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Subject: I rode a tank, held a general's rank... rss

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Pete Belli
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There is a classic line in the song Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones:

I rode a tank,

held a general's rank,

when the Blitzkrieg raged

and the bodies stank.






OK... how many famous generals actually rode a tank while the Blitzkrieg raged between 1939 and 1945?

Probably fewer than I first thought. I'm going to exclude obscure brigade and division commanders because Lucifer would probably want to take center stage. Here are several I considered:

Patton? Probably not. He was beyond division command when he reached the front and Patton had his famous vehicle with the siren. Abrams was only a colonel in WWII. Even the most aggressive front line armored leaders like Maurice Rose (killed in a skirmish near the end of the war) operated in jeeps.

Rommel? Maybe when he led the 7th Panzer in 1940... after that we often see him in a command truck. Officers like Bayerlein or von Manteuffel might fit the description. BTW, Joachim Pieper of "Kampfgruppe Pieper" fame in the Ardennes was only a colonel.

Leclerc of the French 2nd Armored is a possibility but deGaulle was not a general during the 1940 campaign in France.

Zhukov was already a high ranking officer during the 1939 action at Kalkhin Gol, but generals like Rokossovsky could have rode a tank early in WWII when he commanded a "tank corps" in the Red Army.

What about British commanders like Allan Adair of the Guards Armoured Division? Did British generals ride in tanks during a battle?

Masaomi Yasuoka was a commander of Japanese mechanized forces during the 1939 border clash with the USSR... but I can't imagine any general leading an armored unit from a Type 93 tank. Experts, provide some insight!

Pietro Meletti fought at Kufra in 1931 and commanded the Italian mechanized force in North Africa during the early days of WWII. Perhaps he rode in a tank, but he was killed at his headquarters during an Allied raid.

Thanks reading this silly article. It was fun!
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Brian Train
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Sorry Pete, I think it's just there because it rhymes and while

"I rode a tank
Held a Hauptmann's rank"

might be more accurate, and therefore more pleasing to us, I don't think the Rolling Stones were gamers.

(The Human League on the other hand, though...)

Brian
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Michał M.
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My post will be 99% off-topic

I had rather unpleasant experience with WWII tank

When I was a kid I used to play at a yard in front of one of the departments of Muzeum Wojska Polskiego (Polish Army Museum). My favourite object on that yard was old WWII tank and I LOVED to play in it.

But one day someone had removed remains of a driver's seat and because of that I wasn't able to get out of this hellish machine.


But for my father I would be still in this infernal tank!

Now THIS is silly article/post!
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Kev.
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Erwin Rommel in a tank...but not a General.
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Steve Arthur
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..or in the boys from 'Kelly's Heroes' case...

'We bought a tank
so we could rob a bank,

while Oddball raved
and the Third Reich sank.'
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Enrico Viglino
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Ok, so the blitzkrieg wasn't raging, and he didn't wear a general's rank....
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K G
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Steve Arthur
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Kluvon wrote:



I dispute the tank status of that vehicle...more like a self propelled barbeque...
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Wendell
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When we were playing Russian Civil War 1918-1922 (first edition), Mark would repeatedly sing one line:

Killed the Tsar and his ministers.

Very, very badly.
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Edmund Hon
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I thought this image of Montgomery shows him in a M3 Grant?

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Bill Eldard
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Taskforce 58 wrote:
I thought this image of Montgomery shows him in a M3 Grant?



And the guy to his right is his Mini-Me.

"Boss! De tanks! De tanks!"
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Michał M.
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usrlocal wrote:


Eyebrows suggest that this is Leonid Brezhnev... Am I correct?
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Michał M.
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Those brows don't lie!





Men on the left is (from what I've heard) General Maczek.

Blitzkrieg? thumbsup
General? thumbsup
Tank? thumbsup
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Roger Hobden
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pete belli wrote:

[i]I rode a tank,
held a general's rank,


But this doesn't really say that riding at tank and holding a generals rank were done simultaneously, right ?

This could done sequentially, AND

this could also be done by impersonating two different people ...

Nothing is beyond the Prince of Darkness, devil, until ...




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Steve Arthur
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Malaggar wrote:
usrlocal wrote:


Eyebrows suggest that this is Leonid Brezhnev... Am I correct?



Actually you can tell by the giant Soviet-era telephone mouthpiece in front of him...
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Michał M.
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And his naked (although tanned) chest?
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Bill Eldard
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What about the entire verse?

Quote:
I rode a tank,

held a general's rank,

when the Blitzkrieg raged

and the bodies stank.


I always thought it was about generals with poor hygeine.


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Michał M.
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Eldard wrote:
What about the entire verse?

Quote:
I rode a tank,

held a general's rank,

when the Blitzkrieg raged

and the bodies stank.


I always thought it was about generals with poor hygeine.




Here we go again!
 




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Kristopher
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Off topic, but I met someone who had met Patton in the war. He was a tank commander, became a full-bird colonel. Said he was in a long line of tanks when Patton came by. Patton looked at him and said "Get this the hell out of my way!" (or something to that effect.)

He looked at Patton and said "Yes, sir!"



Not a great story, and I'm sure he told it better, but I was [---] THAT close to history!
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Andy Daglish
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hipshot wrote:
Erwin Rommel in a tank...but not a General.


and not a German tank, and he commanded none of these in France, which was embarrassing.

There was General Elles and 'Hilda' at Cambrai.
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Darrell Hanning
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But what I want to know is exactly how many troubadors got killed, before they reached Bombay?
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Ben Delp
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DarrellKH wrote:
But what I want to know is exactly how many troubadors got killed, before they reached Bombay?


Agreed. And why the hell were they going to Bombay in the first place?
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Roger Hobden
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delp1871 wrote:
DarrellKH wrote:
But what I want to know is exactly how many troubadors got killed, before they reached Bombay?


Agreed. And why the hell were they going to Bombay in the first place?


Something to do with the Burma Road ?
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p55carroll
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Eldard wrote:
What about the entire verse?

Quote:
I rode a tank,

held a general's rank,

when the Blitzkrieg raged

and the bodies stank.


I always thought it was about generals with poor hygeine.

soblue Another line I've misheard all my life. Always thought it was "and the violence stank."
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Lucius Cornelius
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delp1871 wrote:
DarrellKH wrote:
But what I want to know is exactly how many troubadors got killed, before they reached Bombay?


Agreed. And why the hell were they going to Bombay in the first place?
Looking for jobs in Bollywood?
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