By Gill Griffin, Barry Griffin
The 20-year-old Len Thorne joined the RAF in may possibly 1940. After irritating excursions of operational accountability as a fighter pilot (including a few desperately harmful low-level flying at Dunkirk) he used to be published to AFDU (Air scuffling with improvement Unit) and remained there as a try out pilot for the remainder of the battle. He flew either Allied plane and captured enemy planes and used to be a colleague of some of the fighter 'aces'. thankfully for us, Len saved an insightful diary, which, set along his log ebook, tells the original tale of a member of the AFDU, tasked with constructing oeprational strategies and checking out captured enemy airplane. Len presents not just an perception into the fantastic paintings performed by means of the try pilots but additionally into essentially the most well-known flyers of the RAF, with whom he labored, together with Wing Commander Al Deere and Spitfire Aces SL 'paddy' Finucane, Ernie Ryder, and so forth. Len's diary for September 21 1942 files the 1st sighting of the scary FW190: 'The pilot played a sequence of quickly rolls... metaphorically sticking up the proverbial fingers.' In could 1943 Len will be flying an identical style after pilot Heinz Erhardt mistakenly landed one at Marston!
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Extra info for A Very Unusual Air War: From Dunkirk to the AFDU--The Diary and Log Book of Test Pilot Leonard Thorne, 1940-45
The gates would be closed at dusk when the evening bell tolled. Guards were mounted at night, and had strict instructions not to trample on the earth walls. When off duty their armour and weapons were stored at their duty stations, but guards were posted in the towers day and night, and the utmost care was taken at night to prevent fires and to guard against night attack. Troops were not allowed to leave the castle for unauthorised reasons, and if someone did leave, he would probably be executed and the person in charge severely punished.
In two of the Takeda campaigns the water supply played a crucial role. At Futamata in 1572 the castle obtained its water by lowering buckets from a wooden tower built high above the neighbouring river. Takeda Katsuyori constructed heavy wooden rafts and floated them downstream to crash into the supports of the tower, which eventually collapsed. At Noda in 1573 miners tunnelled into the side of the castle's moat and drained off all its water. Psychological pressures The numbers of people within a castle were swelled by farmers and others moving in for safety when an attack was imminent, and this could stretch the garrison's resources and provisions to their limits.
This style of architecture can be seen to good effect at Himeji. It is rare to have a view of the roof of a Japanese castle's keep from above, but this is provided here by the reconstructed Fushimi Momoyama castle near Kyoto. The windows of a keep were generally square, though the uppermost storey was often provided with ornate windows in the shape known as kato mado, and usually had an exterior balcony. Roofs were almost always tiled with thick blue-grey Japanese tiles, though in the early days some castles had thatched roofs, and old photographs of Iwakuni castle confirm that it was once roofed with wooden shingles.
A Very Unusual Air War: From Dunkirk to the AFDU--The Diary and Log Book of Test Pilot Leonard Thorne, 1940-45 by Gill Griffin, Barry Griffin