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The FReeper Foxhole Remembers Leo J. Ghirardi - Remagen Bridge (3/7/1945) - Apr. 2nd, 2003 ^

Posted on 04/02/2003 5:34:32 AM PST by SAMWolf

Dear Lord,

There's a young man far from home,
called to serve his nation in time of war;
sent to defend our freedom
on some distant foreign shore.

We pray You keep him safe,
we pray You keep him strong,
we pray You send him safely home ...
for he's been away so long.

There's a young woman far from home,
serving her nation with pride.
Her step is strong, her step is sure,
there is courage in every stride.
We pray You keep her safe,
we pray You keep her strong,
we pray You send her safely home ...
for she's been away too long.

Bless those who await their safe return.
Bless those who mourn the lost.
Bless those who serve this country well,
no matter what the cost.

Author Unknown


FReepers from the USO Canteen, The Foxhole, and The Poetry Branch
join in prayer for all those serving their country at this time.



U.S. Military History, Current Events and Veterans Issues

Where Duty, Honor and Country
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.

Our Mission:

The FReeper Foxhole is dedicated to Veterans of our Nation's military forces and to others who are affected in their relationships with Veterans.

Welcome to "Warrior Wednesday"

Where the Freeper Foxhole introduces a different veteran each Wednesday. The "ordinary" Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine who participated in the events in our Country's history. We hope to present events as seen through their eyes. To give you a glimpse into the life of those who sacrificed for all of us - Our Veterans.

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The Ludendorff Bridge At Remagen

The many battles and lives lost during World War II are now a matter of record. Future generations can appreciate the fact that the freedom we now enjoy did not come without a price, the blood of our nation’s young heroes. After all of these years, many veterans have passed on. However, thanks to them, our country is one of the freest nations on earth.

I have now reached the age of 83. As the years passed, I have been fortunate enough to retain a sharp memory of my World War II experiences. Many films have attempted to give their account of what occurs in combat, and, sadly, most of the fictionalized accounts are very inaccurate.

This photo was taken on July 27, 1945, the wedding day of the author, Brother Leo J. Ghirardi, 32°, with Beatrice "Dolly" Saben, his British "blind date." Their wedding ring was bartered from a German prisoner of war for one cigarette

At the time of the Battle of the Bulge, December 16–26, 1944, I was for a short while in Paris. Having been in the Armed Forces since 1940, I felt the need to ask for front-line duty. At that time, I did not have a fear of dying in battle. However, when I arrived in Belgium during the worst blizzard in recent times, I had second thoughts. Of course, it was too late. I was now near the heat of battle, and it was time to do my part for my country.

When I arrive at Elsenborn Ridge, I was assigned to L Company 394th Infantry of the 99th Division. The first orders I had as a sergeant were to set up a defense out in the snow. I asked the commanding officer about the men who were to be assigned to my platoon, and he said, "Sergeant, you are the platoon."

Time passed, and we were walking across the Cologne Plains in Germany. Luck was with our unit because we were following up in the rear of one of our regiments that was fighting miles ahead of us. In the distance we could see the steeple of a church and what remained of the city of Cologne, Germany, on the Rhine River. Night was falling quickly as we turned to the east of the city, which followed the banks of the Rhine. To prove to our division commander that we had really reached the river, one of us filled a bottle of water from it and presented it to him.

Our regiment was in the area of Neivenheim-Gohr on March 7 when, unknown to us, the dramatic message came through from division: "Corps to G3-9th. Armed capture RR bridge at 6520. In good order and convertible. They have one and a half Bn of Infantry across the Rhine River."

We had no way of knowing about the captured bridge as we walked most of the night along the banks of the river. However, as we approached the bridge at Remagen, the Germans were firing their 88s over to our side of the river. I feel that it is only fitting to record here the words of a medic, T/5 James Johnson, who wrote an account of what happened: "The war is moving plenty fast and furious; my hands have been literally steeped in the blood from the wounded. It is pitiful to hear four or five wounded men screaming, ‘Medic! Medic! I’m bleeding to death!’ It is bad enough during the day, but at night a wounded soldier is terrified by the utter separation in the pitch blackness lit only by bursting shells (whether he be German or American). There may be a hell in another world, but this one is sure putting up some stiff competition. Compare ‘fire and brimstone’ with twisted steel and bodies, spattered chunks of brains and intestines, shambled buildings, the screams of shells and the cracks of bullets, the stench of death, the earnest soul-searching prayer of the dying. The longer this war lasts the greater toll and hole this living hell will be cut into humanity."

