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The Liberator

The Liberator


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The Masses harassed by the post-office authorities, was suppressed in October, 1917, by the Government, and its editors were indicted, myself among them, under the so-called Espionage Act, which was being used not against German spies but against American Socialists, Pacifists, and anti-war radicals. Sentences of twenty years were being served out to all who dared say this was not a war to end war, or that the Allied loans would never be paid. But the courts would probably not get around to us until next year; and we immediately made plans to start another magazine, The Liberator, and tell more truth; we would stand on the pre-war Wilsonian program, and call for a negotiated peace.

Never was the moment more auspicious to issue a great magazine of liberty. With the Russian people in the lead, the world is entering upon the experiment of industrial and real democracy. Inspired by Russia, the German people are muttering a revolt that will go farther than its dearest advocates among the Allies dream. The working people of France, of Italy, of England, too, are determined that the end of autocracy in Germany shall be the end of wage-slavery at home. America has extended her hand to the Russians. She will follow in their path. The world is in the rapids. The possibilities of change in this day are beyond all imagination. We must unite our hands and voices to make the end of this war the beginning of an age of freedom and happiness for mankind undreamed by those whose 'minds comprehend only political and military events. With this ideal The Liberator comes into being on Lincoln's Birthday February 12, 1918.

The Liberator will be owned and published by its editors, who will be free in its pages to say what they truly think. It will fight in the struggle of labor. It will fight for the ownership and control of industry by the workers, and will present vivid and accurate news of the labor and socialist movements in all parts of the world.

It will advocate the opening of the land to the people, and urge the immediate taking over by the people of railroads, mines, telegraph and telephone systems, and all public utilities.

It will stand for the complete independence of women - politi- cal, social and economic - and an enrichment of the existence of mankind.

It will stand for a revolution in the whole spirit and method of dealing with crime.

It will join all wise men in trying to substitute for our rigid scholastic kind of educational system one which has a vivid relation to life.

It will assert the social and political equality of the black and white races, oppose every kind of racial discrimination, and conduct a remorseless publicity campaign against lynch law.

It will oppose laws preventing the spread of scientific knowledge about birth control.

The Liberator will endorse the war aims outlined by the Russian people and expounded by President Wilson - a peace without forcible annexations, without punitive indemnities, with free development and self-determination for all peoples. Especially it will support the President in his demand for an international union, based upon free seas, free commerce and general disarmament, as the central principle upon which hang all hopes for permanent peace and friendship among nations.

The Liberator will be distinguished by complete freedom in art and poetry and fiction and criticism. It will be candid. It will be experimental. It will be hospitable to new thoughts and feelings. It will direct its attacks against dogma and rigidity of mind upon whichever side they are found.

Down through the long, weary years the will of the ruling class has been to suppress either the man or his message when they antagonized its interests. From the execution of the propagandist and the burning of books, down through the various degrees of censorship and expurgation to the highly civilized legal indictment and winking at mob crime by constituted authorities, the cry has ever been “crucify him!” The ideas and activities of minorities are misunderstood and misrepresented. It is easier to condemn than to investigate. It takes courage to steer one’s course through a storm of abuse and ignominy. But I believe that discussion of even the most bitterly controverted matters is demanded by our love of justice, by our sense of fairness and an honest desire to understand the problems that are rending society. Let us review the facts relating to the situation of the IWWs since the United States of America entered the war with the declared purpose to conserve the liberties of the free peoples of the world.

During the last few months, in Washington State, at Pasco and throughout the Yakima Valley, many “IWW” members have been arrested without warrants, thrown into “bull-pens” without access to attorney, denied bail and trial by jury, and some of them shot. Did any of the leading newspapers denounce these acts as unlawful, cruel, undemocratic? No. On the contrary, most of them indirectly praised the perpetrators of these crimes for their patriotic service!

On August 1st, of 1917, in Butte, Montana, a cripple, Frank Little, a member of the Executive Board of the IWW, was forced out of bed at three o’clock in the morning by masked citizens, dragged behind an automobile and hanged on a railroad trestle. Were the offenders punished? No. A high government official has publicly condoned this murder, thereby upholding lynch-law and mob rule.

On the 12th of last July [1917], 1200 miners were deported from Bisbee, Arizona, without legal process. Among them were many who were not IWWs or even in sympathy with them. They were all packed into freight cars like cattle and flung upon the desert of New Mexico, where they would have died of thirst and hunger if an outraged society had not protested. President Wilson telegraphed the Governor of Arizona that it was a bad thing to do, and a commission was sent to investigate. But nothing has been done. No measures have been taken to return the miners to their homes and families.

Last September the 5th, an army of officials raided every hall and office of the IWW from Maine to California. They rounded up 166 IWW officers, members and sympathizers, and now they are in jail in Chicago, awaiting trial on the general charge of conspiracy.

In a short time these men will be tried in a Chicago court. The newspapers will be full of stupid, if not malicious comments on their trial. Let us keep an open mind. Let us try to preserve the integrity of our judgment against the misrepresentation, ignorance and cowardice of the day. Let us refuse to yield to conventional lies and censure. Let us keep our hearts tender towards those who are struggling mightily against the greatest evils of the age. Who is truly indicted, they or the social system that has produced them? A society that permits the conditions out of which the IWWs have sprung, stands self-condemned.

The IWW is pitted against the whole profit-making system. It insists that there can be no compromise so long as the majority of the working class live in want, while the master class lives in luxury. According to its statement, “there can be no peace until the workers organize as a class, take possession of the resources of the earth and the machinery of production and distribution, and abolish the wage-system.” In other words, the workers in their collectivity must own and operate all the essential industrial institutions and secure to each laborer the full value of his produce. I think it is for this declaration of democratic purpose, and not for any wish to betray their country, that the IWW members are being persecuted, beaten, imprisoned and murdered.

Surely the demands of the IWW are just. It is right that the creators of wealth should own what they create. When shall we learn that we are related one to the other; that we are members of one body; that injury to one is injury to all? Until the spirit of love for our fellow-workers, regardless of race, color, creed or sex, shall fill the world, until the great mass of the people shall be filled with a sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice cannot be attained, and there can never be lasting peace upon earth.

I know those men are hungry for more life, more opportunity. They are tired of the hollow mockery of mere existence in a world of plenty. I am glad of every effort that the working men make to organize. I realize that all things will never be better until they are organized, until they stand all together like one man. That is my one hope of world democracy. Despite their errors, their blunders and the ignominy heaped upon them, I sympathize with the IWWs. Their cause is my cause. While they are threatened and imprisoned, I am manacled. If they are denied a living wage, I, too, am defrauded. While they are industrial slaves, I cannot be free. My hunger is not satisfied while they are unfed. I cannot enjoy the good things of life that come to me while they are hindered and neglected.

