The worst machine gun ever

Armed conflicts in the history of humanity from the ancient times to the 20th Century.
Byron Angel

Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by Byron Angel » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:35 pm

hammy wrote:Byron , was he in the mikras asias katastrofia thing afterwards too ?

..... Hammy, don't tell me that you are a "patrioti" ?!?!?!


My grandfather served in the First Balkan War, the Second Balkan War, the First World War on the Salonika Front, and in the post-WW1 Greco-Turkish unpleasantness. Fortunately for the future our family, he decided that he had had enough fighting after four wars, deserted the army, and emigrated to the US by way of France. Most of my family on my dad's side were ethnic Greeks living around Constantinople. My paternal grandfather was born on Lesbos and lived as a young man in Constantinople; my paternal grandmother was born on the island of Marmara in the middle of the Sea of Marmara. The family history has it that his regiment was trapped and wiped out by the Turks not too long after he left it.

Funny thing - he saved his uniform until the day he died. I recall seeing it hanging in the attic of his home as a boy.


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hammy
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Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by hammy » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:30 pm

British by my passport , East Anglian by upbringing , mixed European by bloodlines , Greek by Inclination , Cretan when cross / under the influence .

I think your Papou got out just at the right time judging by what went on after - was he a Venizelist particularly , or just caught up in it all ?
Ta Balkanika , to Proto Pankosmou Polemo stin Thessaloniki , kai meta stin mikra Asia ! Po Po Po !
San to tragoudi tou Tsitsani " Troune bromiko psomi"
( Elpisw oti milaseis Ellinika , filo mou ;)

I'm actually off to Konstantinopoli for the first time at the end of March for a fortnight's holiday , and looking forward very much to seeing all the Greek/Byzantine historical things . I'm going alone and so have got into a cheap hotel in the old city about 10 minutes from Agia Sofia , which should be handy for poking about on foot . I'm trying to learn a few words in Turkish at the moment , and praying I dont start speaking Greek by mistake , as I think that might get me some funny meals in a restaurant there ! :shock:
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

Byron Angel

Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:33 am

hammy wrote:British by my passport , East Anglian by upbringing , mixed European by bloodlines , Greek by Inclination , Cretan when cross / under the influence .

I think your Papou got out just at the right time judging by what went on after - was he a Venizelist particularly , or just caught up in it all ?
Ta Balkanika , to Proto Pankosmou Polemo stin Thessaloniki , kai meta stin mikra Asia ! Po Po Po !
San to tragoudi tou Tsitsani " Troune bromiko psomi"
( Elpisw oti milaseis Ellinika , filo mou ;)

I'm actually off to Konstantinopoli for the first time at the end of March for a fortnight's holiday , and looking forward very much to seeing all the Greek/Byzantine historical things . I'm going alone and so have got into a cheap hotel in the old city about 10 minutes from Agia Sofia , which should be handy for poking about on foot . I'm trying to learn a few words in Turkish at the moment , and praying I dont start speaking Greek by mistake , as I think that might get me some funny meals in a restaurant there ! :shock:

..... You're embarrassing me, Hammy. All four of my grandparents were Greeks, yet I've never set foot in the old country (visited East Anglia though - Long Melford, Norwich, Kings Lynn, IIRC).

And you speak better Greek than I. In fact, apart from cursing and making sure I eat well, the Greek language remains a mysterious tongue to me.

I never knew much about my "papou's" political leanings; he passed away before I had developed enough sense to be curious about the experiences of my seniors or my family roots. He was a quiet man who made his living in shoe repair, could successfully grow anything anywhere, made enough "raki" (ouzo) in his basement every year for the entire neighborhood and remains as the best damned cook who ever put a meal in front of me. A truly nice guy who'd sooner smile than breathe. One amusing factoid did emerge years later when we were going through some old family photo albums. It seems that my grandfather's grandfather served as master yogurt maker to the court of the sultan in Constantinople. We have a great photo taken in Topkapi palace of a short elderly greek gentlemen with a gigantic grey moustache flanked on either side by two HUGE (by comparison) Turkish guardsmen with equally gigantic black moustaches. Life is strange, is it not?


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hammy
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Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by hammy » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:09 pm

Yep , Life is strange .

