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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
alanabit BS: Appeal to military historians (28) BS: Appeal to military historians 12 Jan 13

Here's an appeal for advice from some of our military historians on Mudcat.
A few years ago I recorded a song called "East Looe Boys", which describes the coming of age of a young man from Cornwall. He grew up brawling with lads from local villages as a youth. In the Second World War, those same lads fought together in the Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry Regiment. This regiment actually existed and fought through the Africa campaign, up through Italy and even saw service at the Battle of Kleve and Wesel, which was the final major battle of the Western Front. That was the battle which achieved the objectives, which had originally been planned for Operation Market Garden.
For some years, I have been toying with the idea of trying to flesh out the bones of the song by trying to re-create the young soldier's life as he progresses through the war. My ignorance of military matters is unprecedented, but I still fancy having a crack at writing a novel. To do this I will need to find out about the daily life of a young soldier in the forties and get a lot more detailed information about the Africa campaign and the landings – and subsequent campaign –in Italy. I also need to learn something about the weapons, the kit, the smells, the noises around the soldiers and all the other details which can help a reader to imagine the situations.
I am not unlikely to write a pile of unpublishable drivel – and even if I do write something publishable, it probably will not be published. I am not starry eyed about this. However, I am mad enough to have a go. This is an appeal for help to all you military historians who may be able to tell me which books I need to read and which organisations I should contact for help. I will be grateful to any of you who can enlighten me.

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