Tag Archives: Rommel

Diary Blog, 6 January 2021, including a few thoughts about both James Mason and the “Three Wise Men”

Prayer for the Day, the Three Wise Men, and James Mason

Prayer for the Day, Radio 4’s ludicrous and platitudinous “god slot”, broadcast daily at about 0540, once again hits comedy gold. Chris-Someone, with a possibly Indian surname that I could not catch, tells the assembled listeners (though quite subtly, not expressly) that the so-called “Three Kings” or “Three Wise Men” of Biblical legend (mentioned in the Gospel of St. Matthew) were equivalent to the present wave of “refugees” (migrant-invaders), i.e. people who deserve or at least should be proffered our hospitality.

Leaving aside the politically-correct 2021 gloss, the “Three Wise Men” have proven to be a puzzle to historians as well as theologians. Wikipedia has this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi.

It has even been suggested (though as propaganda-art rather than serious religio-historical exegesis) that the “Three Kings”, transposed into the 20th Century, might be officers of the SS! See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gottfried_Helnwein#References_to_the_Holocaust.

[Gottfried Helnwein: Epiphany I– Adoration of the Magi; 1996]

Officers of SS-Ahnenerbe? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahnenerbe.

[Update, 8 January 2022: please refer to the comments section below for identities of two of the figures].

The main SS figure in the painting looks rather like James Mason [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Mason]. Was that deliberate? Mason’s political views seem to have been obscure. There are a few faint indications, though. He was a conscientious objector during WW2, and the basis for that is (as far as I know) unknown. There is no known religious reason: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Mason#Second_World_War.

Also, James Mason was very keen, after WW2, to play the part of Rommel, in the celebrated film, The Desert Fox [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Desert_Fox:_The_Story_of_Rommel], though Rommel is, of course, famously (though perhaps inaccurately) thought of as “anti-Nazi” [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erwin_Rommel#Relationship_with_National_Socialism].

In fact, Hitler did tolerate persons in high positions who were at least ambiguous in their views, so long as not proven to be actual traitors. Canaris was another example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Canaris.

Not (presumably) to be confused with another and more obviously political James Mason: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Mason_(neo-Nazi).

Like Hitler, James Mason the actor was very interested in architecture, having been awarded a First in Architecture from Peterhouse, Cambridge, at a time when a First was worth something.

Reverting to the Three Wise Men, it has been said that they were the representatives on Earth of the three main types of practical occultism (Hygienic, Eugenic, and Mechanical). Valentin Tomberg [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentin_Tomberg] made that claim in his Anthroposophical Studies of the New Testament and other works.

http://self.gutenberg.org/articles/eng/Valentin_Tomberg

An interesting subject, worth looking at.

Early music

Tweets seen

Yes, but the population of the UK, USA, world, is far more numerous now.

[https://fas.org/irp/cia/product/facttell/seal.htm]

They must have a mole…

Moles burrow deep into the fabric of Western imperialism” [John le Carre, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy]

The new CIA seal of office looks like a rather dull beermat.

Looks a bit of a mess, though…

Interesting. I have blogged previously about the situation historically in the Soviet Union, where from 1936-1989 private plots (from tiny strips of garden to about 2 acres at maximum in some oblasts and republics, particularly in Georgia) produced at least 40% of all fruit and vegetable production despite being less than 4% of the country’s productive land area.

In a country such as the UK, micro-production of food cannot be the whole answer, but it can be a significant contributor, and also uses almost no transport and storage facilities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_garden; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_plot

What Peter Hitchens forgets is that most MPs are in what even now are “safe seats”. Yes, if such MPs were each to get 5,000 or 10,000 letters from actual constituents all demanding an end to the “panic” measures of the “panicdemic”, they might sit up and take notice. As it is, even after Hitchens’ best efforts, they will each get a few hundred at most, which will not affect them in the slightest.

Naturally, as a constitutional purist, Hitchens wants to believe in a peaceful and reasoned transition to or return to actual “democracy”, but that is pie in the sky in a situation where corporatized msm propaganda is easily manipulating (mainly) uneducated, cultureless and unthinking rabbit-plebs.

Ah…seems that Hitchens agrees with me, at least in part:

Yes. Naturally, people think that it stands to reason that if human interactions are reduced, as in “lockdown”, virus transmission must also be reduced. However, if people are confined together in small houses and flats, as many British people are, that alone may increase transmission, in view of the fact that outside contacts cannot be reduced to zero.

Jewish privilege?

Europe needs a cultural purge. The world needs a cultural purge. We know where to start.

God, how sad. A 150-year-old tree, with its neighbours, it seems, felled so that more hutches for immigrants can be built. I have never seen that particular tree, but feel sad when any tree is felled or cut back, even if for better reasons, such as coppicing. As Chekhov wrote (not sure where, offhand, not I think in The Cherry Orchard, maybe in Uncle Vanya), “there are men to whom a tree is sacred“. It may even have been in Gorky’s book Literary Portraits, where Chekhov is quoted several times, Gorky having been well-acquainted with Chekhov.

Trees, even when few in number in an area, even when solitary, add so much to human perception, to the whole feel of an area, or a street, or even an individual house and garden.

This is no longer just “infringement of civil liberty” but straight tyranny, and if the police act as the goons of the tyrants, then they themselves deserve to be treated as tyrants or goons thereof.

“Wonderful” might be going too far, but still generally better than today. Amazing to see how empty of traffic was London Wall in 1966.

I recall going to London one Saturday in 1970, I believe, with a friend from school. We wandered in, out of curiosity, to a small gallery in Jermyn Street. The door to the street was open. The day was hot. We were just admiring some Old Master painting when the (?) young owner came in. A very relaxed Old Etonian type. Instead of clearing us out, he was very friendly and polite, and told us a little about the painting, before we left to explore further. London had more character then, and was still overwhelmingly an English city.

Oh, no! (see below)…

Not that utter shite again! This is an Orwellian fake communitarian North Korea-lite cringe-fest and virtue-signal Twitter-fest. The public services clapping themselves, just at the time when they offer the British people less than they have done for a century. That, and scared rabbits in muzzles, clapping because they feel socially-pressured to do so.

The whole thing is a disgrace; absolutely stupid.

I sincerely hope that everyone will boycott this stupid System “clapathon” (again).

As for “@AnnemariePlas”, I think that that was the idiotic woman who started the first “clapathon”. Danish, I think. Ah…just looked her up on Google. Dutch.

Despite her Twitter and Facebook (etc) activism, despite her “clapathon” nonsense, only 730 Twitter “followers”. Even I had 3,000 by the time the Jews had me expelled, and were I still on Twitter now, 2-3 years later, that would probably have been 6,000 or more.

Nonsense people such as Caroline Criado-Perez are bad enough. Here’s another one trying to make a career out of pointless “activism”, and on a risibly poor level.

I see now that Annemarie Plas tried to get a Christmas bell-ringing thing going too:

Best idea is to ignore this silly woman.

Afternoon music

More tweets

Silly little self-appointed “put that light out!” social monitor calls someone unmasked a “cunt” and a “retard“; fails to see the irony…

Looks like someone is asking for trouble, and it is not the unmasked one…

I suppose that Private Eye has probably long ago jettisoned its column, “Wimmin— a compendium of loony feminist nonsense“…

A Twitter account worth following: https://twitter.com/The_Ayatollah_

I analyzed Macron and his strange background in a blog post a couple of years ago: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2019/01/09/on-recent-events-in-france/

Jay-sus! Will ya look at them eejits?!

Storming of the U.S. Capitol

Amazing scenes. What strikes me is that at least some Americans have begun to think out of the box. It may well be that, according to the antiquated system of voting etc, Trump lost. I don’t take a lot of interest in Trump anyway. What interests me is that at least some Americans have thrown out the whole concept of “well, we got 49% and the [other] unwashed got 51%, so they win, and winner takes all.

In the UK, we see that the majority of the voters are either scared stupid manipulated rabbits, or non-Europeans of various kinds. So what if that “majority” gets a majority of seats in “Parliament”, a result of a manipulated, unfair, ridiculous voting, electoral, and overall political system? Screw that!

Late tweets

That is exactly what most people do not understand! Hence the “virus” hysteria…

How long before the first fatalities occur?

Closing down a fairly mainstream radio channel (its YouTube channel) was too soon, or a step too far, for now. Soon it will not be.

Late music

What Is and What Might Have Been

Introduction

I was just watching one of the seemingly endless re-runs of the early 1970s historical documentary series, The World at War, and in particular the episode named Barbarossa (from Fall Barbarossa or Operation Barbarossa, named after Friedrich I, the Holy Roman Emperor of the 12th Century who led the Third Crusade against the infidels).

I of course remember watching the TV series when it first was broadcast, in 1973. Many will say that it is in many parts contaminated by what amounts to Jew-Zionist propaganda, and I do not dispute that. Others point out, in a connected critique, that every alleged wrong done by the German Reich and its forces is given great prominence, whereas the cruelties and barbarities of the Soviet regime are barely mentioned (I suppose that it could be argued that the most famous chronicles of those terrible times were not published in English until after The World at War was made: GULAG Archipelago, for one). The criticisms are valid, but one cannot write off The World At War because of those flaws.

The strength of The World at War was that many of the leading personalities on all sides, such as German, English and other general officers, admirals etc, some members of Hitler’s circle (eg Speer), and a host of lesser-ranked people, were all still alive in 1973, giving their filmed testimony weight and immediacy.

