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21 February 1944

21 February 1944


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The US Government requests that Eire breaks off diplomatic relations with the Axis powers. German diplomats in Ireland are one of the few sources of intelligence left to the Germans

Raymond Spruance is promoted to full Admiral after the success of the American campaign in the Marshall Islands.

The Quiet Admiral, A Biography of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, Thomas B. Buell. This is widely considered to be the best biography of Spruance, currently available in this reissued edition. Buell nicely contrasts Spruance with Halsey, his co-commander of the combined third and fifth fleets from 1944, as well as looking at his handling of Midway, the battle that made his name.


February 21, 1945: USS Saratoga, Candidate for Toughest Ship of World War II

On February 21, 1945, while supporting the US invasion of Iwo Jima in the Pacific, the US aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3) was struck by 3 Japanese suicide planes known as Kamikaze. Not only did Saratoga survive those devastating hits, she was also hit by 5 aerial bombs, and suffered extensive damage, 123 men dead and 192 wounded. Thirty-six of her 70 aircraft were destroyed, and the battle was not yet over!

Digging Deeper

Only 2 hours later, the Japanese returned for another attack on the stricken ship, and Saratoga was hit again, and again refused to go down. Not only did the big ship not sink, the highly trained and courageous damage control parties put out the fires and the carrier was able to recover 6 of her planes that had been flying during the attack. Saratoga was sent back to Bremerton, Washington, for repairs, and ended the war as a training carrier.

As you can tell by the designation “CV-3,” the Saratoga was the third US aircraft carrier (after the USS Langley CV-1 and USS Lexington CV-2). Laid down in 1920 as a battle cruiser, the Saratoga was converted to an aircraft carrier while still under construction, a fortunate change mandated by the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 that sought to reduce and control the number of large warships (specifically battleships and battle cruisers, but ignoring the new type of ship, aircraft carriers). Stretching 888 feet long and with a beam of 106 feet, the Sister Sara displaced 43,746 tons fully loaded. She was also heavily armed, boasting 8 X 8 inch guns (in 4 twin mounts) and 12 X 5 inch guns (mainly as anti-aircraft guns) as well as numerous smaller guns, an armament worthy of a heavy cruiser. The Saratoga carried between 70 and 90 aircraft, a healthy complement for those days, and was manned by a crew of 2791. (The 8 inch guns were removed after a refit in 1942.) The Saratoga and her sister ship, the Lexington, were considerably larger than the Langley that preceded them and the USS Ranger that followed, and was even 64 feet longer and with nearly double the displacement of the 3 Yorktown Class carriers that followed the Ranger.

Although the survival of the Saratoga despite terrible damage during the Iwo Jima action would be enough to get this tough ship mentioned among the most resilient of ships, she had also been torpedoed in January of 1942, and again months later, and obviously survived both of those attacks (in August 1942 in the Guadalcanal campaign). Saratoga survived a minor collision with the oiler, USS Atascosa in 1943, and was rammed by an escorting destroyer in October of 1944. In fact, the Saratoga was 1 of only 3 US Aircraft carriers that were in service from the first day of World War II to the last. Even then, this mighty vessel was not done!

Used as a training ship in 1945 after repair, the Saratoga served as a troop transport bringing fighting men back to the US after the war in the Pacific ended. Deemed obsolete after the war, the Sara Maru was designated for the ignoble duty as a target ship for the new nuclear bomb technology. Incredibly, she survived her first nuclear bombing in 1946 (Operation Crossroad) when an airburst atom bomb (test “Able”) of 23 kilotons failed to sink the Saratoga and some of the other ships in the test.

Participating in a second nuclear attack test, Saratoga was more heavily damaged by the underwater detonation of the atom bomb, a test that showed such use of a nuke was more effective against ships than an airburst (as even battleships were sunk in this second test, known as “Baker”). Even then, it took 7 ½ hours for the mighty carrier to sink, and without the benefit of damage control parties.

