Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blue shirts and blitzkrieg? It’s just not #cricket | Ben Macintyre - Times Online

Adolf Hitler played cricket. He raised his own cricket team to play some British prisoners of war during the First World War, then declared the sport “unmanly” and tried to rewrite the laws of the game.
The Führer’s First XI sounds like a Spike Milligan joke, but this small nugget of history is true. In all the millions of words written about Hitler, his telling brush with cricket seems to have escaped the attention of historians.
The incident is referred to in John Simpson’s new book about 20th- century reporting, citing a piece in the Daily Mirror in 1930. I have the article in front of me. Sandwiched between advice on preventing mildew in chrysanthemums and an advert for Barkers’ evening cloaks, it is quite extraordinary, and extraordinarily revealing: about Hitler, the nature of cricket, and why the world’s worst tyrant and the world’s greatest game were never going to get on.
The Mirror piece was written by Oliver Locker-Lampson, an MP, decorated wartime veteran, right-wing zealot and fervent admirer of Hitler. It was published under the headline “Adolf Hitler As I Know Him” on September 30, 1930, as the Nazis’ brutal rise to power gathered pace.
In it, Locker-Lampson describes how in 1923, shortly after the Munich putsch, he met some British officers who had been prisoners of war in southern Germany during the First World War. By coincidence Hitler, then a lance corporal in the German Army, was recovering from his wounds in a nearby hospital.
“He had come to them one day and asked whether he might watch an eleven of cricket at play so as to become initiated into the mysteries of our national game,” writes Locker- Lampson. “They welcomed him, of course, and wrote out the rules for him in the best British sport-loving spirit.”
According to Locker-Lampson, Hitler returned a few days later, having assembled his own team, and challenged the British to a “friendly match”. As Simpson points out, Locker-Lampson infuriatingly failed to inform his readers who won, but we can assume that the British POWs thrashed Hitler’s XI, because he immediately declared the game insufficiently violent for German Fascists.
Hitler, it seems, had an ulterior motive for wanting to play the game: “He desired to study it as a possible medium for the training of troops off duty and in times of peace.” He also wanted the game to be Nazified.
“He had conned over [sic] the laws of cricket, which he considered good enough no doubt for pleasure-loving English people. But he proposed entirely altering them for the serious- minded Teuton.” Specifically, he “advocated the withdrawal of the use of pads. These artificial ‘bolsters’ he dismissed as unmanly and un-German . . . in the end he also recommended a bigger and harder ball.”
Locker-Lampson was not mocking Hitler. Far from it, he regarded Hitler’s “essential improvements” to the English game as a mark of his greatness. The British MP was the founder of the Sentinels of Empire, a blue-shirted group of rightwingers dedicated to fighting Bolshevism. Like many upper-class Englishmen (including Lord Rothermere, then the owner of the Mirror) he was besotted by Nazism, and the rest of the article is a dribbling paean of praise to Hitler: “The temperature of the room rises in his presence . . . He makes the humblest fellow feel twice the man.”
Locker-Lampson reported that Hitler had even devised a new motto for cricket, in German: “Ohne Hast, ohne Rast” — Unhasting, Unresting. To this starry-eyed disciple, Hitler’s determination to rewrite the rules of this most hallowed English institution was a mark, not of mad megalomania, but of his ambition and drive: “That is what makes him a legendary hero already.”
From a distance of 80 years, this forgotten incident demonstrates exactly the reverse of what Locker-Lampson intended, offering a small and unexpected window into Hitler’s brutal mentality.
Sport, in Fascist thinking, was merely a tool with which to forge good Nazis. “German sport has only one task,” declared Joseph Goebbels: “To strengthen the character of the German people, imbuing it with the fighting spirit and steadfast camaraderie necessary in the struggle for its existence.” That twisted attitude would find full expression in the Nazi Olympic Games of 1936.
Hitler, it seems clear, was simply unable to comprehend a game as subtle and nuanced as cricket. He wanted speed and violence. Not for him the gentle thwack of leather on willow, but rather the crunch of a harder, larger ball against unprotected shins. His rewritten rules for the game attempt to blend cricket and blitzkrieg: blitzkricket.
If cricket has a motto, it is probably “Play up! Play up! And play the game”, from Henry Newbolt’s poem Vitaï Lampada, which also extols cricketing manliness, but of a very different sort to that lauded by Hitler: “And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat, Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame . . .”
Cricket, of course, is the ultimate sporting fusion of mind and body: an intricate set of rules and tactics, involving minute gradations of physics, climate and psychology, requiring the broadest range of athletic ability and good manners. In its classic form, it takes five days, with set intervals for tea, and often produces no result. Try to imagine Hitler enjoying a truly thrilling draw, a totalitarian wrestling with the subtle uncertainties of the lbw law. The word “googly” has no translation.
The laws of cricket have evolved over time, and continue to evolve, the result of thousands of refinements and adjustments, not through the arrogant decree of one man. That, again, Hitler would have found impossible to grasp.
For anyone who loves cricket, there is something deeply satisfying in the knowledge that Hitler did not understand the game, and something disquieting in the thought that, had he won the war, we would all be playing without pads.
Sadly, the scorebook from Hitler’s first and only cricket match has not survived. We will never know how much his team lost by, where he batted in the order, and what score he made. But we can certainly speculate. His angry contempt for cricket, his attempt to invade the rules and alter them in his own image, and his inability to comprehend the complexities of the sport all point to one, inescapable conclusion: he was out for a golden duck.
Hitler has only faced one ball.
Firing squad if you are out for a duck.


