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A Thousand Shall Fall by Murray Peden - perhaps the best Bomber Command book ever.

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by Fred Wilson, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

    Sep 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Vernon BC Canada
    Scene. Murray Peden saying goodbye and getting on a train to No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School at High River Alberta Canada


    A few of the Interludes inserted for effect.
    Mid movie clips:
    A sig to a father his son never met by Peter Clare:
    In remembrance of my father Sgt S. Clare R.A.F Missing from operations 13th August 1942. Never Known, Forever Loved.

    Music Credit: Garnet Rogers, Goodbye Again


    My (Fred Wilson’s) namesake (I was born on May 16th) (see my sig below) was somehow talked into allowing to be filmed commenting for the History Channel "Bomber Command" series.

    But other than that one commitment, he too would not talk at all about his experiences.
    His personal reason was that when he did the nightmares came back and for weeks afterwards he would lose so much sleep, that it was too painful to endure.

    He did once mention his escape subsequent to their Dambusters Raid crash.

    All he would say was that he had promised to take to the grave the names of the resistance people that got him safely home, believing in his heart that there were still fanatics that would take retribution against them.
    To this day he has stayed true to his word.


    T.W (Joe) Merchant, of the 1944 Dambusters squadron lived across the lake from us and asked me to visit one of his Wing Commanders and carry his thanks to him on one of my holidays in OZ.
    He had retired near Lismore / Bexhill, in NE NSW Australia. I spent a heartrending day with him in 1992, one of the most emotional and memorable of my life, while we toured his Macadamia Nut and Banana plantation.

    He said that when he was promoted to Wing Commander, the only reason (he said) was that he was the oldest living pilot, at 23 years of age at the time, in the Squadron.

    He said he still received a steady stream of letters and phone calls from old crew members, and would politely reminisce but in fact could not remember a single name or face. In the war, all crewmen were referred to by the last three digits of their enlistment number only - never, ever by name. Neither would he ever look directly at the face of a squadron crew member.

    He said this was an absolute pre-requisite for emotional survival - the losses were that high. Oh... that hurts. Hard to grasp how tough that job must have been.
    One of my (Fred Wilson’s) father's friends had a "friendly fire" history and, I am told, was never ever able to live it down in his squadron (in particular, noting that the other crew and aircraft survived.) Their squadron commander stormed into the Squadron headquarters demanding an explanation. They were ribbed incessantly about it. Every time they would enter a roomful, a loud buzzing would erupt from everyone there.
    They had mistaken a DeHavilland Mosquito Fighter – Bomber for something German.
    Decades later, at Edmonton a reunion in the 70’s, the buzzing erupted in spades yet again when they made their entrance.
  2. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

    Sep 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Vernon BC Canada
    Lots and Lots of <SNIP> above and below.​
    If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
    And if I am only for myself, what am I?
    And if not now, when?
    Rabbi Hillel circa 30 BCE
    Fade to Black
    Fade to light - Closing Screen
    Fade to light, bombers flying into the evening Fog.​
    Face to Black in evening fog, bombers still flying.​
    One then a second falling in flames.​
    A Thousand Shall Fall – words fall off screen​
    Written by Captain Murrey Peden xya squadron​
    Music: “Inside Me” by Fred T. L. Wilson, Screenplay Author.​

    Book reviews.
    "I consider it not only the best and most true to life 'war' book I've
    ever read about this war, but the best about all the wars of my lifetime"
    -Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Arthur Harris.
    [SIZE=10pt]Closing Credits Video[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=10pt]Thank you froma grateful nation and world. (Words falling off the screen.)[/SIZE]

    Video: Wes Adams Live Your Life


    [SIZE=10pt]Closing Credits - [/SIZE][SIZE=12.960000038146973px]including[/SIZE] a partial Wish List of Main Actors.
    - http://www.tvguide.c...ason-3/hemlock/
    Wing Commander: Brian George
    [SIZE=10pt]Squadron Commander: Michael Kitchen
    Squadron Adjucant: [/SIZE]Jacinto Taras Riddick
    Group Captain: Ben Livingston
    Squadron Leader and Pilot: Julian Ovenden
    Pilot, Murray Peden: Aidan Quinn
    Episode 6 and on Nurse: Honeysuckle Weeks
    Pilot: Jonny Lee Miller
    Pilot: Anthony Howell
    Flight Engineer: Jon Michael Hill
    Navigator: Raza Jaffrey

    Willie Tait, DSO and three bars; Murray Peden DFC; Bill Reid VC: http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/photos/p_murraypeden6.jpg
    The last edition just had a couple of items / pages appended at the end - this after the latest official secrecy act release.

