CHURCHILL WRITES FOR DAILY Mirror; In the months before WW II, Winston Churchill wrote three stirring articles for the Mirror.. warning of war, berating Hitler and offering lastminute solutions. Today, 70 years on, it is fascinating to see how right he was.
THE Nazi attempt to wear down the British and French democracies by what is called "a war of nerves", and by wordy abuse, is doomed to failure.
The people of the British Empire and their French allies have passed through too many alternations of hope and disappointment in recent years to be affected in their resolve.
NO ONE KNOWS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN ABROAD, NOR WHEN THE WORST MAY HAPPEN.
ALL WE KNOW IS WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO IF OCCASION SHOULD ARISE.
There never has been in time of peace such complete unanimity in this old island.
Men and women of every walk in life, all classes, creeds and parties, have prepared themselves mentally and morally for the tremendous changes in the daily life of every household which would accompany a war with Nazidom.
A calm, which excites the admiration of American and other foreign visitors, reigns throughout the land.
The only apprehensions are those of individuals who have not yet found their war work, and of the public at large lest our rulers should falter in some crisis not yet defined.
This sombre, phlegmatic composure is founded upon two solid convictions.
First, that we shall not be called upon to fight by his Majesty's Government unless it is absolutely necessary for our safety and honour.
Secondly, that however painful the ordeal may be, and however long it may last, the Nazi power will not be able to destroy the British Empire and the French Republic.
And that in the end, the cause of personal freedom and international good faith will stand upon broader, higher and far stronger foundations throughout all Europe, and indeed, throughout the world...
WHETHER WAR WILL COME RESTS ENTIRELY IN THE HANDS OF HERR HITLER.. UNLESS HE GIVES THE ORDER, NO CANNON WILL FIRE, NO BLOOD WILL FLOW.
It is vain to seek "living space" with the sword. Mere accession of conquered territory will only leave the masses poorer than they were before.
Science, on the other hand, and the confident co-operation of "all the men in all the lands" offer endless "living space" to the peoples of the twentieth century.
There are more people living thirty-storeys high in New York City to-day, and living better, than were living on ground there a hundred years ago.
Eighty thousand Jews are dwelling in a high degree of civilisation in the city of Tel Aviv, which when the last war stopped was a barren beach.
There is nothing in the material sphere that men cannot do if they work together in peace and freedom. Let us hope in this solemn hush, Herr Hitler will ponder these simple truths.
To-day there is still time. But one more wrongful step, one further outrage, will close these prospects in smoke and flame.
Then, indeed, it will be too late.
July 27, 1939
THE German Army is steadily being placed upon a war footing. A million reservists have been called up, in addition to the normal army of a million men. However, we are assured from Berlin that these preparations are purely defensive.
Their only object is to protect innocent, peaceloving Nazidom from some deadly attack by Poland or Denmark or Holland, or perhaps from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
We must be glad that Ministers and some of their experts now assure us of their confidence that our armed forces and preparations are adequate to our dangers.
A FAR MORE SIGNIFICANT SIGNAL IS MADE TO US FROM THE TYROL.
The more the agreement between the German and Italian Dictators about the future of the Tyrol becomes known, the more we realise how tense and grave is the state of Europe.
It looks as if Herr Hitler has consented to the transfer of the entire German-speaking population of the Province of Bozen either to Greater Germany or elsewhere in Italy - in order that the homelands on which they have dwelt for a thousand years, the valleys and mountains of that beautiful upland, may be populated with Italians.
That he should be willing to do this is a proof, which should be plain to the simplest mind, how seriously he regards the situation, and how determined he is to move forward upon the path of Continental domination.
This was the price - the only price that would serve to bind Mussolini to his chariot wheels.
The position of the Italian Dictator has become increasingly precarious.
The association of Italy with Germany has undermined the foundations of Italian national power, and has already deeply affected Italian independence.
The prospect of being dragged into a war of the most terrible character with France and Great Britain, in which the first brunt would fall upon Italy, is a case of fear and anger throughout the whole of the long and vulnerable peninsula.
