never was so much owed by so many to so few
Korean war dogfighters
that feeling when you’re not necessarily sad, but you feel empty
Unless you’ve been isolated, alone and lonely, not really allowed to go out, and knowing that there is no true purpose to your lockdown, then you don’t realise that solitary confinement brings about a slow, steady, and inevitable decline to your body, mind, and soul.
I am not as good a man, not as good a person as I was when I entered this government imposed lockdown a couple of months ago. But, I wasn’t fully aware of that until I had a couple of very strange dreams last night. One was about being on Jersey, in the English Channel Islands, when the Germans invaded in June 1940, the other was about needing to leave an important examination an hour early to answer a call of nature.
Both were about being trapped. Both were allegorical ~ telling me to get the hell out of the garret and taste freedom, whatever the fucking government wants. I can see that clearly now.
I am not a number, I am a free man.
Channel Islanders still hate the Germans
and there’ll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover
During WWII the Germans had the overtly sexual Marlene Dietrich singing Lili Marlene, which was the unofficial anthem of the Afrika Korps. We had the wholesome Forces Sweetheart, Vera Lynn. Kind of says a lot about out differing national characteristics.
Dame Vera Lynn is now 103, and she is still almost as big an inspiration to Englishmen of a certain age as is the Queen.
Please listen with respect.
after a girl has pushed an ambulance up a sand dune, she deserves a cold beer
on the 8th of May 1945 the Allies formally accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender
the bf 109, the Spitfire’s enemy
‘This, was their finest hour…..’
Arguing isn’t communication, it’s just hot noise.
Violence is an argument lost.
Most arguments are nothing like a reasoned debate, because usually arguments come about when two people in a relationship have completely opposing and irreconcilable views. Most arguments become heated at some point and degenerate into a flaming row ~ or turn utterly cold and vicious. Seldom does an argument tell anyone anything that they didn’t already know ~ usually arguments are circular and rehash familiar disagreements. And, no argument ever changes anyone’s mind about anything at all. In fact, arguments tend to reinforce existing views as new reasons are found for the status-quo.
Be calm in arguing for fierceness makes error a fault and truth discourtesy. ~ George Herbert
Think of this; you and your partner have opposing views, you disagree, and you argue. In that case we mostly pretend to listen and be open-minded, instead what we really do is try to find weaknesses in his / her position so we can disprove his / her argument. Or, if they’ve just put a dent in your reasoning, you are frantically thinking of some new counterpoint. Open-mindedness and reasonableness doesn’t come into it.
Denial and self-delusion also form a big part of most arguments. Even when we are totally and utterly wrong we are unlikely to admit it, even to ourselves. However, most arguments are not a clear matter or right and wrong ~ black and white is often more like multifarious shades of grey. Mostly there is some right and some wrong on both sides.
A truly calm and informative discussion of opposing views should, in theory, lead to a compromise. BUT, more often than not a compromise is just a situation that pleases neither side. Compromises often leave both sides unhappy, which will lead to future arguments over much the same ground.
Worse than a compromise is to resolve an argument by one side imposing a resolution on the other. The ‘stronger’ imposing their will upon the ‘weaker’, the richer imposing their will upon the poorer, the adult imposing their will upon the child. These false resolutions are usually unjust, which will undoubtedly create resentments, which will undoubtedly lead to more and bitterer arguments in the future.
The imposition of the Treaty of Versailles on Germany after the 1914 – 18 war inevitably resulted in WWII. World War is the ultimate of hot arguments.
Some say that they are honest, honourable, and open-minded. And, that you should always agree with them, because they are always right. All I know is that you may be right, but I don’t agree.
a short Lee-Enfield convinces most people
On the 26th of May 1940 Operation Dynamo commenced ~ the Miracle of Dunkirk
History provides many examples of the British Army being asked to operate under appalling handicaps by the politicians responsible for British policy….. Major General Mason-MacFarlane 15 May 1940
In six weeks from May 10th 1940 the Germans invaded western Europe, defeated the then allied, armies and conquered Belgium, France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. This was the Battle of France.
Because of the supine performance of the Belgians, and subsequent pathetic surrender of most of the French, the British Expeditionary Force, (BEF), found itself beleaguered and cut off from its supply routes, then pushed back into a pocket around the French port of Dunkirk.
The campaign in France and Flanders was lost in Whitehall and in Paris before it ever began….. ~ Montgomery
In stark contrast to the craven Belgian and French generals, who were prone to bursting into tears at times of crisis, the British behaved with courage, fortitude, and stoicism during that most difficult of military operations, a fighting withdrawal while still in contact with a superior enemy.
One cannot belittle the steadfastness of the soldiers of the BEF, their discipline and morale under the most testing circumstances ~ of retreat, uncertainty, and the ever present scourge of the Luftwaffe. ~ Julian Thompson
The BEF fought on as a fantastic plan was hatched to evacuate as much of the army as possible back to England. This evacuation from Dunkirk was given the code name Operation Dynamo.
With the support of the RAF, (Royal Air Force); the Royal Navy, the Merchant Navy, and the immortal Little Ships, the bulk of the men and women of the BEF were lifted from the shores of defeated France and brought safely home to England.
All in all, 338,226 British and Allied troops were landed in England from Dunkirk between 27th May and 4 June 1940. 239,555 were lifted from Dunkirk harbour, and 98,671 were plucked directly from the beaches.
Almost all of their equipment was lost, but the men and women of the BEF were rescued, and that allowed Great Britain to fight on, alone against the Nazi scourge.
We shall go on to the end….. we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender….. Churchill
The Army would not return to France in force for another 4 years and 2 days. Without the Miracle of Dunkirk, Britain would have been defeated by the Nazis, and then D-Day ~ Operation Overlord could not have happened on June 6th 1944, and all of Continental Europe would have spent decades under the sadistic boot of Hitler, and then, after Herr Hitler’s inevitable demise, Europe would have suffered that even worse monstrous dictator, Stalin.
This only proves that English determination, steadfastness, stoicism, and sheer bloody-mindedness are better than Gallic passion ~ on a any day of the week.
An Englishman, a Briton, will never surrender to tyranny from Europe.
Coronia, previously HMS Watchful, one of the Little Ships at Dunkirk, currently undergoing restoration in the marina at my home town
Ninety-Nine years ago today;
on the eleventh hour
of the eleventh day
of the eleventh month
the guns fell silent
From Great Britain and it’s colonies 744,000 were killed in combat, or were missing in action, and 1,675,000 were wounded in the Great War ~ The War to End All Wars.
If I should die,
think only this of me,
that there’s some corner of a foreign field,
That is forever England.
~ Rupert Brooke
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