Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Film of the London Blitz in colour unseen for 70 years




I always am keen to see film footage from the past that has been left unacccounted on a shelf or a vault. This is from a report last year about actual color footage taken during the Blitz on London in 1940-41. This is not the newly developed computer-generated colorization process imposed on monochrome film, but the real thing!

The advantage of color film I think brings a sense of heightened reality to any documenatry-style footage. These short intervals of amateur cinema remind us that these events happened among people very much like ourselves, tested them beyond anything most of us who are younger could imagine and brings the words and images of wartime to a deeper level of consciousness.

The people shown in this film footage were a small part of the first military loss dealt to the Third Reich. It is, therefore, a critical record I believe of preserving freedom in the Western World.

33 comments:

  1. They were marvellous people, how they came though those tough times with such good humour I don't know. I sometimes go to the R A F museum in Colindale London. I get talking to people who were children at the time. They said, like all children they made an adventure of it. Some found a better life when they were evacuated. This certainly reminds us that we must find a better way to solve our differences.

    At least this film was as it was shot and not coloured at a later date. I do hate old black and white films coloured up.

    Very interesting, Doug, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As a child brought up in Plymouth, born a little more than 12 years after the end of the war, I have memories of relatives telling me of the Blitz. As the home of the Royal Navy in Devon, Plymouth was hit and hit hard often. There were many sites still not rebuilt as late as the mid 60's and places for us kids to explore.

    Many Plymouthians fled the city for the relative safety of Dartmoor and slept in the open with a grand stand view of the hammering the city got. Much of the city was destroyed and what was left was damaged beyond reasonable repair. This resulted in an almost complete redevelopment of the centre which to be frank was not particularly sympathetic and is certainly soulless. The people lost not just many dead and injured, they also lost the heart of what was a great old sea town.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Personally I find this footage interesting but colour film of the Second World War (and before actually) is not that unusual. This did not strike me as particularly high quality, although it may have lost something in the media crossovers. I think this Newsnight item is propagandist in the extreme and also seriously misleading.

    The 'expert' they enlisted for example went on about "the capital" and of course the newly discovered film was shot in London, but my own parents resisted the blitz in Birmingham and Coventry and many other places were also hit, not just the "capital" ....but London of course is where the 'celebrities' like Winston Churchill and the Royals could be found.

    I thought the editing of the images in this item was quite interesting because playing on the monitor were Civil Defence exercises involving the Fire Service (that my mom served in) and the Home Guard (who my dad was an anti aircraft gunner with).......while the voice-over spoke of the blitz but very little footage was shown of the actual bombing, in the background we saw images of people pretending to be wounded, while other people pretended to rescue them. It wasn't the blitz, it was all play acting.

    I'm afraid this is all part and parcel of the war hype the opinion formers would like to foster across the UK, the idiotic patriotism that the BBC imitates like a poor man's Radio Pyongyang on behalf of their MI5 controllers.......So yeah the film is of moderate historical interest but the hype is total bollocks actually in my opinion Doug. I suggest if the young really want to know how war feels they should take a holiday in Pakistan or on the Israel/Syrian border, drones have a lot in common with 'doodlebugs' I think.

    The film is to me most interesting as an exercise in propaganda, but you know us PSYOP watchers we're a right bunch of trainspotting anoraks.... as the old soldiers say here in the Maquis.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I found it amazing that any new footage of this Blitz period is still being found, Marianne. It's like one more piece in a fascinating jigsaw puzzle of a particulr time and place.

    ReplyDelete
  5. They say the rate of depression actually went down for civilians at this time, Cassandra. There is something to being involved in a greater mission that fosters cooperation and unity; the trick I suppose is to get this sense of common effort in a communities large and small without a manmade or natural ongoing disaster.

    It must be particularly interesting to have so many people who were younger at the time , for instance, stil around to talk about the war-time issues like evacuation of children, rationing, et al. These people who are now so much older are the last living link we have to an era which must be remembered if only, as you say, to remind what price there is when leaders ignore the sufferings of those in other nations and that boomerang effect of whole nations geared toward revenge. It's a costly and wasteful cycle.

    Coloured-up films are one of the the banes of my cinematic viewing experience. People who like that sort of thing in feature films do no justice to the work of the cinematographer.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, I don't want anyone to think I'm suffering under the delusion that The Blitz was confined to London, Jim.

