Saturday, May 15, 2021

the last book I ever read (Iris Origo's A Chill in the Air: An Italian War Diary, 1939-1940, excerpt six)

from A Chill in the Air: An Italian War Diary, 1939-1940 (New York Review Books Classic by Iris Origo:


For two days the papers have been filled with attacks on England and the British blockade, and yesterday’s evening papers give prominence to “the unjustifiable laying of mines along the Norwegian coast.” It is clear that something is brewing, and as I wake up this morning, I find a note from my host on my breakfast tray. “Germany has invaded Denmark at 3 o’clock this morning. German troops have landed at Oslo. Norway is at war.” The Italian papers give the same news, but with a wholly pro-German colouring. A few hours later the midday posters state that the Norwegian government, like the Danish, has decided not to resist – her resistance at Oslo being merely, according to Gayda, “a formal gesture, amounting to nothing more than their verbal protest against the English blockade.” It is not till this evening that we hear, from the BBC, of King Haakon’s resistance, of the British and French promise of help to Norway, and of the sea and air battle.

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