Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Churchill Series – Apr. 13, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

I owe you all an apology. I dropped the series for a few days without giving you an explanation.

You all must know I was using my “blog time” to keep up with Hoax events this week. I’ve no apology for that, but I should have put up a notice. I’m sorry I didn’t.

Now, having given you an apology you were owed, I’ll end this post with an explanation you are owed.

Near the end of last year I posted once with a link to a Nazi propaganda cartoon concerning the Churchill-Roosevelt relationship. Some of you asked for more posts on Nazi propaganda treatment of Churchill.

I said I'd do that sometime in the first part of 2007.

It’s a fascinating subject for study but it’s also complex. You need a good deal of background to write on it, even in posts of 4 or 5 hundred words.

Some Nazi propaganda concerning Churchill is easily understood. Example: He was subservient to Roosevelt who the Nazis regularly portrayed as secretly a Jew. The target audiences for that stuff were the German people and those in Nazi-occupied and neutral countries who were anti-Semitic.

Other Nazi propaganda takes considerable explaining. Example: A cartoon of Churchill eating a sumptuous meal while in a distant corner a very skinny French family stands weeping. Churchill is eating off the wing of a fighter plane. A fighter plane wing? That’s an odd dinner table.

How to explain that piece of Nazi propaganda? It circulated after the Germans had introduced food rationing in France and played on the belief, widely held among the French during WW II (and still held by many of them today), that in May and June, 1940 the British, at Churchill’s insistence, withheld much of the RAF from the battle for France in order to preserve it as a defense force for Britain.

Churchill did make a decision to withhold some fighter squadrons from the battle but only after he was convinced they were planes which could do no good in the battle conditions over France because of certain limitations those fighters had (some of you no doubt know I'm referring to the Hurricane fighter), whereas they could be useful (and indeed proved to be essential) in defensive air battles such as he knew would soon occur over Britain.

The cartoon naturally had the French as a target audience. But the cartoon was also widely distributed in Germany so German people would “understand just who was responsible” for their government’s food rationing in France. A third group targeted by the cartoon were French workers who’d come to Germany as part of what was really a labor conscription program with the “inducement to volunteer” often being extra rations for the workers’ families back home.

Anyway I was putting a file together with some links to illustrations and reading up for background. Then I lost the file.

I’ll try again but it will be awhile.

Have a wonderful weekend.

John

2 comments:

Joe T. said...

That's okay, for the Churchill delay. We all know the coverage of the Duke thing required full attention this past week. (You should see how long HBO made me wait for the next season of The Sopranos).

Anonymous said...

John,
The Duke hoax certainly has urgency.And a little waiting on the WSC portaits a a certain specialness.
Keep 'em coming.
Corwin