Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wednesday 12th June 1940

The report of Italian troops being in France seems unconfirmed. There do not appear to have been any Italian troop moves yet. Malta has been raided however; Bombs are raining down on Paris as the German Army moves in – within 25 miles of the city now.
The RAF has bombed Turin and Milan (Mad Willie's rapturous talk of “The Scala, Milano,” long ago!) and Naples. (“Napoli, those Italians in “The Golden Grove” Inn on St Annes Hill used to call it. Capri is very near there. “Twas on the Isle of Capri that I found her...”)

The South African AF has raided parts of Italian Somaliland and Libya. So now the war has spread to a second continent. It's teaching us geography, with the aid of my pocket atlas! (Where's Italian Somaliland? Map of Africa, page 48... there it is, on the east coast, a strip from 10 degrees N to the equator.)

A drill order today, watched by various generals. Rumour has it that on their opinion of our efficiency depends our immediate future. Anyhow, everyone did their best. “If we go into action,” I said, “We'll all be saying “Oh get us out of this!” We'll cheerfully return to Gedera and endure lots of bullshit; everything will be preferable to action. Still, I think we'd better go, if we can”. “Yes, the bastards will be in our own homes next”.

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