Extraordinary men, unheard of sacrifice. June 6, 1944 – a day that will forever be remembered as a turning point in history. More than just a military operation, it was a pivotal moment in the fight for freedom and democracy. More than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end, the Allies gained a foothold in Continental Europe. The cost of lives on D-Day was high. More than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded, but their sacrifice allowed more than 100,000 Soldiers to begin the slow, hard slog across Europe, to defeat the German war machine.

THE FIRST WAVE. The men highlighted in grey in this 1941 image died in the first wave on Omaha Beach on D-Day – nineteen from one small community in Virginia. The Bedford Boys.

Thank you to my Uncle Charlie who fought with the First Infantry Division. As part of II Corps, the division landed in Oran, Algeria on 8 November 1942 as part of Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North Africa. Elements of the division then took part in combat at Maktar, Tebourba, Medjez el Bab, the Battle of Kasserine Pass, and Gafsa. It then led the Allied assault in brutal fighting at El Guettar, Béja, and Mateur. The 1st Infantry Division was in combat in the Tunisian Campaign from 21 January 1943 to 9 May 1943, helping secure Tunisia. The campaign ended just days later, with the surrender of almost 250,000 Axis soldiers. After months of nearly continuous fighting, the division had a short rest before training for the next operation.

In July 1943, the division took part in the Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, still under the command of Major General Allen. Lieutenant General George S. Patton, commanding the U.S. Seventh Army, specifically requested the division as part of his forces for the invasion of Sicily. It was still assigned to the II Corps. In Sicily, the 1st Division saw heavy action when making amphibious landings opposed by Italian and German tanks at the Battle of Gela. The 1st Division then moved up through the center of Sicily, slogging it out through the mountains along with the 45th Infantry Division. In these mountains, the division saw some of the heaviest fighting in the entire Sicilian campaign at the Battle of Troina; some units lost more than half their strength in assaulting the mountain town. On 7 August 1943, Major General Allen was relieved of his command by Lieutenant General Omar Bradley, then commanding the II Corps. Allen was replaced by Major General Clarence R. Huebner who was, like Allen, a decorated veteran of World War I who had served with the 1st Infantry Division throughout the war.

When that campaign was over, the division returned to England, arriving there on 5 November 1943 to prepare for the eventual invasion of Normandy. One regimental combat team from 1st Infantry Division and one regimental combat team from the 29th Infantry Division as well as A, B, C companies of the 2nd Rangers Battalion and the 5th Rangers Battalion comprised the first wave of troops that assaulted German Army defenses on Omaha Beach on D-Day. The division had to run 300 yards to get to the bluffs, with some of the division’s units suffering 30 percent casualties in the first hour of the assault, and secured Formigny and Caumont in the beachhead by the end of the day. The division followed up the Saint-Lô break-through with an attack on Marigny, 27 July 1944.

The division then drove across France in a continuous offensive. It took large numbers of prisoners during the Battle of the Mons Pocket, and reached the German border at Aachen in September. The division laid siege to Aachen, taking the city after a direct assault on 21 October 1944. The 1st Division then attacked east of Aachen through the Hürtgen Forest, driving to the Ruhr, and was moved to a rear area on 7 December 1944 for refitting and rest following 6 months of combat. When the German Wacht Am Rhein offensive (commonly called the Battle of the Bulge) was launched on 16 December 1944, the division, now commanded by Major General Clift Andrus, was quickly moved to the Ardennes front. Fighting continuously from 17 December 1944 to 28 January 1945, the division helped to blunt and reverse the German offensive. Thereupon, the division, attacked and again breached the Siegfried Line, fought across the Ruhr, on 23 February 1945, and drove on to the Rhine, crossing at the Remagen bridgehead, 15–16 March. The division broke out of the bridgehead, took part in the encirclement of the Ruhr Pocket, captured Paderborn, pushed through the Harz Mountains, and was in Czechoslovakia, fighting at Kynšperk nad Ohří, Prameny, and Mnichov (Domažlice District) when the war in Europe ended. Sixteen members of the division were awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II.

Uncle Charlie ended the war with a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and six purple hearts as a master sergeant. He had seen almost continuous combat for just over three years. None of his combat wounds crippled him enough to keep him off the line for long.

