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Showing posts from January, 2020

Squadron 992 (1940)

Squadron 992 is a British propaganda film from 1940, and it's all about the Royal Air Force. So buckle up everyone, because it's going to be wall-to-wall aerial action, with Brylcreemed chaps leaping into their Spitfires and Hurricanes to do battle in the air with Jerry. Or maybe not. Because it turns out that Squadron 992 doesn't fly Spitfires or Hurricanes but looks after ... barrage balloons. Oh well.




Barrage balloons were huge blimps tethered to the ground by a suitably sturdy cable. They were introduced as a defensive measure for use against aerial bombing, designed to force enemy bombers to fly higher and so make them less effective. The huge balloons became a familiar sight during the war, floating above towns, cities and other possible targets for air raids.

The day-to-day operations of barrage balloons is a tough subject to make exciting, but Squadron 992 does its best anyway. The film actually starts out amusingly enough, and there's even some wit in the scri…

Who Dares Wins (1982)

On 5th May 1980, the six day siege at the Iranian Embassy in London was ended when special forces soldiers of the SAS stormed the embassy building, released the hostages, killed 5 terrorists and captured the sixth. The terrorists had already killed one hostage, and were threatening to slaughter the rest at half-hour intervals, when the go ahead was given for the rescue mission, codenamed Operation Nimrod.

Not only was the operation a stunning success but, crucially, it took place under the gaze of the world's news media. Television news crews were camped outside the embassy awaiting the latest developments, with their cameras trained on the building. The rescue mission was captured on camera and streamed on live television around the world, causing a media sensation.

The Special Air Service (SAS) was one of several British special forces units formed in the desert campaign in North Africa during WWII. Unusually, it was also one that had survived into the Cold War era, being refor…