Saturday, January 22, 2011

Reinforcements Arrived...

My parents embarked on a whirl wind trip through East Africa this winter and stopped to visit my wife and I in Abu Dhabi on their way. They brought me reinforcements!!

When we moved here in August, we could only bring four bags of stuff for two+ years of life and my wife said that we couldn't afford to haul a whole bunch of Memoir '44 stuff across the world, even if it was for a history club. So when I found out that my parents were coming to visit, I convinced them to use some of their extra space to bring me what I would need to run a Memoir '44 History Club in Abu Dhabi. They brought me two base games, two Easter Front expansions, two Pacific Theater packs, and a Campaign Book. I now have the supplies to launch a new club across the world!

I'm currently coaching the U-14 boys football team (soccer for you Americans) so I don't have time after school but the season ends soon and I'm already thinking of how I might start my club. I'll keep everyone updated of my progress...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

UAE In World War II

Stig Morten asked how the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was involved in World War II. To be honest I wasn't sure and I had to ask around a little bit and do some quick research. It's not a large part of their history, so I hadn't heard much about their involvement in the war and that made me think they must not have played a very active role.

I found a recent quote from the ruler of one of the emirates (Fujairah), who said, "The Second World War was the deadliest military conflict the world has ever seen, with over 60 million people being killed. We in the United Arab Emirates were fortunate not to be directly involved, although forces from Britain, the United States and other Allies made use of bases in the Emirates." During World War II the United Arab Emirates (not yet a nation in its current form) was a British protectorate and was therefore used as locations for Allied airfields.

As far as I can tell, only one Allied soldier died in the United Arab Emirates during World War II. Sergeant William ("Billy") Donnelly, a British navigator, was killed on 14 February, 1943 when his Wellington Bomber crash landed. After a refuelling stop in Sharjah the plane took off again for Gwadar, a city on the coast of Pakistan. About half-an-hour into the flight (when it was over the sea), oil started to leak from an engine before the propeller flew off the engine. The pilot turned back and crash-landed at Sayh Dhadnah. Sergeant Donnelly died of his injuries from the cash and was buried close to the site in a nearby local cemetery. A memorial was recently dedicated to honor Donnelly and his family was able to attend the event.

I will continue to look for other ways the United Arab Emirates was involved in World War II, but since it didn't become a nation until 1971 I'm not sure I'll find much. Thanks for the question, Stig Morten! I hope this gave you some information you hadn't known before.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Long Silence Explained

Sorry for the long silence! It's been over 7 months since my last post and many of you may not even be reading this any more...that's all right, I would understand if you weren't. For those who are still interested, I want to explain what happened and where I've been.

My third year of the Memoir '44 History Club ended well. My students seemed to enjoy it to the end and many were sad that they were moving on to middle school and wouldn't be able to participate any more. A large number of students own Memoir '44 now and told me that they would keep playing on their own. I hope that's true!

I've moved schools this year, so the fourth grade students who were in my club last year weren't able to continue playing with me this year either. Not only did I move schools, I also moved countries! My wife and I now live in the United Arab Emirates (in Abu Dhabi)
and I'm teaching 5th grade here. Because of our large move, I didn't update the blog over the summer or do a whole lot of anything except pack!

I put all of my Memoir '44 equipment into storage so that I can restart the club when I return to Oregon. If I could have, I would have loved to bring at least some of my Memoir '44 stuff so that I could run a club here in Abu Dhabi but we had limited space and weight...and we had a lot of stuff to bring. Luckily my parents are coming to visit in December and have agreed to bring me some Memoir '44 stuff so that I can run an after school club again!

Once that club gets underway I'll post some pictures and start updating thing a little bit more. Until then I might just share some thoughts on this blog about teaching World War II history, things that I'm learning about World War II as I read, or other things that relate to Memoir '44 History Clubs! If anyone has questions, simply ask and I'll be happy to answer!