Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 6, No. 11 August 11, 1943
Signed With Their Honour
A "Gladiator" squadron in the Greek campaign and the marriage of a British officer to a Greek girl. That's all the plot there is to it, and for those seeking romance and heart-beats, look elsewhere. For this is a most realistic book. Short pithy sentences, full of meaning, pages of cryptic dialogue, and behind it, strong feeling. One can feel in turn defeatism, the dispiritedness of men without weapons, the crazy resistance of the Greek people, or the tenseness of an air-battle. The author has seen these things and he has an uncanny power of conveying their meaning to us. The outstanding thought, amidst the turmoil of ideas which form the book, is "Give us the weapons, we can do the rest." In the light of present events, that plea is Justified. If ever there was an army with the dice loaded against it, both by its own commanders and the technical superiority of the enemy, it was the B.E.F. in Greece. And when that army, after two years, has exchanged roles with the enemy, It behoves us to look back on those times, to recall our desperate position, and to be humble. There can hardly be a better book than this to convey the moral of that episode.
The Heroic Defence of Sebastopol
Sebastopol is smaller than Wellington. When the Nazis attacked the number of people there was less than half the population of our city. Like Singapore its guns faced the sea. Yet the Germans (who outnumbered the defenders five to one) left three hundred thousand killed and wounded when they marched into the city and gained a heap of ruins. Read this story written by the men and women who did it, after you finish your swot and before you crawl into your warm bed tomorrow night, and you will have found out why you can still go on swotting and crawling into your warm bed of nights.