quinta-feira, 30 de dezembro de 2010

sábado, 18 de setembro de 2010

Wy study Winston Churchill?

Quoting the Churchill Centre:

Why study Winston Churchill? What makes him relevant in the 21st century? Members of the Churchill family and the Churchill Centre answer the question in this video short.




domingo, 5 de setembro de 2010

Triumph des Willens

John S. D. Eisenhower ponders about Hitler's isolation and the "Triumph des Willens", after the assassination attempt of July 20.
[...] Except for his left arm, his slight injuries had healed by now; but he remained weak. He was confined to bed for most of the day by order of his personal physician, leaving it only occasionally to receive important visitors.
This confinement was the culmination of Hitler's progressive removal from a life that had once almost completely public. The withdraw actually began soon after the coming of war. After 1940 he made fewer and fewer appearances, leaving the speechmaking largely to Josef Goebbels. Preoccupied with the details of the conduct of military operations, he saw only the highest officials. Now, at Rastenburg, the process was complete. The Wolf did not leave his lair, and his life had narrowed down to the manipulation of symbols on a map, representations that progressively were less associated with units made up of human beings. Reality was rapidly being replaced by a sort of dream.
[...]
After the attempt on Hitler's life on July 20, of course, the situation was greatly exacerbated. Now bot the field marshals or the commanding generals of the Heer of the officers of the General Staff Corps could be entrusted with strategic operations. What had been dislike of the officer class turned into bitter distrust. Only to associates of proven loyalty such as Jodl and Keitel were Hitler's plans revealed, and to them only gradually.
By the summer of 1944 many surviving German officers of the highest rank had come to believe, or had convinced themselves, that Hitler possessed keen insight into the nature of war and could produce strategic concepts of striking originality. This was, of course, Hitler's view of himself: "A war leader," he said after his Russian victories, "is what I am against my own will. If I apply my mind to military problems, that's because for the moment I know that nobody would succeed better at this than I can".
The fact is that Hitler had a unusual memory, and because of his extensive reading and continual discussion with experts, he had acquired a fund of knowledge in specialized areas often superior to that of the majority of the senior staff officers. Even Generaloberst Heinz Guderian, one of the few who disagreed openly with Hitler on occasion and survived, continued to respect Hitler's military learning.
But it is one thing acquire a fund of information; it is another to apply that tool with common sense, reason, and discipline.  Herein lay the basic cleavage between Hitler and the members of the professional German Officer Corps. The qualities of hardheaded reason and thoroughness that the General Staff embodied carried little weight with Hitler. The quality most important to a leader, at least to the top of a great nation, was the mystical quality that he termed "fanaticism."
The conception Hitler had of "fanaticism" has little to do with the English or American definition of the word. Americans would agree that Hitler was a fanatic, but they would not understand what he meant by calling himself so. To Hitler a fanatic was a man who believed in the wonder-working providences of his own will. And the fascinating feature of Hitler's personality, the quality that converted skeptics into followers, was precisely power of will. To this his associates attributed the rise and the eventual triumph of Nazism out of obscurity and disgrace [...]
What made Hitler a "revolutionary" in his thinking was a perversion of German romantic idealism, e. g.: man discovers the truth of existence whenever he molds the outside world into conformity with an idea. To live most deeply is to overcome obstacles, to give shape to the recalcitrant world in which one finds oneself.
This during his rise to power Hitler set himself and his followers objectives that seemed impossible to realize, believing that while premeditated calculations would immediately jump the rails, the impossible could always be reached through the energies generated on one's own side and the general paralysis on the enemy's. Hitler held that we must make a dream work - then it will be as real as a panther tank.
When Hitler's obsession with the "primacy of will" is taken into consideration, many of his attitudes and actions can be better understood. It accounts for his supreme confidence in himself as a military leader and for two of the chief tenets in his military doctrine: (1) "Attack is the best defense," a notion that he praised Clausewitz for expressing, and (2) "Troops should never be made to feel uncertain by withdrawal." If only the will to resist is flexible, most requests for withdrawal are superfluous. The German military found that preparing a precautionary defensive line behind the line of present contact was usually impossible, for Hitler normally refused to allow any commander to look over his shoulder. Commanders were defeatists unless the looked for new forward positions to which to advance.
Einsenhower, John S. D.  The battle of the bulge. Pages 106-109.

quarta-feira, 1 de setembro de 2010

Coalition II

John S. D. Eisenhower cites Pogue:

A word of caution is necessary for the reader who may be unduly impressed by the accounts of controversy and difference of opinion which arose between commanders of the same nationality, officers of different nationalities, and heads of government... When the discussions of the participants in Allied conferences are seen in cold print, without the benefit of the smile which softened a strong argument or the wry shrug which made clear that the debate was for the record, and when there is no transcript of the friendly conversation which followed the official conference, the reader may get the impression that constant argument and heated controversy marked most meetings between  Allied leaders... It is inevitable that a study of such discussions will emphasize the disagreements and spell out the problems in reaching accords. The numerous basic decisions which were reached with only minor debate attract less attention...
The success of ... an alliance is to be judged ... not by the amount of heat which may be engendered between the powers in their attempts to find a course of action which will most nearly preserve their individual aims while gaining a common goal, but rather by the degree to which the powers, while frankly working on a basis of self-interest, manage to achieve the one aim for which their forces were brought together. On that basis the Western Powers forged a unit seldom, if ever, achieved in the history of grand alliances. Their commanders, while striving to preserve national identity and gain individual honors for their forces, still waged a victorious war.
Eisenhower, John S. D. The battle of the Bulge. Page 99.

Coalition

About the coalitions, John S. D. Eisenhower says:

Yet in the case of High Command in France, another factor had to be given careful consideration - feelings of national pride. Pride in country and tradition is not to be discouraged; a soldier cannot fight without it. But in the highest command echelons of nations that have combined their resources to fight a common enemy, this feeling must often be subordinated to the goo of the whole.
This is not easy. Napoleon's detractors have pointed out that his brilliant campaigns were fought largely against coalitions. The coalition between the British and the Americans in World War II was not automatic, It could be injured, conceivably fatally, despite the fact that the two national political leaders were joint signatories of the Atlantic Charter and despite the intense admiration that Americans felt for Britain as she stood alone in 1940. For this reason, General Eisenhower ruefully concluded when writing his memories in 1948, the concealment of projected command arrangements was a mistake,
 Eisenhower, John S. D. The battle of the Bulge. Page 66.

