Sunday, August 14, 2011

War Picture Library 111 The Red Duster

Even though most of the ships in the The Red Duster manage to stay on top of the water it still remains a good story. The scrap metal tally is only two vessels for each side, the Germans lose a submarine and a battleship and allies lose only two merchantmen. However it is the mistrust between the services, exemplified by a couple of briny old sea dogs and their young proteges arising from the natural tension between the independence of the merchant marine and the spit, polish and discipline of the Royal Navy. The Germans and their relentless need to take over the world are only a convenient excuse to the keep the story moving along.

There are of course an anomaly or two that I have trouble getting to grips with.

The cover doesn't match the contents. I was expecting a bofors, at every turn of the page, slapping away at Stukas as the convoy runs the gauntlet. But there are no Stukas. In fact there are no aircraft to be seen – either flying or crashing into the sea. War Picture Library 111 The Red Duster is concerned with surface actions and proves (yet again) that the Germans lost World War 2 because their skill at arms was second rate. For example a fast moving British Cruiser can target and hit a U-boat with relevant ease – yet the equivalent German vessel, with all the time in the world, couldn't hit and destroy a lumbering freighter.

Yet again the bad guys prove to be hopeless and it makes you wonder why they started something they had no hope of finishing.

This is really a good story if you can get over the German Navy being as effective as the Imperial Navy in Star Wars at being able to hit a target.

In case you are wondering, like I was, the “Red Duster” is the name given to the red merchant marine flag.

 Nice tattoo

 Good detail to the harbour

Two old guys! You don't often see that.

 Face to face.

They are sailors after all...

I have one of these maps with arrows on my wall at home.

 A woman!

 I really like this panel.

Another great drawing.

 Listen to him. Don't say those things!

 It's great being a bloke!

Take that you brute.

Giggle. Snort.

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