It is coming on to Veterans Day in the United States, and Remembrance Day in Britain. Poppies are every where to remind us all of the sacrifices of World War One.
The experiences of soldiers, sailors and airmen of all conflicts are drawn into sharp focus, even as the general public tends to forget what was at stake in the fight in particular in the Second World War; Western Civilization as we know it.
There is, among the British historically, an unspoken understanding that one may likely be called on to serve Queen and Country, and likely die in the effort. The the price of living in the constitutional monarchy is the knowledge you may one day be called to come to it’s defense. The equation reads as this: service to the country stands as the equivalent of freedom and individual liberty.
I have prepared a podcast about some of the aircraft the RAF had at their disposal for offensive operations against Nazi Germany early on, in particular the gallant efforts of Bomber Command.
I blend in some authentic accounts from the men who flew these aircraft, as well as my own memory of a scene from a film about the men who flew these sorties.
One cannot mention Bomber Command without an immediate reference to the elegant AVRO Landcaster and daring raids deep into Germany, flying low to breach river dams supplying the Reich with power.
Instead I wish to focus on the gallantry of men flying missions in lesser aircraft during what was a period of trial and error before that design proved the best the command had to offer.
So I have this podcast to bring the early experiences into sharp focus.
Operation Sea Lion; The Failed Nazi Invasion that Turned the Tide of War, Leo McKinstry
Churchill and Orwell, Thomas E. Ricks
Voices in Flight: Daylight Bombing Operations 1939-1942, Martin W. Bowman
Voices in Flight: The Heavy Bomber Offensive of WW II, Martin W. Bowman
The Battle for Spain; The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939, Anthony Beevor