War of Nerves

2 minute read

On the day that Parliament opened a new session without its Prime Minister (see p.39), the Vichy radio broadcast: “During the next session of Commons, Mr. Attlee will take the place of Churchill.

In Washington, press conferences have occurred during the absence of President Roosevelt. Soviet communiques are published without an order of the day by Stalin.” Now the question was: What are they waiting for? The first answer came from Cairo and Washington: only Chiang has been with Roosevelt and Churchill up to this week; newsmen were told that further word from Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin would come “from time to time.” The word to Japan: the U.S., China, Britain will beat Tokyo into “unconditional surrender.” For their word, the Germans would have to wait a while. Americans could imagine the state of Germans’ nerves as the R.A.F., like a monstrous gavel hammering for the world’s attention, struck almost nightly blows at Berlin.

Few could doubt that the suspense was deliberate, the buildup carefully calculated by the masters of drama and timing who were directing it. The German people were being prepared for a choice—one that few expected them to make at once, but which would henceforth haunt their days and dreams. One alternative was being presented at Berlin.

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