Author Guest Post: Norman Ridley
Pen & Sword Blog » Military History
by Pen and Sword
16h ago
William Dudley Pelley; An American Fascist ‘The time has come for an American Hitler,’ said William Dudley Pelley while campaigning for the United States presidency in 1936. As leader of the Christian Party, he campaigned under the banner of ‘For Christ and the Constitution’ and went on to say, ‘When I’m president…I’ll do away with the Department of Justice [and form] a Christian government.’ The party’s manifesto called for disenfranchisement of Jews and limitations placed on their rights to employment.2 When the votes were counted, he had won a paltry 1,598 against Rosevelt’s 27,757,333. Pe ..read more
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Author Guest Post: Jan Gore
Pen & Sword Blog » Military History
by Pen and Sword
2d ago
The start of the Doodlebug campaign, 13-16 June 1944 The V1 flying bomb (known to the Germans as Vergeltungswaffe 1, Vengeance or Retaliation Weapon No 1) was a small jet-propelled and unmanned aircraft, a type of early cruise missile. Initially launched from ramps in the Pas de Calais, the V1s came in over the Channel at between 1,000 and 2,000 feet at speeds approaching 400mph. They proved a difficult target to intercept, much less to bring down and destroy. They were very effective weapons, cheap to manufacture and with no need for supplies of bombers, fighters or pilots to support their at ..read more
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Author Guest Post: Matt Merritt
Pen & Sword Blog » Military History
by Pen and Sword
3d ago
The Commonwealth Division Athletics Meeting, Korea 19 June 1953 In June 1953, during the Korean War, my father Frank Merritt was posted to the 1 Commonwealth Division. He was a Royal Engineer and war photographer. Frank quickly discovered the arduous terrain of Korea that he was to be working in, demanded peak physical fitness. This would be achieved through vigorous training. To encourage this and create a good working relationship among the international mix of regiments making up the 1 Commonwealth Division, a range of sporting activities was organised. Soldiers, from regiments rotated off ..read more
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Author Guest Post: Bryan Lightbody
Pen & Sword Blog » Military History
by Pen and Sword
3d ago
This second blog of the D-Day commemorative period, is a very abridged overview of the amazing life of Captain Robert Marcel Charles Benoist, French L’Armee de l’air pilot in WW1 and Special Operations Executive Agent WW2. He waqs a tenacious racing car driver during the interwar period, born in in Rambouillet outside of Paris. There are many facets to the life of Robert Benoist – Grand Prix champion, Le Mans winner, World War One fighter pilot and World War Two resistance hero. He was a truly remarkable character who ultimately gave his life in the service of his occupied country. Benoist’s c ..read more
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Author Guest Post: Ben Skipper
Pen & Sword Blog » Military History
by Pen and Sword
3d ago
There would have been no justice if I had left Boeing’s Fortress story incomplete and not gently pushed to write the history of the final ‘Fortress, the B-52 Stratofortress. On 15 April 1952, the B-52 made its first flight, a staggering 72 years ago and nearly 17 years after the B-17s first flight. With the design of the B-52, Boeing appeared to take the most successful elements, and more favourable experiences gleaned from its B-17, B29/B-50 and B-47 aircraft created something truly remarkable. Indeed, of the three Fortresses, the B-52 was the acme of the Very Heavy Bomber doctrine manifest ..read more
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Author Guest Post: Bryan Lightbody
Pen & Sword Blog » Military History
by Pen and Sword
1w ago
It is the first part of June, and it may be a few days late, but it seems appropriate to commemorate the life of racing driver and D-Day veteran Ken Miles. One of the protagonists of the movie ‘Le Mans ‘66’ or also titled ‘Ford Vs Ferrari’, the story of how in partnership with Carroll Shelby and the Ford Motor Company, Ford dominated the Le Mans 24 Hour race during the second half of the 1960s. With my interest and enthusiasm for historic motorsport and military history, Shelby and Miles were the inspiration to create the book ‘Motorsport’s Military Heroes’ along with Murray Walker, Raymond Ba ..read more
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Author Guest Post: Philip Hamlyn Williams
Pen & Sword Blog » Military History
by Pen and Sword
1w ago
Preparing for D Day Preparations for D Day surely began with the evacuation of Dunkirk; if Hitler was to be defeated, an invasion would be required. An early date for the start of preparations for D Day is evidenced by the Pluto and Mulberry projects where a young Naval officer, Louis Mountbatten, was tasked with the identification of issues to be addressed. One such was just how an invading army would be equipped. On 25 June 1940 two men met by chance in the War Office. They had both served in the Army Ordnance Corps during the Great War (The AOC became the RAOC in 1918). Colonel Bill William ..read more
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Author Guest Post: David Buttery
Pen & Sword Blog » Military History
by Pen and Sword
3w ago
NAPOLEONIC PARIS TOUR Everyone should see Paris, which is a ‘historian’s dream’ as the location of a vast number of fascinating sites relevant to many historical periods. My Napoleon’s Paris guidebook is designed to help tourists interested in Napoleon navigate around the capital of his First French Empire but it is also intended to assist tour guides to show their guests the best Paris can offer. I acted as a tour guide on the Waterloo Association’s International Trip 12-15 April 2024 with interesting results this year. Admiral Decre’s tomb This three day trip became a whirlwind of activity a ..read more
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Author Guest Post: Norman Ridley
Pen & Sword Blog » Military History
by Pen and Sword
3w ago
Arno Breker 19 July 1900 – 13 February 1991 Arno Breker studied at the Düsseldorf Academy of Arts and later went on to study and live in Paris, where he met artists such as Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso, and established a fine reputation for himself. The French classicist sculptor Aristide Maillot called Breker the German Michelangelo. He returned to live in Germany in 1932, having won a prize from the Prussian Ministry of Culture. Unfortunately, his work was not sufficiently Völkisch for Alfred Rosenberg, who railed against him in pages of the Völkischer Beobachter for his close association ..read more
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Author Guest Post: Norman Ridley
Pen & Sword Blog » Military History
by Pen and Sword
1M ago
Leni Riefenstahl Helene Amalie Bertha Riefenstahl was born in Berlin on 22 August 1902. She was a strong-featured attractive child with all the characteristics that would later see her take to the screen as an accomplished actor, but before that she trained as a ballet dancer. It was while dancing on stage that she first came to the attention of the film producer Arnold Fanck who was famous for his stunning filming of alpine landscapes. Leni acted in several of his films shot on location, becoming an accomplished climber and skier in the process. Not without mishap, however, as she fractured ..read more
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