A big thank you to all those who participated in Round 1 of our quiz. The answers are set out below. Get ready for Round 2 tomorrow for more chances to win.
- The Old Bailey.
- 3* – England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland; * however, with the effects of Devolution, the Welsh Parliament is increasingly passing Welsh-specific legislation, so “4” is not a wrong answer either.
- The Channel Islands – as lands belonging to the Duke of Normandy, parts of ancient Norman law still apply. The Haro de Clameur is thought to date back to the 10th century and allows any citizen to invoke the aid of his prince to prevent a wrong being done. To use the Haro de Clameur one must kneel, raise one arms in the air and cry Haro! Haro! Haro! À l'aide, mon Prince, on me fait tort.
- (Hear me! Hear me! Hear me! Come to my aid, my Prince, for someone does me wrong.) you must then recite the Lord’s Prayer in French and then file your claim with the court within 24 hours of raising the Clameur. The Haro was most famously used to interrupt the funeral of William the Conqueror over a land dispute, but has been used as recently as 2018 to halt a construction project in St.Peter Port, Guernsey.
- 12 – 9 from England and Wales, 2 from Scotland and one from Northern Ireland; not all the judges will sit on every case and there will always be an odd number of judges sitting, to prevent a tied decision.
- 1219; in the reign of Henry III the right to be tried by one neighbours was instituted.
- Yes, in fact most are. What a beneficiary cannot do is witness the signature of the person making the will.
- True; the European Court of Human Rights has nothing to do with the EU, it was set up, largely at the instigation of the British, in 1959 to ensure compliance by signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights. All countries in geographical Europe are signatories to the Convention, with the exception of Belarus. Cases relating to a breach of the Convention in the UK are usually settled by British Courts, so the ECHR has a somewhat lower profile on the media than the European Court of Justice.
- False – American judges use a gavel, not British ones.
- Mostly Politicians; Parliament passes laws, and governments decide sentencing policy, so despite what the tabloids may say, if someone receives an apparently lenient sentence, it’s usually the fault of the sentencing guidelines that the judge is obliged to follow, rather than the judge him/herself; likewise a “dumb law” is usually the fault of poor parliamentary scrutiny. Judges also “make law” in interpreting legislation where the intention of Parliament was not clear, and in relation to the Common Law, which is a body of judicial decisions which have grown up over many centuries to fill in gaps not covered by parliamentary statute.
- Brazil – Brazil declared war on Germany in August 1942 following persistent attacks on its shipping; it sent an expeditionary force of 25,900 men to Italy in 1944 comprising an infantry division, a fighter squadron and a liaison flight where they were engaged in operations until the end of the war, taking over 20,000 Axis prisoners.
- The Battle of the Atlantic – one of the most crucial battles of the war, because the UK relied on imports of food, oil, minerals and armaments brought by ship to survive, and needed reinforcements from the USA and Canada to win the war; Germany had already deployed U-Boats and the battleships Graf Spee and Deutschland in the Atlantic in August, and these commenced attacking British and French shipping as soon as war was declared on Germany by the Allies; the first sinking of an Allied ship by a U-boat was the liner S.S. Athenia which was torpedoed on the evening of 3rd September 1939; the last sinking of an Allied ship was of the freighter S.S. Avondale Park off the Scottish coast east of North Berwick on 7 May 1945 at 23:00, 24 hours before the official German surrender on 8 May. During the battle, 3,500 Allied merchant ships and 175 warships were sunk, with the loss of 36,000 merchant seamen, and 36,200 naval seamen; Germany lost 783 submarines and 47 other warships, for the loss of 30,000 sailors.
- The Battle of Stalingrad – the battle of Stalingrad lasted from 23/8/1942 to 2/2/1943 and pitted the forces of the Soviet Union against Germany and its allies (Italy, Romania and Hungary). It resulted in approximately 2 million casualties (killed and wounded) on both sides and saw the encirclement and destruction of the German 6th Army (246,000 men in December 1942). 91,000 German soldiers from the 6th Army were taken prisoner. Through a combination of disease, malnutrition and death through forced labour, only 5,000 of these 91,000 men ever made it back to Germany, some of whom were released as late as 1955.
- Life Jacket – Mae West was an American actress and playwright of the 1920s and 30s with a somewhat risqué reputation (for the time); when Allied aircrew were issued with a new design of inflatable lifejacket (much like those used in airliners today) they noticed that, when inflated, it resembled a large bosom, of which Ms West was a proud owner; it may be that cockney rhyming slang of the time “Mae West = breasts” also played a part.
