Tag: Blown Periphery

The War In Iraq 1941, Part Three

Harried by Churchill, Wavell instructed Major-General Clark, temporary commander in Palestine, to assemble a column. It was to be known as “Habforce” with the orders to relieve the RAF base at Habbaniya. It was very much an ad-hoc unit, cobbled together from any formations that could be spared or found. The military units in Palestine had already been denuded by the requirement to support British operations in Greece and Crete. To say that General Wavell wasn’t exactly brimming with confidence was something of an understatement. He cabled London:

Very doubtful whether above force strong enough to relieve Habbaniya or whether Habbaniya can prolong resistance till its arrival. I am afraid I can only regard it as an outside chance…

Continue reading “The War In Iraq 1941, Part Three”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Military Ghosts – Lincolnshire’s and other Airfields

Blown Periphery, Going Postal

The ending of Len Deighton’s meticulously researched novel “Bomber” is in my opinion some of the most poignant written words to appear in a book. He describes visiting the fictional bomber airfield of Warley Fen, walking up the steps into the decaying control tower and ending up writing a book about it. A visit on Google Earth reveals the remnants of many more than fifty airfields scattered throughout Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire. The buildings may have gone, but the ghostly outlines of runways, perry tracks and dispersals remain. And so according to legends do the spirits of some of the 55,000 young men who died during Bomber Command’s offensive against Germany and the Axis forces.

Continue reading “Military Ghosts – Lincolnshire’s and other Airfields”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

The War In Iraq 1941, Part Two

Blown Periphery, Going Postal

The Siege of RAF Habbaniya

The arrival of the second convoy at Basra caused the Iraqi leadership considerable panic. Rashid Ali continued to pester his newly-found Axis allies for financial and military aid. Specifically, he asked the Germans for captured British weaponry as the Iraqi army was familiar with and had trained on British weapons. The British Ambassador in Baghdad Sir Kinahan Cornwallis, had sent communications to Rashid Ali that Iraqi forces should immediately stop any aggression against British forces in the country and honour the terms of the Anglo-Iraq treaty. Baghdad was now a hostile city and on 29th April 1941, Cornwallis decided to evacuate non-essential British nationals from the Capital to Habbaniya.

Continue reading “The War In Iraq 1941, Part Two”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

The War In Iraq 1941, Part One

Blown Periphery, Going Postal

The battle for oil and survival

By 1941, Britain and her Dominions were fighting alone against the Axis forces. The U-Boat menace was gathering impetus in the Atlantic and the Army was fighting Rommel’s Africa Corps in the Western Desert and German and Italian forces in Greece. While we remember operations such as Battleaxe, Crusader and the battles for Tobruk and El Alamein, the War in Iraq seems strangely forgotten. But the battles of Basra, Habbaniya, Fallujah and Baghdad were as important and perhaps more so. If Iraq had fallen, the British ability to wage total war would have been compromised, because modern warfare is totally reliant in a secure and sufficient supply of oil.

Continue reading “The War In Iraq 1941, Part One”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Postcard from the Algarve (Blown Periphery, GP Competition Winner)

Blown Periphery, Going postal

The approach to Faro Airport’s runway 10/28 is over the sea and during finals, extensive salt pans are visible on both sides of the aircraft. Faro Airport was completed in 1965 and at this time it is something of a building site with extensive work going on inside to cope with the increasing number of passengers. After picking up the hire care we headed west on the A22 to the area around Praia da Senhora da Rocha. Driving is relatively easy and free of the lunacy you find in other Southern European countries.

Justabritabroad was as promised waiting outside a hotel when we arrived. I would really like to thank him for his generosity on firstly providing the apartment as prizes and also for his time and kindness for accompanying my son on two rounds of golf, which he had teed up and for providing the clubs. The apartment was comfortable, well-appointed and well stocked with a get-you-in package of all the essentials such as wine and beer. Naturally. He’s a gentleman in every sense of the word.

Continue reading “Postcard from the Algarve (Blown Periphery, GP Competition Winner)”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

The Angels of Mons

Blown Periphery, Going Postal

The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) had its first major engagement on 22nd – 23rd August 1914. The “Contemptable Little Army” although heavily outnumbered by the Germans, stopped their advance and repulsed them at the Battle of Mons. The Germans attempted to outflank the BEF the following day, causing the British to fall back into a retreat. At the time this was widely perceived as one of the pivotal moments of the Great War and effectively stopped the Schlieffen Plan in its tracks. It also, despite the censorship in Great Britain at the time, proved that defeating the Germans and getting the boys home by Christmas, wasn’t going to be as easy as first thought.