The mighty mass-movement of which they are a part is discernible all over the world. Under the fire of the great guns, the workers of all lands, becoming conscious of their class, are preparing to take possession of their own.

That long struggle in which they have successively won freedom of body from slavery and serfdom, freedom of mind from ecclesiastical despotism, and more recently a voice in government, has arrived at a new stage. The workers are still far from being in possession of themselves or their labor. They do not own and control the tools and materials which they must use in order to live, nor do they receive anything like the full value of what they produce. Workingmen everywhere are becoming aware that they are being exploited for the benefit of others, and that they cannot be truly free unless they own themselves and their labor. The achievement of such economic freedom stands in prospect - and at no distant date- as the revolutionary climax of the age.

Some good friends of the Liberator are disturbed at our want of enthusiasm for the League of Nations. We believe in a League of Nations as the one thing that will ever remove the menace of nationalistic war from the earth. We believe that it must be a definite, concrete, continuous and working federation of the peoples. We believe that such a thing may come to pass in the near future, and we will work for it. But we do not discover in the victorious governments that are meeting in Paris, nor in any of the delegates of these governments, the least disposition to establish such a federation of the peoples. We are not free to say all that we might of these governments, but we can say that the hands they clasp over the council table will be red with the fresh blood of the freest people on earth.

Bela Kun is a young man (they are all young) - probably 29 or 30. He is stocky and powerful in physical build, not very tall, with a big bulging bullet-head shaved close. His wide face with small eyes, heavy jaws and thick lips is startling when you first see it close - I am told it is a well-known Magyar type—but his smile is sunny and winning, and he looks resolute and powerful. He has a superhuman capacity for hard work. His title is Commissar of Foreign Affairs, but there is not the slightest doubt in anyone's mind that he is in every sense the head of the government. He is described by his comrades as a "great agitator," a man of real revolutionary talent, a "genuine Socialist statesman," the "first statesman Hungary has had in seventy years." Their eyes glow with pride in him. "The rest of us are nothing," said Lukacs, Commissar of Education. "We do our part, but there are hundreds like us in every country." It is nothing to the European movement whether we are hanged tomorrow or not. If Kun were killed it would be a serious loss to the revolution."

Bela Kun gave me a written message to the workers of America, which I cabled for publication in the July number of The Liberator.

He also gave me written answers to some of the questions that were in our minds in America. He said that they had learned much from the experience of Russia - both what to do and what to avoid. Perhaps it was a reflection of his own personal growth in Russia that made him say, "We certainly learned, from the Russian example, self-sacrifice."

He also said, "We learned the proper form of dictatorship there."

I asked him whether the Hungarian dictatorship was more or less strict than the Russian, and he said it was more strict. "The Russians made many experiments," he said, "before they found the proper form of dictatorship. We have been saved those experiments."

I asked him whether he found necessary a complete suppression of free speech and press, and this is his reply:

"We do not practice general suppression of free speech and free press at all. Workmen's papers are published without the intervention of any censorship. Among workingmen there is perfect freedom of speech and of holding meetings; this freedom is enjoyed not only by the workmen who share our views but also by those whose views are different. The anarchists, for instance, publish a paper and other printed matter. There are also citizens' papers, for instance, the Twentieth Century, a periodical published by the society for sociology, without any control or restriction being exercised upon it. We only suppress bourgeois papers having decided counter-revolutionary intentions.

"We are doing this not because we are afraid of them, but because we want in this way to obviate the necessity of suppressing counter-revolution by force of arms."

The Liberator, with Max and his sister Crystal Eastman as editors-in-chief-and my old friend Hallinan, now in London, as one of the contributing editors-came out in February, 1918. Soon we were printing the utterances of Lenin. There was true revolutionary leadership now in the world - if we could only understand it. At least we could tell the truth about Russia. Socialism that meant what it said, took back its old name-Communism. There was a new International coming into existence. In America, the rank-and-file Socialists had under the impact of war stood by their Socialist principles, though deserted by most of their leaders-but not by Eugene V. Debs, who said: "I am a Bolshevik from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet." But Socialism in America would take a long time finding out where it stood.

There was one big difference between the Masses and the Liberator; in the latter we abandoned the pretense of being a co-operative. Crystal Eastman and I owned the Liberator, fifty-one shares of it, and we raised enough money so that we could pay solid sums for contributions.

The list of contributing editors, largely brought over from the Masses, reads as follows: Cornelia Barns, Howard Brubaker, Hugo Gellert, Arturo Giovannitti, Charles T. Hallinan, Helen Keller, Ellen La Motte, Robert Minor, John Reed, Boardman Robinson, Louis Untermeyer, Charles Wood, Art Young.

Later Claude McKay, the Negro poet, became an associate editor. At a New Year's party in 1921, we elected Michael Gold and William Gropper to the staff - two opposite poles of a magnet: Gropper as instinctively comic an artist as ever touched pen to paper, and Gold almost equally gifted with pathos and tears.

The Liberator was a group magazine. The list of contributing editors was almost as exciting to read as the contributions themselves. There was a freeness and a bright new beauty in those contributions, pictorial and literary, that thrilled. And altogether, in their entirety, they were implicit of a penetrating social criticism which did not in the least overshadow their novel and sheer artistry. I rejoiced in the thought of the honour of appearing among the group.

Back in New York, I found that life had adjusted itself remarkably well to my absence. Nobody expected me back so soon. Somebody else had my job on the Liberator; my girl seemed to have fallen in love with somebody else; I had no place to live, and no money - I had sent all I had in the bank to my family when I went into the army.

I wrote something and sold it to Frank Harris - that curious, loud, gentle, bombastic old pirate who was running Pearson's Magazine. He told fascinating stories of his friendships with Wilde, Shaw and other great men; but he told them over and over; and how he boomed! He loved poetry, and recited it well. He had a beautiful young wife, and he set an excellent table and served a wine that could be drunk with pleasure. He liked me, and I had a curious almost filial affection for him, though he bored me with his bragging. He said he would print anything I wrote for him, and what was more, he would make an exception in my favor and pay me for what I wrote. And he did, too.