USS Saratoga (CV-3), the fifth US Navy ship to bear that name, had proven to be a tough customer indeed, although much of that credit needs to be shared with her effective and heroic damage control parties and crew. Sister Sara rightfully belongs in the pantheon of great ships, and was a tough cookie indeed. Question for students (and subscribers): What other ships do you consider among the toughest, most resilient of World War II? If you have a favorite tough ship or an interesting story of the toughness or survival of a World War II warship, please share it with your fellow readers in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

The featured image in this article, a photograph of Saratoga after having been hit by a kamikaze, 21 February 1945, is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, it is in the public domain in the United States.

About Author

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.


This Day in WWII History: Feb 21, 1944: Tojo makes himself "military czar"

On this day, Hideki Tojo, prime minister of Japan, grabs even more power as he takes over as army chief of staff, a position that gives him direct control of the Japanese military.

After graduating from the Imperial Military Academy and the Military Staff College, Tojo was sent to Berlin as Japan's military attache after World War I. Having earned a reputation for sternness and discipline, Tojo was given command of the 1st Infantry Regiment upon returning to Japan.

In 1937, he was made chief of staff of the Kwantung Army in Manchuria, China. When he returned again to his homeland, Tojo assumed the office of vice-minister of war and quickly took the lead in the military's increasing control of Japanese foreign policy, advocating the signing of the 1940 Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy that made Japan an "Axis" power.

In July 1940, he was made minister of war and soon clashed with the prime minister, Prince Fumimaro Konoye, who had been fighting for reform of his government, namely, demilitarization of its politics.

In October, Konoye resigned because of increasing tension with Tojo, who succeeded him as prime minister. Not only did Tojo keep his offices of army minister and war minister when he became prime minister, he also assumed the offices of minister of commerce and industry.

Tojo, now a virtual dictator, quickly promised a "New Order in Asia," and toward this end supported the bombing of Pearl Harbor despite the misgivings of several of his generals. Tojo's aggressive policies paid big dividends early on, with major territorial gains in Indochina and the South Pacific.

But despite Tojo's increasing control over his own country--tightening wartime industrial production and assuming yet another title, chief of staff of the army, on February 21, 1944--he could not control the determination of the United States, which began beating back the Japanese in the South Pacific.

When Saipan fell to the U.S. Marines and Army on June 22, 1944, Tojo's government collapsed.

Upon Japan's surrender, Tojo tried to commit suicide by shooting himself with an American .38 pistol but he was saved by an American physician who gave him a blood transfusion.

He was convicted of war crimes by an international tribunal and was hanged on December 22, 1948.


Adirondack Boys

The first owners who built the lodge and outbuildings that now comprise Penwood, William Bedell Sylvester and Helen Seymour Sylvester, built the camp over a period of years starting in 1901, but some documentation shows that work may have begun as early as 1897.

Known as Burnt Point in 1893 on surveyor maps, the Sylvesters renamed the property Seymour Point after Mrs. Sylvester’s maiden name. Mrs. Sylvester came from a politically prominent and wealthy family. Mrs. Sylvester’s relative, Horatio Seymour, had been Governor of the State of New York from and was the candidate for President of the United States against Ulysses S. Grant.

1. The Camp
2. The Wood Shed
3. The Boathouse
4. The Lean-to
5. The Garage
6. The Pump House
7. Workers barracks for the crew and storage of building supplies.

Treated hemlock bark shingles were used as the exterior building material on some of the buildings, including the main lodge. Some of the camp’s original furniture was manufactured in the workers’ barracks, including the large dining room table with multiple leaves seating 10 at its greatest size, dining room chairs, a large credenza for the dining room, end and side tables, footstools, umbrella stand, and custom bookshelves in the living room. In addition, each bedroom has a custom built chest of drawers, writing desk, cabinet and luggage rack. The largest bedroom had two luggage racks. All of the furniture was designed in the arts and crafts style and had signature details matching the rustic aura of the camp. Canvas wall covering separates the distinctive beam construction of the downstairs. The canvas was originally a light brown color but was repainted white when Syracuse businessman Albert and Dorothea Rosenthal Gordon acquired the property in 1953.

According to local stories, the three story boathouse was used as quarters for the Sylvester family servants and guests, and there was a small gasoline engine driven sawmill on the ground floor. Mr. Sylvester proudly sported a large launch, which he generously used to pick up neighbors and transport them to church and other places on the lake. He also planted spruce trees that fill the property.

