June 3rd 1940
Monday June 3rd
The “Great Deliverance”*, the incredible feat of arms which no one dared to hope possible, is nearly over. And, with the help of God, four fifths of our army, which seemed doomed, has been brought off, and more are still being rescued. The Germans have expended enormous amounts of war materials, planes and men to annihilate the BEF** - and failed.
A mood of tranquillity and optimism, which came over me this afternoon, gave place all too soon to weariness and war-fret. One lives a lifetime of opposite moods in a day. But what tears at one’s nerves is the endless continuity of it, more and more killing, day after day.
There are times when I feel endlessly old, and worn out, and others when I feel hopelessly young, and completely unable to combat life, or to hope for any future. I know somehow, despite the frantic entry of May 15th, that we shall win in the end, but my spirit quails at the task of building up again what has been broken down. It took twenty two years to arrive even in this country at anything like normality after the last war. When things have settled down again I shall be old?
1000 bombs have been dropped on Paris. The motive was pure spite for the planes were so high that they could not possibly see whether they were bombing military objectives or not.
I seem to have said fairly frequently in the course of this diary that comment is useless. It is useless really. One finds oneself recording huge disasters in almost time-table terms, as though nothing mattered, simply because there are really no words that can adequately express one’s feelings.
One’s mind will not grasp the idea of Paris – Paris, one of the loveliest cities in the whole world being bombed. Nor can one imagine any human creature that could contemplate such an act.
* The evacuation of Dunkirk: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunkirk_evacuation
** British Expeditionary Force: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Expeditionary_Force_(World_War_II)