This morning, for the first time, saw an aeroplane shot down. It fell slowly out of the clouds, nose foremost, just like a snipe that has been shot high overhead. Terrific jubilation among the people watching, punctuated every now and then by the question, “Are you sure it’s German?” So puzzling are the directions given, and so many the types of aeroplane, that no one even knows which are German planes and which are our own. My only test is that if a bomber is seen over London it must be a German, whereas a fighter is likelier to be ours.

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8 Responses to 15.9.40

  1. George~~
    Your deductive reasoning skills even in the face of mortal danger are why you are such a vital asset to the Home Guard.

    Sunday Over Britain …..
    Kesselring makes another great effort against London. He plans two main raids but they cannot be timed to catch the RAF fighters refueling because his strength is sufficiently reduced that he must send the same fighters on both occasions. He can muster 400 fighters but less than 200 bombers in the morning attack. The fighting is very heavy with the Germans being harried all the way to London, then being heavily engaged over London and all the way back to the coast. The bombers are not able to drop their loads with any accuracy at all. The afternoon shows a similar story but the fighter battles are more intense and the bombers bomb nearer to their targets as a consequence. Although the fighter combats have gone about equally the German bomber losses are very severe, bring the German loss for the day to 60 aircraft for a bag of 26 from the RAF. Many more German bombers have been damaged or have crewmen dead or wounded. Their morale suffers as they meet up to 300 RAF fighters in one raid after their leaders have told them that the RAF as a whole has less than this number. Although it is not apparent at the time or for several weeks afterward, this is the last real attempt by the Luftwaffe to destroy the resistance of Fighter Command.

  2. Pingback: Airminded · Post-blogging 1940

  3. Barry Larking says:

    Today 15th Septemeber 2010, a statue has been unveiled in London to AVM Sir Keith Park.


    It only took seventy years to acknowledge this great man. Few indeed.

  4. Stephen says:

    Crews manning anti-aircraft batteries no doubt had a better idea than George of whom to aim for. Though less experience of snipe perhaps.

  5. Max says:

    And still no statue in London to that great man Orwell.

  6. Barry Larking says:

    Max is right, though I doubt Orwell thought much of statues. Indeed he writes about such in one of his ‘As I Please’ columns – don’t ask me to say which. Also in the middle of the war he wrote about how ugly were the supposed great men of the time and proposed, when the United Kingdom more or less was cut off from outside world, more representative types of men of the beligerent powers including a young seaman serving on a U-boat. “At fifty” he wrote “everyone has the face they deserve”.

  7. Backdrop: the maniacal blood-lust of the jostling jubilant spectators punctuated by “It’s not one of ours is it?” when it is obvious just who it is that is falling “slowly out of the clouds.” Orwell’s insertion of a nebulous silhouette of himself in his reportage would pique my interest if I were a psychoanalyst.

    From the MI6 newswire:
    Eric Blair Keeps Stiff Upper-Lip
    “I do it to spite the Blimps, wot?” Blair replied to a persistent reporter. He then kicked a pile of brick chips and [disguising his voice as that of Blackadder’s dogsbody, Baldrick] said, “The Home Guard needs rifles! And ammo! I need a pistol! And a hat!”

  8. Pingback: Orwell’s Diary Entry For Sept. 15th 1940 « Orwell's Dreams

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