About

In any specific action we always have the choice between the most audacious and the most careful solution. Some people think that the theory of war always advises the latter. That assumption is false. If the theory does advise anything, it is the nature of war to advise the most decisive, that is, the most audacious. Theory leaves it to the military leader, however, to act according to his own courage, according to the spirit of the enterprise and his self-confidence. Make your choice, therefore, according to this inner force; but never forget that no military leader has ever become great without audacity.
—CARL VON CLAUSEWITZ,
Die Grundsätze des Kriegführens
(PRINCIPLES OF WAR), 1812
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Classification of officers
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I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent — their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy — they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent — he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.
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Chief of the Army High Command, Hammerstein-Equord.
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And on the Prussian topic, remember that the Germany military was – by tradition – apolitical: simply the sword and shield of the state. And I think we all know how conservative and traditional Prussians are. They simply weren’t philosophers (as Liddell-Hart put it), and were unable to deal emotionally and intellectually with someone like Uncle Adolph. It made them better soldiers, perhaps, but lesser human beings. Maybe that’s the difference between being reared in a democracy vs. an autocracy: subservience of conscience to the state vs. subservience of the state to conscience.

On January 30, 1965, more than a million admirers of Sir Winston Churchill poured out into the streets to say their last grief-stricken good-byes to the great man who had saved all our lives and the civilization we cherish, and whose memory has become part of the heritage of the free world.

Churchill had died six days earlier from a stroke at the age of ninety. Crowds lined the streets in silent respect for Britain’s greatest wartime leader, as a gun carriage bearing his coffin left Westminster and the procession moved slowly through central London for his funeral service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Then 321,360 mourners, including his widow Lady Clementine, his son Randolph, and his daughters Mary Soames and Lady Sarah Audley filed past his coffin as he lay in state for three days. Her Majesty the Queen attended with members of the royal family and the prime minister. Representatives from 112 nations came to the service. Then Churchill’s coffin was piped aboard a launch for a short trip on the Thames to Waterloo, where thousands more met the locomotive named after him. He was finally buried at the parish church of Bladon near Blenheim Palace where he had been born and where his extraordinary career began.

His successful leadership revealed what an extraordinarily talented man he was. And apart from his magnificent shepherding of the free world and the Allied forces in the Second World War, with his inputs into military strategies and tactics and wartime innovations, his skills as an author and an orator, he also possessed several unusual qualities for a politician. He considered the long-term consequences, whereas most politicians know that the electorate wants what it wants right away. That was his one mistake as a politician at the end of the war. And it came about because he was entirely genuine, sincere, and honest. That appealed to the British public, who trusted him and called him “Winnie,” with unusual warmth and affection for a politician. But the electorate are fickle. Even so, Winston Churchill is a hero for all time, against whom the memory of others fades.
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Poor is the country that has no heroes, but beggared is
that people who, having them, forgets…

World War II Myths, Misconceptions and Surprises

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8 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi, first of all excellent website. I would like to know what is the name or origin of the (blue) sail ship on your header I would greatly appreciate it. thanks

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  2. The information on the Halifax bomber may have to be amended.
    Postwar the type had a pannier carrier fitted to carry 8,000 lb. This wa the the C.VIII version.
    It did not carry the 4,000lb cookie. Additional bomb bay restriction was caused by the Radome enclosing the H2S terrain mapping radar. The Lancaster Mark IV had the bomb designed for the larger bombs. Only 10% of earlier types could carry the 8,000lb cookie. The Lancaster bomb bay doors were subjected to a major redesign and the Halifax being a continual headache to fit new equipment. The Stirling did carry the 4,000lb cookie.

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    • Solving problems with later marks
      While Bomber Command planners continued to try to integrate the poor performance of the early Halifaxes into their calculations for the nightly raids, Handley Page designers were still working hard at trying to eliminate or at least reduce the type’s weaknesses. As noted previously, from December 1941 the front and mid-upper turrets had been removed and a new nose fairing fitted under Mod. 398, saving 1,500lb in weight, resulting in the Halifax Mk II Series 1 (Special); the triple fuel jettison pipes were also removed from beneath each wing.
      In August 1942 a more refined transparent nose was produced under Mod. 452. Approved in December ’42, aircraft so fitted became Mk II Series 1a versions and somewhat defeating the whole idea of the change, initial aircraft received a four-gun Boulton Paul dorsal turret. Up went the weight again to 60,000lb and in this configuration the Series 1a could only take around 2,000lb of bombs to Berlin. The slender bomb bay was not suited to the larger weapons being introduced so to accommodate the later 4,000lb `Cookie’, new enlarged doors were designed, while for the 8,000lb `Super Cookie’ (two 4,000lb explosive cylinders bolted together), an enlarged fairing was developed to encase the weapon. The first of these monsters was dropped from a 76 Sqn Halifax during an attack on Essen on April 10/11, 1942; the result is unknown!

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  3. Interesting information indeed. I have a collection of letters, one of the letter writers being Hitler s premier multilingual warrior spy Hauptmann Siegfried Grabert. I have made a 5 minute youtube with interesting information on the contents of three out of a total of around forty letters. Kindly google videos Siegfried Grabert – The Letters – YouTube

    Thanks for sharing
    From Malta

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