Entries by James Holland

First Light – To All Those Pistonheads Out There

I’v e noticed that a number of people have been upset by the continuity issues on the BBC’s production of First Light. I can promise you that having heard it from the director himself, this was down to budgetary issues only.  Although they did put the actor up in the air – mostly in a […]

G-Force: Negative and Positive

Last week I promised an article my great friend Professor Rick Hillum, a physicist and pilot who knows a little bit more about the thorny question of when G-force is positive or negative G than the one-dimensional Wikipedia entry.  So here is his explanation, plus another fascinating insight to boot: G Force Without getting into […]

First Light

Yesterday morning I went to see a screening of First Light, the BBC’s new adaptation of Goeff Wellum’s classic memoir.  I have to admit that having been so close to the book ever since Geoff’s manuscript first landed on my doorstep over nine years ago, I was pretty apprehensive.  I needn’t have been.  It’s a […]

Put in My Place over Shooting Pilots in Parachutes

Yesterday afternoon, Seb Cox, an old friend and Head of the Air Historical Branch, came over to the Maya Vision offices to look at the film we’ve been making for the BBC and to give it his professional eye.  In the film I’d briefly made the point that I raised here a few weeks ago […]

Negative or Positive G?

I’ve had a few comments via Bantam Press from readers of my Battle of Britain book taking me to task on my descriptions of negative g.  This is the latest: “Bottom of P242 Top of P243 Cocky realized (realised???) he was being fired upon, so he banked his Spitfire into a tight turn, the blood […]

Hitting the Lecture Circuit

I’ve always been anxious to use this website as a forum for discussing points of interest relating to the Second World War, but I’ve been asked to let people know about a number of illustrated talks I’m doing in the next few months, so here you are: Wednesday 29th September The Battle of Britain by […]

Finding the Few & Convoy Peewit

There have been a few good books out on the Battle of Britain this year, but Grub Street can always be relied upon to offer us something new and interesting.  Two titles I’ve just got hold of are Finding the Few: Some Outstanding Mysteries of the Battle of Britain Investigated and Solved, and Convoy Peewit: […]

Shooting at Men in Parachutes

I’m hoping we can put the script of this film I’m doing to bed this week, and so have been going through the rough cut and trying to make sure I’ve got as much as possible covered.  When you’re used to writing books of 200,000 words, reducing that to an hour of TV is pretty […]

Italian Masters of Comic War Art

I’ve just been looking through a collection of Commando and War Picture Library covers collected in a book called ‘Aarrgghh! It’s War!’ and was surprised to see how many of the jackets were painted by Italians in the 1960s and 1970s.  It seems there was a studio in Milan run by two brothers, Ronaldo and […]

Luftwaffe in a Spin Over British Sporting Terminology

A while back, when I was researching my Battle of Britain book, I found a number of fascinating files in the The National Archives at Kew, London.  They were transcriptions of recorded conversations between Luftwaffe pilots shot down over Britain.  Evidently, they had been bugged and very interesting they were too with all sorts of […]

Helmand Veterans Point the Way in Italy

A couple of weeks ago I was helping 12 Mechanized Brigade with their battlefield study in Italy.  Battlefield Studies are taken seriously in the armed forces and are considered important exercises.  They’re being largely axed as part of the stringent defence cuts taking place at the moment – after all, they’re an easy and obvious […]