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  • 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 […]

    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 […]

    A Hitlerian Invisible Library August 9, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    A Hitlerian Invisible Library

                Many documents went missing as the Third Reich came crashing down in flames in 1945, documents that would be of the greatest interest to historians today. What, for example, would a modern museum pay for Hitler’s letters to Eva Braun or his letters, for that matter, to Himmler. Millions […]

    Dowsing for Machine Guns August 6, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Dowsing for Machine Guns

              The desperate straits to which Britain was reduced in the first year of the Second World War and Churchill’s maverick character thereafter, meant that many ideas were considered in the British military establishment, c. 1940-43, that would not normally have been whispered at an old women’s séance. Beachcombing recalls the […]

    Review: The Sledge Patrol July 6, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Review: The Sledge Patrol

                                                  Beachcombing has been delighted at the volume of correspondence for his story about Kurt the last combatant of the third Reich. Kurt though was only one of several score warriors in ‘the […]

    Nazi Kurt captured in Arctic Circle in 1981 June 27, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Nazi Kurt captured in Arctic Circle in 1981

                        Beachcombing has long been fascinated by the last Japanese soldiers to surrender in the Second World War, several of whom crawled around the jungle islands of the Pacific for decades. Indeed, the very last, Nakamura, only came in from the cold in December 1974 after […]

    Totalitarian Trees June 22, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Totalitarian Trees

              Beachcombing learnt today, from his daily graze across the newspapers, that Colonel Ghadaffi of Libya has adopted the Italian village of Antrodoco near l’Aquila [Italian article]. For a moment Beachcombing felt lyrical about the eccentric Colonel and about how much MG has brought to the study of the bizarre – it almost makes the […]

    The Last Cavalry Charge in History? June 16, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    The Last Cavalry Charge in History?

                        It is a long ago Sunday and Beachcombing, aged ten, is playing with his plastic Napoleonic soldiers. In walks Beachcombing’s father with his dangerous pacifist tendencies and pointing to a group of charging cavalry observes: ‘They must have suffered terribly when their horses were shot […]

    Longbow at Dunkirk June 4, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Longbow at Dunkirk

                        Donald Featherstone’s The Bowmen of England was written in 1968 and read by Beachcombing 7 long years ago. He is ashamed to say though – and this reflects badly on him rather than on the author – that the only thing he can remember is […]

    Tibetan soldiers in the Second World War May 31, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Tibetan soldiers in the Second World War

                        Beachcombing has long been intrigued by the following account published in Tribune in October 1944 in Orwell’s As I Please. We know that Greenlanders fought the Germans, that Brazilians attempted to take Monte Cassino… but Tibetans in the Wehrmacht? The mind boggles. Is it genuine or […]

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