Excerpt from Breaking Point, September 8th, 1940

by | Sep 8, 2020

 “Ignore him, Miss! What do you think’s going to happen?” the woman broke in, and Eleanor saw the other customers lean forward to hear her answer.

“It will go on. Hitler’s failed to beat the RAF, so he’s turned on London. He’s trying to break our will to fight. He thinks he’ll win if he bombs enough of us out of our homes and kills enough of us.”

“Screw him!” the woman spat.

“So he’ll keep bombing,” Eleanor continued. “It will take a week or two, but his losses will get higher and higher as the RAF shoots down more and more of his aircraft. Then he’ll have to bomb at night, under cover of darkness. When he stops bombing by day and bombs only by night, you’ll know he’s lost the war.”

“How will we know that?” the woman asked.

“Because it will mean he can’t stand up against the RAF by day, which will mean he can’t bomb the Royal Navy out of the Channel, which will mean he can’t invade, which will mean we’ll have a chance to rebuild the army; and one day, in a year or two or three, we’ll regain our strength and invade Germany and defeat him.”

“So, if we put up with this, we’ll win?”

Strictly speaking, Eleanor thought, according to minimax theory, if we put up with this, we won’t lose, but still …

“Yes, we’ll win.”

The woman paused to check Eleanor’s logic, just as Pound might have done.

“Well, then, let him do his worst,” she said. “In fact, if you’ll excuse my French, fuck Adolf Hitler, and fuck the Luftwaffe for good measure.”

Excerpt from Breaking Point, September 8th, 1940

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