In 1939, according to Bobbette Rosenau, whose family rented Seymour Point from the Estate of James Horatio Seymour, after the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester, and whose family had a camp on Fourth Lake, The Boulders, now owned by Lorraine Rosenau Alexander and Ben Alexander, the boathouse burned down. A fire truck came to put out the fire and broke the dock when it drove out on to it to douse the flames. The camp and other buildings were saved, but the magnificent boathouse was destroyed. It was never rebuilt in the grand style in which it was originally constructed, with a large wrap around porch on the upper level, several slips for boats, and quarters upstairs for guests and servants.


21 February 1944 - History

Battle of Iwo Jima
The Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February &ndash 26 March 1945), or Operation Detachment, was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the . More Japanese Empire. The American invasion had the goal of capturing the entire island, including its three airfields (including South Field and Central Field), to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This five-week battle comprised some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of World War II.

After the heavy losses incurred in the battle, the strategic value of the island became controversial. It was useless to the U.S. Army as a staging base and useless to the U.S. Navy as a fleet base. However, Navy SEABEES rebuilt the landing strips, which were used as emergency landing strips for USAAF B-29s.

The Imperial Japanese Army positions on the island were heavily fortified, with a dense network of bunkers, hidden artillery positions, and 18 km (11 mi) of underground tunnels. The Americans on the ground were supported by extensive naval artillery and complete air supremacy over Iwo Jima from the beginning of the battle by U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators.

Iwo Jima was the only battle by the U.S. Marine Corps in which the Japanese combat deaths were thrice those of the Americans throughout the battle. Of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima at the beginning of the battle, only 216 were taken prisoner, some of whom were captured because they had been knocked unconscious or otherwise disabled. The majority of the remainder were killed in action, although it has been estimated that as many as 3,000 continued to resist within the various cave systems for many days afterwards, eventually succumbing to their injuries or surrendering weeks later.

Despite the bloody fighting and severe casualties on both sides, the Japanese defeat was assured from the start. Overwhelming American superiority in arms and numbers as well as complete control of air power &mdash coupled with the impossibility of Japanese retreat or reinforcement &mdash permitted no plausible circumstance in which the Americans could have lost the battle.

Battle of Bougainville
After New Georgia, the next major operation was an invasion of the island of Bougainville, which was approached by landings at Mono and Stirling in the Treasury Islands on October 25-27, 1943. A Marin . More e division landed on the west coast of Bougainville at Empress Augusta Bay on November 1, 1943. The Marines were followed within the month by an Army division and replaced in the next month by another Army division.

It was late November before the beachhead at Empress Augusta Bay was secure. This beachhead was all that was needed, and no attempt was made to capture the entire island. Allied planes neutralized enemy airfields in the northern part of the island, and the Allied command made use of its naval and air superiority to contain the Japanese garrison on Bougainville and cut its supply line to Rabaul by occupying the Green Islands (February 14, 1944).

Battle of Guam (1944)
Guam, ringed by reefs, cliffs, and heavy surf, presents a formidable challenge for an attacker. But despite the obstacles, on 21 July, the Americans landed on both sides of the Orote peninsula on the . More western side of Guam, planning to cut off the airfield. The 3rd Marine Division landed near Agana to the north of Orote at 08:28, and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade landed near Agat to the south. Japanese artillery sank 20 LVTs, and inflicted heavy casualties on the Americans, especially on the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, but by 09:00 men and tanks were ashore at both beaches. The 77th Infantry Division had a more difficult landing. Lacking amphibious vehicles, they had to wade ashore from the edge of the reef where they were dropped by their landing craft. The men stationed in the two beachheads were pinned down by heavy Japanese fire, making initial progress inland quite slow.

US Marines move inland.
By nightfall, the Americans had established beachheads about 6,600 feet (2,000 m) deep.[1] Japanese counterattacks were made throughout the first few days of the battle, mostly at night, using infiltration tactics. Several times, they penetrated the American defenses and were driven back with heavy loss of men and equipment. Lieutenant General Takeshi Takashina was killed on 28 July, and Lieutenant General Hideyoshi Obata took over the command of the defenders.

Supply was very difficult[2] for the Americans in the first days of the battle. Landing ships could not come closer than the reef, several hundred yards from the beach, and amphibious vehicles were scarce. However, the two beachheads were joined up on 25 July, and the Orote airfield and Apra harbor were captured by 30 July.

