1.7.40

Newspapers now reduced to 6 pages, i.e., 3 sheets[1]. Print reduced in size. Rough analysis of to-day’s News-Chronicle: 6 pages = 48 columns. Of these (excluding small adverts. besides headlines on front page) 15 columns or nearly one third are adverts. About 1½ columns of this are taken up in notices of situations vacant, etc., but the greater part of the ad.s are for more or less useless consumption goods. The financial columns also overlap with the advertisements, some of the reports of directors’ meetings, etc., probably being paid for by the companies themselves.

To-day’s Express consists of 6 pages = 42 columns, of which 12 are taken up in advertisements.

Rumours in all to-day’s papers that Balbo was actually bumped off by his own side, as in the case of General von Fritsch[2]. Nowadays when any eminent person is killed in battle this suggestion inevitably arises. Cases in the Spanish war were Durutti and General Mola[3]. The rumour about Balbo is based on a statement by the R.A.F. that they know nothing about the air-fight in which Balbo is alleged to have been killed. If this is a lie, as it well may be, it is one of the first really good strokes the British propaganda has brought off.

[1] See 2.6.40, when People was twelve pages, for analysis of contents.

[2] Werner von Fritsch (1880-1939), an old-guard general on the German Army General Staff, never concealed his contempt for Hitler. His death in action in 1939 was always thought to have been engineered by the Führer.

[3] Buenaventura Durruti was head of the Spanish Anarchists at the beginning of the civil war, a gunman who became a general and popular leader. He was killed in the defence of Madrid, possibly by Communists. His funeral gave rise to a great popular demonstration in Barcelona. Emilio Mola Vidal (1887-1937), an equal colleague of Franco, was killed in the early stages of the civil war, before the question of primacy with Franco could arise. Peter Davison

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11 Responses to 1.7.40

  1. With his ‘Night of the Long Knives’ Hitler had already made his position crystal clear with regard to high-ranking homosexuality, drunkeness and debauchery.

    The fate that befell von Fritsch was therefore only to be expected.

  2. Stephen says:

    “One of the first really good strokes the British propaganda has brought off” – some thing about weaving a tangled web comes to mind here.

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention 1.7.40 « THE ORWELL PRIZE -- Topsy.com

  4. Pingback: Airminded · Post-blogging 1940

  5. anonymouser says:

    Balbo was shot down by Italian AA. His fate mirrors that of Rohm.

  6. On 28 June 1940, while landing on the Italian airfield of Tobruk a few minutes after a British air attack, Balbo was shot down by Italian gunners and killed.
    The government in Rome maintained that the incident was an accident of friendly fire, but Balbo’s closest friends and his family strongly believed that it was an assassination on Mussolini’s orders.
    A 1997 interview with the gunner who shot him down claimed that Balbo’s plane was simply identified as an enemy target, as Balbo was flying low and coming in against the sun after an attack by British Bristol Blenheims.

  7. Meanwhile, it is a Monday, after all so Hull and Wick, in northeast Scotland, are bombed in daylight by the Luftwaffe. British casualties are reported to be 12 killed and 22 injured.

    During the night (July 1-2), 12 RAF Hampden bombers raid the naval base at Kiel. A 2000 lbs bomb is dropped near the battle cruiser Scharnhorst by Guy Gibson and 2 small bombs strike the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen.

    In a fit of courage, I combined Orwell’s Paper & Ink Obsession with those Blasted Ads and woke to find Francis Bacon destroying all of his works from five years before today to five years after. I am fictionalizing, of course, when I say that I suspect that he [Bacon] was infilled [via clever anti-chocolate propaganda] with an Expressionist’s impression that Blair had a burning desire for a Socialist Revolution that would last for decades.

  8. Thirdstone Howel says:

    A fascinating breakdown of the size and composition of wartime news. Possibly George misses the comfort of the peacetime egg ritual.

  9. Also, the Channel Islands are being occupied by the Germans. See Stories of the BoB:
    http://spitfiresite.com/2010/07/battle-of-britain-1940-channel-islands.html

  10. The beginning of July was warm and sunny, and the afternoon temperature on the 2nd rose above 25°C. It then became cooler and changeable as Atlantic fronts crossed the country. A few dry and fairly sunny days occurred, and occasionally temperatures approached normal. Generally, however, it was cool and showery, with some longer spells of rain. On the 21st, over 10mm of rain was recorded, and on the 24th, the maximum temperature was only 16.4°C.

  11. Pingback: The Balalaika as Scythe | 3rdBlog from the…..

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