Continue reading “The Angels of Mons”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

War Crimes Part 6 – Morrison’s Story

Blown Periphery, Going Postal
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

This is fiction. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is coincidental. The events outlined have never to my knowledge occurred.

Morrison came down to breakfast and looked at the offerings the Pacific Plaza hotel had laid out for their delectation. He baulked at the fried rice and eggs and knew that misery followed the consumption of the freshly peeled fruit on ice. He settled for white rolls and conserve. Even with the air conditioning, it was getting hot and immensely humid and it had rained for most of the night. He saw Mitchell dressed similarly to himself in a dark suit. Opel Canyon Securities insisted that all of its operatives dressed in dark suits for city business and airport runs, a lightweight linen suit for work in the field. Smart professionalism at all times. He joined Mitchell at the table and ordered coffee from the Philippino waitress, slightly puzzled.

Continue reading “War Crimes Part 6 – Morrison’s Story”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

War Crimes Part 5 – Cynthia’s Story

Blown Periphery, Going Postal

This is a work of fiction and depicts a London that no longer exists. Thank goodness that the nation’s capital is now such a diverse and culturally enriched metropolis of civilization.

On a day in April 1977, the same day that German Federal Prosecutor Siegfried Buback and his driver were shot by two Red Army Faction members in Karlsruhe, a young woman left Tottenham Court Underground Station and walked down Soho Street to Soho Square. The Curzon Cinema on Shaftsbury Avenue was showing “The Eagle Has Landed.” The private cinema on Romilly Street was showing “Swedish Nympho Slaves.” A cold front had moved south with accompanying winds, but the streets were dry and her overcoat blew open. She was wearing a short skirt and diaphanous blouse. The cold wind was nipple stiffening.

Continue reading “War Crimes Part 5 – Cynthia’s Story”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

The Ghost with Wet Boots

Blown Periphery, Going Postal
HMS Victoria
90 degree position

Admiral Tyron was an extremely gifted Royal Naval Officer with a proven career of command, in the peacetime, post-Napoleonic era. On 22nd June 1893 he was Commander of the Mediterranean Station and was on board his flagship HMS Victoria. Tyron was a stickler for ensuring that the Captains under his command carried out the safe maneuvering of ships, particularly in difficult circumstances. Of particular relevance to later events, the memorandum warned commanders that their first duty was always to safeguard their ship (at least, during times of peace) and that should they ever be faced with an order which for some reason might be dangerous, then they should attempt to carry out the intention of the order, but only if it could be done without risk to their ship or others.

On the bridge of Victoria, the coast of Syria was in view and Tyron ordered the fleet into a reverse of course to head west. HMS Camperdown was sailing abreast of HMS Victoria to port at a distance of 1,200 yards. The Admiral’s order was for the two ships to make an inward turn for the fleet to reverse course and to move into line astern.  Admiral Markham on board the Camperdown perhaps unwisely questioned the order, given that the distance between the two ships was insufficient to carry put the order safely. The distance between the two ships should have been 2,000 yards to execute such a manoeuvre.  Admiral Tyron irritably signalled: “What are you waiting for?” Markham reluctantly gave the order to execute a 180 degree turn.

Continue reading “The Ghost with Wet Boots”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

War Crimes Part 4 – A Far-Right Terrorist Hate Crime

Blown Periphery, Going Postal

This is fiction. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is coincidental. The events outlined have never to my knowledge occurred.

The legal organisation does not exist outside of this story. There may be others whose activities are just as questionable as this fictional account of one man’s persecution and the terrible, fictional repercussions. Some of the locations are real.

This is dedicated to Thames Valley Police who in 2004, allowed two women to die and badly wounded family members to be denied medical aid after a shooting at a family barbecue. This was because Thames Valley Police conducted a safety assessment that was more about protecting its officers, than members of society the Force was supposed to serve. It took 67 minutes before police officers entered the property and 87 minutes before paramedics were allowed in to treat the casualties.

Source Stewart Payne Daily Telegraph 7th October 2004. Telegraph

Continue reading “War Crimes Part 4 – A Far-Right Terrorist Hate Crime”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail