Today marks the 66th anniversary of the sinking of the major German warship Bismarck, concluding a naval engagement that extended over several days and hundreds of miles.
How might this sequence of events have been portrayed by today’s media?
MR CHURCHILL’S LATEST DISASTER
Editorial…Major London Newspaper
May 31, 1941
The sinking of HMS Hood, and the loss of 1,400 British sailors, is only the latest in the series of disasters that have impacted Britain since Mr Winston Churchill became Prime Minister. Our army was forced to retreat at Dunkirk, resulting in a loss of many million pounds worth of heavy equipment. Our cities have been bombed, and something like 40,000 of our citizens have been killed. Even now, merchant shipping is being attacked by U-boats, and it is by no means certain that adequate supplies of military equipment–or even of food–can continue to reach our island nation.
All of these disasters and failures were a foreseeable consequence of the policy of military adventurism pursued by Mr Churchill..a policy very different from the diplomatically-based policy that had been recommended by Lord Halifax. It cannot be stressed enough that this is a unilateral policy–other nations do not seem to share Mr Churchill’s obsessions. The United States, although happy to sell us military supplies, has been most unwilling to commit forces. Even the Communists in Russia have had the sober judgment to come to a diplomatic modus vivendi with Germany, rather than pursuing a military solution.
Mr Churchill seems to have a personal vendetta against the German nation and a strong personal desire to wage war, possibly as a result of his need to recover the prestige he lost in the failed Gallipoli campaign, which he instigated during the affair of 1914-1918. Or possibly (if we may be a bit psychological), the roots of Mr Churchill’s combativeness may go back even further, to his frustration with the inattentiveness of his parents. Whatever the cause, British seamen…and British men and women in all walks of life..are paying the price for Mr Churchill’s obsessions.
An attempt is being made by the Churchill government to portray the recent clash of naval forces as a British victory. It is true, of course, that the German warship Bismarck was sunk. But few serious analysts view German surface forces as the major threat..the real danger from that country is of course represented by its U-boats, by the Luftwaffe, and by the Wehrmacht. All of these forces are still intact, and Herr Hitler is still very much in charge. So what possible justification is there for the loss of life and treasure represented by the Hood?
And furthermore, the claim to moral superiority–of which the Churchill government has made so much–has been gravely compromised by this affair. Following the sinking of the Bismarck, many German sailors–possibly several hundred–were left in the water. Dorsetshire and Maori did stop to assist these now-helpless former enemies, but the rescue effort was cut short. As is now well known, the British commander on the scene decided to terminate the rescue attempt, based on his belief that there were “U-boats in the area.” The pictures of helpless men in the water, abandoned by Dorsetshire and Maori, are now seared into the British conscience. And it is that image–rather than the earlier image of British chivalry–by which our nation is now known around the world.
And those claimed U-boats? The Churchill government has failed to provide any evidence that such “U-boats” actually were present.
It is time for Mr Churchill to resign, so that a new government may begin to undo the damage that he has done.
(previously posted, in slightly different form, at Photon Courier)