The Second Great War No. 72

fHE SECOND GKEAT VVAK Editors :Sir John Hammerton Maj.-Gen. Sir Charles Gwynn, K.C.B., D.S.O. Associate Editor :•J.R. Fawcett Thompson 282283284 The speech made by Hitler to members of the Nazi Party in the Sportpalast at Berlin on September 30,1942, extracts from which form Historic Document CCLX1X in this isstie of The Second Great War, is' possibly the only one of his many fulminations that will be re­membered and quoted in the history books of the future. In it he called his opponents “military idiots,” “lunatics” and “drunkards” —language somewhat unusual from one military leader about others, even when those others are his enemies. It was to be his last fully Hedged effort of flamboyant and boastful oratory, for when he made his next big speech, on November 8, the Allies had that very morning landed in French North Africa. He then denigrated the American President as “that old scoundrel” and insisted that “the decisive last word will certainly not bespoken by Mr. Roose­velt.” He claimed that he _______ had taken Stalingrad. He bragged of his submarines and of the German in­ventive spirit which was to counter the British air attacks on Germany. But the elephantine humour and blatant self-assurance which reached its climax in the Sportpalast speech was missing, never, it seems probable, to return. In the light of Hitler’s now prolonged silence, and the situation at present facing his deluded people, it seems worth quoting the final sentences of his November 8,1942, speech:“ I have already said before that if I do not make along speech that does not mean that I have lost my voice. Why should I talk ?Today the front is talking and that is the only thing that matters. Think only that this war will decide whether Germany shall live or die, and if you realize this, your every deed, your every thought will abe prayer for our Germany.” Today not only is Hitler making no long speeches—he is making no speeches at all. One feels that the Germans must be wondering even more strongly why, and whether he has not now irrecoverably lost his voice. CONTENTS OF THIS LITERARY Chapter Historic Documents, Nos. 269-271 :Speech by Hitler Appeal by Mr. Churchill and President Roosevelt to Italy Speech by Field-Marshal Smuts The Russians Drive Onto (he West Sicily Falls in Thirty-Eight Days Allied Navies Defeat Germany at Sea NUMBER Pave 2819282128292847 U i e l d -Mars hal Smuts ’s “Thoughts on aNew World” (Historic Document CCLXXI) had considerable repercussions. In spite of a candid appeal to his audience—“ I simply want to suggest cer­tain lines of thought and you must not hold me responsible for them hereafter” —he was yj 111111 i 11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 SAVE EVERY SCRAP OF PAPER!ED on’t wastepaper kindling fires. Only such things as food wrappings which are too soiled to be suitable for salvage should be used for this purpose and as little as possible should be made to do the job. Do not pack it tightly, cover it lightly with small pieces of absolutely dry wood and add small pieces of coal. The result should abe quickfire which you can buildup carefully. Save all the used paper that comes into your house o officer and hand it in clean condition to the local c o lle c to r.and is still held responsible for them. His comments on France came in for particularly hostile criticism, and have indeed caused Britain some difficulties since he was believed in certain quarters to have expressed the views of the British Government though, in fact, he was speaking personally anon occasion originally intended to be private. T V/T a jor-Ge n era l G wynn ,the Military Editor, carries the history of Russia’s great campaigns of 1943 from the end of the spring and early summer lull through the German July offensive at Kursk and that stunning Soviet counter-offensive which by the beginning of Octo­ber had swept our Allies past Smolensk in the north, nearly to Kiev in the centre, and to the approaches of Melitopol in the south. General Gwynn’s concise and lucid account of these complicated operations leaves the reader with a clear picture of the threads of Russian strategy and their interweaving. An interesting point made in this Chapter is the valuable help gained by Russia from Britain’s North African experiences. C icily ,first European soil in the west to be ^conquered by the Allies, fell in thirty-eight days. Few, if any, major campaigns in history have been so swift. Its rapidity indeed surprised the Allied commanders who had allotted ninety days to the task. The comparative ease of the campaign (which, in fact, included some of the toughest fighting of the war up to that time) was due to the lack of enthusiasm of the Italian troops, many of whom scarcely fought at all. The Cana­dians, whose courage, endurance and strength have been newly proved in the recent infighting the Low Countries, did magnificent work also in Sicily. Chapter 284 completes the history of the war at sea during 1943 (the Pacific was covered in Chapter 263, and the anti-submarine war in Chapter 275). It describes naval activities in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Arctic Oceans, no longer purely defensive but increasingly offensive. The year 1943, like 1942, ended with a great inaction Arctic waters: the German battleship“ Scharnhorst,” along menace to Allied convoys on their way to Russia as she inlay Alten Fjord, came out at last on Dec. 26,1943—to her doom. Number 73 of THE SECOND GREAT WAR. our next issue, will be ready on Thursday, February 15,1945
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