    I'm always aurprised how long it took some British cities to recover from the war. In an odd way I'm rather envious of your being able to explore and hide and play around old buildings. But to have through the constant (at times) bombing of a coastal city must have been too much to bear, especially for the old-timers residents.

    So sad to think so much is gone of such a famous place. Thanks for sharing your memories and that background your relatives gave you.

    I'm reminded of the story about a small city in Italy where the director Federico Fellini grew up. One day the townspeople were told the American were going to finance a rebuilding of his town. The major problem was the redevelopment was done in that modern, utilitarian and soulless style. Fellini later made a very personal film called "Amacord" (1973) about his experiences growing up under Italian fascism but he had to recreate the town on sets at a studio in Rome.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's true there seems to be more color film available than one might suspect from the documentaries at least I saw in the 60 and 70's of WWII, AA. To me it highlights a type of "everyday" emergency training that, while not in itself dramatic, gave me a bit more insight, another piece of the puzle as it were.

    Admittedly, i too wish the news reader and the lady historian had broadened their capital-centric commentary. Hopefully other documentaries and books connected to the 70th Anniversary of these events will make up for this oversight to younger viewers and readers.

    Admittedly, a bite of info from a News program is not going to give you the scope of how much cities outside Londo nwere bombed. The usual figure just for civilian casualties in the Battle of Britain alone is 50,000. And any footage of Coventry will tell you right away there was no mercy given to any British city. The amazing thing is that more people were not killed from what I've seen. The even more amazing thing is the resilance of people all over the British Isles who slept in shelters at night or manned anti-aircraft posts or volunteered for assignments that would almost certianly lead to death for months on end. It was not a fairy tale or any of that propaganda mumbo-jumbo that came after the war that made this possible. It was people, plain and simple, wanting to live as they pleased. All the totalitarian might that isolationist wing of American politics (and its cypto-Nazi tail feathers) were so confident would finish the British people made them look like the fools they were.

    And thank you for reminding us that the scenes of destruction from aerial bombing are not to be found in musty old film cannisters. This is all very real right now for children in the places you mentionedt I fear, courtesy of the US Air Force and the CIA. And bombings in urban centers in the Arab and Southwest Asian nations have a variety of groups responding in kind. Is it ever possible to break the cycle I wonder?

    ReplyDelete
  8. But also Doug, the Blitz wasn't like it is portrayed in the provinces either, there was a lot of crime, black marketeering and looting not everyone was keeping the home fires burning.

    Widespread fraud was another consequence of the Blitz. The government agreed to pay compensation for people who had been bombed out. Those who owned their houses and lost them during an air raid had to wait until after the war to receive their full compensation, but they could claim an advance of £500 (£20,000) with £50 (£2,000) for furniture and £20 (£800) for clothes (rough contemporary value in brackets).

    Another major fraud concerned billeting. On the outbreak of the Second World War the government attempted to evacuate of all children from Britain's large cities. Sir John Anderson, who was placed in charge of the scheme, decided that people living in rural areas would be forced to take in these evacuees. The billetor received 10s. 6d from the government for taking a child. Another 8s. 6d. per head was paid if the billetor took more than one.
    Some people continued to claim their allowances after the billetee had returned home. Others stole blank billeting forms and filled them in, so that allowances were drawn for non-existent people.


    Juvenile delinquency massively increased during the war years.Organized gangs were busy all over the country mixing pure alcohol with juniper and almond essences. Others used industrial alcohol and methylated spirits. In May 1942 fourteen people died in Glasgow of acute alcoholic poisoning while drinking hooch. Cases like this were reported all over Britain.


    The US military presence after 1942 exacerbated the crime problems, for example during the war no fewer than 8 (black) US soldiers were hanged in Britain for rape.

    The murder-rate increased dramatically in the war. One interesting case involved Harry Dobkin. He soon realized that during the Blitz so many people were killed in air raids that it was impossible for the police to investigate every death. Victims were buried quickly and very few post mortems were carried out. Dobkin murdered his wife, Rachel Dobkin, in April 1941 and buried her under the ruin of Vauxhall Baptist Chapel, hoping she would be discovered as an air raid victim.