Never in history was there a coalition like that of our enemies, composed of such  heterogeneous elements with such divergent aims... Even now these states are at loggerheads, and, if we can deliver a few more heavy blows, then this artificially bolstered common front may suddenly collapse with a gigantic clap of thunder.
Adolf Hitler
(upon the ordering the attack through the Ardennes)

domingo, 22 de agosto de 2010

Chamem o Keynes!

Sobre a necessidade de conduzir a economia de guerra, Churchill instrui o Lord President of the Council:

While the Import and Production Executives necessarily are concerned with the pratical handling of the business committed to them, it is essential that the larger issues of economic policy should be dealt with by your committee, and primarily by you. This is in accordance with the drift of well-informed public opinion. You should summon economists like Keynes to give their views to you personally. [...]
 Churchill, Winston. The grand alliance. Página 102.

Measureless peril

Entre os trabalhos de administrar o Reino Unido durante a guerra, ou conduzir operações militares, Churchill deixa clara a sua preferência em 1941.
[...] Indeed, it was to me almost a relief to turn from these deadly under-tides to the ill-starred but spirited enterprises in the military sphere. How willingly would I have expected a full-scale attempt at invasion for this shapeless, measureless peril, expressed in charts, curves, and statistics!

Churchill, Winston. The grand alliance. Página 101.

Grécia

Em março de 1941, um momento de difícil decisão chegou: ajudar ou não a Grécia, frente a uma possível e cada vez mais próxima invasão italiana ou alemã? Apesar da Inglaterra ter ajudado a Grécia antes, e mesmo ter assumido um compromisso com a Grécia, a situação estava se deteriorando com a indecisão da Turquia e o desenrolar deste teatro. Pesando tudo isso, em 6 de março de 1941, Churchill escreve ao Mr. Eden - que se encontrava em missão especial no Egito e região -, transmitindo a sua opinião, que no momento, era negativa. Sobre isto, escreve:

After reflecting alone at Chequers on the Sunday night upon the Chiefs of Staff paper and the trend of discussion in the War Cabinet that morning I sent the following message to Mr. Eden, who had now left Athens for Cairo. This certainly struck a different note on my part. But I take full responsibility for the eventual decision, because I am sure I could have stopped it all if I had been convinced. Its so much easier to stop than to do.

Churchill, Winston, The grand alliance. Página 90.

sábado, 21 de agosto de 2010

Hess e Stalin


A repentina chegada de Rudolph Hess na Escócia causou grandes desconfianças na Rússia, fazendo-os indagar sobre a possibilidade de um pacto entre a Inglaterra e a Alemanha para invadir a Rússia. Abaixo, Churchill descreve uma conversa que teve com Stalin, três anos depois da chegada de Hess.

Considering how closely Hess was knit to Hitler, it is surprising that he did not know of, or that if he knew he did not disclose, the impeding attack on Russia, for which such vast preparations were being made. The Soviet Government were deeply intrigued by the Hess episode, and they wove many distorted theories around it. Three years late when I was in Moscow on my second visit I realised the fascination which this topic had for Stalin. He asked me at the dinner table what was the truth about the Hess mission. I said shortly what I have written here. I had the feeling that he believed there had been some deep negotiation or plot for Germany and Britain to act together in the invasion of Russia which had miscarried. Remembering what a wise man he is, I was surprised to find him silly in this point. When the interpreter made it plain that he did not believe what I said, I replied through my interpreter, "When I make a statement of facts within my knowledge I expected it to be accepted." Stalin receveid this somewhat abrupt responde with a genial grin. "There are lots of things that happen even here in Russia which our Secret Service do not necessarily tell me about." I let it go at that.
Churchill, Winston. The grand alliance. Página 49.

quarta-feira, 18 de agosto de 2010

Education for death

Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat

Sobre o relacionamento de Churchill com Theodore Roosevelt, e o sentimento de Harry Hopkins, um  "close confident and personal agent of the president":
He therefore in some ways bore out the poet Gray's line, "A favourite has no friend".




Churchill, Winston. The grand alliance. Página 21.

Texto completo do poema aqui.

segunda-feira, 2 de agosto de 2010

Galeria Life

Não querendo ser repetitivo, mas achei outras galerias fantásticas no site da Life. Coloco-as abaixo:





















Dogs of war

Uma galeria bem interessante da Time:



A minha preferida é essa:



E para não esquecer:

sábado, 31 de julho de 2010

1940

Piccadilly Circus, London, 1940
Fim do capítulo Desert Victory, e do livro Their Finest Hour:

We may, I am sure, rate this tremendous year as the most splendid, as it was the mostly deadly, year in our long English and British story. It was a great, quantly-organized England that had destroyed the Spanish Armada. A strong flame of conviction and resolve carried us through the twenty-five years' conflict which William III and Marborough waged against Louis XIV. There was a famous period which Chatham. There was the long struggle against Napoleon, in wich our survival was secured through the domination of the seas by the British Navy under the classic leadership of Nelson and his associates. A million Britons died in the first World War. But nothing surpasses 1940. By the end of that year this small and ancient Island, with its devoted Commonwealth, Dominions, and attachments under every sky, had proved itself capable of bearing the whole impact and weight of world destiny. We had not flinched or wavered. We had not failed. The soul of the British people and race had proved invincible. The citadel of the Commomwealth and Empire could not be stormed. Alone, but upborne by every generous heart-beat of mankind, we had defied the tyrant in the height of his triumph.
All our latent strength was now alive. The air terror had been measured. The Island was intangible, inviolate. Hencefoward we too have weapons with which to fight. Hencefoward we too would be a highly organized was machine. We had shown the world that we could hold our own. There were two sides to the question of Hitler's world domination. Britain, whom so many had counted out, was still in the ring, far strongerthan she had ever been, and gathering strength with every day. Time had once again come over to our side. And not only to our national side. The United States was arming fast and drawing ever nearer to the conflict. Soviet Russia, who with callous miscalculation had adjulged us worthless at the outbreak of the war, and had bought from Germany fleeting immunity and a share of the booty, had also become much stronger and had secured advanced positions for her own defence. Japan seemed for the moment to be overawed by the evident prospect of a prolonged world war, and, anxiosly watching Russia and the United States, mediated profoundly what it would be wise and profitable to do.
And now this Britain, and its far-spread association of states and dependencies, which had seemed on the verge of ruin, whose very heart was about to be pierced, had been for fifteen months concentrated upon the war problem, training its men and devoting all its infinitely-varied vitalities to the struggle. With a gasp of atonishment and relief the smaller neutrals and the subjugated states saw that the stars still shone in the sky. Hope, and within it passion, burned anew in the hearts of hundreds of millions of men. The good cause would triumph. Right would not be trampled down. The flag of Freedom, which in this fateful hour was the Union Jack, would still fly in all the winds that blew.
But I and my faithfull colleagues who brooded with accurate information at the summit of the scene had no lack of cares. The shadow of the U-boat blockade already cast its chill upon us. All our plans depended upon the defeat of this measure. The Battle of France was lost. The Battle of Britain was won. The Battle of the Atlantic had now to be fought.

