The kilted killer
What kind of utter fucking lunatic cuts about Nazi occupied France in a Black French car, with a British flag attached to it, whilst wearing a kilt? Probably the kind of lunatic that could call for the surrender of 23,000 Nazi soldiers, with no support - aside from that provided by the sheer size of his giant balls.
Meet Ronald Thomas Stewart Tommy Macpherson (Better known as Tommy). Commissioned in the Queens own Cameroon Highlanders in 1939, however in 1940 transferred to No.11 Commando, which is where at the age of 21 this young man’s story truly begins.
As part of a 4-man reconnaissance team on the Libyan Coast, Major Macpherson and his team were tasked with gathering intelligence ahead of the doomed Operation to take out Rommel himself – and unfortunately his recce didn’t go too well either. Have you ever been stuck in town after a night out, waiting for a taxi that never shows up? Well these guys spent over 48 hours bobbing up and down off the Libyan coast in canvas Kayaks waiting for a submarine to pick them up and guess what… that stupid fucking submarine never turned up! Of course, the next part of this chapter so many 21-year olds can relate to; the inevitable decision to paddle back to an enemy shore, the reluctant decision to walk hundreds of miles back to Tobruk in shorts, and of course the bitter shame of being captured by Italian fascists - leading to two years in captivity.
Over this two-year period Tommy made 7 attempts at escaping his captors – The 7th finally getting him back to Britain, but the first being the most hilarious. Soon after being captured his Italian interrogators took an interest in his Colt Automatic and wanted to know how it worked. The young Major proceeded to take out a spare magazine, load his weapon, make it ready and at gun-point hold them hostage. Unfortunately, due to the lack of food and water and excessive physical exertion over the past week or so, Tommy became Quadra-spazzed by cramp and collapsed – making him unable to make the most of this opportunity and landing him in solitary confinement.
Anyway, fast forward through two long years in captivity, and Tommy is to learn just days after his safe return to Britain that his war is far from over. He had been selected for Operation Jedburgh, part of Churchills plan to “set Europe ablaze”. As part of a team of 3 Tommy would parachute into France, link up with French resistance and wage a guerrilla-war against Nazi forces.
On the night of the jump Tommy actually wore full Cameroon highland battle dress under his smock – which included a Tartan Kilt. After linking up with the French resistance some of the French fighters actually thought their officer had brought his wife along. The misunderstanding that Tommy was some fair French maiden was short lived, for the following night he was commanding demolition taskings on railway bridges crucial to the Nazi’s supply lines. The following day the 2nd SS Panzer Division was on the move towards the beaches of Normandy to help drive the Allied invasion back into the sea. This division of Heavy German tanks and armour were battle hardened from the eastern front and were guilty of heinous war crimes against civilians. Quick to act Tommy and his teams cut down trees and laid mines along their main roads of advance, as well as rigging surrounding trees with explosives and primed grenades. When the columns were halted by the felled trees the resistance fighters would spray the troop-carrying vehicles with machine gun fire then vanish into the forest. The inevitable infantry follow-up would be met by nothing but falling grenades and exploding trees (Not desirable). As the columns then eventually moved off the lead tanks would hit the mines and the above process would repeat. Similar tactics were used by other French resistance units across France, resulting in this Panzer division taking over two weeks to reach Normandy rather than two days, and of course by this point the Allies had a firm foothold within Normandy.
The French had never seen anything like Major Macpherson, and his existence was becoming legendary throughout rural France. This cave dwelling, skirt wearing, Sten-gun wielding slayer of fascists was probably the most flamboyant guerrilla commander of all time. He even snuck into a German occupied French village wearing his kilt, only to sit down and have a drink in the local café with the town mayor. There were also rumours circulating of a Scotsman who would drive around in a black car flying the British flag. Quite reliably the Germans had a complete sense of humour failure, and a considerable bounty was placed on Tommy’s head claiming he was "a bandit masquerading as a Scottish officer and extremely dangerous to the citizens of France”. This bounty actually had the opposite effect to what the Germans intended, and streams of new French volunteers wanted to fight alongside “The Kilted Killer”.
With greater numbers alongside him Tommy would continue to wage his guerrilla war. Bringing about the destruction of vital railway lines and bridges; hijacking supply lorries, destroying trains, draining fuel dumps and of course bringing death to the Nazi war machine. On one occasion Tommy accidently decapitated a German commandant and his driver by booby-trapping a barrier arm so it crashed down on their moving vehicle. Other resistance fighters then gunned down the motorcycle escort; “A satisfying morning” according to Tommy.
His most amazing feat however was still to come. With the battle of France swinging decisively in the allies favour many German units were falling back to defend their homeland. One such unit of 23,000 men and over 1000 vehicles were close to making it back to Germany, and it was Tommy’s job to negotiate their surrender. In a stolen Red Cross vehicle Tommy along with a French officer and a German doctor drove through miles of enemy territory, and despite being engaged by machine-gun fire made it to the Village school house where the meeting with the German commander would take place. As well as bringing (as always) his finest bonnet and Kilt Tommy also brought some fine negotiating skills. He told the German commander he had a radio link directly back to London, and if he didn’t receive his immediate unconditional surrender he would call for RAF Bombers and Heavy Artillery to completely decimate all German troops in the area. Having built a strong reputation for not fucking around the German surrender was swift. However, it was all a complete bluff - Tommy didn’t even have a radio let alone RAF Bomber squadrons on call.
Essentially one unarmed Scotsman brought about the surrender of a 23,000 strong armed unit.
After the fall of France Tommy’s war was still not over. He was sent to repeat all of the above in Italy against Communists loyal to the Yugoslavian leader rather than fascists loyal to Hitler. Again, in a Kilt he waged a guerrilla war against the enemy; and again, a bounty was placed on the head of this “interfering Major”, and again not a single fuck was given.
For his actions during WW2 Tommy was awarded 3 Military Crosses, 3 x Croix de guerre, a Légion d’honneur and a papal knighthood. He eventually became the most highly decorated living member of the British armed forces. After marrying and having three children Tommy would go on to live to the ripe old age of 94.