- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 30 Jul 1942, p. 12-29
- Newman, Captain Bernard, Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- Canadian contributions to Britain, and to the war effort. Monetary gifts to Britain from Canada. The Canadian forces in Britain. The war going as well as we had any reason or right to expect, and what that really means. Low expectations. Catching up to our opponent. Timing as the very art of war. Some comments on Hitler's strategy. Britain gaining control of Irak through the gallant resistance in Greece and Crete. Getting into Syria just in time. Hitler as a very great exponent of the art of war, of timing, but not always. Some words about France. France fighting on until the end. A Second Front at the right time and in the right place. The basis of timing as a question of mobility, a question of shipping. Losses of ships. The Russian campaign and the importance of mobility. Pulling the German Air Force from Russia. New defences in Britain. The British lack of drama saved them: an anecdote. The war of minds: who is winning. Sabotage all over Europe. The V campaign as a very good psychological weapon. Effects on Germans. The importance of Canadian food to the war effort in Europe, and after the war. Stalin's "Backs-to-the-Wall" Order. Hard fighting still to come. The need to win a military victory, then a moral victory, not only in Germany, but in our own country. Isolationism: dead or dormant? The speaker's belief that we will win the war.
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- 30 Jul 1942
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- Full Text
- HOW GOES THE WAR?
AN ADDRESS BY CAPTAIN BERNARD NEWMAN
Chairman The President, John C. M. MacBeth, Esq., B.A., K.C.
Thursday, July 30, 1942
MR. JOHN C. M. MACBETH: Gentlemen of The Empire Club: Before we call upon the guest-speaker, I thought you might be interested to know that we have with us today among our guests, Lieutenant-Commander Bernard of H.M.C.S. York and Vice AirMarshal Johnston. It is their first public appearance among us since their most recent appointments.
Many of us have read a book called Spy, a book that between 1935 and 1938 ran to twelve printings. This book, as the author says, is a record, a history of the highlights of his Secret Service career in the war of 1914-1918. It has been used as a text book in Russia and it has been banned in Germany. The author, who, by the way, is the grand-nephew of George Eliot, known to most of us by Tom and the lovable Maggie Tulliver in The Mill on the Floss, has written some forty-five other well known books. He has had an unusually interesting career. He has been successively, and often contemporaneously, actor, soldier, member of the British Intelligence Service, author, traveller, lecturer-and the young man is not yet fifty years of age.
His success as a lecturer has been outstanding and during the twelve years before the present war he gave 2,000 lectures in twenty European countries. As he was telling some of us yesterday, he has travelled considerably by bicycle in Continental Europe. On these journeys, it was his custom to dress in knickers or shorts and to go into remote villages and other places not usually touched by people on a grand tour. He talked with the villagers and the people of the countryside and gained their goodwill and confidence. A traveller of this kind would naturally remain long in the memories of these natives, a fact which has prompted him in his European broadcasts today to address himself directly to them by reminding them of their English friend who wore shorts and travelled by bicycle. And who can tell how much these personal messages of hope and encouragement are adding to the morale and the confidence of these good people!
You will be interested to know that this gentleman has met Mr. Hitler in person. You will be glad to know that he has been outlawed from Italy.
Members of The Empire Club, I present to you this gentleman, Captain Bernard Newman, our guest-speaker. (Applause.)
CAPTAIN BERNARD NEWMAN: Mr. Chairman, Gentlemen: I would like to begin with just a word of thanks, not only to you but to Canada. So far I have been in Canada only some two or three weeks, but even before I came over here I knew we had a lot to thank Canada for; for what Canada has done, and for the bigger things that she is going to do.
I have been most impressed even back in Britain at the gifts that have flowed over from Canada. I was more than impressed when I read that Canada had given to the Old Country a gift, not a loan, of $1,000,000.000. I wish you had been in Britain that day when that gift was announced. There was nothing dramatic about it-there;never is, as you know, in Britain. We suffer from a lack of drama, although it is one of our greatest assets. There was nothing very dramatic, but you saw the same scene played time and time again in the railway carriages as en were reading the newspapers. They would say,
"See this? Canada has given us $1,000.000,000". And then a silence-a silence which meant a good deal more than words.
And I would thank you, too, for the men you have sent across; and the more men who are waiting their turn to come across when they are required; and those who will come forward to come across when the moment arises.
Just before I came over here I spent a week with the Canadian Forces in Britain, and you may take my word they are a grand lot, and they are in grand form, and they are on grand terms with the local people. They are very impatient, naturally. They wouldn't be Canadians if they weren't, but they are there to do a job, and when the job comes to do they will do it. I wish I could describe to you the confidence these men give in the villages through which they march.
I remember one rather human incident which illustrated that point. I went to visit a section of a Canadian anti-aircraft battery. They had two guns stuck out in the country, and there was a small cottage near by. An old lady lived there alone in the cottage. She couldn't do very much for the Canadian soldiers-there was thirty or forty of them-all she could do was boil hot water, mend their socks and that kind of thing, but they looked on her as a sort of grandmother. The night before I arrived there had been a raid, and I said to the old lady, "Weren't you afraid?" She said, "Well, I was a bit frightened at first when I heard the airplanes. I was in bed. Then our guns began to fire and I thought, 'Ah, those Canadian laddies will look after me', so I turned over and went to sleep again."
Now, I am to talk to you on a rather general subject and to answer a very big question: How goes the war? I will give the answer right now. I won't hedge. The war goes at least as well as we had any reason or right to expect. We couldn't expect too much just now. You can't give a powerful opponent seven years start and catch up in five minutes. We haven't caught him up yet. The point is we are catching him up.
I remember General Plummer, who so many of us remember with great affection from the last war, saying to me once, "When you hit your opponent, it is important to hit him hard and at the right place, but it is just as important to hit him at the right second." You know, he was right. Timing is the very art of war. Just as when playing cricket, if you hit the ball at the right second in the right place it is a boundary, and if you are a fraction of a second too early or a fraction of a second too late you are out. It is just the same in warfare. Timing is one of the main keys to the war.
I remember about a year ago meeting two New Zealand soldiers. I met many of them in London, but I found these two men rather down in the mouth. It surprised me immensely. I had always held, and I have not the slightest doubt the old soldiers here will agree with me, that New Zealanders are among the finest soldiers in the world. But these two fellows were definitely down. I began to talk with them. One said, "You don't expect us to feel very cheery, do you? We have been through two disasters. We were in Greece when they knocked Greece out, and then we were in Crete and they bundled us out of there. You don't expect us to be very cocky, surely."
They were very surprised when I refused to accept the description of the campaigns in Greece and Crete as disasters. They were even more surprised when I suggested that the historians in a hundred years time might look on Greece and Crete as victories for the Allied Force. Obviously they were thinking I had gone crackers. I got a map and began to show them what I meant. Hitler marched into the Balkans. (When I say Hitler, of course he wasn't there. I use Hitler as a general term for the whole of the German war machine-just as we use the devil as a general term to include everything evil.) There was Hitler. He went into the Balkans. What for? Certainly not for what he could get out of the Balkans. He could get all that without fighting. No, very obviously, his objective was a swoop to the southeast for oil-the thing that lures him on.
Now, how was he to get to the Near East? One way was by Egypt. Well, that didn't look very promising. Another way was across Turkey. That didn't look very promising either. As some of us found to our cost in the last war, the Turks have a tough country and they are mighty tough fighters. But there was another possibility, and it all depended on rapid timing-conquering Greece quickly, then seizing Crete quickly, then Cyprus, then Syria; and if he could do all these things quickly, then the way would be open to the oil fields of Irak.
Then the timing went wrong in Irak. The balloon went up a bit too soon. If Raschid Ali had seized power in Irak a few weeks later the situation might have been very, very dangerous. He was just a bit too previous. The timing went wrong; while Hitler was attacking Greece, British reinforcements were on their way to Iraq, and while British and Imperial troops were gaining a very valuable fortnight in Greece, British reinforcements arrived in Irak; and while British troops were gaining another fortnight in Crete, the British Army was establishing control of Irak. So you see, control of Irak was established, not in Irak itself, but through the gallant resistance in Greece and Crete.
