Classic British Motorcycles – JAP

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Classic British Motorcycles – JAP

Image by brizzle born and bred
JA Prestwich Industries, was an English engineering organization named soon after founder John Alfred Prestwich, which created cinematographic equipment, internal combustion engines (for which the business was generally abbreviated to &quotJ.A.P.&quot), and other examples of precision engineering.

From 1904 to 1908 full motorcycles have been made from the development of the very first overhead valve motorcycle engine to be made in the UK.

Right after that the factory concentrated on supplying its engines to other makers, like Brough Superior, Triumph Motorcycles, A. J. Stevens &amp Co. Ltd, Enfield Cycle Co, Hazlewoods Limited, Zenith Motorcycles, and HRD Motorcycles, the forerunner of Vincent Motorcycles. Machines that incorporated its engines integrated the AJS Model D, fabricated for the Russians in the 1st Planet War.

JAP exported important numbers of engines to foreign motorcycle manufacturers including Dresch and Terrot in France, and Ardie, Hecker and Tornax in Germany.

Latterly, JAP engines (below Villiers handle) had been employed in motorcycle racing, and most commonly speedway or dirt track.

True Heroism: the Army Rangers at Pointe du Hoc

Image by Dog Organization
This is a image of Pointe du Hoc (Hoc was a name from the Vikings when they lived right here). You are going to see an obelisk on the cliff to the left and that is a memorial to the Army Rangers under the command of Col. Jack Rudder, 1 of the most wonderful war heroes in my book. Colonel Rudder led a group of Army Rangers up these cliffs on D-Day, utilizing rope ladders and some excellent climbing, and held a German strongpoint for two days with out resupply, sustaining over 50% casualties, and obtaining to use German weapons after they ran out of ammunition. Rudder was a correct poor-ass. When ordered to go in on a later wave of troops, he promptly went in on the first landing craft. Please study the story beneath about Rudder and his guys that I discovered on the world wide web.

When orders came for the actual assault, the Rangers boarded the Ben My Chree , which joined the fantastic armada of convoys knifing across the cold, dark English Channel from the Isle of Wight to an unknown fate that waited them along the German-held Normandy coast. One particular the fateful morning of June six, Rudder’s 225 soldiers of the initial assault parties were treated to a breakfast of flapjacks and coffee. They carried minimum loads, with heavier weapons amounting to four Browning Assault Rifles. Each and every business also had two 60mm mortars). Shortly before 0400, they were loaded into LCAs (landing craft, assault) departed the massive transport ship and headed out in two columns of six boats across a quite rough sea nevertheless churning from a vicious storm the preceding day. Ten of the small landing craft carried Rudder and his men, even though the other two carried supplies (packs, rations, demolitions, and added ammunition for the three firms). The modest flotilla was accompanied by four DUKW’s that carried the extension ladders. Each DUKW was topped by twin Lewis machineguns to provide some firepower for an anticipated contested landing.

Immense waves had been smashing into the sides of every single craft, engulfing the small vessels and drenching the anxious rangers. Shortly after the flotilla had left the Ben My Chree, one particular LCA sank in the heavy seas, drowning absolutely everyone except one particular fortunate man. Soon, an additional landing craft became swamped, adding the commander of Company D, Capt. Duke Slater, and his twenty Rangers to the number of soldiers currently out of the attack on Pointe-du-Hoc. Water continued to gush into the boats, rising swiftly with every single new wave that slammed into the sides. Seasick Rangers desperately started to bail with their helmets as they continued their perilous run toward the shore, and achievable death from enemy firepower. Within fifteen minutes soon after leaving the Ben My Chree , one particular of the provide boats sank and the other jettisoned all its packs in order to remain afloat. 1 DUKW was sunk by 20-mm fire from a cliff position close to the Point. The 9 surviving LCAs advanced on a 400-yard front on the eastern side of the Point

As the Rangers closed in on their objective, they could see and hear the thunderous blasts from the battleship USS Texas as it shelled the fortifications on prime of Pointe-du-Hoc for 35 minutes. The planned landing was delayed by 40 minutes, as the boats were off-course, initially heading due east of the landing point. Rudder noticed this aberration and ordered the helmsmen to right their course to the proper direction. German opposition on the ground was slight till the 1st pair of LCAs came a mile from shore, when the Nazis opened fire with mortars and machineguns. The Rangers lastly touched down at 0710 on at Pointe-du-Hoc with only half their original three companies remaining, a troublesome commence to an already challenging assignment. Firms E and F deployed to the eastern side of the point, with Business D to the west.

