A Conversation for ORP Blyskawica and the Cowes Blitz

Peer Review: A87759229 - Blyskawica and the Cowes Blitz

Post 1


Entry: Blyskawica and the Cowes Blitz - A87759229
Author: Bluebottle - U43530

An article on local history. I've lived in both Cowes and East Cowes and it is strange to think of what has always seemed to be two very quiet towns (except during Cowes Week) as being the target for a large attack.

As a parent, the idea of an area in which I grew up as a child and which I would happily raise my own children suffering such destruction is beyond words.

But there's no denying that both Cowes and East Cowes were involved in making weapons, especially destroyers and patrol aircraft, and so sadly were legitimate targets. And the raid did target the shipyards and aerodrome, and sadly as a normal consequence of large raids of this nature, several innocent civilians were caught in the middle.

The Island is lucky in that it had only one bad night of heavy air raids during the war, and the attack on the Radar station (plus the odd bombing and minor raids). Compared with nearby Southampton and Portsmouth on the Mainland, or London and Coventry, the Island got off quite lightly.


A87759229 - Blyskawica and the Cowes Blitz

Post 2

Florida Sailor All is well with the world

Great entry!

It might be good to add a paragraph in "Cows at war" about the Royal Yacht Squadron and "Cow's week" as a contrast of the usual excitement expected, as a contrast to the horror of war. I am sure many readers are not aware of this.

Fsmiley - dolphinS

A87759229 - Blyskawica and the Cowes Blitz

Post 3


Good suggestion - a section on Cowes role as a racing resort & the regatta has been added.

This is the first time I've written about both Isle of Wight and Polish history too.


A87759229 - Blyskawica and the Cowes Blitz

Post 4


Updated to include something I found out yesterday about Sir Barnes Wallis.


A87759229 - Blyskawica and the Cowes Blitz

Post 5


hmm. For me the entire section about Cowes - Coastal Yachting Resort is really the basis for another Entry, and detracts from the story of the raid and the Polish ship.

That's only my opinion though.

A87759229 - Blyskawica and the Cowes Blitz

Post 6


I agree with Matt. There may be a place somewhere for the Coastal Yachting Resort section, but this Entry isn't it.

A87759229 - Blyskawica and the Cowes Blitz

Post 7


Section deleted from the article (I'll keep it here for safekeeping)

Cowes &ndash; Coastal Yachting Resort

The town of Cowes at the outbreak of war was best known as the home of international sailing, something which dates back to 1756 when the Vine Hotel, now the site of the Fountain Arcade, installed sea water baths. Cowes soon became a fashionable spa resort for the aristocracy, who were prevented from taking part in the Grand Tour of Europe due to war on the continent. In 1820, Ray's Isle Of Wight described Cowes:

The streets of Cowes are narrow and ill built, but from the manner in which they rise one above another from the water's edge they do have a singular and not unpleasing appearance both from the sea and the opposite bank of the river. The convenience of this town for bathing has of late years occasioned it to become the resort of much fashionable company, also the general accommodations are very good.

In 1788, cutters raced annually around the Island. On June 1st, 1815, before the sailing season started, a group of 42 men who enjoyed racing around Cowes met at the Thatched House Tavern in St James's Street, London, and decided to form a yacht club. They agreed to meet for dinner twice a year, once in London and once in Cowes, to pursue their mutual interest. The 10th rule of the club's founding stated that on the 24th August each year a dinner would be held in Cowes at 4 o'clock. In 1817, the Earl of Yarborough, first Commodore of the Yacht Club, invited the Prince Regent to join the club. In 1820, when the Prince Regent became George IV, the club was renamed the Royal Yacht Club.

In 1824, the first recorded Round the Island Race took place. In 1826, the Royal Yacht Club held its first three-day regatta. Racing became a principal feature of the annual regatta, which soon became the popular Cowes Week, which still takes place each year. From 1827, George IV presented a cup as the prize for the winner of the King's Cup race. In 1833, William IV invited the Royal Yacht Club members to form a Naval Volunteer Force. The Royal Yacht Club was renamed the Royal Yacht Squadron, the name it retains today.
In 1848 jeweller Robert Garrard designed a ewer which was purchased by Lord Anglesey, the Captain of Cowes Castle, who presented it to the Royal Yacht Squadron for use as a racing trophy. The Royal Yacht Squadron offered the 100 Guinea trophy 'open to yachts of all nations, to be sailed under the sailing regulations of the Royal Yacht Squadron round the Isle of Wight'. The America won the race on 22 August, 1851, and The America's CupThe trophy first known as the Squadron Trophy and now called the America's Cup is not actually a cup and is in fact a ewer. Like the Schneider Cup, another international racing event once hosted in Cowes, the prize is called a cup despite not being a cup. international racing event was born.
In 1858, Emperor Napoleon III joined the Squadron. Many Kings, Queens and other rulers have joined, including Kaiser WilhelmOn the outbreak of the Great War, when Germany invaded Belgium, Kaiser Wilhelm's brother, Prince Heinrich of Prussia, was in Cowes, where he was expecting to sail the Kaiser's yacht Meteor in the annual races.. Every British monarch since King George IV has been a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron. In 1871 and 1872, the exiled French Emperor Napoleon IIIThis was only ten years after several forts had been built on the Isle of Wight to ensure that Napoleon III and his troops would be unable to set foot on the Island. and wife Eug&eacute;nie came to Cowes to attend the annual Cowes Week regatta, staying at the Marine Hotel in 1871 and Beaulieu House in 1872. In 1873, Jennie Jerome returned to Cowes for the Cowes Week Regatta, attended a ball and danced a quadrille with Randolph Churchill. After two more dates in Cowes, Randolph Churchill proposed to Jennie Jerome, they soon married and in 1874 the future Prime Minister Winston Churchill was born.
For two weeks each year, Cowes became the home of the world's great and good, the rest of the year Cowes returned to being a sleepy seaside town dominated by its shipbuilding and aircraft industry.


A87759229 - Blyskawica and the Cowes Blitz

Post 8

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

I'm confused about the links across the top of this Entry. Can you clarify them a little?

Maybe some of the Entries need to be curated, so as to put all the links in all the relevant Entries and hold them together systematically.

A87759229 - Blyskawica and the Cowes Blitz

Post 9


smiley - modI'm confused about the links across the top of this Entry. Can you clarify them a little? Maybe some of the Entries need to be curated, so as to put all the links in all the relevant Entries and hold them together systematically.

smiley - biroI've thought about it, and don't think they all need to be curated at this time. Many of the articles are part of different University Projects, so it might end up being confusing.

The articles about the history of Cowes that potentially could be, which aren't in University projects are: A647813 The America's Cup and Cowes, A71438862 The Isle of Wight's Floating Bridge and A87725424 Cowes Castle.

I've moved the rest to references for now.


A87759229 - Blyskawica and the Cowes Blitz

Post 10

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

Thanks BB, no wonder I was confused! That looks much clearer now. Often, less is more. smiley - winkeye

smiley - zen

Congratulations - Your Entry has been Recommended for the Edited Guide!

Post 11

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