' meaning....but I digress, LOL

My posting of these trivia notes drew too much problem to merit a continuation.

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