June 12, 2008

Gratuitous Literary Observation


Having recently finished off David Fraser's excellent Knight's Cross: A Life of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, I had a sudden hankering to reread Derek Robinson's fictional account of SAS and RAF warfare in the sands of North Africa in 1942, A Good, Clean Fight. I'd read it a few years ago and had a dim memory of liking some things about it, but disliking intensely some other things about it.

Having galloped through about half of AGCF now and thoroughly enjoying the good things (such as Robinson's amazing depictions of the desert in all its manifestations), I recall one of the bad things: One of the characters in the novel is an RAF Air Vice Marshall named "Baggy" Bletchley. The trouble with the appearance here of AVM Bletchley is that he also appeared on Robinson's excellent novelization of the Battle of Britain, Piece of Cake, where alas, he was killed while trapped in a mobile bog when the Luftwaffe strafed Bodkin Hazel airfield in August, 1940. No explanation whatever is given for his resurrection two years later in Egypt.

Now I know that this is Mr. Robinson's universe and he can do with it what he wishes, but I don't see why he should need to employ the apparently undead in the senior ranks of Fighter Command.

"Mmmmm......brains, old boy!"

Posted by Robert at June 12, 2008 09:43 AM | TrackBack