And now the New Zealanders were smiling again. They saw that they had done something. They had lost territory, but they had gained time, which was just as essential. They knew the value of Irak. They knew what oil meant in a war like this. Even if Hitler had broken through to the Near East, it is not likely that he would get much oil. I don't think he will get much if he ever arrives there. I take it there will be a couple of men and a box of matches somewhere handy to the oil wells.
But once the Germans or their puppets were in control in Irak, the way would be open to the occupation of Syria. It was a very dangerous moment and it was just in time that we got into Syria. The German move to the Near East was blocked-by the resistance in Greece and Crete-six weeks altogether. Six weeks of time gained by those campaigns in the spring of last year.
You remember the next move-Hitler invaded Russia. He attacked Russia-and if it hadn't been for the campaigns in Greece and Crete he would have attacked Russia six weeks earlier. Naturally, by the end of the tremendous summer and fall campaigns the Russians were tremendously strained; then the winter came, when they were better prepared and were able to turn the tide; but not even the Russians themselves would be able to say what the conditions might have been had Hitler had another six weeks of summer on which to operate on Russian soil.
Those two disasters of Greece and Crete, it may turn out, were the real turning point of the whole war.
It is perfectly true, and I certainly would not want to deny this, that on the point of timing Hitler is a very great exponent of the art. We noticed that long before the war. He knew when to strike. He is either very, very competent or very, very lucky, which is just as good in war. All through this war, too, it seems, his timing has been almost uncanny. He knocked out one country after another, striking always, apparently, just at the right second. But not always-not always. His timing has been very good, but Hitler has not been always right. Cast your mind back to those dark days immediately after Dunkirk. You remember what happened. We suffered a colossal military defeat. France was broken in two. The British Army came back-yes, but disarmed. Now Hitler had to make a tremendous decision. We must face up to it: he had one of the biggest military victories in the history of warfare. He knew he could only win the war by knocking out Britain. On the other hand, there was France, broken, sagging at the knees, obviously poised for the knock-out blow. Hitler had to make his decision, and he decided to knock out France first. When Hitler made that decision he lost the war. If he had attacked Britain immediately after Dunkirk, he stood at least a fifty per cent chance of success. Most military experts say an eighty per cent chance. I don't believe he stands a ten per cent chance of success now.
Incidentally, I would like to say a word about France -one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the world. Sometimes I hear people sneering at France, and I don't like it. I was in France when the battle broke, attached to the French Army. Some people seem to think that France flung up her hands in despair. That is absolutely untrue. When the French had equipment, they fought like men. The French regular divisions, most of them, fought magnificently. I was attached to a French Reservist Division. They were elderly men, from the military point of view. That wouldn't have mattered; they had plenty of courage, but unfortunately the Division was actually equipped with the weapons of the last war. They had the same old horse artillery and the same weapons with which they had finished fighting in 1918. My Division had 24 anti-tank guns, but they were taken away a few days before the battle began and they had none. They had to stand up to an attack by about 400 German tanks. Do you wonder they broke? No, it was just sheer tragedy. The tragedy of a nation which had sat back in the fat years and got rather lazy and complacent and didn't have time to recover. That was the tragedy of it. It needn't have been a tragedy even then. Even after the first tremendous defeat, hundreds of thousands of Frenchmen were ready to fight on. The real tragedy was that in her hour of trial France couldn't fling up a leader. Even in those desperate moments, if France had found a Clemenceau or a Churchill, they would have been in the war today. Instead, the best man they could lay their hands on was a man like Laval; so they went out of the war. Though even now they fight on, and they will fight on, I am quite certain of that, until the end.
