On this day

  • Today marks the anniversary of the Bounty mutiny in 1789, when Fletcher Christian took the ship and cast Captain Bligh adrift in the Pacific ocean.

    Bligh successfully navigated to Timor, a voyage of 47 days and over 3600 miles in an open boat - a remarkable feat by anyone's standards.

    It's also worth noting that Bligh wasn't in fact the cruel and ruthless captain that history has portrayed him as. He was a superb navigator and seaman, much admired by Captain Cook and eventually made Admiral. He was also exonerated by the court marshall after the Bounty incident.




    https://www.thoughtco.com/napo…ral-william-bligh-2361145



  • On This Day: April 30th, 1980:

    Six armed men entered the Iranian Embassy in South Kensington, taking hostages and beginning a six day, high profile standoff.

    (The details of the Iranian Embassy Siege were reported live, gained international coverage and has been extensively covered in books and autobiograpies. As such, this article focuses only on the actions of The SAS. I say that so readers do not imagine I have intentionally ignored the brilliant work of the police and government personnel, or indeed the courage displayed by the hostages.)

    On the first day of the siege, two teams from the Special Air Service (SAS) were dispatched from Hereford to Regent's Park Barracks where they took up covert positions and began planning for a potential assault.

    As negotiations went back and forth between the hostage takers and the Police, the SAS were busy studying architectural plans, refining their plans, building profiles of the hostages takers and creating access routes into the embassy.

    By the sixth day, the stress of the situation on both sides led to a breakdown in negotiations and shots were heard from inside the embassy and control was signed over to Lieutenant Colonel Mike Rose. At 19:23, Operation Nimrod, the SAS assault began.

    The meticulously planned assault got off to a difficult start as an abseiling SAS trooper became entangled and explosives could not be used for fear of injuring him. They smashed an entrance into the embassy, alerting the hostage takers inside. Shortly after a fire began, severely burning the entangled man, who was cut free and continued the assault despite his injuries.

    At part of the co-ordinated assault, Blue Team detonated explosives on a first floor window, in full view of the assembled television crews who were broadcasting live. A brief, violent struggle took place in which the SAS troopers killed five of the hostage takers and captured the sixth. At the height of the raid, one of the hostage takers produced a grenade in the vicinity of the hostages. An SAS trooper pushed him to the bottom of the stairs where he was shot dead.

    The event, broadcast live, launched the SAS to unwelcome fame, they were swamped with applications and the event exemplified the British governments policy of "Refusing to give in to terrorist demands".

    To this day you can walk into almost any pub in Britain and meet one of the thousands of men who stormed the balcony.

  • The intelligent approach while under such immense pressure, and the admirable resolve and bravery of those who carried out the rescue remind us of what can be accomplished by those determined to do good.


    Are such well executed acts of heroism still a possibility today?

  • Very interesting. The French colony was one of the havens where the Acadians, some of whom later found their way to Louisiana, sought refuge after being expelled by the British from Acadie/Nova Scotia.

  • A hero of mine.

    5th Sept 1982

    Douglas Bader dies



       



    The younger of the two sons of Frederick Bader, an engineer, Douglas Robert Steuart Bader was born on 21 February 1910. At an early age, Douglas was separated from his parents when his father departed to work in India. Unable to travel with his family, Douglas was left in the care of his uncle and aunt, which he enjoyed immensely. In 1917 Frederick Bader died as a consequence of a head wound received whilst fighting as a sapper in France. His mother and step-father, the Reverend E. W. Hobbs, paid little attention to the young Douglas and he was soon sent away to St Edward's Public School where he was soon noted as being an exceptionally gifted scholar.

    In 1928 his uncle, a former fighter pilot and now the adjutant at RAF Cranwell in England, United Kingdom obtained for Bader a place at the academy. Here his outstanding academic achievements and outgoing personality soon led to a desire to learn to fly, to which end he began to allocate a considerable amount of his free time.

    Commissioned into the RAF in 1930, Douglas Bader was posted to No. 23 Squadron at Kenley, England, which was equipped with Gloster Gamecock aircraft. His natural flying abilities were quickly recognised by his superiors but with tragic consequences. On Monday, 14 December 1931, whilst giving an aerobatic demonstration Bader was involved in a serious crash which resulted in the amputation of both legs; and he was invalided out of the service.

    Fitted with artificial legs Bader reapplied for flying duties in 1939 and having been given the rating "exceptional" from the review board was accepted. On 7 February 1940 he joined No. 19 Squadron flying Spitfire fighters.

    Promoted to flight lieutenant, Bader was transferred to No. 222 Squadron as Flight Commander, achieved his first kill, a Bf 109 fighter, on 1 June 1940. Promoted in July, Bader was given command of No. 242 Squadron. A succession of victories during the Battle of Britain resulted in Bader being awarded the Distinguished Service Order on 13 December 1940 and in early 1941 he was promoted Wing Commander, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and given command of the Tangmere Wing comprising three Spitfire squadrons.

    With the RAF now going on the offensive the Tangmere wing was now tasked with making fighter sweeps over occupied France to engage the Luftwaffe in battle. These sweeps had some success but, on 9 August 1941, having shot down two German Bf 109 fighters, Bader collided with a third and was obliged to bail out of his stricken aircraft over enemy territory. His tally of enemy aircraft destroyed had reached 23.

    Captured by the Luftwaffe Bader would be entertained by his German counterpart, General Adolf Galland, before being handed over to the German Army. Even in captivity Bader continued to cause havoc with the Germans which led, eventually, to a transfer to the maximum security prisoner of war camp at Colditz Castle, where he assisted his fellow inmates in frequent escape attempts.

    Bader retired from the RAF in 1946 and took up a senior position with the Shell Oil Company which frequently involved making "Goodwill" flights around the world for the company (often accompanied by his wife Thelma and his dog Shaun). When Bader finally retired from Shell in 1969, aged 59, the company presented the famous ace with a specially adapted Beech Travelair light aircraft. Having flown the world (and having his story made into a successful movie), Douglas Bader finally passed away on 5 September 1982.

  • I think some of it (and this may be controversial) is that many people were and indeed are still not against the idea of an invasion. It's not the invasion itself that Argentine's were angered by but rather that the country was ill-equipped to carry it out at that time. It was viewed as a stupid move by the average Argentine because they knew it was a war the country couldn't afford and would likely lose. I really think they believe the UK is there without merit and if a invasion was neccesary to remove them then so be it. Wanting to do something and not being able to do something are different things.


    I am not very patriotic and certainly not nationalist. I think both have been shown throughout history to be largely foolish endeavors and to be honest, I think both are the preserve of the unintelligent. I have a close family member here who says he would go and fight for Argentina tomorrow if he had to, and would die proud no matter the cause. He sees it as more important than even his wife and kids. Idiot.


    I would fight to defend something I believed in, even for a country if it meant upholding the way of life I have (i.e. against the threat of tyranny) but I will never march under someone's flag for the sake of some imaginary lines drawn by someone who craved power X amount of centuries ago. I see many nationalist (and I mean the worst kind) in Argentina, like saluting the flag with a quasi heil hitler manner.


    I don't know, maybe it's a British thing that we don't really do the deep patriotism thing. Although I am militant in this area and believe even the ideo of nations is stupid as a concept.

  • Well, Happy Trafalgar Day, Brits!


    I just looked back on this thread, and re-read the mention by you, Semigoodlooking , that you find the idea of nations a stupid concept. Although I’d never considered this, I’m curious about the alternatives. Can you expound on this thought?