No real news for days past. The principal event of the moment is the pan-American conference, now just beginning, and the Russian absorption of the Baltic states, which must be directed against Germany. Cripps’s wife and daughters are going to Moscow, so evidently he expects a long stay there. Spain is said to be importing oil in large quantities, obviously for German use, and we are not stopping it. Much hooey in the News-Chronicle this morning about Franco desiring to keep out of the war, trying to counter German influence, etc., etc…. It will be just as I said. Franco will play up his pretence of being pro-British, this will be used as a reason for handling Spain gently and allowing imports in any quantity, and ultimately Franco will come in on the German side.

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13 Responses to 22.7.40

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention 22.7.40 « THE ORWELL PRIZE -- Topsy.com

  2. From CONCLUSIONS of a Meeting of the War Cabinet held at 10 Downing S.W. 1 , on Monday, July 2 2 , 1 9 4 0 , at 1 1 – 3 0 A.M:

    The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs said that his colleagues would have seen recent telegrams from Tangier (Nos. 161 and 162) reporting that Germany had delivered an ultimatum to Portugal. The latest telegrams from Lisbon and Madrid, however, declared that this report was untrue.

    The Foreign Secretary added that he had recently seen members of our embassies in Madrid and Lisbon, who were on visits to this country. Both reported an improvement in the situation. It was now thought that the Spanish Government would resist, should the Germans attempt to force their way through Spain.

  3. truth is life says:

    In this case Orwell was wrong, and a good thing too. I suppose he ought to have thought a bit more about what Spain had just been through–he had been there, after all–they simply could not afford to fight another war, especially against a Power that could occupy their colonies (such as there were) and deny them almost all outside trade, particularly of certain essential materials not found in Europe. They could afford to more-or-less clandestinely assist their ideological friends, but they couldn’t act openly.

  4. itwasntme says:

    Franco could not be charmed by Hitler.

  5. Pingback: Airminded · Post-blogging 1940

  6. Since it is now Tuesday the 23rd, the Local Defence Volunteer force is renamed the “Home Guard”.

  7. “Spain is said to be importing oil […] and we are not stopping it”

    It’s a good job that George is not running the show. It’s the second time he’s had our soldiers running off in the wrong direction to deal with some non-existent Spanish problem. He can’t seem to see the big picture. He appears to be obsessed with Spain. Perhaps being in Barcelona has affected his judgement.

  8. Yes, despite his PTSD coupled with chronic illness, George is starving for real-time, front-line news. He knows that the real news from out there is not getting to him. He wants to be in the same room with these people as a fly on the wall, he wants to be on the battlefield, he wants to be on the sea. Why? Because he wants to write it down. He doesn’t want to speculate, he wants to observe the minutiae of it all; now that he is outside the whale, so-to-speak. He wants more than hearsay from the blokes at the pub. He can only trust his own eyeballs and ear-holes. Or can he?

    Orwell, in 1984, follows his paradigm of perpetual [non-Stalinist] socialist revolution and elucidates upon its logical conclusion:

    2 + 2 = 5

  9. Barry Larking says:

    The curious thing about Spain in the Second World War is its neutrality. As they said in Southern Ireland “We are neutral; but who are we neutral against?” Churchill’s edict to “set Europe alight” did not include Spain either. Considering Franco was murdering large numbers of opponents well into the 50s it is a strange omission – the ground for ‘resistence’ more fertile perhaps than even in France or Holland. Fears over Gibraltar may have prevented any pre-emptive moves on Britain’s part. Orwell was no more nor less blind than anyone else at this time. No one, not even Hitler, could have foreseen the situation which transpired by the summer of 1940. This was fortunate. I believe Spain contributed numbers of soldiers to fight on the Eastern Front after 1941, but these would have been termed ‘volunteers’.

  10. Scant months before 1984 actually arrived, a 57-minute speech was given in the Palace Suite, Metropole Hotel, Birmingham; an excerpt:

    The choice at this Election is clear as day. You can choose between low inflation with the Conservatives, high inflation with the Liberals and the SDP, and hyper-inflation with Labour.

    Labour would have to print money to pay for their spend, spend, spend programme. Every pound they print would make the pound in your pocket worth less. And very soon they would be back where they were last time—back to hyper-inflation, back to the IMF, back to national humiliation.

    Do you remember the time when the supermarkets could not stick the new price labels on fast enough to keep up? Well, last year food prices rose by just one penny in the pound.

    Do you remember the time when your local Labour council used to slap in a supplementary rate demand because they’d run out of cash half-way through the year?

  11. On this Wednesday, July 24th, bombs fall for the first time on Renfrew, Samford, Waltham and Weybridge. Later in the morning, 18 Do17s escorted by JG52 attempt to bomb a convoy in the Thames Estuary. Thus ensuing what 54 Sqn called ‘The Battle of the Thames Estuary’. A ship is forced to run for shallow water and 54 Sqn while protecting have their ‘biggest fight since Dunkirk.’ So furious and confused is the fight over Margate that ‘54’ claim 16 ‘109s. Luftwaffe records suggest two, possibly three. Pilot Officer Allen (R6812) engages a 109 near Margate, the his engine stops. When it comes to life again he attempts to reach RAF Manston, but instead his aircraft spun in and crashed on an electricity sub-station in Omer Road, Cliftonville. Sergeant G.R. Collett (N3192) chases a Bf109 for a considerable distance, only to run out of fuel and crash at Sizewell, Suffolk. 1 Bf109 comes down in Dane Valley Road and another in Byron Avenue, Margate, where the pilot became a prize for the local AFS men. Nos. 65 and 610 Sqns had been vectored to Dover to engage the Bf109s when the latter were getting short of fuel and vulnerable. Unfortunately the plan misfired when a fresh formations of 109s arrived to deal with just such schemes. Fighter Command lost a pilot and two aircraft in the engagement and the Luftwaffe five Bf109s of JG26 and JG52.

  12. Marcel says:

    Spain should not have been neutral. The war might have ended sooner if they resisted Hitler.

  13. jhameac says:

    RE: Spain

    “Was there ever a people whose leaders were as truly their enemies as this one?” – For Whom The Bell Tolls

    While I’m at it,

    “It seems to me you do not understand politics, Inglés, nor guerrilla warfare. In politics and this other the first thing is to continue to exist.”
    – For Whom The Bell Tolls

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