Originally Posted by Gregvan
If Mannock did suffer from a "bad press", it is due in large part to statements he made himself and those who knew him, in my opinion.
If ‘On being questioned as to his wild behaviour after we landed, he repeatedly replied, "the swines are better dead - no prisoners for me."’ means that Grid Caldwell heard the questions asked, heard the repeated responses, recorded his account and that account was given to Alex Revell from a reliable source then it’s credible. But, with no disrespect to either of Alex Revell or you, Greg, intended, the footnote is an opinion only, uses the emotive adjective pathalogical
and then supports that opinion with that of an earlier biographer, Ira Jones
who, writing after Mannock’s death when he can’t respond, explains Mannock’s “hatred” by speculating that Mannock was afraid that the Germans might win the war. Jones’ credibility is in question, ironically, by his bumping up of Mannock’s “score”. I wonder whether Mannock’s bad press is a result of self fulfilling prophecy. Having been labled a bad egg, perhaps part bad egg, early, subsequent writers interpret their material in that light.
We reading about WW1 pilots 90 years after the event need to be careful about accepting uncritically what we read. Just because it’s in a book or because it’s repeated doesn’t mean it’s true.