This article contains the text of the first speech made by William Joyce, that was identified as such by the BBC Monitoring Service. Although Joyce began his broadcasts in September 1939, it was not until this broadcast was made on 2 August 1940, that William Joyce’s identity was established.
WILLIAM JOYCE’S FIRST SPEECH
Britain’s Cowardice in War
There are times when it is unchivalrous to disparage an opponent, and there are times when it is definitely unwise, but it is not possible to view otherwise than with contempt the conceptions of fighting that Britain has shown in this war. Her behaviour is all the more surprising since she had established and certainly not without justification, a reputation for the military virtues of courage and rugged strength. Indeed, at the beginning of last September, she was regarded by millions of neutral people as the greatest fighting power in the world, apart altogether from the question of her armaments. And the shattering of this illusion is perhaps the most profound moral shock that England’s friends have had to bear in this tragic conflict, needlessly prolonged through her Government’s choice. First of all it was expected that after all the mighty threats and all the angry gestures of her politicians, real and instant action would be taken to help Poland. Downing Street gave her a few drums of mustard gas, and the false assurance that 1500 planes were on the way to help her. And there the British contribution ended.
Chased out of Norway:
Then the Norwegian Government received every assurance, holy and unholy, that Norway would be defended to the last British Tommy, and, relying on this assurance, committed its country to a very foolish course of action. Three weeks sufficed to chase the British Expeditionary Force out of Norway into the sea. When asked to explain the debacle, the Prime Minister of Britain explained that the German Air Force had rendered impossible the landing of sufficient troops and armaments to enable a useful campaign to be conducted. “But,” said he, “Norway would not become a side-show in the war”. This prophecy, indeed, was fulfilled, but not in the sense intended by the British Government.
Next came the campaign in Holland and Belgium. From captured documents published by the German Foreign Office, we are aware not only that these two countries had received the fullest and most explicit promises of assistance from Britain, but that the most extensive preparations for their participation in the war had been made. Of these two states which were to be used as a base of attack against the Ruhr, one surrendered in five days, and the other in eighteen.
What was England’s contribution? An expeditionary force which carried out a glorious retreat, leaving all its equipment and arms behind, a force whose survivors arrived back in Britain, as The Times admits, practically naked. No doubt the soldiers fled according to orders; no doubt they found themselves utterly at a loss to cope with the German dive-bombers and other engines of modern scientific warfare, but whatever excuses may be found for their plight, the solid fact remains that the men who made the war were reduced to boosting of a precipitous and disastrous retreat as the most glorious achievement in history. Such a claim could only besmirch the proud regimental standards inscribed with the real victories of two centuries. What the politicians regarded, or professed to regard, as a triumph, the soldiers regarded as a bloody defeat from which they were extremely fortunate to escape alive.
British Lion at Oran:
The next test of Britain’s might was the Battle of France. All the professions of brotherly love and platonic adoration which Churchill had poured forth to the French politicians resolved themselves into ten divisions, as compared with eighty-five British divisions which had been in France at the height of her struggle in the last war. As the world knows, their effect was nil, and when Reynaud telegraphed madly night and day for aircraft he was granted nothing but evasive replies. The glorious RAF was too busy dropping bombs on fields and graveyards in Germany to have any time available for the Battle of France. But after the final drama of Compiègne and the defeat and the utter collapse of the French, the heroic might of the British lion suddenly discovered that it was easier to bomb French ships, especially when they were not under steam, than to save the Weygand line. If it was so hard to kill Germans, why not, he reasoned, demonstrate Britain’s might by killing Frenchmen instead? They were beaten, and would be less likely to resent it. Besides, if they did not think that the British forces would fire, the operation would have certain great military initial advantages, which a genius, such as Churchill, was bound to perceive.
Invasion is expected:
This attitude of mind brings us to the present time when German forces are destroying Britain’s armament works, crippling her railways, closing her harbours, smashing her convoys, and sinking hundreds of thousands of tons each week of her tonnage, and when invasion is expected to come to her soil at any moment. Churchill, the genius. has his answer ready. What is it? Many people in England are not sure. It consists of several parts. First, Germany’s ambulance planes are to be attacked wherever seen. They can easily be identified by the Red Cross which they bear, and they are unarmed, so the great brain conceives another possibility of victory. The fact that these planes have saved many British lives weighs as nothing in comparison with the triumph that can be achieved by shooting them down. The second part of the answer is to be found in the instructions issued to British bombers flying over Germany. In reply to the charge that these machines were dropping bombs on entirely non-military places, Mr. Churchill, with another flash of genius, replies “Of course. The planes have to fly so high that the targets cannot be distinguished.” Otherwise, they would be shot down by the Germans. In consequence of this instruction, harmless civilians have been murdered at Hanover and in other towns.
Bombs will speak:
The British Prime Minister had abandoned all pretence that these bombing operations have military objectives. The principle is “Drop your bombs wherever you can, without being seen, and what they hit, they hit”. It is unnecessary to say that a terrible retribution will come on to the people who tolerate as their Prime Minister the cowardly murderer who issues these instructions. Sufficient warnings have already been given. Bombs will speak for themselves. But there is one well-attested and proven fact that the people in Britain should bear in mind. When the Germans attack an objective which they have selected, they do not wait for dark nights or clouds. They swoop down to a distance of perhaps only 100 ft. or 200 ft. in broad daylight, or at any rate under the best possible conditions of visibility. German bombs are never dropped at random. Each one finds its mark. The operations are conducted, not to provide material for the German press, but to annihilate the enemy’s resistance. These facts may be doubted by many people in Britain today. But among those who survive Mr. Churchill’s war, they will be a matter of common knowledge not to be disputed.
The same ineffectual, idiotic, petty attitude which has characterised Britain’s whole conduct of the war marks the amazing training schemes for civilians upon which Churchill smiles with benign approval. Suicides’ academies have apparently been set up all over Britain. The headmasters are cunning blackguards, who teach the inmates how to make bombs at the modest cost of two shillings each, how to poison water supplies by throwing dead dogs into streams, and how to kill sentries noiselessly from behind. So bombs, at two shillings a time, home-made in accordance with Lesson 7, are to be used against the German Stukas. Truly, the Lord has afflicted these people with blindness. Home-made bombs, dead dogs, and lady finger-breakers are expected to defend England against the forces which wiped out the Maginot Line in a few days! Well, it is clear that, when it comes to her own defence, England will be as weak as she was in defending her Allies. No wonder American correspondents are not allowed to see the damage which the German attacks have already caused in Britain. However, what has been done is but a pale shadow of what is to come. The people of England will curse themselves for having preferred ruin from Churchill to peace from Hitler.