View Full Version : An Ode to Bomber Command

09-20-2005, 11:41 AM
A few nights ago drinking in the Dirty Fokker, someone put on 'Navigator' by The Pogues.

Well, it's one of my favourites, and I couldn't get it out of my head, so I found myself re-working the lyrics. It helps if you know the original, and are quite drunk.

So, with apologies to Shane,

"The Stirlings and the Wimpies, Halifaxs and Lancs,
They fixed and they fettled, to their aircrew's great thanks.
They never got Champagne, just weak beer in pints;
And they prayed that their charge would return from the fight.

Aircraft fitter, Aircraft fitter, rise up and be strong.
The morning is here and there's work to be done.
Take your spanner and the ratchet, the tap and the die.
For to fix these old birds, so once more they can fly.
Yes, to fix these old birds, so once more they can fly.

They died in their thousands, with no sign to mark where,
Save a streak of burnt grass in a field a-far.
By cannon and flak shell they were ripped from the sky,
So many, so young, and no more will they fly.

Tail gunner, tail gunner, rise up and be strong,
The evening is here and there's work to be done.
Take your 'chute and your ammo, and the bold three-o-three,
For to carry the fight over old Germany
Yes, to carry the fight over old Germany

Their legacy lives in our freedom today.
Rarely heard, rarely thanked, now they're fading away.
By moonlight, by starlight, they charted their way.
For the life we now live with their youth they did pay.

Navigator, Navigator, rise up and be strong,
The night time is here, and there's work to be done.
Take your maps and your stopwatch, and your sextant of brass,
For to bring your crew home safe to England's green grass.
Yes, bring your crew home safe to England's green grass."

09-20-2005, 11:52 AM

09-20-2005, 12:33 PM
Britain owes a big debt to the forgotten heroes of BoB - the bomber command boys who were largely sent to their deaths through use of ridiculous tactics...but who still did their jobs.

A big S! to them...as it's still within a week of BoB day.


09-20-2005, 01:55 PM
Dear Statem,

I have great respect for soldiers putting bravely their lives at risk, especially the guys in those bombers. On the other hand I do have many problems with the terroristic bombing strategy of the Bomber Command, aimed at killing civilians, demolish monuments, and destroy houses and cities to undermine the morale of the population. I live in Milan, and during the British bombings our city had 90% of historical sites levelled (including the Scala theater, the church of Sant'Ambrogio more than 16 centuries old, the Castello Sforzesco and Santa Maria delle Grazie, where the fresco of the Cenacolo by Leonardo da Vinci was the only wall standing), against some 30% of the civil houses. The British Bomber Command tried on August 13, 1943, to create also over Milan the infamous firestorm effect that killed so many in Dresden: half of the city was burning, but the houses in concrete and bricks saved 250'000 people (including my mother's family) from such a terrible fate.

Knowing this, on one side I don't look back in anger and accept the lessons of history, on the other side I personally would avoid to celebrate bombers, in respect of the innocent thousands died under the bombs of Stirlings, Lancs, Halifaxes and Wellingtons.

I have no negative thoughts about the boys in the planes, nor I forget who and why started it all, but I still believe that civilians should never be the direct target of bombings, nor today neither 60 years ago, nor by terrorists neither by people wearing uniforms and sitting in their comfortable desks.

Hope I'm not starting a flame, it wasn't my intention for sure. Just expressing my opinion.

Best regards,

09-20-2005, 01:59 PM
Yep, well, it was an ode to them, not a comment on the job they were asked to do.

09-20-2005, 02:09 PM
~S!~ Insuber!

I respect your opinion. We've covered Bomber Command before in a remarkably civilised thread.

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m...511056053#6511056053 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/8001056053/r/6511056053#6511056053)

Let's hope your wish not to see a flame war is noted, and treat this horrific episode (as I wrote before) as a warning about what can happen when the lunatics take over the asylum.

09-20-2005, 02:13 PM
Salute, Stathem for the sentiment. A full 51% of Bomber Command were KILLED in action--about 51,000 plus of a little over 100,000. Absolutely horrendus, yet they carried on to get the job done.