66O NO PEACE WITH FRANCE be stopped. On the contrary, I think every soldier ought to be encouraged to bring something every time he comes home. I recently spoke at some length on the subject of our system of justice and of the reforms to be introduced regarding the training and activities of legislators. The individual must be given more latitude and be taught to cultivate a sense of responsibility and a readiness to accept it. There is to-day no valid reason for making peace with the French. We should never succeed in keeping their army down to a strength from which, within three years, they would not be in a position to smash the Italians; for that matter the Paris police are capable of that, by themselves! And so we must always be on hand to help the Italians. What neither the campaigns of Poland nor Norway, France, Russia nor the desert have succeeded in doing, the Italians are on the point of accomplishing—they are ruining the nerves of our soldiers. The greatest victories in the history of the world have always been the result of a mighty effort. Life consists of the overcoming of a series of crises, which one man survives and the other does not. In 1918 victory was as nearly in our grasp as it was in that of our adversaries. It was a battle of nerves. No one has a monopoly of success. Frederick the Great is the nearest thing to an exception. To what should one ascribe his success—foolhardiness or what? Frankly, I do not know. The cards were stacked against him, and Prussia was a miserably poor little State. Nevertheless he ventured forth with incredible temerity; on what, I wonder, did he base his faith in victory? If we compare our present situation with his, the comparison will make us feel ashamed—even if we count the Italians as only half an ally. The war of 1866 was a singularly bold venture. Ranged against her Prussia had not only the other German States, but France as well, and Austria into the bargain—Austria alone a far mightier nation at that time than Prussia ! There's one very curious thing to note in all this; it is—that the side on which Italy is, invariably wins ! A State like Switzerland, which is nothing but a pimple on the face of Europe, cannot be allowed to continue.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE 66l The touchiness of the Italians comes from an inferiority complex; it is the touchiness of a people with a guilty conscience. Geographically, we shall never dominate the Mediterranean. But the French will certainly never be given the chance to do so—particularly after the peace treaty which we shall impose on them. It is to be hoped that one day we shall achieve complete hegemony in Europe. As for the Swedish vermin, they must be swept away like the Danish vermin in 1848! We must not take everything on our own shoulders; if we did, our successors would have nothing to do but to sleep. We must leave them some problems to solve, and the means with which to solve them—namely, a mighty Army and a mighty Air Force ; and the Army must be taught that, if some cowardly crew of politicians should come to power, then it is the Army's duty to intervene—as the Army in Japan did. As a general principle, I think that a peace which lasts for more than twenty-five years is harmful to a nation. Peoples, like individuals, sometimes need regenerating by a little bloodletting. Our ancestors fought duels. Next came the barber and his bleeding-cups—and now we have the safety razor ! Nobody in the Middle Ages suffered from high blood-pressure —their constant brawls were ample safeguard against it; and in Upper Bavaria they practised the custom of Sunday bloodletting. Now, thanks to the safety razor, the world's bloodpressure is rising. It fills me with shame when I think that I have lost more blood shaving than on the field of battle. If Stalin had been given another ten or fifteen years, Russia would have become the mightiest State in the world, and two or three centuries would have been required to bring about a change. It is a unique phenomenon! He has raised the standard of living—of that there is no doubt; no one in Russia goes hungry any more. They have built factories where a couple of years ago only unknown villages existed—and factories, mark you, as big as the Hermann Goring Works. They have built railways that are not yet even on our maps. In Germany we start quarrelling about fares before we start building the line ! I have read a book on Stalin ; I must admit, he is a tremendous personality, an ascetic who took the whole