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Konigsberg First Major Warship Sunk by Air Attack

German light cruiser Konigsberg has the distinction of being the first major warship sent to the bottom by attack by aircraft.

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light cruiser KMS Konigsberg circa 1935. Official US Navy photo.

On 10 April 1940 during the Norwegian campaign, fifteen FAA (Fleet Air Air of Royal Navy) Skua dive-bombers pounced on KMS Konigsberg tied up to a jetty in Bergen Harbour. All fifteen dived bombed the ship. Three bombs hit the Konigsberg which rolled over and sank. Not one British aircraft was shot down.

She was the first major warship ever to be sunk by air attack.

 

source: Narvik by Peter Dickens

 

 

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KMS Konigsberg taken at Swinemunde, Germany, with a sentry on guard in the foreground. The original photograph, from Office of Naval Intelligence files, was dated 1938. However, it appears to have actually been taken earlier in that decade. Note Königsberg‘s searchlights and torpedo tubes. The light cruiser Leipzig is in the right distance.

Murder and Serial Killing: American Psycho and our Psycho Society – Part 1

 

Part 1  part 2  Part 3 Part 4

 

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cover photo of An American Psycho

Just a few months before  publisher Simon and Schuster was about to ship copies of An American Psycho to bookstores, they were confronted with very negative articles and reviews based on pre-publication galley proofs sent to the press. Gory. Misogynist. etc.  Yes, it was, at least that is what a synopsis of the novel said. I never read it since it isn’t the kind of thing I read.

However, based on the negative publicity about the protagonist being a serial killer of women, lots of high-minded people went ballistic. Many said the novel was gratuitously bloody and reflected a hatred of women. Duh.

While the book was published more than twenty-five ago, a war against women and their basic rights as citizens has been occurring and continues to occur in the modern and educated societies West including the US, the EU, Russia and many unenlightened countries throughout the world. The way radical Islam treats women is horrifying although they are not the only religion to do so.

It is ludicrous in the extreme to claim this isn’t so when each day yet another state legislature tries to ban abortion or make rules so complex that abortion is all but impossible.

 

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Patrick Bateman as the serial killer 

Many female editors at the publishing house of Simon and Schuster, which initially acquired the rights to publish for the then not-yet-completed manuscript of American Psycho, were particularly incensed. I understand their outrage. Yet it seems hypocritical given the trash issued each year by every publishing house in America and everywhere else. In a free society you don’t accomplish anything by trying to censor something, you only make it more popular.

Mr. Ellis, author of Less Than Zero a bestseller which was made into a movie, is a very good writer yet the moment the grisly nature of the manuscript became known, he was vilified by lots of people, including his own publisher, who quickly dropped the manuscript.

The publisher was shocked, shocked, to learn that unknown to anyone (except the half-dozen or so members of the firm’s editorial committee, which would have included the most senior editors of the firm including the executive editor and managing editor), their firm had purchased such a tawdry manuscript and had contemplated publishing it. How could such a thing have happened — especially in a publishing firm whose business is buying manuscripts from authors in order to publish them.!!! It’s a mystery.

According to the following article from 18 November 1990

New York Times: A Twice Sold Tale

Simon and Schuster already had bought, edited and was several months from shipping the book to bookstores around the country when pre-publication reviews in several magazines slammed the book for being so gory.

According to the Times, Ellis got to keep his $300,000 advance Simon & Schuster had paid him. Even better for him, his agent sold the manuscript to Vintage Book for a what was thought to be a larger sum of money. The publicity from all of this ensured that American Psycho would be a bestseller which it was.

Spend August Washington DC or Somewhere Else?

Would you like to spend August in the soaring temperatures of Washington DC and its environs? It gets miserably hot and humid in DC during the summer and especially in August. I often see overweight tourists sitting in the sun like so many dumplings and turning pink. Not a pretty sight. So, take my word for it, you don’t want to be here.

Desperately hot tourists in Washington, DC in August find in the wading pool at the World War Two memorial on the mall in DC.

This is against the rules but World War Two was a war to preserve individual liberty and I don’t think the tourists are being disrespectful although the Park Service thinks they are. (You can wade in the reflecting pools between the Lincoln Memorial and the World War Two Memorial).

I’ve interviewed dozens of World War Two veterans and I don’t think they would see this as disrespectful—especially those who served in the North African campaign. They would see it for what it is: the living enjoying the liberty these men died to preserve as well as connecting the living to the dead in the cycle of life.

(Photo by BeyondDC on Flickr)

 

Or, would you rather spend August at Lake Garda in Northern Italy shown below?

 

This magnificent hotel is on Lake Garda in Riva del Garda in Northern Italy. Cool and salubrious breezes would stimulate the creativity of any writer. Someone make reservations for me here, please.

(photos courtesy getawaytravelservice)

I saw these photos on the Weather Channel and decided it would be far preferable to be in one of these places than stuck in DC like I am.

 

california coast

Along California’s central coast, the Santa Lucia Mountains rise in steep cliffs along the ocean, creating a closer-to-home version of a sun-soaked Grecian paradise. McWay Fall is a gorgeous hideaway. (Flickr/Don Graham) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

Alaska's Denali National Park

If trying to climb glorious, ice-capped peaks is your thing, check out Alaska’s Denali National Park. Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America, is the park’s centerpiece. At less than 10,000 feet shorter than Everest, it might be a good (closer) place to start. (Flickr/NPS/Jacob W. Frank) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

Kauai

No need to try to compare Hawaii’s most gorgeous and least-developed island, Kauai, with anywhere else in the world. You may recognize the lush, mountainous landscape as a backdrop for Jurassic Park. America’s own paradise may require hopping on a plane to get there, but the stunning scenery is well worth the ticket price. (Flickr/Paul Bica) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

Because one of the many ways I make a living is as a historian, I will add that Washington DC is so hot that in the era before air-conditioning, British diplomats received hardship pay as they would have in other very hot countries. People have heard of this and have asked me from time to time if this is true. Yes, it is.

 

Playa Flamenco in Culebra Island

Playa Flamenco in Culebra Island in Puerto Rico. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Flickr/Diueine) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

Mount Rainier

 Mount Rainier in Washington state. The ice-capped berg west of Seattle may look like a gentle giant, but it is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. (Photo: Jupiterimages/Thinkstock) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

 

author Charles McCain pointing out how high the drifts are two blocks away. Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA.  winter 2016.

 

Charles McCain is a financial writer, speaker, independent journalist, voice-over narrator, and published novelist. As an 8th generation South Carolinian he often writes about his native region and his Southern Gothic youth.

His first novel, An Honorable German, was published in 2009 by Grand Central Publishing/Little Brown, Ltd./Hachette Book Group. An Honorable German is a World War Two naval epic uniquely told from the point of view of a heroic yet deeply conflicted German naval officer and U-Boat commander in the only such novel ever written. (No one else was foolish enough to spend years doing the research).

You can buy various editions of the book here:

https://tinyurl.com/AHGbyMcCainAmazon

 

One of the Famous Dambusters’ Pilots Was An American

One American Pilot in the RAF Squadron that Bombed Ruhr Dams. they became known as the “Dambuster Squadron”

 

“…chisel-jawed American pilot Joe McCarthy circled over the heart of Nazi Germany’s industrial machine.” (photo taken 1944 courtesy of Joe McCarthy, Jr.)

comment on his American pilot from interview with John “Johnny” Johnson, last survivor of the famous Dambusters from the Bristol Post of 13 May 2013

Photograph of the breached Möhne Dam taken by Flying Officer Jerry Fray of No. 542 Squadron from his Spitfire PR IX, six Barrage balloons are above the dam
Flying Officer Jerry Fray RAF – Chris Staerck (editor), Allied Photo Reconnaissance of World War II (1998)

 

 

Joe McCarthy (right) with his good friend Don Curtin two days after Don had been awarded the DFC in the fall of 1942. Sadly, F/L Donald Joe Curtin DFC and Bar was lost on a raid to Nuremberg on 25 February 1943.

 

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Dambusters American pilot Joe McCarthy

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Then Flight Lieutenant RAF, American Joseph Charles “Joe” McCarthy DSO DFC and BAR, being introduced by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, VC to His Majesty King George VI after the Dambusters’ Raid.

Comments Charles McCain: “Joe McCarthy had made his way to Canada before the USA became a belligerent in World War Two and joined the Royal Canadian Air force. Many RAF bomber crews were comprised of men from different parts of the empire including the Royal Australia Air Force, Royal New Zealand, etc. So McCarthy was officially in the Royal Canadian Air Force but the only way to know that would have been a small patch on the standard RAF uniform which said, “Canada”.

Also, after they completed training and were dispatched to the manning depots, the men self-selected into their bomber crews. On a specific day, the command would put all the different men in their different specialties in one large hanger and they would mill about until they had found a crew they liked. The higher-ups never got involved.”

Harlo ‘Terry’ Taerum (left), Guy Gibson (centre-front) and Joe McCarthy (right).

As the war went on, however, the Canadian Government insisted that squadrons be formed in which the bombers had all Canadian crews. (All Canadian in armed forces in WW Two were volunteers). Of course, the British complied.

Unlike the other self-governing Dominions of the British Empire, the Canadians didn’t want to mix in their men in either Bomber Command or the Royal Navy. They created their own navy, the Royal Canadian Navy. Unfortunately, without the presence of the highly skilled and trained Royal Navy or Royal Navy Reserve or experienced Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve officers, their navy took several critical years to achieve even the lowest level of competence.

After the war, Joe McCarthy became a Canadian citizen and enjoyed a successful career in the Royal Canadian Air Force. You can read more about him here:

http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/s,joemccarthy.html

 

LEST WE FORGET

133 RAF aircrew participated in the Dambusters attack. Of those, 53 lost their lives–a casualty rate of almost 40 percent. The dead were all young men in the prime of their lives. 

Life, to be sure,
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young.

From the poem

Here Dead We Lie

by A.E. Housman

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copyright (c) 2018 by Charles McCain. Posted by writer Charles McCain, author of the World War Two naval epic:

An Honorable German.

SAYS NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR NELSON DeMILLE

“A truly epic and stirring tale of war, love, and the sea. An Honorable German is a remarkable debut novel by a writer who…seems he was an eyewitness to the history he portrays in such vivid detail. An original and surprising look at World War II from the other side.”

To purchase a signed and personally inscribed copy of a first edition hardback go here:

https://tinyurl.com/NewcopyfromMcCainAmazon

then page down to seller Charles McCain

copies including Kindle and Nook click here:

http://charlesmccain.com/