The War Illustrated No 8 Vol 1 November 4th 1939

it The War Illustrated November ith, 1939^ o -tUn g A fy u u n Ylfly, U t a A iim e Q ia A jy ,BY THE EDITOR I SEE that Mr. Walter Lippman, the very able author of“ A Preface to Morals ”is described by one of his countrymen as a “columnist,” which strikes meas derogatory. Yet the context of the paragraph would make Mr. Lippman seem more of a columnist than a serious student of world affairs, for he is alleged to contemplate the possibility of Britain having to surrender her fleet to Germany as an occasion for the U .S.A. to uptake arms against the Dictator! Might I suggest that afar likelier event than that would bethe United States sur­rendering their fleet to Japan ?The trouble about these “columnists ”is that they must write something when they fill their fountain pens— just as Hyde Park orators must say something when they open their mouths. ft- Because a young man had the good luck to fly the Atlantic, which had claimed the lives of several abler but less fortunate flyers attempting the same exploit, is no reason for regarding that lucky young man as an authority on international politics, else we ought to hear what“ W rong-W ay” Corrigan thinks of Hitler and world affairs. ft* I regard Lindbergh’s pronouncement on the- War as apiece of gratuitous impertinence (a well-worn but appropriate phrase). And I think his felksw-country- men, with few exceptions, will be ready to tell the presumptuous “Colonel ”where he gets off. I wonder if he com­posed his anti-British broadcast entirely without prompting or advice ?One of the most grossly over-publicised personalities of our age he expects too much if he thinks his words must carry weight just because he once flew the Atlantic, which is today moreno remarkable than swim­ming the Channel. Theft only war that I’m afraid we may lose is that waged by our own bureaucrats for our enthralment. The paralyzing paw of Bureaucracy outreaches -into the remotest rural corners and even transforms ordinary decent folk into intolerable microscopic Hitlers. I know of a West Country farmer who has somehow snaffled the dual office of A.R.P. warden and billeting officer for his district and is having the time of his life,“ swellin’ wisibly ”with his new importance. Oddly enough, he has neither motorcar nor tele­phone, both essentials one might imagine for the proper discharge of such onerous duties. Doubtless his name is legion. ft I wonder if there are many other instances in London where elaborate black-out curtains have been arranged at considerable cost for old Georgian houses, which, almost without exception, are EDITOR'S OFFICE THE WAR ILLUSTRATED JOHN CARPENTER HOUSE, WHITEFRIARS. LONDON, E.C. 4. fitted with interior folding shutters that provide the best of all black-outs. I happened to mention this to the owner of a West End house in which John Nash, the famous Bath architect, more than a century ago had made ideal provision for the black-out of 1939. ...this to the great surprise of the tenant, who did not realize that the interior shutters, unused for scores of years, were movable. f tHe thought they were merely parts of the window architraves, never having noticed the hinges !His sixty or seventy pounds’ worth of black curtains could have been done without. I was in a position to give this tip as my own flat could dispense with curtains of all sorts to conform to the restrictions of the black-out it is so well fitted with folding shutters, in common with all Georgian and Early Victorian houses. Aft- charming German lady with whom I was talking today— she has been five years in England, her husband being an Anti-Nazi— told me that for her part she had come to the conclusion that the German people as a people are to blame for this reversion to barbarism which we are calling the Second Great War. Having enjoyed the blessings of living in a free democratic country for five years she has decided never to return to her native land. ft” I think we can overdo this business of differentiating between the German people and the Nazi minority who have obtained command of them. The Germans are to blame in having allowed themselves to come under the yoke of the worst elements in their national Afterlife. all, every people gets the sort of government it is fitted for. W e may yet seethe Germans proving that they are fitted for abetter government than the foul collection of assassins, liars, and gangsters who at present hold them in thrall. f t Mr. Chamberlain, having had the temerity to refuse to shake hands with Herr Hitler, ashe had once in goodall faith shaken hands with him at Munich, since the outstretched fist of the Fuehrer was now dripping with the blood of the slaughtered Poles, the war was timed to begin in earnest on— Friday, 13th. An unlucky day for the aggressor, we must believe, but not too lucky for ourselves when we consider the deplorable loss of “Royal Oak ”and some eight hundred brave sailors. I don’t think we can write off four submarines against “Royal Oak ”and feel that we have started with a balance in hand. f t Evidently thirteen-inch steel armour doesn’t mean a thing against a torpedo, or rather a series of torpedoes. Yet the loss of the ship, though costing £3,500,000 to build and recondition, is nothing to the loss of the men. Nearly 800 trained men have perished. A judge decided two days ago that £3,000 was a reasonable value at which to assess a good citizen’s life. That would add another £2,400,000, in terms of money, to the loss but further millions are to be computed in pensions to relatives, and training another 800 men to qualify for the work of those lost. Avery fine piece of work for a U-boat ...assuming that it was the work of a U-boat. f t The broadcast on the night of Friday 13th was the best I have heard since the War was said to have started. The rapidity of “The White Cbons ”and “On the Spot ”was amazing— perfect timing, good fun, and bright music, or at least agreeable noise to one who is not a high­brow in matters musical. Tommy Hand­ ley, a favourite of mine since I first saw him years ago in that delicious bit of nonsense, “The Disorderly Room ,”has never succeeded in disappointing me on the Radio. W e can’t have too many of these half-hours with Famous Fun-makers. Gad, it’s half a century since I used to browse on “Half Hours with Famous Authors ”!ft It’s odd that after Hitler screamed about going to Poland to “put a stop to this lunacy ”the most perfect autumn weather prevailed— to the detriment of the Poles— until he screamed again at Mr. Chamber-lain for disdaining his sanguinary mit on the twelfth October, following which for some days the filthiest weather of the year has been our portion. When I recall, by the by, the foulness of the weather that invariably attended every big push planned by Haig, I sincerely hope his meteoro­logical advisers have retired from the job they did so badly and that better weathei experts are now attached to the B.E.F. ..to be known henceforth as B.F.F. or British Field Force. f t Quite the most ill-considered compli­ment I have seen was paid to Sir Philip Magnus in an evening paper today. »Sii Philip is a young man in the high tradition of politics and poetry, and likely to earn new distinction for a name that is already honoured. But to tell him that he will be“ the Rupert Brooke of this War ”is surely a questionable compliment. Let him write never so well no man wants to be dead at twenty-seven,
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