& Bullets

Musings on the worlds of aviation, military and international affairs.


With reviews of books that cover these topics


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Brize 2010 Reds 3

By psmiddy, Feb 16 2018 08:40AM

Mediocrities rise to celebrity these days with monotonous regularity – tawdry TV shows are the vehicle of choice. If bereft of talent the thin plating of chrome on their star erodes rapidly. Going back say a century, becoming a star required a long and hard apprenticeship – usually on the boards of Britain’s theatres and music halls. A few , usually born to high place, rose to prominence through their writing. And sportsmen, - usually of the gentlemen rather than player variety – of course became beloved by their public as ever.

On this day in 1926, Mildred Mary Petre created her brand – by marrying the Hon. Victor Bruce. He was already an established motor sport driver (in both racing and rallying). Indeed they married in Menton, after he had just won the 1926 Monte Carlo Rally – the first Brit to do so. Her driving skills were possibly the equal of his, and she used his contacts, and their combined skills, to build up her reputation as a motor sport ace, and motoring sage. She really had cause to be very grateful to him.

So it was a cause of justifiable anguish when, after they split, Victor’s new wife was unable to avail herself of the title “the Hon. Mrs Victor Bruce” - because Mildred would not relinquish it!

For the full story – buy my book!

By psmiddy, Feb 1 2018 04:46PM

The RAF Day by Day by Air Cdre Graham Pitchfork, retired Bucc man, and experienced author. A chunky book with lots of detail, but wrong format. Review here.

By psmiddy, Feb 1 2018 01:28PM

Arguably the best defence journalist on UK broadsheets, Deborah Haynes, has been pursuing the push-back of the SDSR etc like a ferret down a rabbit hole. In today’s Times she catalogues the gross financial mismanagement at the MoD. The new SoS Def has carried on rather like an incoming CEO at a troubled listed company - going through the accounts to produce a heap of ordure which does not reflect well on his predecessor. In this case neither Fallon nor Hammond emerges well out of the saga.

In essence it reinforces the long and widely held view that we have procured or committed to procure too much kit for the current size of the defence budget. The article is here.