- Emperor Hirohito of Japan (who reigned until January 1989) and King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy who abdicated on 9 May 1946; although Mussolini was Italy’s de facto dictator , Italy was officially a constitutional monarchy and Mussolini only Prime Minister, until he was dismissed by the King on 26 July 1943; Italy joined the Allies and declared war on Germany on 8 October 1943.
- Harry S Truman, Winston Churchill and Admiral Karl Doenitz – Harry Truman became President of the U.S.A on 12 April 1945 after President Roosevelt died of a massive cerebral haemorrhage, Admiral Doenitz was the head of the German Navy and was nominated by Adolf Hitler as his successor. When Hitler shot himself on 30 April 1945, Doenitz became President of Germany and Supreme Commander of its armed forces. Winston Churchill was Prime Minister of the U.K. on V.E.Day but not V.J.Day, having been voted out of office in July 1945.
- The Sherman Tank – although a very successful tank design, early examples that saw action in N.Africa had a tendency to “brew up” (catch fire) due to the location of the ammunition stowage; approximately 80% of these early models caught fire when hit; a “Tommy Cooker” was a trench stove used by British soldiers in WWI , “Tommy” being the nickname for the archetypal British soldier since the early 19th century.
- The Rolls Royce Merlin Engine – was used by all of these aircraft and the Cromwell tank. The P51 Mustang was first produced by North American Aviation for an order from the UK; the earliest variant, the P51A, had disappointing performance over 15,000 feet due to using the same Allison V-1710 engine as the Curtis P40 Tomahawk aircraft already on order for the RAF, which had only a single-stage supercharger; at the suggestion of a Rolls Royce test pilot, Ronald Harker, it was fitted with a Merlin 61 engine, developed for the Spitfire Mark IX, which had a 2-stage supercharger. The new engine transformed the aircraft, increasing the top speed by 40mph and the aircraft’s service ceiling to 42,000 feet. All later models serving in WWII (P51B – D) used versions of the Merlin engine built under licence and the P51 Mustang was one of the best performing fighters of the war, accounting for 4950 enemy aircraft destroyed. The Cromwell tank was also fitted with a (downrated) version of the Merlin engine, which became known as the Meteor. The Allies (unlike the Germans) had some problems developing compact, powerful diesel engines, and therefore often repurposed petrol aero engines for use in tanks. Even with the supercharger removed, the standard Merlin was so powerful that it propelled early Cromwell prototypes at over 50mph, which was much faster than the rest of the tank could cope with, so a less powerful form of the engine was developed, and renamed Meteor.
- The Battle of Cape Matapan – was a naval battle that took place between 27-29 March 1941 in the Eastern Mediterranean off the coast of Crete and Cape Matapan (Greece) in which the British Mediterranean fleet, comprising the aircraft carrier Formidable, the battleships Barham, Valiant and Warspite, 7 light cruisers and 17 destroyers, intercepted the Italian fleet, comprising the battleship Vittorio Veneto, 6 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers and 17 destroyers. In a night action, the battleships Barham, Valiant and Warspite were able to approach an Italian cruiser squadron; the Italian ships had no radar and initially did not spot the British approach, then mistook them for Italian ships; the British were able to approach to a range of 3500m (point-blank range for a battleship) and blast the Italian ships without reply: 3 Italian heavy cruisers and two destroyers were sunk. Prince Philip was then a midshipman on board HMS Valiant and in charge of the ship’s searchlights, which were used to illuminate the enemy in night actions, both to assist the ship’s own guns, and to dazzle and disorientate the enemy. Whilst not seemingly as heroic as being in charge of a gun battery, it was a considerably more exposed role, on deck with limited protection and the first target of enemy fire, and Prince Philip received a Mention in Dispatches for his coolness and professionalism in battle.
- Kohima and Imphal – these two connected battles from 8th March – 18 July 1944 saw the Japanese 15th Army invade India in an attempt to forestall British attempts to recapture Burma and also to cut the air bridge taking supplies from India to China (China having been at war with Japan since 1937 and considered a key ally by the Americans). Imphal was the capital of Manipur state, lay in a plain surrounded by hills and was a key supply base for the British 14th Army. The Japanese forces, consisting of 3 Japanese divisions and one Indian nationalist division (Indian supporters of independence who volunteered to fight against the British) attacked Imphal and also Kohima, which was a hilltop town straddling the road between Imphal and Dimapur, from which British reinforcements were expected to be sent. The great majority of “British” troops involved in the battle were Indian troops, as well as Gurkhas from Nepal, and the defenders of Imphal comprised the 17th, 20th and 23rd Indian divisions, reinforced by the 5th Indian division who were airlifted in to join them. Some of the bitterest fighting took place at Kohima, where a scratch force of 2,500 troops, including a battalion of The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment, the Assam Regiment and a number of non-combatants, faced 15,000 Japanese soldiers. The heart of the Kohima battle took place over the town’s tennis court, with the two sides separated by the width of the court, and when the garrison was finally relieved, after weeks of shelling and hand-to-hand combat, the defensive perimeter was only 350 square metres in size. The Japanese strategy relied on capturing enemy supplies; with their attacks failing, this strategy also failed, and their commander’s persistence in attacking long after success was achievable meant that many Japanese troops succumbed to starvation in the monsoon conditions, with the Japanese army of 85,000 losing 53,000 of its men. These two battles were one of the heaviest defeats the Japanese Army suffered in WW2 and paved the way for the British reconquest of Burma starting in November 1944.
