Tag Archives: History

Of Nations and War

This is the first paragraph of a story I am working on regarding a man whose life is turned upside down as a result of finding out who is mother really was and who is Father really is. Please feel free to comment.

File:Maquis Haute Savoie.jpg

Maquisards (Resistance fighters) in the Haute-Savoie département in August 1944. Third and fourth from the left are two SOE officers.

Clifton Stewart Lloyd, professor of history at the United States Naval Academy was immersed in his most recent project, an in-depth study of British intelligence operations during the Second World War.  Professor Lloyd taught courses at the academy with such titles as American Irregular Warfare and Germany and the Nazi Experience. But over the last few months, Cliff, as he was known by the few close to him, had become captivated with his father’s adventures in the British Intelligence apparatus during the Second World War.  His father, Sir Avery Randolph Lloyd, following several years of decorated service in the Royal Horse Guards, became a member of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) of the Special Intelligence Service at the urging of his close friend Sir Stewart Graham Menzies, then director of the SOE. Conjuring images of intrigue and unconventional methodologies associated with the literary hero Sherlock Holmes and his band of street urchin spies, the SOE was also known as the “Baker Street Irregulars”, and earned the oft attributed adage “the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” by fulfilling their mission as directed by Sir Winston Churchill to “set Europe ablaze”. The SOE was to conduct warfare by means other than direct military engagement by facilitating espionage and sabotage behind enemy lines. Cliff knew his father had served in both the first and second World Wars but was never able to break his father’s reticence regarding his military exploits.  Cliff had always assumed his mother’s untimely death during the war had shrouded his father’s memories of that time with pain and regret, leaving him unable to reflect or even recall the details of his service in a positive light. But now, nearly fifty years later, Cliff was beginning to realize the true nature of story behind the father that had raised him, the mother that had left him, and why. Her real name, was Aksinya Petrovna and her sweet but inscrutable mission came from the Red Tsar himself.


The Relativity Theory of History

HistorybooksThere are many running theories on how to appropriately record history for posterity’s sake. I would consider myself an armchair historian, not a scholar or professional but I have read or heard a lot of differing perspectives on the topic. I have recently finished two books on the history of the United States – the first “A Patriot’s History of the United States” by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen, and the second “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn. These two lengthy volumes represent two very different perspectives on the history of the U.S. and the experience of having read both has got me to thinking. Which version is the truth? Which author is being honest? I have come to the conclusion that both accounts are true as opposed to the common view that reality  lies somewhere in the middle of the telling. The issue is perspective. Continue reading