Anyway, this article is not meant to focus on The World at War alone, but to examine a couple of “what if?” situations, both in the war years of 1939-45 (for Russians and Americans, 1941-45) and at other times.

The drive to Moscow in 1941

When I was first in Moscow, in 1993, my assigned driver, Pasha (an insolent loutish youth, apropos of nothing) pointed out, as we drove into the city from Sheremetyevo airport, the tank trap memorial, 23 kilometres from the Kremlin on the Leningrad Highway (Leningradskoye Shosse). The memorial marks the supposed furthest point of advance of the German forces in 1941. We drove near to the Kremlin only about 15-20 minutes later.

In 1941, the town of Khimki (now effectively a suburb of Moscow) had only just (1939) been administratively created, and was little developed. Now, hundreds of thousands live close by. Even since I drove through in 1993 there has been further development. Indeed, in the photograph below, taken in a recent year, there can be seen an IKEA warehouse. What would Stalin have had to say about that?!

tanktrapmemorial

The proximity to central Moscow amazed me. Even if not true (as some say) that some German advance-reconnaissance motorcyclists advanced yet further, to a point where they could see the golden domes of the Kremlin churches, it is incredible to see how close the forces of the Reich came to capturing Moscow.

kremlin4

In 1941, flush with the victories in the West in 1940, Hitler intended to advance in Russia against 3 main objectives: Leningrad, Moscow, and also the Ukraine generally, with its huge natural resources of grain crops etc and (in the Don Basin or Donbass), coal.

Hitler at first prioritized Leningrad, followed by the Donbass, and only then Moscow. His generals disagreed, arguing that only a decisive blow against Moscow could achieve victory. There were cogent arguments for all three main objectives:

  • Leningrad: reasons based around morale (the city of the two 1917 Revolutions and in particular the second, Bolshevik, one; the city bearing the name of Lenin); also, the city without which the all-weather port of Murmansk could probably not be held. If Murmansk fell, there could be no Allied resupply of the Soviet Union except via the Soviet Far East. At that stage of the war, that alone might sink the Soviet regime;
  • Ukraine: grain supplies, coal, even oil (should German forces be able to advance beyond Ukraine; also, protection for the Romanian oilfields supplying Germany);
  • Moscow: in the highly-centralized Stalinist system of the Soviet Union, everything came from the centre. Indeed, in the earliest hours of Barbarossa, Soviet officers were heard in German intercepts begging Moscow for orders: “we are under attack; what shall we do?”…It might be that, were Moscow to fall, the Soviet Union would fall. Hitler himself had said that “all we need do is kick open the front door and the whole rotten structure will come tumbling down.”

I have to say that (of course with the knowledge of the decades since 1941) I would favour the Moscow option. Had Moscow fallen, the bubble of the regime would have burst. In a small way, the open panic of the NKVD and CPSU when they thought the Germans would soon be in Moscow, and which led to open rebelliousness on the part of ordinary Moscow inhabitants, leads me to think that a German capture of the city would have led to a rapid fall of the Soviet regime in all of European Russia and perhaps beyond.

In any case, without Moscow under Soviet control, Leningrad must surely have fallen too before very long.

Hitler thought that it was more important to defeat the Soviet armies in the field. European thinking, thinking from the constricted lands of Central and Western Europe. In the Russian space, those otherwise valid ideas become less valid. New armies can be (and were) raised from the vast areas beyond the Volga, beyond the Urals.

As for going for three objectives at once, it might, under other stars, have worked, but the cautious Russian proverb says “chase two hares and you will not catch one”…

Still, what if? What if Moscow had fallen in 1941? Without a two-front war, Germany could not have been defeated in the West. There could not have been the Normandy Landings of 1944, certainly not successfully. European Russia would have been under German control, and the wider expanses of the Soviet Union would probably have been invaded and taken by a Russian but anti-Soviet army such as the Vlasov Army, which might have been expanded to a formidable force. Also, the forces under Rommel in North Africa would have been able to have been hugely reinforced, with the heady strategic possibility that Rommel might have been able not only to take Alexandria, Cairo and the Suez Canal, but Jerusalem, Damascus and then drive up through the foothills of the Caucasus towards Baku and its oilfields, linking up with the forces of Army Group South driving South-East from Ukraine; German forces did occupy part of the Caucasus and even part of Kalmykia in 1942 (occupying Elista briefly).

