Andrew HN Gray (Letters, 9 June) can twist things with the venom of Brian Wilson. He mentions Alex Salmond being photographed beside Scottish survivors of D-Day “as if somehow they had managed to overcome the Germans on their own”.
Decades back some of us were sent from BAOR (British Army of the Rhine) on general duties for D-Day commemorations. We had a photo taken with veterans wearing our cap badge. That does not mean that we claim our corps single-handedly won the war.
Plenty of people take photos with their own veterans, none of them making such a stupid claim as Mr Gray states.
If you want to talk about D-Day irony, then surely he should be mentioning the (welcome) presence of the Germans.
Mr Gray seems to think that the UK would have lost the war if Scotland had been independent. Funny, the UK didn’t lose the war with Australia and Canada being independent. Could it happen to be that the UK won the war because the USSR switched sides and the USA joined in? I believe there were one or two Americans at Normandy.
Mr Gray talks about the irony of a Scottish nationalist defeating a German nationalist regime. Rubbish. It was a German National Socialist/Fascist regime.
Against the tide of Communism and extreme right-wing parties it was the German Nationalists who fought to hold Germany together after 1918.
Basically traditionalists, they held out under President Paul von Hindenburg until his death and Hitler’s takeover. Hitler owed a lot to the UK: a loan of several million pounds and the acquisition of horses when the British Army mechanised, for example.
Note that the government of the day was “the National government”, Labour, Liberal and Conservative parties in an anything but a “Better Together” association. Furthermore, all collaborators and traitors came from the UK establishment, none from Scottish Nationalism.
Both the Germans and British checked out the SNP and similar organisations and decided that they were not going to be pro-Nazi.
I find it amazing that so many unionists use the Second World War (and the First) as some sort of argument for keeping the Union together.
I also find it amusing how many great British unionists have served their country well in the Fireside Fusiliers, but their patriotic ferver doesn’t quite stretch to actually serving and defending the state.
Thomas R Burgess
I was saddened and more than a tad irked at Andrew HN Gray’s letter, “D-Day irony”. Putting aside the cheap, petty politicking and points scoring at the First Minister’s expense, it was hurtful to read the myopic, false words expressed at the end of the letter.
The Second World War was not won by the British, as implied by Mr Gray. It was won by the Allies, a force composed of Russians, Americans, English, Canadians, Scots, Welsh, Irish, Dutch, French, Norwegians, Poles, Czechs, Belgians, Indians, Australians, New Zealanders and many more.
Had Scotland been an independent nation it would have had no bearing on the outcome. Scotland, neutral or not, I am certain would have played its part.
Even in Ireland, where anti-British feelings led to dubious loyalties, the Irish came to fight. I say to you, Mr Gray: look to your little Britain and realise it is just that: little. Very little.
Andrew HN Gray expresses his dislike of the First Minister of Scotland performing his duties to the former soldiers of Scotland who fought in the Battle for Normandy.
My father was involved with “Hobart’s Funnies”, the ingenious tank adaptations which helped to overcome the German defences. In the course of the battle my father was rendered battle-weary and subsequently injured.
I therefore feel that this letter is unacceptable in its tenor, quite apart from its being based on a fantasy, that the UK won the Second World War.
Not only was the country at that time ruling a quarter of the globe, an Empire it was still enlarging by taking German and Italian colonies, but was presently joined by the enormous powers of the USA and USSR, the leaders of which countries celebrate their soldiers’ courage without suffering carping and distorted criticism.
Iain WD Forde