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Prison Breaks with Planes September 14, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Prison Breaks with Planes

You are in prison and you have a friend with a plane. How can that plane get you out of prison? Well, at Colditz they built a glider in the castle attic; a glider that perhaps fortunately was never used. Then there are the various helicopter escapes, for which Beachcombing recommends an excellent wikipedia page. […]

Bomber Command and War Guilt July 9, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Bomber Command and War Guilt

One of the most terrifying statistics of the Second World War is that more died in planes flying out of British airfields than in British cities. Leaving the US out of this around 60,000 British and Dominion aircrew were killed defending British airspace or attacking enemy territory. About 40,000 British civilians, meanwhile, died in the […]

Spitfires and Radars in 1944 November 12, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Spitfires and Radars in 1944

Beachcombing has a terrible record of not respecting anniversaries. But today, in part to subvert all the 11.11.11 nonsense (has the meteor already gone by?) and in part to assuage his own guilt at not having a red poppy in his lapel (the price of living in Italy) he thought he would remember, through an […]

Image: They Can Because They Think They Can September 27, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Image: They Can Because They Think They Can

As his final tribute to the RAF on the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Beachcombing offers this remarkable photograph from 19 Squadron. 19 Squadron had fought over Dunkirk and spent the Battle of Britain in the front line at Duxford: the legless and incorrigible Douglas Bader was one of her pilots as was […]

Tally-ho: From Fighter Planes to Norman Knights? September 2, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Tally-ho: From Fighter Planes to Norman Knights?

Beachcombing has indulged himself in the last two months with a total of six RAF posts: all in commemoration of the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain. He knows though that enough is enough and thought that he would start to wind down with ‘tally-ho’: he promises no more than a couple new air posts […]

Review: First Light August 30, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Review: First Light

  Beachcombing confesses that he has gone a bit Battle-of-Britain mad in the past few weeks with several posts on ‘their finest hour’ and the RAF generally. His excuse? Well, this is, after all, the seventieth anniversary of the BoB and so he offers here another, a review of his favourite BoB book: First Light. First Light not only […]

24 August 1940: The Night That Hitler Lost The War August 24, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
24 August 1940: The Night That Hitler Lost The War

                        The answer to the question of when the Third Reich doomed itself to extinction depends naturally on whom you ask. Some will tell you Germany’s failure to secure the Mediterranean in 1942 was crucial. Others will point to the invasion of the Soviet Union […]

Biggles Meets the Sandman August 19, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Biggles Meets the Sandman

                    Beachcombing offers a post today on an unlikely WIBT meeting between two writers: T.E. Lawrence and W. E. Johns. Lawrence should need no introduction. He was a British lieutenant colonel who helped foment the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire (1916-1918). And with a self-publicising genius and an […]

Image: First light August 13, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Image: First light

Beachcombing has recently being putting together a series of photographs for his WIBT (‘Wish I’d been there’) series. He decided that he would open this series with an extraordinary shot from the Battle of Britain that teases him out of thought. Four Spitfires are taking off in the morning from an airfield: the early light and the […]