    I think this Newsnight war fest completely misses the point Doug, the Blitz spirit is a media generated fiction, a PSYOP and a fairy tale...........I want to forget it not remember it, there is nothing good or decent about it!

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/united-kingdom/28808-bandits-blitz-crime-wartime-london-bbc-radio-4-a.html

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWcrime.htm

    ReplyDelete
  9. The horror of the noise each evening and into the night is still very fresh in my memory. My mother tried to soothe me - I was just 7 years old in 1940 - saying that it was only the noise of our own guns firing back. The next morning it was forgotten for a while as we went hunting for shrapnel that could be found in the street, front and back gardens and out back by the Yeading Brook. Later in the day we explored the tunnels under the Parks on either side of Pinner. For us the steel trap doors above the tunnelled emergency exit became a Submarine Conning Tower.

    The worst and biggest blast in Pinner came from a land mine which came down on an enormous green parachute and was exploded in the air to cause as much blast damage as possible. Nevertheless, the only damage we suffered was one cracked window from a V2 rocket which hit the Cemetry entrance about a mile away.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow! I didn't realize the extent of the crime that was going on in Britain during the war, AA.

    Some of that material--sadly about the black soldiers hanged for rape--has been covered over here in articles about soldiers in WWII. (It's likely some of the African-American soldiers were falsely accused, as they would frequently be in American courtrooms at the time.) I know the American Army segregated British towns and cities along a color line----giving the black soldiers the worst pick of pubs and other sites in a city over the whites. A full blown race-riot apparently brooke out in the city of Bristol with American MP's cracking heads when some blacks tried to go to a pub or a boxing arena that the US Army had put off limits. (One can imagine what the non-rascist townspeople thought of all this "Jim Crow" mayhem! )

    In one of his essays George Orwell mentions that the Black Americans were the best-behaved group of soldiers in general when they went to town--a reflection of their not being treated as second-class citizens as they were in much of the USA .

    Some black GIs did marry British girls I also read. How that all worked out I'll have to look into. There was an interesting book called "The Boy's Crusade" by Paul Fussell--an ex-WWII Army first lieutenant--that talked about some of these matters as far as GIs in Britain were concerned. The television series "Foyle's War" also did some episodes on the underbelly of crime in wartime Britain, but that was only set in one coastal town Hastings.

    Back in Portland, Oregon, my dad had an older cousin who was a "spiv", although I don't know what the slang was for black-marketeer. This guy used to siphon gasoline out of the newspaper truck he used to deliver paper bundles to kids for their routes during WWII. (Rationing of gas and tires was no joke in those days.)

    This gent would transfer the gas to his private car and take off with a girlfriend on Sundays for a drive out to the coast, about 100 miles round-trip.

    Before the cops caught up to him on that score, said cousin wound up in jail for trying to rob a tavern--or rather first to the prison hospital to recover from taking a load of buckshot from a shotgun to his backside whilst leaving the establishment, with swag in tow.

    Anyway, thanks for the interesting links, AA. I guess that state of affairs explains why this sign was popular with His Majesty's Government during WWII.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for sharing your direct experiences Malcom! I think if I had been 7 or 8 years old I would have done the very same hunting about with my friends. The fun of being an imaginary Royal Navy submariner must have helped in dealing with the terrors of the night raids over your head.

    Needless to say, I'm glad that the closest V-2 your family had was a mile away. Young people like my mom and dad at the time were fortunate to be too far away for the Japanese or German bombers and other viscous rocket contraptions.

    ReplyDelete
  12. And the Americans get bent out of shape due to the 9/11 incident. I don't think this country could stand up to 9 months of bombing. Ironically, though, the blitz saved England because Adolph made a very serious error. He switched from a concentration on military targets, mainly the RAF, to terror bombing and this allowed the RAF to fully recover. Working with radar operators, British fighters could concentrate on German bombers because the main German fighter escourts, Me-109s, due to limited fuel, could not cover bomber aircraft all the way to their targets. I praise the British for the defense of their country, to include the advent of asdic, the forerunner of sonar, to discourage submarines from starving the people of the British Isles. But Britain won a battle in 1940 not a war. In the long run, the superior German armed forces would have beaten them had it not been for the participation of other counties such as the United States.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I agree Stephen. America (as a whole at least) would not have handled the Blitz then or now as well as the British did. We over-reacted, which was part of bin Laden's plans.


