Editorial – Good News

4 October 1941

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 04 October 1941

Good News

Mr. Churchill is finding it increasingly difficult to conceal good news from us. In his latest review he felt obliged to disclose that Atlantic sinkings for the last quarter fell to a third of our losses for the previous quarter, while the enemy’s shipping losses rose by a half. That may not constitute victory but it points the way.

Our vital imports are mounting and our food reserves are millions of tons better than the minimum requirement for a state of siege. American supplies are broadening to a torrent. Best news of all: “The enemy’s only shortage is in the air.” ‘Only,’ but as Mr. Churchill admits, an important shortage, one that may well prove vital, for Germany has nowhere obtained military decision without local air superiority, and Luftwaffe terrorism has contributed enormously to the moral and political collapse of Europe.

Before Russia was brought into the war we had made serious inroads on Germany’s strength in first-line crews, but the Russian campaign has accelerated the attrition of the German air arm, whose losses are now heavier than the aircraft factories and training camps can make good.

This is a tremendously important fact to remember if we bear also in mind the certainty that the Luftwaffe is still sufficiently formidable to give effective co-operation along the entire line of the fighting in Russia. It can do no more than that at present, but the German armies are straining every nerve to knock out Russia or to establish a safe and stable winter line in order to strike elsewhere, with all arms, in the Caucasus, in Iran, in Libya, defensively against the R.A.F. in Germany and France, and offensively against Great Britain.

There is no sign, however, that Germany will be able to bring the Russian situation under control. In spite of heavy losses the magnificent fighting spirit of the Russian’s is unaffected and continued resistance will be assured with effective British and American aid. It is good to know that this help is on the way, that some of it has arrived, and that the R.A.F. is already operating with the northern Russian armies. That last form of reinforcement will probably be the most heartening and effective of all. It is good to know that the tank production of this country leaped forward last week by twenty per cent and that the whole of that production was allocated to Russia. Yet we must remember the ferocity and immensity of the forces loosed upon Russia, their high-powered concentration, coordination, and training, and the fearful strain which a succession of brilliantly organised assaults have placed upon Russia’s great resources. To improve and perfect our own equipment while lending adequate aid to Russia will certainly demand great efforts and great sacrifices from this country, and the diversion from us of much American output. We ought, however, to be glad to make the effort and the sacrifice since we have been, as yet, spared the martyrdom of invasion and the ordeal of scorched earth and scorched hearths. For the service which Russia Is rendering to us and to the civilised world, no guerdon, now or in the future, can be too great.

We have been vouchsafed great mercies—let us not be content with light payment.