I wasn’t alone when I felt the fear of death as those 88s kept coming in so near to my platoon. I will never forget jumping into a ditch of water and soft mud in an attempt to get away from them. There I was, covered with mud from head to foot. That I could live with. But when I discovered my M1 rifle filled with mud, I knew I had to find a clean one and fast. I got one from a Jeep driver as we crossed the river. I was still afraid that I would not be able to hit a target with it because I had never zeroed this rifle in.

After that eventful dip in the ditch, we soon were approaching the embankment that led to the rail line. Believe it or not, I thought we would make a mad dash across the bridge, but our company commander gave orders for us to walk across and to be sure to keep our distance. Try to imagine having a migraine headache all day and then finding you have to cross a bridge like this under heavy fire. To relieve my backpack, I dumped most of my equipment except for some ammo, hand grenades, and rifle.

Those truly brave men who tried to keep the bridge in one piece deserve the credit for getting us over to the other side of the river on March 7, 1945. I have often wondered how many of those boys lived to tell their story. From what I remember of the heavy fire as we crossed the river, I doubt that many of those young men survived.

As we approached the other side of the river, we saw the train tunnel which gave us courage to continue on. We thought we could take cover in the tunnel, but instead we turned eastward and walked along the river to find a city that was on fire.

After we crossed the river, we advanced and took more German prisoners. From our vantage point, we could see P38 fighters chasing the German planes away from the bridge. We watched the Ludendorff Bridge as it collapsed on March 17th and saw its crumpled remains in the Rhine River.

The medic James Johnson lived what he wrote. He was at Remagen as the enemy peppered it with high explosives as the 394th walked across. Shells came at the rate of one every 30 seconds that night. The 394th Regiment was one of the first units to cross the Rhine River, and they are an example of the individual heroism of men risking their lives to keep traffic flowing across the bridge as they treated and evacuated casualties and rallied the shell-shocked soldiers.

I hope that this essay will be kept as a record for future generations. I have heard and read about how brave soldiers are in combat, but, honestly, I was scared as never before or since, and being only human, I was afraid to die on a foreign battlefield.

I am writing this account of the crossing of the Remagen Bridge while my mind is still clear. Age is taking its toll on me. I am now almost 84 years old. I crossed the bridge when I was 29.

KEYWORDS: 9tharmored; freeperfoxhole; lundendorffbridge; remagen; veterans; wwii
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The Remagen Bridgehead Battle

In early March, the 394th bypassed Koln and fought battles at Bergheim, Elsdorf, and Fortuna in the Erft Canal area. They were northwest of Koln when ordered to turn immediately south towards the city of Remagen. Both German and Allied forces had already bombed many of the bridges that crossed the Rhine but amazingly, the railroad bridge at Remagen still stood. Upon hearing this, American forces raced to cross this bridge that would take them deep into enemy territory. Meanwhile, the Germans were desperate to blow the bridge and prevent the American penetration.

Built in 1916, Remagen's railroad bridge rested on four fortress-like towers black with grime. The overall length was 1,069 feet. A year before the start of WWII, the Germans had installed an elaborate demolition scheme to blow up the bridge in the face of an enemy attack. Now, as German troops crossed the bridge, they warned of the Americans coming behind them. Although Hitler gave prior orders to destroy any bridge threatened by the enemy, he was fanatically against destroying a bridge prematurely; therefore, precious time was lost in deciding when to blow up the bridge.

Finally, Germans received the order from Major Hans Scheller, staff officer of the German Army Corps, and raced to set off the explosion. Much to their surprise, nothing happened. The activation key was turned again and again and still no response. A repair team moved onto the bridge under intense machine gun, tank fire, and phosphorus smoke screens that burned the eyes and skin. Unable to complete the repair job, a German volunteer dashed to the bridge and ignited the primer cord by hand. At last, a sudden roar ripped through the air and timbers flew wildly in every direction. Yet, when the smoke cleared, the bridge still stood!

Despite the fact that the bridge was structurally damaged, under constant heavy artillery fire, pitted with huge holes, and littered with dead bodies, the allied troops poured across.