This question of timing, if I may come back to it, naturally enough is of tremendous importance in the consideration of our discussion of the Second Front. It is the subject on everybody's lips. When I left Britain about eight or ten weeks ago every one was talking about the Second Front. They are very, very anxious; they are very, very impatient. A year or so ago Britain had to stand and take it. Now, they are very, very anxious to give it instead. Yes, a Second Front. It is quite certain of course there will be a Second Front. Again we come to the question of timing. It has got to be at the right time. We must hit the opponent hard but at the right second. My own impression is it has got to be very, very strong. There is not a bit of good in a casual diversion. Anything that doesn't draw off considerable forces from Russia might be a useless sacrifice.
On the other hand, if we can establish that Second Front in the right place-and when it comes it may be in none of the places discussed at such great length-if we can establish the Second Front in the right place and at the right time it may not merely be a strong diversion, it may be decisive. When that time is I don't profess to know: and if I did, naturally I shouldn't be saying anything about it. Probably only half a dozen people in all the Allied Nations are in a position to judge when the Second Front should be launched. I don't pretend to be 'one of those. I do say that those people who imagine chat the Second Front will be delayed a moment longer than is necessary-well, they have no idea of the pugnacious instincts of a man like Winston Churchill.
I said that timing was one of the keys of the whole conduct of the war, and I would add that the basis of timing is the question of mobility, the question of shipping-you can't discuss the Second Front at all unless have shipping-shipping-shipping, continuously at e back of your mind.
You remember when we evacuated our army from Dunkirk; we lost a total of about 180 ships in doing that.
Whenever we land an army on the continent we are going to lose a large number of ships. We can't help it, and at the moment you know what our shipping position
At the moment it is very serious. We have got to do a terrific lot. We have to work like mad in a good many different fields.
One of the most optimistic weeks I have spent was when I was wandering up and down the west coast of Canada, seeing what the ship-building yards there were doing. Yes, shipping is part of the key to victory.
I remember on that day when Mr. Churchill mentioned in his speech, although there were only 300 tanks in Libya. On that day in a factory in Detroit there were 300 tanks in the yard, waiting for shipping, and if they had got to Libya and Egypt, they would have changed the battle in half an hour. We have got to find ways and means of getting them there. Mobility--certainly it is one of the keys to the war.
I remember being in Russia in 1937 and I went to some army manoeuvres. I may say I was very much impressed with what I saw. Fortunately, I published my impressions at the time and when the Russians came into the war and stood like men; I wasn't one of the people who were wise after the event. The biggest difference between the Russian Army and the German Army is that of mobility. They have nothing to fear in manpower. The Russians are very brave soldiers. In the last war we tended to overlook their amazing performance in lasting so long, literally without arms at all. Now, they have arms, and the campaign is largely a question of mobility. If Russia has a weakness it is that of communication and the motor power of Russia just can't compare with that of Germany. Only those of you who have been to Europe could have much idea of the European lack of transport. You may not know that the Poles had to fight the whole motorized armed forces of Germany with a total of motor vehicles that was less than the number of taxicabs in New York alone. There you had a mobile war being fought, and the Germans had every advantage. You remember how they took advantage of mobility of attack when the Russians used ground as a weapon, as they always did; when Russian resistance stiffened, they would switch their armoured columns 200 miles south, and push the front forward again. You remember how they moved forward in a series of bulges. Then when winter was coming on, the Russians understood the winter conditions better than the Germans did; now they became more mobile, and they turned and won a substantial victory. But once again the advantage is with the Germans they are more mobile, and in spite of all the materials poured into Russia, the Russians lost such a lot when they lost the Ukraine. This is not only the most fertile region, but is was their principal manufacturing district.
