Friday, April 25, 2008

WWII Sub'"Happy Ending"

[Crossposted from Unconsidered Trifles] They've been having a discussion/debate about pornography in the military over at NRO's The Corner. And while my view is that it should probably not be sold in the NEX, NRO's Andrew Stuttaford (who often leans libertarian on many issues) offers this intriguing submarine "sea story" from the WWII era as a counterpoint. Apparently, sub skippers were given advanced copies of the Daily Mirror's racy comic strip "Jane" so that their crews didn't miss out on any developments...
But who was Jane? ..She was the woman who kept British soldiers smiling through their gloomiest hours, and one story comes to mind that best illustrates her effect on those in the armed services. A British submarine had been attacked, and was crippled and powerless on the bottom of the ocean. Sea currents swirled round the vessel and there was always the chance the enemy would swoop in for the kill. The crew inside fully expected the vessel to become their tomb, but knew how they wanted to spend their last moments. A request was put in to the captain. The submariners wanted to live out what time remained gazing at pictures, currently in his safe, of a stunningly beautiful woman from Eastleigh, Hampshire. Their commanding officer obliged and the images of the supremely sexy Christabel Leighton-Porter, aka "Jane," were distributed... Christabel was, quite simply, Britain's first bona fide sex bomb... As the inspiration for Jane, photographs of Christabel were everywhere, slapped on the walls of mess halls and bars all over the country. Her image was painted on aeroplanes and daubed on jeeps...
More on the history of "Jane" here. So what was the fate of that "doomed" crew? Well, the story survived, and so they must have as well--and did, thankfully.

I guess you might say they received an, er..."happy ending"? Yikes!


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