The Second World War Miracles Part 3

Dr Victor Pearce
Dr Victor Pearce

'Arise, shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See darkness is on the land and deep darkness on the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.' We live in days when this scripture is beginning to be fulfilled. But the time of darkness and light together, will bring about a greater time of 'spiritual warfare' and will necessitate a deeper call to prayer. To help us get a sense of the power of prayer and the revealing of God during warfare we need look no further than WWI and WWII. These were extraordinary days in our nation to live through. Dr Victor Pearce (now 94) lived in both wars and chronicled the amazing stories of the revealing of the power of prayer and the intervention of the Lord during warfare. This is the fifth in a series of articles revealing these stories. I think you will be moved and inspired, and I pray the Spirit of God will speak into your spirit through what you read - Jonathan Bellamy, Cross Rhythms CEO.

The Miracle of Malta

Figure 7.12. Statement of faith in Christ and the Bible by
leaders of the armed forces in WW2. Source: Church of England
Newspaper, 1945.
Figure 7.12. Statement of faith in Christ and the Bible by leaders of the armed forces in WW2. Source: Church of England Newspaper, 1945.

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

Figure 7.13. Tips on how to pray during WW2. Source: Daily
Express, 1940.
Figure 7.13. Tips on how to pray during WW2. Source: Daily Express, 1940.

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, 1941.

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 mauled."

'THAT EVENING I WENT DOWN TO MY CABIN AND SAID A PRAYER ON MY KNEES. WHEN I HAD SAID IT I KNEW 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.'