Demoralize Nazis with tea

1940: Stephens Fothergill of London had a very British plan to defeat the Nazis:

"I would allow the German army to march into London, and instead of greeting them with machine guns, I would give them cups of tea. That would completely demoralize them."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Feb 15, 1940

     Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 28, 2020
     Category: Military | War | 1940s

One, he'd be unlucky if the Germans proved to be Ost-Friesen. They drink their tea almost as strong as English builders, and a lot stronger than the milquetoasts at the War Office. Did then, and still do to this day.

Two, at some point during the war the English tried to buy up the entire stock of tea, world-wide. Both for the morale of their own soldiers, and to knock the morale of other countries' soldiers, but mostly, frankly, to make a point and to win the ****-sizing contest they were playing with themselves alone. AIUI they succeeded, or very nearly so, as well.

Three, all that said: this trick can work, but only if you approach it the other way. If you try to wuss down your mortal enemy by giving him a cup of leaf water and pretending you're better than him because of that, he'll only look down on you as half a man. On the other hand, the English populace has more than endeared rather than rankled an agressive party (to be fair, usually an individual or small group, not an army) by serving them a good, proper, hot cup of tea as a sign of friendship rather than disdain. You can and probably will hate a man who has served tea at you, but you can't really do so to someone who's shared it with you.
Posted by Richard Bos on 10/28/20 at 12:30 PM
Don't forget to serve a good crumpet along with that.
Posted by KDP on 10/28/20 at 07:02 PM
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