The counterattacks against the American beachheads, as well as the fierce fighting, had exhausted the Japanese. At the start of August, they were running out of food and ammunition and had only a handful of tanks left. Obata withdrew his troops from the south of Guam, planning to make a stand in the mountainous central and northern part of the island. But with resupply and reinforcement impossible because of American control of the sea and air around Guam, he could hope to do no more than delay the inevitable defeat for a few days.


Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 06 May 2021, 03:51

Or, the German high command(s) are even more scattered in terms of what to do, which yields even more confusion, which leaves even more German forces isolated in various "pockets" to be contained? Or, the Germans decide "heimat" is the only obvious course and bug out for the prewar Franco-German border defenses and/or the Rhine?

No guarantees, but hitting an enemy on the defensive on multiple fronts in the same theater, simultaneously, with forces that can not be concentrated in space but can be concentrated in time generally pays dividends. whether you call it "getting inside the enemy's OODA loop" or "if a man can't skin, he must hold a leg while somebody else does" . not the easiest thing to organize, but if possible, it's been recognized as an advantage for a long time.

I see where you are coming from. What you have described is a simplified version of the US Army's broad front mentality. (Though OODA loops is a dangerous buzz works. By and large the Germans were usually quicker off the mark, and inside the allied decision loop). However, those on both sides had principles of war. The British and Germans both held that one fundamental principle of war was concentration of force. It was German doctrine that at every level a commander had to decide on the point of main effort. Ignoring this and doing what you advocate violates this principle.

The idea of hitting an enemy on several fronts in the same theatre risks splitting your forces and allowing the enemy the chance to concentrate on each of the threats in turn. Good histpric examples are Napoleon in Italy 1796, Jackson's Valley Campaign 1862 and Tannenburg 1914, It has been argued that this what was wrong with the allied Gustav Line offensives in Winter 1944, and resolved in May 1944 by concentrating both armies on the Western side of the Appenines. If the Germans saw this happening on the coast of France they would be likely to see an opportunity rather than run for the Reich.

Not convinced thisn answers the question. What was the outcome of this strategy that would be even better than the historic?

Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 06 May 2021, 04:03

I see, so if the target picked is "Germany" don't you need to prioritize the troops and equipment to invade the Deustches Bucht? Or how about between Weser and Elbe? Rostock? Griefswald? Direct routes to Berlin, right?

We don need no stinkin peripheral targets like North Africa, where we have an opportunity to destroy to Axis armies. We don need no stinkin targets where we can leverage our strengths against Axis weakness.

Marshall, Eisenhower, Smith, et al, generally all seemed to come through the flames okay same for Patton and Bradley, for that matter. Clark and Gruenther? Open question, presumably. same for the logisticians.

How to destroy Germany from the west - take the Ruhr and drive on Berlin. How does one get to Germany to do that? The French and Belgian coasts/ports, Paris and Brussels as transportation centers, augmented by the French Mediterranean ports for additional logistics capacity. It's what the US tried to do in 1917-18, except that thanks to the men who had died in 1914-17, the Americans didn't have to seize the ports and Paris first.

Trying to do the same by way of Naples, Rome, and the Brenner Pass seems, um, unduly challenging.

The opportunity to destroy Axis armies in North Africa ended in May, 1943, which sort of suggests that task was accomplished. Anything after that, other than maintaining the necessary expeditionary force for southern France and re-arming the French was questionable, at best.


Air warfare, 1944

The Allies’ strategic air offensive against Germany began to attain its maximum effectiveness in the opening months of 1944. Both the U.S. air forces concerned, namely, the 8th in England and the 15th in Italy, were increased in numbers and improved in technical proficiency. By the end of 1943 the 8th Bomber Command alone could mount attacks of 700 planes, and early in 1944 regular 1,000-bomber attacks became possible. Even more important was the arrival in Europe of effective long-range fighters, chief of which, the P-51 Mustang, was capable of operating at maximum bomber range. The U.S. fighters could now get the better of the Luftwaffe in the air over Germany, so that whereas 9.1 percent of bombers going out had been lost and 45.6 percent damaged in October 1943, the corresponding figures were only 3.5 percent and 29.9 percent in February 1944, though in that very month a massive and very difficult attack at extreme range had been made on the German aircraft industry. Carl Spaatz, commanding general of the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe, in May 1944 initiated an offensive against Germany’s synthetic-oil production—an offensive that was to become more and more harmful to the German war effort after the loss of Romania’s oil fields to the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the Luftwaffe’s resistance dwindled almost to nothing as its fighter plane production dropped and most of its remaining trained pilots died in aerial combat.

