Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Mad Jack – A Real Life World War 2 Mad Man

Mad Jack – A Real Life World War 2 Mad Man


One rainy day in the mid 1930s, a peculiar
young officer smartly paraded up to the front of his platoon’s formation and snapped into
place with full military precision. Unlike the rest of his platoon however, this
particular officer was carrying an umbrella. Red in the face with anger, and dripping wet
in the rain, the battalion adjutant immediately stormed over and demanded to know what in
the blue blazes the officer was thinking carrying an umbrella to formation. Without missing a beat, the young officer
simply responded, “because it’s raining, sir.” John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill- or
as he would be later known, ‘Mad Jack” or “Fighting Jack”- would be immediately
reprimranded for his insubordination and preposterousness, but such reprimands were nothing new for the
very bored officer. Amidst the brief interlude of peace between
World War I and World War II, Churchill found his military service, well, rather dull. A rare breed of man, practically born to lead
others on the battlefield, Churchill itched for excitement and chaos. When life failed to provide any, he sought
it out himself, and at a time when roads were mostly non-existent in India, rode his motorcycle
over 1500 miles of the South East Asian countryside, often crossing rivers and chasms by pushing
his bike along the rails of railroad tracks while he carefully stepped across the crossbeams. To ease his peacetime boredom, Churchill also
taught himself how to play the bagpipes, which at the time was not a particularly popular
pastime for proper British men. But not one to halfass anything, Churchill
not only learned to play the bagpipes, he would go on to place second in the officers’
class of the piping championships at Aldershot- a stunning feat considering he was the only
Englishman amongst the seventy or so competitors. Bagpipes mastered, Churchill also took up
a keen interest in archery, and became such a proficient archer that he would go on to
represent England in an international tournament. Churchill may have been a daredevil and adrenaline
junkie, but that didn’t mean that he disliked comfort. Quite the opposite, not only would Churchill
earn himself a reprimand for bringing an umbrella to a military formation in the pouring rain,
but he was also chastised for using a hot water bottle to keep warm at night in his
cot, against military protocol. To bypass this minor technicality, Churchill
instead used a piece of rubber tubing which he filled with hot water- the regs after all
forbade the use of hot water bottles, but said nothing about rubber tubes. While most military men measure their alleged
toughness by their ability to suffer hardship, Churchill saw no need for such inane displays
of machismo- or perhaps he was, as many sources state, bored out of his mind by peace and
entertained himself by annoying his senior leadership. Whatever the truth, if anyone thought that
Churchill was a soft man because he preferred to stay dry in the rain and sleep in warm
comfort, they would be sorely mistaken as the world was about to find out with the outbreak
of World War II. In 1939 the German army invaded Poland from
one side as the Russians invaded from another, Polish defenders caught between the two surging
armies and quickly surrendering. The hostilities prompted Britain and France
to declare war on Germany, and at last Churchill’s long stretch of peacetime boredom came to
an end. Commenting that, “I was back in my red coat;
the country having got into a jam in my absence”, Churchill left behind his brief peacetime
life of modeling and appearing in famous films as an extra to ship out to France. However upon arriving Churchill was immediately
disappointed- despite German aggression against the Poles and Britain and France’s declaration
of war, both nations simply took up positions along the French Maginot line and did… well
nothing. Troops simply held their ground and generally
tried not to be bored for weeks upon weeks, the lack of offensive operations being the
result of Britain and France’s lack of preparations for war. What historians would end up calling “a
slight oversight”, Britain and France had completely failed to fully prepare for conflict
despite years of ratcheting German aggression and a whole lot of angry, tiny-mustached chest-pounding
from Adolf Hitler. Whatever the case, Churchill found himself
a victim of Allied unreadiness, a situation which did not suit him at all. There was a war on, damn it, and like a puppy
straining at the leash, Churchill wanted his share of it. With the Soviets invading Finland, Churchill
joined a volunteer detachment of British soldiers sent to aid Finn forces- they might not be
Germans, but fighting anyone who was being an international dick was better than fighting
nobody Churchill supposed. Bidding his comrades audieu, Churchill joined
the Finnish detachment- but before the expedition could get all the way to Finland it was cancelled
on account of some sudden and very severe German rudeness across the entire Maginot