    Your analysis of the Battle of Britain and Hitler and Goering's mistakes in targeting cities over air bases makes a good point. Also, the Spitfire and the underrated Hurricane fighter planes were an important factor as well. As well as the improved models like the Spitfire-9, which came out in late 1941 just in time to deal with the new Luftwaffe fighters. (It had a Pratt and Whitney Engine and other American-technology features.)

    It's interesting to read how America and British aircraft companies complimented each other as the war continued, making their respective fighter technology better. The Mustang fighter, as I'm sure you know, had a Rolls Royce engine and that help make it one of the best fighter aircraft of the war.

    You can't take anything away from the core of British society and its response to a war they didn't ask for. (And for the Commonwealth pilots and other flyers from occupied countries who served with the RAF) But the Battle of Britain was, I agree, hardly the whole war. it did make a the war in the West possible and gave the USA greater time to bring its industrial might to bear on the problem of overcoming Hitler's air and later ground legions.

    Imagine if we had had to try and stop Hitler with no bases in Britain. Iceland would have been our "forward post." Would have changed the outcome of the war I imagine.

    And the power and sacrifice of the people of the USSR can't be overestimated.

    Thanks for adding analysis and interesting background Stephen.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "In two years Germany will be manufacturing oil and gas enough out of soft coal for a long war. The Standard Oil of New York is furnishing millions of dollars to help."

    -- (Report from the Commercial Attaché, U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany, January 1933, to State Department in Washington, D.C,)


    I think the thing we should bear in mind when discussing the Blitz (or for that matter Nazi military power generally) is that it could never have happened without the Rockefeller patronage and indeed the massive investment of Wall Street in Hitler's pet projects. Without help from U.S. industrialists, Hitler would have never have been able to wage World War II.

    This is a most fundamental observation for which there is reams of supporting evidence not forgetting of course the lifetime work of British historian Anthony C Sutton whose fascinating studies findings are all to often swept under the carpet, apparently so that the Churchill/ Hollywood version of historical events might prevail.

    The simple fact of the matter that without the collaboration of Standard Oil with I.G. Farben and the crucial ethyl lead connection is what made a mechanised assault by Hitler's fascist hordes possible, not forgetting that the Rockefeller family were particularly famous for their promotion of eugenics and they (and other robber barons) made possible the Nazi experiment, because then as now they were all dyed in the wool fascists.
    http://www.modernhistoryproject.org/mhp/ArticleDisplay.php?Article=HitlerCh04#Fuel

    This actually alters the entire meaning of the Second World War and who the enemy actually was and who were the 'allies'.
    In my view it also totally alters the meaning of the US military occupation of Britain after 1942 and the rest of Europe as an opening gambit in a strategy we are seeing today acted out in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, the Congo and many other places that are the victims of PNAC fascism.

    None of the 'official' history of WWII can be taken as accurate, nor any of the evidence for the official account as 'safe' unless we also add these highly significant facts into the story which has the effect of completely changing the meaning of the events of 1930s and 1940s and especially the view we should take of America's role in the conflict its elite so thoroughly choreographed across Europe and Asia.

    The complicity of the British ruling class is also very well documented but conveniently expunged from the historical record, so it was not only Stalin that airbrushed key players out of the picture...in the post-war Anglosphere this has become a major industry, but it is faulty history in my view Doug!

    ReplyDelete
  15. But you still make the point that "..... Britain won a battle in 1940 not a war. In the long run, the superior German armed forces would have beaten them had it not been for the participation of other counties such as the United States."

    My point is that were it not for the partticipation of the US power brokers and captain's of industry there would never have been a second world war, no blitz, Operation Barbarossa, no Final Solution because all of these projects depended upon the collaboration of US corporations. Here are but a few random examples there are many more!

    General Motors
    • The Nazi connection: GM, which was controlled by the du Pont family during the 1930s, owned 80% of the stock of Opel AG, which made 30% of Germany's passenger cars.

    HENRY FORD, founder of the Ford Motor Company
    • The Nazi connection: Ford, an outspoken anti-Semite, was a big donor to the Nazi party.

