The British gratitude to the Royal Air Force fighter pilots — recognized aces like Duglas Bader and green newcomers, such as the future King of the Spitfires, Johnny Johnson — who managed to defend the sky over the Islands in the summer and autumn of 1940 during the Battle for Britain, was very great. There is nothing to add to Churchill's words about “so many owing so few” (Never in the Field of Human Conflict was so much owed by so many to so few). Even children knew about this responsibility, as evidenced by the song-rhyme of the war times — simple and long. Based on the principle of the story of the Ten Little Niggers, it tells about Ten German Bombers flying in the sky, which the British Air Force shoots down one in each verse, until there is not a single German bomber in the sky.
There is no specific author of the song — it was created based on two quite peaceful children's songs. The first to provide a melody was a song based on a Afroamerican religious hymn about the appearance of the divine chariot «She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain», which, in turn, was sung by slaves on cotton plantations in the United States. The second, which formed the basis of the text, told the story of Ten Green Bottles, which fall and break one after another.
Most likely, the song about the extermination of the Luftwaffe would have remained a smiling fragment of the memory of the Second World War and air battles if it had not been adopted by famous British football fans in the early 90s. It was performed with great enthusiasm at the matches of the German and English teams, and above all at the meetings of the national teams. The performance was accompanied by lively gestures — and if the arms spread at shoulder level represented the menacing wings of «Spitfires» and «Hurricanes», then the hands and fingers sent eloquent gestures towards the opponents ‘stands, not accepted in polite society.
After several years, football officials considered «10 German bombers» a big problem to comply with football fair play. In 2006, the world Cup was to be held in Germany, and the British had to take measures to avoid scandals. The then head coach of the English national team Sven-Goran Ericsson, footballers David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen appeared on television, persuading fans not to sing about the bombers. Even a special counter-song called «Two World Wars and One World Cup» was recorded.
This approach was not understood by all militant Englishmen. There were opinions that the Second world war ended too recently, so that it was not worth reminding the Germans once again about who was left with the sky. However, when the championship began, and the English fans did start a seditious song in German squares and bars, the fans of the black-red-yellow team did not confuse, and in response to the roar that «there are no more German bombers in the sky», the German flew «finish off the last mighty blow of the British lion» (Wir stellen den britischen Löwen zum letzten entscheidenden Schlag) from the famous march of the Luftwaffe «Bombs on England» (Bomben auf Engeland).
According to the tournament grid, the British and the Germans could only meet in the final, but the intrigue of who would sing whom did not work: the Portuguese were sent home in the quarterfinals, and the future champions Italians stopped the Germans in the semifinals. To date, in the score of the meetings of two teams, the Germans are leading with a minimum advantage — 7: 6 with three draws, which means that the song about 10 German bombers will sound more than once over the stadiums.