When I was a three year-old boy, 133 brave young men of British and Allied nationalities flew against the German war machine in nineteen Lancaster bombers. They flew in the knowledge that the statistics were against their safe return, but they knew that their job was to carry the war to the enemy. They flew aircraft, heavily-laden with weaponry which had never been fully tested against their targets; revolutionary cylindrical shaped bombs which would be spun up to rotate before being dropped into the waters which were held back by three huge German dams in the Ruhr. Fifty-three men died in those attacks, which broke two of the dams and damaged the German war effort considerably.
This evening I watched a re-run of the Dambusters film, which was preceded by a very strange, in fact ludicrous, warning to the viewers of possible offense being taken at some of the language used during the film, itself made in 1954, some fifty-eight years ago.
I wasn’t offended because we were repeatedly told that Guy Gibson’s black Labrador was named ‘Nigger’, and I don’t really reckon anyone else, with any normal sense or sensibilities, would have been ‘offended’ either!