    The memorable one was a statement released by Sir Arthur Harris regarding friendly fire bombing of Allied Troops after D-Day.
    The ground troops had been specifically ordered NOT to throw smoke for any reason on that day. Unfortunately one group not only threw smoke but inadvertently threw the identical smoke colors selected by the Pathfinders that day, drawing the main force of the allied bombing directly on themselves.

    NB: Most likely the incident attributed to Bradly / Patton's forces on July 24 / 25th during Operation Cobra.

    Published History had attributed the incident to a combination of:
    a) Allied Daylight Bomber Command's order to keep friendly troops at least 3,000 yards from the bomb line; Bradley compromised on a minimal distance of 1,200 yards; and the Allied Bombers were directed to fly parallel to the front line, but some flew perpendicular, thus the two front lines were separated by only 15 seconds on the bombing run.

    The articles I have come across may attribute this incident to USAAF Bombers, so keeping the facts secret must have been meant to avoid further traumatizing the victims families. / Reopening old wounds.
    Music Credits
    Joohnny Cash, Stand By Me – train trip to funeral
    Garnet Rogers, Goodbye Again - Never Known, Forever Loved.
    Bert Janz. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Notification of Loss of Tommy Penkuri
    Garnet Rogers, Night Ride.

    No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School at High River Alberta Canada
    Murray Peden completed his training flying Cessna Cranes at No. 10 SFTS at Dauphin, Ma,
    and at No. 12 Operational Training Unit at Chipping Warden.
    At No. 1657 Heavy conversion unit, he learned to fly the huge, four-engined Stirling and then, still only nineteen years old, he was ready for wartime operations.
    Murray's wartime flying included bombing operations in the Stirling with No. 214 Squadron as well as flights with No. 161 Squadron dropping arms, equipment, and supplies to the French Resistance. Later he flew B-17 Fortresses with No. 214 Squadron.

  3. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

    Sep 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Vernon BC Canada

    1. I am looking for other veteran's quotes of this quality. RAF, RCAF, RAAF and RAFNZ only. K?
    Post them here please.

    2. I need recommendations for a collection of the best stress relief music of the period. The music the boys would lean on to get them through tough times.
    (Not dance etc music.)

    American Hits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Billboard_number-one_singles_of_the_1940s

    British: http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/1940s-top-songs/1940s-top-songs.html


    Your input would be gratefully appreciated in this worth cause..

    I would not think about posting it elsewhere. Our veterans and knowledge based experts here are that good.

    Vera Lynn: We’ll Meet Again

  4. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

    Sep 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Vernon BC Canada

    I thought it might be fun for us to do this as a team project between those of us here and on http://ww2talk.com/.
    We all hate and despise movies and TV Series that are not historically accurate. Right?
    So why not pool our talent and energy into one that is done perfecto?

    Are you in? Then read A Thousand Shall Fall, 90% is up in Google Books Preview. <== Link here.
    - So you have no excuses. K?

    Pick a chapter and write a segment for the movie or TV Episodes. Two TV Episodes on one chapter if necessary. K? Sounds like a fun project. Eh?

    If more than one person here makes a go at the same chapter, well then, it becomes a competition between you all. !!!!! Enjoy!

    - The book is renowned for making you become intimately involved with a character to the point you fall in love with them, and the more you like the character, the harder they die. Tear your heart out stuff.
    Emotional impact is key to this series. K? That is why so many interludes / intermissions are planed. We don't want to cause undue stress to the point that people have a heart attack in the theatre.

    - Secondly. This move will NOT be suitable for children. Keep that in mind, write it in that manner. Clean, crisp, use period piece foul language. Fuddle Duck OK. FU not etc etc. K?
    See: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-44278.html
    And: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/06/14/but-we-didnt-talk-that-way-by-randy-ark-staff-writer/

    Movie Script / TV Episodes starts here: http://www.ww2f.com/topic/38106-a-thousand-shall-fall-by-murray-peden-perhaps-the-best-bomber-command-book-ever/?hl=+i#entry601937

    The stated objective is to aim to win an "Oskar" or BAAFTA TV Award for EVERY SINGLE category.
    - Does that get your juices flowing?

    Who of you is in here on this project? (Keep what chapter you plan to do a secret. K?) Enjoy! Have Fun guys and gals!

    It goes without saying that the Movie or TV Series Producer and Script Writers will likely make changes. K?

    I consider myself pretty much done now. I hand it over to you. K?

    If we actually get paid for writing the Screen Plays, hows about we put the money into a foundation to keep these forums alive for perpetuity, excess goes to paid administrative time. K?

    ... and any others you may care to suggest. [​IMG]

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