By 1917, the Masses was suppressed, its editors and artists placed upon trial... The poetic sensibility of the Masses passed, in large part, over to the Liberator, a physically smaller and more politically focused weekly. Most of the outstanding Ashcan artists had in any case already abandoned ship during a 1916 internal struggle at the Masses over the demand for more clearly political cartoons. Boardman Robinson remained, joined by Hugo Gellert, William Gropper, Reginald Marsh, and various talented cartoonists. Floyd Dell's spirited literary columns continued to highlight figures like Sherwood Anderson, to uphold the sheer beauty of poetry, and to engage in an eclectic variety of literary proposals (such as a turn from Naturalism to a more "scientific" realism) he had foreshadowed in the New Review.

But things had changed in a deeper sense. Symptomatically, the opening of New York's Sheridan Square along with the expansion of the West Side subway set off a hyper-wave of new construction in Greenwich Village, raising rents, inviting tourists, and reducing bohemianism to an increasingly empty spectacle. The "end of innocence" came to the Village just as national journalists spread a version of its values (or at least, its looser sexual morals) to "Country Club" youth in the hinterlands.

The Liberator actually outpaced the Masses circulation, rising finally to eighty thousand. It had gripping labor reportage and a coverage of African-American life (including outstanding black editor, poet, and future novelist Claude McKay) hitherto unimaginable. Its main appeal was symptomized by John Reed's 1918 reports from the "New Russia." Willy-nilly, despite its continued independent-mindedness and literary experimentation, the Liberator had become a Russian-oriented, proto-Communist magazine."

The displacement of a vaguely anarchistic sensibility, full of the self-parodies the Masses pages often featured about the intelligentsia at work and at play, soon left almost nothing behind. Only "Mass Action" of a proto-revolutionary kind could, one imagines, have restored the poetic verve of the middle 1910s, precisely because no mass action was likely to be directed by any all-dominant political movement of the Left. Irrationalism in the best sense would have been vindicated again.


The Story Behind Netflix’s WWII Series ‘The Liberator’ — 500 Days of Combat from Sicily to Dachau

Army Lt. Col. Felix Sparks orders his troops to stop firing on German SS soldiers at Dachau concentration camp.

Todd South
November 13, 2020

A chilling black-and-white photograph freezes Lt. Col. Felix Sparks in time.

Bodies slumped against a wall, weapons still hot, smoking. Sparks’ pistol raised overhead, his other hand, palm open, signaling to stop the spontaneous execution.

His own troops were enraged as they arrived at Dachau concentration camp to find piles of dead naked bodies in train cars and dying prisoners behind barbed wire.

Those same men, the Army’s 157th Infantry Regiment, part of the 45th Infantry Division, had borne the war on their backs from Sicily to the heart of Germany during more than 500 days of combat in less than two years.

Sparks, and the regiment’s companies under his command, are now the focus of a four-part animated series released on Veterans Day on Netflix, “The Liberator.”

The series, at times heart-pounding, other times full of a profound stillness, presents timeless slices of the combat experience — fear, chaos, confusion, bravery, despair, callousness, tenderness and camaraderie.

But it also brings forth issues of racism, the challenge of leadership and the internal battle to retain one’s humanity in the face of utter savagery.

But long before it was a Netflix series, it was a book by the same name. And it was that photograph that caught author Alex Kershaw’s eye, the catalyst for years of research to set down the tale.

“The Liberator,” by Alex Kershaw, is the book on which the four-part Netflix series of the same name is based. (Alex Kershaw)

An already accomplished author of six books chronicling World War II, Kershaw was looking for his next story when he stumbled upon that frozen moment. Next, it was a friendship with a veteran of the 45th ID that drew him into the research. Finally, a fortunate trip allowed him to interview Sparks only months before his death in 2007.

Countless hours of research and interview after interview peeled back more layers of not only Sparks’ journey, but the men who served alongside him.

The 157th Infantry Regiment — and their respective division — were the most diverse set of soldiers the war had seen. Drawn from more than 50 Native American tribes and Mexican-American recruits, some who couldn’t speak English, the unit would see more fighting than almost any other in the war.

By the end of the conflict the 157th IR would accrue nine Medals of Honor, 61 Distinguished Service Crosses, 1,848 Silver Star Medals, 38 Legion of Merit Medals and 59 Soldier’s Medals. Sparks would receive the Silver Star Medal for valor in combat.

Of them, Gen. George S. Patton would say they were “One of the best, if not the best division in the history of American arms.”

Army Times spoke with Kershaw on the eve of the series release.

Editor’s note: The following has been edited for clarity and length.

Q: You’ve written at least nine books to date on World War II. What is it about the conflict and the stories that continues to bring you back?

A: In the 70s when I was young we had only two or three channels on TV. There was always a movie on Sunday nights. “The Great Escape,” “The Dam Busters,” “Battle of Britain.” I remember Veterans Day, or Remembrance Day in England was always a huge deal. They’d show it on the news, all these rows and rows of World War I veterans, and my dad would tell me about them because my grandfather had served in the trenches.

My mother’s father died in the British Navy in World War II. So, she never really had a father. That stays in the family. You’re aware of what it cost. Then I became a journalist after college, but in college I studied history and we read everything but World War II. As a journalist I eventually went down and did a story about the Channel Islands, one of the only British lands occupied by the Germans during the war. Now, after 20 years of writing about it, it gets into your blood.

Q: You met Sparks during this process. Could you tell us more about him and what you learned in researching the story?

A: First I found the photo and learned some of the story, then I called up the 157th Infantry Regiment Association and met Jack Hallowell. I started talking with him, but still couldn’t work out a way to tell the story. So, I left it alone for a year or two.

Jack called me later and said Sparks was dying, so I went out to Colorado to interview him on his deathbed — he died later that spring. He was a very outspoken guy. The proudest point in his life was being a company commander. He memorized all the names of his more than 200 soldiers, their wives, children, where they were from. But he wasn’t overly familiar. He was a hard ass and a stickler for discipline. But every guy who put his life on the line for him knew he was going to look after them. He led from the front, business all the time. He was very, very smart and very calm under pressure.

The universal fear in World War II for officers — and I think it’s still very common — was how they were going to perform. Sparks was surprised when he could keep it together when things got really hard. He didn’t like people abusing their power. I’m still fascinated by him telling Maj. Gen. Robert Frederick, the division commander, “You just got my entire company killed. You made a decision and my guys paid for it.” But he did it. I think his men respected him because he was prepared to stand up.

Q: The 45th ID, and specifically the 157th IR, were very racially diverse units for their time. How did Sparks handle the additional burdens his soldiers faced both at home and abroad?

A: He’d grown up in a region where he knew the discrimination that Mexican-Americans and Native Americans had faced. He didn’t worry about their own abilities but he did wonder, would they fight for Uncle Sam when Uncle Sam’s done nothing for them? But from the beginning they fought as excellent soldiers.

