From Peter Stansky, The First Day of the Blitz: September 7, 1940 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007), 10:
Bertrand Russell wrote in 1936 that when London was bombed it would be "one vast raving bedlam, the hospitals will be stormed, traffic will cease, the homeless will shriek for help, the city will be a pandemonium."
It's a great quote, and one I use myself in the current draft of my thesis. Except that there I attribute it to J. F. C. Fuller in 1923! You wouldn't think it was easy to confuse Russell (interests: philosophy, pacifism, free love) with Fuller (interests: armoured warfare, fascism, yoga) but this isn't the first time I've seen this misattribution made. Obviously there's a bit of copying of other people's (erroneous) footnotes going on, though I think Stansky is the first I've come across to do the right thing and note where he got the quotation from: Ken Young and Patricia L. Garside, Metropolitan London: Politics and Urban Change, 1837-1981 (London: Edward Arnold, 1982), 222. Which does indeed attribute the quote to Russell and not Fuller. Whether Young and Garside are the original source of the mistake, I don't know. The Russell book in question, Which Way to Peace? (London: Michael Joseph, 1936), 37, does have the passage, but says fairly clearly that it's a quote from Fuller (although without giving the title of the source!)
So here's the original quote from the original source:
I believe that, in future warfare, great cities, such as London, will be attacked from the air, and that a fleet of 500 aeroplanes each carrying 500 ten-pound bombs of, let us suppose, mustard gas, might cause 200,000 minor casualties and throw the whole city into a panic within half an hour of their arrival. Picture, if you will, what the result will be: London for several days will be one vast raving Bedlam, the hospitals will be stormed, traffic will cease, the homeless will shriek for help, the city will be in pandemonium. What of the government at Westminster? It will be swept away by an avalanche of terror. Then will the enemy dictate his terms, which will be grasped at like a straw by a drowning man. Thus may a war be won in forty-eight hours and the losses of the winning side may be actually nil!
J. F. C. Fuller, The Reformation of War (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1923), 150.
I should add that The First Day of the Blitz is very good, and this mistake shouldn't be held against it … although I do wonder who Paul Overy (193) and Daniel Tolman (198) are? :)
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