But sometimes, it rhymes.
The above map, accompanying an article entitled 'BOMB THESE TEN TOWNS!', was published on page 4 of the Daily Mirror on 29 August 1940. It rhymes with this map published in the Daily Mail twenty-three years before:
A REPRISAL MAP. -- The shaded parts of this map show those parts of Germany within reach of Allied aeroplanes similar to those used against London. All the large towns shown could be attacked.
So too does this, the cover of the Illustrated London News for 21 September 1940...
GOERING'S ATTACKS ON LONDON ACHIEVE LITTLE BUT THE MAIMING AND SLAUGHTERING OF CHILDREN.
... rhyme with these photographs in the Daily Mail of 15 June 1917:
Four of the little sufferers in an East End hospital yesterday. Three are only five years of age; the fourth is ten. All were badly injured in the head, arms and legs while in a London County Council school in a densely populated district. All that was left of their classroom was a mass of blood-spattered debris.
And this scare in February 1940...
Mr Mitchell returned at 2.50 saying that Mr Moffat had told him that he had been told by the porter at Dunblane station this morning that the officials at Fife had told him to beware of what appear to be children's balloons. These balloons are full of poison gas. Anyone seeing one should refrain from touching it, but should call a policeman instead.
I said I thought the Germans would hesitate to use such a method, because the direction of the wind is west to east and we could so easily retaliate, and there was a risk that their own balloons would blow back on them. Mr Mitchell did not agree.
... (somewhat less successfully, it is true) rhymes with this scare from February 1918:
The "Chemist and Druggist" of London, of February 23 , informs us that the German blackguards had, during that month, been dropping poisoned sweets from aeroplanes in the London area. It is quite inconceivable that any British general would issue a similar order for the poisoning of little German children, or, if it were given, of any British airman obeying it. An occurrence like this brings home to one, more than many of their acts, what a degraded being a German can be.
Not that history always rhymes, either. But the cadence is certainly familiar at times.
With apologies to Split Enz.
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