Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wednesday 28th January 1942

Fighting around Msus continues. We still appear to have air superiority there. Churchill made a hard speech and got a clear vote of confidence on the war situation and it's management.

“RAF hammering Rommel.” “No important change either in Libya or the Far East, in the last 24 hours.” “Darwin ready to Fight!” “Russians crush Nazi counter-attacks.”

Went to the Garrison Cinema tonight. saw a thrilling second-rate film of the air and lover's quarrels, called “Charter Pilot.”

“Going to the pictures.” Very prosaic? Not in the least! It is great and dramatic. It is ESCAPE. Isn't that dramatic? When the lights are down hundreds of men sit there smoking, eating peanuts or sweets; or taking a surreptitious swig at a bottle of beer. These are the heroes of the Middle East Force. And for a while they've found brief escape, whilst they are absorbed wholly in the antics of some fools in fancy dress on the screen.

They've forgotton that they won't be seeing their wives, mothers, sweethearts, for years to come – if they should be among the lucky ones who are fated to return safely home at all – and they've forgotten about the bombs that splashed down like rain on the places and the people they love. They have forgotten, too, to hate the Germans and Italians and Japanese. And the desert – those who've been there, and most have – they have forgotten about that.

They have stopped wondering what the future holds for them and, for a while don't think anxiously about their home countries. Bombs again? Or invasion?

No! The heroes of the Middle East Force, relaxed, remember nothing of the things that hurt them, for two hours, whilst figures flicker across the screen, amid gay music. ESCAPE!


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