As a young man, a neighbor of mine fought with Uncle Charlie as a replacement and said that he was a relentless butcher. He didn’t like Uncle Charlie. My Uncle Charlie was my grandfather’s youngest brother. Charlie suffered from severe PTSD as we know it now. Then they called it ‘combat fatigue’. He had a drinking problem, and it led to difficulty in his marriages.  But I knew him as a wonderful, kind, honorable man who put everything on the line for his country. He’s been gone for some time now. RIP MSG Charles James Lambert, US Army.




VDH Speaks – American Greatness

The Strange Pandemic -One of the tenets of the early civil rights movement some 65 years ago was ending racial stereotyping.

When Martin Luther King, Jr. called for emphasizing the “content of our character” over “the color of our skin,” the subtext was “stop judging people as a faceless collective on the basis of their superficial appearance and instead look to them as individuals with unique characters.”

It is tragic that King’s plea for an integrated, assimilated society, in which race became incidental, not essential to our personas, has mostly been abandoned by the Left in favor of racial stereotyping, collective guilting, and scapegoating by race and gender.

Indeed, many of the old Confederate pathologies—fixation on racial essence, obsession with genealogy, nullification of federal laws, states’ rights, and segregated spaces and ceremonies—are now rehabilitated by woke activists.

In that larger landscape, the collective adjective and noun “white” now has also been redefined and mainstreamed as a pejorative to the point of banality.

“White” followed by a string of subsequent oppressive nouns—“rage,” “supremacy,” “privilege”—has become a twitch on campus. Diversity, equity, and inclusion deans and provosts cannot write a memo, issue a communique, or sign a directive without a reference to “white” something or other.

Like the mysterious omnipresence of transgenderism in popular culture, all of a sudden, the obsession with whites as a Satanic collective has become a national fad—a pet-rock or hula-hoop-like collective madness…more


Identify the Aircraft



Two views of the same aircraft



Bullet Point:

** They muddy the water to make it seem deep.  – Friedrich Nietzsche



Advice on Concealed Carry – In terms of carrying tools in front of the hips, generally referred to as appendix carry, we most often think of a holstered gun. Still, the advantages that apply to a pistol carried in this manner also apply to any other tool carried forward of the hips. A spare magazine carried appendix, on the support-hand side, will conceal better for most people compared to strong side carry, and it is more accessible to both hands. It is likely faster to access as well if you are wearing a closed-front garment. Some folks carry a tourniquet forward of the hips so that it is quickly accessible to either hand. Perhaps not a bad practice, though I admit I carry my tourniquet in a hip pocket.



How Many Handguns?

More advice –  There are very extreme views and responses to this question and some pros and cons to consider. Some think carrying two handguns (a primary gun and a spare backup gun- BUG), and a spare magazine or two make perfect and logical sense for self-defense. Others believe just the opposite and that it is ludicrous, downright dumb, and against the law of probability for deadly-force encounters to carry this extra weight and equipment for low-probability encounters. After all, you are already weighted down and carrying your primary gun, holster, mag pouch with extra ammo, knife, tactical flashlight, wallet, keys, cell phone, etc. You don’t even have enough pockets for everything, most pockets are small in size, and off-body carry is risky. They mention the 3-3-3 Self-Defense Rule for Deadly-Force encounters that says most attacks occur at 3 YARDS or less, in 3 SECONDS, and only 3 ROUNDS are fired, and it’s over. This is loosely based on law enforcement statistics in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports for law enforcement shootings, but I have no other evidence for civilian encounters.

A few folks rationalize that they cannot ever think of a single incident where a civilian who legally is carrying a weapon has ever needed to fire more than the usual three rounds or so in an encounter with a Bad Guy-Gal, let alone needing to carry a couple of handguns, their holsters, and much more ammo, etc. Of course, most of us can think of situations involving multiple attackers and needing a couple of magazines and maybe 20 rounds total or so.

The point is that deadly-force encounters are so variable and uncertain, with many diverse and situational elements at play, that you really never know what to expect and what is optimal for concealed carry. Can you go overboard in your excessive planning, attention to every single risk that may occur, and equipment details for usual civilian concealed carry?



  1. #1 Messerschmitt Taifun (108)

    … I should know the other two, but I have to go to work.