The Race to the Rhine

According to a diary written by a K Company soldier and given to Captain Simmons, K Company reached the outskirts of Koln but bypassed it and continued to Elsdorf, where "villages were wrecked and fires were still burning." K Company moved on to Garsdorf and to Anstel and then to Gohn (northwest of Koln). Suddenly, they were ordered to turn south to the city of Remagen. They began a dead-heat race with the Germans to reach the Rhine River and cross the bridge at Remagen. The soldiers had to discard much equipment, including their blankets, to lessen the load. It was still uncomfortably cold in early March. Pine branches were cut down and used for blankets during the one hour of sleep each man received while his buddy stood watch. Two or three times per night the troops stopped to "dig in" and then were told to "move out." The partially-dug, unused fox holes were left behind as they continued the relentless drive to the Rhine. The lack of food, shelter, and sleep became the enemy. Troops searched abandoned farm houses for food and usually turned up nothing. To find a piece of German black bread or home-canned cherries was nirvana--the gift of life itself. At one point, Pvt. Arlinghaus gagged while eating a jar of fat drippings just to keep from starving.

Crossing the Bridge

On March 10, 1945, they arrived in the town of Remagen--the Germans were waiting for them. A deafening Boom! Boom! sounded about 250 feet down the main road. Artillery guns had opened up in a "traverse and search" military operation. The shells were exploding at precise intervals killing the troops with deadly precision. Because of his sergeant's training in Heavy Weapons at Camp Wheeler, Georgia, Arlinghaus knew the shells hit every ten seconds; this was the time it took to reload the artillery and change its trajectory (position). His platoon, with just four or five months of infantry training, was not so lucky; Arlinghaus yelled to his buddies to "hit the ditch" but many were dead before they knew what happened. The only way to outwit the gunners was to dive into a ditch right before a shell exploded, break into a run while counting to eight, and dive again before the next shell exploded two seconds later.

Everything was in chaos. Men screamed and writhed in agony as they watched their blood stream onto the road. Arlinghaus gave them "wound pills" but felt helpless to do more. He picked up a soldier who had half his buttock blown off, carried him up an incline to a brick house and into the cellar for protection. He put the soldier down in a cleaned-out coal bin and looked around for something to lay him on. There was nothing. He lit a candle and bandaged the man who didn't even whimper (probably in shock, he thought). As he turned to go, the soldier pleaded with him to stay. Arlinghaus felt like hell leaving him there but knew his duty was to continue fighting with the troops. He placed the man's rifle, topped with his helmet, at the door to alert the medics. (The rifle topped with a helmet is the army's pre-arranged signal that a wounded man is nearby). As he walked out the front door, he could see his thinned out Company running towards the bridge; behind them was a scene far worse than any depicted in Dante's Inferno. A line from the Charge of the Light Brigade echoed in his head: "through the valley of death rode the six hundred...." As he ran to catch up, he knew he would meet the mutilated man in his nightmares and wonder if he survived.

When Company K crossed the Remagen railroad bridge, the night was so black that it seemed the earth ceased to exist. The blinding flash and deafening scream of artillery every thirty seconds reminded the men that they remained in hell. The soldiers were taut with fear, expecting the bridge to collapse. Men who were not shot, worried about falling through the jeep-sized holes. Some sources say that at many places the holes in the bridge stretched all the way across, while some were located between the railroad tracks and between the tracks and the steel girders. Arlinghaus was terrified because he could not swim. He kept his eyes on a white track and dutifully followed it, although he did not know why it was there. Later, he thought the white tape may have been put down for tanks to follow. He did not know how long it took to cross the bridge. Many thought it took a lifetime.
1 posted on 04/02/2003 5:34:32 AM PST by SAMWolf
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To: MistyCA; AntiJen; Victoria Delsoul; SassyMom; bentfeather; GatorGirl; radu; souris; SpookBrat; ...
A task force of the 9th Armored Division reached the Rhine River on March 7, 1945, and found the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen still standing. Although the bridge was expected to be blown up by its German defenders at any moment, U.S. infantrymen and engineers stormed across the bridge and captured it intact, the only Rhine bridge to be captured. The Americans immediately exploited this unexpected success and built up their forces on the east bank of the Rhine.