To wage a war for mortal stakes against the other two great Mediterranean Powers is indeed a tragic task to set a hard-working and hardpressed population.
NOTHING IS FURTHER FROM THE WISH OF THE ITALIAN PEOPLE THAN TO BE PLUNGED INTO A PERFECTLY NEEDLESS STRUGGLE FOR LIFE WITH THE FRENCH ARMY AND THE BRITISH NAVY.
NOT A PLEASANT PROSPECT. NOT AN EASY WAR.
A WAR IN WHICH DEFEAT SPELLS RUIN AND VICTORY, PERMANENT SUBORDINATION.
In this part of Europe, as in all countries which border upon Nazidom, the fear of being the victim of a sudden lightning attack by Germany dominates the minds not only of Governments, but of peoples.
Who shall say these fears are groundless while one man, with his Party confederates, his political police and his astrologers, holds the fate of all Europe in his hands?
AND WHO WILL SAY THAT THIS IS THE MOMENT FOR THE BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS TO SEPARATE FOR A THREEMONTH HOLIDAY?
'EVENTS ARE MOVING FORWARD.. TO CATASTROPHE'
AUGUST 24, 1939
IT is increasingly difficult to see how war can be averted.
EVENTS ARE MOVING FORWARD FROM EVERY QUARTER AND ALONG ALL ROADS TOWARDS CATASTROPHE.
The German military preparations have reached a point when action on the greatest scale is possible at any moment.
Along all frontiers hundreds of thousands of men, armed with the most deadly weapons ever known, and behind them millions more, await a dread signal, which they would instantly obey.
Only one man can give it.
THERE HE SITS IN HIS MOUNTAIN VILLA, TORN BY PASSIONS AND FOREBODINGS, BY APPETITES AND FEARS, WITH HIS FINGER MOVING TOWARDS THE BUTTON WHICH, IF HE PRESSES IT, WILL EXPLODE WHAT IS LEFT OF CIVILISATION.
Never before has mortal man wielded the power to bring sorrow and suffering to such vast numbers of the human race. And never should a single man have such power again.
Hitler could stop now.. He could regain the solid foundations of health and sanity.
NO FURTHER CONCESSIONS CAN BE MADE TO THREATS OF VIOLENCE.
We cannot pay Germany to leave off doing wrong... It is a comfort in this grave hour that everyone is united.
Great Britain and France have made up their minds that they must face whatever is coming to them, and do their best.
Every concession made, in a sincere desire to preserve peace, was interpreted in Germany as a proof of weakness and degeneracy. Every delay in re-armament attributed to a selfish reluctance to fight.
Every reference to the horrors of war was attributed to unmanly fear. Nazi words have ceased to count... Actions alone affect our judgment.
If there is no action against us, we shall remain prepared
IF THERE IS FRIENDLY ACTION, WE SHALL MATCH IT ON OUR SIDE.
IF THERE IS RENEWED AGGRESSION, WE SHALL MAKE WAR.
AMAZING TRIBUTES FROM OUR ARCHIVES
A GRIPPING new book, It's War, tells how the men, women and children of Britain were thrust into the deadliest conflict in human history. With reports from the Daily Mirror archives, it recalls how the country prepared for the outbreak of war 70 years ago. And incredible images and newspaper pages chart how the nation came together.
It also includes reproductions of the remarkable exclusive columns written by Winston Churchill for the Daily Mirror in the build-up to war.
To order your copy, priced at pounds 4.99 plus pounds 1.50 P&P, call 0845 143 0001. It's War is also available in WH Smiths, Asda and all good newsagents.
THE iconic picture on the left, taken in December 1941, cemented Churchill's status as an indomitable war leader.
And no wonder he looks so fierce in it - photographer Yousuf Karsh had just taken away his ever-present cigar.
Karsh, right, who died in 2002, recalled: "I said, 'Forgive me, sir', and plucked the cigar out of his mouth. He looked so belligerent he could have devoured me.
It was at that instant that I took the photograph." The image has appeared on stamps in seven countries.
MIRROR HISTORY It's War
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Sep 5, 2009|
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