Category Archives: Armed Forces

Tunes on Tuesday ~ Royal Air Force

today is Battle of Britain Day

On September 15th 1940 the Nazi Luftwaffe met the Spitfires and Hurricanes of the Royal Air Force over the skies of southern England.  By the end of the day the Luftwaffe had lost twice as many aircraft as had the RAF.  The Luftwaffe was broken and Hitler called off Operation Sealion, the proposed invasion of England.  Democracy had been saved for the world.

Churchill called the 2,927 pilots who had taken part ‘The Few’, and 510 perished during the battle.  Only one of The Few is still alive today; 101 years old John ‘Paddy’ Hemingway DFC.


jack collier

during the battle the Hawker Hurricane shot down more German aircraft than did the Supermarine Spitfire.

Battle of Britain Day

2020 marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain

On September 15th 1940 the German Luftwaffe launched its largest and most concentrated attack on London

Defending England were the Hurricanes and Spitfires of the RAF

Fighter Command was outnumbered

Ranged against the Spitfire was the bf 109

this action was the climax of the Battle of Britain, commemorated every September 15th as Battle of Britain Day

the memorial flight includes Hurricanes, Spitfires, and a single Avro Lancaster


jack collier



all through the battle and the following blitz St. Paul’s Cathedral remained safe


Tunes on Tuesday ~ Ben Taylor

ask not what your country can do for you
ask what you can do for your country

This song is not what I had intended to post this afternoon, but earlier today, for some reason, my random music player chose to play this track from the thousands it holds in memory.  It’s appropriate.  Even from here in England I can see that America is hurting.  At least know that one Englishman is praying for you.

Please listen with national pride.


jack collier

Semper Fidelis

Enola Gay

on August 6th 1945 the B29 Superfortress Enola Gay
became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb

The Boeing B29 Superfortress was the most sophisticated, complex, and expensive aircraft ever built up to that time.  After Japan’s leaders ignored a demand to surrender, President Harry S. Truman authorised the atomic strike, in order to avoid the millions of casualties expected if ground troops invaded Japan’s Home Islands.  Under the command of Colonel Paul Tibbets the Enola Gay flew from Tinian in the Mariana Islands and released the bomb at 08:15 over Hiroshima.

At that time the B29 Superfortress was the only aircraft capable of carrying the 10,000 or so pounds of the atomic weapons Little Boy and Fat Man the approximately 1,400 miles from Tinian to their targets in Japan, and getting home again.

The Atomic age had begun.

Japan unconditionally surrendered on September 2nd 1945 after a second strike by the B29 Bockscar on the Japanese city of Nagasaki.  More people were killed and injured by the RAF’s conventional bombing of Hamburg than the casualties caused by the atomic bomb at Nagasaki.

Today, the Enola Gay is exhibited at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA.  Bockscar may be seen at The National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB near Dayton, OH.


jack collier     



Containing COVID-19

millions are being wrongly put back into lockdown
because mass testing gives too many false results

The entire effort to contain the coronavirus is a massive waste of time and money.  The greatest impact of all these efforts has been to destroy the global economy, take away our civil liberties, and to hand unimaginable powers to politicians and unelected officials.  Here, the government is even talking about putting the army on the streets of England to enforce lockdown ~ that will end social cohesion for a generation.

  • Closing borders does not work.  Australia had some of the strictest entry rules for visitors and returning Australians, and yet the coronavirus is allegedly rampant in that country.  You cannot stop aircraft from landing with mail and essential imports, you cannot stop ships docking with essential imports and to load exports, and there are always some people who are exempt from the entry restrictions.  (Doctors, Politicians, and Unelected Officials.)
  • The money spent on mass testing has been thrown away.  Here in England the mass testing centres were mostly ignored by the public, there are far too many incorrect results, either producing false positives or false negatives, and people can catch the virus from the testers themselves.  Testing offers no benefit to the person being tested.
  • Recently President Trump stated categorically that lockdown doesn’t work, (at least not when it comes to containing the coronavirus).  A study in New York confirmed that the infection rate was just about the same for those in lockdown as for those still walking the streets and travelling on the subway.
  • The vast millions spent on ‘track and trace’ have been wasted.  Here, one fifth of potentially infected people are never traced, one in four of those traced could not be contacted, and there are no numbers to say how many of those reached actually went into self-isolation ~ not very many I suspect.  Most of the staff in the test and trace centres have so little to do that they play games and surf the web on their official computers all day.
  • Scientific studies from the Netherlands state that face coverings are worse than useless.  Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • It takes decades to even partially contain a virus; the common cold, ebola, epstein barr, flu, HIV/AIDS, rabies, smallpox, West Nile Virus….. are all still out there.  Vaccines have serious side effects.
  • Vaccines have limited effect.  Millions are vaccinated against the flu, but you have to get a vaccine every year because the virus mutates, and you can still get sick from flu viruses that you weren’t vaccinated against.

If you want to know what a real pandemic looks like, as opposed to the coronavirus hysteria, then read about the influenza epidemic of 1918 ~ especially how it affected the USA.  Everything that is being tried now to contain COVID-19, was tried back then, and none of it worked worth a damn.

Some say the people in white coats will save us all, all those under 50 years old anyway.  And that the mad scientists should take over the world.  All I know is that any ‘expert’ who says there is a way to contain a virus once it is in the general population is either a charlatan or a liar.


jack collier

bar your doors and become a hermit

you will get lots of peace and quiet

you can still get the coronavirus

Scenes on Sunday ~ Destruction of Society

our civilisation is under attack from within and without








jack collier

Fascism is rearing it’s ugly head again

state control of everything

Hawker Hurricane


Unlike the beautiful Supermarine Spitfire, the Hawker Hurricane has a stubby, hunched, rugged old soldier, look about it.  Unlike the complex Spitfire, the Hurricane was easy to manufacture and repair.  It also took half as long to refuel and rearm, was easier to fly and more maneuverable near the ground. The Hurricane cold carry heavier armament and was a better gun-platform than the Spitfire.  The Hurricane was simple and tough, and although nowhere near as fast or with a rate of climb to rival the Spitfire, it was an operational go-anywhere, do-anything fighter by the time of the Battle of Britain.  The Hurricane was a workhorse to the Spitfire’s thoroughbred.


Hurricane IV with 4 ~ 20mm cannon

BF109 Bouchon

Bf 109 bouchon

The Hurricane was in the thick of the action well before the Battle ofBritain as part of the British Air Forces in France, with 6 Hurricane squadrons from January 1940.  A further 4 Hurricane squadrons were sent to France when the German offensive began, followed by another 2 on May 13th 1940.  The French Air Force, (Armee de l’Air), was so ineffective in 1940 that on May 14th the French Government then asked for another 10 squadrons of Hurricanes ~ after much heart-searching only 3 more Hurricane squadrons were committed, and these returned to England at night.  In the end, by the time of the Miracle of Dunkirk, over 200 Hurricanes had been lost, many of which would have been repairable had they not been operating from forward air bases in France.  England committed a greater proportion of its air strength to the Battle for France, than the French did, 30% as against 25%, and at such a cost that the Battle of Britain was a damn close run thing.  (The 1969 film: Battle of Britain gives a reasonably accurate account of the battle.  However the Bf 109’s in the film are powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin engines.(Hispano Aviacion Bf109 Bouchon)).

In any form, the Bf109 outperformed the Hurricane except in tight turns at low altitude.

Specification; Hawker Hurricane Mk IIB

  • 1,280 bhp Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
  • Span 40 ft,  Length 32 ft,  Wing Area 257.5 sq ft,  Weight 5,500 lbs (MTOW 7,300 lbs)
  • Maximum Speed 342 mph at 22,000 ft
  • Service Ceiling 36,000 ft
  • Range 480 miles
  • Armament 12 .303 machine guns plus up to 1,000 lbs bomb load

Designed by Sydney Camm and entering service in 1937, the Hurricane was the first of the RAF’s monoplane fighters, and became the first operational RAF aeroplane capable of exceeding 300 miles per hour.   It used the same legendary Rolls-Royce Merlin engine as the Spitfire, which at the time of the Battle of Britain produced 1030 brake horse power.  Eventually the Hurricane would be fitted with the two-stage supercharged Merlin 27 which gave 1635 bhp.  These engines were mounted in a fuselage which had a lot in common with earlier, biplane fighters.  There was an alloy frame to which were mounted wooden stringers and then covered in fabric.  Only the area around the engine had an alloy skin.  Early Hurricanes even had outer wings covered in doped fabric.  Unlike the beautiful, elliptical, wing of the Spitfire, the Hurricane’s wings were simple in design and construction.  This rugged construction was the logical outcome of a long line of Hawker fighting aircraft.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

The thing about the Hurricane’s simple wing was that all the guns could be grouped close together, outside of the propeller arc, and heavier armament could be fitted than the Spitfire’s thin, elliptical, wings could accommodate.  The Hurricane was the world’s first 8 gun monoplane fighter, at the time of the Battle of Britain most Hurricane’s were fitted with 8 Colt-Browning 303 machine guns.  Later Hurricanes could be fitted with 12 machine guns, or 4 20mm cannon, or even with twin Vickers 40mm S cannon and 2 machine guns for use as tank-busters.

