According to W. [1] a real Anglo-Russian alliance is to be signed up and the Russian delegates are already in London. I don’t believe this.

The Turkish radio (for some time past I think this has been one of the most reliable sources of information) alleges that both Germans and Russians are preparing to use poison gas in the forthcoming battle.

[Great naval battle in progress in the Coral Sea. [2] Sinkings claimed by both sides so vast that one does not know what to believe. But from the willingness of the Japanese radio to talk about the battle (they have already named it the Battle of the Coral Sea) the presumption is that they count on making their objective.

My guess as to the identity of ‘Thomas Rainsborough’; Tom Wintringham. (Right!)

(30.5.42. Wintringham denies the authorship of these articles, but I still think he wrote them.) [3] ]

[1] Fredric Warburg (1898-1980), managing director of Secker & Warburg and Orwell’s publisher.

[2] The Battle of the Coral Sea, 4-8 May, was the first naval engagement fought entirely by aircraft, the ships involved never coming into each other’s sight. The Americans lost the aircraft carrier Lexington, a tanker, a destroyer, 74 planes, and 543 men; the Japanese lost the light carrier Shoho, a destroyer, over 80 planes and more than 1,000 men. (Liddell Hart, History of the Second World War, pp. 361-63).

[3] Entry in parentheses, dated 30 May, was added by Orwell to the manuscript version only. 

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1 Response to 8.5.42

  1. The Battle of the Coral Sea was such a shock to the Japanese as to the scale of their losses that their then plans of advancing on New Zealand were abandoned.

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