Lord Northcliffe in 1919 returning to England after having brought the American press into line boasted on his return that he had left 130 millions in America to keep the press loyal. He implied that would do the job, for all Americans thought alike like sheep and were more gullible than any people he knew except the Chinese. This latter saying he repeated from Sir Gilbert Parker, who spent the early years of the war in America proving their gullibility.
Correspondents and refugees have rushed into print with apologies and explanations trivial and tragic as to "why France fell". Some needed the pay, some had something to say. The glib explanations of sophisticated journalists sound like the gossip of the cafe or the salon. Few get down to the grass roots,--'of even the country clubs'.
All this has brought little satisfaction to those who have known and loved France.(1) And the number is legion, in North and South America, of those who claim France as a second motherland. Why even the Californian of old, in the days of gold, who had struck it rich looked forward to going to Paris to die. The question "why" which implies plan, design, doesn't apply. To those who knew and loved her, the marvel has been that political France, the Third Republic, could last so long. After the war France rode high. Her powerfully efficient army enabled her to impose her imperious will through her ruthless rulers, Poincaré, Clemençeau, and Barthou. And she built a chain of armed states about her fallen enemy. From this pinnacle of power there was only one way to go.(2)
Most writers deal with the failure of the military. But the French journalist, Robert de Saint Jean, now in this country, believes that all was lost before Reynaud came in.(3) 'Wild Bill' Donovan, sent over by our Administration, in conjunction with E. A. Mowrer reported ( New York Times, Aug. 22, 1940), "The French infantry, repeatedly