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Sgt. Rafael Peralta built a reputation as a man who always put his Marines' interests ahead of his own.
He showed that again, when he made the ultimate sacrifice of his life Tuesday, by shielding his fellow Marines from a grenade blast.
"It's stuff you hear about in boot camp, about World War II and Tarawa Marines who won the Medal of Honor," said Lance Cpl. Rob Rogers, 22, of Tallahassee, Fla., one of Peralta's platoon mates in 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.
Peralta, 25, as platoon scout, wasn't even assigned to the assault team that entered the insurgent safe house in northern Fallujah, Marines said. Despite an assignment that would have allowed him to avoid such dangerous duty, he regularly asked squad leaders if he could join their assault teams, they said.
One of the first Marines to enter the house, Peralta was wounded in the face by rifle fire from a room near the entry door, said Lance Cpl. Adam Morrison, 20, of Tacoma, who was in the house when Peralta was first wounded.
Moments later, an insurgent rolled a fragmentation grenade into the area where a wounded Peralta and the other Marines were seeking cover.
As Morrison and another Marine scrambled to escape the blast, pounding against a locked door, Peralta grabbed the grenade and cradled it into his body, Morrison said. While one Marine was badly wounded by shrapnel from the blast, the Marines said they believe more lives would have been lost if not for Peralta's selfless act.
"He saved half my fire team," said Cpl. Brannon Dyer, 27, of Blairsville, Ga.
Originally posted by mad scientist
The funny thing about the raid on the heavy water plant, is that in hindsight it made absolutely no difference to the war. The Nazi's were never close to building a bomb, they couldn't even build decent reactor.
Originally posted by fritz
Having read several newspaper accounts of this undoubtably brave young man's actions, I am at a loss to see why he has been awarded the coveted Victoria Cross.
Yes his actions were incredibly brave, but no more so than a Colour Sergeant who did something similar a couple of months ago. He was not awarded the VC.
Apart from the fact that the Victoria Cross may only be awarded for 'acts of heroism and bravery in the face of the enemy', how can this be justified, as the Prime Minister announced towards the end of last year, that the war was over?
Surely our forces out there are carrying out policing duties in support of the Iraqi government?
Othere, including my grandfather have been awarded the VC for doing less, but far more have been refused for carrying out even braver acts of selfless courage in the Gulf War.
Is there a hidden agenda? Why have the SAS operatives in Afghanistan and Iraq not been awarded VC's or is this yet another cynical attempt by this government to pander to certain politically correct and interested parties or, as I feel, this award is being used to give the army something in order to keep them (General Mike Jackson) quiet?
Originally posted by Kidbored
Charge of the Light Brigade [...] the battle of Balaclava [...]
Marine Capt. Brian R. Chontosh received the Navy Cross Medal from the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, during an awards ceremony Thursday at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Training Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.
The strategy of Major General L J Morshead, of the Tobruk garrison, was simply this: to hold the town at all costs, and, by offensive forays, to force the enemy to divert greatly superior forces to hold a dangerous threat and thus weaken his drive against Egypt.
It was in the heat and dust of Tobruk that Australian tenacity and courage achieved its supreme expression. Air raids which had gone into the thousands before unofficial statisticians lost count had no more effect on members of the garrison than the enemy's artillery, strafing and attacks by tanks.
The siege was only a couple of months old when the renegade Lord Haw Haw, broadcasting from Berlin, said they were "caught like rats in a trap" and applied it to the garrison because most of its men could find shelter only underground while the bombers were overhead. Our men accepted the title with relish. To one another, they were "the rats." To the Axis they were rats with razor-sharp teeth. They became "The Rats of Tobruk"
the first phases of the siege the Australian garrison, concerned primarily with testing its strength, concentrated on defence. But as the troops proved their ability to repel thrust upon thrust by Germans and Italians, defence gave way to fierce aggression as the world's most daring patrol fighters went into action each night.
Tobruk patrols were of two types - fighting and reconnaissance. The job of the reconnaissance patrol was to gather information and, if possible, to secure prisoners for identification. Its members used all their bushcraft to avoid being discovered. Like stealthy shadows, they saw without being seen. But the fighting patrol went out to fight. Its aim was to do as much damage and to kill as many of the enemy as possible. Its members would creep up on an enemy post, surround it and then, at a given signal, rush in with the bayonet and kill-soundlessly A few brief minutes of bloody, sinew-straining work and the foray would be over, with not a shot fired.
So persistent and so deadly were the Australian night patrols that the enemy, living in the perpetual shadow of silent, stealthy death, was soon reduced to a state of almost panicky nervousness. On the slightest provocation, and often on no provocation at all, he would put down artillery and mortar barrages.
Two typical examples of AIF offensive patrols are quoted. In the first, the raiders crawled in single file for two miles through a minefield to attack an observation post, the position of which had been revealed by reconnaissance patrols on the previous day.
The patrol started on its journey after midnight and was preparing for the final assault when Very lights lit up the scene, and the enemy post opened fire with rifles and machine guns. Five of our men then charged in with bayonets, Tommy guns, and grenades. Despite a volley of hand grenades from the enemy, the patrol stormed on, killing 15 and wounding many of the estimated 50 enemy before crossfire from supporting posts forced a withdrawal. The patrol regained its own lines, suffering only slight casualties.
