JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
It is interesting to see this ad for the beverage that is the grace of the gods, using the Spitfire as a comedic backdrop to the stout. The ad appeared in the Illustrated London News on November 29, 1941, a year and a month past what is recognized as the end of the Battle of Britain (July 10, 1940-October 31, 1940). The facts and figures on the battle read less than the actual scope of the victory by the Brits in their defense of the U.K. by the R.A.F. On the British side there were 1542 RAF killed (Fighter/Bomber/Coastal Commands) with 1547 aircraft destroyed; the Germans lost 2698 killed, 967 captured , 638 missing, with a loss of 1887 aircraft. The civilian deaths and wounded was high: 90,000 casualties including 40,000 killed. It was a decisive victory for the U.K. and a costly loss for the Nazis.
This is what Winston Churchill famous said at the beginning of the great trial:
"What General Weygand has called The Battle of France is over. The battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of a perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour". — Winston Churchill, June 18, 1940 For the full text see: http://www.winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/233-1940-the-finest-hour/122-their-finest-hour
In any event, the comfort level was high enough for the Guinness folks to use a Spitfire in their ad:
Here's the entire (30 minute) speech--the part I quote above is the last paragraph of the speech: