Tuesday, 8 December 2015

poor matthew

I heard a genuinely heart-rending story the other night about someone who dutifully checks this blog every day hoping for something to have changed, like a sort of digital Greyfriars Bobby. It's not like I haven't been learning interesting things about winter horseshoes (Napoleon didn't take winter horseshoes to Moscow - BIG mistake) and idiot terrorists hunting for a mythical super-substance called red mercury.

Or the battle for Castle Itter. The Daily Beast writes a big feature about it asking, essentially, how the hell come this isn't a movie already? The Daily Beast is right to ask.

In a nutshell: during WWII, Castle Itter houses French VIPs, where P stands for Prisoners. Also in the Castle (fairytale, 13th century) are some of the prisoners' wives, who have chosen to be interned with their husbands. Just after Hitler commits suicide, it's liberated by the Americans. But a crack SS regiment arrives to take it back and execute the prisoners. At which point, the Americans are joined by an anti-Nazi Wehrmacht unit which had joined the resistance.

Featuring also: Jean Barotra, the Bounding Basque, who won Wimbledon twice, as well as the French  and Australian Opens. He was a prisoner - he escaped three times, once during the final battle to go for help.