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AlCZ

Biggles ! Camel under false Flag

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In most famous W.E.Johns story with it's imaginary "super ace" Biggles was young pilot "Batty" Batson engaged and shot down with another Camel. After emergency landing he died but before he died tell Biggles he was shot down by Camel under false flag with number J...6 (i don' remember). Johns was a ex WW 1 pilot, and probably most of their stories by Biggles was inspired in real stories for example - white Fokker was in real Hermann's Göring mount etc... But what a Camel under false flag ? In this story captured Camel haven't a german insignia, have british roundels - and in real world this was a war crime and pilot of this aircraft can be executed by firing squad. (In another story Biggles himself fly in captured Albatros and beyond test flight over front line he must flight with German Jagdstaffel and he was later shot down by Algy. But in real - was a case when Germans used "beute Camel" with RAF insignia and attacked Britons ? Before time i saw a photo of captured Camel with cross and this is legal and in WW2 Germans test many captured aircraft in Zirkus Rosarius but neither Nazis can't used captured aircraft with USAAF/RAF/Red stars... So... it's Camel under false flag a fantasy of author or real story ? (I hear a story by "Black or Dark Mustang" was engaged a USAAF thunder box over Germany, respective flight near - and in real a one of "Beute" Mustang have not black, but very dark green and yellow belly - but with XXL german cross on side - but this is another war and captured aircraft have adequate insignia...). In Czech Republic was Biggles a cult book - but i don't understand why Biggles, Algy and Ginger haven't wifes, girlfriends or mistresses - but i think it was a child literature, and love romances probably isn't in this time (20.-60. Years of 20th century)suibtable in child (boys) literature.

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I remember the Biggles story with the German piloted Camel.  I thought the number was J9982, but could be wrong, it's been a (very) long time since I read it.  I would imagine, although can't be sure, that it is not based on a real event, but just a product of Johns' fertile imagination.  Loved all the World War 1 Biggles stories, they really got me interested in World War 1 aircraft, I had all the old Aurora kits, moulded in those interesting colours and with the markings engraved on the surfaces!  (Why did they do that?  It was pretty obvious where the markings were to go!!) 

 

Biggles did have a girlfriend, called Marie, in one of the stories, but she turned out to be a spy for the Germans, using her feminine wiles (!) to get military information from our hero.  It came as a great shock to Biggles when Colonel Raymond revealed the truth, and possibly affected his relations with women as there were no girlfriends in succeeding books.

 

W E Johns had an interesting career; on one occasion , as an RAF recruiting officer, he enlisted T E Lawrence into the RAF under an assumed name.  Johns was apparently suspicious, but pressure was brought from higher up to complete the enlistment.

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I have W E Johns to thank for the 50 years of pleasure I've had from plastic modelling, as it was "Biggles of the Camel Squadron" that got me interested in aircraft. The very first kit I bought (OK, my mother paid for it; I just chose it) was the Airfix Camel. As it happens, his stint as a recruiting officer was in Whitley Bay, a couple of miles from where I grew up. I'm sure there must be many others who he inspired: what a legacy of happiness he left, on top of his courageous service to his country as a WW1 bomber pilot.

 

You're right, ACIZ - I was 7 years old when I first read the book. I loved reading about air combat; wives, girlfriends and mistresses would have left me cold. Slightly off topic but my school library had a copy of the 1941 book "Bomber Command", which also fuelled my interest in aircraft with some amazing action photos (they beat long division any day). Half a century later, I still have a copy. 

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I thought I had a good selection of Biggles books from my early teenage years but didn’t remember this one. After a bit of looking online the book in question would seem to be ‘The Camels are Coming’ published in 1932. "The Camel closed up until it was flying beside him; the pilot smiling. Biggles showed his teeth in what he imagined to be an answering smile. 'You swine,' he breathed: 'you dirty, unutterable, murdering swine! I'm going to kill you if it's the last thing I do on earth.'" This may indicate that the Hun had done something beastly to one of his chums or possibly got some instant coffee in the sugar which can seriously spoil a cup of tea; you can never be completely sure with RAF (and presumably RFC) aircrew. 

