Customer Reviews


3 Reviews
5 star:    (0)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Second War: A Second Helping of Liddle's Brilliant Interviewing
After about 12 months Pen & Sword managed to publish the second tome (the first reviewed also reviewed by myself) of Peter Liddle's Captive Memories, a defining goal showing his 40 years of oral history.

I shall immediately concentrate on the novelties of this volume. Liddle has given space to certain foreign voices (unfortunately, but obviously no Japanese or...
Published on 7 May 2012 by mangilli-climpson m

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Sorry but I found it lacking.
Published 3 months ago by john stamford


Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Second War: A Second Helping of Liddle's Brilliant Interviewing, 7 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After about 12 months Pen & Sword managed to publish the second tome (the first reviewed also reviewed by myself) of Peter Liddle's Captive Memories, a defining goal showing his 40 years of oral history.

I shall immediately concentrate on the novelties of this volume. Liddle has given space to certain foreign voices (unfortunately, but obviously no Japanese or Russian): two German men, two Polish women, two Americans: one sailor, Clarence Smith of USS West Virginia at Pearl Harbor, one airman, "Tuck" Belton, shot down and worked with the Dutch Resistance,and one Norwegian.

Of this group the Germans are of interest as they show two sides of a coin: Gerhard Kaeppner, a soldier, who served in Holland, Italy, and France, captured in Belgium, sent in captivity in England, liked what he saw, married a local girl and deciding to stay on in the East Midlands; instead, Heinz Migeod, a Luftwaffe pilot, who served in the Mediterranean, was captured in North Africa, interned in Canada, and claimed only on his return to have become a National Socialist. He had only praise for Hitler, denying the existence of the Holocaust, and underlined the war had been started by international Jewry Hitler's War: And the War Path. Of the Poles: one, Manya Stern, was a Jewess, from Sosnowiec, whose parents perished in Auschwitz, she fortunately surviving Sachsenhausen and Bergen-Belsen, and naturally has continued to describe Germans as murderers, unable to forgive them; the second, Maria Jankowska née Fink, became active in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 with the Home Army (AK); felt cheated by the passivity of the Soviets, imprisoned thereafter at Fallingbostel and Oberlangen where as in a fairy tale she was liberated by the Polish forces. The Norwegian, Joachim Ronneberg, a most fascinating account, recounts his arrival and preparation in England for the SOE, in the successful raid at the Norsk Hydro heavy water factory at Telemark The Heroes of Telemark [DVD] [1965].

The book repeated its two sections: the first, on the 1930s with eight contributions much shorter than the second, with almost five times the number. Three of these in the first of Wilfred Shaw, Annie Millar, and Joseph Reck, focused on the difficulties of finding work, and the need to move; two, Humphrey Prideaux, and Peter Hill-Norton, serving in the forces: the first, in the Army India, the second, becoming a naval officer and seeing service during the Spanish Civil War as an observer in 1937 for the non-intervention Nyon patrol. Another, of the ancient landed family, from Rufford Abbey, Notts, George Savile, spent his youth in France and Germany as a preparation to his joining and following in the footsteps of his father into the Foreign Office. Two are political figures: one in the future, young Barbara Anne Betts (later Mrs Castle - Minister in Wilson's Labour Governments), of a socialist middle class family, followed Michael Foot in condemning the appeasers, Chamberlain and Lord Halifax, as the "Guilty Men" Guilty Men; the other, famous at the time, in a question and answer form, is a valuable contribution by Sir Oswald Mosley. Whether one accepts a fraction of his answers recorded in 1977, Mosley claimed he intended to take power through the ballot box, that anti-Semitism was solely a German issue, of no importance either in Britain or Italy, and stressed that Hitler was a "disastrous man", making every political mistake. Most of all, he admitted saying that though he always favoured peace, should Britain have been invaded he would have called on all to fight to the last bullet, and was warned by Hitler as late as 1939 that should he continue in the ways he was operating he would be assassinated (without specifying if it was a warning or a threat, or if the assassins were members of the British establishment or German). Mosley does compare the state of the economy of Britain in the early 1930s with those in 1977: at a moment (not referred to) when the Tyndall and Webster's National Front was on the rise The National Front.

The longer section, this time has been sub-divided: the two longer parts centring on the land war, and the home front; the sea and the air war each comprising five accounts. Of the four British witnesses of the sea war: one, Loftus Peyton-Jones treated Arctic convoys; a second by Vernon Upton, a merchant seaman, recounted his tale of being torpedoed and rescued after 14 days, making an incredible 780 miles; a third, Henry Leach, mentioned the death of his father, Captain John Leach of the Prince of Wales prior to the occupation of Singapore in 1941, and his own contribution, in the cruiser Jamaica, in the attack and sinking of the Scharnhorst in 1943; while Frank Arkle in a ML discussed the St Nazaire raid and his long captivity.

Of the three British pilots: one by the Lancaster bomber, William Reid, dealt with his service before his VC, and his famous exploits in 617 Squadron; the "Cat's eyes" John Cunningham story should be read together with the more technical account by Bernard Lovell; the Battle of Britain ace, "Ben" Bennions' contribution might be seen for his praise of the medical work of Sir Archibald McIndoe at East Grinstead, twice his patient.

