It is Memorial Day weekend here in the United States, is the official start of summer. The holiday resembles little in the way of the British Remembrance Day, held there each November 11th. The English have no car sales to mark the event, no barbecues, no catching up on yard work. It is instead a … More War and Remembrance 2018
Occasionally world events bring to the forefront remarkable people who write their experience large upon our own. World War Two, for example, brought out many who may have otherwise lived in obscurity. Poet and Spitfire pilot John Gillespie Magee Jr. was such a man. Born in China to missionaries, his father an American and his … More High Flight, by John Gillespie Magee Jr.
The release of the film Dunkirk this summer recalls the summer of 1940, when Western Civilization itself was held in the balance. Caught in a narrowing perimeter by the Nazi Blitzkrieg, protected by their British rear guard, their French comrades and the RAF, over 300,000 mostly British, but also French, Belgian and even a few … More The Speech After Dunkirk: “We Shall Fight on the Beaches”
As a child we played “war” a lot. And why wouldn’t we? It was on television and in movie theaters. I was also given books about World War II. Somehow the Battle of Britain managed to be among the most talked about event. Perhaps it is our closeness to our mother country that brought their experience … More The Supermarine Spitfire: To Be, Or Not to Be?
Conflict is a constant. Here is a 20th century exhibit. At the end of the Munich Crisis in 1938, a last ditch effort to avoid the Second World War, after all the other concessions had been made in favor of Germany, Neville Chamberlain asked Adolf Hitler to sign a pledge not to go to war … More I have here, from Herr Hitler, a piece of paper.
Winston Churchill – then Prime Minister for less than a month, then gave a taste of his courageous leadership in the House of Commons, June 4th, 1940, following the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk: We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas … More Fight on the Beaches
Democracy’s arm late. Much later than regimes run by strongmen. Because the rate of development of new war fighting aircraft in the 1930’s was a lot like the development of software in the last few decades; pre-war Britain saw lots of entrants to the market, few successes and a whole lot of loss due to … More Albatross of the Battle of Britain
We like to think of the Battle of Britain, now 75 years ago, as all sort of Spitfires and Hurricanes, but the truth is several other aircraft designs had been in production during the interwar period. The crews of these far less than adequate machines, as Churchill called them, faced certain death, but no one … More Not all Spitfires and Tweed Jackets