The Second World War Miracles Part 3 and 4

The Second World War Miracles Part 3
The Miracle of Malta
General Sir William Dobbie, the hero of Malta, gives some personal insights into the real faith of many top
military authorities. Malta was under siege, and seemed unlikely to survive. General Dobbie wrote:
At about this time, I was greatly encouraged by a telegram I received from the Chief of the Imperial General
Staff, General Sir Edmond Ironside (later, Field Marshall). The telegram, which was addressed to me
personally, contained the reference Deuteronomy chapter 3, verse 22. I looked up the reference in my Bible,
and I read: ‘You shall not fear them, for the Lord your God, he shall fight for you.’ God certainly did so that the
outcome was popularly called ‘The Miracle of Malta’.
I bought General Dobbie’s book, A Very Present Help (Marshall, 1944), as soon as it was published because I
had met him two years earlier when he told the remarkable deliverance of Malta. The visit was reported at the
time in the Dorset Daily Echo as follows:
General Sir William Dobbie’s visit to Dorchester on Wednesday can be placed without qualification in the
category of memorable events. It brought about a unique mobilisation of religious leaders of the town,
sounded the highest notes of spirituality and left scores of Dorchester people feeling better for having met one
of the outstanding personalities of the war. He brought into the crowded hall some of the rock-like attributes
of Malta itself, and it would be true to say that the majority of the audience were more deeply moved by his
simple unaffected confession of faith, than by the story, even, of the Island’s defence, glorious as it was … In
addition to the dignitaries already named as present, our thanks are due to Mrs Victor Pearce for her solo, ‘I
know that my redeemer liveth’.
Four Days to Save HMS Illustrious
One of General Dobbie’s reports was on how the new aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious was saved: In January
1941, a convoy was brought to Malta. It was escorted by a considerable portion of the Mediterranean Fleet,
and in the escort was a new aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious, a magnificent and very valuable ship. The German
Luftwaffe had recently come to Sicily in considerable strength, in order to reduce our offensive activities at
Malta. They attacked the Illustrious. In spite of heavy losses by the Germans they pressed the attack and
obtained a number of hits causing severe damage. That evening after dark Illustrious limped into Malta and
made fast alongside the dockyard. When they saw that Illustrious was in the dockyard, the German air force
came over Malta and persisted relentlessly to bomb the ship. She received several more hits, and near misses
caused underwater damage. The situation was very serious, and the chances of saving the ship were very
small. However, the dockyard authorities said that if there was no further damage for four days it might be
possible to get the ship to sea.
General Dobbie bade many people in Malta to join him in prayer. The attacks started again the next day, but
strangely all the bombs missed! Why was that? It was the same for the next three days. They all missed!
Apparently, the Germans had changed tactics and bombed from a much greater height, and missed every
time, and Illustrious sailed out safely.
Other similar instances were described by General Dobbie, but a very significant statement was made
concerning difficulties in the terrible First World War, and about the delay for D-Day in the Second War. It
emphasises my remark that the nation did not turn out in the same way on the seventh Day of Prayer as they
did when Britain was in peril.
The Sinking of the Bismarck
The following extract appeared in the Daily Sketch on April 9th, 1946 concerning the testimony of the
importance of prayer by the Vice-Admiral of the Fleet, at the time of the sinking of the Bismarck on May 27th,

  1. When the Bismarck was hamstrung by our torpedoes in mid-Atlantic, Admiral of the Fleet Lord Tovey [then
    Vice-Admiral Sir John Tovey] knew he could bring her back into action next day at his convenience. ‘But
    although she was damaged, her guns and instruments were in perfect condition,’ he said. ‘Although I was
    going to bring her into action with the King George V and Rodney, if you had asked any informed person what
    the result would be, he would have said, “You’ll sink the Bismarck but one or both of your ships will be
    EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT. I took those ships in to attack the biggest battleship in the world,
    far bigger than my two … I closed in to 3,000 yards – and the Bismarck never scored a hit on either of my ships.
    I have no doubt of the explanation of it.’
    Lord Tovey told the story at the parish hall of the Church of the High Seas, St Dunstan’s, Stepney Green, where
    he handed over to the rector the flag he flew in the action.
    The capital letters above are as printed in the Daily Sketch. According to Everyman’s Encyclopaedia, 1978, ‘The
    action was a triumph of co-ordinated movement’.
    The Miracle of the Fog
    General Morgan referred to other miracles great or local which others reported. Here is one concerning a
    platoon in the American General Patton’s Third Army. It is from a soldier’s letter to his mother, who lived in
    Pleasantville, New Jersey. His name was Joel; he was six foot four inches and weighed 215 lb. Facing the enemy
    in Luxembourg, he braved everything they could fire at him and his platoon.
    He and the fifty men of his platoon were in real danger. They were working in observation lines, and in a few
  • One of my best friends, Tom, with his whole platoon were pinned down by mortar and artillery fire.