Q: What did you learn from Sparks and your research about the incident at Dachau?

A: Some of his guys went crazy. A lot of them were very keen on handing out some kind of vengeance. They went through the complex and kicked out anyone in an SS uniform. But most of the actual camp guards had fled. The remaining SS were frontline soldiers recovering from wounds and hadn’t been involved in the camp.

Sparks had left Lt. Bill Walsh in command of soldiers in the coal yard while he went to inspect the rest of the camp. They didn’t know what they were seeing. Walsh ordered the guys to start firing. Sparks rushed back and ordered the guys to stop. He kicked the machine gunner and shoved him off the gun and said, “There will be no firing unless I give the order.”

Years later he said it was something people couldn’t get their head around, something beyond what people could process. They’d seen all sorts of horrific things, but that was very disturbing on a profound level. Those memories of what human beings did to other human beings and how depraved and dark humanity could be … for the rest of his life he was very outspoken about Holocaust denial and would get very angry if anybody questioned if it ever happened.

Q: What do you think of the Netflix series?

A: It was amazing. I cried my eyes out and laughed very hard. They did a really, really fantastic job. It’s entertaining, informative and extraordinarily accurate. The irony is that before this if somebody told me they would turn one of my books into an animated TV series, I would have thought it was an odd choice. Then again, I became absolutely obsessed with World War II when I was nine or 10 years old and found a stash of comics about the war in my grandparents’ house. I just devoured them. I remember my mom saying she saw me walking along a street and worried I’d run into a street sign because I had my head buried in these comics.

Q: Do you think that the series might appeal to people who might not normally look for books on World War II?

A: I hope and pray that’s the case. The idea that a teenager or anybody from 16 into their 20s wouldn’t be interested in these stories would be insane, because these stories are about them.

I’m a blatant booster for anything that gets people into history. And if this does, that would be amazing. If you’re a young American and you don’t know about World War II, what was sacrificed, what was earned, and understand what it really came down to, then you can’t know what it means to be an American.

The show is trending really high in Italy now, where much of it took place. It’s just fantastic to think of a 15-year-old in Italy learning about what happened there and who liberated their country. There are plenty of young people who didn’t grow up with “Band of Brothers” or “Saving Private Ryan.” It’s a different generation now. But with this they can really learn what America did at its best.


The forgotten soldiers behind Netflix’s ‘The Liberator’

The men of the 45th Infantry Division fought for each other, as all soldiers do, but they also fought for their country. Not for what it was — with its segregation, its double standards, and its signs in front of businesses saying who could shop or eat or drink there — but for what it could be.

In the opening moments of Netflix’s new animated series The Liberator, the narrator introduces viewers to the men of the 45th Infantry Division, “most of whom couldn’t drink together in the same bars back home.”

But in July 1943 they weren’t back home. The 45th Infantry Division dubbed the “Thunderbirds” were at the beginning of a journey that would span the breadth of the European theater of World War II, from the earliest days of the United States’ involvement to its end.

After training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where they learned to shoot and fight, to follow and lead, to be soldiers together, they shipped off to Europe. Once there, they took part in the Italian Campaign, beginning with the Invasion of Sicily. Then it was on to Anzio, where they endured artillery bombardments and blunted the enemy’s attacks on their lines. Next to France and later to frigid mountains in Germany, and deeper into Bavaria and the heart of the Third Reich, through some of the bloodiest street-to-street fighting of the war. And finally, they reached the gates of Dachau Concentration Camp, and one of the unit’s darkest moments. Their advance across Europe came at a great cost. By the war’s end, the Thunderbirds had suffered more than 10,500 casualties in under two years.

For more than 500 days in combat, they had braved all manner of violence and death. They fought together, killed together, and died together.

Among the Army’s 45th Infantry Division were the 157th, 179th, and 180th Regiments, whose members had come from across the American West: from New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arizona. Some were mountaineers, others were ranchers and the sons of cowboys. They were white Americans, Mexican Americans, and Native Americans from more than 50 tribes. In all likelihood, theirs was one of the most diverse units of the war.

They fought for each other, as all soldiers do, but they also fought for their country. Not for what it was — with its segregation, its double standards, and its signs in front of businesses saying who could shop or eat or drink there — but for what it could be.

“A lot of these guys in this unit had come from different Americas and they were fighting for different ideas of what America stood for,” said Alex Kershaw, the author of The Liberator, which served as the basis for Netflix’s series by the same name.

Kershaw’s 2012 nonfiction book was based on his interviews with veterans of the unit and chronicles the bloody odyssey of the 157th Infantry Regiment during World War II, culminating in the liberation of Dachau, a concentration camp in Bavaria, and the killing of Nazi SS prisoners.

Both the book and the show follow the service and exploits of Felix Sparks, a Silver Star recipient who rose from the commander of E Company up through the 157th’s ranks, and who as a second lieutenant was one of only two men from his unit to survive the Battle of Anzio after being cut off by German forces.

“I always saw him as the main character, but also as a vehicle to tell a broader story about that amazing regiment, and also the Thunderbird Division, which was an incredible division and to put that in a broader context of the liberation of Western Europe,” Kershaw said. “Because they were there at the very beginning on the 10th of July, 1943 and they were at Dachau at the end, literally, a week before the end of the war. By telling that story, I could tell the story of the liberation of Europe, too.”

The series, much like the original source material, uses Sparks as a vehicle to tell the story of the 157th Infantry Regiment while spotlighting the service and sacrifice of a highly decorated and racially diverse infantry division that’s often overlooked in pop-culture depictions of World War II.

After reviewing the four-part miniseries by Jeb Stuart (Die Hard, The Fugitive), Task & Purpose had a chance to chat with Kershaw about the real-life soldiers who endured some of the most savage combat of the European theater, and whose service and sacrifice was for too long forgotten.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and style.

Task & Purpose: What drew you to Felix Sparks and the 157th?

Alex Kershaw: I came across an image on Google of Dachau and it showed Felix Sparks. It’s a Signal Corps’ cameraman’s image of him firing his pistol into the air. It’s in the Dachau coal yard on the 29th of April, 1945. It shows him, literally, it shows him firing his colt and thrusting his hand out in the air.

What he’s doing is he’s stopping his men from killing SS soldiers who’ve been lined up against the wall in the coal yard. I was just absolutely fascinated by that. Number one, it was an incredibly beautiful image of a guy in a very intense moment of his life, a moment that defined who he was.