line. Finland would have to fend for itself against
the Soviets, at last the proper war was on. Returning to his comrades, Churchill was immediately
displeased at the British army’s failure to hold its ground against the overwhelming German
blitzkrieg of tens of thousands of infantry, thousands of tanks, and an equal number of
fighters and bombers. Churchill and his unit were then ordered to
retreat, making for Dunkirk where rescue awaited for the overwhelmed British and French forces-
and if that rescue failed, the war could come to a very sudden and unpleasant end for the
allies. More than a fair bit annoyed at having to
retreat, Churchill decided to creatively reinterpret his orders, and rather than simply fall back
en masse, engaged in an aggressive campaign of guerrilla raids and counterattacks against
the German forces. Leading small teams of hand-picked men, Churchill
would rush roaring a battlecry into battle, holding aloft a large two-handed sword. Like some anachronistic Highlander, Churchill
waded into enemy fire and on more than one occasion spitted a German soldier on his claymore. Other times Churchill would discard his rifle
in favor of his longbow, sinking barbed shafts into the chests of Germans up to a hundred
yards away. Rumor has it that during one battle a German
officer asked for a list of casualties and injuries, only to be told that several of
the casualties had been shot with arrows. The confused and irate officer warned his
junior officer not to joke around with him, only to be shown the bodies with arrows still
sticking out of them. Professional soldiers always expect the unexpected
in combat, but nobody expected a mad Englishman shooting arrows in the midst of the greatest
industrial-age war in human history. During a lull in the fighting, Mad Jack Churchill
as he was now known, was spotted by a fellow officer riding his signature motorcycle, longbow
on his back, arrows sticking out of packs strapped to his body, and a german officer’s
cap on the motorcycle’s headlamp. As Mad Jack dismounted, the officer noticed
a streak of blood across his ear and neck, and asked about the fresh injury. Asking for a stiff drink in return, Churchill
responded that he and his men had ran into a German machine gun, and his men had screamed
for him to run, but he had simply been too tired to. Churchill had thought it simpler to destroy
the machine gun nest, even after being shot through the neck. Successfully making it across the channel
back to England, Churchill got wind of a new military organization being formed. Called Commandos, the request for volunteers
was secretive, but promised “aggressive military service”, which was more than good
enough for Churchill. The progenitors to Britain’s modern special
forces, commando service included weeks of training in demolitions, firearms, infiltration,
and all matter of other topics which Churchill absolutely adored. During Commando training however Churchill
also met a woman, whom he would immediately marry and remain happily married to for 55
years until his death. On December 27th, 1941, Churchill had his
chance to rejoin the war as the newly formed Commandos assaulted the German garrison at
Vaagso in Norway. Tasked with destroying the onshore artillery
in preparation for a full-scale assault, Churchill stood in the lead landing craft with his bagpipes,
belting out The March of the Cameron Men as enemy machineguns strafed the oncoming boats. As soon as the ramps lowered, Churchill waded
ashore ahead of his men, holding aloft his sword and as one soldier put it, “uttering
warlike cries”. A half hour later, Churchill sent out a brief
telegraph to headquarters, reading simply: Maaloy battery and island captured. Casualties slight. Demolitions in progress. Churchill. Churchill would go on to win several military
honors, as well as more than a few battle scars, but his greatest feats of valor would
not come until the Autumn of 1943. Leading the allied landings at Salerno in
Italy, Churchill and his commandos found themselves fighting alongside American Rangers in the
town of Marina. Both Churchill’s commandos and the American
Rangers were not designed to fight and operate as normal line infantry, lacking much of the
heavy fire support that normal infantry brings to a fight such as heavy machine guns and
mortars. Armed mostly with rifles and grenades so that
they could remain mobile, the commandos and Rangers found themselves at a severe disadvantage
as German and Italian heavy infantry assaulted their positions in waves. Though casualties were extremely high, the
allied forces beat back every assault. Growing bored of simply waiting for the Germans
to come to him to get shot, Churchill decided it would be best to go to where they were
instead and shoot them there. Ignoring the fact that he and his forces were
grossly outnumbered, had no heavy weapons, and absolutely zero support, Churchill led
a night raid against a heavily defended German position. Rushing out from thick undergrowth and shouting
“Commando!”, Churchill and his small detachment destroyed the German position and took 136
prisoners. Churchill and one of his corporals however
