Spitfire Parade query

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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Spitfire666 » 27 Feb 2014, 06:31

It is a good idea, the way the picture is made up; I still hate his idea of Algy though. :evil:
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Fairblue » 27 Feb 2014, 06:48

Spitfire666 wrote:It is a good idea, the way the picture is made up; I still hate his idea of Algy though. :evil:

Absolutely. What was the idea of that? And a blonde Ginger! **shudders**
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby kylie_koyote » 13 Jan 2015, 19:32

There's an interesting-looking copy of Spitfire Parade on eBay at the moment, with a dust-jacket I've never seen before. If I didn't already own two editions (plus the comics) of this one, I might be tempted.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/W-E-Johns-1st-E ... 339beae51f
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Sizzling Sausages » 13 Jan 2015, 22:12

It's quite a rare edition, one that doesn't come up often. I was tempted too, but I decided the jacket's just that bit too tatty and repaired to make it worth while.
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 14 Jan 2015, 01:26

Yes, I have the hardback only, but sadly wish I had the wrapper, as this is the 'desirable' part for me, lol.
They've been working together for so long that each seems to know by a sort of telepathy when another is in trouble. One never seems to get them together. Get one & the others come after him. To give the devil his due they make a formidable team.
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby kylie_koyote » 29 Feb 2016, 00:19

I've just noticed something peculiar that I think is WEJ having a little "inside joke" with the reader.

Spitfire Parade, Ch. 8 is entitled "The Love Song" and Raymond requests that Biggles fly to Amiens and sing a love song as a password to get some important documents. After Raymond departs, Biggles takes out a map and "with great care, plotted a course to a certain field, a field that he knew well, for he had once made a forced landing on it."

Do you suppose, forum friends, that this was Marie's field?
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Fairblue » 29 Feb 2016, 01:39

Could well be. Nice catch, KK.
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 29 Feb 2016, 01:45

Fairblue wrote:Could well be. Nice catch, KK.


By gum, I think you're absolutely right! Raymond [i.e. WEJ] having a dig at Biggles' pride? 8-)
They've been working together for so long that each seems to know by a sort of telepathy when another is in trouble. One never seems to get them together. Get one & the others come after him. To give the devil his due they make a formidable team.
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Anticlockwise Prop » 29 Feb 2016, 04:03

By Jingo KK I think you have something there ! :shock:

Its been in all our sights for years and you are the first to spot it (that I know of).

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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Tommy Smith » 29 Feb 2016, 08:10

Hidden in plain sight.

Was Spitfire Parade recycled WW1 stories? Or was this a later inspiration I wonder.
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Frecks » 29 Feb 2016, 09:22

Most of Spitfire Parade is just recycled WW1 stories but I do think KK has spotted something interesting there. In real terms WEJ only wrote the WW1 stories in the early 1930s and Spitfire Parade at the beginning of WW2 so the stories would still have been fresh in his mind.
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Spitfire666 » 29 Feb 2016, 09:35

Wow, I think you are right, kk! I read Spitfire Parade when I was very young, and found the WW1 stories much later, so never guessed this. Biggles must have made many forced landings in French fields, there is only one that might be expected to stand out in his memory. Well done :yay:

Yes, TS, most of Spitfire Parade is stories recycled from WW1; Johns was under great pressure to write Worrals and Gimlet and more Biggles to encourage recruitment into the services. He must have thought he could get away with reusing the old stories. 'The Love Song' is an oddity in that it does not seem to be based on one of the old stories, so I think kk has definitely caught WEJ's little joke. 8-)
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby kylie_koyote » 29 Feb 2016, 12:22

Spitfire666 wrote:Wow, I think you are right, kk! I read Spitfire Parade when I was very young, and found the WW1 stories much later, so never guessed this. Biggles must have made many forced landings in French fields, there is only one that might be expected to stand out in his memory. Well done :yay:

Yes, TS, most of Spitfire Parade is stories recycled from WW1; Johns was under great pressure to write Worrals and Gimlet and more Biggles to encourage recruitment into the services. He must have thought he could get away with reusing the old stories. 'The Love Song' is an oddity in that it does not seem to be based on one of the old stories, so I think kk has definitely caught WEJ's little joke. 8-)


It's only my umpteenth read-through after owning the book for twenty-odd years, which just goes to show, every time you re-read Biggles, you find something new!
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Kismet » 29 Feb 2016, 13:02

I'm going to be a nay sayer. I don't think there is any significance in that line. As a pilot, especially one who engaged in intelligence missions which involved landing in fields to drop and pick up agents, Biggles must have been familiar with lots of fields, and taken particular notice of the ones he could land in in an emergency. I'm sure this is mentioned - perhaps in the Rescue Flight?

What I'm trying to say, is that anywhere he could get down, or had got down, would stand out in his memory. It needn't have any further significance.
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Tommy Smith » 29 Feb 2016, 13:18

What about the Love song?
Biggles? A love song?
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Kismet » 29 Feb 2016, 13:29

'Biggles nodded. 'I understand. What was this password?'
'As a matter of fact, it was the first line or two of a popular French song.' With a ridiculous expression on his face, the Air Commodore began to sing:
Parlez moi d'amour,
Redites-moi des chose tendres
'

....................

'Speak to me of love,' translated Biggles, his lips curling in a sneer. 'What gave you the idea that I cluttered up my brain with that sort of stuff?'

...........................


'Come, come, Biggles,' protested the Air Commodore, 'You only need to learn the first two lines - that will be as much as you need.'



Biggles is certainly claiming not to know the love song.
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Tommy Smith » 29 Feb 2016, 13:32

I am absolutely convinced Raymond is a sadist.
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Tommy Smith » 11 Mar 2016, 05:31

I wish someone would backwards edit this to WW1, I like the book but would feel much more comfortable reading it. Even the reference to Naval Eight, with its extraordinary number of Aces - members of that squadron are as interesting as 666, one '..a little fellow, usually very silent, who fears nothing, but he would run a mile from any girl'.
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Frecks » 11 Mar 2016, 09:26

Spitfire Parade has always been a very unusual book which does not sit well among the others. There is no doubt that most of the stories are just taken from the WW1 short stories with no attempt to adapt them to the different conditions during the Battle of Britain. Apart from the difference in aircraft performances etc. there is a great deal of difference between fighting when based on home ground and in a foreign country. I am positive nobody would be able to alter a spitfire in the way described in one of the stories. I like the book because it introduces the pilots who make up 666 Squadron but apart from Bertie and Tug most of them fade into the background in the other WW2 books. Angus gets lost finding his way to 666 Squadron but in later books he is described as being an expert navigator. In fact in Borneo Biggles doubts Ginger's ability to fly solo to Australia when Angus has done it many times - although whether that was because he thought Ginger would get lost or because he would not be able to defend himself flying solo in a large plane WEJ does not say.
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Tommy Smith » 11 Mar 2016, 16:49

I'll look that up but my guess would be with the solo thing was because Ginger always seemed to have less stamina than the others.
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Re: Spitfire Parade query

Postby Frecks » 11 Mar 2016, 17:15

Could be and of course he had not prepared a route or anything just taken off in a hurry without consulting a map - Angus would have had a flight plan plotted out before he set off the first time. I am not actually sure how often Angus flew alone in the large plane - it would be very dangerous without gunners.
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