Soldier dubbed Mad Jack stormed through WW2 with longbow, grenades and a sword

"Mad" Jack Churchill may be best remembered for doing away with conventional military kit during the Second World War, and the nutty quotes that inspired his troops.

Armed with a sword, a chain of grenades and flanked by a man playing tunes on the bagpipes, Lieutenant Colonel Jack Churchill was as mad as his nickname implies.

It was on this day in December 1941 that Churchill, armed with grenades and sprinting off onto the coast of Norway, marked a thoroughly lively start to the UK's Operation Archery.

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Said operation featured Churchill, who at several points in his career was seen armed with a longbow and sword rather than a rifle.

With a bloke knocking out March of the Cameron Men on the bagpipes as the ramps of the landing craft fell, Churchill (no relation to the Prime Minister at the time) stormed a German garrison with a sword and grenades.

Mad Jack, also known as "Fighting Jack Churchill", had famously said: "Any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed."

That appeared to be a statement Mad Jack took to heart, as the World Archery Championships participant felt the urge to throw himself into combat armed with medieval weaponry.

One instance saw Churchill lose his sword during hand-to-hand combat in Italy, where he was spotted with a longbow and arrows around his neck.

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His rather unique battlefield weaponry has cemented Churchill as an eccentric legend of war, lobbing grenades at German outfits and allegedly killing a man with his bow and arrow.

Churchill, who died at the age of 89 in 1996, had spent much of the war being deployed and redeployed in various parts of Europe.

He ended the Second World War in Asia though, with his deployment to Burma ending before he could mark another bow and arrow-clad charge.

At the time of the war, Churchill chastised America for dropping nuclear warheads on Japan, saying: "If it wasn't for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years."

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