    • Helping Hitler: Ford allegedly bankrolled Hitler in the early 1920s, at a time when the party had few other sources of income. In fact, the Party might have perished without Ford's sponsorship. Hitler admired Ford enormously. In 1922, The New York Times reported, "The wall beside his desk in Hitler's private office is decorated with a large picture of Henry Ford. In the antechamber there is a large table covered with books, nearly all of which are translations of books written and published by Henry Ford." (Hitler actually borrowed passages from Ford's book The International Jew to use in Mein Kampf).

    INTERNATIONAL TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH
    • The Nazi connection: IT&T owned substantial amounts of stock in several German armaments companies, including a 28% stake in Focke-Wolf, which built fighter aircraft for the German luftwaffe.

    IBM
    Without the IBM punch card system the Nazi Holocaust would have just been a warped dream

    CHASE NATIONAL BANK (later Chase Manhattan Bank)
    • The Nazi connection: Chase operated branches in Nazi-occupied Paris and handled accounts for the German embassy as well as German businesses operating in France.

    • Helping Hitler: As late as 6 months before the start of World War II in Europe, Chase National Bank worked with the Nazis to raise money for Hitler from Nazi sympathizers in the U.S.

    These are but a few random facts, so you see I cannot agree with your assertion that the US saved Britain or anywhere else, but simply invaded Europe on the pretext of defeating a monster that the real power behind the "American Throne" had created in the first place.

    What sfmystery do you think the British would be grateful for I wonder?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Initially the mustang was fashioned along the lines of a German Me 109Bf. It couldn't contend with it until the Rolls Royce engines were installed. That gave the P-51 the ability to duel at high altitude. It is indeed fortunate that Hitler, in order to insure the preservation of his power insured that the various factions of his armed forces failed to work together. Otherwise, one arm might accumulate too much power. Had he not done this I hate to think what the outcome of the war would have been. America was always ahead with regard to atomic weapons, but Hitler had the missiles, long range strategic bombers able to reach the US, and stealth fighters / fighter bombers on the drawing boards and in prototypes that could run rings around his advanced Comet and Stormbird 262 jet fighters. If these and his best tanks, the Tiger and Panther, had been put into mass production, the allies would have had their hands full. And then there were the larger subs coated with a material that made them invisible to sonar. A few actually got into service.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Had the Germans been able to invade Britain it would have been far from over. The War would have continued from Commonwealth countries and the underground movement in Britain would have been formidable. The latter was well planned and expected.

    Alamein was the real turning point in July 1942.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm quite sure you're right Malcom. The war would have lasted perhaps years longer, and the map of Europe might have looked very different in Britain had been invaded, but the fight would have been far, far from over.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's clear there were advantages to having Hitler so concerned with consolidation of his power Stephen. Your listing of war technologies that MIGHT have played a overwhelming role in 1940-42 had they been fully exploited by Hitler and his Gang at the Top rerepsents a sobering altenative history.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Another point to remember is that there were many factions at work inside Germany with the aim of getting rid of Hitler. Eventually one would have succeeded and who knows what that would have led to. Further if Germany hadn't invaded Russia when they did, then they might very well have succeeded in invading Britain. Russia would then have faced a formidable enemy and they too would have succumbed, thus an early end to the Communist regime.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yes, there were indeed a nember of factions either planning for a coup against Hitler. From what I understand most of which were waiting for hisregine to have a serious setback to act--which by luck or bad judgement of the leaders of the East and Western powers he didn't get. But there were also assassination plansd and attempts as you say.

    One of Hitler's critical errors had to be the June '41 invasion of Russia. This is where his big plans for an expanded German Empire got the better of him. It was amazing the Wermacht got as far as it did, and just as amazing that Red Army and partisan forces counter-attacked under such desperate and incredible circumstances with such might against them.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think I understand this "crux of the matter' you're getting at, AA. I am stressing the political balance of what comes into play when the public sees an overseas crisis looming. It doesn't address the main causes of the looming crisis itself and how to deal with tamping it down in the first place!

    Certain powerful corporation(s) then and now have so much influence over the political system that it certain. I would argue that today its even harder to tell where, say Washington stops and Wall Street and multi-national power begins.

