Category 20th century

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 […]

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 […]

The Battle and Evacuation of Dunkirk 1940

The Battle and Evacuation of Dunkirk in the 2nd World War is also known as the Miracle of Dunkirk.  Over the next few days I want to tell you the story. Our story begins on Thursday 23rd May 1940 when the German Field Marshal Karl Rundstedt ordered his Panzer units to halt, concerned about the […]

East Anglia’s Nursing Martyr comes home

It was on Thursday 15th May 1919 that Edith Cavell’s body was eventually brought back from Brussels to England. The First World War heroine had been executed by firing squad in 1915 for helping Allied servicemen in German-occupied neutral Belgium to escape. After the war, moves were made to bring her back to England.  When […]