1. I wish. The Venn diagram intersection of interested parties, those with money and vacation time, and those in shape to do a lot of this hiking will probably not be large. Good luck, and bring back lots of videos.

  2. Ian,
    I am sure you didn’t mean it this way, but one could have taken what you said about battlefields being developed post-ww2 as a negative thing.

    I was just in Warsaw, Poland. Except for perhaps some of the Russian cities, Warsaw was probably the most damaged city. I was amazed how Warsaw was rebuilt. Though the one can easily see the difference between the pre- & post-commie periods. If you have never been there, I suggest you should try to work it in.

    Another place you should work in to your travels is Inverary castle in Scotland. The Duke of Argyll has a Hugh gun collection in display and I assume more one cannot see. Castle Lachland is across Loch Fyne and they might have some good stuff to. Both families have tourist business interests and might like the exposure. Lots of distilleries around too. The village of Strachur on Loch Fyne is a nice place for dinner and a pint. The hotel/restaurant/pub there used to be owned by Sir Fitzroy McClellan, one of the first SAS in WW2 and supposedly the model for James Bond. I used to live there. The USN had a submarine base nearby until peace broke out in 1991.

    • I’ve been to Inverary Castle and you are correct, amazing. Went to Scotland in 1996 for the 250th of Culloden and got to visit many battlefield and museums. My unit is slated to go to Poland next year and I plan on doing the same all over Europe with a focus on my units path during WW1&2, (A co 1/112, 28th Inf Div). Fun Fact: The seat of my clan, Castle Menzies in Weem, was the HQ for the Free Polish Army during WW2.

      • Harold,

        My house was across Loch Fyne from Inerverary. You’ll enjoy Warsaw. The Warsaw Uprising Museum is very interesting. I went to some cemetery that included a memorial to the 20k plus Polish officers murdered by the Russians at Katyn. Don’t know where that was. My girlfriend is now a us citizen, but is also a refugee from 1980 marshall law Poland.

        • Oh, one more thing. Do not attempt to keep up drink for drink with any time of the Poles. You’ll regret it. 🙂

  3. Meant to add, wish I could join you on the trip. But, if I had that money I would be going to Scotland and Poland again.

  4. Ian, I’m recovering form surgery for a broken foot, (Shattered heel actually), and I don’t think I’d be physically capable to in time. Please do a video, would love to see some of the small arms still there. (I wonder who made the 1928A1 Thompson in the video?) Basilone was a true “Emma Gees”!

  5. I was stationed on Okinawa in 1995 and was a participant at a memorial of the battle held on Sugar Loaf hill. Soldiers, sailors, and Marines from both sides made the trip to “The Rock” for the event. I was paired up with a veteran of the battle. His platoon was on the hill overnight in preparation for a passage of lines the next morning, relieving another unit that had taken heavy casualties. His own platoon took heavy casualties that night from snipers, mortars, and artillery. He was shocked how much the terrain had changed. Trying to find the exact locations where his buddies had been hit was very frustrating. He explained to me what he was looking for, landmarks burned into his mind, but was never quite sure that the debt he owed to his friends was paid. I have debts of own to repay to some beat up old WW II vets I served with back in the early 70’s and I’m wondering if I can manage the trip. “Pappy” and “Top”, you are not forgotten.

  6. I thoroughly recommend doing this tour. I did something similar in 1986 as part of a private scuba diving holiday (which was awesome as well) and was surprised at the amount of war relics still readily visible, including Japanese army boots and discarded ammunition around Red Beach (where the US marines landed). There is/was a large open air private war museum in the Bonegi area north of Honiara, with amazing relics including a mint condition woodpecker MG just sitting in the open! I dived on a B17 wreck off the beach also in the Bonegi area and could sit in the pilot’s seat with the 50 cals above my head. I was amused to see a private house with 2 50 cals as gateposts on their driveway, and also a couple in a turret in the middle of Honiara. I went there partly because my old man spent a year in Bougainville in 1944-45 as a gunner (Australian). We were delayed leaving because they were clearing Henderson Field of unexploded bombs and shells, there were hundreds piled up along the runway and our flights could not land. Also the light planes that took us around the outer islands were seriously scary – one would not fly for a day or so! Maybe things have deteriorated a bit since, but just do it!

  7. For those who like to connect distant past with current events (it is all one flow of history) might be interested that China is gaining a foothold in Solomon Islands. As much as its P.M. denies a chance that there would ever be a Chinese military base in the future, no one can guarantee it. The security deal is a long term one. All previous actors, including Australia failed, so pick fell to China.


    Kind of ironical, isn’t it?

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