Two articles: 'Conduct of the war' and 'Day raid on Danzig'



Two articles: 'Conduct of the war' and 'Day raid on Danzig'


First article: 'Conduct of the war, censure motion to proceed, double debate'. Covers parliamentary no confidence motion and prospective debate on loss of Libya and general conduct of the war. Some believe this is ill advised and offers account of counter motion tabled. Second article: 'Day raid on Danzig, U-boat yards bombed, 1700 miles through storms'. Account of several squadrons of Lancasters flying 1700 miles through thunderstorms and thick cloud to make daylight attack on Danzig. Mentions violent winds and includes sketch map.



Temporal Coverage




Two newspaper cuttings mounted on a scrap book page


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From Our Parliamentary Correspondent

Debates on the loss of Libya and the general conduct of the war will begin at the next sitting in both Houses of Parliament. The Commons debate will take place on the motion tabled by Sir John Wardlaw-Milne and other private members, which reads:-

That this House, while paying tribute to the heroism and endurance of the armed forces of the Crown in circumstances of exceptional difficulty, has no confidence in the central direction of the war.

For some time yesterday there was doubt whether the members concerned would persist with this motion. Some of them were in favour of withdrawing it. Those who took this view argued that it would be inexpedient to go on with it in view of the graver turn of events since the motion was tabled last week and the continuing battle for Egypt. They were conscious, too, of the general opposition in the House to the course adopted by those responsible for the “no confidence” motion.


Further proof of this was provided at the weekly meeting of the Conservative Private Members’ (1922) Committee. A statement issued after the meeting said that Sir John Wardlaw-Milne’s motion had been discussed, and that “there was an overwhelming expression of opinion that the motion was ill-advised and that it should not be supported.” In spite of all this Sir John Wardlaw-Milne and those associated with him decided not to withdraw their motion. This decision was taken after a long discussion at a meeting of the group at which speakers on their behalf were also selected.

Two more members yesterday added their names to the “no confidence” motion – this increases the number supporting it to 21. The newcomers were Sir Murdoch Macdonald (Ind., Inverness) and Sir Henry Morris-Jones (Ind., Flint), both of whom resigned recently from the Liberal National Parliamentary Party. The motion is now backed by seven Conservatives, seven Labour members, six Independents, and one Liberal.

The Parliamentary Labour Party also held another meeting yesterday to discuss further the suggestion that the party should table a motion asking for a full inquiry into the causes of the Libya defeat. It was decided not to table such a motion.


A new motion which was tabled last night was one in the names of Commander King-Hall and Mr. Owen Evans, declaring that “in view of the critical nature of the military situation in Egypt, it is not in the national interest to debate the conduct of the war until the present battle has reached a definite conclusion.” If the rules of the House permit, Commander King-Hall also wishes to make an appeal in public to Sir John Wardlaw-Milne, before the debate begins, not to proceed with his motion. In view of the decision taken at yesterday’s meeting any such attempt seems unlikely to succeed.

The Commons debate will go on for two days, and the Prime Minister will speak last, just before the division is taken. To give an opportunity to as many speakers as possible the sitting on the first day will be extended beyond the usual hour for the rising of the House. The debate will be opened by Sir John Wardlaw-Milne, and it is expected that Admiral Sir Roger Keyes will second the “no confidence” motion. The first speech for the Government will then be made by Mr. Oliver Lyttelton, Minister of Production, and he will be followed by Mr. Greenwood speaking for the Labour Party. Those supporting the “no confidence” motion hope that Mr. Clement Davies, Mr. Hore-Belisha, and Mr. Aneurin Bevan may also be called to speak for them in the course of the debate.

It seems certain that the Government will have a very big majority against the motion, but the House will not be satisfied unless it is assured that the most drastic action is being taken to investigate the causes of the Libya defeat and to remedy whatever defeats may have been revealed by these events. This applies both to the leadership and equipment of our forces in the field and to the arrangements for the supreme direction of the war. The Prime Minister’s speech at the end of the debate will be eagerly awaited, and the House will be much influenced by what he has to say.

The debate in the House of Lords will also occupy the whole of a second day. The first Government spokesman there will be Lord Cranborne, and the Lord Chancellor will reply to the debate.





From Our Aeronautical Correspondent

Several squadrons of Lancasters – the R.A.F.’s latest and fastest heavy bombers – flew 1,750 miles through violent thunderstorms and thick cloud to make a daring daylight attack on Danzig on Saturday evening. It was the longest daylight operational flight made by our bombers. A smaller force of Lancasters also bombed the Baltic port of Flensburg.

The Air Ministry report on the raid stated:-

In daylight on Saturday evening several squadrons of Lancaster bombers attacked the important submarine building yards at Danzig. The attack was made from well below cloud base, and the yards were heavily bombed.

At about the same time other bombers attacked the submarine building yards at Flensburg from a very low level. Bursts are reported on the slipways.

Three aircraft of Bomber Command are missing from these daylight operations.

During Saturday night our bombers laid mines in enemy waters. Two of our aircraft are missing.


On the outward journey conditions were difficult for the crews, some of which failed to locate their target. The great bombers were thrown about by violent winds, and had to force their way through thick thunder clouds and sudden storms. Several of our machines were hit by [italics] flak [/italics],


but the attack was pressed home. No German fighters appear to have been up, probably on account of the unfavourable conditions.

As in most of Bomber Command’s recent raids, the main targets were production centres of importance in the Battle of the Atlantic – U-boat and other shipbuilding yards – and the bursting of many heavy bombs in the target area was observed, while some of the crews reported big fires.

Danzig is the only submarine building centre which the enemy might reasonably have regarded as being outside the range of our bombers, and for that reason the dock and yard facilities have been further developed by the Germans.


“Two articles: 'Conduct of the war' and 'Day raid on Danzig',” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 30, 2024,

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