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Waiting for D-Day – Marianne Kavanagh on the week before Operation Neptune

Posted on: 18/05/2017 with tags: English History, historical fiction, world war II, WW2

Six days form the structure of SHOULD YOU ASK ME – six days in May 1944 just before D-Day. This is how long it takes 86-year-old Mary to tell her story to William, a young policeman recently invalided out of the army, and for William in turn to confess. With wartime resources stretched to the limit, Mary’s tale of two long-dead bodies is not considered high priority. Only William has the time to listen. Meanwhile, both inside and outside the small rural police station in Dorset, it feels as if v…

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How the Nazis built the biggest hotel in the world

Posted on: 22/03/2016 with tags: guy saville, Hitler, nazis, The Madagaskar Plan, world war II, WW2

Think of the Nazis and what comes to mind? Hitler’s demagoguery and massed ranks of black uniforms? The war? The Holocaust? What you probably don’t think of is package holidays, cruise-ships and beach resorts. Yet the Nazis were at the forefront of modern tourism. Shortly after coming to power they established Kraft durch Freude (KdF: Strength through Joy), a leisure organisation. By 1937 it was the biggest tour operator in the world, organising cheap holidays for over 1.4 million people – as lo…

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The Battle of Britain Memorial Service – by Claire Lorrimer

Posted on: 26/08/2014 with tags: author blog, Battle of Britain, Claire Lorrimer, history, memorial, world war II

Eight weeks ago, I was asked to lay a wreath at the Battle of Britain Memorial on the cliffs above Folkestone at Capel-Le-Ferne. It was an emotional day as I had served in the WAAF – the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force – during the war. Not only had I lost two young cousins in those desperate air battles when we were on the brink  of invasion, but in 1944 the Lancaster bomber pilot I was hoping to marry when the war was over, did not return from one of the dangerous bombing raids when one in five pl…

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The Plum Duffs by Aly Monroe

Posted on: 11/12/2013 with tags: aly monroe, christmas, christmas truce, world war II

I write novels that are historical but just within long-lived memory. Many of my sources have spoken to me of their experiences; it helps me particularly with ‘the atmosphere’ of World War2 and its aftermath. These vary, of course, from the personal – I remember my aunt talking of her learning to draw seams on her bare legs to produce make-believe stockings when no real stockings were available – to larger matters, like bombs and ‘picking up bits of an old lady’ in Alnmouth. One of my sources ha…

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