 Churchill, Winston. Their Finest Hour. Página 556.

domingo, 25 de julho de 2010

Ribbentrop e Molotov

Sobre a reunião entre Ribbentrop e Molotov sobre a divisão das zonas de influência das grandes forças (Alemanha, União Soviética e Japão), Churchill relembra uma conversa com Stalin, após a traição germânica e o alinhamento da União Soviética com os aliados.

When in August 1942 I first visited Moscow I receveid from Stalin's lips a shorter account of this conversation which in no essential differs from the German record, but may be thought more pithy.
"A little time ago," said Stalin, "the great complaint against Molotov was that he was too pro-German. Now everyone says he is too pro-British. But neither of us ever trusted the Germans. For us it was always life and death." I interjected that we had been through this ourselves, and so knew hos they felt. "When Molotov," said the Marshal, "went to see Ribentrop in Berlin in November of 1940 you got wind of it and sent an air raid." I nodded. "When the alarm sounded Ribbentrop led the way down many flights of stairs to a deep shelter sumptuously furnished. When he got inside the raid begun. He shut the door and said to Molotov: 'Now here we are alone together. Why should we not divide?' Molotov said: 'What will England say?', said Ribbentrop, 'is finished. She is no more use as a Power.' 'If that is so,' said Molotov, 'why are we in this shelter, and whose are these bombs which fail?'"

terça-feira, 20 de julho de 2010

Grécia


Sobre a invasão da Grécia pela Itália:

Prime Minister to Mr. Eden (at G. H. Q., Middle East)
[...] Trust you will grasp situations firmly, abandoning negative and passive policies and seizing opportunity which has come into our hands. "Safety first" is the road to ruin in war, even if you had the safety, which you have not. [...]
Churchill, Winston. Their finest hour. Página 477.

domingo, 18 de julho de 2010

Frenchmen!


Discurso proferido por Churchill, em 21 de outubro de 1940.

Trecho original em francês, como foi transmitido:

Em inglês:

Frenchmen!
For more than thirty years in peace and war I have marched with you, and I am marching still along  the same road. To-night I speak to you at your firesides wherever you may be, or whatever your fortunes are. I repeat the prayer around the louis d' or: "Dieu protège la France." Here at home in England, under the fire of the Boche, we do not forget the ties and links that unite us to France, and we are persevering steadfastly and in good heart in the cause of European freedom and fair dealing for the common people of all countries, for which, with you, we drew the sword. When good people get into trouble because they are attacked and heavily smitten by the vile and wicked, they must be very careful not to get at loggerheads with one another. The common enemy is always trying to bring this about, and, of course, in bad luck a lot of things happen which play into the enemy's hands. We must just make the best of things as they come along.
Here in London, which Herr Hitler says he will reduce to ashes, and which his aeroplanes are now bombarding our people and bearing up unflinchingly. Our Air Force has more  than held its own. We are waiting for the long-promised invasion. So are the fishes. But, of course, this for us in only the beginning. Now in 1940, in spite of occasional losses, we have, as ever, command of the seas. In 1914 we shall have the command of the air. Remember what that means. Herr Hitler with his tanks and other mechanical weapons, and also by Fifth Column intrigue with traitors, has managed to subjugate for the time being most of the finest races in Europe, and his little Italian accomplice is trotting along hopefully and hungrily, but rather wearily and very timidly, at his side. They both wish to carve up France and her Empire as if it were a fowl: to one  a leg, to another a wing or perhaps part of the breast. Not only the French Empire will be devoured by these two ugly customers, but Alsace-Lorraine will go once again under the German yoke, and Nice, Savoy, and Corsica - Napoleon's Corsica - will be torn from the fair realm of France. But Herr Hitler is not thinking only of stealing other people's territories, or flinging gobbets of them to his little confederate. I tell you truly what you must believe when I say that this evil man, this monstrous abortion of hatred and defeat, is resolved on nothing less than the complete wiping out of the French nation, and the disintegration of its whole life and future. By all kinds of sly and savage means he is plotting and working to quench for ever the fountain of characteristic French culture and French inspiration to the World. All Europe, if he has his way, will be reduced to one uniform Boche-land, to be exploited, pillaged, and bullied by his Nazi gangsters. You will excuse my speaking frankly, because this is not a time to mince words. Its is not defeat that France will now be made ti suffer at German hands, but the doom of complete obliteration. Army, Navy, Air Force, religion, law, language, culture, institutions, literature, history, tradition, all are to be effaced by the brute strength of a triumphant army and the scientific low-cunning of a ruthless Police Force.
Frenchmen - rearm your spirits before it is too late. Remember how Napoleon said before one of his battles: "These same Prussians who are so boastful to-day were three to one at Jena, and six to one at Montmirail." Never will I believe that the soul of France is dead. Never will I believe that her place amongst the greatest nations of the world has been lost for ever! All these schemes and crimes of Herr Hitler's are bringing upon him and upon all who belong to his system a retribution which many of us will live to see. The story is not yet finished, but it will not be so long. We are on his track, and so are our friends across the Atlantic Ocean, and your friends across the Atlantic Ocean. If he cannot destroy us, we will surely destroy him and all his gang, and all their works. Therefore have hope and faith, for all will come right.
Now what is it we British ask of you in this present hard and bitter time? What we ask at this moment in our struggle to win the victory which we will share with you, is that if you cannot help us, at least you will not hinder us. Presently you will be able to weight the arm that strikes for you, and you ought to do so. But even now we believe that Frenchmen, wherever they may be, feel their hearts warm and a proud blood tingle in their veins when we have some success in the air or on the sea, or presently - for that will come - upon the land.
Remember we shall never stop, never weary, and never give in, and that our whole people and Empire have vowed themselves to the task of cleansing Europe from the Nazi pestilence and saving the world from the new Dark Ages. Do not imagine, as the German-controlled wireless tell you, that we English seek to take your ships and colonies. We seek to beat the life and soul out of Hitler and Hitlerism. That alone, that all time, that to the end. We do not covet anything from any nation except their respect. Those Frenchmen who are in the French Empire, and those who in are so-called Unoccupied-France, may see their way form time to time to useful action. I will not go into details. Hostile ears are listening. As for those, to whom English hearts go out in full, because they see them under the sharp discipline, oppression, and spying the Hun - as to those Frenchmen in the occupied regions, to them I say, when they think of the future let them remember the words which Gambetta, that great Frenchman, uttered after 1870 about the future of France and what was to come: "Think of it always: speak of it never."
Good night then: sleep to gather strength for the morning. For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine om the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn. Vive la France! Long live also the forward march of the common people in all the lands towards their just and true inheritance, and towards the broader and fuller age.
Churchill, Winston. Their finest hour. Páginas 451-453.

sábado, 17 de julho de 2010

de Gaulle

Sobre a difícil situação de apoiar de Gaule, e manter, ao mesmo tempo, relações com a França de Vichy, Churchill fala sobre o relacionamente entre de Gaulle e a Inglaterra.

