German Troops in Oslo – Going from Sitzkrieg to Blitzkrieg in less than a day.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: News for April 9, 1940
News for this day in April, 1940 was wall-to-wall bulletins regarding the German invasion of Norway and Denmark.
Starting in the early morning hours, news reports came filtering in via shortwave of “something going on at the Danish and Norwegian borders”. At first they were rumors. Unsubstantiated reports. Government spokesmen for the invaded countries awaken from their sleep by anxious reporters, being told office hours wouldn’t be open until 10 o’clock that morning. Even Radio Berlin, careful not to make any claims, eluded to some activity taking place in that region.
But as the hours passed, and the eyewitness accounts came filtering in, did the news finally emerge that yes, Norway and Denmark were now in the midst of a Blitzkrieg, that new word making the rounds at European Press offices, and the German Army was marching to Oslo and Copenhagen.
France and Britain scrambled to offer aid and conflicting reports were the order of the day.
There was other news that day, but it seemed to be overshadowed by the events going on in Europe. Commentators groped to analyze the quickly moving events, but one thing was clear – the War in Europe has just ratcheted up a few notches in the space of a few hours.
And that’s what went on this April 9th in 1940 as reported by the Blue Network of NBC Radio, Radio Berlin, the BBC and anyone else the frantic broadcast news rooms could dial in. News as it was breaking.
Loading German Prisoners after Commando Raid – It wasn’t much, but it was all everyone talked about.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: News for March 1, 1942
In a day where news of an estimated 100,000 Japanese troops landed on Java, word of continuing attacks on Port Moresby and one inch closer to a threatened invasion of Australia, the nighttime raid on France by British Commandos came as a morale boost for the British people. Taking the German army by surprise and taking prisoners before skipping back across the channel was just what everyone needed to hear, from London to Washington. It wasn’t a major invasion by any stretch and it didn’t do very much damage, but it was the notion that Britain struck back at a time when public sentiment was questioning how well the British government was waging the war finally struck a positive note to the average Briton on the street.
Coupled with news of daylight RAF raids over French munitions factories near Paris and some successful advances in Egypt, the sting of potentially devastating loses in the Pacific seemed somehow bearable.
But for this March 1st in 1942, the war was dragging on, as reported by the Blue Network of NBC via their News Of The World.
And there was no end in sight.
London in 1941 – Another morning after.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: News for February 12, 1941
This Lincoln’s Day in 1941 was loaded with news of the War. We were inching closer to declaring ourselves in it, but that eventuality would be several months off. For this February day it was about speculation over what Hitler was planning on doing and when was the invasion of England going to take place. As for talk of an invasion, it was no longer spoken about in “if” terms but “when” terms. Despite all that, plans were going ahead for the Shakespeare Festival at Stratford-Upon-Avon for the coming Spring, with Much Ado About Nothing as the opening play on April 12th.
German raids over England were continuing, and reciprocal raids were continuing over Germany by British Bombers. News from the Balkan region spoke of massed infiltration of Bulgaria by the German Army, with some 1,000 planes swarming the skies.
In the Mediterranean region however, reports came in of the British capture of Benghazi and a British raid on the Italian city of Genoa. And dismissed reports of Spain’s Generalissimo Franco meeting Italy’s Mussolini and discussing a purported British surrender proposal via Spain. Where there’s war there’s rumors.
Meanwhile, former Republican Presidential candidate Wendell Wilkie returned from his fact-finding mission to England and made his report to Congress. And contrary to German reports that Wilkie’s assessment was pessimistic, Wilkie recommended the U.S. commitment to the UK for delivery of Destroyers be upped from 5 to 10 per month.
And The Dies Committee, investigating Anti-American activities, won overwhelming support in receiving additional funding for the coming year.
And that’s how Lincoln’s Birthday went on this February 12th, 1941 as reported over The News Of The World from the NBC Blue Network.
Happy New Year somewhere.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: News for January 1, 1945
New Years Day in 1945 was pretty much “business as usual” during World War 2. Although the Allies were making substantial gains in their drive into Germany. The infamous Battle Of The Bulge that went on just before Christmas was now in the mopping up stages, with any gains the German Army made during that period of time now lost and regained by the Allies. And the war was continuing without let-up on all fronts.
But it was a general feeling that the war would be over sometime in 1945. At least it was hoped.
Here is the news for January 1, 1945 as reported on News Of The World over NBC.
Both sides downplaying the body count.
Clink on the link here for Audio player: News for August 8, 1941
News for August 8, 1941 focused on the War in East with reports of German advances 130 miles into The Ukraine. Depending on who gave the accounts, the casualties were staggering. Germany claimed 200,000 Russian losses with 130,000 prisoners. Other sources claimed the casualty figure was considerably higher and the prisoner rate was lower. News from Moscow was brief and only to say Russian bombers had successfully staged a raid over Berlin the previous night.
Reports from Istanbul, Turkey claimed German Secret Service agents were en route to Tehran to orchestrate a takeover of Iran and attempts to gain influence in the region had been stepped up.
News from London reported RAF bombers had attacked various industrial centers around Germany with considerable damage done to the Ruhr region.
From Washington came reports that, despite the Senate passing an extension on Draftee time to 2 years, it was expected to face stiff resistance in the House. Sources reported the bill may pass with only a five vote margin. Pet peeves by some Congressmen were being blamed for the lack of support and stiff opposition, with the full brunt of the anger to be directed at the proposed St. Lawrence Seaway bill uner consideration.
And that was a taste of life on planet Earth, this August 8th in 1941 as reported on News Of The World from the NBC Blue Network.