Some 1,715 Hurricanes took part in the Battle of Britain, (29 squadrons as against 19 Spitfire squadrons), and between them its pilots destroyed 80% of the Luftwaffe aircraft shot down between July and October 1940.  Sadly, inexperienced Spitfire pilots were known to have mistaken Hurricanes for the Bf 109 and attacked their brother RAF aircraft.  The usual tactic for a mixed formation of Hurricanes and Spitfires was for the Hurricanes to stay lower down and attack the bombers, while the Spitfires flew top cover and tackled the enemy fighters.  Obviously the bombers were the easier target.  However, it is fair to say that this reliable aeroplane has never been given all the credit it deserved for winning the Battle of Britain.  Older and slower than the Spitfire it may have been, but there were more of them.  (Hurricane: Victor Of The Battle Of Britain by Leo McKinstry.)

TRANSPORT Hurricane/Duxford

wrecked Hurricane (photo from Daily Mail)

The Hurricane was a remarkably versatile aircraft.  At a pinch it could be flown as a night-fighter as the wide-track undercarriage made it possible to land a Hurricane in the dark.  From 1942 the cannon-armed IIc operated as a night intruder over occupied Europe.  In the North African desert, tropicalised Hurribombers armed with 4 20mm cannon and 500 lbs of bombs, gave the axis a taste of what to expect from Hawker fighter-bombers.  The Hurricane was supplied to Russia under Lend-Lease, although the 2,952 aircraft delivered weren’t much liked by soviet pilots.  The Sea Hurricane became operational from 1941 and stayed in service for 3 years.

Perhaps the most dangerous, (for the pilot), variant of the aircraft was the Hurricat.  Because of a shortage of aircraft carriers for convoy escort work, some merchant ships were fitted with a rocket-propelled catapult to launch a single Hurricane fighter.  Amazingly, pilots were found for the Hurricanes fitted to these CAM ships.  If all went well, the Hurricane would shoot down the German reconnaissance aircraft shadowing the convoy, and then the pilot would bail out, or ditch in the sea, to be picked-up by the convoy escort.


CAM ship with Hurricane on the catapult

This unpretty fighter was in the right place at the right time.  Early Hurricanes had a wooden, two-bladed, propeller and no armour plating.  But even when these shortcomings were rectified, the aircraft had a limited development potential because of its antiquated frame and fabric fuselage.

The real story is that, without the Hawker Hurricane Britain could have lost the war.


jack collier

One of the few

In the middle of the night

he was spiritual but never religious

Last night, around midnight, I went walking along the beach.  Far out, about at the horizon, something flew past very slowly.

The Royal Air Force doesn’t have spy planes.


jack collier

some say the USAF doesn’t have big ugly fat fuckers anymore either

Battle of Britain Anniversary ~ July 1940

 ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few…..’ ~ Churchill

Hawker Hurricane ~ The First of The Few

Today, here in England we are beginning to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, during which Hitler’s Luftwaffe tried of wrest control of the air over England from the Royal Air Force.  The air battle ran from May to September 1940, when Britain stood alone against the might of Goering’s air fleets, and Nazi Germany had to win this conflict or else eventually lose the war.

Along with the Hawker Hurricane, the more celebrated Supermarine Spitfire bore the brunt of the fighting, with the more stable Hurricane going after the bombers while the Spitfire took on the bf 109 fighters.  Ever after the 3,000 men awarded the Battle of Britain clasp would be known as The Few.

Had the RAF failed during the Battle of Britain, and had England been invaded by the Nazis, then the the whole world would have slipped into the dark abyss of Hitler’s madness.

Supermarine Spitfire and bf 109


jack collier

it was a damn close run thing

Spitfire Ia


Songs on Saturday ~ Cagney

if you can’t sing, can’t dance, then play a gangster instead

Today is the 4th of July, what the Americans call Independence Day.  Funny that we English don’t see it that way.  At least this is a Very American number.

James Cagney, Top of The World, Ma.  Cagney, Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland.

Please listen with some pride in your country.


jack collier


Old Glory and US Marines


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