had managed to get themselves far ahead of the rest of their unit in the fighting, and
suddenly heard the sound of dozens of Germans digging into fighting positions all around
them in the nighttime darkness. Never one to waste a good opportunity, Churchill
decided that it wouldn’t do to march back to friendly lines alone, and instead unsheathed
his giant sword and simply walked to the first German position, ordering the men to put their
hands up in German. Perhaps thinking themselves visited by the
ghost of an ancient medieval madman, or simply doubting that even their bullets would touch
a man with balls of steel so sturdy he waded into battle carrying a giant freaking sword,
the Germans obliged and were taken prisoner. Churchill however wasn’t done, he thought
it wouldn’t do for his German prisoners to be lonely, and thus decided to visit another
German position. By the end of the night, Churchill and his
corporal took 42 German prisoners, leading them back to British and American lines at
swordpoint. Churchill would go on to explain to a senior
officer that “as long as you tell a German loudly and clearly what to do, if you are
senior to him he will cry ‘Jawohl!’ and get on with it enthusiastically and efficiently
whatever the situation. That’s why they make such marvelous soldiers.” A few months later however, Churchill would
himself be taken prisoner. Surrounded on all sides by Germans and with
just six men and himself left alive, and with nothing more than revolvers and a single American
carbine between them, Churchill fought on until the ammunition ran out and a mortar
killed three of his other men and wounded another. With nothing left to shoot back with, and
apparently separated from his trusty sword, Churchill pulled out his bagpipes and prepared
to meet his end, playing “Will ye no come back again” until a German grenade knocked
him unconscious. Churchill would be sent to a POW camp, but
quickly growing bored of not killing Germans, he hastily made an escape. Upon his recapture he was sent to an even
more well-guarded POW camp, only to escape again. Meeting up with a column of American armor,
Churchill was rescued but appalled to hear that the war was nearly over. Returning to his unit, Churchill commented
“there are still the Nips, aren’t there?” and thus Churchill volunteered to ship off
to the Pacific. Sadly for Churchill, upon his arrival the
Americans dropped their second nuclear bomb and the Japanese quickly surrendered. A heartbroken Churchill would go on to say
to a friend, “if it hadn’t been for those damned Yanks we could have kept the war going
for another 10 years.” Telling another friend that the Japanese had
double-crossed him by surrendering, Churchill immediately began to look for an opportunity
to join the many brush wars raging in the aftermath of World War II. He got his chance in 1948 when Arab forces
tried to drive the Jews from what would become Israel. Present in his full dress uniform at a battalion
parade, Churchill got news that a Jewish medical convoy had been ambushed by Arab forces. Not wasting a moment, Churchill immediately
rushed to their aid, still wearing full dress uniform. Boldly rushing down the middle of the road
and into the teeth of the battle, Churchill commented later that “I grinned like mad
from side to side, as people are less likely to shoot at you if you smile at them.” Churchill would go on to rescue 700 Jewish
civilians and earn greater military honors for his deeds. At the end of hostilities, Churchill then
went to teach at various military schools, ending his career while serving as an instructor
at the land-air warfare school in Australia. Giving up on its many attempts to kill him,
life would let Churchill live out his days happily next to his wife until his peaceful
death in 1996, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy of courage and… well no small amount
of lunacy. Best remembered for his signature claymore
which he waded into battle with, Churchill once answered a General awarding him a decoration
who asked about the weapon by saying, “In my opinion, sir, any officer who goes into
action without his sword is improperly dressed.” Was Mad Jack Churchill truly crazy, or just
insanely brave? Want to see stories about more historical
bad asses? Let us know in the comments! Also, make sure you check out our other video:
The Most Insane Ways Men Escaped from Prison. And as always if you enjoyed this video don’t
forget to Like, Share, and Subscribe for more great content!


Reader Comments

  1. Mad Jack's spirit is inside his claymore which a black Scottish man now uses. Guess what is it known as.

  2. @The Infographics Show You should do a video on Sam "Mad Sam" De Stefano. He was one of the worst torture murders for the Mafia in the United States.

  3. I have a question that isn’t really related to the vid but at 4:03 why does some Thompson’s have brings and other don’t?I never understood this

  4. I thought he was some kind of supervillain-like genocidal soldier. Rather, I got a very brave man that was very eager to fight for his country and defeat the enemy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *