Author Archives: talkinghistory2013

The strange case of Commander Crabb may now be closed

Back on Friday 11th May 1956 we left the British apologizing to Russia over the incident of Frogman Crabb, and three juniors of a department of British Intelligence being moved to other units.  It appeared that the case of ‘Buster’ Crabb was officially considered to be closed. But we asked ‘was it?’ and asked you […]

D-Day and Pegasus Bridge

One of the great films of my time is the 1955 story of ‘The Dam Busters’ – a British 2nd World War film that starred Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd. The film recreates the true story of 1943 when the RAF’s 617 Squadron attacked 3 German dams with Barnes Wallis’s bouncing bomb.  What is rarely […]

Samuel Pepys’ last written words

It was on Friday 31st May 1669 that Samuel Pepys wrote the final entry in his Diary. His nine-and-a-half-year diary keeping was, he said, at an end because his eyes were deteriorating.   His closing words were:- ‘And so I betake to that course, which is almost as much as to see myself go into my […]

Celebrating the return of King Charles II

In 1660, England’s Parliament declared that May 29th each year would a public holiday, “to be for ever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny and the King’s return to his Government, he entering London that day.” The ‘returning King’ was Charles II and the public holiday would be called ‘Oak […]

Evacuate and fight another day

On Monday 27th May 1940 – the first full day of the evacuation – one cruiser, eight destroyers, and 26 other craft were active and Admiralty officers combed nearby boatyards seeking small craft that could ferry personnel from the beaches out to larger craft in the harbour. In this same day the Luftwaffe heavily bombed […]

The Challenge begins

On Saturday 25th May 1940, the Luftwaffe focused their attention on Allied pockets holding out at Calais, Lille, and Amiens.  They did not attack Dunkirk. Calais was held by the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) and surrendered on Sunday 26th May.  On that same Sunday 26th May 1940, at 15:30, Hitler ordered the Panzer groups to continue […]

The Dunkirk attack begins

On Friday 24th May 1940 Hitler paid a visit to Army Group A headquarters and endorsed the order of the previous day. The German forces had captured the port of Boulogne and had now surrounded Calais. The engineers of the 2nd Panzer Division had built five bridges over the Canal Line and only one British […]