The War Illustrated No 32 Vol 2 April 12th 1940

Qaitinfyd, p mia Wly, WxtAiime. $)iaAy, BY THE EDITOR ii The War Illustrated April 12th, 1940 Pap eris a precious commodity today. Increasingly so. All o f us who earn our living by getting our stuff printed on paper ought to set an example by wasting as little o fit as possible. Perchance this War may yet bring about a state o f things similar to that which prevailed in the last one— the men who commanded lots o f good unprinted paper made far more profit out o f their possession than those o f us who spoiled it by printing upon it. An author friend o f mine boasted today— yes, that’s the word, boasted— that since the first week o f September 1939 he has never used anew block o f notepaper to write his articles, but has written his daily column or two on the unused leaves o f the letters he receives, on the unprinted sides o f the circulars that stream into his editorial room ,on the backs o f foolscap envelopes and the like. In proof o f which he opened a drawer in his richly appointed desk and showed me with pride an immense collection o f this paper scrap !?And then 1 outgo into Fleet Street and observe dozens o f evening paper posters, at a time when every soul is hungering for news o f the War, bearing such startling announce­ments as “Stage-Struck Girl o f 13 Vanishes,” “Thames Torso Mystery,” and wonder if that is in harmony with the “save the paper ”slogan which the entire press has been shouting for months. Or is it merely “good business ”from the publisher’s point o f view ?Of course, it might abe dark hint at the Ministry o f Inform ation’s niggardliness in the emission o f the real war news which it keeps locked up in its safe as though it were more precious than pearls. ?On the other hand, I am delighted to observe in a picture publication which has a certain element o f the “StripTease ”appeal that there is a weighty article by the Editor entitled “We Will Win.” Although I have never doubted that we shall someday, some­how attain to victory, 1 think that in the mere assertion o f what all healthy-minded Britons must feel in their innermost hearts, there is a certain implication o f a preceding if not a lingering, doubt. I none respect the spy question is far more difficult today, more dangerous, than in the last war, and I feel that the official warnings against blabbing in public places are not as strongly worded nor as serious intone as they ought to be. Those that are couched in jocular form with clever drawings by“ Fougasse ”strike meas singularly light-hearted and liable to do more harm than good. Spying is too serious a subject for official levity. Here are points to be pondered: (1) Germans are still admitted to the one neutral spot in our Empire, Southern Ireland (when shall we get accustomed to calling it Eire ?),and there is a Nazi staff (all spies, you can bet) ensconced in the official head­quarters o f the German Minister to Dublin— an uncomfortable, indeed an alarming thought T (2) There are unnumbered Soviet officials and Russian citizens (if such a name maybe given to them) in our midst, since we are not officially at war with Soviet Russia, though it is sheer self-delusion to look upon Russia as other than an unfriendly neutral. (3) Then there are Scandinavians, Bul­garians, Italians, and God knows how many other brands o f neutrals still freely moving among us, many o f whom are by no means friends o f Britain. ?In the last war the disposition o f belli­gerents and neutrals was very different and spying was a more hazardous business. The worst feature o f the present situation, o f course, is Eire, with Dublin as a focal point o f enemy observation. It is horrible to think that the Nazis in Dublin may manage to get messages through to Germany about our weather conditions, and the sailing dates o four merchantmen. But we must allow for such possibilities and it’s up to each one of^ us never to speak in the hearing o f unknown persons about any matter the knowledge o f which might be useful to the enemy. IN THIS NUMBER iiiiiiiiim iin Page A British Submarine Comes Home 353 Finland :Aftermath of War ..........354-56 The Western Front ........................357-59 inside Germ any ...............................360 Beating the Nazis in the Balkans ...361 The New Government in France ...364-65 Air “Aces” of the War (“Cobber” )366-67 “Fighting Fifth ”on Motor-Cycies 368-69 Words that History Will Remember 370 More &Yet More Barrage Balloons 371 Mr. Churchill’s Broadcast ..........372 How the Neutrals impede Victory 373 How to Recognize British A ero­ planes ......................................374 Hurricanes in the Making ..........375 Germ any’s Lifeline of O reSupply 376 R. Marines, Soldiers and Sailors Too 377 Now it Maybe Told— “Ark Royal ”and“ G raf Spee ”........................378“ I Was There ”Section .................379-81 N.A.A.F.!. Serves ........................382 N. Ireland’s War Effort .............383 Diary of theW a rand Poem ..........384 iH iiiiinim m im iiiiiiiiiiiiim iiim iim ifim iiim m iiiiiiiiitim iiiiii One never knows what actuates the official mind. I took a journey by carnot long ago to witness for myself the result o f a Nazi hit on a coastal object, adequately reported in the official news at the time. There were a good many sightseers already on the spot, and what seemed to be effective police control already inaction. I had my camera and binoculars with me. A courteous and obliging policeman stopped my car and asked if I had either or both o f these, and on being truthfully answered he relieved me o f them.As I had not taken the precaution to secure an official permit to take photos at points where there might have been official prohibition (in any case I could have published none without the Censor’s approval) I surrendered the apparatus in question. aBut few hundred yards Ion counted nearly a score o f persons who had not passed along the motor road, thereby escaping police intcr- iogation, calmly clicking their cameras and observing through their binoculars all that was to be seen. Officialism moves in mysterious way its duties to perform. M e tan old colleague today in Fleet Street —he was associated with The War I l lust orated f 1914— and he assured me that I also am among the p'ophets. News indeed. It would seem that I wrote an article in 1915 for a famous Sunday journal, in which I began by traversing Mr. W ells’s “War to end war,” asserting that the Great War looked more alike “War to begin war.” Forgot all about the article, as I seldom keep copies o f my fugitive writings, but I must get it looked up in the files o f the newspaper casein it was written in a moment o f unusual lucidity and may have contained something worth resurrecting today. Another o f several articles of. mine appearing in the same journal (subject entirely forgotten) had an odd adventure. A young friend o f mine in the British ranks was one o f a detachment that reoccupied a trench after a sanguinary engagement, and the first thing he picked up alongside a dead German was a copy o f the journal in question, open at my‘ atfccle, complete with portrait o f author !When I stepped out o f a taxi late tonight at my indoor Pall Mall, after a ride *from a distant suburb where I had been dining, the driver said, “Sorry the over,run’s sir, as I have been enjoying your cigar so much !”The sliding window behind the driving seat had been open. I told him that I often thought the person smoking a cigar got less sensuous pleasure out o fit than those who smelt its fragrance. Which I think is true. O f course it must be, as mine was, a really good Havana. I know a man who smokes such foul cigars that he breathes out the most horrid clouds o f acrid smoke and I swear that I have detected him among the crowd at Victoria by the effluvium o f his favourite “stinker.” i c There was an American millionaire who was an ardent devotee o f the weed, but had the misfortune to be medically barred from smoking the delicious cigars o f which he had avast store. He thereupon employed a man to smoke them for him and never regretted the prohibition, ashe was happy ever after in the completest enjoyment o f My Lady N icotine’s most delicate aroma. Tho ugh “Love will find away,” cupidity is often more ingenious than Cupid. Here’s a story told me today by one who knew the facts. It is an offence against the State at present, as it was in the last War, to export dollar securities to U.S.A. In 1917 a certain Spanish Jesuit in London had a large holding o f American bonds which belonged to some politico-religious organization. My friend’s firm (Spanish shippers, but strongly pro-British) refused to help the priest to get the bonds smuggled to America. One day the political cleric upturned with a huge bundle o f American bonds and a Spanish notary and induced one o f the Spaniards in the office to witness the complete destruction o f the bonds in the heating furnace o f the building, making only a list o f the numbers as a check upon the transaction. *•The ingenious priest had meanwhile arranged with the American company issuing the original bonds to provide dupli­cates in New York on the assurance that the originals had been “destroyed by fire in London. ”Thus he transferred many thou­sands o f pounds to U.S.A. without the actual bonds leaving London. The priest is now dead ...even the shipping firm at that time employing two thousand persons in Spain and England is also dead !But doubtless there maybe some holders of American bonds very much alive in England today. If our authorities o f twenty years ago were not alive to the trick I have described I hops those o f today maybe inquisitive enough to prevent its repetition.
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