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daily 08/07/2017

    • the German breakthrough at the Meuse and the onrush of tanks and troops “at unheard-of speed” toward the northern French towns of Amiens and Arras.
    • “Although there were plenty of Frenchmen ready to die for their country, their leaders had completely failed to prepare and organize them to resist the blitzkrieg.”
    • “In all the history of war, I have never known such mismanagement.”
    • Just six days into his tenure as prime minister, Churchill was faced with an agonizing choice: whether to give France as much material assistance as possible to bolster its morale and resistance or to withhold such support so that it could be used in Britain’s own defense.
    • And, unbeknownst to the French, on the day he returned from his May 16 trip, Churchill ordered plans drawn up for a possible evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force.
    • Churchill renewed his appeals to the French to stand and fight, never telling them until after the evacuation began that his own troops were leaving the field of battle.
    • Churchill’s failure to inform the Belgians of the British retreat was not an oversight; he was counting on them to help keep the German forces at bay while British troops boarded the armada of small boats and large ships now being dispatched to Dunkirk.
    • “We don’t care a bugger what happens to the Belgians,”
    • He bluntly added, “We are asking them to sacrifice themselves for us.”
    • On May 27, the Belgian government, in an official communiqué, informed France and Britain of its imminent surrender to Germany:
    • As head of state, they argued, it was his duty to continue Belgium’s resistance in exile. Under no circumstances should he be taken prisoner by the Germans.
    • “Never would King Albert have consented to take refuge abroad,”
    • He would not, he said, become “an idle refugee monarch, cut off from the Belgian people as they bow under the invader’s yoke.”
    • He asked to be put in a prisoner-of-war camp, along with his captured troops, but Hitler confined him instead to his palace in Laeken, on the outskirts of Brussels.
    • If the only usefulness he retains is that of a scapegoat, then a scapegoat he must be.”
    • the capitulation of Belgium was actually a “good thing,” because “we now shall be able to lay the blame for defeat on the Belgians.”
    • Indeed, but for the prolonged resistance of the gallant Belgian Army, the evacuation of the BEF from Dunkirk would have been impossible.”

       

    • Maginot Line
    • Before he made the broadcast, the premier bullied the Belgian government officials who had just arrived in France to support him in his attack upon their king. If they didn’t, Reynaud said, he couldn’t answer for the safety of the more than 2 million Belgians who had fled to France after the German invasion.

       

    • The Belgian ministers, who apparently feared that Leopold was thinking of establishing a new government in cooperation with the Germans, gave in to Reynaud’s blackmail.
    • “The king’s capitulation was the only thing he could do,” the U.S. military attaché in Belgium reported to his superiors in Washington. “Those who say otherwise didn’t see the fighting, and they didn’t see the German Air Force. I saw both.”
    • Particularly galling to Keyes and Davy was the fact that Gort himself was guilty of what he falsely accused the Belgian king of doing—withdrawing from the fight without warning his allies that he was going to do so.
    • Churchill was still riding his hobbyhorse of anger at the European neutral countries for not joining Britain and France in preinvasion military alliances.
    • The BBC, under pressure from the War Office, suppressed the news of the king’s exoneration.
    • What better way to do so than to pin the blame on a smaller ally whose king and commander in chief was unable to defend himself?
    • Before the case was finally heard in March 1941, the Mirror acknowledged that it had erred in its statements about Leopold and Keyes and agreed to apologize to both.
    • King George VI was said to be furious at the campaign aimed at the Belgian sovereign, who was a distant cousin of his and whom he had known and liked since the teenage Leopold had attended Eton during the Great War.
    • o leave their homeland and follow their Governments into exile leaves them open to the charge of desertion by those who remained behind; yet to remain [in their countries] involves the risk of their being held hostage for the submissive conduct of their peoples.”
    • “To act otherwise,” he told George, “would amount to desertion.”
    • George had “expressed a good deal of sympathy for the King of the Belgians and had little or no criticism of him as C-in-C of the Army, but as King . . . he should have left the country and established his government elsewhere.” Y
    • On the other hand, it’s clear that everyone from Littlefinger, to Sansa, to Brienne, is finally realizing that Arya has lost her damn mind.

      <!– react-empty: 442 –>

      And to cap it all off, an inside joke: Brienne: “Who taught you how to do that?” Arya: “No one.”
    • Mayer said that a few years ago he was asked to contribute an academic article assessing the possibility that a new, major religion would rise in the next 30 years. One plausible scenario he came up with was that a Chinese preacher might meld elements of Christianity with a “universalist message of inner harmony” and gain millions of followers.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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