USURPING MILITARY COMMAND
Re your recent rejection: - please see this it is the rarest, and boldest, action by any officer in WW-2. I will stick to essentials, including usurping a battalion CO, and man managed beyond, and above, normal comprehension.
From the demise of Margaret Thatcher, her babes William Hague and others, refuse to accept the false infallibility of the woman, and her actions: - Now secure in appointments, indulgence continues amongst the few: - many saw the woman in a very different light.
It was on the release of Prime Minister Churchill’s damnable signal, (secreted away for thirty years), to USA President Roosevelt, of 1st April 1942, in which Churchill discarded the defeated, depleted and perishing British forces in Central Burma. The Thatcher woman sought to subdue the vile document, and alerted Scotland Yard, Serious Crime Squad (Det/Chief Supt Hardy and Det/Sgt Tovey), to visit me in Leeds, on 24th October 1984, seeking to obliterate revelations in the Observer newspaper reportedly made by me: - they were foully editorially distorted.
Simply by my commissioning number, I was senior in a fifteen-man draft of KOYLI junior officers. Arriving at Rangoon on 5th March 1942, we met with 60 or 70 survivors from the battalion strength of 550: - 2/KOYLI, amongst whom there were no pre-war regimental officers. Major ‘Pip’ Moran of D of W Regt. was in control, sent me to set up a reception base on the Rangoon/Mandalay road.
Following many skirmishes, our diminished force became enclosed on the Central Burma Oilfield: - We were closed off by a Japanese held road-block, and our CO was a proven ditherer. I had the choice of being captured or killed where we were, or alternatively, attacking the road-block: - It was 19th April 1942 and decision time as the CO remained shtoom. Decision making was not his strong point!
Fully aware of all the possible consequences, including execution, usurping is irreversible: - I usurped CO Chadwick.
Comrade Vic Stevens realizing my intent, ill shod as we were, said, “I’m with you, Fitz.” With 19 men we cleared the road-block, only to witness the timely arrival and instant assault made by the superb Chinese Army force. They routed the Japanese, and released a number of captured Inniskillings.
Titular CO Chadwick condemned himself at Mount Popa on 21st April 1942 and won the wrath of all men. He evacuated two Company commanders as sick men, when dozens far more affected were given no chance of leaving. He was doomed!
Numerous men with failing colleagues were about to kill the cowardly man, and holding officer of NCO rank became totally irrelevant.
Leaving Mount Popa as a battalion of rebels, and aware of his inevitable fate, Chadwick appointed ‘Geordie’ Tighe his personal bodyguard: (in an infantry unit?).
From Mount Popa, communications continued intermittent and scarce. Amongst, and no more equal to refugees, on 23rd April, and from trees over to our right, we were fired upon by recalcitrant Burmese oilfield workers, Corporal ‘Gigger’ Lee was wounded whilst walking alongside me.
Later that day, at the village of Taungtha I rounded up the 27 of the dissident oilmen and commanded their dispatch: (three groups of nine).
From 19 – 23 April, Chadwick deferred making any contribution. With Steve I determined all movement, including the 120-mile jungle trek, and swam the mighty Chindwin River to obtain rescue boats.
The whole of this is contained in my three books: - the recent of which is ‘CHINESE SAVE BRITS – in BURMA’.
G Fitzpatrick – Former Captain KOYLI and subsequently
GSO111 (Operations) 30 Corps: - General Brian Horrocks
GSO111 (Operations) HQ BAOR: - Montgomery / Horrocks
Should you wish to meet with me I shall be staying at the Victory Services Club, Seymour Street, W2 2HS, 7-9 October, or maybe I can visit you?