The War Illustrated No 193 Vol 8 November 10th 1944

Let the end o f the War come soon o late,r .if one may judge from certain straws ^in the wind we shall have quite a number o f those lightheaded busybodies who get a self-righteous thrill from urging the victorious Allies to deal kindly with the vanquished Hun. All o f us who remember what followed the last War will have liitle sympathy with such futile critics v.ho. in the years between the temporary settlement o f Versailles and the Germanic revival o f war- lust, continued to play the game o f the Junkers— those Junkers who we were warned would “cheat us y t."e and did cheat us, and will cheat us again, if official opinion should now w'aver in disposing o f them effeciively. 1 have just had a recent reminder o f the sort o f criticism to which an editor is subjected who tries to be realistic concerning the inborn beastliness o f the German race to all outside its pale. The occasion was my coming across along and friendly letter from a Yorkshire reader, who wrote tome in September 1936,10 say that he had many w'orks .edited by me on his bookshelves, and these he had treasured for years, but he had just come into possession of some volumes o f the first series o f The War Illustrated which J edited throughout the last War, in v/hich he was shocked to discover “such a lurid collection o f hymns o f hate against Germ any, the like o f which I never dreamed possible, and it is a sad blow indeed tome to find it coming from one who has produced such wonderful works for our people.” As my readers o f the present War Illus­trated maybe interested to know what J said to this correspondent, I am reprinting here a few extracts from my reply to him, and will only remark that if any readers o f the present War Illustrated find it too “an ti-G erm Ian,” should be inclined to reply to them even more strongly than I did to my friendiy critic o fits predecessor. ¦JV /fY letter from which these extracts are made was dated September 24,1936:“ A lthough even now I am by no means pre­pared to accept your opinion that the Germans are a kindly and peaceable people desiring nothing better than to live in peace and amity with the English, might I ask you if, in common with myself, throughout the duration o f the War you were in weekly touch with the manGer­ press an dread the articles o f your kind-hearted German friends about the English and the French and the Belgians ?You tell me that you are a frequent visitor to Germany (which I cannot pretend to be,having only once since the War made a fairly careful first-hand study o f conditions there), and I would suggest that you should, in order to get a proper perspective, overlook some o f their wartime publications which are still to be found on the files, I have no doubt, o f the Illustrierte Zeitung and the Berliner T ageblatt, etc. If you can discover in any o f these publications one paragraph o f sympathy and friendliness towards the British people written by Germ ans, I should be prepared to bow before the severest criticism you can launch against the contents o f Tun War I clustrated. As a matter o f cold fact the anti-G erm antone o f The War Illustrated was mild and diffident by comparison with the anti-B ritish tone of every piece o f printed matter issued in Germany throughout the War ...in any other war in which Germany should unhappily find herself fighting against Britain, the same measures o f hate would be meted out .„.On re-consideration, I am not prepared to blush for anything that appeared in The War Illustrated even during the abnormal days o f the War. I admire the German people in many ways, having known many o f them, but I am not prepared to believe that as a nation they are so kindly disposed towards the British people as, for the time being, it suits Hitler in Mein K amp fto make them a p pear.” twenty-six years, a fact which. Corpora! Burgees remarks, “shook me !Accord­ing tom y correspondent, it went the rounds o fall his companions in arms,, who were amazed at its age "*and the slightly different goings-on it recorded compared with what we are experiencing here today .”But what most interested me.as its editor, was the fact that my correspondent had just received, in the midst o fall the confusion o f the War in Italy, a recent numi?cr of its present- day successor! I could write a whole page about the contents of that copy o f February 16, J918 (it w'as No. 183, by the way), but can find space hereto quote only a few lines from a page-artide which 1 had personally written on a book by General von Freytag- Loringhoven, entitled Deductions from the World War,” wherein that now -forgotten military critic had written, "In the future, as in the past, the German people will have to seek firm cohesion in its glorious Army and in its belaurelled young Fleet.” TV/Jy ow'n concluding remarks upon this 1 menacing book, which all Germany w’as reading a t a time when its present Fuehrer was himself an unknown corporal in that ‘‘glorious Array ”which was. eight months later, to be forced lo surrender are worth reprinting today :“If anyone tells you that German m ilitar­ ism is showing signs o f exhaustion, you will Lieut.