The New Statesman was a little off in its belief that the Germans have given up 'blitzkrieg' tactics, as yesterday they renewed their heavy daylight assaults against RAF aerodromes. According to the Observer (above, 7) they also targeted 'women shoppers' in two places near or in London.
Germany is now known to have moved a large part of her air force to advanced bases in occupied territory in order to reduce the range for her onslaught on Great Britain. The general run of these advance bases is shown by the heavy dotted line.
The essential fact emerging from this map is that although Germany has an advantage for attacking our coasts and shipping by using bases in occupied territory our command of the sea places the Royal Air Force in a favourable position for striking at her industrial centres.
Here, the Battle of Britain seems to encompass not just Britain but Germany too, not just the attacks made on Britain but the attacks made by Britain. It's interesting to note that the assumption that Britain rules the waves -- itself somewhat questionable -- leads to a further assumption that this somehow is a big advantage in bombing Germany. Why is unclear.
Every week the Observer has a column called 'The people and the air raids' (10), These 'stories of calmness and resource' are very much in the 'We can take it' vein.
The sirens continue to sound, the raids become longer -- six and seven hours at a stretch -- and the spirits of the people remain entirely undamped.
Here are a few examples:
Extract from letter written by a London woman aged ninety, after the recent air attack on Croydon: "Last evening's raid did us no harm -- in fact, Hitler would be shocked to learn that, au contraire, it caused us personally much entertainment ... The villains will probably be around again to-night, as they want to get the aerodrome. Their attempt has helped our Fighter Fund, which is something that arch-fiend did not expect."
Woman in North London at height of raid: "I liked last night's searchlights better. These patterns aren't so good."
A woman crawling out of a shelter found her house had toppled down around her. Asked whether she had been frightened, she replied, smilingly: "It's all in the game."
There has been surprisingly little keeping-calm-and-carrying-on like this in the rest of the press so far -- at least the parts I've read -- but that may change.
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