25.7.40

No news, really. . . . Various people who have sent their children to Canada are already regretting it[1]. . . . Casualties, i.e. fatal ones, from air-raids for last month were given out as about 340. If true, this is substantially less than the number of road deaths in the same period. . . . The L.D.V., now said to be 1,300,000 strong, is stopping recruiting and is to be renamed the Home Guard. There are rumours also that those acting as N.C.O’s are to be replaced by men from the regular army. This seems to indicate either that the authorities are beginning to take the L.D.V. seriously as a fighting force, or that they are afraid of it.

There are now rumours that Lloyd George[2] is the potential Pétain of England. . . . The Italian press makes the same claim and says that L.G.’s silence proves it true. It is of course fairly easy to imagine L.G. playing this part out of sheer spite and jealousy because he has not been given a job, but much less easy to imagine him collaborating with the Tory clique who would in fact be in favour of such a course.

Constantly, as I walk down the street, I find myself looking up at the windows to see which of them would make good machine-gun nests. D.[3] says it is the same with him.[4]

[1] See 17.6.40 regarding evacuation of children to Canada.

[2] David Lloyd George had, like Pétain, been cast as a heroic leader during World War I, when he proved an effective Prime Minister. He was in a minority in seeking a conciliatory peace treaty with Germany after the war.

[3] Unidentified

[4] On 16 July 1940, Hitler had said, in Directive 16: ‘I have decided to prepare a landing operation against England, and, if necessary, to carry it out. The aim…will be to eliminate the English homeland…and, if necessary, to occupy it completely’ (Hitler’s War Directives 1939-45, edited by Hugh Trevor-Roper, 1964). Peter Davison

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7 Responses to 25.7.40

  1. Stephen says:

    Orwell imagines himself in one of those machine gun nests, inflicting a bit more than the road toll on an invading enemy – if need be, despite the orders of his regular army NCO.

  2. Pingback: Airminded · Post-blogging 1940

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention 25.7.40 « THE ORWELL PRIZE -- Topsy.com

  4. Makes me think of Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls.

  5. “I mistrust all frank and simple people, especially when their
    stories hold together…..” ~~Jake Barnes

    London: Charles de Gaulle asks Captain Jacques Philippe, Vicomte de Hautecloque [alias Philippe LeClerc] to rally Free French forces in Equatorial Africa.

  6. “No news, really. . . .”
    “Seriously? No news?”
    “Really.”
    “Wow.”

  7. Barry Larking says:

    De Gaulle’s attempt’s to appeal to France’s empire forces fell on deaf ears throughout. Reasoning with the defender’s of Dakar very nearly cost Britain a battleship. Syria and even moreso Madagascar were invaded (‘illegally invaded’ in today’s terms) by British forces with difficulty. French Vietnam co-operated with the Japanese whilst only the Viet-Minh resisted. De Gaulle became significant in France after D-Day, not before.

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