-General R.M. SCOBIE, M.C., whose appointment as Commander of the Laiid Task Force in Greece was announced on October 15,1944, was formerly G.O.C. Malta. He was an instructor at the Royal Military College, Australia, 1932-35, and in 1^39 became Deputy- Director for Mobilization. He commanded Tobruk fortress in 1941. t'iiolo. British Official PAGE 415 do that person a service by asking him to read this frank study o f the World War by Ger­ many 's foremost military writer who, liir though hebe when it suits him to lie,d o ’snot hesitate to tell the military truths in which he has been trained, and which hes benton teaching Germany o f today for i s wars o f the fu tu re.”X J o w wasteful war can be is illustrated by the final reckoning o f the number ol shells fired by the Germans from their long- range Channel guns on the French coast from the time when they began in 1940 to Septem­ber 1544 when they were captured. The total weight o f shells dropped into Dover and Folkestone and other places nearby was 3,700 ions. O f course, they did a lot o f damage, but ihey did not increase the Huns’ chance o f winning by one ounce. They did not keep convoys out o f the Marrows. Our merchant ships went up and down ali the time. So far as the result o f the war is concerned they had no effect whatever. Those 3,700 tons of shells were utterly wasted.\ V ’i!tLE the problem o f tips to waiters is under discussion, some people holding that you could not obtain good service outwith­ them and others advocating the addition o f a percentage for service to every bill, another difficulty of the same nature is worry­ing many shopkeepers. Numbers o f cus­tomers, it seems, are so anxious to get a little bit extra o f this o r the other that they offer tips to shop assistants. This is a low-down trick in every w'ay. It is an attempt to get the better o f other customers by underhand means and rt is putting temptation in the way of the shop assistant which, if he yields to it, makes him liable to be dismissed on the spot. For in the event o f a tip being taken and the fact coming to the knowledge o f the police, the assistant and the customer would both be liable to prosecution under the f ’revention of Corruption Act. That many shopkeepers do themselves favour certain customers cannot be doubted. Their method o f keeping goods under the counter and producing them only when certain favoured persons enter the ,sh o pis sufficient proof. If a shopkeeper is bound to sell what customers ask for, sup­posing he has it, then it must bean offence against the law to refuse. Yet there is much to be said for the shopkeeper who reserves goods for regular customers rather than those who drift about picking up what they can. ¥wonder how many listeners to the B.B.C. “war rep o rt” like the confused noise of the direct broadcasts from the Front ?When you hear the distinct but lively tones o f Major Lewis Hastings giving his informative com­mentary on the latest events, do you not find it a relief from the untrained voices of the war reporters and all the whistlings, grow ings and rumblings that come across with them? I feel grateful every time the announcer says “We are reading this rep o rt.” But I suppose there are people who like to feel they are hearing what comes straight from the battlefield. With the matter that we have been given there is no fault whatever to be found. The men w'ho collect it are goodall at their jo b.It is not their business lo culti­vate smooth radio voices, and they cannot prevent the hub bub that accompanies their stories. T o hear the actual words spoken by General Eisenhower or Field-M arshal Montgomery is something none o f us would like to miss. They overcome quite well, loo. But there has been too much ‘actuality” for me in the war reports generally It too freanently defeats its own object. Twas greatly interested to receive from a correspondent in Italy', Corporal T.M. Burgess, a copy, o f The War Illustrated. dated February 16,1918, \vhich had been handed to him by an Italian civilian when hew r as passing through a town“ som ewhere in Italy .”This particular issue o f The War Illustrated has been very carefully preserved for no lc'S than Surely the Allies will see to it this t/m? that when w'e have disposed o f this “glorious Army ”for a second time in twenty-six year? it will be rendered impotent to renew iti e\il powers within another quarter o f n century. I say “surely.” but at the momen I am not too sure !And that letter from i friendly critic in 1936 is far from reassuring.
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