Sunday, June 24, 2012

First we take Clarence Bridge, then it's on to Whitehall

George Orwell, commenting on the generally frustrating organisation of things during wartime, with specific reference to the Home Guard, 21 June 1942: 

Details of organisation, battle positions etc. have been changed so frequently that hardly anyone knows at any given moment what the current arrangements are supposed to be. To give just one example, for well over a year our company has been trying to dig a system of trenches in Regents Park, in case airborne troops land there. Though dug over and over again these trenches have never once been in a completed state, because when they are half done there is always a change of plan and fresh orders. Ditto with everything. Whatever one undertakes, one starts with the knowledge that presently there will come a sudden change of orders, and then another change, and so on indefinitely. Nothing ever happens except continuous dithering, resulting in progressive disillusionment all round. The best one can hope is that it is much the same on the other side.

That reference to Regent's Park caught my eye. When we stay in London, we tend to go jogging there regularly.

I'll not be able to run through the place any more without wondering where it was that Orwell and his Dad's Army chums were digging their 'system of trenches'.

Which got me wondering: if you were going to launch an airborne attack on London, surely St. James's or Hyde Park would be better tactical options? I mean, if your aim was to take out the government?

Not encouraging this, mind, just idly speculating.

While we're at it: anyone know whether there were any genuine Nazi plans to air drop troops into London's parks?

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