20 DECEMBER 1940, Page 5


THE emphasis laid by Lord Beaverbrook on a new attempt at invasion in his broadcast on Tuesday was surprising, but it is to be noted that it synchronises with the assertion by Mr. Landon, the former Republican candidate for the Presi- dency of the United States, that invasion is planned for the middle of February, and with more cautious but more authori- tative observations by Mr. Cordell Hull on the same subject. To some extent the statements may rest on inference. It is clear to everyone, most of all to the German General Staff, that the only way for Germany to win the war is to direct a crushing blow at the soil of Britain. Air-attack has failed, submarine blockade is taking heavy toll of our shipping, but shows no sign of bringing us to the ground, and Hitler can see no way of helping a tottering Italy except by striking at the root and centre of British strength. All that is obvious inference. It may or may not be supported by information to which the ordinary citizen has no access. But to that ordinary citizen an attempt at invasion looks a far more hazardous business than it would have been six months ago. It is as true as ever that essential conditions for a successful invasion are naval supremacy and air supremacy, and Germany is farther than ever from enjoying either. She no doubt has new warships in commission, but so have we, and the course of events in the Mediterranean may soon release part of our fleet there for service nearer home. The expansion of our air-power, as regards both machines and pilots, is proceeding with a momen- tum which Germany cannot rival, and our shores are protected by a trained and hardened army, no longer by an army of recruits. The chances of a successful invasion seem therefore to be steadily diminishing, but Hitler may be driven to the attempt because he has no alternative.