Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Great Moments in Real Man History: Mad Jack Churchill
John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill, AKA "Mad Jack", 1906-1996
Mad Jack was a British officer who carried a longbow and a Claymore sword into battle. Not the Highland Rebellion of 1745, World War II. And he used them. He ambushed a German Sergeant in France with his bow, and led charges with his Claymore in Norway, Sicily and Yugoslavia. In his last action, every Brit who wasn't Mad Jack was killed by mortar fire. When the Germans captured him, he was playing "Will Ye No Come Back Again?" on his bagpipes. He also carried bagpipes into battle. They didn't call him "Mad Jack" for nothing. He was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, but crawled under the wire and through a drain and was walking towards the Baltic coast when he was recaptured. He was sent to another concentration camp, but escaped again and walked 150 miles until he was picked up by an advancing American unit. They sent him back to England, where he was bitterly disappointed to learn that the war had ended while he was en route.
"If it wasn't for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years."
After the war he became a passionate surfer. The character of Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore in the film 'Apocalypse Now' is partially based on him.
In later years, Churchill served as an instructor at a school in Australia. He threw his attaché case out of the train window each day on the ride home when passing by his house so that he wouldn’t have to carry it from the station.
Every war brings out some remarkably eccentric personalities, but most of them don't survive for long. Mad Jack lived to be 90.
Notice the dude on the far right with the sword. That's Mad Jack. All the sissy-boys with rifles are behind him.