1. That is awesome!! I love those clips from Rat patrol!.During Gulf War 1, I did get to play Rat Patrol (Marine Heavy Machine gun Platoon) albeit with Hummers. I never could get my driver to fly over the dunes like that. Probably a good thing.

  2. Ian, I must say that, in addition to being a very hard-working and highly-knowledgeable firearms professional, you also have a wonderful sense of self-deprecating humor and a great imagination. I really enjoyed the video. Nice to see Joel and Dharma participating in it as well. By the way, is the armed jeep the same one that you were putting together a while back as a project?

      • I happened to take a look at your “Get Rich Slowly” video as well — if you don’t mind my saying so, what you did was an outstanding example of living sensibly and living well in the true sense of the word. What a pity that people today often no longer understand that less is more, and that simple but meaningful is far better than complex and overdone. The frantic search for mammon and more mammon has, I’m afraid, put this planet, the environment and our own well-being in jeopardy.

  3. The prototype for Rat Patrol was “Popski’s Private Army”.
    Vladimir Peniakoff was a sugar refinery manager in Egypt whose hobby before the war was going out in the desert in a Model A and navigating by theodolite.

    He wanted to join LRDG, the long range desert group, but was judged too old. He eventually wangled support for a small number of heavily armed jeeps conducting harassment raids.

    Great read if you can find a copy even if some of it seems a bit exaggerated.

  4. I was at Wally Mart last week on my return home, and Rat Patrol Season 1 was in the el-cheapo bin. Been watching it with the same 13 y/o who thought Band of Brothers was cool. He finds it fun; we watch them two at a time. Historical junk food! I watched it when it was first run on TV and thought it was awesome.

    I still like that both Troy and Moffat were gentlemen rankers. Or gentlemen NCOs, anyway. The show’s incredibly hokey now that I’m not 8 years old any more, and the weapons all wrong (“put a piece of slanted 4 x 8 with a tiny hole for the driver to see on this M3 track and it’ll look hella German” said the props master!) but it’s fun.

    Christopher George was an underrated actor (he passed away recently), and you’d be surprised who pops up in bit parts. (Ed Asner, in episode 2, as a Nazi doctor, for instance. And there’s a different hot blonde in lots of episodes).

    • Yeah, I remember avidly watching each and every episode on a weekly basis as a young boy. The “Rat Patrol” was made during a time when film-makers’ attention to authenticity in depicting enemy weaponry and battlefield tactics was perfunctory, to say the least — the former was usually a paint job ( often not even remotely accurate for the period or setting! ) with prominently-displayed enemy insignia over a surplus U.S. military vehicle, while the latter must have been based on the assumption that the I.Q. of the average German or Japanese officer was only slightly lower than room temperature. You are quite right about the half-tracks. A lot of war movies, including acclaimed blockbusters like “Patton”, were much the same way. M-47 MBT’s playing “Tiger” or “Panther” displaying great big Iron Crosses and rolling across the open ground in unwavering parade formation while subject to intensive Allied observation and heavy artillery fire — could anything be more unrealistic or ridiculous?

      • Before I forget, a couple of additional things:

        1. One movie from that same general era that did attempt to at least achieve a semblance of accuracy in portraying enemy tanks was “Kelly’s Heroes”, made in 1970 with Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles and Donald Sutherland. The propmaster and set armorer must have gotten together with their carpenters and sheet-metal fabricators, because they did a fairly decent job of disguising war-weary Sheridan light tanks as Tiger I’s. There was no getting away from certain tell-tale give-aways such as the incorrect number and size of road wheels on each side of the tank, the somewhat foreshortened hull forward of the turret, or the fact that the “Tigers” were a little under-sized, but one could tell they really tried, and they are to be commended for their efforts. In some scenes in the film, the “Tigers” actually looked very convincing and correctly-proportioned when shot from the right angle, as in the opening scene in an occupied French town at night when a German battle group is passing in convoy along the main street and is caught in a traffic jam. There are three-quarter rear views of a couple of “Tigers” that cannot be distinguished from the real thing, and one can tell that a lot of attention was paid to small details such as the rear turret structure and stowage boxes, engine decks, ventilator fans and exhaust manifolds and shrouds. On the other hand, there are also a few unrealistic scenarios in the same movie, such as the use of T-6 Texan trainers to simulate P-47 Thunderbolts in the ground-attack role, although this may be forgivable on the grounds that real P-47’s in flying condition were hard to come by in 1970!

        2. Ian’s video clip has cutaways showing a “German” desert patrol, probably sourced from the “Rat Patrol” series or an old movie of the time — the lead tank is clearly an M-47 MBT :).

    • That might be the only plausible thing in the whole series! All participants in the North African campaign made use of captured enemy weapons and equipment to supplement their own stocks. For example, the British were prolific users of captured Breda 20mm cannon.

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