The War Illustrated No 38 Vol 2 May 24th 1940

The War lliudratid Jla y th,U 1940 foitm cjJ fiko-w Edtto-ti’i UlaAiitne 9)iaAy M Y readers will remember, I hope, that “The War Illustrated ”goes to press a week before it arrives on the book­stalls. And it must happen in the uncertainties of war that, when the rotary presses are roar­ing through with the considerable job of its printing, there suddenly occur events of high importance, the recording of which must be delayed for another week. So it happened with our issue of last week. The epochal event, so long awaited, came with staggering suddenness a few hours after we had gone to press. The maniac into whose hands the German people have committed their fate spoke the lunatic word and all the brute forces he and his exploiters had organized moved to anew and more dastardly assault than any which these pests of Europe had ever attempted upon the peaceable nations around them. ?No longer shall we have lack of news or pictures wherewith to amplify our record of the War, for the greatest battle of all time had begun with the German invasion of Holland and Belgium, I theN twinkling of an eye, Mr. Chamber­lain’s dignified demission and the instant coalescence of all political parties under the war leadership of Mr. Churchill seemed the most natural things to happen, and somehow divorced from party feeling. There are many who regret that the fates have not decreed that he who, more than any other man, saved our country at the moment of its greatest peril by a policy which, in very truth, did make Hitler “miss the ’bus,” should have had the satisfaction of leading it to the victory in which all of us with any spirit or power of endurance so profoundly believe. But in Mr. Churchill we have the ideal war leader in whom energy, vision, and experience unite to make him completely worthy of our confidence^ ?The Carson-Asquith wrangle over Ireland had a good deal to do with the Kaiser’s Germany deciding that the hour had ...struck fools that they were. It looks tome that the political moves which led to Mr. Chamberlain’s resignation— though I am certain he had moreno loyal colleague than his successor— may have helped to decide Hitler, who knows little more about the British temperament than a Patagonian, to take the plunge. And, if that were so, events may yet prove that the Chamberlain crisis was curiously opportune.“ T1 XALF-HOURS of History ”was once a popular sort of publication. ‘‘Half- hours with the Poets,” and soon. But, my word, what an historic half-hour that was on Friday evening, May ioth, from 6 o ’clock till 6.30 the high spot of B.B.C. announcing !And never shall any half-hour of great news be better filled or more perfectly broadcast. Whoever the announcer was, he rose mightily to a mighty occasion. The high spot in B.B.C. announcing. The finely, emotional, yet dignified and convincing,' speech by the Belgian ambassador, Baron de Cartier de Marchienne, most picturesque and familiar figure of the Corps Diplomatique, the clear, concise and confident remarks by the Netherlands Minister in London, and then the crisp sentences of the bulletin, so well marshalled in their cumulative force, telling us of the horrific events which in Holland, Belgium and Northern France were caused by the springing of the Wild Beast from his lair, as Mr. Chamberlain three hours later was to phrase it what a memorable and sensational half-hour 1 ?It happens most often in our life that the great moments are hardly realized until they have gone that we see them only when the perspective of time has focussed them but I felt in every fibre of my being as I listened m that this was indeed the greatest half-hour Editor Sir John Hammerton Associate Editors G.S. Blaxland Stubbs (General) E. Royston Pike (Literary) J.R. Fawcett Thompson (Illustrations) Editorial Assistants O. Lumley, D. Allmand, G. Holland, C. Bowen, A.B. Atkins, G. MacCormack, J. St. Denys Reed, Terence Dennis Editorial Offices John Carpenter House, Whitefriars, London, E.C.4. which “the Home Service ”ever will provide until that day when the announcer has to tell of the slaughter of the Beast.* ?Looking back, I would select the speech which the Duke cf Windsor broadcast on his abdication as the most humanly moving and sensational avowal to which the world has given ear since the invention of wireless. The deep sincerity of the Duke, his frankness, simplicity, sadness, in telling of the tremendous decision he had made charged one of the most dramatic episodes in the whole history of Monarchy with an abiding emotion which in its remembrance is intensified rather than diminished. Wireless has certainly heightened beyond belief the drama of living. ¦pVERYBODY is asking, “What will J Mussolini do now ?”Well, one never knows what any gambler will do, and all that I can suggest is that the Italian Dictator is gambling with the lives of some 45,000,000 people, and few American gangsters (to whom in his political methods he has so often been compared) have approached him in their stakes. Not even his illustrious compatriot, Capone of Chicago, Mussolini began as a street-corner agitator. Like