"like a cross between the Valentine's Day Massacre and the Battle of Britain."

The St Valentine's Day Massacre was the name given to a gangland fight in the Prohibition era between gangs led respectively by Al Capone and Bugs Moran. The murder of seven of Moran's men on 14 February 1929 in North Side, Chicago by men posing as police officers was almost certainly ordered by Capone in retaliation for a machine gun attack by Moran's gang on Capone's headquarters. The boys in the story would have known of the event largely through books and films, especially from the classic 1932 film Scarface directed by Howard Hawks and, more recently for these 1950s juniors, the use of the massacre as a plot device in the 1959 comedy movie Some Like it Hot.

The following very cool piece of editing includes the 'massacre' clips from both Scarface and Some Like it Hot along with other treatments of the scene in the movies.

 

The Battle of Britain was the name given to the ferocious campaign conducted by the German air force (Luftwaffe) over the United Kingdom in the summer and autumn of 1940. Its aim was to establish air superiority over Britain's Royal Air Force. The name has its orgin in one of Prime Minister Winston Churchill's stirring wartime speeches: "The Battle of France is over; I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin." In the late 1950s memories of the war were still fresh. Children in the streets still fought mock battles of Jerries (Germans) against the English.

The clip below has Churchill's original Battle of Britain speech as a soundtrack over some appropriate wartime images.