The War Illustrated No 64 Vol 3 November 22nd 1940

The War Illustrated November 22iul, 1D4U ^o-ttLnyi O'Ao-m tde ExMoA’i lita'itim e QiaAy, GOING down this afternoon through the sun-drenched weald of Sussex with never a blot of war upon the scene, after an extensive tour of London’s devastated areas, I had a sudden surge of loathing for that carrot-eating, water-drinking beast of Berchtesgaden, whose crazy crusade to make Germany supreme in the world and “alter the course of German history for a thousand years ”has brought so much misery and sorrow into human life. It is no consolation that misery and sorrow will also overspread the lives of his own loathsome race and the lousier dagos of Italy in whom Mussolini (“my great friend Benito Mussolini,” ride Hitler) has so assiduously and successfully nurtured a hatred of Britain and an envy of our Empire. So little, indeed, that I do not favour “reprisals ”as a means of squaring accounts. But I ’mall for plastering Italian and German towns with the most destructive high explosives we can drop upon them. A wide experience of Germans— and I am making no reservations—in many parts of the world, as well as in Germany itself, has left me with the conviction that whoever first framed the phrase“ a good German is a dead German ”uttered a truism. They are an accursed race that has spread ruin and disorder throughout Europe since they first moved south and west with the lust of plunder in their cold blue eyes against the decaying Roman Empire. Wherever they have de­tected decay or weakness in other peoples they have struck, vulture-like, in the hope of plunder, and so far as one country is con­cerned they would appear to have been right in thinking that Western democracy, as represented by France, had fallen into a state of corruption and decrepitude. But the British people (and I mean “the people,” not merely their leaders) are showing that in these things they have once again misjudged our island race. We have stood up to the foulest onslaught ever devised by any pre­datory race upon a peace-loving community, and I believe that soon a wonder will come to light when history records “the thug it was that died.” •fa There is a difference between the German and the Italian peoples insofar as the former are solid behind their leader and clamorous for the destruction of the British Empire, whereas the Italians are largely dumb, driven cattle, imbued with no wild dreams of anew Roman Empire, anxious mainly for a few more mouthfuls of spaghetti in their daily menu, the victims of a noisy minority led by the greatest of all gangsters, an unscrupulous scoundrel who began as a Communist and has developed into the mere henchman of the arch-enemy of Communism. “By and large ”(as the Americans say) the Italians are a pitiful race— the road-makers and labourers of North and South America, North Africa, and other lands, nowhere the “master folk ”—and while one may have sympathy for them such as we cannot entertain for the Germans, we are indeed “mugs ”(I quote from “Truth ’’)if we regard them with any sympathy. Our business as sensible opponents (forget about our being “gentlemen” )is to destroy as many of themas we can and rid the world of so much vermin. Do I make myself clear? I hope so and I know the Italians.\ FTER writing the above my eye caught these two sentences in an article in one of the “Sundays ”—indeed the best of them :“Despite the Nazis’ perjured record, we entered this war with the intention of fighting them like gentlemen. We have kept stubbornly to that resolution in' spite of a growing chorus of protest against treating gangsters as if they r— -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, Bell,A. Terence Dennis Editorial Offices John Carpenter House, Whitefriars, London, E.C.4. were chivalrous, eighteenth-century duellists.” Now, such reflections fill me* with horror, for I firmly believe that if there is one sure way to lose this War it is to fight the foul fiends who have caused it “like gentlemen.” The chances of atypical English gentleman grappling with a gorilla while he has no better weapons of offence than his inborn gentlemariliness, an old school tie, and a monocle, do not strike meas bright, but it would be exhilarating for the few seconds that the gentleman stood his ground.? I feel that this word is steadily losing its old and “good ”meaning, as many words have done in the English language :villain, cad, craft, cunning, knave, and silly are all examples of what I mean. All in their origin just as impeccable as “gentleman,’’ which is now in danger of connoting pappiness, sentimentality, femininity, constricted vision, indecision, and filial ties with“ sob-sisters. Our great hope today rests on the fact that Mr. Churchill is not that sort of a gentleman, and that, with a few exceptions, our political leaders have the virility of mind and action which did not prevent the