Churchill Rallied the Troops

from Real Clear Politics:

In late December of 1941, there was no way Americans could look into the future and foresee the blood, toll, tears, and sweat that would be required of them—nor the ultimate outcome of what few were then calling World War II. Yet in time, American children would be writing to Santa Claus and asking for war bonds.

On December 26, 1941, the United States was losing the new great world war. Nearly 3,000 Americans had died in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 19 days earlier, most of them servicemen in the Army and Navy. In the sunken USS Arizona, faint tapping through the hull had been heard for days, but there was no way to get to the doomed men.

One luckier sailor aboard the USS Oklahoma, which was also capsized, found himself trapped for nearly two days, hanging by a pipe in the blackness and cold water, the sounds of dying men all around him. Finally, he heard an acetylene torch cutting through the hull, all the time wondering if it was Americans there to save him — or Japanese to kill him.

Hundreds more were in military hospitals, many with limbs gone, all badly wounded.
Even more Americans were dying at Wake Island and in the Philippines and on the high seas of the North Atlantic, being hunted on the orders of Hitler. Japan was killing Americans and Germany was killing Americans, but the United States was still just getting off the mat.

Congress would later expand its draft of able-bodied young men. Most cities, especially Washington, D.C., had adopted a war footing. Curfews and air raid drills were instituted.
Back during World War I, an island of munitions in New Jersey known as “Black Tom” had been blown up by German espionage agents. President Franklin Roosevelt vowed to not let this happen again, much to the detriment of Japanese nationals and Japanese-Americans who would be rounded up and incarcerated on the West Coast. Roosevelt was heard muttering, “Remember Black Tom.” read more

Death By Chocolate

It was a dastardly plan which, if successful, could have meant sweet victory for the enemy.

Secret wartime papers exchanged between MI5 officials reveal that the Nazis’ plans to conquer Britain included a deadly assault on Sir Winston Churchill with exploding chocolate.

Adolf Hitler’s bomb-makers coated explosive devices with a thin layer of rich dark chocolate, then packaged it in expensive-looking black and gold paper.

The Germans planned to use secret agents working in Britain to discreetly place the bars of chocolate – branded as Peter’s Chocolate – among other luxury items taken on trays into the dining room used by the War Cabinet during the Second World War.

The lethal slabs of confection were packed with enough explosives to kill anyone within several meters.

But Hitler’s plot was foiled by British spies who discovered they were being made and tipped off one of MI5’s most senior intelligence chiefs, Lord Victor Rothschild.

Lord Rothschild, a scientist in peace time as well as a key member of the Rothschild banking family, immediately typed a letter to a talented illustrator seconded to his unit asking him to draw poster-size images of the chocolate to warn the public to be on the look-out for the bars.Lord Rothschild typed a letter to a talented illustrator seconded to his unit asking him to draw poster-size images of the chocolate to warn the public to be on the look-out for the bars

 
 

His letter to the artist, Laurence Fish, is dated May 4, 1943 and was written from his secret bunker in Parliament Street, central London.

The letter, marked ‘Secret’, reads:

‘Dear Fish,

I wonder if you could do a drawing for me of an explosive slab of chocolate.

‘We have received information that the enemy are using pound slabs of chocolate which are made of steel with a very thin covering of real chocolate.

‘Inside there is high explosive and some form of delay mechanism… When you break off a piece of chocolate at one end in the normal way, instead of it falling away, a piece of canvas is revealed stuck into the middle of the piece which has been broken off and a ticking into the middle of the remainder of the slab.

‘When the piece of chocolate is pulled sharply, the canvas is also pulled and this initiates the mechanism.

‘I enclose a very poor sketch done by somebody who has seen one of these.

‘It is wrapped in the usual sort of black paper with gold lettering, the variety being PETERS.

‘Would it be possible for you to do a drawing of this, one possibly with the paper half taken off revealing one end and another with the piece broken off showing the canvas.

‘The text should indicate that this piece together with the attached canvas is pulled out sharply and that after a delay of seven seconds the bomb goes off.’

The letter was found by Mr Fish’s wife, journalist Jean Bray, as she sorted through his possessions following the artist’s death, aged 89, in 2009.

She has spent the past two years putting together a book of her late husband’s work – Pick Up A Pencil. The Work Of Laurence Fish.

 

The Germans planned to use secret agents working in Britain to discreetly place the bars of chocolate - branded as Peter's Chocolate - among other luxury items trayed into the dining room used by the War Cabinet during the Second World WarThe Germans planned to use secret agents working in Britain to discreetly place the bars of chocolate – branded as Peter’s Chocolate – among other luxury items trayed into the dining room used by the War Cabinet during the Second World War

 

One of the War Cabinet offices built deep beneath WhitehallOne of the War Cabinet offices built deep beneath Whitehall

After the war, Mr Fish spent several decades as a commercial artist, producing many iconic posters for corporate giants including Dunlop and BP, rail companies, tourist boards and Save the Children.

In his later years, he returned to fine art, producing a breathtaking range of work.

His widow said he had ‘very fond memories’ of his secondment to MI5 and of working with Lord Rothschild in particular.

