Monday, 9 May 2011

Where did VE Day go?

In the comments to that last article, PeterJ states that the basic story is untrue, that the EU are not forcing town halls to fly their flag. Maybe it's not true. The reliability of the media certainly does not encourage easy belief these days. It's credible though, and its timing - and the timing of Europe Day - is interesting.

May 8th was VE day. The letters stand for 'Victory in Europe' and the day marks the end of the second world war. Pat Nurse noticed. I didn't because I have no living relatives left who were involved. That could just be me - there have been years when I've forgotten my own birthday because there was nobody nearby to remind me.

Did the whole country just let it pass unremarked? No, as a quick search finds schools and councils setting up events to mark the date all over the place. Here's just one.

Yet if you look in the news, not one of our own events is even mentioned. 'Victory in Europe' day is now supplanted by 'Europe Day'.

The Daily Wail covers the Russian parades to mark the date and reading that article, you could be forgiven for thinking that Russia alone fought the Nazis while the rest of the world stood by. No mention of any British remembrance events. None. Instead we hear about 'Europe day', a distraction that worked particularly well on most of us, including me.

There were events to mark the date at a local level but no mention in the press and not a peep out of the politicians. Well, nobody expects anything honourable from the politicians any more, they ditched 'honour' years ago. As for the news, well, with all that's going on in the world you could forgive them for overlooking town-hall tea parties and school assemblies. It would be understandable if the press missed the date.

But they didn't, did they? They reported, with lots of pictures of impressive hardware, on the Soviet parade marking the day they defeated Hitler. What they missed, even in that article, was every other country's involvement.

So it's likely that PeterJ is right, that the 'smile or be fined' Europe day is a lie. The Mail demonstrated in that article just how far we can trust the press. About as far as you could spit a badger.

I can understand our spineless politicians hushing up Nazi Stomping Day in case it offends their Europal counterparts. Every modern politician is weak and feeble and frightened of words. But the Mail? The Mail avoiding causing offence? It's what they live for. The Mail giving a full-on Guardian glorification of Communism? The Mail publishing an article that could have been written by Lenin?

What the hell is going on here?


PeterJ said...

In the interests of full disclosure, L-I, here's the background to the flag story as investigated by

As for what the Daily Mail's up to, I have never had any idea.

Leg-iron said...

There were no flags here either, at least not in this little town. So the evidence suggests the whole thing was just a hyped-up story.

One day the newspapers will print the truth. And nobody will believe them.

Anonymous said...

Then again,it is perfectly believable for the eussr to think up a diktat like that,perhaps the Mail got it in before they did

Anonymous said...

Victory in Europe? VICTORY??? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! You call that victory? The phrase 'won the battle but lost the war' would be more appropriate!

hangemall said...

Europe day replacing VE day reminds me of the Christian church replacing the pagan midwinter festivals with Christmas.

I read somewhere that Jesus was most likely born around March, although stand to be corrected there.

Shinar's Basket Case said...

Hangemail, March is, theologically speaking, as good a bet as any (at least the flocks might have actually have been out on the Judean hills for the shepherds to watch by night).

But as so often with the historicity of Christ about the only thing we know for sure is that he wasn't born when most Xians think he was.

Just like we have no idea where or when he was born.

Jer said...

"you could be forgiven for thinking that Russia alone fought the Nazis while the rest of the world stood by. "

Frankly, that _is_ more or less the truth. By the time the British and Americans invaded France the German army was effectively defeated.

Bomber Harris said...

Jer - not much of a truth. The Russians benefited greatly from things like the the fact that most of the 88's and the GAF fighter aircraft were forced to stay in the west because of the bombing raids, the many army divisions withheld from the east to counter the threat of invasion, even the 'small' fronts like Italy & N Africa were a serious problem for Germany. (the surrender in Tunisia was almost as big a disaster as Stalingrad) And most importantly for the Russians, the vast ammount of lend-lease supplies they received. Clothing, food, ammunition, about 1000 locomotives plus rolling stock, ships, 90% of all Red army transport, thousands of aircraft - without aid from the west, the Russians couldn't have made the advances they did in '44-'45.

DerekP said...

Britain fought the Nazis from September 1939 to May 1945.
(Britain also fought against Nazi's Axis ally Japan up until August 1945.)

Russia's Great Patriotic War against the Nazis lasted from June 1941 to May 1945

Maybe you're getting confused with the Russian invasion of Poland in 1939, ending with the Nazis and Russia sharing Poland between them until those two groups fell out in 1941?

Simon said...

Pedant Mode on I think you'll find VJ day marked the end of WW2 Pedant mode off

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