    Maybe the brain will work post-shower.

    Or when I click “post comment”, Surly will already have answered.


  2. i live not far from bedford, and my first military experience was with the national guard in a sister unit. “the bedford boys” is still a thing there, though greatly diminished. the guard keeps the armory open there mainly as a museum now. the unit patch, jackson on a horse, has been banned and its no longer “the stonewall brigade”. the balls on those guys, must have required wheelbarrows…..almost nobody mentioned tianamen square this year.

  3. Uncle Charlie Lambert- That legacy many today will never understand or know…and the last line of Eisenhower’s letter.

    –Felt I should share my brother’s text this morning:

    People From All Walks Of Life…The So-Called Elites, White Collar, Blue Collar, Teachers, Doctors, Nurses, Farmers, Ranchers, Cops, Fireman, Builders, Factory Workers…Everyone Who Could…

    Stormed The Coast Of France And Started The Destruction Of An Ideology That Has Been All Too Common Over the Course Of Human Civilization’s Rise On This Planet.

    Everyone Knows What That Is…The Question Is, Have Those That Have Gotten Too Comfortable With “Having”…Could This Ideology Be Stopped – Again – Today?

    There Is Only One Group Of People Who Remain That Can Be Compared To A Generation That Saved The World In The Middle Of The 20th Century…

    It Is The Folks Who – Now – Volunteer To Join The Military And Serve – It Seems – A Power Structure Interested, In The Perpetuation Of Said Power Structure And Who Seem To Make Life & Death Decisions With Little Regard For Others, Only To Perpetuate Their Own Hold On Power.

    As We All…The One’s Who Have A Great Life…That Has Been Acquired On The Backs Of Those That Served & Continue To Serve, Should Remember…

    “Hard Gets Easy By The Generation That Works For Others & Sacrifices…Easy Gets Easier Off Of The Work & Sacrifice Of Hard…And Easier Gets Hard – Again – By The Laziness & Entitlement Of The Benefactors Of …Easier.

    Rinse & Repeat

    And It Sure Feels Like We Are In The Middle Of “Easier”…

    …Far Removed From Hard Work & Sacrifice And Tinged With A LOT Of…Entitlement

    Remember What These Folks Did, Or Else You Will Lose The Freedoms They Ensured And Of The Impact Of Why They Did It.


    Google It…Better Understand It.

    Seventy-Nine Years…Imagine If They Had Not Prevailed.”

    • Many sacrificed everything. The grieving families back home suffered the loss for the rest of their lives.

      When I look at Pedo Joe and the Whore, I’m outraged.

      • Along with those two POS’s…there are far too many who walk our hallowed halls who either don’t care of the many who sacrificed everything or simply have blocked it out of memory so they can run roughshod with impunity.

        I understand saying that part out loud doesn’t help the righteous outrage we who do understand feel…makes me more royally frosted that this is what constitutes our federal leadership. Never thought I see the day…

        No matter what the weasels do…we know, and offer reverence and honor to their sacrifice.

  4. Two things Larry;
    I knew a man that similarly fought in North Africa and then landed in Italy where he was wounded. His name was Andy Darico and he was already in the Army when Pearl Harbor occurred, serving at Camp Edwards and coming home often. He was at home with his family for Sunday dinner on Dec. 7th when the call came to return immediately. He did not see his family again for over three years. Andy was not a relation he was my neighbor, but like a grandfather to me, and I loved him as such. He passed away in 2005 at age 89. I thank God such men as Andy and your Uncle Charlie ever lived.

    Second, I go by the saying “no one loses a gunfight because they had too much ammo” although I suppose a LARP clown could stupidly carry too many mags and bandoliers and get bogged down. My standard load out is my firearm OWB at 3 o’clock and two spare mags also OWB at my 7 o’clock. In extreme hot weather in shorts and a t-shirt, that gets modified a bit.

    • Everyone takes a different approach as they should. Make it work. My loadout depends on where, for how long, etc. I saw a Phoenix PD LT who has a summer cabin and we immediately to up the rant of what, how, double-tap and failure drill, etc. He just bought a Sig 322 (.22LR) and for a daily carry, it has a lot of firepower. We’ve both seen people drilled by .22s and it’s not a small thing. The bullets ricochet off every bone in unpredictable directions. Chew the target up. And at 20 rounds per mag, you can do a lot of shooting.