‘They got on tremendously well and who knows, they might even have saved a few lives,’ said Mrs Bray yesterday from her home in the Cotswolds.

Attribution: Daily Mail

History Repeats?

This article is from a while ago but is still applicable.

Something of historic proportions is happening. I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how people react to it. Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for decades. The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two (now three).

We demand and then codify into law the requirement that our banks make massive loans to people we know can never pay back? Why?

We learn that the Federal Reserve, which has little or no real oversight by anyone, has “loaned” trillions of dollars over the past few years, but will not tell us to whom or why or disclose the terms. That is our money. Who has this money? Why do they have it? Why are the terms unavailable to us? Who asked for it? Who authorized it? I thought this was a government of “we the people” who loaned our powers to elected leaders who took an oath to uphold the Constitution.

We have spent two or more decades intentionally de-industrializing our economy. We have intentionally dumbed-down our schools, ignored our history, no longer teach our founding documents, why we are exceptional, and why our nation is worth preserving. Students by and large cannot write, think critically, read, or articulate what they believe without excessive use of the word “like.” Parents are not revolting, teachers are not picketing, and school Boards continue to back mediocrity.

We have now established the precedent of protesting every close election (violently in California over a proposition that is so controversial that it simply wants marriage to remain defined as between one man and one woman. Did you ever think such a thing possible just a decade ago?) We have corrupted our sacred political process by allowing unelected judges to write laws that radically change our way of life, and then mainstream Marxist groups like ACORN and others to turn our voting system into a banana republic.

The mortgage industry has collapsed, housing prices are in free fall, major industries are failing, our banking system is on the verge of collapse, Social Security is nearly bankrupt, as is Medicare and our entire government. Our education system is worse than a joke — the list is staggering in its length, breadth, and depth. It is potentially 1929 x ten.

We are at war with an enemy we cannot name for fear of offending people of the same religion, who, in turn, cannot wait to slit the throats of your children if they have the opportunity to do so.

And finally, we have elected a man of who we know very little, the media won’t investigate, and who has not run so much as a Dairy Queen, let alone a town as big as Wasilla, Alaska. His associations and alliances are with real radicals and everything we are learning about him — drip by unsettling drip — is disturbing if not downright scary.

I have never been so afraid for my country and for my children as I am now.

This man campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never done in his professional life. In my assessment, Obama will divide us along philosophical lines, push us apart, and then try to realign the pieces into a new and different power structure. Change is indeed coming. And when it comes, you will never see the same nation again.

And that is only the beginning.

As a serious student of history, I thought I would never come to experience what the ordinary, moral German must have felt in the mid-1930s. In those times, the “savior” was a former smooth-talking rabble-rouser from the streets, about whom the average German knew next to nothing. What they should

Look ma, No Teleprompter

have known was that he was associated with groups that shouted, shoved, and pushed around people with whom they disagreed. He edged his way onto the political stage

 through great oratory.

And there were the promises. Economic times were tough, people were losing jobs, and he was a great speaker. And he smiled and frowned and waved a lot. And people, even newspapers, were afraid to speak out for fear that his “brown shirts” would bully and beat them into submission. Which they did — regularly. And then, he was duly elected to office, while a full-throttled economic crisis bloomed at hand — the Depression. Slowly, but surely he seized the controls of government power, person by person, department by department, bureaucracy by bureaucracy. The children of German citizens were at first, encouraged to join a Youth Movement in his name where they were taught exactly what to think. Later, they were required to do so. No Jews of course.

How did he get people on his side? He did it by promising jobs to the jobless, money to the money-less, and rewards for the military-industrial complex. He did it by indoctrinating the children, advocating gun control, health care for all, better wages, better jobs, and promising to re-instill pride once again in the country, across Europe, and across the world. He did it with a compliant media — did you know that? And he did this all in the name of justice and change. And the people surely got what they voted for.

Many people of conscience, objected in 1933 and were shouted down, called names, laughed at, and ridiculed. When Winston Churchill pointed out the obvious in the late 1930s while seated in the House of Lords in England (he was not yet Prime Minister), he was booed into his seat and called a crazy troublemaker. He was right, though. And the world came to regret that he was not listened to.

Do not forget that Germany was one of the most educated and cultured countries in Europe. It was full of music, art, museums, hospitals, laboratories, and universities. And yet, in less than six years (a shorter time span than just two terms of the U. S. presidency) it was rounding up its own citizens, killing others, abrogating its laws, turning children against parents, and neighbors against neighbors.

As a practical thinker, one not overly prone to emotional decisions, I have a choice: I can believe what the objective pieces of evidence tell me (even if they make me cringe with disgust) or I can believe what history is shouting to me from across the chasm of seven decades. Of course, I can hope I am wrong by closing my eyes, having another latte, and ignoring what is transpiring around me.

I choose to believe the evidence. No doubt some people will scoff and others laugh or think I am foolish, naive, or both. To some degree, perhaps I am. But I have never been afraid to look people in the eye and tell them exactly what I believe and why I believe it.

I pray I am wrong. I do not think I am. Perhaps the only hope is our vote in the next election.

Attribution: anonymous