It showed him to be a fantastic officer, to be a man of great honor and integrity. Because what he found in Dachau was so mind-blowing and so disgusting. That to stop that, yes, a good officer should stop a killing like that. But then, again, you wouldn’t blame anybody for wanting to kill the SS that they found there that day when there’s literally thousands and thousands of bodies rotting all around them and Dachau was an incredibly horrific place.

That image really fascinated me, I was like, “Who the hell is that guy?”

T&P: You had a chance to meet Felix Sparks. What was he like in real life? Did the series capture his personality or nature accurately?

AK: I think they captured a lot of it. I met him and he was a very big guy in every way. He was dying when I met him and he was in a lot of pain.

But he was quite an angry guy. He was very outspoken about some stuff. He hadn’t been impressed by a lot of the senior commanders that he’d served under, and he said that to me. He was a hard ass. I don’t think in the Netflix show you see his real rage. He’s not quite the hard-ass that he was in real life. He’s all business. There’s a guy still alive called Carl Mann who was Sparks’ translator, and I interviewed Carl and I said, “What was Sparks like? You spent six months in a Jeep with him.”

He said, “You know what, Sparks never ever talked about his family, he never talked about anything but getting the job done. He’s all business all the time. He was just really just about getting the job done and getting it done as fast as possible.

At the beginning of the war, he didn’t have any problems with people being disciplined very harshly. There was one thing that I quoted in the book where there was a bunch of guys that he had to take over a group of guys that had been disciplined and literally get them out of the slammer. They were a rough lot, and he was quoted as saying that he got some of his sergeants to rough these guys up and kick them into shape. He says “it probably wasn’t legal but it sure as hell worked.”

This guy was not the softest.

T&P: I was wondering about that. That was in the show, but they made it seem like a Dirty Dozen reference, where he gets them out of the brig, whips them into shape, and it’s this moment where they all come together as a unit.

AK: That’s true.

T&P: But they left out the asskicking?

AK: Yeah, they left out that part. They left out someone getting kicked in the ass really hard. Yeah.

But when I went to the reunion and stuff, everyone just said that the thing about Sparks was that you knew that he’d look after you. The reality was that you just didn’t want to die, you didn’t want to have your life wasted. You didn’t want to take orders from someone that was going to get you killed unnecessarily. He was a sure hand. Sparks was someone that thought about minimizing casualties.

The job had to be done, and his decisions every day got people killed.

But he was trying to bring people home, and there were a couple of occasions in the war when people had been in combat for an awfully long time, and he’s trying to get them pushed out of the unit or put them somewhere else where they wouldn’t get killed.

There was a certain amount of time that people spent, and he felt that was it. If they went for three or four months, it was time to put them somewhere safer. Time to give them a break, to try to transfer them out of the unit. He was aware of things like that, that there was only so much that these guys could take.

He was calm under pressure, very calm. I think that’s the universal fear of all officers that the first time they lead men in combat is “are they going to let them down? Are they going to be able to do the job?” They’re more afraid, in many cases, of failure than they are of being killed by the enemy. The last thing they want to do is look like a coward.

They want to be able to do the job and earn the respect of their men, and Sparks was good at that.

T&P: Tell me about the soldiers who served in the 157th. What made it such a diverse group and was that was unique at the time?

AK: The 157th [Infantry Regiment] and the 45th [Infantry Division] drew from New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arizona, so very much the American West. That connection meant that there were a large number of Native Americans and the 45th had more Native Americans in it than any other American Division. They had over 1,500 Native Americans who left for Europe in a division. There was a disproportionate number of Native Americans compared to other American combat units in World War II.

Then there were also a large number of Mexican Americans, again, because of where the unit was drawn from and quite a few of those guys couldn’t speak very good English. They had to have their buddies write letters in English to get past the censor.

So you got a combination of cowboys from Oklahoma and rural Denver and rural Colorado, New Mexico, etc. You’ve got Native Americans, and you’ve got Mexican Americans and a lot of dirt poor kids from the West that grew up in terrible poverty during the Depression. You put them all together and you end up with the 45th [Infantry Division]. Then you end up obviously with one of the three regiments, which was the 157th.

A lot of these guys in this unit had come from different Americas and they were fighting for different ideas of what America stood for.

I think that’s one of the wonderful things about it is when you look at the Netflix show and when you look at the faces of the guys in photographs from that Infantry Regiment and the Division, they are Mexican American, they’re Native American, they’re white. It’s not just the white victory we’re talking about here and the white unit. In Band of Brothers, it’s mostly white guys that win that war.

That’s the image you get from The Longest Day and almost all World War II movies and miniseries and such things like that. “White America won World War II,” well, white America did win World War II, but Black and Latino and Mexican Americans and Native Americans, they all won it too. When you look at, certainly, the 45th Infantry Division, there were as many Native Americans and Mexican Americans as there were white rural cowboys.

T&P: When you hear about all that they accomplished — more than 500 consecutive days in combat from Italy to France to Germany — it’s surprising that their story isn’t widely known. Why do you think that is?

AK: I think there are two things going on there. Number one is the fact that they were forgotten in World War II. They were even disparaged as the so-called “D-Day Dodgers.”

AK: There was a song that was famous at the time, the D-Day Dodgers, and that came from, I think, that’s Lady Astor, who was an American who became a British [Member of Partliament]. She complained about “what the hell were they doing in Italy still and the real fight was in Normandy.”

What happened was that Sparks had been in three amphibious invasions before June the 6th, 1944, and Rome was liberated by the Thunderbirds and by other elements of the 5th Army, 3rd Division, 36th Infantry Division, and Brits, etc. It fell on the 4th of June 1944, and this is the first Axis capital to be liberated. It was a big deal. It was a huge deal. That fame and that glory only lasted for 48 hours because then you have the 6th of June 1944, which was D-Day.

Everything shifted then to Normandy, to the Battle of the Bulge, Operation Market Garden. It all became Northwestern Europe and the guys that fought all the way through to that terrible campaign — it was very, very bloody, and it was a complete nightmare — it was all kind of forgotten in the American press at the time.

It was partly because of history, the way it played out, and they became the Forgotten Army, the Ghost Army.

T&P: Do me a favor, describe the 157th Infantry Regiment in just a few words.

AK: Yeah, eager for duty.

Their motto was “eager for duty,” and they were, and they were astonishing. They were just a fantastic outfit. They saved the day at Anzio. The 157th was right on the line on Anzio, actually, during Operation Fischfang which began on the 16th of February 1944.

