Ten German Bombers

The Euro 2024 soccer tournament is under way in Dusseldorf, and in the U.K. there has been less attention to the games than hand-wringing over the likelihood of English fans singing “Ten German Bombers.” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has denounced the song as “offensive” and urged Brits not to sing it, as has England’s team manager. A German police chief has warned British fans, “Don’t be dicks.” Only a few voices have been raised in defense of English fans and their chant.

So, seeing such consternation, I wanted to hear the song. As you no doubt assumed, it counts down, like the classic “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall,” as RAF fighters shoot down German bombers during the Blitz:

To be honest, I like it. Sure, we are all allies now, and World War II has been over for a while. But as soccer hooliganism goes, it is pretty mild. And some criticisms of the song, like the claim that it “mocks German casualties,” are ridiculous.

Today’s Germans are sensitive types, but after all we are talking about the Blitz. Even 84 years later, I don’t think it is out of bounds to twit them over it. So, call me politically incorrect, but my only regret is that we can’t think of something equally effective to chant about the Green Bay Packers.

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