This mood was hard upon de Gaulle, who had risked all and kept the flag flying, but whose handful of followers outside France could never claim to be an effective alternative French Government. Nevertheless we did our utmost to increase his influence, authority, and power. He for his part naturally resented any kind of truck on our part with Vichy, and thought we ought to be exclusively loyal to him. He also felt it to be essential to his position before the French people that he should maintain a proud and haughty demeanor towards "perfidious Albion", although an exile, dependent upon our protection and dwelling in our midst. He had to be rude to the British to prove to French eyes that he was not a British puppet. He certainly carried out this policy with perseverance. He even one day explained this technique to me, and I fully comprehended the extraordinary difficulties of his problem. I always admired his massive strength.

Churchill, Winston. Their Finest Hour. Página 451.

Problemas


When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.
Churchill, Winston. Their finest hour. Página 418.

quarta-feira, 14 de julho de 2010

Comandos

Preocupado com a invasão, Churchill trata sobre os comandos ingleses, fronte a sua atuação na Guerra anterior.
Prime Minister to Secretary of State for War
[...] I thought therefore I might write to let you know how strongly I feel that the Germans have been right, both in the last war and in this, in the use they have made of storm troops. In 1918 the infiltration which were so deadly to us were by storm troops, and the final defence of Germany in the last four months of 1918 rested mainly upon brilliantly-posted and valiant-fought machine-gun nests. In this war all these factors are multiplied. [...]
E depois,
The resistances of the War Office were obstinate, and increased as the professional ladder was descended. The idea that large bands of favoured "irregulars" with their unconventional attire and free-and-easy bearing should throw an implied slur on the efficiency and courage of the Regular battalions was odious to men who had given all their lives to the organized discipline of permanent units. The colonels of many of our finest regiments were aggrieved. "What is there they can do that my battalion cannot? This plan robs the whole army of its prestige and of its finest men. We never hat it in 1918. Why now?" It was easy to understand these feelings without sharing them. The War Office responded to their complaints. But I pressed hard.
Inevitavelmente, isto me lembra um fantástico filme chamado The dirty dozen (1967) [IMDB], com  Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine e Charles Bronson, sobre um grupo de comandos americano.

Abaixo, coloco o trailer e a introdução do filme.





Bandeira

Churchill, Winston. Their finest hour. Página 412.

The reader must pardon this next minute.
Prime Minister to First Lord
Surely you can run to a new Admiralty flag. It grieves me to see that present dingy object every morning.

terça-feira, 13 de julho de 2010

Propaganda de guerra americana

Seguem abaixo material de propaganda de guerra americana.



(imagens copiadas de http://www.library.northwestern.edu/govinfo/collections/wwii-posters/)

Propaganda de guerra nazista

Abaixo, uma sequência de posters e material da propaganda nazista.



(Imagens copiadas de http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/)

Propaganda de guerra britânica

Eu sempre achei a propaganda de guerra muito interessante, mostrando desde a realidade experimentada pela sociedade e pelos militares, quanto as ideologias.

Coloco abaixo uma coletânea de posters de guerra britânicos. A seguir, irei postar posters americanos e nazistas. Aceito sugestões de inclusões!



(Imagens copiadas de http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~pv/pv/courses/posters/)

segunda-feira, 12 de julho de 2010

Tecnologia

Analisando o contexto do ano de 1941, Churchill, junto com o seu cabinete, elaborou um memorando com diretivas sobre munições (e um posterior sobre prioridades). Neste memorando, destaco:
7. Our tasks, as the Minister os Supply rightly reminds us, is indeed formidable when the gigantic scale of German military and aviation equipment is considered. This war is not however a war of masses of men hurling masses of shells at each other. It is by devising new weapons, and above all but scientific leadership, that we shall best cope with the enemy's superior strength. If, for stance, the series of inventions now being developed to find and hit enemy aircraft, both, from the air and from the ground, irrespective of visibility, realise what is hoped from them, not only the strategic but the munitions situation would be profoundly altered. [...]

domingo, 11 de julho de 2010

Ao povo italiano

Discurso de Churchill, endereçado ao povo italiano, em 23 de dezembro de 1940.




Tonight I speak to the Italian people and I speak to you from London, the heart of the British islands and of the British Commonwealth and Empire. I speak to you in what the diplomatists call "words of great truth and respect."

We are at war. That is a very strange, and terrible thought. Whoever imagined until the last few melancholy years that the British and Italian nations would be trying to destroy one another? We have always been such friends.

We were the champions of the Italian Risorgimento. We were the partisans of Garibaldi. We were the admirers of Mazzini and Cavour - all that great movement toward the unity of the Italian nation which lighted the nineteenth century was aided and was hailed by the British Parliament and British public.

Our fathers, and our grandfathers longed to see Italy freed from the Austrian yoke and to see all minor barriers in Italy swept away so that the Italian people and their fair land might take an honoured place as one of the leading powers upon the Continent and as a brilliant and gifted member of the family of Europe and of Christendom.



We have never been your foes till now. In the last war against the barbarous Huns we were your comrades. For fifteen years after that war, we were your friends. Although the institutions which you adopted after that war were not akin to ours and diverged, as we think, from the sovereign impulses which had commanded the unity of Italy, we could still walk together in peace and good-will. Many thousands of your people dwelt with ours in England; many of our people dwelt with you in Italy.

We liked each other. We got on well together. There were reciprocal services, there was amity, there was esteem. And now we are at war - now we are condemned to work each other's ruin.

Your aviators have tried to cast their bombs upon London. Our armies are tearing - and will tear - your African empire to shreds and tatters. We are now only at the beginning of this sombre tale. Who can say where it will end? Presently, we shall be forced to come to much closer grips. How has all this come about, and what is it all for?

Italians, I will tell you the truth.