I will say a word about the Russians a little later. I want to finish off with the question of a Second Front. You know the Germans are coming to the conclusion that these colossal air attacks of ours are a second front in themselves; and certainly they have been strong enough to pull off a considerable portion of the German Air Force from Russia. They are fast becoming a Second Front. It is very, very significant that raids over Britain have begun again-not on a serious scale so far. I wonder whether they will. In fact-this is a strange thing to say, but I wouldn't mind if the Germans did attempt raids on a big scale. You have been reading in your papers this morning about the new defences in Britain. Probably you read that the German pilots just dropped their bombs and were anxious to get away. I don't blame them for having a bit of wind up. I would have a bit of wind up too. I am quite certain if the Germans come over in large numbers and under favourable conditions, they are going to get a shock that will be bigger than they expected. As it was they lost eight planes out of seventy in the raid on Birmingham. That proportion is fairly high, and there is more to come. What they are going to achieve by the raids I am not certain, except to bolster up the home morale. We know by the previous raids that they won't do anything vital. That winter of 1940 was the most amazing period of my life. I saw as many of those raids as anybody in Britain, and I am going to say this to you: I never was ashamed of my own country, but when I saw the way in which men, women and children stood up to that terror, those of you who are British stock, you may take my word, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Hitler admitted to two major objectives in those raids. First, he wanted to break the morale of the British people and if he had broken the morale of the British people, he would have won the war long ago. But he failed. Why? I don't know whether I ought to tell you this, but I will.
When I came back from France I was sent to the Ministry of Information. They said, "Now, you know something about the question of morale. We are going to have heavy raids here soon. When a town is raided you are to rush there and restore the morale of the people." That seemed to be a job alright. I took it on. I waited, and sure enough a town was raided, and I rushed down to restore the morale of the people.--But I went right back to London and resigned, because the morale of those people was considerably higher than mine.
I referred a few moments ago to our lack of drama. That was one of the things that saved us. If we had dramatized the situation it wouldn't have passed as it did. I remember one night after I was on the air, I came out of Broadcasting House in London. It was well after dark, and there was a policeman on duty outside. I said, "Is there a raid on?" Just at that second I heard the zzrr of a bomb, followed by a terrific crash on the other side of Portland Place. I dropped flat on the ground; so did the policeman, until all the bits and pieces had come down; and as I got up the policeman said, "Yes".
You remember hearing about the land mines that would come down by parachute and would flatten a couple of blocks. Well, I was up in Manchester during a heavy raid. Eventually I took shelter in the cellar of the police station. At the height of the raid, a man rang up. He said "There is a 'iciendiary' bomb in my backyard." They said, "You mean an incendiary bomb?" He said, "That would be it." "Oh, well," said the sergeant, "don't trouble us with things like that. Put the damn thing out. This is no souvenir business-we'll send round for it in the morning. They came around in the morning, and found the man lived in one of a row of small houses, and there in the little back garden, instead of an incendiary bomb, dangling from a tree was the biggest land mine they ever saw. They said to him, "You didn't sleep at home last night, did you?" He said, "No damned fear. I slept next door.".
Mind, I am not pretending that everybody was quite as stolid as that; but, take my word, the people all over the country did stand up magnificently. Those stories are not exaggerated at all.
Hitler's second great objective was to smash down production centres so that we wouldn't be able to provide the materials of war. A lot of the factories were hit, but they would start clearing away the next morning and start building again.
A train journey in those times meant a zig-zag path across England. In spite of all that, in that winter when London had raids on thirty consecutive nights, when the main industrial centres of Britain were raided ninety nights out of a hundred, what happened? The war production of Britain went up more than thirty per cent. In fact, I often surprised my friends of the United States when touring there a few weeks ago. When you consider the vast industrial potentialities of the United States of America-potentialities we are very, very glad to have on our side-when you consider their genius for industrial organization, it is a surprising thing that U.S.A. with all its tremendous size, as compared with Britain, and the overwhelming potentialities, that it was only seven weeks ago that the war production of the United States passed that of Great Britain. Even now, the Lease-Lend material which we have received from the United States -and very, very welcome it has been-the Lease-Lend material that Britain has sent to Russia is considerably greater in volume than the Lease-Lend material which we have received from the United States of America.. No, that objective also completely failed.