From a position 300 yards on the Rangers’ left flank, German machineguns strafed the heavily crated landing region, just as Rudder’s men started placing the fire ladders in position. Bullets struck about fifteen of the Rangers. Gene E. Elder, a member of the Second Ranger Battalion, remembered the landing, &quotWe found that the cliffs have been greater than the ones we scaled in Cornwall [England, during preparation]. These had been 115 to 125 feet higher.&quot The extension ladders would only reach 100 feet. As quickly as he had landed, Lt. Colonel Rudder sent the message ’tilt,’ which told the floating reserve to land at Omaha Beach, and then fight their way to Pointe-du-Hoc as quickly as achievable due to the delayed landing time schedule.

As the waves of DUKWs and LCAs landed on the modest 25-yard strip of beach, soldiers raised one of the London Fire Department extension ladders to its full height. Sgt. William Stivison of the Second Rangers labored to the prime carrying twin Lewis machineguns. He drew counter-fire from the Germans above him as his comrades watched the remarkable spectacle. Amazingly, not a single bullet even grazed the lucky Stivison as he single-handedly attacked the enemy on the crest. Fighting to maintain his balance, he continued firing even as the ladder weaved from side to side in a dizzying arc almost 90 feet in the air. The spectacular duel in the air lastly ended due to the ladder becoming forced to retract by the rumbling seas below the DUKW. His efficiency was specifically the type of courage and innovation that Rudder had hoped for when he had chosen his elite group.

The Rangers had been briefly pinned against the side of the prominence, taking cover from the Nazis above, who tossed down &quotpotato mashers,&quot their distinctive grenades. Bobbing in the boiling surf, the destroyer USS Saterlee saw that Rudder’s Rangers were now fighting the Germans without any gun help. The captain decided to steam in close to the shoreline, where he opened on the Germans on leading of the cliffs. As the ship blazed away, the Nazis scattered, enabling the Rangers to begin their ascent. Every single of the LCAs had been fitted with three pairs of rocket guns. These could fire grapnels, which pulled up ¾&quot ropes, toggle ropes, and rope ladders. In addition, each and every landing craft carried a pair of handheld rockets, which could be carried ashore to fire tiny ropes. Each craft also carried tubular-steel extension ladders made up of light, 4′ sections suitable for quick assembly. Speedily, crews started firing off the rockets. Some of the landing craft had difficulty firing their ropes, either firing them too early, or in some instances, the ropes had grow to be too saturated from the pounding salt water, generating them also heavy to get enough elevation to correctly catch on the cliffs. Other ropes did land on the cliff-tops, but had been not secure enough, and they and the Rangers utilizing them fell to the ground beneath. However, all but one particular LCA managed to properly position their ropes and ladders. In a couple of circumstances, surviving Germans reduce the ropes.

Nevertheless, sufficient ropes had been in location to enable the remaining Rangers to scale Pointe-du-Hoc and complete their mission. Robert Kerchner of the Second Battalion recounted that the Germans had scarcely touched the ropes that have been becoming used by his organization. The enemy had in no way noticed the rocket launchers utilised to propel the ropes, and when the nine remaining LCAs fired their six rockets, every trailing smoke and fire, it appeared to be a new sort of weapon. A number of Nazi soldiers hit the ground, taking cover from the incoming &quotweapons.&quot In some cases, Americans GIs had tied pieces of fuse to the end of the grapnel to fool the Germans into considering the strange weapon would explode at any minute. Therefore, most did not bother to approach the ropes to dislodge them till it was also late.

