49 Squadron Association
The author is happy to give presentations to interested groups on a range of subjects described below.
Presentations can be modified to suit the audience.........both in length and type of content.
The fee for each presentation is £35 plus travel costs.
The author is based close to York.
Groups who have already asked for a talk include:
- Ladies Associations
- Church Groups
- Village Hall Associations
Malcolm's Military Meanderings:
Bits of military history that I've bumped into over the years. I was fortunate to spend virtually all my working life in Cyprus & Germany and, with the support of an understanding wife and family, we spent many happy hours hunting bunkers, borders and places of military significance. This is a gentle & often humorous look at military history.
The day that changed my life:
The story of a holiday in Denmark when, on my way to Pirate Island, I found a memorial to a crashed Lancaster. This discovery led me on another journey to find out what I could about those involved. What events led to a German night-fighter shooting down three Lancasters over southern Denmark.
What was so important about the RAF’s operations that night in August 1943?
Peenemünde and the V2s:
The development of the V2 and the planning and execution of the raid on 18th August 1943. This is a more technical version of the previous talk and looks at the detailed intelligence gathering and planning for this raid together with the difficulties experienced by both sides.
Cyprus.....Blessed by nature and cursed by history:
An overview of life in Cyprus from personal experiences. I went there as a young teacher in 1973 and currently spend part of the year living there. The presentation quickly runs through 3,500 years of history and, following a pictorial tour of the island, concentrates on the events following independence in 1960. In 1974 I experienced the coup and Turkish invasion; the wounds are still visible to this day.
The 'Cyprus Green Line' and the 'Battle for Nicosia Airport':
The Green Line today is a 180km long Buffer Zone between the Greek & Turkish Cyprus where the UN attempt to maintain the “status quo”. The presentations look at the history of how the Green Line came into being and include first-hand experience of walking through no man’s land in Nicosia. This section of the Buffer Zone was once the most densely militarized area in the world
Nicosia International Airport is now a United Nations Protected Area and, since 1974, has been closed to all aircraft except UN helicopters. There was a very tense situation in July 1974 when British armoured vehicles stood in the way of the invading Turkish army who were intent on capturing the airport.
There are number of possible combinations……an overview of both topics or each one as a separate presentation.
Attacks on the German Transport system:
The attacks on the Dortmund Ems and Mittelland Canals and the first use of the Grand Slam against the Bielefeld Viaduct. The canals and railways were vital to the German war industry and both sides were determined to either keep them open or destroy them. In September 1943, many of the survivors of the famous ‘Dambuster’ raid died in an attempt to breach the Dortmund Ems Canal. One section of the Mittelland Canal was the most intensely bombed area during WW2. Local residents would say, “when the canal is full then it is time to be careful.”
Berlin, A Tale of Two Cities:
I worked in Berlin during the final year of Allied control (1994) and saw the great changes as they happened. This presentation looks at the origin of the special status of Berlin and the many delights it offered to anybody interested in military history - from the huge flak towers in the parks to the Führer bunker lost below modern blocks of flats. The Berliners have a great sense of humour and many of the city's landmark buildings have somewhat irreverent names! I was present at the final Allied parades and was able to explore what the occupying armies left behind.
The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall and Inner German Border:
The history of the Berlin Wall (and Inner German Border) and the background to how they came 'crashing' down. I was fortunate to be living in Germany at the time and experienced first-hand the dramatic events of November 1989. This presentation is also available in two parts for those wanting more details.
York's Baedeker Raid:
The background to the Baedeker Raids and the technology available in 1942 to locate and defend targets. Was there only “the lone French airman” defending York and what actually happened to the troop train in York station? The events of April 29th 1942 in the air and on the ground, are explained. The presentation concludes with a “then & now” journey through parts of York.
The Three Surrenders:
The end of WW2 came with a confusing number of different surrenders. This presentation starts by looking at the ‘sports-jacket surrender’ at Caserta and visits the site of Montgomery’s caravan on the Lueneburg Heath, the well-known Rheims location and the final confirmation ceremony in Berlin. We finish with a visit to Bear Island in September 1945.
UNFICYP - 50+ years and still counting:
In March 1964 the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus began operations with a three-month mandate. The presentation looks the decision to create a British lead "Joint/Truce" Force, at the difficult birth of UNFICYP and how its role has changed over the years.
Currently UNFICYP maintains the "status quo" within the Buffer Zone which divides Greek & Turkish Cyprus. As well as looking at various crises faced by the UN, the 180km long Buffer Zone is pictorially explored.
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