The RAF Bomber Command launched nearly 10,000 sorties in March 1944 and dropped some 27,500 tons of bombs, about 70 percent of this effort being concentrated on Germany but in the following months its offensive was largely diverted to the intensive preparation and, later, to the support of the Allied landings in France. Nevertheless, it joined usefully in the U.S. offensive against German oil production, continued to play its part in the Battle of the Atlantic, and also assumed the task of bombing the launching ramps of the Germans’ “V” missiles. By early 1945, the unending Allied bombing and strafing raids on bridges, roads, rail facilities, locomotives, and supply columns had paralyzed the German transportation system.

The “V” missiles, flying bombs and long-range rockets, were the new weapons on which Hitler had vainly been counting to reduce Great Britain to readiness for peace. His faith in them had indeed been a major motive for his insistence on holding the sites, in northernmost France, from which they were initially to be aimed at London. The V-1 missiles were first launched on June 13, 1944, mostly from sites in the Pas-de-Calais the V-2 missiles were launched a few months later, on September 8, from sites in the Netherlands (after the Allies’ occupation of the Pas-de-Calais on their way to Belgium). The V-2 offensive was maintained until March 1945.


21 February 1944 - History

St Johns Hill by Plough way

This was the first V1in Battersea and it demolished 2 shops and houses at 84-86 StJohns Hill.

The junction of the High St and Gwynne Road (around 110 High St)

V1 Destroyed 110 High St and also damaged a van and some timber

Petworth Street East side junction with Bolan Street

The V1 demolished 6 houses and damaged 20 others

This V1 was reported by the Fire Brigade in the Wandsworth Road . It hit a barrage ballon and the back bedrooms of flats at bradfield House were damage.The location of these are yet to be established.

Honeywell Road Between Honeywell and Broomwood Road : Norhcross road junction

V1 destroyed 8 houses and badly damaged a further 20

Battersea Park Opposite Prince of Wales Drive , to West of Alexandra Avenue

V1 fell in the park on open ground but caused slight damage to a block of flats

Howie Street at junction with Radstock Street

V1 demolished 10 houses and badly damaged a further 40

A range of buildings covering 11 acres damaged by blast and fire. 400 gallons of oil destroyed by fire or flowed into river

Salcott Road,West end ,at Bolinbroke Road junction

V1 demolished 10 houses and badly damaged a further 40.Bolinbroke Hospital also damaged.

V1 in Battersea Park fell on open ground but damaged 12 army flats

Chatfield Road To North of Road right by Thames

V1 destroyed a petrol store

20 houses damaged by blast.

Devereux Road south end at junction with Thurleigh Road

8 houses demolished and 20 seriously damaged. Slight damage to surrounding property.

Sisters Avenue,half way up

8 houses demolished and 20 seriously damaged. Slight damage to surrounding property. Site can clearly be seen as the line of Victorian housing is filled with '60s replacement.

York Road by thames,near Lombard Road

Works hit. 60 tons of oil and 200 gallons of turps destroyed and a range of buildings severely damaged. 7 barges on the Thames laden with paraffin wax damaged.

Batten st Between Batten and Lubbock St

Serous V1 incident .12 houses demolished and 30 seriously damaged.

20 houses demolished and 40 seriously damaged.

Brassey Square East side by Morrison st

V1 demolished 20 houses and caused severe damage to 40 others

Eslspeth Road Lavender Hill: Between north ends of Espeth road and lavender gardens

V1 demolished 6 houses and badly damaged 20 more.2 3 floor office buildings damaged by explosion and fire

V1 hit gun site in park.Paint store destroyed. 5 nissen huts demolished. Severe damage to officers mess and canteen.