First to join the 9th Armored Division in the ever-expanding bridgehead was the 78th Infantry Division (Organized Reserve). On March 10, the 99th Infantry Division (Organized Reserve) began crossing the Rhine at Remagen. Despite stubborn enemy resistance, these and later forces continued to expand the bridgehead. The capture of the Remagen Bridge was a major blow to the Germans, who expected to make the Rhine their final major defense line on the western front. Two months after the capture of the bridge, the war in Europe would be over.

Additional Sources:

2 posted on 04/02/2003 5:35:12 AM PST by SAMWolf (French Conflict Resolution - Surrender as fast and as soon as you can)
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To: All
'It would be nice to get that bridge too while we’re at it.'

-- Brig. Gen. William M. Hoge
to Lt. Col. Leonard Engeman

'To hell with the planners, Sure, go on; Brad, and I’ll give you everything we’ve got to hold that bridgehead.'

-- General Dwight Eisenhower
to Gen. Omar Bradley

3 posted on 04/02/2003 5:35:34 AM PST by SAMWolf (French Conflict Resolution - Surrender as fast and as soon as you can)
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To: All

4 posted on 04/02/2003 5:36:00 AM PST by SAMWolf (French Conflict Resolution - Surrender as fast and as soon as you can)
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To: All
The State of the Union is Strong!
Support the Commander in Chief

Click Here to Send a Message to the opposition!

5 posted on 04/02/2003 5:36:18 AM PST by SAMWolf (French Conflict Resolution - Surrender as fast and as soon as you can)
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To: SAMWolf
Good Morning Everybody.

Chow time!
NG's and ER's to the front of the line.
Standing Operating Procedures state:
Click the Pics For Today's Tunes

Click here to Contribute to FR: Do It Now! ;-) Say Jail Spain Suspicious

6 posted on 04/02/2003 5:36:34 AM PST by SAMWolf (French Conflict Resolution - Surrender as fast and as soon as you can)
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To: SAMWolf; All
Good Morning SAM, everyone.
7 posted on 04/02/2003 5:38:45 AM PST by Soaring Feather
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To: bentfeather
Good morning Feather.
8 posted on 04/02/2003 5:55:29 AM PST by SAMWolf (French Conflict Resolution - Surrender as fast and as soon as you can)
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To: SAMWolf
On This Day In History

Birthdates which occurred on April 02:
742 Charlemagne 1st Holy Roman emperor (800-14)
1805 Hans Christian Andersen Denmark, author of 150 fairy tales
1834 Fr‚d‚ric-Auguste Bertholdi Statue of Liberty sculptor
1840 mile Zola France, novelist (Nana)
1862 Nicholas Murray Butler US, Columbia U pres, pacifist (Nobel 1931)
1875 Walter Chrysler founded car company
1891 Max Ernst Germany, founded surrealism, painter/sculptor
19-- Sam Anderson actor (Gorpley-Perfect Strangers)
1905 Serge Lifar Kiev, dancer, choreographer (Paris Op‚ra Ballet)
1908 Buddy Ebsen Belleville Il, actor (Beverly Hillbillies, Barnaby Jones)
1910 Arnie Herber NFL QB (Green Bay Packers, NY Giants)
1910 Irene Mayer Selznick producer (Street Car Named Desire)
1911 Charles "Honi" Coles tap dancer (Tap)
1914 Sir Alec Guinness thespian (Bridge on River Kwai)
1915 Antony Dornhorst professor of medicine
1917 Dabbs Greer Fairview Mo, actor (Gunsmoke, Little House on Prairie)
1917 Lou Monte NJ, singer (Peppino the Italian Mouse)
1919 Sir Ian Hunter impresario
1920 Jack Webb Santa Monica Calif, actor (Joe Friday-Dragnet)
1923 Sir Hugh Overton British diplomat
1924 Sir Denis Rooke CEO (British Gas)
1925 George MacDonald Fraser poet/author (Flashman at the Charge)
1926 Michael Rizzello sculpter/coin designer
1927 Billy Pierce pitcher (Chicago White Sox) seven time all star
1928 Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago
1928 Rita Gam Pittsburgh, actress (Distortions, Mohawk)
1929 Catherine Gaskin romantic novelist (Fiona, Coporation Wife)
1934 Brian Glover actor (McGuffin)
1934 Christopher France British permanent secretary (Dept of Health)
1934 Sir Peter Middleton British permanent secretary (Treasury)
1935 Sharon Acker Toronto Canada, actress (Della Street-Perry Mason 1973)
1936 Jack Brabham race car driver
1939 Marvin P Gaye Jr Wash DC, singer (Sexual Healing)
1940 Peter Haining writer/editor (Anatomy of Witchcraft)
1940 Penelope Keith British actress (Norman Conquests, Priest of Love)
1941 Leon Russell pianist/singer (Carny)
1942 Graham Bright private sec to British PM
1943 Larry Coryell Galveston Tx, guitarist (11th House)
1945 Don Sutton baseball pitcher (LA Dodgers)
1945 Lord Skelmersdale British minister (C)
1945 Linda Hunt Morristown NJ, actress (Bostonians, Eleni, Silverado)
1946 Kurt Winter rocker (The Guess Who)
1947 Emmylou Harris Birmingham Alabama, country singer (Together Again)
1947 Larry Coryell jazz guitarist
1948 Joan D Vinge American writer (Dune)
1949 Pamela Reed Tacoma Wash, actress (Grand, Kindergarten Cop)
1949 Paul Gambaccini British disc jockey
1953 Debralee Scott Elizabeth NJ, actress (Cathy-Mary Hartman, Angie)
1954 Ron Palillo Ct, actor (Arnold Horshack-Welcome Back Kotter)
1955 Dana Carvey comedian (Church Lady-SNL)
1959 Brian Goodell US, 400m/1500m freestyle swimmer (Olympic-gold-1976)
1960 Linford Christie athlete
1961 Keren Woodward rocker (Bananarama-Venus)
1963 Dermot Reeve British cricketeer
1975 Deedee Magno rocker (Party-Rodeo, That's Why)

