The Crusader, Eighth Army Weekly, No. 41, Vol 4, February 8th 1943

C R U S A D E R r E I G H T H A R M Y S A Y I N G [ S O M E T H I N G C.S.M . F .V . Collins, 7 Armd. Div. i 1 have observed from time to time that the “Crusader” re­ fers to “desert rats" under cir­ cumstances which are misleading. Your reference seems to imply that anyone in the desert is a desert rat. I would point out that for two reasons the 7 Armd DivJ are the only true desert rats : (i) the Jerboa is a member of the rat family, and (ii) this division has been in the desert far longer than any ol|her division in the 'Middle East. In spite of the work done by this division in the desert ever since war was declared, it has never been given a write-up’ in any newspaper or periodical, and I consider it presumptious of members of other division^ (most of which have been publicised) to claim ooir honourable name. Everybody knows that 7 Armd Div. are the original desert rats, but surely CJ5.M. Collins will not begrudge this proud title to the many others who have served a long time in the blue. * * * C.Q.M.S. E. Thomas : A terri­ fic argument is raging in our mess ; one school of thought maintains that the time’ being used in Britain is one hour in ad­ vance of G.M .T., while the other side holds that G.M .T. itself is in force. W ill you please give your verdict and settle the differ­ ence ? The time at present in force in Great Britain is one hour ahead of G.M.T. * * « Cpl T. Hunter : Further to the ‘big gun' controversy I have a book in my possession, Das Buch Vom Heer’ (The Army Book) published in Berlin in 1940, in which, dealing with artillery, Lt.- Col. Borck, of the German High Command, writes : “ ...The first surprise of the Great W a r was the introduction of our Big Ber­ tha, a 42 cm Krupp mortar, which pierced with ease the invulner­ able’ armoured cupolas of the forts at Luttick (Liege), Namur and Antwerp...” “...The third and indeed greatest surprise was the 'lange M ax,’ the so-called Paris gun, which shelled the French capital from a distance of 120 kms..." Thanks, Cpl Hunter. Does the hook mention the name of the gun that shelled Dunkirk ? L/Sgt. G. Yeates, U.M.I., Rear H.Q. : There has been a terrific argument between my mate and I regarding the headline picture in “Taking the Blue to Tow n” ( “Crusader No. 36, p. 2 ). He says it is a composite picture made up of two or more photo­ graphs, I say it is not. Fifty ackers is the stake. You lose. Tanks and sand were superimposed on a picture of Pic­ cadilly Circus. Published picture was actually a composite of three photographs. The Small Arms instructor Rfn Greenway T. W . 2034625 R. B. i I lost a wallet containing photographs etc., which were of value to me ; on the night 17/18 Oct. It was in a small pack which was taken b y mistake from the train at Ismailia station. Would the persoii concerned please re­ turn the wallet and contents ? * * * 6916385 Rfn G. Moore, R.B. i During the action on Snipe Hill at Alamein 1 lert oenind all my personal kit in a signal sat­ chel, including a small wallet full of snaps and other papers, which I would give anything to get back. If the finder sees this and forwards just the wallet I would be very grateful. * # * Gnr J. Rannockhan and Gnr N. Poison, 292 Hy A.A. Btv R.A. i W e noticed a reproduction of an airgraph in the Glasgow Sunday Post, signed Spr Harris and locals. Included in the greet­ ings were the words Parkhead lo­ cal men.’ W e would be very pleased to hear from anyone out here from that district. Bdr A. G. Bell : I realise the impossibility of supplying every member of Eighth Army with their weekly copy of “Crusader” now, but feel sure that the idea of a bound volume or volumes of our paper’ as a souvenir of tjhis war appeals to a great number of us. So "1 sincerely hope you will be able to do something about this, even though we have to wait till after the war. Perhaps you could i produce the volumes then ? 2/Lt R.G. Sloan, N.Z.E.F. s You must get bombarded with all sorts of requests but will you file mine with the rest of the blokes who would like to see Brian Robb’s Little Known Units of the W .D .’ enlarged and published as a set when this clever and most amusing sequence comes to an end ? It does well in a job such as this, where one can tail a vast truck for miles up the road at a snail’s pace or can be given well- meant but incorrect directions, to remember such gems as ‘386 Road Obstruction Coy’ or '791 Mis­ information Post’ !” We are going into the question of binding “Crtusader” but owing to paper restrictions supplies will be limited. To re-sec and reprint the past numbers after die war would be prohibitively expensive. W e hope eventually to produce a “Crusader'' annual containing selected cartoons, pictures and some of the best articles at a rea­ sonable price as a souvenir of the war in the desert, and also a col­ lection of Robb’s cartoons. * * * Sig. A.C. Smith : M ay I add my tribute to those responsible for producing the “Crusader." It meets a real need. Just one suggestion — would it be possible to have a full page of Russia (showing the Eastern front in fairly full detail) inserted in one of your issues. Owing to the limited space it is impossible, to devote a whole page to a map of the Russian front, but we’ve done our best in this issue. Pte Don Chidsey, American Field Ambulance s I’m compiling a glossary of Middle East soldier slang and colloquial expressions, and I wonder if you or any of your readers could supply any if the following : The origin of “dixie,” the mess tin, and whether this is the proper spelling. The origin of the Aussie ex­ pression “cobber” for “mate" or “pal.” Is “to rat” meaning to steal, loot, strip, a British as well as a New Zealand and Australian ex­ pression ? The exact meaning of “dekko,” and from whence did this come ? Is “ dinkum” as the Aussies and New Zealanders use it, often used by the British ? W hat's its derivation ? From whence “acker” for pias­ tre, and is this spelling correct ? In bridge, do the British and Australians, as well as the New Zealanders, use the expression “on your wood" meaning “top- weight” — that is, that you can­ not afford to lose another trick ? In poker, is the New Zealander word “routine” for a straight flush, in common use in Austra­ lia and Great Britain ? For any help you may be able to give here — thanks.” Come on Eighth Army, give a hand to our American friend. SU SP IC IO U S P H E N O M E N A No- 1 N octu rn al m ov em en ts o t slit tren ch es an d o th er chasm s. Dvr . Simpson, R.A.S.C. : You people seem to know everything, so please answer this one and settle a bet. How old is Mickey Rooney ? Born 23 September, 1920. That makes him 22,
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