Seemingly it was the first In the series and I’ll have to order a copy now out of curiosity. 

Pip pip,

Tramatoa

http://www.biggles-online.com/book/the-camels-are-coming/

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Hello to all.

 

I remember long ago when I was a kid, I'd walk roughly a five mile round trip to buy a Biggles book, when each one was available. I never knew the phone number of the shop where it was displayed so, there was a number of trips going home empty handed.

 

Anyway, to the point of this email. I no long have any of the books, so I can't verify this as being the correct aircraft. But it gels, with what can be read using Advanced Book Search. Typing in The Camels go to France, the relevant book comes up and one of the chapters is about Camel J-9982. I could be wrong about it being the Camel flown by an unscrupulous 'Hun' (yes, not PC I know). And besides, it shouldn't put off anyone thinking about purchasing any of the range of Biggles books. A great series!

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Posted (edited)

For some reason I've never read the Biggles stories set in the Great War only those ser in the inter-war period.

Still great stories for a 9 year old though.

:pilot:

 

DennisTheBear

Edited by DennisTheBear
Emoticon

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J9982  https://biggles.fandom.com/wiki/J-9982

 

My favourite Biggles book was 'Biggles Learns to Fly'.  Great stuff in there, learning to fly on a Rumpity, posted to an FE2b squadron before transferring to 266.  I managed to get a copy a few years ago on Ebay, does this make me a sad man?

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1 hour ago, 593jones said:

I managed to get a copy a few years ago on Ebay, does this make me a sad man?

NO!

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Well, that was pretty definite!  I am reassured and will continue to read Biggles  :)

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As a wee fella I had a few Biggles books which were read over and over and over again. Loved them!

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On 5/13/2019 at 7:51 PM, 593jones said:

Biggles did have a girlfriend, called Marie, in one of the stories, but she turned out to be a spy for the Germans, using her feminine wiles (!) to get military information from our hero.  It came as a great shock to Biggles when Colonel Raymond revealed the truth, and possibly affected his relations with women as there were no girlfriends in succeeding books.

 

Somebody taking life too seriously once speculated that Biggles was a lifelong bachelor and was therefore probably gay. It was then pointed out that he never went to church or the toilet either, so by that logic he was a lifelong constipated gay atheist.

 

Might explain the gritted teeth though...

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I think I have a digital set of Biggles adventures omewhere on a hard drive. However there was also the extremely rare, only a dozen or so copies printed before it was withdrawn called "Biggles Flies Undone" apparently about his time in postwar Hamburg.

 

 Seriously to be honest I enjoyed more WE Johns' other series of books about the crew of a spaceship and their adventures around the galaxy . very much a foretaste of Star Trek. I've wondered at times if these stories were the inspiration. for the travels of the USS Enterprise. Certainly these books gave me a lifelong interest in Sci Fi

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On ‎6‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 9:08 AM, longweight said:

I think I have a digital set of Biggles adventures omewhere on a hard drive. However there was also the extremely rare, only a dozen or so copies printed before it was withdrawn called "Biggles Flies Undone" apparently about his time in postwar Hamburg.

 

 Seriously to be honest I enjoyed more WE Johns' other series of books about the crew of a spaceship and their adventures around the galaxy . very much a foretaste of Star Trek. I've wondered at times if these stories were the inspiration. for the travels of the USS Enterprise. Certainly these books gave me a lifelong interest in Sci Fi

Now you mention it, I do remember this series, which I had completely forgotten about!  I remember having a copy of 'The Quest for the Perfect Planet', although the details of the plot escape me.  I think our heroes and their alien hosts visited several planets, but there was always something which prevented them being perfect.  I wish I could remember more about it, now, you've piqued my interest!

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There was also a series of ‘Gimlet’ books set in WW2 which were in my Dad’s fairly limited collection of books which didn’t relate to marine engines. Think Biggles joins the French resistance. Worth digging up. 

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