Deaths which occurred on April 02:
1865 Ambrose P Hill confederate general, dies at 39
1865 Richard Cobden founder Anti-Corn-Law League, dies at 60
1872 Samuel F B Morse developer of electric telegraph dies at 80
1951 Simon Barere pianist, dies while perfoming at Carnegie Hall
1952 Bernard Lyot inventor (chronograph), dies
1972 Gil Hodges NY Mets manager, dies at 47
1974 Douglass Dumbrille actor (Mr Deed Goes to Town), dies at 84
1974 Georges Pompidou French president, dies in Paris
1976 Ray Teal actor (Sheriff Roy Coffee-Bonanza), dies at 74
1979 Carroll D Rosenbloom LA Rams president, dies at 72
1987 Buddy Rich drummer/orch leader (Away We Go), dies at 69

On this day...
1513 Florida discovered, claimed for Spain by Ponce de Le¢n
1550 Jews are expelled from Genoa Italy
1792 Congress establishes Philadelphia mint
1792 US authorizes $10 Eagle, $5 half-Eagle & 2.50 quarter-Eagle gold coins
& silver dollar, « dollar, quarter, dime & half-dime
1819 1st successful agricultural journal ("The American Farmer") begins
1845 H.L. Fizeau & J Leon Foucault take 1st photo of Sun
1860 1st Italian Parliament met at Turin
1865 CSA Pres Jefferson Davis flees Confederate capital of Richmond, VA
1865 Gen A.P. Hill is killed by a Federal Picket
1865 Lee's line is broken at Petersberg
1866 Pres Johnson ends war in Ala, Ark, Fla, Ga, Miss, La, NC, SC, Tn & Va
1869 R Luther discovers asteroid #108 Hecuba
1876 Philadelphia A's & Boston Red Caps play 1st NL game, in Phila
1877 1st Easter egg roll held on White House lawn
1902 1st motion picture theater opens (LA)
1912 Titanic undergoes sea trials under its own power
1916 Belyavskij disc asteroid #851 Zeissia & #852 Wladilena & #853 Nansenia
1917 Pres Wilson asks Congress to declare war against Germany
1926 K Reinmuth discovers asteroid #2500
1930 1st NY-Bermuda airplane flight lands in Bermuda
1931 Teenage girl strikes out Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig in an exhibition
game in Chattanooga, Tennessee
1932 Charles Lindbergh turns over $50,000 as ransom for kidnapped son
1935 Mary Hirsch, becomes 1st woman licensed as a horse trainer
1935 Sir Watson-Watt patents RADAR
1937 Y Vaisala discovers asteroid #1549 Mikko
1954 Plans to build Disneyland 1st announced [see 0126]
1955 Pancho Gonzales retains tennis title by winning a tournament
playing under table tennis rules
1956 Soap operas "As the World Turns" & "Edge of Night" premieres on TV
1958 National Advisory Council on Aeronautics renamed NASA
1958 Wind speed reaches 450 kph in tornado, Wichita Falls, TX (record)
1963 Explorer 17 attains Earth orbit (254/914 km)
1963 USSR launches Luna 4; missed Moon by 8,500 km
1964 USSR launches Zond 1 to Venus; no data returned
1966 Soviet Union's Luna 10 becomes 1st spacecraft to orbit Moon
1968 Beatles form Python Music Ltd
1968 Chad creates Union of Central African States
1969 Milwaukee Bucks sign (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor)
1970 Meghalaya becomes autonomous state within India's Assam state
1970 Qatar gains independence from Britain