  5. Bf 108. James Garner and Donald Pleasence in ‘The Great Escape”.

    I’ve mentioned my dad here before. He was inducted in late November of ’41. He was two weeks into basic training at Ft. Ord on December 7th. Eventually he wound up as B-17 pilot in the 8th Air Force, 447th Bomb Group. He flew his first mission January 2, 1945. I never heard him bring up his war service, but he didn’t mind talking about it if asked. His tone was always matter-of-fact. Although he never said so, it was clear to me that he was comparing himself to those who went into combat before him. He wrapped up the conversation, referring to his 35 combat missions as “a lark”.

    • Earlier in the war, before the escorts went all the way with the bombers and before the German fighters had been thinned out, almost nobody made 25 missions. Huge sacrifice, knowing you’d likely not be ending the war above ground.

    • “a lark” Yes. And that probably means they weren’t, as you probably know.

      Larry. “then attacked east of Aachen through the Hürtgen Forest” I shiver a little every time I hear the words Hurtgen Forest. What a mess. Your uncle may not have been everyone’s ideal, but he certainly earned the right to be however he wanted to be after all that. R.I.P.

  6. I had an uncle in the 82nd parachute in on D-day. He got shot damaging his hip. This disqualified his Jump status and he was reassigned to 3rd Army as a supply truck driver. He got his second purple heart at Bastogne. He never spoke about WW2 until a cousin and I both got back from Desert Storm. He had a bottle of 1942 brandy that he shared with us and he also shared his story of going from the 82nd to 3rd Army.

    Concealed Carry – it is summer time and I have the S&W 65-2 357 on my belt in the 4 o’clock position. I wear a t-shirt with a button up overshirt that I leave unbuttoned for concealment. I carry extra ammo only if I am going to be in a sketchy part of town. In cooler weather I have a full size Glock 10mm in a shoulder holster.

  7. My Dad and my 2 Uncles all joined different branches in WW2. My oldest Uncle was with Patton in the Army earliest in Europe and then was in D-Day and then was again assigned to Patton later. He never was injured. My other Uncle was on the USS Missouri from its start until 1947 with the Navy and was never injured. My Dad was the youngest and went in at 17 in 1943 to the Marines and was Island Hopping until he was severely injured on Okinawa in 1945 and spent a year in a Naval Hospital. None would talk about there time in war. All have died.

    • My father (RIP) served in the US Navy and was aboard the USS Hazelwood when it was struck by a kamikaze off Okinawa. The incident haunted him until he died. Greatest generation.

      • Greatest generation indeed. If we ever need their like again we will be in for a very rough couple of years.

      • Klebert and I visited Boston Navy Yard and the USS Constitution last Sunday. She’s magnificent.

        We also visited the USS Cassin Young berthed nearby. Both of us thought about your father as we looked at the after 40mm Bofors mount, his combat station. No gun shields to save on top weight, and hideously exposed to the elements and enemy action. Greatest generation indeed.

        And this leads me to a very personal story, that starts with my grandfather opening a Christmas card some fifty years ago, and telling me a fantastic war story.

        My grandfather, a mechanical engineer, was not in the military, but rose to the occasion nonetheless. In late 1943 he ran an Italian factory that was a primary target of the USAAF, and got bombed day in and day out. As he was a leading Catholic political party organizer, he was on a fascist hit list and accused of industrial sabotage to create the alibi to get him shot. He was deemed however essential by the Germans, who made sure he was not shot by threatening the fascists leaders with the Eastern Front. We later asked him if he had indeed committed sabotage, but he answered it was not necessary, as “the Americans were taking care of that business”.

        The factory was then transferred in Bolzano, northern Italy in mid ’44, which was at that point in time annexed to Germany. The factory was staffed by slave labor, and guarded by Waffen SS; definitely not your nicest location. It was also built in an unfinished railway tunnel, and thus bomb proof. Grandfather met two German uniformed civil service officers, that had to supervise him. This trio size each other up, and start planning industrial sabotage on a grand scale. The Germans provide cover, my grandfather does the deed. Production was low, mixups frequent, and quality went out the window.