If it wasn’t for the 157th sitting there and getting the hell beaten out of them and fighting like crazy, the Allies would, probably, have failed at Anzio and they would have been kicked back into the sea and that would have been a terrible military disaster.

But their heroism and their fortitude were just extraordinary, especially, at Anzio.

James Clarkis the Deputy Editor of Task & Purpose and a Marine veteran. He oversees daily editorial operations, edits articles, and supports reporters so they can continue to write the impactful stories that matter to our audience. In terms of writing, James provides a mix of pop culture commentary and in-depth analysis of issues facing the military and veterans community. Contact the author here.


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A design history of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber that is written in a detailed and informative manner that is decidely different, in a very positive way, from other books of the genre. Author Blue assumes that his readers are relatively familiar with this World War Two that was always the notional younger sibling to the Boeing B-17 and B-29. With that being the case, he does not present a military history of the aircraft's deployment and use. Instead, Mr. Blue tell the reader about the design of the aircraft, providing insight into the evolutionary changes that went over the course of its service life. For example, while there were eight main variations of the B-24 used in the war, the actual differences between the last five types can be considered minor. The author also - in both word and picture - notes that consistency was not all that adhered to in the produciton process. He cites and shows a number of cases where it was clear that getting an aircraft through manufacture with parts on hand was paramount. He also describes how some B-24 units would seek to hold on to certain versions because of affinities for a particular technology found on that type.

If the book has a weakness, it is in the photos contained in this volume. There is a bit of a disconnect between some of the pictures and the narrative. I also felt there was a bit of an over emphasis on "one-off" types. Still, this book is - despite its age (published in 1976) - the most comprehensive study on the Liberator.

What I can truthfully say is that this book is the best volume written on the B-24 Liberator aicraft to date. This statement is made even though it dates from 1975, and (so far as I know) it hasn't been reprinted. It should be.

There have been other books on the B-24 that are well executed. However, none contain the wealth of information present in Allan Blue's volume. Further, none have a range and depth of information that is as comprehensive and as well presented as is contained herein. Thus if you are interested in the Consolidated B-24 Liberator, or any at all of its variants, this book is for you. If you are a an aviation historian and need B-24 Liberator data or information, then this is your source for almost all of what you need.

As far as aircraft history books go I put it in the top three that I know of. It's right up there with Dennis Jenkins's volume on the F-105 Thunderchief, and David Anderton's on the F-100 Super Sabre. All three comprise the right balance of excellent growth and development detail, equipment description and explanation, pictorial example, technical and contractor/customer aircraft airframe unit data, and concise USAAF/Navy Unit/Theater application history. This is all supported by a superb narrative, well designed tables, and photographic evidence.

Blue's book is available on the open market - when copies are available - only in used form. I purchased mine after finding and examining a loan copy via public library search. It was well worth the wait and the investment.


The Liberator - History

Inaugural Editorial by William Lloyd Garrison

In the month of August, I issued proposals for publishing “The Liberator” in Washington City but the enterprise, though hailed in different sections of the country, was palsied by public indifference. Since that time, the removal of the Genius of Universal Emancipation to the Seat of Government has rendered less imperious the establishment of a similar periodical in that quarter.

During my recent tour for the purpose of exciting the minds of the people by a series of discourses on the subject of slavery, every place that I visited gave fresh evidence of the fact, that a greater revolution in public sentiment was to be effected in the free States — and particularly in New-England — than at the South. I found contempt more bitter, opposition more active, detraction more relentless, prejudice more stubborn, and apathy more frozen, than among slave-owners themselves. Of course, there were individual exceptions to the contrary. This state of things afflicted, but did not dishearten me. I determined, at every hazard, to lift up the standard of emancipation in the eyes of the nation, within sight of Bunker Hill and in the birthplace of liberty. That standard is now unfurled and long may it float, unhurt by the spoliations of time or the missiles of a desperate foe — yea, till every chain be broken, and every bondman set free! Let Southern oppressors tremble — let their secret abettors tremble — let their Northern apologists tremble — let all the enemies of the persecuted blacks tremble.

I deem the publication of my original Prospectus unnecessary, as it has obtained a wide circulation. The principles therein inculcated will be steadily pursued in this paper, excepting that I shall not array myself as the political partisan of any man. In defending the great cause of human rights, I wish to derive the assistance of all religions and of all parties.

Assenting to the “self-evident truth” maintained in the American Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights — among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” I shall strenuously contend for the immediate enfranchisement of our slave population. In Park-Street Church, on the Fourth of July, 1829, I unreflectingly assented to the popular but pernicious doctrine of gradual abolition. I seize this moment to make a full and unequivocal recantation, and thus publicly to ask pardon of my God, of my country, and of my brethren the poor slaves, for having uttered a sentiment so full of timidity, injustice, and absurdity. A similar recantation, from my pen, was published in the Genius of Universal Emancipation at Baltimore, in September, 1829. My conscience is now satisfied.

I am aware that many object to the severity of my language but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.

It is pretended, that I am retarding the cause of emancipation by the coarseness of my invective and the precipitancy of my measures. The charge is not true. On this question of my influence, — humble as it is,– is felt at this moment to a considerable extent, and shall be felt in coming years — not perniciously, but beneficially — not as a curse, but as a blessing and posterity will bear testimony that I was right. I desire to thank God, that he enables me to disregard “the fear of man which bringeth a snare,” and to speak his truth in its simplicity and power. And here I close with this fresh dedication:

“Oppression! I have seen thee, face to face,

And met thy cruel eye and cloudy brow,

But thy soul-withering glance I fear not now —

For dread to prouder feelings doth give place

Of deep abhorrence! Scorning the disgrace

Of slavish knees that at thy footstool bow,

I also kneel — but with far other vow

Do hail thee and thy herd of hirelings base: —

I swear, while life-blood warms my throbbing veins,

Still to oppose and thwart, with heart and hand,

Thy brutalising sway — till Afric’s chains

Are burst, and Freedom rules the rescued land, —

Trampling Oppression and his iron rod:

Such is the vow I take — SO HELP ME GOD!”

[by the Scottish poet Thomas Pringle]

Source: Reprinted in Wendell Phillips Garrison, William Lloyd Garrison, 1805-1879: The Story of His Life, Told by His Children, vol. I (New York: The Century Company, 1885), pages 224-226.


The Liberator

Inaugural Editorial by William Lloyd Garrison

In the month of August, I issued proposals for publishing “The Liberator” in Washington City but the enterprise, though hailed in different sections of the country, was palsied by public indifference. Since that time, the removal of the Genius of Universal Emancipation to the Seat of Government has rendered less imperious the establishment of a similar periodical in that quarter.

