Blade-wielding bad-ass from history: Lieutenant Colonel John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming “Mad-Jack” Churchill


“The first thing the Nazi garrison on Vågsøy Island, Norway, would have heard when the British No. 3 Commando battalion landed on December 27, 1941, was the sudden blaring drone of bagpipes. One commando stood at the fore of the landing craft, facing the impending battle and playing the peppy, martial “March of the Cameron Men.” Upon coming to a halt onshore, the soldier jumped from the craft, hucked a grenade at the Germans, then drew a full sword and ran screaming into the fray.

That maniacally fierce soldier was 35-year-old Lieutenant Colonel John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill, and his stunts at this battle, known as Operation Archery, were hardly the most bizarre and semi-suicidal of his life. Over the course of World War II, “Mad Jack,” as he came to be known, survived multiple explosions, escaped a couple of POW camps, captured more than 40 Germans at sword point in just one raid, and in 1940 scored the last recorded longbow kill in history. And that’s just the CliffsNotes on his wartime rap sheet.” (ViceOnline)

That only touches on this bad-ass’s exploits. They are worth a read on a Sunday afternoon.

A quick housekeeping note: The kids go back to school Monday and life returns to the routine. I have done my best to keep up over the holidays, and have achieved a small measure of success, but I have not felt on top of things. I am ready to hit the ground running this week. Thanks for your patience.


Update 1/6/16: Welcome Instapundit readers. We appreciate the Good Doctor tossing us the brass ring again and you all paying us a visit. Our mission at TTAK is to combine the best knife reviews on the Internet with news, politics, humor, humor, and culture from the knife world. 

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an extra tip of the hat to Vice , who did the heavy lifting on this piece. I was just passing it along to our readers.


  1. sagebrushracer says:

    I had heard about this guy mentioned in other WW 2 books, looks like its time to do some reading up.

  2. samuraichatter says:

    I’m thinking that playing bagpipes before a fight could be a good diversionary tactic. Imagine a guy w/ bagpipes, no clothes except boots, and an sbr slung over his shoulder hidden by the pipes.

    Dude comes within sight of a sentry and plays. His buddies know the tune. They are waiting for about 2 notes before the final one, or if naked friend gets shot, to attack (whichever comes first). Dude finished his dirge, buddies kill the enemy, then fratboy scotsman joins the party 🙂

    Cuz if you charge a guy who is armed with a rifle, and you only have a sword, then God must love your socks off as that is the only way I could see coming out of that situation alive! Maybe God just wanted to see Nazi’s killed in grand fashion?

  3. Sam L. says:

    Not directly related, but you will like the picture and the caption:

  4. Sam L. says:

    Instapundit linked this at 9:11PM his time. I think that’s CST.

    1. We got double instalanched. Ftw

    2. And the good Doctor lives in Knoxville…Eastern time. One of these days I will run into him, of that I am quite certain.

      His brother is the other half of a blues duo with a fraternity brother of mine. Small world.

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Blade-wielding bad-ass from history: Lieutenant Colonel John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming “Mad-Jack” Churchill

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