upblue.gif (2462 bytes)

BY ROGER SMITH

Extracts from the book:
Flies and worse in the Western Desert
A peculiar addiction to Irish lyrics
Burying the dead — Tebaga Gap
British Army at a minefield near Sfax, Tunisia
The countryside near Sousse, Tunisia
The Padre's tools of trade
A minefield near Takrouna, Tunisia
Kelly in Cairo
Housekeeping in a two-man bivvy in the rain — Sangro, Italy
Falling asleep on duty — Sangro
Kelly dies at the Sangro River
Civilians caught in the frontline — Castel Frantano, Italy
Getting sadness off your chest
Giant drunken zooming fireflies — Alife, Italy
Christmas 1943 — back from the front
Maori Battalion, Trocchio, Italy
Fear, and fear of fear — Cassino, Italy
A break from Cassino
All in a day’s work in the Cassino rubble
There for your mate at the finish — Terelle, Italy

=> Place an order for UP THE BLUE

MAORI BATTALION, TROCCHIO, ITALY

With a cheery farewell grin they had marched off armed to the teeth, festooned with Spandaus, Schmeissers, Brens, tommy-guns, carbines and the odd rifle. I had never before seen such a body of men so completely armed with automatic weapons. The Maori seemed to have a natural aptitude for automatics. Most of them could play a tune on a tommy gun, and being rugged specimens physically, the extra weight did not greatly distress them. They were a piratical looking crew, swathed in greatcoats and balaclavas topped by battered tin hats, creaking in their harness with necklaces of Spandau belts and bandoliers slung about them. They had gone down to the road and swung into a staggered formation with an ominous clicking of cocking handles and a bristle of gun barrels.

 

 

|Up the Blue home page|Ngaio Press home page|

Copyright Roger Smith, 2000