Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off To Hell We Go.....
THE MIDDLE AND FAR EAST - WW2
Where in blazes is Ma'aten Bagush and why on earth was an aerodrome there? I see that some of the aircraft from here bombed a place called Benghazi, were they bored, or was there a particular reason for doing so, and why on earth are they fighting over a piece of inhospitable desert in the first place. It's nothing but sand as far as the eye can see. Have they all gone mad? I also note there seems to be a lot of complaining from the boys in Burma over the urgent need for supplies and replacement aircraft, so what's the problem? Send them some! You can be certain there must be a bloody good reason to be fighting the Japs for that malaria infested swamp, but for the life of me I can't imagine why.
For those of you who were there and those that have researched world war two in the Middle East, these statements / questions would seem a little absurd. However, sorry to say, you are the minority. Far too much time has passed and most do not have a clue what happened or why, they are simply looking to find out what happened to dear old Uncle Harold and the more they learn the more confusing it gets. I too, was one of these folk but in my search for Uncle Harold I quickly found out that you can not simply analyze an individual, squadron or batallion and hope to make any sense of it. Take any one of them from their context in the big picture and it would appear that Uncle Harold threw away his life for posession of a ruddy hill or sand dune in the middle of no where. More and more I was finding that I had to broaden my view of the events in order to understand what was happening on that sand dune and why. Reading books helped but an easy to follow overview was sadly lacking so I began making notes for myself in order that I could refer an event to it's proper context in time and the big scheme of things. For lack of something usefull to do with my time I then combined these notes into the following story which follows. If you hate stories without endings then I would advise you to skip this one, it is incomplete and ends abruptly. The intent however is to keep adding to it as time allows.
I have tried to draw from the actual memoirs, books, letters and documents of those who were actually there, and in every case possible, from the information closest to the actual time of the event. It is therefore as accurate and honest as that which was originally recorded at the time. In many instances conflicts will be found with information as presented elsewhere. To this I can only say, pick up the challange and find the truth. The facts belong to history, the sentence construction is mine, and I stand to be corrected where this construction fails the facts, beyond that I am only the scribe, I wasn't there. Any thoughts or opinions expressed by myself are just that, largely worthless and not worth your challenge should you take exception to them. In all cases these opinions are carefully deliniated from the facts and are editors privilege for the countless hours of research. The story is but a mere glimpse of these events as between every single sentence an entire volume of detailed history is not recorded.
History is actually a funny thing to write about because inevitably the writer wasn't there and must as a consequence rely on the writing of those that were, or more often than not, on the writings of the earlier researchers who had the decided advantage of being near enough to the time of the events to interview 'those that were'. This then should make it readily apparent that every writer, of any given event in history that is not of his lifetime, is primarily drawing from the same sources, not to mention perpetuating any errors therein. Aside from just exposing myself as a fraud for having plagureized the writings of others, it should also be apparent that in the telling of a story such as this, which has been told a thousand times, there should be no appreciable difference in all of the thousand versions. It is after all 'history' and alteration of the facts to make a better story is quite frowned upon. There are differences however, not so much the content as this should only vary by the volume of detail, rather the difference is filler, the creative use of adjectives and assumed facts. This can best be described by simple example ie: Bob fired on the advancing enemy, or Bob quickly loaded his rifle and fired on the advancing ememy. Quickly being the adjective and loading his rifle being assumed, neither changes the historic facts but the latter does make for a better story. All things being equal, the chief difference then between a boring story (this one) and an enjoyably readable story (all the others), is author created detail. The purpose of drawing your attention to this is really nothing more than a long winded feeble attempt by me to make excuses for my total lack of writing skills and to prepare you for the boring story which follows. Mostly it is nothing more than laying down of the facts and scarcely more interesting than a mere listing of events in point form. With that be fore warned, entertaining it is not, but the information may be somewhat usefull.
I open this story with the theme for Churchill's book, The Finest Hour.
"How the British people held the fort alone till those who Hitherto had been half blind, were half ready." This little piece of literary genius almost negates the need for the entire volume that followed the phrase. If a prize were awarded to the first person who could clearly and precisely sum up 1940 in 20 words or less it was his for the taking. Had he written it a year earlier he could have added that half the British were half blind and half ready as well. Fortunately for the rest of us the other half eventually caught up.
Sung to the tune of the seven dwarfs
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, its off to hell we go, with a sand storm here and sand dunes there..........it's a bloody poor show, and we'd rather not go, Hi Ho, Hi Ho.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, its off to hell we go, with a flea bite here and a scorpion bite there.........with a sand storm here and sand dunes there........it's a bloody poor show, and we'd rather not go..........theres ruddy little beer and I wish I wasn't here, Hi Ho, Hi Ho.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, its off to hell we go, we freeze by night and roast by day........ with a flea bite here and a scorpion bite there.......with a sand storm here and sand dunes there.......it's a bloody poor show, and we'd rather not go........ theres ruddy little beer and I wish I wasn't here ..... Their bombing our drome, lord I wanna go home, Hi Ho, Hi Ho.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, its off to hell we go,.....................