Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lord Haw Haw

Commander Benson had a recent post which centered on this story and several others involving Sgt. Fury's romance with a British noblewoman named Pamela Hawley. As it happens, I thought it would be interesting to talk about Hawley's brother in the story, described as Lord Ha Ha.

Of course there really was a Lord Haw Haw; he was a propagandist for the Nazis during World War II. He broadcast messages to the British calling for their surrender. Here's part of one of his radio messages from 1941:

However, the rest of the story is pure fiction from Lee and Kirby. For starters, Lord Haw Haw was not the son of an English lord; rather he was William Joyce, the son of an Irish immigrant to America. Joyce's family moved back to Ireland when he was still quite young, and to England during the Irish war for independence in the teens. Joyce joined the English fascists in the 1930s and later fled to Germany just before the outbreak of WWII.

In the story, Hawley's family is convinced that he has been tortured into making broadcasts for the Nazis, and request Fury's help to spirit him back to England. Fury succeeds in kidnapping Hawley, but the traitor escapes and is ironically shot by the Nazis who mistake him for an enemy.

Given that this appears to take place in the early 1940s, it is clearly another bit of artistic license. The real Hawley made his final (drunken) radio broadcast in 1945 as the Allies were about to end the war in Europe:

And he died at the end of a British rope, executed for treason.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I only regret that I didn't grow up in the Silver Age. I grew up in the Bronze Age. The Bronze Age *sigh*.

Well, even the Bronze Age is better than modern comics with the women stuffed in refrigerators, rape, and $4.00 cover prices.

Pat said...

The Bronze Age isn't 100% bad; I'd take most of Bronze Batman over Silver Batman any day.

But I certain agree with you on modern comics.

Scott said...

I know what you mean, Anon. It's like being born the year AFTER the Beatles broke up...

Anonymous said...

Even the "Batman transforms into a giant while fighting bug-eyed monsters" era was better than most modern comics.