Traveler, writer, reviewer, all-round observer. I like anything cool & fast, but occasionally sit at a cafe watching the world go by.
In honor of WWII and the courageous vets of that time period, this is my reporting and take of the news, 75 years ago today…
February 11 & 12, 1940
As the world is engulfed in winter and in war, your roving reporter brings you the news as it happens to give you folks at home the stories of the day…
Despite the deep freeze blanketing over Europe, in a surprising move yesterday, following an artillery barrage that was heard 100 miles away, Russia overwhelmed Finland with over 120,000 troops, breaking through defenses at the Karelian Isthmus. Desperate to regain their land, the Finnish counter-attack failed to push back the Soviets. Today may be the beginning of the end for Finland as their troops withdraw to a second line of defense after several losses such as the Million Fort which was destroyed by explosive-laden sleds used by the Russians, killing everyone inside.
And stepping up their peace-treaty, Germany and Russia further their trade agreement in Berlin, exchanging Soviet raw materials, which includes food and oil, for German manufactured goods, including arms.
In the Atlantic, U-boat attacks increase as numerous innocent ships were either badly damaged or sunk, bringing many brave souls to Davy Jones’ Locker. Not standing idly by, English minesweeper HMS Gleaner sunk Germany’s U-33 while it was on a mine-laying operation in the Firth of Clyde, the largest and deepest English waters off the coast of Scotland. One of the captured German sailors from U-33 was carrying some of the rotors from the infamous Enigma machine. The parts were immediately sent to cryptologists in England in their effort to break Germany’s secret code.
In contrast to Germany’s newsreel from a few days ago celebrating their cowardly massacres in the Atlantic, British Movietone News released their newsreel today showing the hardships of the neutral merchant sailors.
Furthering their efforts to keep the oceans safe, British warships enforce their blockade of any German ships: The destroyer HMS Hasty captures the German blockade runner SS Morea off the coast of Portugal; the cruiser HMS Glasgow captures a trawler off the coast of Norway; and the cruiser HMS Dorsetshire stops the German freighter SS Wakama off the coast of Brazil. Although the German crew set fire to their own ship, all 46 were picked up by the cruiser.
In England, the government initiates paper-rationing with supplies cut by 40%. And following widespread complaints about the hardships of servicemen’s wives living in London, today they are given increased allowances. As though England doesn’t have enough on their minds, the IRA carried out a raid yesterday on a company store at the Initial Training Camp of the Royal Irish Fusiliers in Northern Ireland.
In Canada, well-known author and Governor-General Sir John Buchan, died in Montreal yesterday, at the age of 64, after surgery for head injuries caused by a stroke a few days ago. His suspense novel Thirty-Nine Steps lives on in the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film.
And one final news to report today, WOR broadcasts “The Adventures of Superman” this afternoon, featuring the comic strip hero. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, who is this mysterious super hero?
That’s it for now. Your Roving Reporter, Aki Solomos, signing off.