The Spitfire lost for almost 50 Years | Imperial War Museums

IWM, Supermarine Spitfire Mark 1a, IWM Duxford

IWM, Supermarine Spitfire Mark 1a, IWM Duxford

Built at Southampton in 1939, this Supermarine Spitfire Mark 1a was issued to No. 19 Squadron at RAF Duxford in April 1940. On 10 May 1940, Germany invaded France and the Low Countries, pushing the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), along with French and Belgian troops, back to the French port of Dunkirk. By the end of May 1940, Germany’s…

via The Spitfire lost for almost 50 Years | Imperial War Museums

September 12, 1940 Lascaux Caves – Today in History

Entering via a long tunnel, the boys discovered what turned out to be a cave complex, its walls covered with depictions of animals.  Hundreds of them.  Four teenagers in Nazi occupied France, had d…

Source: September 12, 1940 Lascaux Caves – Today in History

The History Girls: Dunkirk by Julie Summers

I went to see Dunkirk earlier this week. Not the town but the film of the same title written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It is a remarkable piece of art but is it a good film? And is it historically accurate? And does that in fact matter? I went with a completely open mind and was determined to leave my historian’s hat firmly at the door. Trouble is, I went…

Source: The History Girls: Dunkirk by Julie Summers

The Evacuation of Dunkirk, The Evacuation That Saved The British Empire?

The Withdrawal from Dunkirk, June 1940. (1940) (Art.IWM ART LD 305)

The events of May and early June 1940 were equal parts disaster and Miracle. For France, it was a complete disaster – a total military defeat by…

Source: The Evacuation of Dunkirk, The Evacuation That Saved The British Empire?

The Massey Shaw Fireboat – A Brief History – A London Inheritance

Last Tuesday, the 29th December 2015, was the 75th anniversary of one of the heaviest attacks on London during the 2nd World War. I featured this event last year in a post on the 29th December along with one on the St. Paul’s Watch, whose actions contributed to the preservation of the Cathedral when large areas of the rest of the City were destroyed by incendiary bombs.

Along with the St. Paul’s Watch, the Fire Services worked throughout the night of the 29th / 30th December 1940 to prevent the many fires from spreading and to gradually bring them under control. The Fire Services worked at considerable danger from falling bombs, collapsing buildings and the risk of being cut off by rapidly spreading fires.

Through the night of the 29th December 1940 the availability of water was a problem. Bombing destroyed water mains and the many pumps drawing water from the working water mains considerably reduced the water pressure.Hundreds of land based pumps were used and to help with the provision of supplies of water, the London Fire Service’s Fireboats were…

Source: The Massey Shaw Fireboat – A Brief History – A London Inheritance

Illustrated London News May 15, 1943—General Alexander

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THE BRITISH “ALEXANDER THE GREAT”: GENERAL SIR HAROLD ALEXANDER, WHOSE SUPERB STRATEGY IN THE BATTLE OF AFRICA HAS BEEN HAILED BY OUR ALLIES AND BY NEUTRAL STATES AS EPOCH-MAKING.

A second triumph has come to General Alexander; with Montgomery in the field, he planned the campaign that started at El Alamein, and now, as chief strategist of the Tunisian campaign, he has used the men of the Eighth Army, the First Army, the Second American Corps and the Corps d’Afrique with brilliant results. He has completely out-generalled von Arnim and helped to bring about the repaying of the Dunkirk debt.  General Alexander was appointed C.-in-C., Middle East, in 1942, after fighting, as G.O.C., Burma, the brilliant delaying action which saved India by giving us time to reorganise. It was he, too, who was in command at last on the beaches of Dunkirk, and on that occasion as well, no  little credit is due to him as a master strategist. Now these bitter memories will be wiped out, and he has the satisfaction of knowing the enemy are suffering the same as our men at Dunkirk.

Reading the above, which is from my original edition of The Illustrated London News, 15th May 1943, the one thing that strikes me above all is the clue the last sentence gives about the reality of Dunkirk. Only the brain-dead would not have realised that that episode of the war had been an unmitigated disaster.

© Sarah Vernon

Salvaged artefacts from war-torn steamer return to Barry – BBC News

Originally posted on BBC News

The paddle steamer PS Barry saw action during both World War One and World War Two and now, over a century since she left the port after which she was named, some of her artefacts have finally come home.

Originally designed in 1907 for a sleepy life carrying tourists along the Bristol Channel, she was requisitioned by the Royal Navy in 1914 and went on to save thousands of lives not once, but twice.

Surviving both the Gallipoli landings and Dunkirk, she was sunk in a bombing raid off Sunderland on 5 July 1941, and lay undiscovered until 2010.

Now a group of enthusiasts have purchased her salvaged helm, wheel and brass windows, and hope to display them in time for the centenary of PS Barry’s finest hour.

Keith Greenway of the Merchant Navy Association in Barry said: “She started the Great War quite quietly, housing German prisoners and carrying supplies…

See original: Salvaged artefacts from war-torn steamer return to Barry – BBC News.