Vague ramblings

Per Ardua, Ad Astra

Posted in That which is cool by Ian Cundell on 15 September, 2013

In 1940, throughout Spring and Summer, The Beast was loose.

It rampaged across Europe, one part lightning, three parts tidal surge. It could not and would not be stopped. The Island Fortress would soon fall and Canute’s heir gave it two weeks. It was inevitable.

The men and women in the blue uniforms did not read the script. Where they were supposed to falter and fail, they stood. First, they extinguished the lightning: the howling, diving horror than had sparked panic across Europe was quickly withdrawn from battle in the face of confident and well-equipped resistance.

Then they stood against the torrent.

Day after day it came, and day after day it was met. The relentless surge, the unstoppable flow, pushed harder and harder, only to be broken on the hurricane. And then, in September, The Beast faltered. The Beast failed. It would remain dangerous, lashing and flailing for years, but in that summer The Beast was broken. A shockingly small band of men and women in blue, proving Canute’s heir wrong, stopped and turned the tide of evil.

Today is Battle of Britain Day. If there is any battle that can reasonably be said to have saved civilisation, then the one in the skies of southern England in 1940 is it. If you doubt that, think about a number. There are many measures you could use, but let’s choose six million. Think about the appalling connotations that number has, in the context of the 1940s.

Then think about what that number might have become, had RAF Fighter Command not become The Few, had it not turned the tide.

Per Ardua, Ad Astra.

Pigs Could Fly, by my pal Oscar Windsor-Smith.

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