    Perhaps the most insightful (and true and diestressing) statement in the Wikipedia article on the military-industrial complex (MIC) came from one of the chief-thinkers of the National-Secutrity State itself, George F. Kennan:
    Keenan wrote in his preface to Norman Cousins's 1987 book The Pathology of Power, "Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial complex would have to remain, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy."

    I've come to believe that this has been the case for quite some time, long before the 9/11 Attacks. The remarks Bush made to the Argentine leader surprise me for his candor, but, in the end, they cannot be considered shocking. A more provincial man never occupied a position of such global military power in the history of this republic. Military expenditures have skyrocketed despite the fact that no nation-state players threaten the USA as the USSR did. How can one not conclude these actions of the last twenty years have been sustained for reasons other than needed defense.

    Dwight Eisenhower once said: "I want the best military defense in the world for the United States--but not a nickel more!" It's clear such clear thinking, were if ever true even in his tenure, is now wholly fantastical. The corporation now is recognized as an individual by a majority in the US Supreme Court (Citizens United case, 2009 ). Having the same rights as a person, but with the ability to shoulder limited blame and scant regulation thanks to friends in high places. This is never supposed to be ingrained in our laws!


    Perhaps this is not as radical as many critics might think who want to overturn this reactionary step. After all, the Ford Company made a lot of money for both sides of WWII, and I know that the modern speculators are driving up the price of petrol as I write this, even though 9 out of ten of them have no facilities for storing or refining oil!

    It's a very odd and un-democratic world we live in, AA. Part of the reason I'm glad to have so many good responses like yours to these scant blogs of mine. Thanks for devoting so much good material and cogent argument to this discussion.

    I hope we will be able to have a similar multi-faceted discussion with my upcoming blog: "Flash! Colour Footage From the 100 Years War Discovered! See Long Bowman practicing in front of Old St. Paul's." :-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. It's an amazing area which you brought up here Doug I thought I might place in a url if that is ok with you. Mind you I believe that many don't know all that took place during this time. This link may be of service.

    http://wwii.ca/content-5/world-war-ii-epilogue/

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks Jack. Canada's sacrifices in the war are under-mentioned in America. In the most famous if the D-Day movies, for one example, "The Longest Day" (1962), someone told me that Canadian troops aren't even mentioned. I don't recall any Canadian troops featured in the beach landings. I'm pretty sure they are mentioned in Cornelius Ryan's book.

    ReplyDelete
  25. It is pretty well known that Candadian troops landed on Juno Beach. There is a photographs of them landing on Juno Beach from lcl 299 facing page 161 of "Dawn of D Day" by David Howarth.

    There is an eye witness account beginning on page 222 of this book:

    "The pattern of the assault on the Canadian beach had been different, in its successes and failures, from any of the beaches farther west. In one respect it resembled Omaha: the bombardment, owing to the poor visibility, mostly fell inland and left the beach defences intact and the men who manned them shocked but still alive. The weather, on the other hand, had a different effect on the landing. The troops were put in at the right places, but the rough sea delayed the landing craft; the first waves of infantry were up to half an hour late, and of os the specialised armour was even later. As the tide was higher than predicted, and was still rising, the outer lines of obstacle on the beach were under water before anyone arrived at all. There was no chance fo the demolition teams to get to work on them before the tide fell in the afternoon, and meanwhile the landing craft had to take their chance and drive blindly into them or through them. Most of the craft succeeded in reaching the shore, but many were damaged or sunk when they tried to go out, and the accumulation of wreckage added to the difficulties of the later waves.

    The delay had given the defenders extra time to recover from the moral effects of the bombardment, and the Canadian infantry crossed the beach under very heavy fire. On some parts of it, the slaughter in the dash across the sand was as terrible as at Omaha. But here there were no hills behind the shores; the defences were close to the back of the beach, among the dunes or the houses of the villages; and once the Canadians reached them, they very quickly fell. Fifteen minutes after the first attack, the first line of defenders had been killed or disarmed in short furious hand-to-hand battles, and the firing on the beach, as Jim Ashton had found, had died away to mere sniping, and mortars fired at random.