As Allied warships and airplanes continued to attack German positions on and behind Pointe-du-hoc, dirt, clay, and shale cascaded from the cliffs. Quickly, the very first 25 feet or so of the ascent was walkable as Rangers utilized the resultant mounds as stepstools. Inside five minutes following the Rangers had landed on the beach, their initial males had fought their way on top of the cliff, assembled in groups of 3 or four, then moved out on prearranged missions toward the gun positions. Some Americans, covered with mud from getting fallen into the water-filled craters on the beach, had difficulty in climbing. Even so, within a half-hour, all of the front-line soldiers had scaled the point. They found themselves in a no-man’s land of outstanding destruction with all landmarks now gone and the ground so cratered that if males got 15 feet apart, they have been instantly out of make contact with. Only a handful of Germans were initially observed, and these have been swiftly driven to cover in a network of ruined trenches connecting deep dugouts and emplacements. The Rangers quickly discovered that they had no radio communications, as all of the devices carried upward had been now malfunctioning. Rudder called on his communications officer, James &quotIke&quot Eikner, to descend the cliff and use a working radio on the beach to send headquarters the code phrase &quotPraise the Lord,&quot a signal that the initial attack had been productive in securing the heights.

Rudder established his command post in the secure haven of a huge shell hole on the edge of the cliff. Nevertheless, due to his inability to immediately communicate his accomplishment in reaching the best, his assistance force (Organizations A and B of his Second Rangers, as effectively as the whole Fifth Ranger Battalion) did land on the crimson-stained and still chaotic Omaha Beach. These guys quickly became embroiled in the desperate fighting along the beachhead and did not move into their assigned position to support the Pointe-du-Hoc assault. Even so, they became vital to the eventual good results of the Americans in seizing Omaha Beach. The battalion’s chaplain, Father Joseph Lacey, had landed with the supporting forces, where he spent his day pulling out the wounded from the water and tending to them. Father Lacey also took the time to say the last rites for these brave young guys who had laid down their lives in an effort to cease Hitler’s regime. He would be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his priestly actions.

Pressing inland, Rudder’s seasick and weary Rangers started gaining ground against the German forces, regardless of being outnumbered in numerous sectors. In some cases, progress was measured yard by yard as close order combat ensued amongst the desperate defenders and Rudder’s attack force. According to Ranger Leonard Lomell, his Business D depended upon &quota lot of speed. We went into the shell craters for protection, because there have been snipers around and machine guns firing at us, and we’d wait for a moment, and if the fire lifted, we have been out of that crater and into the subsequent one.&quot Fighting continued to be fierce as Rudder pushed southward. At one point, a German crew turned a 40mm antiaircraft gun at charging Rangers, who continued onward like &quotpossessed banshees.&quot By 7:40, they had captured this position and killed the German crew.

A few minutes later, a German counterattack emerged from tunnels and nearby trenches and overwhelmed and captured all but one man in an sophisticated Ranger position. The command post, in a crater only a hundred yards away, was unaware of what had happened until the survivor raced back to safety. Another assault was hastily improvised, consisting of a dozen riflemen and a mortar section. They got halfway to the strongpoint prior to becoming swept by artillery fire, which killed or wounded almost each and every man in the celebration.

Pfc. Carl Weast and Capt. George Whittington circled a machinegun nest manned by 3 Germans. Seeing the Americans strategy, 1 enemy soldier screamed &quotBitte! Bitte! Bitte!&quot Whittington’s tommy gun soon killed all 3 Nazis, and Whittington turned to his partner to inquire, &quotI wonder what bitte implies?&quot

Not far away, Gene E. Elder set up his mortar squad in a 13-foot deep crater. By ten o’clock, he was in a position to dispose of a German counterattack that was being launched against his fellow Rangers. For his excellent marksmanship and his heroic stand against the enemy attack, Elder was awarded the Bronze Star.

The combination of naval guns from the pounding surf and Royal Air Force spotter planes over the target areas now started to punch out the remaining German robust points one particular by one with precision gunfire. The Saterlee and HMS Talybont spent the day pounding the top of Pointe-du-Hoc to give fire help for the Rangers. At times, the Saterlee was able to drive off counterattacks, helping keep the Germans at bay although Rudder slowly advanced. By nightfall, the Saterlee had expended all of its ammunition and had to steam back to England for replenishment.