There is another important point, too. How goes the war of minds? We know a lot about the war of bodies, materials-what about the war of minds? I think we are winning that. I am quite certain we are winning that. In the early days of the war German propaganda .was very, very dangerous. It was attacking countries, one by one. We know precisely where we are now. There are not many people left in the world who haven't a pretty good idea what Germans are and what they stand for. It is true the Germans even now have some propaganda successes. In some parts of the United States I was greeted with the old jibe that "Britain fights to the last American." But the people who put that haven't the faintest idea that they are reacting to German propaganda, and that the same German radio that tells America that Britain is willing to fight to the last American is also broadcasting to England that the United States is willing to fight to the last Englishman.
Well, it isn't just a question of Gorman propaganda. We do something as well.
We have had a big success lately. You remember the night when a thousand British planes attacked Cologne. It was specifically announced that they were all British planes. That was done deliberately. You can imagine what has been done since. Day after day and night after night we have been saying to the Germans something like this: See these colossal raids. Go and have a look at Cologne. These are being carried out. by a section of the British Air Force-a section. Goebbels swore we could never reach Germany at all. This is a section of the British Air Force that is spread all over the world-just one section of the British Air Force alone. The Americans haven't started yet. "You ain't seen nothin' yet."
You can just imagine the effect of a talk like that. Go to the dentist, and you have a tooth out. That is alright. You feel once it is out it is going to be alright. If, after that is out, the dentist tells you that twenty others have to come out, and each will hurt more than the original one, you won't feel so good about it. There is no doubt that our message is reaching all over Europe, s. to the people of the occupied countries and the people of Germany. All over Europe the occupied people are stirring. They can't do very much yet, but there is sabotage all over Europe. In France in a period of one month there were 122 railway accidents. The Germans admitted quite frankly that when a train entered Czechoslovakia nobody knew when it would come out, or if it would come out at all.
The V campaign is a very good psychological weapon. Here are the Germans in occupied countries. They hate being hated, and they see themselves surrounded with an overwhelming hate. So many of the peoples of Western Europe are so much more clever than the Germans in that sort of thing.
A friend of mine got a letter telling how a Danish fisherman shouted, "Herrings, herrings, as fat as Goering." The Germans put him in jail for two weeks. When he came out, he shouted, "Herrings, Herrings, as fat as they were two weeks ago."
I think it is in France that this psychological weapon is being used to its best. The French are so much cleverer than the Germans at this type of thing. A German officer walked down a street with a big V chalked on his back. The Morse V-you hear it every time the postman knocks, every time a motor horn blows. They tell me that one Frenchman has trained his dog to bark in three dots and a dash. Can you imagine the cumulative effect of that kind of thing? The Germans see they are hated. One of the most effective pieces of propaganda to Poland-where they are having a terrible time-is when we broadcast like this: Look here, we know how you are suffering. We are fighting for your freedom, and it will come. In the meantime, make a careful note of the Germans who are treating you like brutes. Remember, after the war they shall meet their reward.
That has a double effect. It encourages the Poles. They know that we shouldn't say anything like that unless we were quite certain that we are going to win. And it discourages the Germans-who get to know about it. It has had some remarkable effects. I heard of a German official who was behaving well, and he was so anticipatory of a German defeat that he got all the local Poles to sign a testimonial that he was behaving decently to them, so that he could escape after the war.
Yes, there is a lot to happen. Some of it will happen very, very soon. I have got a tremendous kick 'out of some of the things I have seen in Canada. The Empire Air Training scheme-I knew it was big, but it is vaster than anything I ever imagined. I think I got the greatest surprise at the industrial effort of Canada. I knew that you were industrializing, but I had no idea you had gone so far. Of course "I ain't seen nothin' yet". I have still to go to the East.
Your production of food-when I was coming across the prairies I saw your bountiful harvest. I wonder what Hitler would give for that. There are going to be great difficulties in harvesting, and still greater in storing it. I know you will surmount the difficulties. That food is as important as weapons of war. Hundreds of millions of people in Europe are starving today, and they won't stop starving the moment the war is over. We have got to be ready for urgent action-for immediate relief and for some time to come. Years will probably elapse before Europe can be set on its feet again, and I can see Canada playing an honourable and foremost part in the post-war relief work that must be undertaken to set Europe on its feet. You know, one of the things that affected me most was a little village in Manitoba. I went there to speak at the annual service at their war memorial. The population of the village was about 300, and I said to the Minister, "They must be all here." He said, "They are all here, except the men." I found in that village every man of military age had volunteered for service. They told me they could duplicate that village dozens of times over.