Factories,wharves and NFS premises suffered slight damage. Barge holed and sunk


Price: £39.99

Quantity: 2 available

New hardback copies. Reprint. The eight month long stay that would firmly cement the Division into the annals of Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire history. The story of the 82d Airborne Division in England, with stories of romance and friendship, as well as tales of theft and murder. With over 400 photographs and testimonies from both veterans of the Division and the locals who remember them, this book stands as the most comprehensive history of this little known period in the life of this fine Division. 340 pages

Title: AND SUDDENLY THEY WERE GONE : AN ORAL AND PICTORIAL HISTORY OF THE 82D AIRBORNE DIVISION IN ENGLAND, FEBRUARY - SEPTEMBER 1944


Often, it proves more of a challenge when perpetrators find someone with confidence and spirit, who they are able to slowly diminish over time – Amy Coombs

“In many ways psychological abuse is still so misunderstood, so we felt we should use our platform to help people identify toxic behaviour patterns, and develop a deeper understanding of how this sort of relationship manifests,” explains Corrie’s senior storyliner Amy Coombs. “It felt right to play this with a character like Yasmeen because she is such a bright character. We found from research that perpetrators don’t necessarily choose victims they believe to have low self-esteem. Often, it proves more of a challenge when they find someone with confidence and spirit, who they are able to diminish slowly over time.

“The biggest challenge for us was the pacing of the story,” admits Coombs, pointing to the usually snappy resolutions of soap tradition. “It had to be a slow burner due to the nature of this type of abuse – the control doesn’t just happen overnight, and it is often disguised with charm, love and romance in the early stages. We needed our audience to invest in Yasmeen and Geoff’s relationship in the early stages, otherwise they wouldn’t have felt the impact of Geoff’s abuse later on nor would they have understood why Yasmeen was sticking around. We’ve worked hard to build him up as Mr Joker to the outside world quite often when perpetrators are identified, the consensus is: ’Not him? But he was such a nice guy!’”

Coombs has been heartened by the public response to the storyline: “Whether it encourages women to identify certain patterns in their own relationships, or helps others reach out to their sisters, brothers, friends, mothers or neighbours if they think they might be suffering, we will have done our job if it helps even one person escape a mentally abusive relationship.”

According to The Guardian, I Am Nicola showed the ‘intangible violence’ of coercive control: ‘the emotional manipulation… the gentle battering of a psyche into submission’

Another distinctly relatable portrait of gaslighting came in 2019’s I Am Nicola (part of a dramatic triptych by British writer-director Dominic Savage), starring the brilliant Vicky McCLure (This Is England Line Of Duty) as a hairdresser stifled by her toxic relationship. This captures the often deceptively mundane nature of domestic abuse, and its creeping oppressiveness there is no ‘Hollywood ending’, but there is an exhilarating note in its final scenes – and Savage believes that drama can effect positive social change.

“If you can make something that so many people are actually experiencing on a day-to-day basis, that they can properly relate to and feel emboldened by, inspired by, and want to make changes to their life for the better, then it’s the best reason to be creating work,” he says.

Bursting the bubble

There is anticipation surrounding the independent British short Losing Grace, created by a multi-award-winning all-female team, and supported via crowdfunding. This ‘poetic thriller’ will be filmed on the Isle of Man, and blend realist drama about the aftermath of domestic abuse (and its impact on children) with Manx folklore (the mist that shrouds the island the historic Tower of Refuge off its coastline).

The short film Losing Grace attracted attention even before it was made in it, a mother finds temporary refuge after fleeing her abusive partner with her daughter

“We were predominantly looking at the relationship between a mother and daughter, and that line of protectiveness,” explains writer-director Athena Mandis. “What if everyone sees the mother as ‘mad’, but she’s actually running away from an abusive relationship? To find yourself in a position where your work is resonating before it’s even made, is humbling. People definitely respond to seeing themselves represented ‘I’m not in a bubble this is not OK’. If we’re not having the conversation, then we’re not going to impact change.”

Change remains crucial. The statistics are shattering – two women are killed each week by a current or former partner in England or Wales 20% of UK children have lived with an adult perpetrator of domestic abuse. Victim-blaming persists in the #MeToo era. Popular culture should offer an antidote to the isolation of domestic abuse reminding us that this is not an imagined state, help is available, and victims are not alone.

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