Saturday, 17 January 2009

Biggles was an Alcoholic

Several times in the past few days I've found myself mentioning this to friends (because obviously Biggles is so relevant to current affairs) so I just thought I'd make it official.

Because the Internet. is Official.

In the course of the first Biggles collection of books, entitled 'The Camels are Coming', Biggles encounters a German agent flying a British aircraft, another Camel, in order to shoot down unsuspecting British pilots:
"The Camel closed up until it was flying beside him; the pilot smiling. Biggles showed his teeth in what he imagined to be an answering smile. 'You swine,' he breathed: 'you dirty, unutterable, murdering swine! I'm going to kill you if it's the last thing I do on earth.'"

Later, when his one of his best friends is shot in the back trying to beat a trap laid by an obsolescent German aircraft, and lands his Camel intact, dying in Biggles' arms, Biggles gets into his dead friend's machine, and flies it, bullet holes and blood, near-constantly for weeks in the hunt for that one aircraft in order to exact revenge.

Later, he is threatened with being taken off active duty after a deranged rant in the Mess in front of his superior officer; when questioned, two of his fellow flight-commanders and friends remark that to take him off duty would probably break him. They remark that he could drink a bottle of Scotch for breakfast and still fly sober.

On the day that the Amnesty is signed, but before news has reached the front, Biggles is shot down on an escort mission behind enemy lines, and beaten severely by German ground troops before an officer gives him the news. He doesn't cheer and say 'Jolly well done chaps, by jove'.

Would you like to know more?

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