During my recent tour for the purpose of exciting the minds of the people by a series of discourses on the subject of slavery, every place that I visited gave fresh evidence of the fact, that a greater revolution in public sentiment was to be effected in the free States — and particularly in New-England — than at the South. I found contempt more bitter, opposition more active, detraction more relentless, prejudice more stubborn, and apathy more frozen, than among slave-owners themselves. Of course, there were individual exceptions to the contrary. This state of things afflicted, but did not dishearten me. I determined, at every hazard, to lift up the standard of emancipation in the eyes of the nation, within sight of Bunker Hill and in the birthplace of liberty. That standard is now unfurled and long may it float, unhurt by the spoliations of time or the missiles of a desperate foe — yea, till every chain be broken, and every bondman set free! Let Southern oppressors tremble — let their secret abettors tremble — let their Northern apologists tremble — let all the enemies of the persecuted blacks tremble.

I deem the publication of my original Prospectus unnecessary, as it has obtained a wide circulation. The principles therein inculcated will be steadily pursued in this paper, excepting that I shall not array myself as the political partisan of any man. In defending the great cause of human rights, I wish to derive the assistance of all religions and of all parties.

Assenting to the “self-evident truth” maintained in the American Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights — among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” I shall strenuously contend for the immediate enfranchisement of our slave population. In Park-Street Church, on the Fourth of July, 1829, I unreflectingly assented to the popular but pernicious doctrine of gradual abolition. I seize this moment to make a full and unequivocal recantation, and thus publicly to ask pardon of my God, of my country, and of my brethren the poor slaves, for having uttered a sentiment so full of timidity, injustice, and absurdity. A similar recantation, from my pen, was published in the Genius of Universal Emancipation at Baltimore, in September, 1829. My conscience is now satisfied.

I am aware that many object to the severity of my language but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.

It is pretended, that I am retarding the cause of emancipation by the coarseness of my invective and the precipitancy of my measures. The charge is not true. On this question of my influence, — humble as it is,– is felt at this moment to a considerable extent, and shall be felt in coming years — not perniciously, but beneficially — not as a curse, but as a blessing and posterity will bear testimony that I was right. I desire to thank God, that he enables me to disregard “the fear of man which bringeth a snare,” and to speak his truth in its simplicity and power. And here I close with this fresh dedication:

“Oppression! I have seen thee, face to face,

And met thy cruel eye and cloudy brow,

But thy soul-withering glance I fear not now —

For dread to prouder feelings doth give place

Of deep abhorrence! Scorning the disgrace

Of slavish knees that at thy footstool bow,

I also kneel — but with far other vow

Do hail thee and thy herd of hirelings base: —

I swear, while life-blood warms my throbbing veins,

Still to oppose and thwart, with heart and hand,

Thy brutalising sway — till Afric’s chains

Are burst, and Freedom rules the rescued land, —

Trampling Oppression and his iron rod:

Such is the vow I take — SO HELP ME GOD!”

[by the Scottish poet Thomas Pringle]

Source: Reprinted in Wendell Phillips Garrison, William Lloyd Garrison, 1805-1879: The Story of His Life, Told by His Children, vol. I (New York: The Century Company, 1885), pages 224-226.


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“The Liberator” was this episodic piece that just seemed to check a lot of boxes for me. It had great action, it was World War II-centric and was primarily based in Italy, where my father had been a B-17 navigator.

One of the things I learned growing up was how little attention the Italian campaign got compared to Normandy or parts of the Pacific. There had to be a reason for that, and so, reading this book, Kershaw captured a lot of the growing pains of the Army and how they pertained to the diversity of this unit.

Telling stories about diverse heroes is something that’s really crucial and long overdue in American filmmaking.

YOU MENTIONED YOUR FATHER’S TIME AS A B-17 CREW MEMBER. DID HE EVER SHARE HIS EXPERIENCES WITH YOU?

He told me very little. I know he did well over 25 missions, flying over the Alps on bombing runs over Germany, but throughout his life he kept things very close to the vest.

Still, one thing happened when I was scouting locations that was really interesting. I was in Croatia, and I got to the top of one of the little islands that he personally remembered from being over there. So, he’s talking to me on the phone from his retirement community back in North Carolina, and he says, “I want you to turn and look to the southwest about 70 degrees.” So, I look and there was this little smudge out there on the horizon, a little island way out there. He said, “Well, if that little smudge wasn’t there, you wouldn’t be here.”

/>("The Liberator"/Netflix)

On his 25th mission, he was coming back over the Alps and they lost two engines. They had just enough in the plane to make it out over the Adriatic. There was supposed to be an old British landing strip on that specific island, but on their approach they realized it was completely blanketed by thick clouds.

At 20 years old, my father had to plot a course to land the plane on a runway — probably abandoned — on this tiny island shrouded in clouds. But he did it. They crash landed the plane on the island, but the crew survived. That was something he was obviously very proud of.

GIVEN THE INTENSITY OF EXAMPLES LIKE THAT, WERE YOU PLEASED TO HAVE THE ADDED FLEXIBILITY, STORYTELLING- AND ACTION-WISE, THAT THIS NEW ANIMATION PROVIDED?

It’s funny, when you’re writing with a network and you’re trying to soft sell the budget, you might not fill the sky with as many bombers as you might be able to if you were able to simply create them with a stroke of a brush.

With the animation, we suddenly had the ability to add more planes, shells and bombs. Instead of struggling to afford 25 German extras charging at you, we could portray the 2,500 as it happened in real life. It was really a freeing process. And this isn’t just cost-effective — it really is a beautiful piece of artwork and a sort of genre unto itself.

This approach also presents opportunity for tremendous directors out there who may have never had an opportunity to direct something with so much action. Imagine shooting a show where you need multiple locations, and you have to go out and pay for those spaces. Then you have to bring in generator trucks, catering, all this kind of stuff. With Trioscope animation, suddenly you don’t have to do that. Everywhere you want to go is on the same stage.

/>("The Liberator"/Netflix)

HOW MUCH INTERACTION WITH ALEX KERSHAW WENT INTO THE ADAPTATION PROCESS?

I actually had zero interaction with Alex — I know that sounds cold-blooded. Alex had written a spectacular book, which was my template, but I had to take certain aspects and fictionalize elements to create dramatic detail that might not be available by pulling directly from a book that would lend itself to a terrific documentary.

You try not to do too much and break an author’s heart by altering their baby, but throughout the process I used Alex’s fabulous book as my Bible. I also did a ton of research on the history of the 45th division, looked into the personal accounts of German soldiers who fought against against them, and watched various interviews of Felix Sparks over the years.

