Posted 20 hours ago

Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall (Spike Milligan War Memoirs)

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Honestly, it's the funniest thing I've read in years and I have now bought all the other books of Spike's in this series.

One of the gunners, however, loses a hand when a shell he is pushing into the howitzer's breach explodes. From the bizarre officer's dances Spike's band played at to the crazy antics they got up to when learning to work the radios--he was a radio operator--it's funny in a slightly crazed way.Milligan then facetiously describes the last of them as being found "naked save for a vest one sock" sitting on the back of a lorry, "waiting to be posted". Milligan's flippant, conversational tone keeps things wonderfully lively and balances both morbid darkness and cheery camaraderie on an even keel; for all the hilarity and horror, there are also lovely, leisurely moments when the troops celebrate with song, dance and fervent affairs with ladies in between.

Dale was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles for his performance. Spike's silliness is infectious and the book contains a winning combination of word play, self deprecating humour and social history. Now, imagine if Monty Python directed this film and expanded the goofball humour of the first fifteen minutes into a full-length feature packed with more gags and brilliant, blistering British wit and wisecracks than you could digest in one go.The not joining up, the joining up, the band, the chaos of training and preparation, the sex and the boredom. He arranges to spend a great deal of time at "Observation Posts" where his only duty is to test the radio once an hour. There is a lot of outrageous humour to be found in the pages, some of it is recklessly obscene and deliciously off-the-wall and audacious; there are also crackling one-liners, rambunctious dance evenings that explode into chaos, drunken behaviour, pratfalls during setting up and shifting camp and through it all, you will be nearly tickled to death. A shell from World War I is eventually found and they make strenuous attempts to fire it for practice. Although they are disciplined and made to burn the clubs, it is here that the inspiration for The Goon Show began.

The film is about Spike being drafted into the army at the beginning of WWII and covered his basic training. Milligan also quotes the memoirs of noted theatre director John Counsell, his sometime deputy battery commander, who noted the laughter in the ranks when Milligan was around, and then after the war, at the height of the Goons' fame, queued with his daughter for autographs.It starts with Milligan joining his regiment (56th Heavy Regiment Royal Artillery) late and immediately being singled out as a troublemaker. Their band has been warned by an officer, that if they smuggle their instruments on board, the instruments will be thrown overboard.

While there he was given the usual punitive tasks such as shovelling coke into a single pile in pouring rain, but his guards also appreciated his artistic ability, and he was asked to draw Vargas girls for them to hang on the wall. Adolf Hitler: My Part on His Downfall is volume One of Spike Milligan's outrageous, hilarious, legendary War Memoirs. The film Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall (1972) was produced by Gregory Smith and Norman Cohen, and directed by Norman Cohen. Recently when I posted a quote from this book, people guessed that it came from Terry Prachett or Monty Python or Douglas Adams.

Yet, the wonder is that this book, even with its undeniably harsh truths, is so entertaining in the end. The fact there was a gun fight in a club and Milligan was the only one still playing; just one of the many funny anecdotes in this story.

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