It is all because of one man - one man and one man alone has ranged the Italian people in deadly struggle against the British Empire and has deprived Italy of the sympathy and intimacy of the United States of America.

That he is a great man I do not deny. But that after eighteen years of unbridled power he has led your country to the horrid verge of ruin - that can be denied by none.

It is all one man - one man, who, against the crown and royal family of Italy, against the Pope and all the authority of the Vatican and of the Roman Catholic Church, against the wishes of the Italian people who had no lust for this war; one man has arrayed the trustees and inheritors of ancient Rome upon the side of the ferocious pagan barbarians.


There lies the tragedy of Italian history and there stands the criminal who has wrought the deed of folly and of shame.

What is the defence that is put forward for his action? It is, of course, the quarrel about sanctions and Abyssinia. Let us look at that.

Together after the last war Italy and Britain both signed the covenant of the League of Nations, which forbade all parties to that covenant to make war upon each other or upon fellow-members of the League, and bound all signatories to come to the aid of any member attacked by another.

Presently Abyssinia came knocking at the door, asking to be a member. We British advised against it. We doubted whether they had reached a stage in their development which warranted their inclusion in so solemn a pact. But it was Signor Mussolini who insisted that Abyssinia should become a member of the League and who, therefore, bound himself and bound you and us to respect their covenanted rights.

Thus the quarrel arose; it was out of this that it sprang. And thus, although no blood was shed between us, old friendships were forgotten.

But what is the proportion of this Abyssinian dispute arising out of the covenant of the League of Nations, to which we had both pledged our word; what is it in proportion compared to the death grapple in which Italy and Britain have now been engaged?

I declare - and my words will go far - that nothing that has happened in that Abyssinian quarrel can account for or justify the deadly strife which has now broken out between us.

Time passed. Then the great war between the British and French democracies and Prussian militarism or Nazi overlordship began again.


Where was the need for Italy to intervene? Where was the need to strike at prostrate France? Where was the need to declare war on Britain? Where was the need to invade Egypt, which is under British protection?

We were content with Italian neutrality. During the first eight months of the war we paid great deference to Italian interests. But all this was put down to fear. We were told we were effete, worn out, an old chatterbox people mouthing outworn shibboleths of nineteenth-century liberalism.

But it was not due to fear. It was not due to weakness. The French Republic for the moment is stunned. France will rise again. But the British nation and Commonwealth of Nations across the globe, and indeed I may say the English-speaking world, are now aroused. They are on the march or on the move. All the forces of modern progress and of ancient culture are ranged behind them.

Why have you placed yourselves, you who were our friends and might have been our brothers, why have you placed yourselves in the path of this avalanche, now only just started from its base to roll forward on its pre-destined track? Why, after all this, were you made to attack and invade Greece? I ask why, but you may ask why, too, because you were never consulted. The people of Italy were never consulted. The Army of Italy was never consulted. No one was consulted.

One man, and one man alone, ordered Italian soldiers to ravage their neighbour's vineyard.

Surely the time has come when the Italian monarchy and people, who guard the sacred center of Christendom, should have a word to say upon these awe-inspiring issues. Surely the Italian Army, which has fought so bravely on many occasions in the past but now evidently has no heart for the job, should take some care of the life and future of Italy.


I can only tell you that I, Churchill, have done my best to prevent this war between Italy and the British Empire, and to prove my words I will read you the message which I sent to Signor Mussolini in the fateful days before it began. Cast your minds back to the 16th of May of this year, 1940. The French front had been broken; the French Army was not yet defeated; the great battle in France was still raging. Here is the message which I sent to Signor Mussolini:

"Now that I have taken up my office as Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, I look back to our meetings in Rome and feel a desire to speak words of good-will to you, as chief of the Italian nation, across what seems to be a swiftly widening gulf. Is it too late to stop a river of blood from flowing between the British and Italian peoples?

"We can, no doubt, inflict grievous injuries upon one another and maul each other cruelly and darken the Mediterranean with our strife. If you so decree, it must be so. But I declare that I have never been the enemy of Italian greatness, nor ever at heart the foe of the Italian lawgiver. It is idle to predict the course of the great battles now raging in Europe. But I am sure that whatever may happen on the continent, England will go on to the end, even quite alone, as we have done before; and I believe, with some assurance, that we shall be aided in increasing measure by the United States and, indeed, by all the Americas.

"I beg of you to believe that it is in no spirit of weakness or of fear that I make this solemn appeal, which will remain on record. Down the ages, above all other calls, comes the cry that the joint heirs of Latin and Christian civilization must not be ranged against one another in mortal strife. Hearken to it, I beseech you in all honor and respect, before the dread signal is given. It will never be given by us."


That is what I wrote upon the 16th day of May. And this is the reply which I received from Signor Mussolini upon the 18th:

"I reply to the message which you have sent me in order to tell you that you are certainly aware of grave reasons of a historical and contingent character which ranged our two countries in opposite camps.

"Without going back very far in time, I remind you of the initiative taken in 1935 by your government to organize at Geneva sanctions against Italy, engaged in securing for herself a small space in the African sun without causing the slightest injury to your interests and territories or those of others. I remind you also of the real and actual state of servitude in which Italy finds herself in her own sea. If it was to honour your signature that your government declared war on Germany, you will understand that the same sense of honour and of respect for engagements assumed in the Italian - German treaty guides Italian policy today and tomorrow in the face of any event whatsoever."

That was the answer; I make no comment upon it. It was a dusty answer; it speaks for itself. Any one can see who it was that wanted peace and who it was that meant to have war.

One man and one man only was resolved to plunge Italy, after all these years of strain and effort, into the whirlpool of war.

Calling in "Attila"

And what is the position of Italy today? Where is it that the Duce has led his trusting people after eighteen years of dictatorial power? What hard choice is open to them now?

It is to stand up to the battery of the whole British Empire on sea, in the air and in Africa, and to the vigorous counter-attack of the Greek nation. Or, on the other hand, to call in Attila over the Brenner Pass with his hordes of ravenous soldiery and his gangs of Gestapo policemen to occupy, to hold down and to protect the Italian people, for whom he and his Nazi followers cherish the most bitter and outspoken contempt that is on record between races.

There is where one man, and one man only, has led you. And there I leave this unfolding story until the day comes - as come it will - when the Italian nation will once more take a hand in shaping its own fortunes.

