The Battle of Britain - Blog Post Graphic

Refocusing Our View of the Battle of Britain.

History is Written by the Winners... Then Re-Written by the Losers!

(...And then, re-re-written by the decedents of the winners, etc, etc...)

Back in the 1970s when I was at secondary school, we covered the Battle of Britain in our History lessons. And by 'covered' I mean that my class was wheeled into the 'media room' and had to sit through Guy Hamilton's 1969 film 'The Battle of Britain'... And that was it!

This somewhat glorified piece of propaganda was very much in line with the British 'official' version of the historical event. Intrepid British pilots - 'The Few' - battling against overwhelming odds and giving Jerry his first taste of defeat in WW2.

To be honest, it was justified propaganda as 'we' (the British) did do well and kinda deserve a good deal of recognition for what 'we' did during this crucial battle. It was a case of all hands on deck, all pitching in together and saving the nation by the skin of out teeth. I can't knock this, especially because my mother - Connie - was right in the middle of all this as she was a member of the ATS and was 'manning' (irony) a anti-aircraft gun site in the middle of London at the height of 'The Blitz'!

Mum, 3.5 inch AA gun and comrades
Above: Mum - far left - and some of her fellow ATS veteran friends at a 
regimental re-union, posing next to a 3.7 inch AA gun. Mum served as
'predictor', targeting enemy aircraft and then was moved onto radar.

(There was a huge number of auxiliary and supporting civilian, civil and territorial and reserve personal involved in the defence of the nation during the Battle of Britain that we seldom hear about. As the battle was about the RAF Spitfires and Hurricanes and took place over Southern England (again, irony). To this day veteran groups representing these forgotten defenders are still trying to get recognition for this in hope that the government will issue a 'Home Front Defence Medal'. Sadly, to no avail thus far and for people like my mother it is now too late as she and many of her comrades has now passed away.)

Meanwhile, Back Over England in 1940...

As I say, even 'we' British - who should be well acquainted with the facts of this important piece of history - all too easily accept the official version of events - like the 1960's movie - to the point where it has become part of the national mythology.

Enter HardThrasher... (Link:

Now, I like to *think* that I am fairly well read and am conversant with the pertinent facts about the battle. I love fighter aircraft and am a 'milgeek' after all! 😉

So when I discovered HardThrasher's new series on the battle on YouTube I pressed play with something of a jaded attitude and thinking 'here we go again' (with the likely intension to watch for two minutes before getting bored and watching some videos about animals doing funny things, or anther episode of Gordon Ramsey instead).

Well, shut the door but HT has something new to say that I didn't expect...

NOTE: Before I make a couple of short comments abut HT's content I must provide a warning. HardThrasher's style of commentary is ADULT in nature, He does not pull his punches about using 'non academic' parlance in describing certain people, events, issues and politics. To say his descriptive style is salty is to put it mildly. But I assure you, this fresh and direct colloquial style is absolutely suitable as it serves to go beyond the usual dusty droning historical style of narration and makes you prick up you ears. You have been warned!

First of all, HT makes some rather jarring criticisms of the British campaign and some of the individuals involved whom we might deem a might sacrilegious given the mythology that has been created around The Battle of Britain.

Blog Post Graphic - The Battle of Britain
Above: The legendary Douglas Bader, hero or a bit of a twat? Or both?

I, like many, have been brought up deifying the likes of Leigh-Mallory and Douglas Bader as the heroes of the RAF's campaign during World War 2. But, HT has some spicey and contentious views on these two larger than life characters and goes as far as speaking the unspeakable in throwing some doubt on the actual usefulness of the legendary 'Big Wing' tactic.

Wikipedia Link: The Big Wing (Opens in new browser window.)

Anyone who has at least a passing knowledge of The Battle of Britain is - like myself - been led to believe that the tactic of 'The Big Wing' was splendid innovation, given that it's chief advocates were Saint Leigh-Mallory and Saint Bader. But HardThrasher certainly opened my eyes to the fact that not everyone at the time thought this was a 'good idea'.

For more informations of this - watch HardThrashers series, or for a potted version check out this Imperial War Museum post entitled 'Was The Big Wing a Bad Idea?'

The Nasty Nazis

The second reason I love HardThrashers approach in his potted history is that - amazingly - he has a very similar attitude to myself regarding how one should handle the description of Nazis... And boy, does he 'describe' them! 

The Battle of Britain - Blog Post Graphic
Above: Hugo Sperrle, the commander of Luftflotte 3.
Not happy with HardThrasher's opinion of him!

I have gotten very fed up with the post-modern revisionist ideas - particularly among a certain segment of the war gaming community - that 'the Nazis were terrific'. Well, at least, some of the things they did - especially when it comes to military innovations an weapon technology - were the best things since sliced bread, according to these nerdy little oinks.

You don't have to look far to find these Nazi apologists, just join any World of Tanks (a computer game) community forum and you will find the little Hitler-lovers singing teh praises of all things Nazi and how there were no better tanks, guns, soldiers, aircraft, etc, etc than Nazi ones!

In fact they oft go on to say that the Western Allies had the Nazis all wrong and that 'we' should have thrown our hat in with them to defeat the real enemy - The Soviet Union.... Yawn.

HardThrasher has no time for 'being nice to Nazis', he uses every occasion to point out their failings - of which (qelle surprise) there are MANY - and to poke humongous hole in the myth that everything German is supremely efficient, organised and the best!

I loved it! You could almost imagine the squirming going on among the Nouveau-Nazi ranks and the spasmatic typing going on as they bash their keyboards in attempts to refute anything vaguely anti-Teutonic! 😂

Ackchually Meme

Put simply I was nearly wetting myself...

In Conclusion

Sorry this has turned into something of a tirade on my part, but my view is simple - WATCH THESE VIDEOS! 

They really will broaden your knowledge of this piece of our national historical tapestry.....

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