Mainland Europe would, in that overall scenario, have avoided most of the destruction of 1941-1945. In time, there would no doubt have been peace made between the German Reich and the British Empire. The calamitous decolonization in Africa etc would have been avoided, at least until such time as it would not have had such terrible effects on human and animal inhabitants. There would be either no State of Israel, or one which would not be the hub of a worldwide Jew-Zionist web. The forces of Stalinism would never have invaded Eastern and Central Europe. There would have been no Korean War, no Vietnam War, no Cuban Missile Crisis, and Castro himself would have been seen as just another Latin American tinpot dictator (which is all he was anyway, once Soviet backup was removed) and unable to pose as a world “statesman” (BBC and Labour Party idiots please note).

What if? If only…

And now for something completely different…

What if…Beeching had never happened? Alternatively, what if rail lines had been closed but maintenance of track continued?

I wonder how many British people of the post-1960s age, let alone the (often vacant-seeming) “millennials”, have even heard of Dr. Beeching, his reports and his “Beeching Axe”? [see Notes, below]. In outline, then:

The first report identified 2,363 stations and 5,000 miles (8,000 km) of railway line for closure, 55% of stations and 30% of route miles, with an objective of stemming the large losses being incurred during a period of increasing competition from road transport and reducing the rail subsidies necessary to keep the network running; the second identified a small number of major routes for significant investment. The 1963 report also recommended some less well-publicised changes, including a switch to containerisation for rail freight“. [Wikipedia]

Note those figures: 2,363 rail stations to be closed! Not to mention 5,000 miles of track.

Protests resulted in the saving of some stations and lines, but the majority were closed as planned, and Beeching’s name remains associated with the mass closure of railways and the loss of many local services in the period that followed. A few of these routes have since reopened, some short sections have been preserved as heritage railways, while others have been incorporated into the National Cycle Network or used for road schemes; others now are lost to construction, have reverted to farmland, or remain derelict.” [Wikipedia]

Beeching’s reports made no recommendations about the handling of land after closures. British Rail operated a policy of disposing of land that was surplus to requirements. Many bridges, cuttings and embankments have been removed and the land sold for development. Closed station buildings on remaining lines have often been demolished or sold for housing or other purposes. Increasing pressure on land use meant that protection of closed trackbeds, as in other countries (such as the US Rail Bank scheme, which holds former railway land for possible future use) was not seen to be practical. Many redundant structures from closed lines remain, such as bridges over other lines and drainage culverts. They often require maintenance as part of the rail infrastructure while providing no benefit. Critics of Beeching argue that the lack of recommendations on the handling of closed railway property demonstrates that the report was short-sighted. On the other hand, retaining a railway on these routes, which would obviously have increased maintenance costs, might not have earned enough to justify that greater cost. As demand for rail has grown since the 1990s, the failure to preserve the routes of closed lines (such as the one between Bedford and Cambridge, which was closed despite Beeching recommending its retention) has been criticized.” [Wikipedia]

The above long extracts from Wikipedia lay out the facts quite well. What is missing is perspective. The postwar period in the UK, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, was one of almost wholesale destruction of old buildings, streets, villages, towns and cities. In fact, postwar redevelopment changed London a great deal more than the oft-cited depredations of the Luftwaffe (most of which bomb damage was concentrated on the Thames dock areas and nearby areas which suffered collateral damage). Naturally, demolitions are sometimes inevitable and sometimes an improvement [see Notes, below], but much that was valuable has gone.

In fact, the 5,000 miles of track closures earmarked by Beeching were in addition to about 3,318 miles of railway track closed between 1948 and 1962 and also a further 1,300 miles of passenger railway between 1923 and 1939! Over 9,000 miles of track!

So “what if”? What if, for example, the rail track had been maintained? That way, were (as now are) different ideas, new technical ideas, possible (eg robot trains, no-staff trains, small ultralight trains, trains made with lighter materials, trains using solar power etc), those tracks could be the basis for new transport links and could be further linked with new track.

The expense of a railway is mostly in the staff pay, pensions etc; after that, the cost of actually running trains (fuel etc); after that, maintenance of trains, track, bridges, tunnels etc. The core maintenance can be relatively little. In the USA, this is the policy (see Wikipedia in Notes, below). Political policy which is also a national insurance policy.

Not that the trekking ways, cycleways and nature walks which often have replaced the old railways are not useful too, but most rail track destroyed has been simply ploughed over, built over or abandoned. Pity.

Notes

https://londonist.com/london/history/lost-london-buildings-destroyed-in-the-21st-century

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-London-1870-1945-Philip-Davies/dp/0955794986

https://www.timeout.com/london/art/12-amazing-photos-of-londons-lost-landmarks

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beeching_cuts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalmykia#World_War_II

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elista

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baku

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erwin_Rommel#North_Africa_1941%E2%80%931943

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Liberation_Army

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khimki#Khimki_in_the_Battle_of_Moscow

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_I,_Holy_Roman_Emperor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gulag_Archipelago

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World_at_War