In the land war, two cover North Africa: Roland Gibbs (King's Royal Rifles) and Richard Wood (60th Rifles), son of Lord Halifax, in Libya in 1942, the second in particular focussing on his injuries and his bravery in getting used to a new limbless life; one East Africa: Capt Eric Wilson (Somaliland Camel Corps) with his amusing medical report stating his ears were "buggered by Mussolini", and his winning a posthumous VC, something which may have led King George to present the award without a stutter The King's Speech [DVD]; two on Italy: Lt Mike Horrocks (Royal Fusiliers) at Cassino in May 1944 -a useful comparison with Kaeppner's earlier observations against the Poles, and Lt Sidney Scroggie (Cameronians) on the Gothic Line; one on the successes of the Dieppe raid by Commando James Dunning in 1942 in knocking out the battery; one on the SOE in Albania in 1944, where the Communist partisans, under Enver Hoxa, spent their time fighting against the Royalist Zogists, and the Cairo HQ operated by the Communist James Klugman (not Gluckman as was recalled) choosing to ignore unfavourable messages (David Smiley); two on POWs: Chandos Blair (Seaforth Highlanders), survivor of St Valery and escaped from Posen in 1941, James Bradley (RE) captured in Singapore, and worked on the Siam-Burma railway; as well as three shorts: Tony Younger (RE) at Dunkirk, at Courseulles in Normandy in June 1944 where he won a DSO and an injury, and during the Rhine crossing in March 1945; John Killick, with a rare account of counter-intelligence at Arnhem, and Roderick Percy (Home Guard) on "Z rockets" for anti-aircraft defence in Geordie land, and (Royal Signals) in Burma.

The Home front treats the Bevin boys (Frank Robinson), looked down by traditional mining families as a "college boy", whose service continued for four years until 1947; the less pronounced prejudice against conscientious objectors (John Bishop), given harder tasks in agriculture - a worthy comparison with the details recorded in volume 1; a bomb disposal officer in England (Bill Wootton), pity nothing on the Non-Combatant Corps Danger Uxb [Box Set] [DVD] [1979], and on two brilliant scientists: Basil Blackwell. working on torpedoes and depth charges for the Admiralty, and Bernard Lovell in the development of radar: especially in interception radar for night fighters in 1941, H2V blind-bombing system for Path finders in Bomber Command, and the ASV, anti-U boat system, in Wellingtons in 1944. Lovell had harsh comments to make about "Bomber" Harris and scientists.

Peter Liddle has wisely included a vast array of wartime activities now being carried out by women moving away from the traditional women's occupations: in the mills of the North (Irene Broughton), entertainment (Brenda Pritchett), a dance band singer in Southampton, to jobs in uniform: first, the Women's Land Army (Mary Blackmore); next as clerks, Joan Potter, as a WAAF at Coastal Command, and plotters, Fanny Hugill (WRNS), and the Jewish Eastender Patricia Solk, driving BSAs and Nortons as a DR in the ATS. The highest ranking, and most known, Joan Bright Astley, had worked first for MI6, recalling meeting the two Flemings, Peter and Ian, then in the War Cabinet Office under General Ismay, and finally organizing the administration of the international conferences The Inner Circle: A View of War at the Top.

Both Bright Astley and Hugill provide personal observations about their superiors General Ismay and Admiral Ramsay, and other top brass. Monty as is often repeated got the thumbs down by the girls; so surprisingly did General Alan "Brookie" Brooke, with the Americans appearing both popular and gentleman-like. They also got on in a friendly manner with their equivalents from the Soviet Union at Potsdam in 1945 until Stalin arrived and then it was just clamming, coldness and "niet". There was even a fear in late 1944 that war would break out against the Soviets. Incredible how a chance meeting Hugill managed to get her job even in wartime - and without requiring to make use of the wartime saying up with the lark and to bed with the wren! Something which DSC Christopher Foyle of Hasting's police should have tried Foyle's War Series 1-6 Complete Boxed Set [DVD].

The brief introductory notes by Liddle show this historian's passion, his humanity and respect of his contributors.

The book is an excellent accompaniment to volume 1, and professionally compiled, edited and sufficiently illustrated with photos. My final conclusions of the first tome are still pertinent here: anyone wishing to hear the complete recordings and read the typescripts should visit the Second World War Experience Centre in Leeds. They may even think in later years to give up some of their time as volunteers: a worthy contribution to the Centre, and to the community, and a most useful self instructive experience of people and all their many varied treasured experiences.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars These oral histories bring history to life in a way that merely factual accounts cannot, 1 Dec. 2011
Sixteen-year-old Mary Blackmore, who was living in Hull during that city's bombardment by the Luftwaffe in May 1941, has vivid memories of the wartime mood: "Young though I was, I remember morale being excellent ... There was a sort of feeling that we needed to work together and it would work out alright in the end". Mary certainly 'did her bit' by getting a job at Bletchley Park working on top-secret coded messages, and concludes that her wartime experiences "changed my life for always ... I came home a much more profoundly thinking person".

Mary's is just one of nearly fifty oral accounts drawn from personal interviews undertaken by Peter Liddle, president of the Second World War Experience Centre in Leeds. These accounts span the 1930s and the war years, and come from individuals from all walks of life.

Cumulatively they bring history to life in a way that merely factual accounts cannot, and convey the essence of what it really felt like to be young and to be there in those days.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, 4 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Captured Memories 1930-1945: Across the Threshold of War: The Thirties and the War (Kindle Edition)
Sorry but I found it lacking.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews