Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Happy BDay RAF

Way back in the last millenium when Europa still enjoyed fighting among themselves right around WWII time - the naughty Jerries pulled a fast one and out flanked the French, Dutch, Belgium and British armies scattering the Allies, entrapping many and ended up hanging and partying in Paris.

So awesome was this 'sickelschnitt' plan that France freaked and screamed "God! Please! Stop!" and totally surrendered in like 6 weeks. This was unheard of - wars tended to last a lot longer and this panzer und stuka unbeatable combat plan was given the name 'Blitzkrieg' - Teutonic for 'lightning war'.

Hard on the heels of dissing the French in another war, das Deutsches Reich prepped for taking the blitz cross channel to hit Great Britain with a D Day style invasion called 'Operation Sealion"

First bit of Sealion was to drive the British Air Force out of the air, achieve and maintain air superiority then hit the beach and hang and party in London. Easy! Great Britain's army was really hurt - many were captured in France and those who were rescued off the beaches at Dunkirk had to leave all their heavy weaponry behind.

Great Britain's mighty fleet would suffer horribly in an Armada redux at the hands of the wicked Luftwaffe if she attempted (and everyone knew she would) to stop an invasion with no air cover.
It was awful scary looking. Sir Winnie himself pointed out the war was just starting and everything depended on it.

".......the Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin,
upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization, upon it depends
our own British life and the long continuity of our institution and our Empire."

In the summer of 1940, 2,936 pilots took part in an historic battle against the German Luftwaffe that was to become the only battle to be fought entirely in the air (Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001 was a very close 2nd), this battle has become known as; the Battle of Britain.

These brave pilots came from all walks of life, many were trained and
experienced, but most had come from civilian duties to become fighter pilots
with RAF Fighter Command. During that battle which lasted almost four months,
544 of them would lose their lives, many of them killed in action, while others
were never to be heard of again, and officially listed as missing in action. The
Battle of Britain was a prelude to the German invasion of Great Britain which
after just four months had to be abandoned because of the dedication, courage
and tenacity of those 2,936 pilots, who, against a formidable and experienced
foe and against all odds, fought only for success.

The great victory that they fought for MUST NEVER BE FORGOTTEN

And it hasn't. Even today, the spiritual sons of the Few fly and fight in the dark scary places of the world and they carry the torch of Freedom and Liberty. From aerodromes in France nearly a century ago to Basra today, the RAF is the harbinger of hope, free will and the future.

"The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout
the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen
who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger,
are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion.
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Happy 90th BDay Royal Air Force!

From your crazy cousins across the Pond.

(Love the Bikini!)


Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

And to think:

"It all began with string, wood, canvas, a primitive engine and an idea that air power was not just for dreamers"
RAF spokesman David Forsyth

Prime Minister Gordon Brown acknowledged the anniversary saying in a statement:

"On this the 90th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force, the world's first independent air force, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the service for its sterling contribution to the defence of this country and her interests...We are all familiar with their proudest moment in the Battle of Britain, but in fact their commitment and bravery over the whole 90 years are a credit to all those who have served and continue to serve in the RAF...Today, as has been the case throughout the service's history, airmen and women serve on operational duties in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the UK and around the world..."

Glad you posted on this...

Beaman said...

Well said Courtney. I'm very proud of my mother and grandfather who served in the glorious RAF! The Battle of Britain was our finest hour, no doubt about it. The tides turned after that very victory.

There's an RAF museum near where I live. You might have seen the statue that can be seen there in one of my blog posts from last year. Battle of Britain

Uncle Joe said...

There are few machines more beautiful than a British Supermarine Spirfire except maybe an American P-51 Mustang powered by a British made Rolls-Royce Merlin engine... unless of course you were a Nazi dealing with Spitfires over London and P-51s over Berlin. Tee hee!

The RAF has always been one of the world's best air forces since it's formation.

Nice post.

AmPowerBlog said...

Cool post, Courtney!

Skunkfeathers said...

A very fine tribute, and a very fine grasp of history, Courtney!

My late uncle flew one of those P-51s over Berlin, and survived a tangle with an ME-262 (his wingman got one; he got credit for damage before it dove into the clouds and disappeared).

Happy Birthday, RAF!

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Hi Otto. Yeah - it is amazing how the Royal Flying Corps became the RAF. There is a cool movie called 'Flyboys' that is about a group of Americain Voltiguerres who flew for France in the Lafayette Escadrille. Anyway the deal is those early aeroplanes - while cutting edge for the time where incredibly dangerous! So was combat in the air - dogfighting they called it.

The RAF is featured in an ancient film calleed 'Battle of Britain' = one of my faves.

RAF was and still is amazing

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Hi Beaman. Yeah yeah rub it in! Just Teasing! I reckon you should be proud of your bloodline who fought the Luftwaffe (the fiercest air force of all time up til the Battle of Britain) to a standstill. And the commitments they have made during the Warsaw Pact era and now in the new millenium.
Here in Great Satan, we salute Great Britain and her awesome kids in the air.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Hi Uncle Joe - true that. Buddying up the P51 with a Merlin engine (made by the Rolls Royce car company - how cool is that!!?) was 'bloody brilliant.

Did you know that Kelly sketched out the Mustang on a napkin in a bar and 90 days later they were getting cranked off the assembly line like doughnuts?
The allies were blessed with cats who could think out side the box

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Hi Donald, thanks - I wanted to make omage to Great Britain for being there - right there - all the way.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Hi Skunkfeathers. Yeah the ME 262 was really high tech and ushered in the jet age. Very tough to shoot down.

I bet you are really proud of your uncle. What an awesome story to share.

James Higham said...

Thanks for that - it took an American to remember it.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Hi Semaj! thanks for noticing - actually though - like our regime changin' syntax manglin' cowboy in chief says "There's a little bit of Great Britain inside every 'Merican"

I stumbled across it buying a cool RAF T from the RAF website. Just lucky I reckon!

Englisc Fyrd said...

Great post, enjoyed reading it very much!
If you folks are ever over in England or on the continent I'd recommend going to the D-Day museums in Normandy. There is plenty to see there and lots of history regarding the American forces who fought on the beaches.

Right Truth said...

Great tribute. I'm surprised this got past my hubby, he's such a history buff. He must be slipping.

I've been following the HBO special on John Adams. It is a tribute to both the United States and Britain, that after the rocky start in our relationship -- we are stronger than ever. We have stood together time after time against freedom's enemies.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth