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Posts under ‘Military Covenant’

Western publics are usually supposed to admire their military forces. This admiration may not be as strong as is often supposed, and it certainly doesn’t extend to military campaigns.

The Battle of Jutland – getting the history right

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / Mind & body / On TV & Radio on 9 June 2016. 3 comments.

This is an account of some issues surrounding the historiography of the Battle Jutland, including a critique of a BBC documentary on this enormous naval engagement. It refers especially to two important written sources dated 1921 (and 1986) and 1998. More »

Three Hobart Poems: Part 1 (audio version)

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / RDN's poems on 18 May 2016. No comments.

This is the first of the three poems on the British Army WW2 General, Sir Percy Hobart I have written and performed. This poem, Part 1, Hobo: Man and commander – concentrates on the story of the man and his spanning of warfare from ponies to tanks, from the North West Frontier, via WW1, to WW2, and the many switchbacks in his military fortunes, as he battled with Whitehall and – quite often – the British military establishment. More »

Three Hobart Poems: Part 2 (audio version)

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / RDN's poems on 18 May 2016. No comments.

This is the second of the three poems on the British Army WW2 General, Sir Percy Hobart I have written and performed. This poem, Part 2, Hobo: Man of design and fabric – tells the story of Hobart’s love of heraldry and design in cloth as he marks the creation of his armoured divisions in the 1930’s and WW2 and his own feeling for family and history. More »

Three Hobart Poems: Part 3 (audio version)

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / RDN's poems on 18 May 2016. No comments.

This is the third of the three poems on the British Army WW2 General, Sir Percy Hobart I have written and performed. This poem, Part 3, Hobo: His generation and their books, tells the story of Hobart’s reputation calibrated against those of his fellow WW2 generals, in their words and his own. It includes an account of his remarkable production of The Story of the 79th Armoured Division in the ruins of Hamburg in the summer of 1945. More »

Poem: Percy “Hobo” Hobart, Pt 1

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / RDN's poems on 19 August 2015. No comments.

This poem is the first of three. They are long, and intended to flow one from another, but each to make sense on its own. They have been written with an eye (or ear) to being read aloud briskly.

Sir Percy Hobart, Part 1
Hobo, the man and commander More »

Poem: Percy “Hobo” Hobart, Pt 2

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / RDN's poems on 19 August 2015. No comments.

This poem is the second of three. They are long, and intended to flow one from another, but each to make sense on its own. They have been written with an eye (or ear) to being read aloud briskly.

Sir Percy Hobart, Part 2
Hobo the man of design and fabric

More »

Poem: Percy “Hobo” Hobart, Pt 3

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / RDN's poems on 19 August 2015. No comments.

This poem is the third of three. They are long, and intended to flow one from another, but each to make sense on its own. They have been written with an eye (or ear) to being read aloud briskly.

Sir Percy Hobart, Part 3
The Hobo, his generation and their books

More »

Eye-witness: Billy Filson-Young’s death, May ’45

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant on 12 May 2015. One comment.

I have set myself to commemorate the life and death of Wing Commander Billy Filson-Young, and – more broadly – his family. My father Paul North, Billy’s half-brother, in 1990 gathered new material about his brothers and here is an eye-witness account written around then. More »

Unique 1945 Hamburg book: the 79th and “Hobart’s Funnies”

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / Mind & body / On art on 17 October 2014. 22 comments.

I have been given a unique, beautiful book, The Story of 79th Armoured Division: October 1942 – June 1945, published  by the unit’s officers and men in July 1945 in the ruins of Hamburg, which they had just helped liberate. I long to know more about the circumstances of this astonishing piece of work…. More »

Hobo’s 79th Armoured Division insignia

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / On art / On books on 28 August 2014. No comments.

This is the famous insignia of the 79th Armoured Division. It seems very likely that, like the 79th itself, it was designed by General Percy Hobart (Sir Percy, as he became). If so, he was as creative with a pencil as with his military planning. He was certainly close friends with writers and artists, including Eric Kennington, one of the best war artists of WW1 and WW2.

The Bull's Head insignia of the 79th Armoured Division

The Bull’s Head insignia of the 79th Armoured Division

For more on this story, see below…

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