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Editorial – “Bloody But Unbowed”

14 September 1940

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 14 September 1940

“Bloody But Unbowed”

In spite of its hideous sadism, the murderous assault on London, described as blind savagery, must be accepted as part of the German plan for the reduction of these islands. It is savage and it is blind to the quality and temper which it is intended to try, but it is coldly and deliberately schemed.

The German Air Force, the only weapon with which we can be effectively struck, has been used in turn against our docks, harbours, shipping, coasts, aerodromes, and factories—all legitimate objectives; —and these assaults have proved’ costly failures. It is time, then, to use terrorism, and to try the mettle of the civilians. Hitler, believing London to be the keystone of the fortress of Britain, as Paris was of France, has flung his bombers at it by day and night since Saturday—beginning with devastating attacks on the dockyards and by the light of the fires raised there continuing to bomb the whole London area methodically and indiscriminately.

To effect this, after being beaten back by day with heavy loss, he despatched overwhelming forces of bombers by (night to send down a murderous rain which killed over six hundred persons in two nights and severely injured nearly three thousand others, as well as inflicting great material damage, though of small military significance apart from the destruction wrought at the docks.

The attacks continue and are pressed at heavy cost, for the air and ground defences of London have met the challenge coolly and gallantly. So have the people of London, whose stoicism has aroused admiration even in Italy, and has fed the fire of the berserker rage of Goering, the monstrous cruelty of whose character now appears in all its naked hideousness. London has been called upon to bear its witness to the unconquerable determination of the British Empire to endure to the end, and right nobly has London borne itself in this terrible ordeal. The blow has fallen most heavily, as always, upon the poor, the weak, and the defenceless. It is characteristic of this double-crossing socialist capitalist anti-Comintern Bolshevik that wherever his hand has been stretched forth it is the common people who have felt its weight.

The brunt of the suffering and loss inflicted on London has been borne by the East End, whose gallant population has “taken it” with the calm courage of soldiers in the line. For the first time in our great and glorious battle history the common people have been brought into the front line and there required without training, equipment, or preparation, to meet the utmost fury and malice of the enemy. They have responded magnificently, and have demonstrated that the human spirit, when supported by faith and conviction, can rise superior to any frightfulness that the devil or man may devise.

This spirit will be found everywhere and it eliminates one more possibility of defeat. Hitler is searching frantically, and so far in vain for alternatives to frontal invasion. The subjugation of this country is not only the dearest desire of his heart but the key to final Nazi conquest of the world, and Nazidom must conquer or die. But Hitler has not yet ventured to invade the weakest of his neighbours without help from within and behind. Here he is confronted by the strongest of all the enemies who have crossed his path, an enemy so powerfully fortified that he cannot hope to invade except at enormous cost and immense risk.

No wonder, being what he is, that Hitler searches for cheap alternatives including this — the cheapest as well as the vilest terrorist bombing of helpless civilians. London has given him a noble answer, and we who, it may be, are about to die, salute London and acknowledge that she has played her part more worthily than might have been expected from so vast, and heterogeneous a mass of humanity. Her fire-fighting and A.R.P. resources were highly tried, but they did not fail, and once’ again the many had to acknowledge a great debt to the few.

It may be that before we have conquered and cast down under our feet this Luftwaffe, in which Hitler and Goering have put their whole trust and confidence, we shall all—not London alone, but every part of the Kingdom- -be called upon to endure ;this hellish hail, but we shall come through with heads “bloody but unbowed.”