I Bet I Could Have Beaten Him at Call of Duty 4, Though

People often say that war-themed first-person shooters are completely unreasonable. No one person, they point out, could really do what your in-game avatar does.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Major Robert Henry Cain, recipient of the Victoria Cross. His weapon of choice was the Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank (PIAT), an early rocket-propelled grenade launcher. During the Battle of Arnhem, on Tuesday, September 19th, 1944, tanks killed many of his men. After that, he made it his personal mission to destroy as many tanks as possible.

On one occasion, two Tiger tanks approached the South Staffords position, and Cain lay in wait in a slit trench while Lieutenant Ian Meikle of the Light Regiment gave him bearings from a house above him. The first tank fired at the house and killed Meikle, while the chimney collapsed and almost fell on top of Major Cain. He still held his position until it was 100 yards away, whereupon he fired at it. The tank immediately returned fire with its machinegun [sic] and wounded Cain, who took refuge in a nearby shed from where he fired another round, which exploded beneath the tank and disabled it. The crew abandoned the vehicle but all were gunned down as they bailed out. Cain fired at the second tank, but the bomb was faulty and exploded directly in front of him. It blew him off his feet and left him blind with metal fragments in his blackened face. As his men dragged him off, Cain recalls yelling like a hooligan and calling for somebody to get hold of the PIAT and deal with the tank. One of the Light Regiment’s 75mm guns was brought forward and it blew the tank apart.

But it’s okay: half an hour later his sight returned, so he ignored medics’ advice, grabbed a PIAT, and went to town. At one point he found and used an anti-tank gun instead of a PIAT, but its recoil mechanism broke. He fired so many rounds that by Friday his eardrums burst, so he shoved scraps of field dressing in his ears and kept going. When PIAT ammunition ran out, he switched to a two-inch mortar, at times firing it nearly horizontal.

By the end of the week-long battle, he had destroyed or disabled some six tanks, four of which were Tiger tanks, the most feared in the German arsenal. Oh, and he was thirty-five at the time.

Doesn’t that make you feel like a complete slacker?

3 thoughts on “I Bet I Could Have Beaten Him at Call of Duty 4, Though

  1. Two words: Audie. Murphy.

    And taking a moment to show how well the gubment spended your tax dollars on me as a former Mortarman, if the claims of him firing a 2″ mortar near horizontal are even remotely true, of course you could take him in COD4. His hands were probably wrecked. No way he could’ve pwned noobs. Having trigger fired a 60mm once, that’s a feeling that stays with you even when you follow the safety guidelines of firing on Charge 0 only on the trigger. Anything Charge 1 and above has to be drop fired with the baseplate and legs attached. But even if he did fire near horizontal, chances are the round didn’t go much more than 75-100m maximum and it’s questionable as to whether the round would have armed at that distance.

  2. Audie Murphy certainly did crazy amazing stuff, but I was struck by how much Robert Cain did in such a short period of time, and was twice Audie’s age.

  3. Well he did win the VC for his actions. Also got to be Jeremy Clarkson’s father in law

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