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1st Marine Raider Battalion

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July 3, 1940

Operation Catapult is launched

On this day in 1940, British naval forces destroy the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir, a port in Algeria, in order to prevent Germany from co-opting the French ships to use in an invasion of Britain.

With the occupation of France, the German aggressor was but a Channel away from Britain. In order to prevent the Germans from using French battleships and cruisers in an attack on Britain, Operation Catapult was conceived: the destruction or capture of every French ship possible. The easiest stage of Catapult was the seizure of those French ships already in British ports. Little resistance was met. But the largest concentration of French warships was at the Oran, Algeria, port of Mers-el-Kebir, where many warships had fled to escape the Germans. This stage of Catapult would prove more difficult.

Britain gave the French ships four choices: join British naval forces in the fight against Germany; hand the ships over to British crews; disarm them; or scuttle them, making them useless to the Germans. The French refused all four choices. Britain then made a concession: Sail to the French West Indies, where the ships would be disarmed or handed over to the United States. The French refused again. So the Brits circled the port and opened fire on the French fleet, killing 1,250 French sailors, damaging the battleship Dunkerque and destroying the Bretagne and the Provence.

On July 4, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill told the House of Commons that he would leave Britain's actions to "history." On July 5, Vichy France broke off diplomatic relations with Britain.

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July 5, 1940

United States passes Export Control Act

On this day in 1940, Congress passes the Export Control Act, forbidding the exporting of aircraft parts, chemicals, and minerals without a license. This prohibition was a reaction to Japan's occupation of parts of the Indo-Chinese coast.

Now that the Germans occupied a large swath of France, the possibility of Axis control of French colonies became a reality. Among those of immediate concern was French Indo-China. The prospect of the war spreading to the Far East was now a definite possibility. Increasing its likelihood was the request by Imperial Japan to use army, naval, and air bases in French Indo-Chinese territory, an important vantage point from which to further its campaign to conquer China. As Vichy France entered into negotiations on this issue, the Japanese peremptorily occupied key strategic areas along the coast of Indo-China.

The United States, fearing the advance of Japanese expansion and cooperation, even if by coercion, between German-controlled France and Japan, took its own action, by banning the export of aircraft parts without a license and, three weeks later, the export of aviation fuel and scrap metal and iron without a license. The United States was not alone in its concern. Great Britain, which had it own colonies in the Far East (Burma, Hong Kong, and Malaya) also feared an aggressive Japan. The day after the Export Act was passed, the British ambassador would be asked by Japan to close the Burma Road, a key supply route of arms for China, Japan's prey. Britain initially balked at the request but, fearing a declaration of war by a third enemy, caved in and closed the road, though only for a limited period.

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Gung ho is a term used to mean "enthusiastic" or "dedicated", sometimes excessively so.

The term was picked up by United States Marine Corps Major Evans Carlson from his New Zealand friend, Rewi Alley, one of the founders of the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives.

Carlson explained in a 1943 interview: "I was trying to build up the same sort of working spirit I had seen in China where all the soldiers dedicated themselves to one idea and worked together to put that idea over. I told the boys about it again and again. I told them of the motto of the Chinese Cooperatives, Gung Ho. It means Work Together-Work in Harmony...."

Later Carlson used gung ho during his (unconventional) command of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion. From there it spread throughout the U.S. Marine Corps (hence the association between the two), where it was used as an expression of spirit and into American society as a whole when the phrase became the title of a 1943 war film, Gung Ho!, about the 2nd Raider Battalion's raid on Makin Island in 1942.

The term, however does not appear in Chinese dictionaries. Rewi Alley's biographer notes that by "a strange quirk of intercultural crossbreeding, gung ho has taken on a life of its own in the English language, with an Anglicised pronunciation of the Chinese". "Gung ho" (gong he ) is a contraction of the phrase "gōngyè hézuòshè (工業合作社), that is, the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (INDUSCO). The two Chinese characters (工合) are translated individually as "work" and "together," but they do not form a phrase.

The linguist Albert Moe studied both the origin and the usage in English. He concludes that the term is an "Americanism that is derived from the Chinese, but its several accepted American meanings have no resemblance whatever to the recognized meaning in the original language" and that its "various linguistic uses, as they have developed in the United States, have been peculiar to American speech." In Chinese," concludes Moe, "this is neither a slogan nor a battle cry; it is only a name for an organization."

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July 6, 1944

Georges Mandel, French patriot, is executed

On this day in 1944, Georges Mandel, France's minister of colonies and vehement opponent of the armistice with Germany, is executed in a wood outside Paris by collaborationist French.

Born into a prosperous Jewish family (his given name was Louis-Georges Rothschild, though no relation to the banking family) in 1885, Mandel's political career began at age 21 as a member of the personal staff of French Premier Georges Clemenceau. He went on to serve in the National Assembly from 1919 to 1924, and then again from 1928 to 1940. Although a political conservative, he fell into conflict with fellow conservatives over their too-often pro-German sympathies, especially during the two world wars.

In 1940, he was transferred to the Ministry of the Interior by then French Premier Paul Reynaud, with whom he shared the conviction that no armistice should be made with the German invaders, and that the battle should continue, even if only from France's colonies in Africa. After the resignation of Reynaud and the establishment of the Petain/Vichy government, Mandel sailed to Morocco, where he was arrested and sent back to France and imprisoned. He was then handed over to the Germans, and put in concentration camps in Oranienburg and Buchenwald. On July 4, 1944, he was shipped back to Paris, where the French security police, the Milice, took him out to a wood and shot him. As he was being handed over to his countrymen by the German SS, he said: "To die is nothing. What is sad is to die without seeing the liberation of the country and the restoration of the Republic."

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July 7, 1942

Himmler decides to begin medical experiments on Auschwitz prisoners

On this day in 1942, Heinrich Himmler, in league with three others, including a physician, decides to begin experimenting on women in the Auschwitz concentration camps and to investigate extending this experimentation on males.

Himmler, architect of Hitler's program to exterminate Europe's Jewish population, convened a conference in Berlin to discuss the prospects for using concentration camp prisoners as objects of medical experiments. The other attendees were the head of the Concentration Camp Inspectorate, SS General Richard Glueks (hospital chief), SS Major-General Gebhardt and Professor Karl Clauberg (one of Germany's leading gynecologists). The result of the conference was that a major program of medical experimentation on Jewish women at Auschwitz was agreed upon. These experiments were to be carried out in such a way as to ensure that the prisoners were not aware of what was being done to them. (The experimentation would take the form of sterilization via massive doses of radiation or uterine injections.) It was also decided to consult with an X-ray specialist about the prospects of using X rays to castrate men and demonstrating this on male Jewish prisoners. Adolf Hitler endorsed this plan on the condition that it remained top secret.

That Heinrich Himmler would propose such a conference or endorse such a program should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his resume. As head of the Schutzstaffel ("Armed Black Shirts or Protection Squad"), the SS, the military arm of the **** Party, and assistant chief of the Gestapo (the secret police), Himmler was able over time to consolidate his control over all police forces of the Reich. This power grab would prove highly effective in carrying out the Fuhrer's Final Solution. It was Himmler who organized the creation of death camps throughout Eastern Europe and the creation of a pool of slave laborers.

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July 8, 1941

German general's diary reveals Hitler's plans for Russia

On this day in 1943, upon the German army's invasion of Pskov, 180 miles from Leningrad, Russia, the chief of the German army general staff, General Franz Halder, records in his diary Hitler's plans for Moscow and Leningrad: "To dispose fully of their population, which otherwise we shall have to feed during the winter."

On June 22, the Germans had launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union, with over 3 million men. Enormous successes were enjoyed, thanks in large part to a disorganized and unsuspecting Russian army. By July 8, more than 280,000 Soviet prisoners had been taken and almost 2,600 tanks destroyed. The Axis power was already a couple of hundred miles inside Soviet territory. Stalin was in a panic, even executing generals who had failed to stave off the invaders.

Franz Halder, as chief of staff, had been keeping a diary of the day-to-day decision-making process. As Hitler became emboldened by his successes in Russia, Halder recorded that the "Fuhrer is firmly determined to level Moscow and Leningrad to the ground." Halder also records Hitler's underestimation of the Russian army's numbers and the bitter infighting between factions within the military about strategy. Halder, among others, wanted to make straight for the capital, Moscow; Hitler wanted to meet up with Field Marshal Wilhelm Leeb's army group, which was making its way toward Leningrad. The advantage Hitler had against the Soviets would not last. Winter was approaching and so was the advantage such conditions would give the Russians.

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July 15, 1941

Garbo makes an appearance

On this day in 1941, master spy Juan Pujol Garcia, nicknamed "Garbo," sends his first communique to Germany from Britain. The question was: Who was he spying for?

Juan Garcia, a Spaniard, ran an elaborate multiethnic spy network that included a Dutch airline steward, a British censor for the Ministry of Information, a Cabinet office clerk, a U.S. soldier in England, and a Welshman sympathetic to fascism. All were engaged in gathering secret information on the British-Allied war effort, which was then transmitted back to Berlin. Garcia was in the pay of the ****s. The Germans knew him as "Arabel," whereas the English knew him as Garbo. The English knew a lot more about him, in fact, than the Germans, as Garcia was a British double agent.

None of Garcia's spies were real, and the disinformation he transmitted to Germany was fabricated--phony military "secrets" that the British wanted planted with the Germans to divert them from genuine military preparations and plans.

Among the most effective of Garcia's deceptions took place in June 1944, when he managed to convince Hitler that the D-Day invasion of Normandy was just a "diversionary maneuver designed to draw off enemy reserves in order to make a decisive attack in another place"--playing right into the mindset of German intelligence, which had already suspected that this might be the case. (Of course, it wasn't.) Among the "agents" that Garcia employed in gathering this "intelligence" was Donny, leader of the World Aryan Order; ****, an "Indian fanatic"; and Dorick, a civilian who lived at a North Sea port. All these men were inventions of Garcia's imagination, but they leant authenticity to his reports back to Berlin--so much so that Hitler, while visiting occupied France, awarded Garcia the Iron Cross for his service to the fatherland.

That same year, 1944, Garcia received his true reward, the title of MBE—Member of the British Empire--for his service to the England and the Allied cause. This ingenious Spaniard had proved to be one of the Allies' most successful counterintelligence tools.

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I have been talking about leaving my current squad due to a lack of teamwork, and I've been seriously considering coming to the squad that got me into this game in the first place. Along those same lines, why don't you guys use Teamspeak to better communicate with AHC. I understand you use Ventrilo, but you can't talk to the MAP OIC.

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Hey Bandit, great to hear from ya pal!

I guess our main issue with TS is it sounds awful. If we really needed to communicate with AHC we'd probably suck it up and use TS. Raiders and the AHC is a whole other bunch of bannanas.

Quite frankly, I don't think the AHC "Gets us". In fact they do more to hold us back than the Germans could ever hope to do. We've begged for AO's so many times it's not even funny. Only to be denied, ignored or even ridiculed by high level AHC officers. We've gotten younger officers to place AO's for us occasionaly, only to have them pulled by the good 'ol boys that run the show. I think this stings us the most because every one of the vets here have, or do serve as SOE/AHC officers.

As you know, since our boots hit the ground here in '01 we've gotten things done our way. In a very unorthodox manner. We operate on the fringes, supporting larger operations with our Raids.

The current state of the AHC and map operation hinders that. They seem more interested in funnelling EVERYONE into the fight THEY choose, almost eliminating the options for Commando type operations (thank God we still have FB's!). You dance to their tune, or you don't dance at all.

We're still hoping to work with the AHC, but it's obvious the AHC does not love the 1st Raider Battalion. But hey, what else is a Marine Raider if not the bastard sons of authority?

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