Thursday, 20 October 2016

The BBC channels its inner Daily Mail

From the BBC:

Harry Redknapp's wife was seriously injured when she was run over by a Range Rover driven by the former football boss. Witnesses described seeing Sandra Redknapp, 69, get her coat caught under the car as her husband pulled away…

Mr Redknapp, also 69, had been dropping his wife off in Westbourne, which is four miles away from the couple's £5m home in Sandbanks and reportedly didn't realise that his wife was stuck and drove away.

Either his wife was unlucky, he's a poor driver or that was the most badly planned murder attempts of all time. Reminds of the famous quote: … as a German commander said later, and the Allies learnt the hard way, "if you’re going to invade Italy, don’t start at the bottom".


John Miller said...


Mike W said...

I hope it doesn't go to court though. Because the one thing about Harry was that he could never mount a proper defence.

Lola said...

Point of Information. The invasion of Italy from the bottom was deliberate. A very great part, probably the most part, of the strategy was to draw German troops away from the Western Wall and Eastern Front into Italy down the one road and one railway line into and out of North Italy and get them stuck in Italy unable to get back quickly to reinforce the Western Wall / eastern Front. This would be compounded by knocking Italy out of the war, as intelligence showed a lot of her senior figures wanted to change sides, hence forcing the German to deploy more garrison troops.

Furthermore the Italian campaign was supposed to have more left hook invasions up its Western coast in addition to Salerno and Anzio which were impossible because of US intransigence and shortage of landing craft a lot of which the US wanted to reserve for its invasion of Southern France.

So the German officer quoted was entirely mistaken in the purpose of invading Italy and his response shows the success of the strategy.

End of lecture.

Lola said...

Clicking the link was also interesting. I concur that 1942/1943 was the turning point for the Allies in WW2. Alamein, Stalingrad and the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway are the key events.

Also agreed about Auchinleck, Wavell and Montgomery. What the author missed in his justifiable criticism of Churchill's strategic ability was the countervailing influence of Alanbrook(IMHO probably the best commander of WW2 on all sides) who was CIGS at the time. the death of Gott also played into Montgomery's hands.

And furthermore.....Oops. Just realised that this is wildly O/T..

Mark Wadsworth said...

MikeW, good one. Although Redknapp did a sterling job when he was up for tax avoidance, his barrister drilled him to talk about anything but tax, so he chatted gaily about his football career and completely distracted everybody from the question in hand.

L, that was the original idea, but it didn't work very well.

Lola said...

MW. Au contraire. It worked rather well. But as this is wildly o/t I'll stop there...

DBC Reed said...

Wait for the publication of the Hess archive giving details of the deal struck with Churchill which appears to have kept Brit troops out of the way of the Germans in Northern Europe. Supposed to come out this winter, yok, yok (as if).

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, we shall have to agree to disagree. Neither of us were there at the time so we will have to base our opinions on what soldiers involved and historians said afterwards - it was a good idea but it worked nowhere near as well as hoped - the Allies lost/wasted more troops, lives, material and time in Italy than the Germans did.

DBC,yes, Hess wanted to put these proposals to the UK government (mistakenly believing that the Royal Family is the UK government) but the proposals were not official German policy and would never have been accepted by either country anyway.

Lola said...

MW My father was there - Sicily, Casino, Salerno and Anzio, He didn't have a lot of kind words to say about about Mark Clark or Lucas... (Considering where the old man was, and that he was a signaller, I am think I'm pretty lucky to be here...)

Bayard said...

DBCR, Britain's military top brass didn't suddenly get a lot more competent between world wars one and two. Considering that their incompetence in WWI was pretty mind-blowing, it is hardly surprising that we were completely unprepared for WWII. So a more probable reason for keeping Brit troops "out of the way of the Germans in Northern Europe" was that we hardly had enough in the first place and those that we did have had just been kicked out of Northern Europe by those very same Germans.

You keep going on as if Britain was some sort of military superpower just prior to WWII and refused to deploy troops here and there because of some sort of secret right-wing deal between Churchill and the Nazis, when it is much more likely that we were bloody nearly out of the war before it began and didn't have and sort of capacity to deploy military capacity anywhere. Still, I suppose that doesn't fit so well with your narrative. I would agree that all the bungling and incompetence leading up to the war that caused this state of affairs was carefully airbrushed out of history for propaganda reasons. After all, we couldn't have the populace realising that the same type of idiot that caused so many thousands of unnecessary deaths in WWI was still in charge and cocking things up at the start of WWII.

Lola said...

B. I subscribe to the cock up and incompetence as opposed to the conspiracy view of history. Mind you lefties generally seem to revel in conspiracy almost as a hobby. So may be that's what they think everyone else likes to do?

Probably the whole pre WW2 Pax Britannica was a hollow shell. There were certainly not enough resources to defend Empire from another reasonably equipped assault by another industrial power. Japan say.

Mike W said...

Lola, maybe until the early 1930's, any single power but the USA. And Paul Kennedy shows US naval plans at that time were about fighting the Royal Navy not the Japs. General Clark, seemed to ascribe to the American school of strategy, which involves getting yourself unnecessarily surrounded and then wiped out. Was that your father's view of Italy? Overall, if a 'diversion' becomes bloody and expensive, then all you have done, in fact, is open a second front.

Strategy WWII:
Yes, it is complex, Churchill stated he fought the war to defend/save/secure the Empire. So on his own objective list he failed totally.

Military commander:
Churchill's habitual looking at a map and going for a 'soft option'a flank, is destroyed by 'right wing' military historians like John Terraine I recall. NB, Terraine also attacked the 'Donkey argument' by asking you to compare Haig et al, with the German commanders of WW1. (not a first rate Panzer commander like a Rommel, or a Gudarian)

Churchill the British Primeminster in 1940 after the German's had destroyed us in Europe:

Bayard above, agree in large part with this brushstroke. Yes, they were the same mob. But from the Left,when in doubt on this, I seek out Orwell, and he seems to understand the spirit of the British people better than the folks do now, In essence he says, Colonel Blimp, was the central fact in keeping the nation together at this point in history (And then we kicked him out)

Now we are all moving away from what I thought was just a joke thread which would be tough enough nut to crack :)