The War Illustrated No 34 Vol 2 April 26th 1940

ffattirig.1 piom Y flty Wartime 9)ia/ty, BY THE EDITOR 5 The War Illustrated April 2G!h, 13-10 CHANCE plays a bigger part in all our lives than we are always ready to allow. Just as we are apt to attribute our best strokes at golf to our own skill our successes, whatever they maybe, to our own peculiar abilities. I once knew a highly successful little man in the match industry. A self-made man— with -a warm admiration for his Maker. All went well for many years. Then comes Kreuger and all goes to pot. Kreuger lost me a matter of £4,000 and it served me right. But Kreuger lost himself, as well as all his millions. That pistol shot in his Paris flat was no part of Kreuger’s plan. It was no part of any plan. Chance. ?It was the merest hazard of inclination that took me in the early days of this century, when it was my habit to goon vagabond holidays awheel, through every bit of the western War zone, from Antwerp to Pontoise, in the track of L.R. Stevenson’s “Inland Voyage,” concerning which I wrote more than enough in the after years. But this knowledge of the terrain of battle made all the fighting along the Western Front more vividly realizable tome. The same again with the ghastly naval disaster off Coronel, where Chance had taken me on various occasions during my stay in Chile, just one year before Von Spee sent Cradock to his doom on November 1,1914 .And yet again, earlier in that same year, when I spent six unforgettable months in Uruguay, I had many a swim by the estuary of the Plate with the Islas de Lobos looming faint on the eastern horizon. Here poor Cradock was to be doubly avenged, for the destruction of Von Spee’s squadron by Sturdee off the Falklands five weeks after the Coronel disaster was repeated, in an atavistic way, when the pocket battleship named after Spee met its shameful fate in these same waters last December. ?Then, flashing back in time a mere thirty- five years, I still have many a mental vignette of myself pedalling or pushing my bike from one end of the Vosges to the other a lonely but entrancing month of vagabondage. The chance that took me there was an arrangement with the editor of a certain famous journal to write a series of articles “Where the Kaiser Rules the French ”with a drooping eye on a book of the same title to follow. ?Only yesterday when looking for an old manuscript I came upon the faded notebook in which I had jotted down in shorthand impressions and gliffs of my adventures. For some totally forgotten reason— Chance again, I guess— I never wrote so much as one paragraph of the first article of the series. Possibly my having, soon after my return, engaged in a great encyclopedia venture, which demanded all my energy and gave anew and definite turn to my journalistic career, may have been the cause of my abandoning the project on which, with high enthusiasm, I had outset that day when I arrived at the jealously guarded German fortress town of Bitche in the spring of 1905. ?Nightly now, when listening to the French broadcast about some slight “inactivity a region east (or west) of the Vpsges,” I feel that the happy chance of my perambulation of Alsace and Lorraine’ may yet bear some fruit in vivifying for theme reports that must come soon or later of the clash of the Allies and the latter-day Huns among these picturesque hills, lovely wealden lands, and historic townships where, since 1918, the unhappy Kaiser ceased to rule the French. wrote in March 1918, sent tome the other day by one who had been impressed by its “pro­phetic ’’character, I take no sort of credit for any foresight in all that I have jotted down tonight about these old days and new happen­ings. Chances and Changes, yes, “but time and chance happeneth al!,”to .saith the Preacher. From whom, by the way, here is a most apposite quotation for our time :“Wisdom is better than weapons of war :but one sinner destroyeth much good.” liiiiiiiiiiiiinIN THIS NUMBERiimmiiiimi Page The‘ Warspite ’—Her Guns Spoke Nat arvik 417 The B.E.F. inLand Norway 418-19 Traitors Opened Norway’s Gates to ......Nazis 420-21 Oslo Fell to 1500 Nazis 422 Hitler’s Navy &the North Sea 423-25 The Navy Strikes at Narvik 426-27 Denmark Under Nazi Occupation 428-29 Mr. Churchill on First Main Crunch of the War 430-31 In Seven Days A Fleet of Hitler’s Ships Met Their Doom 432-33 Words that History Will Remember 434 Swift Force Coerted the Danes 435 Fringes of the War— Bulgaria 436-37 ‘Mail U p’in France 433-39 Life On the Western Front 440-41 Britain Has No Need of Food Parcels “442 I Was There” Section 443-45 From War toW ar—My Prophecy of 1918. By the Editor 446 The Fleet Air Arm 447 Diary of the War 443 iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim iiiiim iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim iiim iiiiiiiiiiiiiii T LIKE to listen to the rich Irish brogue of Mr. Maurice Healy on the radio. I first heard him as a witty after-dinner speaker at a gathering of the Royal Literary Fund, whose energetic and devoted chairman, the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres (whom I could never regard as“ muy simpatico,” having some­thing of a condescending air about him), died the other day. Mr. Healy has inherited a goodly share of that wit and eloquence which made his uncle Tim such a notable parliamentary figure at Westminster from 1880 until 1918. His own father, whose name he bears, was also a Nationalist M.P. for over twenty years. He has the good barrister’s gift of stating his case clearly, and flavouring his comment with the salt of wit. ?As a B.B.C. commentator on the War I consider Mr. Healy a most acceptable addition to our propaganda, and it is well that world-listeners should hear a commonsense view of Britain’s case from the lips of an Irishman every Sunday evening. Tonight I listened to him with more than usual satis­faction, for his talk was in essence what I wrote in “The War Illustrated” of January 5th. ‘‘Who is Fighting Whom?” I asked, and endeavoured to show that we are fighting the German people— not merely the beastly bunch of gangsters grouped around Hitler, whom, as Mr. Healy observed, it is charitable to regard as a madman. I am glad to reflect that I was one of the first journalists to dissent from the official British effort to differentiate between the Nazis and the Germans. ALTHOUGH I am doing myself the pleasure 'T'HIS had amused a celebrated authority on of reprinting in the present issue of “The -*•biology, who respun the yarn to meat War Illustrated” a forgotten article which I lunch today, when the subject of evolution cropped up. Ths Second Great War had proved .to bethe final war and ended onlj when the human race had under—gone all save two Englishmen who, in fleeing from the desolation of Europe, but whither they knew not, crashed with their ’plane some­ wherein Africa. They were dead when a couple of apes ventured out from their rocky abode and surveyed the scene, Looking at his mate, the male anthropoid observed with deep sorrow in his voice,“ I suppose we’ll have to start the whole damned business. allover again !”It certainly amused me. But I have not the remotest fear of manor civilization perishing for a few more million years, no matter how fiercely this somewhat sticky war develops. 7V/TY readers, as a rule, are so nippy in spotting any lapsus calami of which I may have been guilty— or merely under suspicion— that I am surprised no one ha3 drawn my attention to one which I perpetrated in our issue of March 22. The mistake stared me in the face when I got my first copy ol the number, though it had passed the scrutiny of at least three editorial proofreaders. I refer to my jotting about the Brazilian milreh. When I wrote “50,000 milreis ” I meant 50 milreis, the word milreis, as I well know, meaning 1000 reis. Expressed in figures on a dinner' bill the amount would readjust 50,000, which at first glance is terrifying enough, but the present value of one milreis (1000 reis) being about threepence 50,000 reis would represent in British money moreno than twelve and sixpence. The milreis at the time of which I wrote was just under sixpence. Thus 50,000 milreis would have meant about £1200.' I J AVE you ever noticed how intelligent musicians look? I don’t mean “the boys ”who blare on saxophone and trombone in the cacophonous groups that make dining in some restaurants little better than eating in an air raid :they put the “din ”into dining, as some wit said. An intelligent mien is not their characteristic. But genuine musicians in the symphony orchestras and even in the ordinary theatre orchestras. I have often marvelled at the refined beauty of the faces of fiddlers, clarionet players, and flautists, at their obvious joy in their contribution to the orchestral interpretation of some work of the great composers. And tonight I was again impressed by the fine features of most members of a huge orchestra, under an Italian maestro, performing the overture to “The Merry Wives of Windsor ’’—on the screen 1 It was just an item at the News Theatre, but Nicolai’s haunting music came through the mechanism of the soundtrack amazingly and the 'execu­ tants— about eighty of them— were so filmed that each one was an individual to the eye ?One of the first violins had a striking re­semblance toKing Gustav of Sweden, only, that he looked more regal, and many of them who were doing moreno than playing a flute, or scratching a ’cello, looked worthy of being ministers of the British Crown, ambassadors, proconsuls !Better looking, indeed, than the whole of the British ...Cabinet and there they were intently blowing into flutes, and rhythmically scraping the cat­gut, their faces suffused with some internal light, and with an outward serenity whMfcall men of affairs might well have envied. Ipiily, music has some mystic power to soo^&the savage breast! What surprises me is TSat it has done so little to soothe those savage breasts of Nazidom. On the other hand, I’ve seen cobras swaying ecstatically while the snake- charmer tootled on his pipe, but that didn’t take the poison from their fangs!
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