Cover of book Morale
Categories: Fiction » Drama

excerpt from PART I: "... The profound influence of civilian morale upon the course of modern war is nowhere more clearly shown than in the case of that monstrous war-engine popularly known as a 'Wabb


ly.' It landed in New Jersey Aug. 16, 1942, and threw the whole Eastern Coast into a frenzy. In six hours the population of three States was in a panic. Industry was paralyzed. The military effect was comparable only to a huge modern army landed in our rear...." (Strategic Lessons of the War of 1941-43.-U. S. War College. Pp. 79-80.) Sergeant Walpole made his daily report at 2:15. He used a dinky telephone that should have been in a museum, and a rural Central put him on the Area Officer's tight beam. The Area Officer listened drearily as the Sergeant said in a military manner: It spouted a flash of bluish flame. "Sergeant Walpole, sir, Post Fourteen, reports that he has nothing of importance to report." The Wabbly, uncombatable engine of war, spreads unparalleled death and destruction-until Sergeant Walpole "strikes at the morale" of its crew. The Area Officer's acknowledgment was curt; embittered. For he was an energetic young man, and he loathed his job. He wanted to be in the west, where fighting of a highly unconventional nature was taking place daily. He did not enjoy this business of watching an unthreatened coast-line simply for the maintenance of civilian confidence and morale. He preferred fighting. Sergeant Walpole, though, exhaled a lungful of smoke at the telephone transmitter and waited. Presently the rural Central said: "All through?" "Sure, sweetie," said Sergeant Walpole. "How about the talkies tonight?" That was at 2:20 P. M. There was coy conversation, while the civilian telephone-service suffered. Then Sergeant Walpole went back to his post of duty with a date for the evening. He never kept that date, as it turned out. The rural Central was dead an hour after the first and only Wabbly landed, and as everybody knows, that happened at 2:45. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

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