(Transcrição: wadsworth.com)

Mobilidade

Preocupado sobre a mobilidade de suas forças no teatro do Médio Oriente, Churchill declara:
I had formed no decision in my own mind about moving bomber squadrons away from home. It is often wise however to have plans worked out in detail. Strange as it may seem, the Air Force, except in the air, is the least mobile of all the services. A squadron can reach its destination in a few hours, but its establishments, depots, fuels, spare parts, and workshops take many weeks, and even months, to develop.
 Churchill, Winston. Their Finest Hour, Página 384.

Black and white

Após falar sobre as discussões sobre a melhor maneira de distribuir as forças no teatro do Médio Oriente e defender o Egito da invasão italiana, Churchill declara:
The discussions, both oral and written, were severe. As usual I put my case in black and white.
Churchill, Winston. Their Finest Hour, Vol. II, página 376.

A união

Voltando um pouco no livro (Their Finest Hour), me lembrei de uma interessantíssima passagem, um tanto esquecida em outros livros e materiais.

Na beira do colapso francês, cogitou-se uma união formal das nações britânica e francesa, idealizadas por M. Reynaud, de Gaule, Churchill e outros. Segue abaixo a declaração formal:

DECLARATION OF UNION

At this most fateful moment in the history of the modern world the Governments of the United Kingdon and the French Republic make this declaration of indissoluble union and unyielding resolution in their common defence of justice and freedom against subjection to a system which reduces mankind to a life of robots and slaves.
The two Governments declare that France and Great Britain shall no longer be two nations, but one Franco-British Union
The constitution of the Union will provide for joint organs of defense, foreign, financial, and economic policies.
Every citizen of France will enjoy immediately citizenship of Great Britain; every British subject will become a citizen of France.
Both countries will share responsibility for the repair of the devastation of war, wherever it occurs in their territories, and the resources of both shall be equally, and as one, applied to that purpose.
During the war there shall be a single War Cabinet, and all the forces of Britain and France, whether on land, sea, or in the air, will be placed under its decision. It will govern from wherever it best can. The two Parliaments will be formally associated. The nations of the British Empire are already forming new armies. France will keep her appeals to the United States to fortify the economic resources of the Allies, and to bring her powerful material aid to the common cause.
The Union will concentrate its whole energy against the power of the enemy, no matter where the battle may be.
And thus we shall conquer.

Este foi o último grande esforço feito pela Grã Bretanha para a salvação da França. Contudo, mesmo com o apoio de M. Reynaud e de Gaule, a proposta foi recebida na França com diferentes reações, e, por fim, rechaçada.

The final scene in the Reynaud Cabinet was as follows.
The hopes which M. Reynaud had founded upon the Declaration of Union were soon dispelled. Rarely has so generous a proposal encountered such a hostile reception. The Premier read the document twice to the Council. He declared himself strongly for it, and added that he was arranging a meeting with me [Churchill] for the next day to discuss the details. But the agitated Ministers, some famous, some nobodies, torn by divisions and under the terrible hammer of defeat, were staggered. Some, we are told, had heard about it by a tapping of telephones. These were the defeatists. Most were wholly unprepared to receive such far-reaching themes. The overwhelming feeling of the Council was to reject the whole plan. Surprise and mistrust dominated the majority, and even the most friendly and resolute were baffled. The Council had met expecting to receive the answer to the French request, on which they had all agreed, that if our formal answer had been laid before them the majority would have accepted our primary condition about sending their Fleet to Britain, or at least would have made some other suitable proposal and thus have freed them to open negotiations with the enemy, while reserving to themselves a final option of retirement to Africa if the German conditions were too severe. But now there was a classic example of "Order, counter-order, disorder".
Paul Reynaud was quite unable to overcome the unfavourable impression which the proposal of Anglo-French Union created. The defeatist section, led by Marshal Pétain, refused even to examine it. Violent charges were made. It was a "a last-minute plan", a "surprise", "a scheme to put France in tutelage, or to carry of her colonial empire". It relegated to France, so they said, to the position of a Dominion. Others complained that not even equality of status was offered to the French, because Frenchmen were to receive only the citizenship of the Bristish Empire instead of that Great Britain, while British were to be citizens of France. This suggestion is constradicted by the text.
Beyond these came other arguments. Weygand had conviced Pétain without much difficult that England was lost. High French military authorities had advised: "In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a children." To make a union with Great Britain was, according to Pétain, "fusion with a corpse". Ybarnegary, who had been so stout in the previous war, exclaimed: "Better be a Nazi province. At least we know what that means." Senator Reibel, a personal friend of General Weygand's, declared that this scheme meant complete destruction for France, and anyhow definite subordination to England. In vain did Reynaud reply: "I prefer to collaborate with my allies rather than with my enemies." And Mandel: "Would you rather be a German district than a British Dominion?" All was in vain.
Churchill, Winston. Their finest hour. Vol. II, Página 186-188.

Mais: uma matéria sobre documentos secretos apontando para uma união entre França e Inglaterra em 1950: BBC.

sábado, 10 de julho de 2010

Patton

Let it roll

... Undoubtedly this process means that these two great great organizations of the English-speaking democracies, the British Empire and the United States, will have to be somewhat mixed up together in some of their affair for mutual and general advantage. For my own part, looking out upon the future, I do not view the process with any misgivings. I could not stop it if I wished; no one can stop it. Like the Mississippi, it just keeps rolling along. Let it roll. Let it roll on - full flood, inexorable, irresistible, benignant, to broader lands and better days.

Churchill, Winston. Their finest hour. Vol. II. Página 362.

quarta-feira, 30 de junho de 2010

segunda-feira, 28 de junho de 2010

Frases

Algumas frases do Churchill, lembradas pelo Jô Soares

Próximas aquisições

Estão na minha lista de próximas leituras:
  • The Bitter Woods: The Battle of the Bulge. John S. D. Eisenhower
  • The Guns of August. Barbara W. Tuchman
  • O Incêndio. Jörg Friedrich
As próximas aquisições que pretendo fazer estão na minha Wish List da Amazon. Aceito sugestões!

The longest day: algumas citações

The phone just as the shelling began again. The same voice he had heard earlier demanded to know "the exact location of the shelling". "For God's sake", Pluskat yelled, "they're falling all over. What do you want me to do - go out and measure the holes with a ruler?" Página 189.


The great square-faced ramps of the assault craft butted into every wave, and chilling, frothing green water sloshed over eveyone. There were no heroes in these boats - just cold, miserable, anxios men, so jam-packed together, so weighed down by equipment that often there was no place to be seasick except over one anothe. Newsweek's Kenneth Crawford, in the first Utah wave, saw a young 4th Division soldier, covered with his own vomit, slowly shaking head in abject misery and disgust. "That guy Higgins," he said, 'ain't got nothin' to be proud of about inventin' this goddammed boat." Página 191.


