6.7.41

Several of the papers are growing very restive because we are not doing more to help the U.S.S.R. I do not know whether any action, other than air-raids, is really intended, but if nothing is attempted, quite apart from the military and political consequences this may have, it is a disquieting symptom. For if we can’t make a land offensive now, when the Germans have 150 divisions busy in Russia, when the devil shall we be able to? I hear no rumours whatever about movements of troops, so apparently no expedition is being prepared at any rate from England. [1] The only new development is the beginning of Beaverbrook’s big drive for tanks, similar to his drive for planes last year. But this can’t bear fruit for some months, and where these tanks are to be used there is no hint. I can’t believe they want them for use against a German invasion. If the Germans were in a position to bring large numbers of armoured units here, i.e. if they had complete command of the sea and air, we should have lost the war already.

No talk of any formal alliance with Russia, nor indeed anything clarifying our relationship, in spite of more or less friendly utterances on either side. We can’t, of course, take any big risk until it is certain that they are in firm alliance with us, i.e. will go on fighting even if they have succeeded in beating back the invasion.

No reliable news from the fronts. The Germans are across the Pruth, but it seems to be disputed whether they are across the Beresina. The destruction claimed by both sides is obviously untruthful. The Russians claim that German casualties are already 700,000, i.e. about 10 per cent of Hitler’s whole army.

Examined a number of Catholic papers, also several copies of Truth, [2] to see what their attitude is to our quasi-alliance with the U.S.S.R. The Catholic papers have not gone pro-Nazi, and perhaps will not do so. The “line” apparently is that Russia is objectively on our side and must be supported, but that there must be no definite alliance. Truth, which hates Churchill, takes much the same line but is a shade more anti-Russian, perhaps. Some of the Irish Catholic papers have now gone frankly pro-Nazi, it appears. If that is so there will have been similar repercussions in the U.S.A. It will be interesting to see whether the “neutrality” that has been imposed on the Irish press, forbidding it to make any comment on any belligerent, will be enforced in the case of Russia, now that Russia is in the war.

The People’s Convention have voted full support for the government and demand “vigorous prosecution of the war” – this only a fortnight after they were demanding a “people’s peace”. The story is going round that when the news of Hitler’s invasion of Russia reached a New York café where some Communists were talking, one of them who had gone out to the lavatory returned to find that the “party line” had changed in his absence.

[1] From the moment the Soviet Union entered the war on the same side as Britain there was constant agitation for the opening of a second front. Much of this was promoted by Communists and Communist sympathisers.

[2] A journal of the extreme right. Peter Davison

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24 Responses to 6.7.41

  1. M G says:

    @PD Appears to be a typo in opening sentence: “we are not doing more the help the U.S.S.R.”

  2. TimothyMN says:

    Isn’t it odd how these typos creep in. After MG’s comment I read that opening sentence several times and could not detect the error. Each time I read the mistake I must have mentally replaced the offending ‘the’ with what’s expected.

  3. @M G and TimothyMN

    Thanks for spotting that – now corrected.

  4. George~~
    Excellent commentary on

    The story is going round that when the news of Hitler’s invasion of Russia reached a New York café where some Communists were talking, one of them who had gone out to the lavatory returned to find that the “party line” had changed in his absence.

    the stark-raving madness of everyone who worshiped a madman.

  5. Meanwhile:

  6. Bob Rocket says:

    JL3

    ‘…one of them who had gone out to the lavatory returned to find that the “party line” had changed in his absence’

    didn’t Monty Python use that in the Life of Brian ?

  7. George~~
    Have you ever met Anthony Burgess?

  8. George~~

    This is a brief overview of World War II in the early Battles for Libyan North Africa (June 1940-July 1941), as the British clashed with Italian forces after Mussolini declared war on Great Britain.

  9. Geaorge, would it help if I threatened to “unfollow” you?
    2 weeks. Not cool.

  10. I am pleased to announce that my never-ending quest has yielded George Orwell’s Secret Blog.
    Here’s a link to his 19 February 1941 post:

    http://georgeorwellnovels.com/essays/the-lion-and-the-unicorn-socialism-and-the-english-genius/

  11. Eric Blair had this image delivered to me by George Raft:

    http://twitpic.com/5v26ih

  12. andrew says:

    eric, are you all right? eric?

  13. Jean-Paul et Heather says:

    He must be disgusted.

  14. Konifuji says:

    Several of the diary snoopers are growing very restive because George is not doing more to help their curiosity. I do not know whether any action, other than more blank pages, is really intended, but if nothing is attempted, quite apart from the military and political consequences this may have, it is a disquieting symptom.

  15. You got that right.

  16. http://www.ww2incolchester.com/ — The wartime diary of Alwyne Garling 93 London Road Lexden Colchester
    http://wwar2homefront.blogspot.com/ — WW2: A Civilian in the Second World War
    http://www.pepysdiary.com/ — The Diary of Samuel Pepys

  17. WoHa says:

    George, this is simply unacceptable: you can’t pretend to keep a diary if you’re not writing in it for so long. You better have a pretty good excuse when you pick up a pen next time…

  18. Cody says:

    Could be the tuberculosis… Or else he is busy ratting on his old communist friends. I also read somewhere that he was deeply disturbed by the russo-german pact. Now that it is unraveled perhaps he’s just flat-ass losing his mind.

  19. M G says:

    George, several of your readers are also becoming pretty restive, after having read that same opening line for over a month every time they visit this page.

  20. andrew says:

    it’s almost soothing, every day…
    “Several of the papers are growing restive..”
    “Several of the papers are growing restive..”
    “Several of the papers are growing restive..”
    “Several of the papers are growing restive..”

  21. To paraphrase:
    “All work and no play makes George a dull boy.”

  22. Adam says:

    So when does George start writing again? A hint would be nice for huge gaps like this.

  23. George~~
    What exactly are your views on a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding? Do you advocate Dystopia? Are you an anti-Utopian?

    Also, in

    “They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual…”

    from the second sentence of The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius, you give the impression that this is an admirable character trait of the “…highly civilized human beings…flying overhead, trying to kill…” you. How very civilized.

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