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Well, the first thing one is compelled to notice in this article (Neylam Plan 1939) in the 1939 Times is that the headline spelling of the subject’s name is different from that in the body of the article. The spelling in the body is correct. Now if the reporter cannot get the guy’s name right, what else did he get wrong? The article took a few sentences of the report out of context, so it was not actually representative of the entire plan. Neylan’s reputation was such at the time, though, that one can understand if the reporter sis not spend a lot of time with “Blackjack Neylan”.
As for whether or not the plan would have worked, not very likely. It would have cost five billion dollars and possibly averted war for a while, but the war was over more than just money or territory. In fact, Adolph Hitler was already in power in Germany at that time, so giving Germany money would only have helped to finance his world plan. It might have helped to distribute this money much earlier after the rather less than stellar Treaty of Versailles, but the US did not want to finance the rebuilding of Europe. The was debts to the US companies did present a definite burden to England, France and Germany, but they were not forgiven, even though England and France forgave Germany’s debts.. Germany had lost manufacturing and mining territories returned to France. France was still economically devastated by the war. The US had pulled back into isolationism and left Europe to stew.
Of course more countries were involved in the war than just those to whom this plan would have given money: Russia, China, Japan and all the Soviet Block countries. The cost of WWII was, indeed, huge at over a trillion dollars in just property, but this does not include the eventual profits made from this war also. Wars are generally profitable for the victors. The US would have had to give away considerably more to more countries than this plan provided. In addition, the great depression was looming on the horizon, brought on by mismanagement and banking problems. The American public would never have accepted such a plan at that juncture.
The last point against this plan is just one learned by experience. Money is simply not the solution to many problems. The various countries involved failed in one way or another in meeting after meeting to avoid the war. Churchill tried appeasement and virtually gave away whole countries to Germany. War might have been avoided if something had been done immediately following the end of WWI, but after ten years passed, we were on the course for war eventually. This plan could not have prevented it, but would only have changed its character.
Critique of Article on No Casualty Lists
The 1942 article in The Times entitled No Casualty Lists was biased and sensational. The article listed a few real unfortunate problems with misreporting deaths which had not occurred to families. However, the families concerned would rather have been notified in private than f=to see it on the news. In addition, the claim that reporting deaths in the press would compromise the safety of the troops still out there was perfectly valid.
There is no indication in the article that any of the mistakes they listed could have been avoided by allowing the press to publish casualties. The young man in Hawaii was probably not located until after the notice was sent. The other fellows who were reported as dead to their families were also not necessarily easily found, and a body resembling someone who was missing could have been misidentified if the persons dog tags were gone. Many times a member of platoon who feel would be missing the dog tags, because his buddies took them as they moved on in order to report the death. If they were not back in safe territory before the report was made, the wrong assumption could be made.
Yes, it is sad that some people suffered undue grief from mistaken reports of the deaths of their loved ones. However, imagine the powerful joy when they found it was a mistake. Few people have that experience, and I doubt any of those who did were anxious to punish the service for being wrong.
The truth is that newspapers make money from news, so they want to publish all the news they can. That would motivate an enterprising reporter to write this misleading piece of propaganda. It is not necessary for the casualty lists to be made public and it would be cruel to have families find out from the new. In addition, publishing the lists will not make them any more accurate. The reporter was promoting his cause using flawed logic.
Critique of Recruitment in #s
This article is a good example of poorly written filler. It is difficult in reading this article to actually understand what the problem is, and what the numbers are. It seems that the writer of this article was doing the very same thing he accused the defense department of doing. He was trying to give the impression that recruitment was going to badly and that the services would be possibly drafting women. He did not say it straight out, but placed the little bit about women doing many jobs as well as men strategically so it would be misread.
The article began with real numbers, then continued to talk about projected numbers. Finally the writer turned once again to real numbers, but only after a great deal of innuendo about numbers being down. In fact, recruitment of volunteer soldiers was way up after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The article also suffers from poor organization, giving more numbers at the end but not directly connecting them to the previous figures. The article probably took this slant in order to promote enlistment, but it seems that this could have been achieved with a well written and factual article just as well.
The article was likely written by some poor junior reported who was handed a list of numbers and did what he could with them. The lack of organization, the oddly coarse rhetoric (calling draftees “fish or “plunking” defense workers back on to the draft list) The organization made the content difficult to understand and the little bit in the middle about using women was there merely to get attention.
Neylam plan, 1939, NY Times on line, Web.
No casualty list , 1942, NY Times on line, Web.
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Recruitment in #’s, 1942, NY Times on line, Web.