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May 24, 2013

Secret Documents Reveal Winnie the Pooh Author A. A. Milne Was an Officer of MI7b During the Great War

That headline there?

That's a big fat lie.

Well, it's the truth, but it's misleading. I learned this from the media. MI7b was a propaganda-writing outfit, not a frontline espionage group.

This was actually revealed last month but it didn't attract much notice.

Secret documents saved from a skip have shed new light on Winnie the Pooh author AA Milne's clandestine role as a propagandist in the First World War.

All evidence of MI7b, the secret military intelligence unit where AA Milne was based, was feared lost - because government officials ordered the destruction of its entire archive.

But 150 classified documents were taken home by Captain James Lloyd and remained a secret for nearly 100 years, including a never-before seen satirical poem by Milne.

It imagines what famous great writers like Tennyson and Shakespeare would have written had they been propaganda writers in MI7b.

Milne became a pacifist after the war and the verse shows his struggle with the work he undertook.

It should be noted that although he became a pacifist, he modified his pacifism a bit to support, sorta, the war against the Nazis.

Incidentally, he had a great big feud with legendary Wooster & Jeeves writer P.G. Wodehouse. Part of this was due to Wodehouse's behavior during WWII -- he had not gotten out of France when the Nazis invaded and he and his wife were captured as... Prisoners of War? Civilians?

Anyway, the Nazis offered him a deal: Do 4 or 5 radio programs for us, and we'll let you and your wife depart back for England. Wodehouse took the deal. His programs were not pro-Nazi -- they actually poked fun at them -- but still, doing cute comedic radio programs for the Nazis just to save one's own skin did not go down well with Milne, who, despite his pacifism, was still pretty anti-Nazi.


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posted by Ace at 04:24 PM

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