Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Boris Johnson was wrong: Italian bombers did attack Britain in the Second World War



Yesterday, asking Boris Johnson a question about Trump's state visit, Dennis Skinner said:
Will the Foreign Secretary for a moment try to recall, along with me, what it was like as I hid under the stairs when two fascist dictators, Mussolini and Hitler, rained bombs on towns and cities in Britain?
In reply Johnson scoffed:
I hesitate to say it, but the hon. Gentleman’s memory is at fault if he thinks that Mussolini rained bombs on this country.
But Skinner was right and Johnson was wrong.

An article on Military History Now tells the story of Il Duce’s attack:
Oct. 29, 1940, 4:40 p.m. – the Battle of Britain was nearing the end of its 112th day when 16 enemy bombers appeared in the skies over the English town of Ramsgate, Kent.
Air raid sirens wailed as the twin-engine aircraft skimmed the rooftops of the small seaside city. After passing though a cordon of anti-aircraft fire, the bombers released their payloads onto the local port facility. At almost the same time, a lone plane from the group struck a Royal Marines barracks a few miles down the coast at Deal. 
Overall, the raid was largely ineffective — six Allied soldiers died in the attack. For their part, British anti-aircraft batteries damaged five of the enemy bombers. 
Despite the deaths on the ground, the late-afternoon strike was considered a minor raid, particularly when compared to larger, more deadly attacks carried out that same day against London, Coventry and Portsmouth. 
Yet, the Ramsgate bombing is still noteworthy, mostly because the aircraft involved weren’t German at all — they were from the Regia Aeronautica or the Italian Royal Air Force.
And this was not an isolated incident. The article goes on to say:
Although not a major contributor to the 1940 air campaign against Britain, Italy sent as many as 170 planes to take part in the Blitz. In fact, more than five per cent of the 2,500 Axis aircraft committed to the battle were Italian.
It looks as though the history teaching at Tupton Hall Grammar School was better than that at Eton.

2 comments:

Nigel Hunter said...

He also confuseds Hitlers dream of a 'united europe' with the present EU Hitler wanted his state under his control the EU is a number of countries working together for common interest.

Anonymous said...

We were just discussing this, feeling JOhnson was mistaken (as well as being outright rude and disrespectful) and we came upon your blog. I wonder whether it is worth drawing Boris' attention to it and inviting him to apologise or whether he has irredeemably gone over to the Trump school of thinking on war veterans?