makers of our Empire from exercising a nice balance of true gallantry and heroic determination. So far as the plural of the word is concerned, I am so tired of its indiscriminate use at railway stations and other public places that I begin to mistrust it in the singular. s“A’VE lived in Soosex a’my life and thowt A knew every o’bit it, Abut never ’eerd tell o' Sheffield Park afore.” Thus avery portly and prosperous-Iooking person lllllinilllllllllll IN THIS NUMBER ltiltlllllllllllltll “Ajax ”Hits Hard Again 533 Mussolini Checked in Mountain Battle 534-3S D Won’t e Know What We’re Fight­ing For ?537 Roosevelt the Man 538-39 Post Time in the Royal- Navy 540 Heavy Tanks Make Light of Heavy Going 541 Hawker Hurricane —the Perfect Fighter 542-43 A.A. ShotGuns Down 357 Raiders 544 Gallery of War Paintings '545-48 Abyssinia May Flame Into Revolt 54? Bombers Will Destroy Nazi Tyranny 550 American Destroyers in British Waters 551 War Comes to Isle of Greece 552-3 Our Searchlight 554“ I Was There” Section 555-55 Rescuing Our Friends the Animals 557 Democracy in London’s Tubes 558 They Have Won Honour 559 Q u r Diary of the War 569 in a crowded first-class carriage of the old steam train that was puffing up to Victoria anon unfamiliar route, thanks to nothing worse than a delayed-action bomb menacing a section of our usual line. When I told this Soosex worthy that Sheffield Park was one of the most famous landmarks in his county because Edward Gibbon, the -author of “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” had lived therewith his friend Lord Sheffield at onetime, and was buried not so distantly at Fletching, it was clear that he would have been far more impressed had I been able to tell him that Douglas Fairbanks once stood on his nose on the roof-ridge of the historic mansion from which the station takes its name.? I should like to see a modern artist with something of the genius of Millet paint a complementary picture to “The Man with the Hoe.” Perhaps “The Man with the Thick Gold Chain ”might give him a start with the idea. This Sussex wight of oozing prosperity would rank intellectually but little above ‘1 The Man with the Hoe ’’who moved Edward Markham to his famous poem :“Is this the thing the Lord God made and gave To have dominion oversea and land To trace the stars and search the heavens for power To feel the passion of Eternity ?What to him Are Plato and the swing of Pleiades ?.-What the long reaches of the peaks of song, The rift of dawn, the reddening of the rose ?What, indeed ?and that forgoes the prosperous. Sussex person in the train today as much as for the man with the hoe. PROFITEERING ,what about this ?There are some towns in the West country which are enjoying a hectic spell of prosperity on account of their freedom from air raids. I have a Devon town in mind. Everything is booming there, all the hotels a£e crammed, and you will be lucky perhaps to get a bathroom converted into a bedroom if you wanted to spend Christmas in that favoured corner of the South-West. ?There is a university town which, for some reason that I entirely fail to appreciate, is greatly favoured by the evacuees from the South-East areas of England that have borne the brunt of the blitzkrieg. A friend of mine, who is actively engaged in war work, and is himself daily exposed to such dangers as those of us who carry on in London and the South-East accept “in the work,”day’s evacuated his family to this town some tifne ago, having been fortunate enough to secure the tenancy of a “desirable resi­dence ”for the duration of the war at a rental of £5 per week. One can guess how values have jumped up in that neighbourhood by the fact that last week he was offered no less than £20 per week, and three months’ money in advance if he would surrender his house to somebody urgently in need of similar accommodation. Much ashe was tempted to make this profiteering income of £15 a week, he refrained, as the purpose for which he had taken the house was still unchanged. ?It is always thus :you are offered big money when you just cannot afford to take it. I remember being offered £750 for an ol<^ motor-car in 1919, when there was an acute after-war dearth of cars. But as I wanted the car myself I could not accept what would have been a whacking profit, and in a year or so I was glad to take £175 allowance for it in exchange for another car. The same thing will be repeated again many thousands of overtimes when peace returns to these dis­tracted islands. The War I lt.usteated is sold subject to the following i cr otherwise disposed of byway of Trade except at the full retail i ,that it shall not, without the written consent of the publishers first given, bo of 3d. and that it shall not be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a many unauthorized cover byway of Trade. resold, hired out condition in
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