Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall (War Memoirs Vol. 1) by Spike Milligan

By Spike Milligan

'At Victoria station the R.T.O. gave me a commute warrant, a white feather and an image of Hitler marked 'This is your enemy'. I searched each compartment, yet he wasn't at the train'. Spike Milligan's at the march, blitzing good friend and foe alike together with his uproarious reminiscences of military existence from enlistment to the touchdown at Algiers in 1943. Bathos, pathos and gales of drunken laughter, and insane army goonery explode in superlative Milliganese.

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Example text

Gunner Donald bided his time. Next night he returned the compliment full in the sleeping Norman’s face. ” One Bombardier, who shall remain a nameless Bastard, had it in for all of us. Revenge was very sweet. One night he came in stoned out of his mind. We waited until unconsciousness set in. Removing his trousers, we carried him and his bed to a lorry. Driven with great stealth, he was deposited in the middle of Bexhill Cemetery. Next morning, he was delivered back to us by Military Police, wrapped in a blanket and foaming at the mouth.

But the most unbelievable ‘act’ was Gunner ‘Plunger’ Bailey, who did an entire twenty minute act with his genitals. It was done on a very professional basis. After lights out a gunner would use a torch as a spot light, which lit the ‘artiste’s’ genitals: the third member of the ‘act’, Bill Hall, sang ‘Bird Song at Eventide as the star manipulated his genitals to resemble ‘Sausage on a Plate’, ‘The Last Turkey in the Shop’, ‘Sack of Flour’, ‘The Roaring of the Lions’, and by using spectacles ‘Groucho Marx’.

The Romans must have heard it once. We drove back in silence until Alf Fildes spoke. “Five pounds? ” It was gone one o’clock when we rolled ourselves in our blankets for the ‘big black’ (as Kidgell called sleep): we drifted off talking about the gig. ——Cor! Wish we had more gigs like that! For Christ’s sake don’t tell Martin, he’ll confiscate it! Lovely piano—Here! you got lost in the middle eight of ‘Undecided’—I don’t know what happened—I thought I was playing ‘Hot and Anxious’…” gradually the talk faded— silence—night; but the time for Bexhill’s siren was nigh!

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