Anonymous said...

I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don't
know who you are but certainly you're going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!
Also see my web site :: football jerseys for kids

Anonymous said...

Lower nerve pain is that condition. By stretching these muscles do not cover acupuncture for example, in which the blood flow, tackles inflammation and swelling, pain in what occurs when the child pose.
The kidneys are located. Finally, the highest quality bra, consider bending your elbows
next to the back of your life. Adding the five-count abdominal contraction is easily justified because it could be an effective treatment for sciatic nerve pain!
So if you are sitting right too. Home remedies offer quick relief from sciatica.

Here is my weblog - Brookland acupuncture back pain
My blog :: Brookland acupuncture back pain

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that's both eԁuсаtivе and еngagіng,
and ωithout a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I found this during my search for something concerning this.

Also visit my web blog - http://www.123mua.vn/u25/may-tinh-bang.html

Anonymous said...

Hiya! You some sort of professional? Nice message. Can you tell me the right way to
subscribe your weblog?

Here is my site; having trouble getting pregnant after a miscarriage

Anonymous said...

This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something
which helped me. Many thanks!

my web page; vintage gaming t-shirts

Anonymous said...

Its like you read my mind! You seem to understand so much about this, like
you wrote the e book in it or something. I believe that you simply could do with some %
to power the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog.
An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

Also visit my web-site :: Charlotte computer parts

Anonymous said...

I always used to study article in news papers but now as I am a user of net so from now I am using net for content, thanks to web.

Visit my web page ... local yellow pages

Anonymous said...

Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in
Opera. I'm not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I'd
post to let you know. The design look great though!
Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Many thanks

Feel free to visit my site local real estate listings

Anonymous said...

I am really enjoying the theme/design of your website.
Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems?
A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my site not operating
correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari.

Do you have any recommendations to help fix this problem?

Feel free to visit my blog post - United States real estate directories ()

Anonymous said...

Hi, I read your blog on a regular basis. Your humoristic style
is witty, keep up the good work!

Here is my blog post ... example apa research paper

Charles Vargas said...

Get Latest Cricket Match Score updates only on Sportsala.net. Check out 2021 Live Cricket Score ESPN of Ball by Ball & full Scorecard of International & Domestic.

Anonymous said...

New Zealand have announced their 13-man squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against Australia, starting from 22nd February in Christchurch. Uncapped pugnacious batsman Finn Allen has included as a reserve for Martin Guptill, who has been suffering from hamstring injury. With Guptill in rehabilitation process.

Christopher said...

The recent developments could be considered as a bad omen for South African cricket as a lot of good cricketers have left the home shores to join county system in England to earn a better living and secure their future.


Unknown said...

The France Lotto Result has 3 draws every week; on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. They happen at 8 pm in France so for you in South Africa, that is 9 pm.

Unknown said...

View historical France Lotto Result for the last 30 days. Check the winning numbers against your tickets to see if you're a French Lotto winner! France Lotto Result

Anonymous said...

England opener Alex Hales is not included for the upcoming one day series against West indies in the Caribbean due to sustaining an injury to his hand while playing in India. The right handed batsman did sustain the injury during the course of the second game. https://marylandreporter.com/2020/09/23/smartcric-live-online-how-to-watch-crictime-live-cricket-on-smartphone/

mrsunny said...

It depends on your sticker's design but usually a 4-color inkjet printer with a 1200 dpi print resolution will more than suffice.

mrsunny said...

With sublimation printers, you can create quality business cards, banners, signs & more without worrying about colors or images fading. With our specialized software, you can easily print photos for your loved ones, family portraits, your company's logo, and much more! https://shakespearefound.org.uk/

Lunchtime Result said...

Uk49s today teatime results in 2021. Latest 49s lunchtime and UK teatime results, previous UK49 results and UK 49s teatime result for South Africa. View today's UK49s Result, as well as the 2021 historical results from all draws that have taken place in the last 30 days.

Greece Power Ball said...

You should, however, Stay tuned to our website in order to make sure you don’t miss out on the newest lucky numbers. View the upcoming Greece Powerball Resuls Today

Greece Power Ball said...

Check Latest Greece Powerball Results today. Don't, miss updates of Greece Power Ball (Joker) Results in 2021. View if you are a winner tonight's winning number here: https://thabani.co.za/

Ejustice.PK said...

Set to premiere on Global later this year, the 10-episode, one-hour drama follows a group of flawed family members who reluctantly work together at their ...
Family law​​​

France Lotto Results said...

The latest France Lotto Result every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. View the winning numbers, raffle codes, next jackpot and prize values for the popular lotto.