10.4.42

British naval losses in the last 3 or 4 days: 2 cruisers and an aircraft carrier sunk, 1 destroyer wrecked. [1] Axis losses: 1 cruiser sunk.

From Nehru’s speech today: “Who dies if India live?” How impressed the pinks will be – and how they would snigger at “Who dies if England live?” [2]

[1] On 5 April, the heavy cruisers Dorsetshire and Cornwall, the destroyer Tenedos, and the armed merchant-ship Hector were sunk by Japanese aircraft operating from carriers in the Indian Ocean. On 9 April (the day 64,000 Filipinos and 12,000 Americans surrendered at Bataan) the aircraft carrier Hermes and the destroyer Vampire were among a further group of ships sunk by the Japanese in the Indian Ocean, including 135,000 tons of merchant and troop ships.  

[2] ‘Who dies if England live?’ comes from Kipling’s ‘For All We Have and Are’ (1914) and was quoted by Orwell in ‘Notes on the Way’, 30 March and 6 April 1940 (CW, XII, p. 126); it also has the line, ‘The Hun is at the gate!’ Although ‘Hun’ had been used derogatively for a German in the nineteenth century, its twentieth-century usage was introduced by Kaiser Wilhelm II in a widely reported speech when addressing his troops on 27 July 1900 before their departure for China.  

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