    The tanks and infanctry tore through Courseulles and Bernieres, and only met the first long check to their progress in the meadows and orchards beyond the villages. They were held up there for a couple of hours before they broke out and continued an advance which carried them farther than anyone else on D-Day; and during this delay, more armour and trucks had piled ashore behind them, and a tremendous traffic jam built up in the village streets and on the narrow beach above high water mark."

    ReplyDelete
  26. We should also not overlook what was learned from the Dieppe Raid. See Juno Beach Centre's page here - http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=daphne+rae&sts=t&tn=a+world+apart&x=36&y=12

    The 2nd Canadian Infantry Division took part in this raid in August 1942. Other testing landings were planned but Dieppe was the only one that was tried out.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Malcolm you certainly do know your history. As many do not all but Canada was really working within association with Great Britain and I thought I would place the website in here as Canada along with the allies had done much.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Not when it comes to Victorian political history. But I do find all other aspects of history fascinating, especially when it comes to playing the detective and trying to work out from what evidence we have what really happened.

    An example is the Missing Prince - Twt Ms, who was the eldest son of King Solomon aka Salim Amen III aka in Egyptian Ymn Htp III (Htp = Salim = Peace).

    His tomb was found sealed with King Twt's seal, and empty, so he had to have been moved in King David V's reign. A number of items in King Twt's tomb bear the name of the prince, e.g. his whip and his chest. But the main clue is his chair and the back of that chair has the two names on it - Twt Ms and Ymn Twt Ankh Hek Iunu Shma. There is also a stone Ankh plaque with the same two names linked together. They have to be one and the same.

    BUT, here is the startling bit. Twt Ms died many years earlier, and before the second son, Akhenaten became joint regent with his father Solomon.

    The only conclusion I can see is that the priests of the god Amen (same god people address their prayers to today) RESURRECTED the body of the dead prince and pretended that he had come back to life and returned - after all this was an Egyptian belief. They did this to get rid of Akhenaten up north in his new city where he was treating his Heprew (Creationists) followers like slave workers. In fact all the 18th dynasty rulers were Heprew. Twt is even named God of all Heprew in a cartouche on his golden shrine.

    The Egyptian name for the Ever Coming Son was IUSA or IOSA. This is still spelled exactly the same in Gaelic today for the name of Jesus.

    Empty Tomb, Resurrection - here is the beginning of the gospels and the Anunciation, Conception, Birth and Adoration scenes are even shown in two temples - Denderah and Luxor. Only it was the Virgin Goddess Ahst-MERI who conceived by the Ka or Holy Spirit. Ahst was changed to Isis by the Greeks. The Adoration scene even shows 3 men kneeling and offering gifts in one raised arm.

    St. Ambrose Bishop of Milan in the 4th century referred to Jesus many times as the "Good SCARABaeus". The Egyptian hieroglyph for the word HEPRE is the SCARAB Beetle. So obviously St.Ambrose, St.Cyril and St.Augustine all knew the truth. They were all from North Africa.

    We have masses of evidence proving most of this, particularly the identity of Solomon and his son David (King Twt V). Some of it is in the Kebra Nagast which confirms that Twt was also called David and that his father was Solomon and that his mother was the Queen Etiye.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Most of the people I have spoken to were aware that there was much information being kept from them at the time and that helped to keep up morale. Also, there was the feeling that they had to help each other, so people pulled together. A few spoke of being evacuated and actually having a better life, the the trauma of having to return home leaving friends behind wasn't a good time. They felt this was added stress for their parents, who had expected a joyful return. I'm surprised anyone came out of that war sane.

    The black market was frowned on, but one man said they closed their eyes to it when it suited them.

    One finds many interesting people to talk to at these museums. I'm aware that time pulls a soft rosy gauze over the past, doug.

    Yes, coloured up black and white films, grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sounds like an incredible success after what could have been as bad overall as Omaha Beach initially was. Thanks Callum for sharing that.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm surprised myself about the rate of people holding their sanity in any war-zone, Cassandra. About 20-30 percent of American soldiers returning from Afghanistan are having problems with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). And these are the reported cases.

    The evacuation of children from British cities seems so wrenching. It had to be traumatic on the parents as much as on kids. I think most children are more flexible about change in many ways, so it's not surprising (but informative) to learn there were kids who wanted to stay with their new friends.

    ReplyDelete