The second classic patrol won for its leader, Lieutenant William. Horace Noyes, the Military Cross. With an NCO, Lieutenant Noyes stalked and destroyed three light tanks and led a bayonet attack against the enemy garrison. His unit captured the post and killed or wounded the garrison of 130, as well as the crews of seven machine-guns and 11 anti-tank guns and their protective infantry. It also damaged a heavy tank.
Throughout the siege the AIF garrison operated with a perfect team work that ran from the front-line soldier, back through his immediate headquarters to the artillery, back to the higher formations, to the supply and ordnance workshops, and to the hospitals. In the entire garrison there was not one idle mouth to be fed.
And throughout the eight bitter months of heat and dust and blood and flies, the garrison retained those high spirits that are the hallmark of high courage. If Lord Haw Haw thought he could goad the Australians with his bitter tilt at the "Rats of Tobruk" he committed the grossest of his many misjudgments.
The men were proud of the title and some of them now treasure an unofficial medal, bearing the stamp of a rodent rampant, which was unofficially struck to commemorate the defence of Tobruk. see below left
That medal was fashioned from aluminum taken from the fuselage of a German bomber brought down by the anti-aircraft fire of the sharpest-teethed rats in history. Below right is a newer commemorative medal issued by the Association in 1977
Glowworm, all guns firing and siren wailing like a banshee, tore into the Hipper's starboard side.
As she slipped under, her siren which had been going all through the action, abruptly stopped causing a momentary eerie silence.
The Heritage Coast Foylebank: Ramming the Hipper
Survivors from Glowworm in the water
Photograph taken from the bridge of the Hipper showing Glowworm
The Hipper, which was carrying 2000 German Alpine troops to Norway had to turn back to Germany for extensive repairs which kept her out of action for much of the war.
Andy Rules: A Tribute to the H.M.S. Glowworm
When it became clear that he could not outrun the Hipper, Roope turned and rammed his adversary instead. How awesome is this? Rather then surrender, he rammed the German ship. Lieutenant Commander G.P. Roope, you’ve just been added to my list of all time heroes. I salute you.
Originally posted by Otts
Also, when Richard the Lionheart participated in the Third Crusade and fell ill with fever, Saladin reportedly had his men go into the mountain and find some ice to soothe the king. Of course, those were the days of chivalry...
Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, an Indian Army soldier instrumental in capturing the strategic Tiger Hill during the Kargil War, has been provided with a plot of land in Lajpat Nagar Colony of Ghaziadbad by the Uttar Pradesh Government. He was awarded the Param Vir Chakra - the country's highest gallantry award - and he spoke about how jawans captured Tiger Hill in an exclusive tête-à-tête. A resident of Aurangabad Ahir under the Bulandshahr District, Uttar Pradesh he is a 25-year-old soldier. While he and his elder Jitendra have both been in the Army since December 1996, his younger brother Deepak is a student. He lost his father two months ago and his mother Shanmta Devi looks after the family farms.
It was 10:30 a.m. on July 5, 1999 at 16,500 feet above the sea level. We were 25 soldiers of the 18 Granadiers unit of the Indian Army. We were ordered to advance to capture Tiger Hill in the Drass Sector. After scaling the rocks for three nights, we were just 50 metres below Tiger Hill. As chance would have it, a stone slipped during our scaling operation. As the stone rolled down, it provoked heavy crossfire from the Pakistani bunkers which were just 10 meters above us. Due to the heavy firing, 18 of our jawans and officers had to retreat. Now, we were just seven jawans near the Pakistani bunkers. We were in a precarious situation, neither could we advance nor retreat. We thus had to wait for the right opportunity. By then, the enemy had deployed a company of 135 soldiers on top of Tiger Hill. After the firing stopped, we (seven of us) slowly began advancing to capture the Pakistani bunkers, just 10 metres away from us. At about 11:30 a.m. we opened fire at the bunker and gunned down four Pakistani soldiers. After we captured the Pakistani bunker, the Pakistan Army from the top of Tiger Hill sent 10 jawans to assess our strength.
I am a third generation in the Indian Army and that too in the same Regiment. After I was commissioned, I joined the 11 Gorkha Rifles, the Regiment that my grandfather and father belonged to - it's like a tradition. I got commissioned into the 7/11 Gorkha Rifles. This incidentally, was not the battalion that I led into battle. The battalion I was destined to lead, into a fierce series of battles during 'Operation Vijay' was the 1/11 Gorkha Rifles, the one my father had been commissioned into about 42 years ago. I had been posted to various places, served in every type of terrain conceivable - from deserts, mountains, jungles, ravines, plains, high altitudes, super-high altitudes - you name it. And after various instructional and staff appointments, took over the command of the 17 Rashtriya Rifles (Maratha LI), a newly raised battalion in J&K, designed to combat insurgency and militancy. Command of a Rashtriya Rifles battalion is considered a very tough and a challenging assignment. I had promptly agreed to the offer for the command of the 17 RR.
I took it as a big challenge, firstly, because the troops were from the Maratha Regiment, mostly hailing from in and around Pune, quite different from the troops I had been commanding throughout my career till then, and secondly, commanding a battalion in a militant infested area has its fair share of risks and tensions. However it did not take me long to realise that the Gorkha and the Maratha troops were so much like each other in so many ways, as events and achievements of the battalion would unfold later and substantiate my claim. I enjoyed and loved every moment of my command tenure with my Maratha boys and we hit it off like a house on fire.