The Germans answered with supporting batteries positioned near Grandcamp, raining shell right after shell upon the advancing Rangers. Right after significantly fighting, and with a expanding casualty count, Rudder’s guys lastly fought their way to the six heavy 155mm gun emplacements, expecting them to be operational. Nonetheless, they identified that three of the concrete gun casements were nonetheless beneath construction, whilst the other three, though finished, had been empty as the Germans had not however positioned any guns inside. Disappointed that there were no guns to destroy, the Rangers moved on to their second significant objective to establishing a roadblock along the coastal road, setting up a defensive position cutting that main route among Vierville and Grandcamp. There, they were to await the arrival of the 116th Infantry from Omaha Beach

Ranger organizations D, E, and F had pushed the Germans back shortly prior to midnight, and now the enemy formed a straight line directly in the path of Rudder’s weary soldiers, pinning them for two hours beneath ferocious little arms fire. The Nazis launched five futile counterattacks, hoping to scatter the Americans throughout the evening. By morning, the Rangers entered the important coastal road. Nonetheless, a skilled sniper killed six of Rudder’s men just before finally becoming located and shot to death.

By June 7, all three American company commanders had become casualties. Lt. George Kerchner, the only surviving field officer in Company F, assumed command of that business. Lieutenants Armen and Lapres now led Businesses D and E, respectively. Each and every firm was also now quick on manpower. Sgt. Leonard Lomell reported to the new command post on the road, top only a dozen survivors of his unit. The 3 lieutenants decided to establish a perimeter about the captured road, exactly where they would await the landing force from Omaha Beach.

Quickly, thunderous blasts bellowed by way of the area as Sgt. Koenig blew up important telegraph poles, cutting German communications along the coastal road. A big group of Nazis approached the new Ranger position, but they have been quickly disposed of during a brief, but violent firefight. Right after driving off the remaining Germans, Lomell, Sgt. Kuhn, and a single Ranger infantryman decided to patrol the region to watch for however another counterattack. About 8:30 a.m., the trio headed off the coastal road, and had traveled no a lot more than a single hundred yards from the American perimeter when they discovered the missing 155mm German guns, with ammunition stacked next to every one. The guns have been serviceable, but they had apparently been abandoned just before firing a single shell. Ironically, these deadly weapons have been identified in a farmer’s field much less than 550 yards from their casements, where they may destroyed element of the Allied fleet before the invasion could be launched.

Acting speedily, Lomell ran up to a pair of the guns and placed two thermite grenades into the traversing mechanisms. The silent grenades melted the gears of the guns, knocking them out of action. The sergeant broke the sites on the remaining three artillery pieces, assuming that the Germans would not be in a position to accurately variety their fire ought to they retake the position and sooner or later re-crew the enormous guns. Lomell and his two comrades raced back to the road and collected all the other incendiary grenades from the Rangers manning the roadblock. Rushing back to the trio of remaining guns, the Americans placed these grenades in the traversing and elevating mechanisms, and quickly rendered them inoperable as nicely. They banged on the internet sites, destroying them. As Lomell emerged from the hedgerow in front of the guns, a massive explosion just to his left obliterated a nearby German ammunition depot. Sgt. Rupinski had led a group from Firm E on this mission.

As news spread among the surviving Rangers that the 155m guns had been positioned and destroyed, Rudder’s guys basked in understanding that they had successfully completed their initial assigned mission. By 9:00, the guns were out of commission, the paved highway cut, and a roadblock established. The artillery had been so properly camouflaged that the Army Air Force and its photo reconnaissance planes could not detect them from above. Lt. Kerchner and Sgt. Lomell would get the Distinguished Service Cross for their heroic actions for the duration of the fighting.

The remaining Rangers of the Second Battalion stayed at the roadblock, most surviving two and a half days of continued German counterassaults, until relief came. Businesses A and B and the Fifth Ranger Battalion had planned to meet them inside three hours of the initial landing on Pointe-du-Hoc. Alternatively, it took them 3 days to fight their way across Omaha Beach and inland before producing the junction.

Rudder counted his loss in taking Pointe-du-Hoc. Capt. Walter E. Block spent the whole day ministering to the 130 Rangers who have been dead or dying near the cliff’s edge, as effectively as to the wounded prior to their evacuation

Nonetheless, Rudder’s Rangers had achieved their difficult activity – Pointe-du-Hoc was in American hands, the feared 155m guns were out of commission, and the road along the coast was severed. However, the fighting was not more than – the road to Berlin would take thousands much more lives just before the penultimate mission was completed.