a sobering thought

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colonelboris
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a sobering thought

Post by colonelboris »

Just found out that Guy Gibson (who leaad the Dam Busters raid) was only one year older than me when he led the raid. And here's me, just thinking about finishing off a thesis, still in the mindset of a teenager.
It's not just the fact that he was in the raid, but that he'd been in the RAF long enough to become a Wing Commander and be given his own squadron.
Makes you think...
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Alan_F
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Re: a sobering thought

Post by Alan_F »

colonelboris wrote:Just found out that Guy Gibson (who leaad the Dam Busters raid) was only one year older than me when he led the raid. And here's me, just thinking about finishing off a thesis, still in the mindset of a teenager.
It's not just the fact that he was in the raid, but that he'd been in the RAF long enough to become a Wing Commander and be given his own squadron.
Makes you think...
As I recall, any officer over the age of 30 in WWII was considered to be practically ancient: The majority over that age either being dead or POWs.
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WorkMonkey
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Post by WorkMonkey »

Yeah Boris, why don't you have your own squadron?
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Post by m300572 »

There were an awful lot of kids (said he from the advanced age of 47) who didn't make it as far as Gibson. The casualty figures for Bomber Command were so high for most of the war that the statistical odds of finishing a tour were effectively zero.

Heard a piece on the radio this morning about soldiers shot for desertion/cowardice in the First World War - several of them were too young to be overseas legally, having lied about their ages to join up in 1914. The youngest was 17, had been in action and didn't use his age as a defence.

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Post by Alan_F »

Something that annoyed me until recently was how films set in WWII usually had a cast that was far too old to be realistic: In the case of many actors, they were acting out their fantasies of what they didn't do during the war.
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Post by Vlad »

Alan_F wrote:Something that annoyed me until recently was how films set in WWII usually had a cast that was far too old to be realistic: In the case of many actors, they were acting out their fantasies of what they didn't do during the war.
Surely you can't be referring to Richard Todd (who played Gibson in the film)!

Todd served as a paratrooper during the war - with some distinction, I believe.

When the film was made in 1954 he was 35 years old.

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Post by guthrie »

Reminds me of some of my recent reading, a couple of books written before and during WW2 by men who had been through WW1. R Bruce Lockhart and H V Morton both seemed to have confidence in the british youth of the late 30's, which was somewhat heartening to read. I cant find the exact bits to quote though.

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Post by Alan_F »

Vlad wrote:
Alan_F wrote:Something that annoyed me until recently was how films set in WWII usually had a cast that was far too old to be realistic: In the case of many actors, they were acting out their fantasies of what they didn't do during the war.
Surely you can't be referring to Richard Todd (who played Gibson in the film)!

Todd served as a paratrooper during the war - with some distinction, I believe.

When the film was made in 1954 he was 35 years old.
No I didn't mean the likes of Todd. I mean people such as John Wayne, or the dross that was the 'British' war film, in which half the cast are over the age of 40, the Scots, Irish and Welsh are portrayed as gross stereotypes ("Och hoots Jimmy, the Jerries are firin' at us") and the entire film is more about the English Home Counties and London at war than anything else.
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Steven
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Post by Steven »

Alan_F wrote:No I didn't mean the likes of Todd. I mean people such as John Wayne, or the dross that was the 'British' war film, in which half the cast are over the age of 40, the Scots, Irish and Welsh are portrayed as gross stereotypes ("Och hoots Jimmy, the Jerries are firin' at us") and the entire film is more about the English Home Counties and London at war than anything else.
True, but the English are either lovable Cockneys (`Gor blimey guv'nor it ain't nor nothing neither it ain't!'), Cholmondley-Warner types (`I say Grayson - those dashed Jerries have bombed the Conservative Club') or RAF sorts with terrible banter (`Sausage squad up the blue end!')

Of course, with my accent, I would be in the first category. Cannon-fodder Londoners who end up getting shot after going on about jellied eels and singing `Knees up Mother Brown'.

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Post by colonelboris »

You do have to have the token lower classes:
'It's quite alright, sir. It's funny, sir, it doesn't seem to hurt anymore, sir.'
Followed by a faint look of puzzlement on the poor b****er's face and a swift tip over the side of the dinghy.
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Post by Alan_F »

And the Allies must are all either over-excitable types like the Poles in The Battle of Britain) or arrogant snooty types (A Bridge Too Far)
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nix
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Post by nix »

something that has always griped my s/%t, you can join up at 16, i was sent with the royal navy to the golf in 99 and do we didnt have any trouble it was about, im now 24 and in the army having returned from my 3rd tor of iraq were the goverment has desided that you have to be 18 to get there so they wait untill the guy turns 18[if they joined befor] and send them days after there bithday, but thats life the thing that gets me is when there 17/16 and in the armed forces there a target for terroists, can go to other dangerous places yet you cant have a pint in the pub befor you go or or vote for the idiot whos going to send you
im like a bad case of genital warts.
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nev
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Post by nev »

same reason they up'ed the age for heading out to ireland during the troubles, it's bad PR for boy soldiers to be coming home in body bags. i happen to disagree with that policy just as i disagree with women not being allowed into front line units but if thats what the bosses say thats what goes i guess
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