NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

18th October, 1941 :Mozhaysk, east of Moscow, one of the key points in the Soviet defence system, falls to Hoeppner’s Panzergruppe.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

16th October, 1941 : In the souther sector German and Rumanian troops capture Odessa after a two months’ siege.

In the northern sector the Germans take Vaidal.

This is the day of the bolshoi drap, the ‘great panic’ , in Moscow. The people finally realize that the Germans are at their gates and, not least on account of the reports of atrocities committed by the enemy (though exaggerated for propaganda purposes), all who can flee to the east. Many of the People’s Commissars and all the diplomatic corps are evacuated to Kuibishev, beyond the Volga. Disorder and looting in the city.

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“I’m Hamlet Now…”

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Alexandr Alexandrovich Blok (1880 – 1921)

aleksandr-blok_9

I’m Hamlet now. Freezes blood,

When the perfidy waves laces,

While love is first – and lives in heart

For her – the one in times and spaces.

Ophelia, my dear friend,

You got away by cold fierce,

And, Prince, I’m dying in my land,

With poisoned swords in fighting pierced.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, January, 1995 – March, 2002

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…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger

Soros’ Christmas Dream

us.divided.flag

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

13th October, 1941 : Russians evacuate Vyazma. Luftwaffe makes violent raids on railway communications round Moscow. Pressure by the Army Group Centre on Moscow continues, but the Russians defend the Mozhaysk line very vigorously.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

12th October, 1941 : Bryansk evacuated by Russians. Women and children start being moved from Moscow. In the central sector the Germans take Kaluga, some 100 miles south-west of Moscow, an important rail centre on the Moscow-Kiev line. The Germans begin the liquidation of the Soviet troops cut off in the Wyazma and Bryansk pockets. The bulk of Timoshenko’s forces are wiped out; about 660,000 men are taken prisoner.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

8th October, 1941 : In the southern sector the Germans reach Mariupol on the sea of Azov; seven Soviet divisions are surrounded.

In the central sector the advance of the big German mobile formations begins to be seriously held up by the rain and mud.

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Monte Cassino

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882)

Terra Di Lavoro

Beautiful valley! through whose verdant meads

Unheard the Garigliano glides along;–

The Liris, nurse of rushes and of reeds,

The river taciturn of classic song.

The Land of Labor and the Land of Rest,

Where mediaeval towns are white on all

The hillsides, and where every mountain’s crest

Is an Etrurian or a Roman wall.

There is Alagna, where Pope Boniface

Was dragged with contumely from his throne;

Sciarra Colonna, was that day’s disgrace

The Pontiff’s only, or in part thine own?

There is Ceprano, where a renegade

Was each Apulian, as great Dante saith,

When Manfred by his men-at-arms betrayed

Spurred on to Benevento and to death.

There is Aquinum, the old Volscian town,

Where Juvenal was born, whose lurid light

Still hovers o’er his birthplace like the crown

Of splendor seen o’er cities in the night.

Doubled the splendor is, that in its streets

The Angelic Doctor as a school-boy played,

And dreamed perhaps the dreams, that he repeats

In ponderous folios for scholastics made.

And there, uplifted, like a passing cloud

That pauses on a mountain summit high,

Monte Cassino’s convent rears its proud

And venerable walls against the sky.

Well I remember how on foot I climbed

The stony pathway leading to its gate;

Above, the convent bells for vespers chimed,

Below, the darkening town grew desolate.

Well I remember the low arch and dark,

The court-yard with its well, the terrace wide,

From which, far down, the valley like a park

Veiled in the evening mists, was dim descried.

The day was dying, and with feeble hands

Caressed the mountain-tops; the vales between

Darkened; the river in the meadowlands

Sheathed itself as a sword, and was not seen.

The silence of the place was like a sleep,

So full of rest it seemed; each passing tread

Was a reverberation from the deep

Recesses of the ages that are dead.

For, more than thirteen centuries ago,

Benedict fleeing from the gates of Rome,

A youth disgusted with its vice and woe,

Sought in these mountain solitudes a home.

He founded here his Convent and his Rule

Of prayer and work, and counted work as prayer;

The pen became a clarion, and his school

Flamed like a beacon in the midnight air.

