A shot from a Tiger's 88mm gun could penetrate the front armor of a Cruiser 2,000 metres away, but a Cruiser's 57mm gun couldn't penetrate the front armor of a Tiger one metre away. (This fact has been revealed only recently. Was it known in 1944?).
Mayman, a member of the tank regiment, the 15th /19th King's Royal Hussars, kept secret wartime diaries recounting his Army life from November 5, 1943 until his return home from Germany on leave on April 21, 1945.
The diaries, already published as a book, Led Soldiers, are now being posted day by day as a blog on the Internet, to the delight of exservicemen - not all of them Brits - and military historians around the world.
These diaries provide a living account of Mayman's conscription, induction and training, leading up to his experiences under fire as his regiment fought its way through France, Belgium, Holland and into Germany.
Mayman, now 85, unearthed his forgotten diaries two years ago, while rummaging in the loft of his home in Aughton, West Lancashire, UK. He thought no-one would be interested in them but gave them to his two daughters, Merron Mitchell and Joy Murphy, to look at.
"As soon as I started to read them, I was enthralled," Joy told Gemma Jaleel, a feature writer of a local newspaper, the Ormskirk Advertiser. "My dad was only 19 when he started to keep a diary of his war experiences. Every day he would make an entry, however difficult it was. Sometimes he would be writing under a tank after days fighting, always with a fountain pen(*) and whenever he could with illustrations."
"Given the high mortality rate of his regiment, I think it was a way of trying to leave something behind in case of his death. Fortunately he survived, as did the diaries."
Mayman left school at the age of 15, and began work as a wages clerk for Rycroft and Hartley Ltd, a local textiles company. He then found a better-paying job in a Royal Ordnance Factory which manufactured aircraft shells in nearby Steeton.
He met his future wife Dorothy at the Methodist Youth Club when they were both 17. Two years later, on Sept. 3, 1942, he was conscripted into the Army.
Doug and Dorothy married on April 23, 1945. They have four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
These days, at 85, Doug describes himself as "a retired finance director - very much EX financial consultant. All jobs too big. Available for social occasions."
Harking back to the first World War: at least one soldier celebrated Christmas 1917 in the trenches in style. Here's an extract from a blog posted by Dumdad, an English journalist living in Paris:
Private William Jackman was a servant to Captain Morrison who was a multi-millionaire. Morrison arranged for hampers of food from Fortnum and Mason's to be delivered to the trenches regularly and for a bottle of 1900 port from Berry's to be sent out every three days plus cases of whisky and brandy. These were in boxes marked Red Cross.
2008/12/23 오후 2:34
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