Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Undesirable Reporting

I've started following @ukwarcabinet on Twitter; it posts a short summary of Churchill's meetings with his ministers, in a kind of realtime format but sixty years ago. It works as a handy reminder that whatever mess you think you're in, there've been worse, and in living memory.
You can click through and download the full document from the archive, free and gratis. Halfway down this week in 1940 we find this note:

6. The Minister of Information said that he was investigating
the circumstances in which a false report had been allowed to appear
in some of the earlier editions of that morning's newspapers stating
that five divisions of troops were said to be massed on the French
beaches opposite the south-east coast, ready to embark for an
attempted invasion and that they had been bombed by the R.A.F.
It was agreed that it was very undesirable that rumours of this
kind should be published.

I love the understatement. Lots more like this available from the National Archives.

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