        What were they building? Daimler Benz 605 engine drive shafts, for both the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica, ie the core of the ME-109’s power plant. My grandfather was striving to save the very bomber crews that were trying, and failing, to kill him.

        The local German-Italian resistance (yes, they hated the Nazis too) contacts them and asks to blow up the factory, “No, not needed”, replies my grandfather. Ok, our leader’s wife is a prisoner in your factory, can you free her? “No problem. ”

        How do you free a prisoner from a railway tunnel factory/prison? by hiding her in the main design office, under a series of special inclined drawing tables that built a tunnel, with the end closed by a cash register. She was never found during the ensuing search, and later led out to safety.

        The resistance comes calling again, and asks to free five more male prisoners. “No problem”. This time a trap door in the latrines and a high window in an outer building does the trick.

        There was an unpleasant moment in which a German NCO or officer points a gun at Grandfather’s head saying that either the prisoners come out or he would pull the trigger. It was a bluff, that got the German nowhere.

        The German High Command starts to suspect something, and the factory’s trio of managers gets arrested. One of the Germans manages to avoid capture. My grandfather denies committing sabotage, aiding and abetting the enemy, assisting the resistance, committing treason, and refuses to sign anything as he cannot read or speak German. That last bit was the only true thing he said that day. No, I do not think much about the interrogators, but I praise the Lord for small favours. OTOH, my Grandfather was a man of granitic revolve, unswerving integrity and deep Catholic faith, and these served him in good stead.

        Grandfather is then deemed innocent and freed, and as he is led out he sees the second German. He was without his uniform cap and beltless, and with one brief glance conveyed “ich bin kaputt”. He was led off and executed in Milan two days later.

        I suppose the real reason my grandfather did not get shot (for the second time) was due to the very timely arrival of the allies in the shape of the British Army. The Germans were retreating as fast as they could.

        The postcard that started this story came from the second German, who survived the war and settled in Bolzano. They remained close friends.

        How did it end for my Grandfather? He was named the first Provincial Secretary of the reformed Catholic Party in the very Province he had fought in. Lord knows he had earned a lot of local respect, the hard way.

        There is another personal epilogue. Much later, I learned that my then British girlfriend’s father had become the youngest major in the British Army and earned a Military Cross liberating Italy. He had exercised his cricket pitching skills by throwing hand grenades at German machine gun nests, covered by a lone infantryman. I was able to thank him for his efforts in helping free my grandfather.

        The Greatest Generation indeed.

          • x2 Excellent anecdote Claudio and well written. I’d read that book.

            How epic was that “effort” when compared to our more modern era; Rec-Med and video games coupled to the attention span of less than a goldfish for far too many people.

          • Ed, Paul,

            Thanks. There’s more stories where that came from, and yes, a book is my per project. OTOH, it’s just people like us that are interested.

            And never, ever anger middle class professionals. They’re the ones that can perfect industrial sabotage to a fine art.

            My grandfather saw the massive bomber streams heading towards Germany, and made his contribution to ensure the crews got back to base. He also thought that Church belfries were solid bomb shelters, and used them regularly before the factory was moved.

  8. In the 814th Engineer Company, Hanau, Ger circa 1965, we had a 1st Sgt, Nick Womack, later promoted to Sgt Maj, who was a WWII 1st Inf Div vet. Probably the best NCO I ever met. We also had a SP5 Hyatt, a cook, who was in the parachute D-Day drop and later was a POW. Both were humble about their experiences.

    I took comfort from the idea, should Ivan come across the Fulda Gap, we had proven experience to guide us.

  9. My family did Marines and Navy in WWII, mostly Pacific side. But all honors to those who were there on June 6th and follow on. One of my Masonic Lodge brothers was a Ranger who went up Pointe du Hoc. Every June he gave a talk and listed the men under his command that died in the first two weeks of June.

  10. My friend Nate, must have mentioned before, was at Pearl on Dec 7th.
    Later is sent CONUS to OCS but decides he didn’t want to be one.
    As a Master Sargent, he’s sent to England and is on an LCS on June 6th.
    The the Bulge.
    Dad was at the latter two of those three.
    We watched Battleground once when I was a kid and that was about the only time he talked to me about it.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here