“Something Supernatural” – A Miracle from W.W. II


Something Supernatural – Confronted Invader Planes

It was a crucial moment in British history.

Deep in the underground operations room of the 11th Group Fighter Command on a Sunday morning in September, 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his military advisors sat watching the lights on the electrical battle charts.

Because of the demolitions during the previous retreat to Dunkirk the British were dangerously short of defense materials. In all of England there were only 500 eighteen-pound guns, many of them stripped from museums, with which they could repel an advancing army; and they were equally short of all other defense materials.

Intelligence reports from the continent clearly indicated invasion of England by the enemy was under preparation. As early as July, Hitler had ordered his Luftwaffe (the German air force) to begin shooting Royal Air Force planes out of the sky to make air defense of the British Isles ineffective, if not impossible. This had been a difficult job, because the Royal Air Force had fought furiously and had shot down 164 Nazi bombers that month with a loss of only 58 of their own aircraft. In August, despite insufficient sleep and rest the out-numbered British downed 662 Nazi bombers, while losing only 360 of their own.

Yet, even though the Royal Air Force continued to inflict heavy losses on the seemingly inexhaustible supply of enemy aircraft, the men watching those electrical charts in the underground operations room knew that the scores could change. They knew the capacity of the Nazi war-time factories had been increased to produce more modern planes and to produce them faster than the British could. England needed a miracle and needed it soon.

As Churchill watched on that momentous September Sunday, a sudden alert showed more than forty aircraft approaching from the French seaport, Dieppe; more than forty approaching from another direction; more than sixty from still another; and even more than eighty aircraft approaching in one unit. As each Nazi formation neared the English coast a British squadron would rise to meet it. Since there were only 25 squadrons assigned to the 11th Fighter Command defending southern England soon all of them were in the air.

Tension grew in the underground shelter. Air Vice-Marshall Keith R. Park requested reinforcements from Stanmore to the north, but they could spare only three squadrons.

“What other resources have we?” Churchill asked.

“None, Sir!” was the reply. The room was silent. “The odds were great, our margin small, the stakes infinite,” Churchill wrote later.

Then inexplicably, the discs on the wall chart began to move eastward. The great Nazi air flotilla had turned back. With 185 of their aircraft downed in flames, they were in retreat! Miraculously, against all logistical probability, the Royal Air Force had won the battle!

Just why Royal Air Force pilots continued to win against unbelievable odds may or may not be satisfactorily explained in the records of the Imperial General Staff. But British Intelligence officers received strange information from three different members of the Nazi armed forces. One was from a Nazi pilot captured after his crippled plane was downed in England.

“Why did your formation retreat when only two planes were attacking you?’ the intelligence officers asked the prisoner.

“Two!” exclaimed the pilot. “There were hundreds!”

After the prisoner had been dismissed, the British intelligence officers exchanged puzzled glances. They all but dismissed the strange reply until a Luftwaffe officer, captured later, asked them in perplexity, “Where did you get all the planes you threw into the battle over Britain?”

His British interrogators managed to mask their surprise. Actually, the powerful Nazi bomber force had been met by a mere handful of little outmoded Royal Air Force Spitfire and Hurricane fighters. There was no sky full of Royal Air Force planes! Only a few dog-tired pilots, making anywhere from their third to their seventh combat mission that day, had met his mighty bombers.

Perhaps visionary planes rode the skies in formation with the Royal Air Force and perhaps only the Nazis could see those planes that convinced them they were confronted by overwhelming numbers. It was the remarks of an imprisoned Nazi Intelligence officer captured still later that came nearest to disclosing the divine source of the plane-filled mirages which had confused the Luftwaffe pilots.

“With the striking of your Big Ben clock each evening at nine,” the Nazi told the British Intelligence officer, “you used a secret weapon which we did not understand. It was very powerful and we could find no countermeasure against it…”

He was right! There was a powerful force set in motion each evening as Big Ben struck nine. It was the powerful force of a nation in heartfelt prayer, against which no countermeasure could hope to prevail.., a nation in prayer to the omnipotent God of creation. Each evening as Big Ben in the clock tower of the Parliament Building struck nine, the people of the British Isles and of the far-flung English Commonwealth halted for the famous Silent Moment of Prayer.

Inspiration for this Silent Moment of Prayer had come from a prominent industrialist, W. Tudor Pole, as a result of a conversation years earlier with a soldier buddy in World War I. As Pole and his friend chatted in the mouth of a cave near Jerusalem on the eve of battle, a moment of silence fell; then Pole’s young companion turned to him and said, “I shall not come through this struggle. Like thousands of others, it shall be my destiny to go on now.

“You will survive. You will live to see a greater and more vital conflict fought on every continent, on every ocean, and in the sky.”

Pole’s friend continued with a plea for a spiritual response from all those who would fight in that future war. He stressed the power of silence and urged a moment of silence each day. Then he said, “When those tragic days arrive, do not forget us.”

The next day, as he had predicted, the young man was killed in battle. Pole was severely wounded and was captured, but managed to escape with an overwhelming sense of miraculous aid.

He never forgot his friend’s parting words. Years later, during that “greater, more vital conflict fought… on every ocean and in the sky,” after he had become a wealthy industrialist, Pole put his visionary friend’s suggestion into effect. He proposed the Silent Moment of Prayer. Through his influence this daily, prayerful observance was begun during the dark days of the miraculous evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940.

Did these prayers materialize into the hundreds of visionary planes which the defeated Nazi pilots thought they had seen? Were these prayers the “secret weapon” the Nazi Intelligence officer asked about? One can only note that the “secret weapon for which we could find no countermeasure,” operated “with the striking Big Ben at nine P.M.,”… The Silent Moment of Prayer!

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