The Second Great War No. 55

THE c ECOMD GKEAT WAR. Editors :Sir John Hammerton # Maj.-Gen. Sir Charles Gwynn, K.C.B., D.S.O. Associate Editor: J.R. Fawcett Thompson Assistant Editors: J. St. Denys Reed BellA. I Then Second Great War actual Historic Documents arc reprinted from time to time as the relevant events .come into the orbit of our survey in the preceding number o f this work the 250th such Document was published, recording the terms o f the British-Am erican Agreement im­plementing the Lease-Lend Act. While historians generally are agreed that a proper account of events cannot be given from too close a stance, and that one, two, or even ten years must elapse before a balanced ac­count in anything like true perspective can be presented, this argument does not apply to the documenting o f history. Any student who has had occasion to inquire into minutiae regarding the First -Great War will have been struck by the conflict between difTerent testimonies, by the com­mon looseness and vagueness o f statement. Recently for some days a discussion took place in the columns o f “The Times ”about the issue of the 1914 Star, and the controversy was resolved only by a quotation from Army Order A.P.W .5124 o f October 1919. Apart from textual documents, however, there are the pictorial ones which show indirect- colour photographs orin black-and-w hite the uniforms o f Allied Service personnel, the posters which informed and inspired civilians, or the ravage o f the bombing raids. Then there are those memorable paintings in which official artists have recorded for all time various aspects o f the war and the war effort— for example, the impres­sion o f the Battle o f Britain by Paul Nash, and Graham Sutherland ’s unforgettable records of bombed London, between pages 1962-63.• T >erhaps even more important from a document-ary point o f view are the pictures painted by artists who actually fought the conflagrations that followed heavy bombing raids —notably, the series of four by Paul Dessau in pages 1500-1501. M oreo f such* vivid records by firem en-artists are printed in the present number, from a collection exhibited at Bur­lington House from August 1942 onwards. In years to come, when the original paintings have been dispersed far afield, it maybe difficult to obtain reproductions, and the colour sections o f The Second Great War will then be especially valuable. Included in the present pages, also, are colour photographs o f American events. T^ext pages of this number contain a Chapter on France under Petain and Laval during the first half o f 1942 another on the war effort of the Free Allied Govern­ments in London and a third in which the achieve­ments o f Canada, South Africa and New Zealand are recounted. Chapter 222, which opens in this number, deals with the political background in the Near and Middle East. The author, Kenneth Williams, edited the Lon­don weekly “The Near East and India ”for a number of years and has extensive knowledge of the regions concerned. In a later Chapter he will describe the triumphs and trials o f Malta, Gibraltar and Cyprus in the Mediterranean battle. 'he'X constant widening of the theatre o f war has set an editorial problem :space is limited on account o f paper restrictions, and the parallel narratives o f the various sectors must be developed concurrently. Inevitably the interval between Chapters on the Libyan battle-front, for example, has lengthened A uchinleck's offensive.of Novem­ber 1941 was described in Chapter 201, but not until Chapter 224 (in the next issue) is the story of Rom m el’s advance to El Alamein told. A theses lines are being written London o f the death in captivity £iiiiiimiiiiiiiiMiimiiiiiiiiiiiiuiiiiimiiiiiimiiiiimiuiiiimiiiiimiiiiiii^ 1 SAVE EVERY SCRAP OF PAPER j S Very large quantities of chemicals are used up ==in the manufacture and re-pulping of paper. The ==pulp is boiled or digested with alkalis or acids.and = iE other reagents are used to whiten it. Economy ==in the use of paper, a/id the careful preservation ==in clean condition o fused material, not only ==saves shipping space but also releases valuable =—chemicals for othervital needs of the war effort. =Save your used p ape rand card board and hand it in clean condition to the local c o lle c tor. the news reaches it Oflag IX A /Z, Germ any, of the defender of Calais, Brigadier Claude Nicholson, which occurred on June 26 or 27,1943. The story o f the heroic stand at Calais is told in pages 1565-71. Nicholson had received a message from the War Office telling him that every hour he continued to holdout was o f the greatest help to the British Expeditionary Force. He held the town for four days, en­gaging thus two arm oured divisions long enough to enable the B.E.F. to be evacuated from Dunkirk. No. 56 of THE SECOND GREAT WAR, our next issue, will be ready on Wednesday, September 15,194.1
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