Tuesday 12 December 2017

Kevin Myers: The Battle of Britain has become a toxic mythology; in fact, it's up there with 1916

Kevin Myers

The continuing, almost hour-by-hour commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain on the BBC begs many questions, but the first is this.

What great country anywhere would have surrendered to the Luftwaffe's attacks in 1940, particularly since Hitler was so desperate not to alienate the British that, initially, he forbade attacks on civilians?

That ban was lifted in September, and the London blitz began: but which of the great European civilisations would have surrendered to such barbaric terrorism? France, who withstood the German invader between 1914-18? Spain, whose profound sense of national honour had been catastrophically proven during the Civil War? But might not Italy have surrendered? Only an ignorance of the extraordinary gallantry of Italian partisans fighting the German invaders in 1944-45 would permit such a falsehood.

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