Hitler, and before Hitler, he transferred the technique of the demagogue to the high places of “...politics a great man ”if you like. But never a good friend of Britain, nor yet (time will prove) of his own Italian people. ?If he refrains from plunging the hapless and friendly Italians into war against France imiiiiiiiiimiiIN THIS NUMBERiimmmiiiiiii Page Hitler’s Hal! -mark on Peasant's Home 537 ‘Wild Beast’ of Europe Strikes Again 538-41 British Army Enters Belgium 542-43 Parachute Troops in Holland 544 Air War in Holland, Belgium and Luxemburg 545 Nazi Bombs Fall on Holland’s Greatest City 546-47 Dutch Overwhelmed in Five-day Campaign 548 Switzerland Stands-to S49 War Map :Holland, Belgium and Luxemburg 550-51 Belgians March to Battle 552 When the Belgian Army Made Ready 553 Epic of the Glosters on the Frozen Lake 554 Gloster Gladiator Fighter :Picture- Diagram 555 Ireland is Not at War 556 Britain’s P r e cautions Against Parachutists 557 How Our A.A. Guns Find the Mark 558“ I Was There ”Section 559-61 Malta Ready for Any Onslaught 562 Allied Strongholds in the Mediter­ranean 563 Historic Documents and Diary 564 and Britain within the iiext few weeks, then he (but here I must“ blue-pencil ”)Watch his theatrical attitudinizing in any film of his posing and. you will realize how unfor­tunate it is that the honourable House of Savoy should be dominated by this demagogue who contrived, by his so-called “march on Rome ”(accomplished by motor-car), to snaffle the paraphernalia of power in hapless Italy. I shall never forget a film of his which I saw at Casablanca ten years ago, in which —after openly arranging his prognathous facial features in a sort of Napoleonic guise— he addressed an American deputation. His pompous speech in English was far less intelligible tome than his later effort in his native tongue. ?Mussolini— this ex-Socialist, this confessed atheist who wrote ‘‘La Imnjoralita della Bibbia ”(“The Immorality of the Bible,” a copy of which I’m hunting for), who made a concordat with the. Vatican, this despot, this “great friend ”of Hitler, would stab Bsitain in the back at the first moment he saw his chance of profiting thereby and if he keeps his dagger in its sheath that will be because he sees an equal chance of profiting by means of “power politics ”—for which there is another name. "pO R years I have derived a few minutes’ entertainment every week-end from reading Mme. Tabouis’s contribution to one or other of the Sunday papers. Indeed, there was a time when, with greater leisure than I can now command, I used to keep notes of her political prophecies and took pleasure in noting any of her tips that came off. The average, however, would not have meant many “winners ”to a Turt tipster. But that didn’t matter :her readers were not all so inquisitive as I in following up her bold forecasts. She is still going strong, and as entertainment her writing has not depreciated. ?But what I find difficult to believe is that Mme. Tabouis's never-failing supply of revelations of Hitler’s innermost entourage can bear any close relationship to actuality. Boldly she tells you what Goering said to Adolf, or what Rib whispered to both of them, with no witness present, and even gives the actual phrases used (translated, of course, first into French and then into English) about the most solemn and world-shaking decisions at which they had arrived !How is it done ?Does Rib or Goering “split, ”on Adolf just for the fun of seeing the secret history of their times comeback to them in clippings from the French and English iournals which Mme. serves ?..1 wonder. It's certainly splendid journalism, but why the French and British secret services don’t pay Mme Tabouis say five thousand pounds a week .for’ her “inside information ’’which she so generously parts with to the popular press at more modest fees, I just cannot understand. If it is all authentic it would be worth the money to our official sleuths of the Secret Service. rPH ESE hot air Yankees make me •laugh.-* One of the latest stunt-merchants is said to be Sam H. Church, president of the Car­negie Institute, who is alleged to have offered £250.000 to anyone who will bring Hitler before the League of Nations, alive, uninjured, complete with all his endearing charms, in­cluding his comic quiff and toothbrush moustache. Not to be outdone by a mere American president, I hereby offer £1,000,000 (one million pounds, not dollars, please note) to any American who will bring Hitler alive, or at least still breathing, even if“ lousey ” (Americanese), to my editorial office, John Carpenter House, London, E.C.4, within a month from this printing. Any takers ?I’ll find the million if any Yank produces Hitler !The' War Illus t bate dis sold subject to the following conditions, E am ely ,that it shall not, without the written-consent of the publishers first given, be lent, resold, hired out or otherfcH§e disposed of byway of Trade except at the full retail price of 3d. and that it shall not be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition orin any unauthorized cover byway of Trade.
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