- Germany and the U.K – Germany first deployed the Henschel 123 open cockpit biplane dive bomber in the Spanish Civil War but although production finished in 1940, it was extensively used on the Eastern Front, where it proved easier to maintain in harsh conditions than more advanced designs, before finally being retired in the spring of 1944. The Messerschmitt Me262 twin-engined jet fighter was the first operational jet aircraft in the world, first flying in 1942, but not entering service until April 1944. It was claimed to have destroyed nearly 500 Allied aircraft. The UK first deployed the Fairey Swordfish open cockpit biplane torpedo bomber in 1936 and it remained operation until January 1945. Known as the “stringbag” by its crews due to the versatility of the aircraft and the amount of different weapons and equipment it could carry, it took part in many successful actions, including the attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto in 1940 (which the Japanese carefully studied as a model for Pearl Harbour) the Battle of Cape Matapan, where two Swordfish disabled the heavy cruiser Pola, and the sinking of the Bismarck, where a Swordfish’s torpedoes disabled the Bismarck’s rudder leaving it unable to escape the British fleet. The Swordfish also carried out many anti-submarine attacks from escort carriers and it continued anti-submarine patrols until 1945. In July 1944 the RAF deployed the Gloster Meteor twin-engined jet fighter. Because of concerns that one might fall into enemy hands, they were not permitted to fly over enemy-occupied territory, but they did achieve considerable success in chasing down and destroying German V1 flying bombs in flight.
- 15 years and 3 months – from 16 years old boys could join operational ships; when HMS Hood was sunk by the German battleship Bismarck in 1941, 71 of the 1415 sailors who died on board were aged 16-18.
- France – General de Gaulle wanted the Free French to be present in every theatre of the war and in 1942 discussions began between the Free French and the Russians to deploy a French division on the Eastern front. Eventually it was decided that an air force component would be preferable and in March 1943 the Groupe de Chasse Normandie-Niemen became operational with the 1st Air Army, using Russian Yakovlev fighters. The Groupe de Chasse consisted of approximately 40 pilots and aircraft and was operational from March 1943 until April 1945, accounting for 273 enemy aircraft destroyed and a further 37 probables for the loss of 45 of its own pilots. At the end of the war, as a gesture of appreciation for their efforts, the French pilots were allowed to fly their Yak 3 fighters back to France as a gift to the French people.
- The Soviet Union – in August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed a “non-aggression pact” whereby they agreed to carve up Poland between them, and the Soviets were accorded a “zone of influence” over the Baltic States and Finland as well. After Germany invaded Poland on 1st September 1939, the Soviets then waited until the Germans had advanced sufficiently far, and weakened Polish resistance to a suitable extent, before invading in the East, on the pretence of intervening to establish order in a failing state. The Soviets then unleashed a campaign of class-based killing in the East, to rival in a smaller way the ethnic-based murders carried out by the Germans in the West, by rounding up and executing politicians, landowners, civil servants and military officers, culminating in the mass shootings that took place in the Katyn Forest. Of the remaining countries in the Soviet “zone of influence” the Baltic States were invaded by the Soviets in 1940 and only Finland successfully resisted being over-run by inflicting heavy losses on the Soviet army in 1939-1940 and again in 1941-1944.
- 45% - which is the highest casualty rate of any combat arm of any nation in WW2* with the exception of the German U-Boat arm of the Kriegsmarine, which lost 75% of its personnel; * accurate figures are hard to obtain for some nations who suffered grievously (the Soviet Union may have had a global casualty rate of 25% of its armed forces) and individual units were completely destroyed in all theatres, but as a combat arm RAF Bomber Command was one of the most dangerous places to be – besides the 45% of aircrew killed, another 8% were wounded and 10% taken prisoner, meaning your chances of emerging from the war unscathed were an unpromising 37%.