21.6.40

No real news. I see from yesterday’s paper that Chiappe[1] has been elected president of the Paris Municipal Council, presumably under German pressure. So much for the claim that Hitler is the friend of the working classes, enemy of plutocracy, etc.

Yesterday the first drill of our platoon of the L.D.V. They were really admirable, only 3 or 4 in the whole lot (about 60 men) who were not old soldiers. Some officers who were there and had, I think, come to scoff were quite impressed.

[1] Jean Chiappe (1878-1940), Corsican head of the Paris police, 1927-34, was pro-fascist and responsible for severely repressive measures against the left. Elliot Paul, referring to his dismissal on 2 February 1934, described him as ‘one of the ringleaders of Petain’s Cagoulards, the hooded order conspiring for a fascist dictatorship’ (A Narrow Street, 1942, chap. 24). Peter Davison

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7 Responses to 21.6.40

  1. Chiappe will be another one to die by “mistake”.

    The plane carrying him to Lebannon in the autumn of 1940 will be shot down by “mistake” by the Italians!

    Lot of mistakes will be happen before this war is ended.

  2. Greg says:

    Sadly also killing the pilot Henri Guillaume, whose walk out of a wreck in the Andes was described by Saint-Exupéry in “Wind, Sand and Stars”.

  3. Welcome to Summer!

    If anyone is interested in the CONCLUSIONS of a Meeting of the War Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W. 1 on Friday, June 21, 1940, at 12 noon it can be found here (via nationalarchives.gov.uk/cabinetpapers — on Twitter: @ukwarcabinet).

    It takes a couple of clicks to drill down to the PDF document but I think it’s worth it.

  4. Flashback a few days:
    The RMS Lancastria was a British Cunard liner sunk on 17 June 1940. She was sunk off the French port of St. Nazaire while taking part in Operation Ariel, the evacuation of British nationals and troops from France, two weeks after the Dunkirk evacuation.

    They didn’t have phone-cams back then but, believe it or not, someone had a camera in their hand during the horrifying 2¼ hours it took for that death trap to sink.

  5. According to the first article linked to above, Winston Churchill banned all news coverage of the [RMS Lancastria] disaster on learning of it and it remained largely forgotten by history.

  6. Pingback: Airminded · Post-blogging 1940

  7. Pingback: 1.12.40 « THE ORWELL PRIZE

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