Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

Boys love war.

Here is a documentary of the only operational De Havilland Mosquito in the world going on one of its first flights. The narrator, an ex-Royal Marine, is almost giddy with excitement before the flight and fully emotional about the experience afterwards, (and for once a modern narrator who isn’t a giant douchebag as so many of them are.)

To gain an understanding of why people love this plane so much, (and incidentally it is also my favorite combat aircraft of the Second World War), you have to return to your own youth and remember why as children we played army men in the backyard, and built models of our favorite vehicles and aircraft, and read countless books and comics about battles large and small.

It’s because boys love war.

Boys love war because genetically it’s what we’re built to do. Girls are meant to bear and raise children, (which is why girls play with dolls), and boys are meant to protect those women and children from external threats. The Second World War holds the most fascination for boys because of the huge variety of toys that were developed during that conflict, and the Mosquito was one of the very best examples of technological advancement and pure romantic performance.

Yes, war is hell, and nobody sane wishes for war. But at the same time boys love war because it is our primary opportunity to perform the role that we were designed for in the first place. Of course many men die during war, but many women died during childbirth as well. It was the inherent risk for each sex of the species.

Many cultures have embraced war and warriors as the supreme example of the pinnacle of male development with the Japanese samurai being one of the best examples.

An example of this is encapsulated in the following clip from The Pacific television series.

That is pure male purpose and esprit di corp. That is why the narrator in the first video is so emotional about flying in that plane. Because it is not just a plane. It is male destiny and purpose made manifest. And when he flies in that plane he wishes above all else that he could have been there flying it operationally as well, and on the most dangerous missions possible.

In this sense men are still little boys. They never grow up. And thank God for that.

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12 Comments

  1. Thank you for this article. I served in the military and I believe that it gave us purpose. More purpose than if we had just gone to university like many of the entitled soft wrists that we knew. I still look back at it as a more unique experience than what I could have found in my home town. The adventure, work, travel, and the women were better. Our conflict and mission helped us to become the men that we were meant to be. (I couldn’t have done this at a frat house or liberal arts classroom).

    • John Coe

      As one who also went to war I agree completely. Furthermore, my experience enhanced my later university life making me truly appreciate the delights of scholarship and, unlike my mainly limp-wristed fellow students, realise how fortunate I was.

  2. Someone

    Years ago, I remember having a book about the Mosquito complete with the pictures of the internals and different variations. Quiet a remarkable aircraft for WWII and the resourcefulness to utilize a mix of wooden frame and metal to create a formidable and useful aircraft.

  3. Sasha Hrongmitts

    I forget where I saw it originally, but this quote accurately explains why boys love fighting and war:
    “The Sheep Pray the Wolf Never Comes but the Sheep Dog Lives for That Day”.

  4. John Coe

    Adam, this is truly a wonderful film. Thank you.

  5. Aristonicus

    I, quite by accident, caught the 1964 film 633 Squadron on TV a few weeks back. Real Mosquitos were used for filming, which made up for the period special effects. A very charismatic aircraft.

    • TechieDude

      They told him no thanks. So DeHavilland took his dudes and built it anyway. No diversity directors, no one ringing their hands wondering how to get more women and vibrancy into aviation. Built by dudes with slide rules, pencils, and skills.

      Flown by brave men. Look at their faces as they talk about flying such a masterpiece.

      There’s an airshow that happens here once a year or so where these great old warbirds are flying around. You hear that radial engine, or that Merlin, and all you can do is stand there, gawping at the sky, admiring the thing.

  6. Michael F Adams

    I had seen the video about the Mosquito, uhm,, three times, now four. Imaginje, a bomber faster than the fastest German fighter, a bomber that blew ap;art NAZI jails and prisons, key bridges, Gestapo headquarters. made of WOOD!

    • Goring on the mosquito:

      In 1940 I could at least fly as far as Glasgow in most of my aircraft, but not now! It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito. I turn green and yellow with envy. The British, who can afford aluminium better than we can, knock together a beautiful wooden aircraft that every piano factory over there is building, and they give it a speed which they have now increased yet again. What do you make of that? There is nothing the British do not have. They have the geniuses and we have the nincompoops. After the war is over I’m going to buy a British radio set – then at least I’ll own something that has always worked.

  7. Dave

    https://youtu.be/iVOdAPWxvz4

    I remember loving this army reserve ad as a child. A full 30 years later, it still brings a smile to my face, watching how much fun those soldiers are having with those toys.

    Tanks, helicopters, face camo, boats, and that one guy imitating rambo. Just brilliant!

  8. Derek Hanna

    Yes we do ! No we don’t. I have SEVEREAL deep wound scars on my face I’m so handsome ! I am so fucked scared in my face you would not believe it .

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