Events and Talks
Thursday 3rd March 2021 – 8.00pm – Zoom Meeting
The Berlin Wall and the East German border – a talk by Alan Clare
Alan left the Royal Air Force as a Wing Commander specializing in Air Traffic Control. His experience covers expertise in air traffic management, operations (both air traffic control and air defence), policy, safety management and system procurement.
Alan became a Rotarian in 2006 and has been President of the Ascot Club twice and an Assistant District Governor for 5 years and is currently working on a project supporting the Ministry of defence and joined Adelard in September 2010.
The talk on 3rd March is about the Berlin Wall and the East German border with West Germany.
To understand why the Russians, and their East German surrogates, built a fence and minefield from the Baltic to Czech to divide Germany and then a wall around part of a city you have to look back to 1945 and the end of the Second World War.
Hatred played a large part in those events and Alan Clare’s talk will illustrate how it all came about and then almost disappeared overnight”
THE FIRST ASSAULT ON FORTRESS EUROPE
Wednesday 10th March – 7.00pm – Zoom Meeting
James is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning historian, writer, and broadcaster. The author of a number of best-selling histories including Battle of Britain, Dam Busters, Burma ’44 and Normandy ‘44. He has presented – and written – many television programmes and series for the BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic, History and Discovery Channels.
This is the story of the biggest seaborne landing in history that was one of WWII’s most crucial campaigns. Based on his own battlefield studies in Sicily and on much new research over the past thirty years, Sicily ‘43 offers a vital new perspective and will fill a major gap in the narrative history of the Second World War.
Codenamed Operation HUSKY, the Allied assault on Sicily on the 10th July 1943 remains the largest amphibious invasion ever mounted in world history, landing more men in a single day than at any other time. That day, over 160,000 British, American and Canadian troops were dropped from the sky or came ashore, more than on D-Day just under a year later. It was also preceded by an air campaign that marked a new direction and dominance of the skies by Allies.
The subsequent thirty-eight-day Battle for Sicily was one of the most dramatic of the entire Second World War, involving daring raids by special forces, deals with the Mafia, attacks across mosquito-infested plains and perilous assaults up almost sheer faces of rock and scree.
It was a brutal campaign – the violence was extreme, the heat unbearable, the stench of rotting corpses intense and all-pervasive, the problems of malaria, dysentery and other diseases a constant plague. And all while trying to fight a way across an island of limited infrastructure and unforgiving landscape, and against a German foe who would not give up.
It also signalled the beginning of the end of the War in the West. From here on, Italy ceased to participate in the war, the noose began to close around the neck of Nazi Germany, and the coalition between the United States and Britain came of age. Most crucially, it would be a critical learning exercise before Operation OVERLORD, the Allied invasion of Normandy, in June 1944.
Here is the link to order a signed copy of the book from the Chilterns Bookshop website.
A History of The Beginnings of England
Thursday 7th October 2021
D MARC MORRIS is a historian who specializes in the Middle Ages. He studied and taught at the universities of London and Oxford and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. His other books include a bestselling history of the Norman Conquest and highly acclaimed biographies of King John and Edward I (A Great and Terrible King). He also presented the TV series Castle and wrote its accompanying book. He contributes regularly to other history programmes on radio and television and writes for numerous journals and magazines.
Marc Morris’ previous books A Great and Terrible King and The Norman Conquest have sold over 100,000 copies.
A History of The Beginnings of England
Sixteen hundred years ago Britain left the Roman Empire and swiftly fell into ruin. Grand cities and luxurious villas were deserted and left to crumble, and civil society collapsed into chaos. Into this violent and unstable world came foreign invaders from across the sea, and established themselves as its new masters.
The Anglo-Saxons traces the turbulent history of these people across the next six centuries. It explains how their earliest rulers fought relentlessly against each other for glory and supremacy, and then were almost destroyed by the onslaught of the vikings. It explores how they abandoned their old gods for Christianity, established hundreds of churches and created dazzlingly intricate works of art. It charts the revival of towns and trade, and the origins of a familiar landscape of shires, boroughs and bishoprics. It is a tale of famous figures like King Offa, Alfred the Great and Edward the Confessor, but also features a host of lesser known characters – ambitious queens, revolutionary saints, intolerant monks and grasping nobles. Through their remarkable careers we see how a new society, a new culture and a single unified nation came into being.
Drawing on a vast range of original evidence – chronicles, letters, archaeology and artefacts – renowned historian Marc Morris illuminates a period of history that is only dimly understood, separates the truth from the legend, and tells the extraordinary story of how the foundations of England were laid.
The events team are currently arranging further talks for 2021 and we will post then on this website as soon as the speakers have confirmed dates.
In the meantime we wish everyone a safe and healthy New Year