In his bomb crater at the top of the cliff, Segeant Petty and his four-man BAR team sat exhausted after the climb. A little haze driffted over the churned, pitted earth and the smell of cordite was heavy in the air. Petty stared almost dreamily around him. Then on the edge of the crater he saw two sparrows eating worms. "Look", said Petty to the others, "they're having breakfast." Página 213.


... They lost all of their equipment and had to swim in under machine-gun fire. As they struggled in the water, Gardner heard someone say, "Perhaps we're intruding, this seems to be a private beach." Página 217.


... Then he said to the soldier with him, "Look at the super blokes - just look at them. Here, take them of my sight." He walked away to make himself a cup of tea to soothe his anger. While he was heating a canteen of water over a Sterno can a officer "with the down still on his chin" walked over and said sternly, "Now look here, Sergeant, this is no thime to be making tea." De Lacy looked up and, as patiently as his twenty-one years of Army service would allow, replied, "Sir, we are not playing at soldiers now - this is real war, Why don't you come back in five minutes and have a nice cup of tea?" The officer did. Página 221.


All along the Normandy coastline the invasion stormed. For the French, caught up in the battle, these were hours of chaos, elation and terror. Around Ste.-Mère-Église, which was now being heavily shelled, 82nd paratroopers saw farmers calmly working in the fields as though nothing were happening.Every now and then one of them would fall, either wounded or killed. In the town itself paratroopers watched the local barber remove the sign "Friseur" from the front of his shop and put a new one that said "Barber." Página 249.


[Eisenhower], In case the attempt to land troops was defeated, he had written: "Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory footholdand I have withdrawn the troops. My deciosion of attack at the time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and Navy did all the that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If there is any blame or fault attached to athe attempt, it is mine alone." Página 255.

... Immediately she called Frau Sauer, who had also heard something about the attack, and canceld the movie date. "I must know what has happened to Werner," she said. "I may never see him again.". Frau Sauer was very abrupt and very Prussian. "You shouldn't act like this!" snapped Frau Sauer. "You should believe the Führer and act like a good officer's wife.". Frau Pluskat shot back, "I'll never talk to you again!" The she slammed down the phone. Página 259.

Segeant Thomas Bruff of the 101st watched a 4th Division scout come off the causeway near Poppeville, "carying his rifle like a squirrel gun." The scout looked at the weary Bruff. "Where is the war?" he inquired. Bruff, who had landed eight miles from his drop zone and had fought all night with a small group under the command of General Maxwell Taylor, growled at the soldier. "Anywhere from here on back. Keep going, buddy, you'll find it." Página 262.


Near the top of the Vierville bluff, Ranger Private First Class Carl Weast and his company commander, Captain George Whittington, spotted a machine-gun nest manned by three Germans. As Weast and the captain circled it cautiously, one of the Germans suddenly turned, saw the two Americans and yelled, "Bitte! Bitte! Bitte!" Whittington fired, killing all tree. Turning to Weast he said, "I wonder what bitte means." Página 266.


Lang was very angry and shocked. Forgetting for a moment he was talking to a general, he snapped, "How can you possible play opera at a time like this?" Speidel smiled and said, "My dear Lang, you don't think that my playing a little music is going to stop the invasion, now do you?" Página 276.

The longest day

Conforme disse na última postagem, não irei me prender mais aos 6 volumes do Churchill neste blog. Naturalmente, continuarei lendo este incrível livro, e postando comentários; mas também trabalharei com livros de outras fontes.

Acabo de ler o The Longest Day, do Cornelius Ryan. Sem dúvidas, um livro magnífico. Apresentando pontos de vista de todas as origens possíveis, dos americanos aos alemães, das altas esferas do SHAEF e o OKW até os GIs e Soldaten alemães. Logo irei postar algumas passagens interessantes. Fiquemos por enquanto com uma amostra do livro, e um trailer do filme homônimo originado deste livro (iMDb).



Few changes

Hi folks!

There will be some few but strong changes on this blog on the next days. First, I will change the primary language, from English to Portuguese. With this, I think I can write more and better, but I will maintain the quotes on their original languages. Second, I will cite more books and authors, but with the same theme, the Second World War.

Regards e até logo!

domingo, 28 de fevereiro de 2010

Series

And here, two nice series, the first is "Band of Brothers" (2001) and the second, "The Pacific" (March, 2010), both from HBO. The Pacific looks like a continuation to Band of Brothers.




sexta-feira, 26 de fevereiro de 2010

quinta-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2010

Blood, toil, tears and sweat

On May 10, 1940, Winston Churchill became Prime Minister. Here is his first speech, on May 13.





On Friday evening last I received His Majesty's commission to form a new Administration. It as the evident wish and will of Parliament and the nation that this should be conceived on the broadest possible basis and that it should include all parties, both those who supported the late Government and also the parties of the Opposition. I have completed the most important part of this task. A War Cabinet has been formed of five Members, representing, with the Opposition Liberals, the unity of the nation. The three party Leaders have agreed to serve, either in the War Cabinet or in high executive office. The three Fighting Services have been filled. It was necessary that this should be done in one single day, on account of the extreme urgency and rigour of events. A number of other positions, key positions, were filled yesterday, and I am submitting a further list to His Majesty to-night. I hope to complete the appointment of the principal Ministers during to-morrow. the appointment of the other Ministers usually takes a little longer, but I trust that, when Parliament meets again, this part of my task will be completed, and that the administration will be complete in all respects.

I considered it in the public interest to suggest that the House should be summoned to meet today. Mr. Speaker agreed, and took the necessary steps, in accordance with the powers conferred upon him by the Resolution of the House. At the end of the proceedings today, the Adjournment of the House will be proposed until Tuesday, 21st May, with, of course, provision for earlier meeting, if need be. The business to be considered during that week will be notified to Members at the earliest opportunity. I now invite the House, by the Motion which stands in my name, to record its approval of the steps taken and to declare its confidence in the new Government.

To form an Administration of this scale and complexity is a serious undertaking in itself, but it must be remembered that we are in the preliminary stage of one of the greatest battles in history, that we are in action at many other points in Norway and in Holland, that we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean, that the air battle is continuous and that many preparations, such as have been indicated by my hon. Friend below the Gangway, have to be made here at home. In this crisis I hope I may be pardoned if I do not address the House at any length today. I hope that any of my friends and colleagues, or former colleagues, who are affected by the political reconstruction, will make allowance, all allowance, for any lack of ceremony with which it has been necessary to act. I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."

We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realised; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal. But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, "come then, let us go forward together with our united strength." 

