Top positive review
Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall
16 May 2014
This is an utterly surreal, joyous and irreverent look at Spike Milligan’s time as a young soldier in WWII. This book takes us from the outbreak of war through to the beginning of 1943 when Milligan arrives in Algiers. In between there is receiving his call up papers, endless training – none of which he appears to have had any aptitude for – and his first steps into ‘Show Business’ when he teams up with fellow jazz fans to play at dances.
As Milligan himself states in the introduction, many terrible things happened in the war, but humour helped him cope. The names, whether made up or real, are straight from a Waugh novel – Battery Sergeant-Major ‘Jumbo’ Day for example could easily have been a character in “Men at Arms”. Everything is taken with humour and Milligan is full of wonderfully bad puns – when he finds that, during a romantic tryst in a lorry, somebody drives off with them on board, he returns to his friends who ask where he disappeared to, replying, “I got carried away...”
I am amazed it took me so long to get around to reading Spike Milligan’s war memoirs, but I am truly glad that there are many more books to read.