Let's start with lastnight. I gave out a few presents to my fellow parrots. Also Unguis (seen here in the photo) and Lapwin, who both helped lots with the EMC (unguis still does). The present? A bottle of spitfire beer from the brewery in my home town of Faversham. Everyone likes the bottles so much many remain untouched, waiting to travel home to live on a mantelpiece. Clearly ung wanted a taste first :-)
This morning was visit to the Museum time. The transport provided was a little unexpected, especially for our two American parrots who used to go to school in a bus just like this. It belongs to the museum and they used it to collect us as we were a large group.
The museum (Wings to Liberation, in a town called "Best") itself was impressive. It began as a collection of Market Garden related memorabilia and has grown to include several other things. They've been doing lots of work recently on the exhibits and made a very nice job converting the old vehicle garages of the site. I've always felt a museum is better with a guided tour and Jac, our guide and museum volunteer, certainly delivered the information. They also had several aircraft displays and the recovered remains (steel framing) of a glider that landed nearby and was excavated nearby.
A section of the museum was dedicated to the Highland Division of the British Army. They landed nearby and the collection of their presence has grown to include information about all their activities during the war. That got me thinking, I know very little about my Granddad Mitchell's war. I had to text my uncle to find out which regiment he was in. He was in the Highland Infantry so perhaps he came through here. One things for sure, I'll be asking questions about his history when I return home.
Another thing that surprised me was the reaction of people to the Nuremberg trial pictures. Immediately saying they should all have been hanged for their war crimes. I don't know much about the trials, the people, or their crimes to comment specifically, but it did make me ponder. So I had the following conversation with Dhyran:
Me: "You wanted to join the Air Force didn't you?"
Dhy: "Yes, as a pilot"
Me: "So, say you got in, flew for a few years, became squadron commander, then base commander, then a senior commander and eventually became responsible for the whole Luftwaffe."
Me: "and say this was just before Hitler came to power in Germany. You'd have to follow orders right? That's a key part of military discipline. So at what point, and which person in the military, is in the position to say no?
Dhyran couldn't answer that any easier than I can.
Our guide also made a comment at another point in the tour that Germany suffered from it's lack of 4 engined bomber. There were plans to develop one in the 1930's but the officer in charge died suddenly and no one carried on his belief in the need. From an allied point of view, that was fortunate. Essentially we benefited because their military failed in that area. Should he have continued his work, would he have been tried for developing the technology used in the war? I guess I'm saying war is a terrible thing and nothing will ever repair the damage it does. Apportioning blame may make us feel better but it changes nothing of history.
OK, onto some brighter things now. An old Eurocon tradition is to taste the "FPO", short for Flak Panzer Oil, a drink (allegedly) made by Kossu from Finland. I've wanted to taste it for years last night I got my first taste, and my second... Want to know what it taste's like? Get yourself a place on the next Eurocon \<S>