2 men begin ascent of south face of Annapurna I, the highest final
stage in a wall climb in the world
1971 Sci-fi soap opera "Dark Shadows" concludes an almost 5 year run
1972 44th Academy Awards presented
1972 Prime Minister Begin visits Cairo
1973 Ed Kemper stuffs mother's throat in disposal
1974 Arganat Comm publishes report concerning Yom Kippur War
1976 N Chernykh discovers asteroids #2190 Coubertin & #2593 Buryatia
1977 Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors," album goes to #1 & stays #1 for 31 weeks
1977 Mont Canadiens set NHL record of 34 straight home games without a lose
1978 TV show "Dallas" premiers on CBS (as a 5 week mini-series)
1979 Israeli PM Menachem Begin visits Cairo Egypt
1980 Wayne Gretzky becomes 1st teenager to score 50 goals in a season
1981 A Gilmore & P Kilmartin discovers asteroid #3400
1982 Argentina seizes Malvinas (Falklands) Islands
1984 Georgetown beats Houston for NCAA basketball title
1986 4 US passengers killed byy bomb at TWA counter Athens Airport Greece
1986 George Corley Wallace (Gov-D-Ala) announces retirement plans
1986 NCAA adopts 3-point basketball rule
1986 P Jensen discovers asteroid #3459 Bodil
1988 Simply Majestic sets horseracing's 1-1/8 mile record at 1:45
1989 Wrestlemania V-Hulk Hogan beats Randy "Macho Man" Savage
1989 Yanks beat Mets 4-0, sweeping 1989 mayor's trophy series in 2 games
1992 Country singer Wynonna Judd's 1st appearance as a single act
1992 "Hamlet" opens at Criterion Center on Broadway
1992 John Gotti found guilty in death of Paul Castallanos
1992 Space Shuttle STS-45 (Atlantis 11) lands

Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"

Liberia : National Day of Prayer & Fast
Iran : Nawroz 13
Chad : Creation of Union of Central African States (1968)
Switzerland : Glarius Festival (1388) - - - - - ( Thursday )
Mass : Student Government Day - - - - - ( Friday )

Religious Observances
RC : Mem of St Francis of Paula, hermit/confessor (opt)
Ang : Commemoration of James Lloyd Breck, priest

Religious History
1524 At age 40, Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli (a former Catholic priest) publicly married the widow Anna (ne Reinhard) Meyer. Their marriage lasted until his death at the Battle of Kappel in 1531.
1877 Birth of American evangelist Mordecai Ham. It was under Ham's preaching in the late 1930s that Billy Graham was led into a living faith.
1894 Death of English philanthropist William D. Longstaff, 72. A friend of Dwight Moody and Ira Sankey, Longstaff left several writings, but is best remembered today for authoring the hymn, "Take Time to Be Holy."
1955 British apologist C. S. Lewis wrote in "Letters to an American Lady": 'Fear is horrid, but there's no reason to be ashamed of it. Our Lord was afraid (dreadfully so) in Gethsemane. I always cling to that as a very comforting fact.'
1978 Episcopal Canon Mary Simpson of New York spoke from the pulpit of Westminster Abbey in London. She was the first ordained woman to preach there in the 913 years since 1065, when the Abbey was first consecrated.

Thought for the day :
" Fortune truly helps those who are of good judgment. "
9 posted on 04/02/2003 6:04:55 AM PST by Valin (Age and deceit beat youth and skill)
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To: Valin
1931 Teenage girl strikes out Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Man, that would have been something to see!

10 posted on 04/02/2003 6:29:43 AM PST by SAMWolf (French Conflict Resolution - Surrender as fast and as soon as you can)
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To: SAMWolf
To everyone who read my post yesterday... April Fool's!

Wednesday's weird warship, the french dreadnought Jean Bart
(I haven't even started on the french yet!)

Courbet class dreadnought
Displacement. 23,120 t.
Lenght. 541'3"
Beam. 88'6"
Draft 29'
Speed. 20 k.
Complement. 1108
Armament. 12 12"; 22 5.5"; 4 3-pdr; 2 1-pdr; 2 18" tt.

As the French yards took so long to build ships, the first French dreadnoughts were not laid down until 1910. Compared to other countries first dreadnoughts, the Courbets were well armed and protected. But in comparison to contempary ships, they were inferior. Jean Bart was laid down in November 1910 and completed in June 1913.

In WWI, as the French battlefleet was carrying out a sweep into the Adriatic covering the transport of supplies to Montenegro, they experienced the power of the submarine to influence surface ship strategy and tactics. Jean Bart was torpedoed by the Austro-Hungarian submarine U12 in the Adriatic on 21st December 1914. Adm Lapeyrère’s unscreened flagship was hit in the bow by the torpedo, reportedly abreast the wine-store and just before the forward magazine which remained intact. Although she stayed afloat and reached Malta safely, the loss of the wine was appearantly enough to keep her out for the rest of the war, as some sources, even recently published ones, describe "Jean Bart" as sunk in this attack.

She was renamed Ocean in 1936 and converted to a training ship in 1938. On 7th March 1944 she was damaged by bombs in an Allied air raid, and on 15th March 1944 she sank during weapons trials held by the Germans. The wreck was salvaged postwar and scrapped at Toulon between 1946 and 1947.

11 posted on 04/02/2003 6:29:53 AM PST by aomagrat (IYAOYAS)
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To: aomagrat

I have to admit you got me good!! Glad to see you back and insulting the french!
12 posted on 04/02/2003 6:45:40 AM PST by SAMWolf (French Conflict Resolution - Surrender as fast and as soon as you can)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: coteblanche
Good morning, Cote.

Thanks for the poem found on the Lundendorff Bridge Towers.
15 posted on 04/02/2003 7:07:04 AM PST by SAMWolf (French Conflict Resolution - Surrender as fast and as soon as you can)
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: coteblanche; SAMWolf
In my best Yosemite Sam voice, "Freepers is so gullible!"
17 posted on 04/02/2003 7:19:23 AM PST by aomagrat (IYAOYAS)
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To: aomagrat; coteblanche
LOL! You only got away with it because we know how much work a daily thread is! The best April Fool's jokes are one's that sound plausible.

P.S. You're the only person who "got" me yesterday,
18 posted on 04/02/2003 7:25:57 AM PST by SAMWolf (French Conflict Resolution - Surrender as fast and as soon as you can)
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To: All
Miracles Do Happen
Courtesy of the Seals and Rangers

U.S. Army PFC Jessica Lynch, 19, from Palestine, West Virginia grimaces inside a U.S. helicopter April 2, 2003 after being rescued by U.S. special forces while being held captive for ten days in Nassiriya in southern Iraq. (Lynch, who Captain Jay La Rossa, spokesman for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit said, had two broken legs and one broken arm but was stable and in good condition, was with a maintenance convoy ambushed by Iraqi forces on March 23. Military sources near Nassiriya said U.S. Marines staged a decoy attack to allow special forces to rescue Lynch from the hospital in the southern city where U.S.-led forces have faced stiff resistance from Iraqi fighters.
19 posted on 04/02/2003 7:51:21 AM PST by SAMWolf (French Conflict Resolution - Surrender as fast and as soon as you can)
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To: aomagrat; SAMWolf
The wreck was salvaged postwar and scrapped at Toulon...

That was a good out for next year, buddy!

20 posted on 04/02/2003 7:54:54 AM PST by HiJinx (Sierra Vista Rally AAR @
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