694 LOSS OF FIRST WORLD WAR commander. When the time comes for the Legion to return to Spain, we must re-equip it on a regal scale, give it a heap of booty and a handful of Russian Generals as trophies. Then they will have a triumphal entry into Madrid, and their prestige will be unassailable. Taking it all round, the Spanish press is the best in the world ! 315 6th September 1942, midday The tenuous thread of Destiny—Russian mistakes at Stalingrad—Racial mixtures—Sailors on leave. It is sobering to think on how thin a thread of fate the history of the world sometimes depends! We lost the 1914-18 war; but we have not the right to say that we did so because the Home Front let us down. Our enemies at the time had some men of the highest quality. It was in 1916, at the battle of the Somme, that tanks made their first appearance; but it was not until 1917 that our industry was switched to their construction, with orders to make an initial quota of six hundred. At the same moment Fuller, supported by Lloyd George and Churchill, succeeded in causing the ban on their production to be lifted, which had been imposed by Haig. It is becoming more and more obvious that a rift in public opinion in Britain is gradually widening, each individual going, to the Right or the Left as it suits him. Of all our allies, it is Antonescu who has the greatest breadth of vision. He is a man of real personality, and he has, moreover, realised that this war gives Rumania the chance to become predominant in the Balkans, but at the expense of finding the other Balkan States in alliance against her. The concentration of effort in the defence of Stalingrad is a grave mistake on the part of the Russians. The victor in war is he who commits the fewest number of mistakes, and who has, also, a blind faith in victory. If the Russians had not decided to make a stand at Stalingrad, they would have done so elsewhere; but it does prove that a name can give to a place a significance which bears no relation to its intrinsic value. For the Bolsheviks it would have been an evil omen to lose Stalingrad— and so they still hold Leningrad ! For this reason I have always
MIXED MARRIAGES 695 refused to allow my name, or that of any of my colleagues, to be given to anything exposed to the hazards of war—be it a town or a battleship. It is precisely in time of war that people become most superstitious. The Romans, including Julius Caesar, were a superstitious people; although it is quite possible that Caesar was not really superstitious, but simply bowed to public opinion. I myself would never launch an attack on the thirteenth, not because I myself am superstitious, but because others are. Dates play no part in my life. I have frequently had setbacks on days deemed propitious, and successes on days condemned as unlucky. The break-through to Abbeville was an advance of a mere. three hundred and fifty kilometres, which is nothing in comparison with distances in the East. There we must pursue ceaselessly and give them no respite. What a fine race the Dutch are ! The girls are splendid and very much to my taste. The blemishes in the Dutch are due to interbreeding with the Malays, and that, in its turn, is the result of sexual urge and the lack of a sufficiency of white women in their colonies. We had much the same thing in our own colonies; a German had the right to marry a negress, provided she was a Catholic, but not a German girl, if she happened to be a Protestant. Even to-day, the Catholic priest chatters for months if one of his flock wishes to marry a Protestant. It is not very long ago that, in the country, a marriage between Catholic and Protestant was stigmatised as an insult to the Holy Altar; but nobody bothered their heads about the colour of bastards ! In the British Empire, things are very different; but the Church of England is a political, rather than an ecclesiastical, organisation. Again and again I am asked to sanction marriage between one of our soldiers and a foreign girl; and as often as not the soldier is a splendid young lad and the girl a little trollop. Nothing but catastrophe could come of such unions. The branches of the services most exposed to this danger are the Navy and the anti-aircraft units, because they stay in one place longer than anyone else. It was the same in the first war. The Flemish girls were most attractive, and, had the war had a normal ending, many of them would undoubtedly have married German soldiers.