Have just finished the excellent “Return of the Dambusters” by John Nichol. Now, before you say, “Charlie, you’ve lost it gal. Dambusters were WWII!” bear with. Reading this book provoked all sorts of thoughts about those two conflicts.
It’s easy to forget how close they were chronologically. WWII began 21 years after WWI ended. My youngest girl turns 21 this month, and it seems no time at all since she was born. Memories – and concerns – would still be vivid in people’s minds, especially those who might be called to serve their country once more given that “the war to end all wars” had failed to do so.
The conflict itself was entirely different, due in part to the great technological advances seen in those 20 odd years especially in mankind’s conquest of the skies. This was no trench based warfare, with most of the action concentrated in a relatively small land area. Civilians, cities and infrastructure became targets in a way that would have been impossible in WWI. The sea change was as great – if not greater – than had been seen going into that earlier conflict compared to, say, the Boer campaign.