    They were given the order to move but they couldn’t because the enemy had full view of them from a
    hill and were zeroing their fire on them accurately. Tom is the most conscientious Christian boy I have
    ever met in the services. He knew something had to be done to save the fifty men. He crawled from
    his foxhole and looked things over. Seeing the hopelessness of the situation, he laid down behind a
    tree and prayed earnestly for God to help him. This is true mother . . . after he prayed a mist or fog
    rolled down between the two hills, and the whole platoon got out of their foxholes and escaped. They
    reorganized in a little town behind the lines where there was a church building. They all went in and
    knelt down to pray and thank the Lord, and then they asked Tom to take the service. This is true
    mother, and it just shows how much prayer can mean. If that was not an answer to prayer, I don’t
    know what is. You can bet Tom is respected by his buddies.
    The mother reported that both Joel and Tom had an experience with the Lord – that’s when they received his
    salvation and came to know him personally.
    The Second World War Miracles Part 4
    The Impact Of Public Prayer And Faith Of Leaders
    In the 1914-18 war the ding-dong struggle went on backwards and forwards. People have said, ‘It seems as
    though God was withholding success from us, yet keeping us from disaster.’ Until, that is, an official
    government move to authorise the National Day of Prayer. The churches were praying all the time of course,
    but God was waiting for a national commitment. It was not until July 1st, 1918, that a decision was taken by
    the Government to issue such a call. Immediately that decision was taken, a remarkable change came over the
    situation . . . there was a series of brilliant victories which led up to the Armistice.
    It might be asked, ‘Did Germany not have any official prayers?’
    The answer is that they did not. Moreover, Hitler contradicted Christ’s words. He said, ‘Jesus taught love your
    enemies as yourself and be kind to those who insult you. But I say, hate your enemies and destroy them. Let
    the German Master-Race dominate!’
    He was following the teaching of Nietzsche, the demented son of a Lutheran pastor, and none of Hitler’s youth
    movement was allowed to be a Christian.
    It was very different with Dobbie and with others like him. As the Dorset Daily Echo reported, ‘He made a
    confession of faith’ as they called it:
    At the age of fourteen years I came to know Jesus Christ, before that I only knew him in my head, but at halfterm holiday at Blackheath … I then and there accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour, on the grounds that he had
    settled my debt of sin once and for all, and that therefore I went free. Having taken that step, my first reaction
    was one of intense relief. The heavy burden was lifted for good and all. I could face the past, present and
    future with confidence.
    What is very significant was the eagerness of the commanders-in-chief of all the three military services that all
    ranks should possess and read The New Testament. At the back of that little khaki Testament each
    commander-in-chief of the Navy, Army and Air Force had added his signature to the words: ‘We commend the
    Gospel of Christ our Saviour to every member of His Majesty’s Forces.’
    One of many stories told tells of a dying soldier. He lay face down and under his hand lay an open khaki New
    Testament. His finger was stuck to the page and the print came off as they lifted him up. He was buried with
    these words to which he had been pointing, transferred to his finger:
    Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, although he were dead, yet shall he live.’
    Lt General Sir Frederick Morgan was head of the British and American Planning Staff that made plans for the
    invasion, that led to the surrender of Nazi Germany. He wrote two years after the surrender and end of
    hostilities. ‘Miracles happen still,’ he wrote. ‘How many of them have we not seen enacted before our eyes in
    these past few years?’ Then he lists a few and adds others:
  1. There was Dunkirk and its flat calm sea. Who planned that? We saw no way out barring a miracle.
    Then came the miracle.
  2. Two years later, the British and American military convoy was sailing in order to land in North Africa.
    All the enemy submarines were on the lookout. A breathtaking moment was when a U-boat caught
    sight of the tall ship of one convoy, the rest being obscured by a squall that seemed to be travelling
    with our ships and providing cover. The Nazi observer thought that what he saw was merely worthy
    of routine report.
  3. Then just as General Patton was due to land on the Casablanca beaches, open to the full Atlantic
    swell, just as it seemed inevitable that the whole affair must be called off, the wind changed from onshore to offshore and let the small craft in successfully. There was surely more than human planning
    here too!
  4. The history of other theatres of war tell many similar happenings, but I doubt if any will compare with
    the miracle of D-Day in 1944.
    He goes on to explain that had that been delayed, the enemy could have held up operations in time to perfect
    secret weapons which we now know were in the making. General Morgan ends by asking to whom do we owe
    these miracles?
    Prayer and the Angels
    What goes on behind the scenes concerning prayers in wartime and the angels? There are a number of
    passages in the Bible, which indicate that behind the earthly conflicts there exists a conflict between spiritual
    powers of good and evil, and earnest prayer can influence the outcome which becomes reflected on earth.
    The prophecies of Daniel reveal some of what goes on. The relationship between prayer and the angelic
    powers is partly revealed in that mystical chapter ten of the book of Daniel. Here it is in verse four:
    ‘Then one day early in April,’ Daniel says, ‘as I was standing by, before me stood a person robed in linen
    garments, with a belt of purest gold around his waist. His skin had a lustrous glow, and from his face came
    blinding flashes like lightning.’