(speech quotation from http://www.winstonchurchill.org)

Frustation in Norway

Here we have Churchill reading the conclusion of the Chapter XXXVI - Frustation in Norway.



"Twilight War ended with Hitler's assault in Norway. It broke into the glare of the most fearful military explosion so far know to man. I have described the trance in which for eight months France and Britain had been held while all the world wondered. This phase proved most harmful to the Allies. From the moment when Stalin made terms with Hitler the Communists in France took their cue from Moscow and denounced the war as "an imperialist and capitalist crime against democracy". They did what they could to undermine morale in the Army and impede production in the workshops. The morale of France, both of her soldiers and her people, was now in May markedly lower than at the outbreak of war.

Nothing like this happened in Britain, where Soviet-directed Communism, though busy, was weak. Nevertheless we were still a party Government, under a Prime Minister from whom the Opposition was bitterly estranged, and without the ardent and positive help of the trade union movement. The sedate, sincere, but routine character of the Administration did not evoke that intense effort, either in the governing circles or in the munitions factories, which was vital. The stroke of catastrophe and the spur of peril were needed to call forth the dormant might of the British nation. The tocsin was about to sound."

Churchill, Winston S. The Second Wolrd War: The Gathering Storm, 1948. Pages 583-584.

domingo, 7 de fevereiro de 2010

Narvik

Here we have Churchill reading the introduction of the Chapter XXXIV - Narvik (The Gathering Storm, Book II - The Twilight War).



"For many generations Norway, with its homely, rugged population engaged in trade, shipping, fishing, and agriculture, had stood outside the turmoil of world politics. Far off were the days when the Vikings had sallied forth to conquer or ravage a large part of the then know world. The Hundred Years War, the Thirty Years War, the wars of William III and Marlborough, the Napoleonic convulsion, and later conflicts, had left Norway, though separated from Denmark otherwise unmoved and unscathed. A large proportion of the people had hitherto thought of neutrality and neutrality alone. A tiny army and a population with no desires except to live peaceably in their own mountainous and semi-Arctic country now fell victims to the new German agression.

It had been the policy of Germany for many years to profess cordial sympathy and friendship with Norway. After the previous war some thousands of German children had found food and shelter with the Norwegians. These had now grown up in Germany, and many of them were ardent Nazis. There was also the Major Quisling, who with a handful of young men had aped and reproduced in Norway on an insignificant scale the Fascist movement. For some years past Nordic meeting had been arranged in Germany to which large numbers of Norwegians had been invited. German lecturers, actors, singers, and men of science had visited Norway in the promotion of a common culture. [All this had been woven into the texture of the Hitlerite military plan, and a widely-scattered internal pro-German conspiracy set on foot. In this every member of the German diplomatic or consular service, every German purchasing agency, played its part under directions from the German Legation in Oslo.] The deed of infamy and treachery now performed may take its place with the Sicilian Vespers and the massacre of St. Bartholomew. [The president of the Norwegian Parliament, Carl Hambro, has written:

In the case of Poland and later in those of Holland and Belgium notes had been exchanged, ultimata had been presented. In the case of Norway the Germans under the mask of friendship tried to extinguish the nation in one dark night, silently, murderously, without any declaration of war, without any warning given. What stupefied the Norwegians mote than the act of aggression itself was the national realization that a Great Power, for years professing its friendship, suddenly appeared a deadly enemy, and that men and woman with whom one had had intimate business or professional relations, who had been cordially welcomed in one's home, were spies and agents of destruction. More than by the violation of treaties and every international obligation, the people of Norway were dazed to find that for years their Germans friends had been elaborating the most detailed plans for the invasion and subsequent enslaving of their country.]

The King, the Government, the Army, and the people, as soon as they realized what was happening, flamed into furious anger. But it was too late. German infiltration and propaganda had hitherto clouded their vision, and now sapped their powers of resistance. Major Quisling presented himself  at the radio, now in German hands, as the pro-German ruler of the conquered land. Almost all Norwegian officials refused to serve him. The Army was mobilised, and at once began, under General Ruge, to fight the invaders pressing northwards from Oslo. Patriots who could find arms took the mountains and the forests. The King, the Ministry, and the Parliament withdrew first to Hamar, a hundred miles from Oslo. [They were hotly pursued by German armoured cars, and ferocious attempts were made to exterminate them by bombing and machine-gunning from the air. They continued however to issue proclamations to the whole country urging the most strenuous resistance. The rest of the population was overpowered and terrorised by blood examples into stupefied or sullen submission. The peninsula of Norway is nearly a thousand miles long.] It is sparsely inhabited, and roads and railroads are few, especially to the northward. The rapidity with  which Hitler effected the domination of the country was a remarkable feat of war and policy, and an enduring example of German thoroughness, wickedness, and brutallity.


The Norwegian Government, hitherto in their fear of Germany so frigid to us, now made vehement appeals for succour. It was from the beginning obviously impossible for us to rescue Southern Norway. Almost all our trained troops, and many only half trained, were in France. Our modest but growing Air Force was fully assigned to supporting the British Expeditionary Force, to Home Defence, and vigorous training. All our anti-aircraft guns were demanded ten times over for vulnerable points of the highest importance. Still, we felt bound to do our utmost to go to their aid, even at violent derangement of our own preparations and interests. Narvik, it seemed, could certainly be seized and defended with benefit to the whole Allied cause. Here the King of Norway might fly his flag unconquered. Trondheim might be fought for, at any rate as means of delaying the northward advance of the invader until Narvik could be regained and made the base of an Army. This, is seemed, could be maintained from the sea at a strength superior to anything which could be brought against it by land through to five hundred miles of mountain country. The Cabinet heartily approved all possible measures for the rescue and defence of Narwik and Trondheim. The troops which had been released from the Finnish project, and a nucleus kept in hand for Narwik, could soon be ready. They lacked aircraft, anti-aircraft guns, anti-tank guns, tanks, transport, and training. The whole of Northern Norway was covered with snow to depths which none of our soldiers had even seen, felt, or imagined. There were neither snow-shoes nor skis - still less skiers. We must do our best. Thus began this ramshackle campaign.


Churchill, Winston S. The Second Wolrd War: The Gathering Storm, 1948. Pages 545-547.

Rio de Janeiro

(...) About the same time reports reached the Norwegian capital that a German troopship, the Rio de Janeiro, had been sunk off the south coast by the Polish submarine Orzel (...)

Churchill, Winston S. The Second Wolrd War: The Gathering Storm. 1948. Page 531.

Can someone tell me why a German troopship was called Rio de Janeiro?