As you have probably heard, I am touring Canada on behalf of the British Ministry of Information, to see what Canada is doing for the war, and to go back and to tell Britain about it. Already I have found plenty of things to tell about what you are doing, and what you are going to do.
There is one thing I have suggested. If we have wounded German prisoners for repatriation, they should be taken on a conducted tour of the great factories of U.S.A. to see what is being made from them, and to the flying fields of Canada to see what is going to get there; and, finally, I would let them stay a few days with a London Cockney bombed-out family, to see what they have done and that the British spirit isn't dinted, much less broken. Then I am quite sure those people would go back to Germany so discouraged that the discouragement would spread like a virus throughout the country.
The situation of course is serious now. The Russians are fighting hard. They are right up against it. Stalin has issued his "Backs-to-the-Wall" Order. The situation isn't so very different from that in the last war when Haig issued a similar order. You remember what happened in 1918. The Germans are a strange people. Their morale was so high; then, suddenly, so low. You remember, in 1918, they won victory after victory. In fact, by all the rules of war in the spring of 1918 the Germans had won the war; but, unfortunately, nobody told us and we kept on fighting. Then, on August 8th, we turned and marched the other way, we fought the same men, wearing the same uniforms; but they weren't the same men. Their morale had fallen, to quote the army phrase, in your language and mine, "Their guts had gone."
I don't find any discouragement. I will say this, that the next three or four months are vital. What I will say is, if by November 1st the Russians are still fighting back hard as I am certain they will be; if by November 1st, the British are still holding Egypt, as I believe we shall be; and if by November 1st we have overcome the submarine menace, then the Germans will have lost the war. We still have to win it. There is a lot of hard fighting to come. But the Germans will have lost, and there will be some people in Germany who will know they have lost it; or, at least, that they cannot win it.
We may see strange things. We may see the military party throw Hitler overboard and try to fix a compromise peace. I know what Churchill is going to say when we are offered a compromise peace.
As you have heard, one or two of my books on war attracted some notice in Germany, where I was always received as a celebrity, instead of a notoriety. At a party one night in 1937 there were some German officers present. They were discussing the Puree Wars, and one of the staff officers made this remark: "Well, we lost the first World War. As you know, we shall very soon be fighting the second. We think we shall win the second. We are much better prepared. Even if we don't win the second, we shall win the third. After the second, the British and Americans and the rest will be so tired of war that they will sit back and relax and go soft, and we shan't."
We have got to remember that. We have got to win a military victory. A German collapse won't come until then. We have got to win a military victory; then a moral victory, not only in Germany, but in our own country. In the United States they tried to persuade me that isolationism is dead. It isn't dead, it is dormant. It isn't dead in Britain. I doubt if it is dead in Canada. There will arise people, people who will preach a selfish nationalism, which will appear to offer certain advantages. We have got to fight a battle for the soul of the world, because if they win, the sooner we prepare for World War Number 3 the better. I do believe we are going to win it. I believe that you and I, representing our countries, are going to march side by side as we are doing now; side by side as we are marching in this war to victory, to banish this menace from the face of the earth; and if we continue to march side by side, we can make it impossible for any menace like it ever to occur again. (Applause.)
MR. JOHN C. M. MACBETH: Gentlemen, what a speech! What an informative speech and what a speaker! What a well-informed speaker!
Captain Newman, you have heard audibly expressed the appreciation of the audience. It remains for me simply to say thank you, Sir. Before I suggest that the meeting is at an end, I want to say that your career and what you have told us today brings very vividly to my mind a few lines from Tennyson's "Ulysses", in which he says:
"I cannot rest from travel. I am a part of all that I have met, Yet all experience is an arch wherethro' Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades For ever and for ever when I move. How dull it is to pause to make an end."
Gentlemen, the meeting is adjourned. (Applause.)