What though Boccaccio, in his reckless way,

Mocking the lazy brotherhood, deplores

The illuminated manuscripts, that lay

Torn and neglected on the dusty floors?

Boccaccio was a novelist, a child

Of fancy and of fiction at the best!

This the urbane librarian said, and smiled

Incredulous, as at some idle jest.

Upon such themes as these, with one young friar

I sat conversing late into the night,

Till in its cavernous chimney the woodfire

Had burnt its heart out like an anchorite.

And then translated, in my convent cell,

Myself yet not myself, in dreams I lay,

And, as a monk who hears the matin bell,

Started from sleep; already it was day.

From the high window I beheld the scene

On which Saint Benedict so oft had gazed,–

The mountains and the valley in the sheen

Of the bright sun,–and stood as one amazed.

Gray mists were rolling, rising, vanishing;

The woodlands glistened with their jewelled crowns;

Far off the mellow bells began to ring

For matins in the half-awakened towns.

The conflict of the Present and the Past,

The ideal and the actual in our life,

As on a field of battle held me fast,

Where this world and the next world were at strife.

For, as the valley from its sleep awoke,

I saw the iron horses of the steam

Toss to the morning air their plumes of smoke,

And woke, as one awaketh from a dream.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

6th October, 1941 : Germans launch two-pronged assault against Moscow. German armour breaks through the line from Rzhev to Vyzama and advances on Mozhaysk, only 50 miles from Moscow. The German attack is halted by the heroic resistance out up by the Russians, but six days later the Germans surround the town, advancing south towards Kaluga.

In the southern sector the I Panzergruppe (von Kleist) crosses the Dniepr and the Samara and reaches Berdyansk, surrounding the Soviet 9th and 18th Armies. Over 100,000 Russians are taken prisoners.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

3rd October, 1941 : Hitler announces that Russia ‘has already been broken and will never rise again’. He tells the German people of the start, the previous day, of a great offensive on the Eastern Front. This is the attack on Moscow, regarded as decisive. But the Wehrmacht’s supreme effort fails in its aim, although on 9 October Otto Dietrich, head of the Reich’s press service, declares: ‘The struggle in the east is settled’.

Northern sector: the Germans take the defences of Tsarskoe Selo (now Pushkin), near Leningrad.

Central sector: the Soviet front at Bryansk, defended by the 43rd,3rd, 50th and 13th Armies under the command of Timoshenko, begins to crumble. Two big pockets are formed north and south of Bryansk, while further north a third pocket is forming near Vyazma.

Souther sector: the German Dnepropetrovsk bridgehead is strengthened.

In an interview Mahatma Gandi incites all the subject people of the British Empire to passive resistance.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

2nd October, 1941 : Operation Taifun (Typhoon), the attack on Moscow, begins. The right wing of the Army Group Centre ( 2nd Armoured Army, Guderian’s Panzergruppe) smashes through the Russian defences at Glukov and sweeps on towards Orel, then suddenly turns north towards Tula, about 125 miles from Moscow. The 2nd Army and part of Guderian’s armour converge on Bryansk. The 4th Army and IV Panzergruppe (Hoepner) break through the right wing of the Soviet western front (under Konev) east of Roslavl and advance on Vyazma, and the tanks of Hoth’s III Panzergruppe converge on the same town.

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Delilah

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)

We have another viceroy now, — those days are dead and done

Of Delilah Aberyswith and depraved Ulysses Gunne.

Delilah Aberyswith was a lady — not too young –

With a perfect taste in dresses and a badly-bitted tongue,

With a thirst for information, and a greater thirst for praise,

And a little house in Simla in the Prehistoric Days.

By reason of her marriage to a gentleman in power,

Delilah was acquainted with the gossip of the hour;

And many little secrets, of the half-official kind,

Were whispered to Delilah, and she bore them all in mind.

She patronized extensively a man, Ulysses Gunne,

Whose mode of earning money was a low and shameful one.

He wrote for certain papers, which, as everybody knows,

Is worse than serving in a shop or scaring off the crows.

He praised her “queenly beauty” first; and, later on, he hinted

At the “vastness of her intellect” with compliment unstinted.

He went with her a-riding, and his love for her was such

That he lent her all his horses and — she galled them very much.

One day, THEY brewed a secret of a fine financial sort;

It related to Appointments, to a Man and a Report.

‘Twas almost worth the keeping, — only seven people knew it –

And Gunne rose up to seek the truth and patiently ensue it.

It was a Viceroy’s Secret, but — perhaps the wine was red –

Perhaps an Aged Councillor had lost his aged head –

Perhaps Delilah’s eyes were bright — Delilah’s whispers sweet –

The Aged Member told her what ’twere treason to repeat.

Ulysses went a-riding, and they talked of love and flowers;

Ulysses went a-calling, and he called for several hours;

Ulysses went a-waltzing, and Delilah helped him dance –

Ulysses let the waltzes go, and waited for his chance.

The summer sun was setting, and the summer air was still,

The couple went a-walking in the shade of Summer Hill.

The wasteful sunset faded out in turkis-green and gold,

Ulysses pleaded softly, and . . . that bad Delilah told!

Next morn, a startled Empire learnt the all-important news;

Next week, the Aged Councillor was shaking in his shoes.

Next month, I met Delilah and she did not show the least

Hesitation in affirming that Ulysses was a “beast.”

* * * * *

We have another Viceroy now, those days are dead and done –

 

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

27th September, 1941 : In the southern sector the Germans take Perekop. They now stand at the threshold of the Crimean peninsula. Heavy rain reported throughout whole Russian front.

An Italian S-84 aircraft of 36 Squadron hits the battleship Nelson with a torpedo, but caused no serious damage. The Nelson is one of the ships escorting the convoy that left Gibraltar for Malta on 24 September.

liberty.shipIn Baltimore naval dockyard in the USA the Patrick Henry is launched, the first of the ‘Liberty ships’, 10,000-ton merchantmen of highly standardized design, of which thousands are to be built before the end of the war.

Unrest and repressive measures are reported from Bohemia, where Himmler’s deputy, Reinhardt Heydrich (the “Aryan racist with a Jewish grandmother’), has been appointed Reichsprotektor in place of the less rigid von Neurath.

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Deaf to reason

Paul.exBeat

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

26th September, 1941 : The US naval command orders the protection of all ships sailing in US ‘defensive’ waters and the shadowing and, where possible, sinking of every Italian and German ship found in those waters.

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Verše

…from the quills of the dead white poets

czech_flag_small

Karel Toman (18771946)

Kam došli jste kdo? V září hvězd

pod cizím nebem bloudili jsme spolu,

snílkové z jiných dob.

Vzpomínám. Střecha má mi drahá jest

jak rodná země,

jež dává rytmus mému srdci.

Je na konci všech cest

buď domov, nemocnice, vězení,

anebo hrob.

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Climate now

mckee-MSM-weather

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

19th September, 1941 : End of the battle of Kiev. The Germans occupy the city (the third largest in Russia), but in so doing they lose many dead, for the Russians have left mines everywhere. They have also left much of the city in ruins.

Ruined_Kiev.WWII

According to German sources they captured 600,000 prisoners in the Kiev sector, and the Russians lost 2,500 guns and 1,000 tanks. Again, according to the Germans, from the start of operations up to 31 August the Wehrmacht lost on the Eastern front 86,000 dead, 20,000 missing and 292,000 wounded. About 4,000 men were taken prisoners by the Russians.

An Italian raiding party landed from the submarine Scire sinks 30,000 tons of Allied shipping in Gibraltar harbour.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

18th September, 1941 : President Roosevelt asks congress for additional $5,985 million for Lend-Lease supplies.

The US Marine Department announces that the Atlantic fleet will protect convoys of materials to those countries affected by the Lend-Lease Act up to the 26’W meridian.

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NEWS FROM THE FRONT

No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.

17th September, 1941 : In contravention of the armistice terms, the Allies occupy the capital, Teheran. The Shah abdicates in protest in favour of his son, Mohammad Reza Shah, who succeeds to the throne next day.

The Germans occupy the basin of lower Dniepr and pierce the outer defences of Kiev.

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