I got into the Greek bit about 30 years ago during the unlamented reign of ghastly Mrs Thatcher here . my wife and I had both lost our jobs ( In her case for the second time in a year , in mine for the FOURTH time in a year ) and we both said oh to hell with it , and booked a 10 day holiday to Corfu/Kerkira .
At that time I was hardly aware that it was Greek , I only knew it from books about Napoleon Bonaparte and the Venetian Empire , but we both read up on it before we went , and Boy , were we knocked out by it , the food , the people , the music , the history , the sea --BLUE , and WARM ! ! ! :cool: , the groves of olive trees , the wildlife , the landscape .
So when we got home we signed up for some Greek language classes after work one evening each week , ( we both eventually had found found jobs again ) and it all snowballed from there , and I've been studying Greek and Greek things , and travelling to different places there ever since .
( we are fortunate here in Norwich , because we have the University of East Anglia here , with a big modern languages dept, which includes Modern Greek AND the European Centre for Literary Translation , so we get a stream of foreign authors passing through , and a lot of the Lecturers Moonlight a bit teaching evening classes , so you can still get a liberal education here if you have a little bit of money and quite a bit of time for your hobby ).
Stops your mind from rusting up , I say . Mind you , I am a very lazy student and struggle with the grammar , but it is a joy to go on holiday now and get off the tourist trail in some hill village , and sit in the Kafeneion and chat with all the old boys -- and drink far too much , of course .)
I'm 56 now and want to retire soon , buy just a small apartment here in the UK ( so we've got somewhere to hang my hat still )
and then move out there and rent a house for 6 months or a year , and see if we'd like to stay there .
Ahh , dreams ....... :pray:
What were you doing here in Norfolk ? USAF ?
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

Byron Angel

Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:51 pm

hammy wrote: What were you doing here in Norfolk ? USAF ?

..... On one hand, my wife is a New Hampshire Yankee with pre-colonial family roots in and around the region of Lancaster. Beyond that, I was in the computer trading business and trekked all over Europe for many years. Between business and pleasure, I've probably been to England close to twenty times. In fact, I was in England on 9-11. I have some old and close friends from my business days up in Yorkshire whom we still try to visit every few years. I've pretty much criss-crossed England from Hadrian's Wall down to Devon (I'd like to see Cornwall one day). I've been in London, Bristol, Glastonbury, Birmingham, Manchester, Lancaster, Blackpool, York (a beautiful city), Norwich, Hull, Portsmouth, Chester, Scarborough, Whitby, Holy Island, Kings Lynn, the Lakes, Cumbria, South Wales, the Moors, the Midlands, the North Sea coast, Newcastle (big Eric Burdon & Animals fan), Oxford, Alnwick, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon, Plymouth, Greenwich, and probably any number of towns and villages in between. My wife and I just love the countryside and the people.

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RF
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Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by RF » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:14 pm

If you like our countryside then you should see Shropshire and the Welsh Marches.....
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

Byron Angel

Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:32 pm

RF wrote:If you like our countryside then you should see Shropshire and the Welsh Marches.....

..... Indeed we would like to do so. Wales is one of the regions upon which we have only nibbled at the extreme southern edge.

One of the things I like most about your island Britain is that one could randomly land by parachute just about anywhere and be within 10 minutes of some notable historical site. For someone with my interest in history it's like wandering around in a candy store free to eat at will.


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Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by mike1880 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:35 pm

RF wrote: If you like our countryside then you should see Shropshire and the Welsh Marches.....
B****y h*ll, don't tell everyone!

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Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by RF » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:29 am

Actually I'm pretty safe, as it is on my doorstep!

And the Welsh Marches, despite the name, is actually in England - in Shropshire.....
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by mike1880 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:14 am

Yes, but you don't want everyone turning up there do you? The border area from Shropshire down to Gloucestershire is about the only genuinely rural area in England.

Byron Angel

Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by Byron Angel » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:53 pm

mike1880 wrote:Yes, but you don't want everyone turning up there do you? The border area from Shropshire down to Gloucestershire is about the only genuinely rural area in England.

I'm curious. By what standard do you distinguish that area as "the only genuinely rural area in England"? It has seemed to me that, outside of the cities, there's an awful lot of farmland and open countryside. Much of the north country seems almost unsettled with isolated farms hidden away in those amazing crevice-like valleys that transect the moorlands.

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Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by RF » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:16 pm

mike1880 wrote: The border area from Shropshire down to Gloucestershire is about the only genuinely rural area in England.
It is one of the quietest and least densely populated parts of England, but is by no means the only ''genuinely rural area in England.''

Most of the English counties have genuinely rural and ''out of the way'' areas, even in the English Midlands where I live.

Large areas of northern England, including parts of Lancashire, Cheshire and practically the whole of Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Northumberland, are hilly/mountainous, rural and quiet, especially in the winter months. In southern England there are large tracts of wide open, quiet spaces in Wiltshire, Avon, Dorset, Somerset and Devon. And Cornwall is sufficiently detached from the rest of England that many in Cornwall regard that county as their country.

So there you have it, not quite sure what it has to do with the worst machine gun ever, except perhaps that won't be a particular problem holidaying in those areas.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by hammy » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:31 am

Its pretty rural round here . When I was young people still used to keep watch from the church towers in case Bonaparte was coming ! :dance:

Also this is a strong area for the Countryside Alliance , ....... or the "Paramilitary wing of the Conservative Party" as we call it .

R F is right about that stretch from Birmingham down to Bristol , west of the Motorway though . We have a holiday each June for a week , hiring a holiday cottage , and have often stayed in that area .
Favourites are the Malvern Hills - I sat up there one sunny day and read "Piers Plowman" for an hour , before falling asleep ! You'd like that Byron , there are big hillforts up there going back 3 or 4 thousand years .
And Ross on Wye , and all the Wye valley , and Hereford , and all the "Elgar" country .
It struck me how like the description of "The Shire" the country looks roundabout , I suppose Tolkien must have used that setting .
And going North , past the Wrekin , and into the "A E Houseman" country around Ludlow .
I've got a rather nice hardback reprint of "A Shropshire lad" with woodcut block illustrations in it on the shelf at home , but I must say I prefer John Clare's poems , I suppose because his countryside is the one familiar to me , here in the east , huge skies .
( Plus of course he went mad in the end , so we have something in common ! )
One favourite you should see if you get the chance Byron - take the Train from London , Liverpool street towards Norwich , but get off halfway at a little place called Manningtree .
From there you can walk an easy stroll on a marked trail west up Dedham Vale , and you are in the landscapes of the painter John Constable the whole way .It makes for a pleasant day's excursion if the weather is good .
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

Byron Angel

Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by Byron Angel » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:12 pm

hammy wrote:Its pretty rural round here . When I was young people still used to keep watch from the church towers in case Bonaparte was coming ! :dance:

Also this is a strong area for the Countryside Alliance , ....... or the "Paramilitary wing of the Conservative Party" as we call it .

R F is right about that stretch from Birmingham down to Bristol , west of the Motorway though . We have a holiday each June for a week , hiring a holiday cottage , and have often stayed in that area .
Favourites are the Malvern Hills - I sat up there one sunny day and read "Piers Plowman" for an hour , before falling asleep ! You'd like that Byron , there are big hillforts up there going back 3 or 4 thousand years .
And Ross on Wye , and all the Wye valley , and Hereford , and all the "Elgar" country .
It struck me how like the description of "The Shire" the country looks roundabout , I suppose Tolkien must have used that setting .
And going North , past the Wrekin , and into the "A E Houseman" country around Ludlow .
I've got a rather nice hardback reprint of "A Shropshire lad" with woodcut block illustrations in it on the shelf at home , but I must say I prefer John Clare's poems , I suppose because his countryside is the one familiar to me , here in the east , huge skies .
( Plus of course he went mad in the end , so we have something in common ! )
One favourite you should see if you get the chance Byron - take the Train from London , Liverpool street towards Norwich , but get off halfway at a little place called Manningtree .
From there you can walk an easy stroll on a marked trail west up Dedham Vale , and you are in the landscapes of the painter John Constable the whole way .It makes for a pleasant day's excursion if the weather is good .

..... Hammy,

Good to know that there are yet more picturesque places to explore in England. My wife and I have enjoyed some very special moments in our travels on your island. The most memorable was traversing the Cumbrian mountains on a twisting marginally passable B "road" (wife is navigator and loves the roads less travelled); it was very late afternoon when we unknowingly peaked the final crest and were suddenly confronted with an absolutely riveting sunset view straight down a steep sided mountain valley to the Irish Sea. We stopped the car right on the road and just stared for a while. I can still conjure up the view in my mind's eye.


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Re: The worst machine gun ever

Post by hammy » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:36 pm

well come on over and see us again , I'll get the Ouzo bottle out and start on the Meze .
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

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