The goal in this is obviously to make sure you’re authentic, but realistically it’s almost impossible in any type of recreation to be completely accurate. You can get the facts right, the number of men deployed, the casualties, the dates and times, but once you’re in it, the personal histories of the soldiers vary tremendously. Two men could be fighting side by side, but each come away with a completely different telling of the exact same story.

So, over the years, I’ve tried to preserve the authenticity about battle, but I might take liberties with the characters, and that’s something that differs from what Alex’s book has.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE TAKE AWAY FROM SEEING DIVERSE CHARACTERS WHO MIGHT NOT FIT THE MOLD OF THE MILITARY HERO AUDIENCES ARE USED TO?

First of all, I had a fabulous cast. It was really important for us to be authentic by including Latino and Native actors who have a tremendous sense of self-identity in terms of how they want to authentically portray these characters.

One of the things I always liked about “The Liberator” was that it’s not a white savior story. You’ve got a white commanding officer in Felix Sparks, but he never sees himself as being any sort of white parental figure of ethnically diverse troops. He saw himself as a partner with these men. It was all about survival and bringing home as many of these men as possible from an unthinkably horrific situation.

Sparks tried to lead by example, but in the end, he probably took away from his troops more than he ever gave to them. And for me that was one of the primary ingredients I pulled from Alex’s book. I thought, if we could showcase that, then you’re creating a band of brothers that sort of feeds itself.

Many thanks to Mr. Stuart for taking the time to discuss this trailblazing series. “The Liberator” is streaming now on Netflix.


History Lesson: The FP-45 Liberator Pistol

In the early years of WWII, Army strategists were looking for a weapon that could be mass-produced quickly for use by insurgents against the Axis powers by underground forces throughout the world. The Liberator pistol was the answer.

The theory behind the Liberator was the pistol could be air dropped into enemy territory, and resistance forces could use the pistol to kill the enemy and take their weapons! If enough Liberators were dropped, it would cause a psychological effect, as the enemy did not know who was armed or not! The Liberator was conceived by the U.S. Joint Psychological Warfare committee in March 1942, and full production would be finished by August 1942.

Design and Production
The U.S. Army Ordnance Command met with both Inland and General Motors Guide Lamp division to discuss production of the Liberator. After the meeting, GM was selected, as Inland was busy producing the M1 Carbine. The Liberator was given the codename “Flare projector 45” to throw off any spies as to its true mission.

GM engineer George Hyde designed the Liberator. It was manufactured from 23 stamped or turned pieces of steel. Hyde’s design had a total cost per unit of $2.10! With approximately 300 employees, General Motors completed the full production run of 1 million pistols in three months, from June 1942 to August 1942!

The Liberator was packed in a waxed cardboard box with 10 rounds of ammunition, five of which were stored in the grip, a comic book style operators manual, and a wooden dowel to push out spent casings. Due to its stamped steel construction, no markings, and crude appearance, the Liberator earned the nickname “The Woolworth Pistol.”

Specifications:
Caliber: .45 ACP
Velocity: 850 feet per second
Range: 25 ft
Action: Single Shot
Total Length: 5.5 inches
Barrel Length: 4” non-rifled barrel
Weight: 1 pound

Wartime Use
The pistol allegedly had an effective range of 25 feet however, with its non-rifled barrel, the pistol was to be used as a close-in weapon, with basically a contact shot to the victim! With only one shot chambered and a slow reloading time, the shooter better hit their mark the first time!

Production was fast, but distribution had its problems and critics. Five-hundred thousand Liberators went to Europe, and the same number to the Pacific Theater. General Eisenhower’s staff didn’t think the pistol was practical and dropped a total of 25,000 Liberators to the French resistance, with a few thousand going to the Greek resistance.

In the Pacific Theatre, Gen. Macarthur was also a critic and turned most of his Liberators over to The Office of Strategic Studies. The OSS likewise was not enthusiastic about the Liberator, as they preferred to supply more effective weapons, like the Sten Submachinegun. The Sten could be made in resistance workshops and could use the more common ammunition of the Wehrmacht occupying France, like the 9mm Luger. The Sten Gun’s simple design could be also be manufactured by resistance gunsmiths and used with German MP-40 magazines.

The number of times a Liberator was used to take out an enemy combatant will never be known. No records were kept, since resistance forces didn’t keep records, and there is only one first-hand account of the use of a Liberator in France. At war’s end, most Liberators were melted down or dumped in the sea.

If you’re interested in owning a piece of military history, the few remaining originals sell for big money. Have no fear, though. If you absolutely must have one, the Liberator lives on! Vintage Ordnance Company makes a reproduction, complete with cardboard box, dowel push rod, and the comic strip instruction manual for $515.


Return to Parliament

O'Connell returned to his seat in Parliament just as the Great Famine ravaged Ireland. He gave a speech in the House of Commons urging aid for Ireland and was mocked by the British.

In poor health, O'Connell traveled to Europe in hopes of recuperating, and while en route to Rome he died in Genoa, Italy on May 15, 1847.

He remained a great hero to the Irish people. A grand statue of O'Connell was placed on the main street of Dublin, which was later renamed O'Connell Street in his honor.


Doctor Who (Alexander the Liberator)

Doctor Who is an Irish science fiction television program that airs on RTÉ One. The series first premiered back in November 1963, originally created as an educational program focusing on a mysterious time traveler known as the Doctor traveling to pivotal moments in human history. Things began to change not long after the series took off, with the introduction of the Daleks in December of that year, the show became a cult classic.

The Doctor was originally portrayed by William Hartnell, an English actor who fled Great Britain following the establishment of the communist regime. As Hartnell's health began to deteriorate, it was decided to recast the title role. The in-universe explanation is the Doctor would escape death by changing his appearance. Since Hartnell, eleven men have played different incarnations of the Doctor, the current being Peter Capaldi, who has played the Doctor since 2013.

Doctor Who is an Irish cultural institution. The show has influenced modern Irish science fiction and television. Some famous actors, including Kenneth Branaugh and Liam Neeson, have started their careers on Doctor Who. The show was originally canceled in 1989. An attempt to bring the show back by RBC failed in 1997, but the show finally returned to television in 2003 under the direction of Russell T. Davis.


Watch the video: The Liberator. Official Trailer. Netflix (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Mazurisar

    Wacker, the ideal answer.

  2. Sagar

    It's conditionality

  3. Cocytus

    you can discuss it infinitely

  4. Tedmund

    Bravo, the phrase excellent and it is timely



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