Aki Solomos

Traveler, writer, reviewer, all-round observer. I like anything cool & fast, but occasionally sit at a cafe watching the world go by.

NEWS FLASH – March 17, 1940 – The Roving Reporter, Aki Solomos, Covering The News 75 Years Ago Today

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In honor of WWII and the courageous vets of the time, this is my reporting and take of the news, 75 years ago today

March 17, 1940

As trouble continues on land and sea throughout the world, your Roving Reporter brings you the news as it happens to give you folks at home the stories of the day…

‘More Woes For England’

James Isbister and one of the homes after being hit by attacking dive bombers.

James Isbister and one of the homes after being hit by attacking dive bombers.

The British government admitted today the vulnerabilities of England’s home fleet at their main naval base, Scapa Flow, northern Scotland. This comes after the first British civilian, James Isbister, age 27 and married with 1 child, was killed while helping others run for cover during a German air raid at the Scapa Flow naval base and nearby village Bridge of Waithe. 32 German Junkers dive-bombers attacked the area damaging several homes, killing 4 other civilians, and the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk, killing 6 crew members. 2 of the bombers were reportedly shot down by anti-aircraft and warship guns.

‘Merchant Casualties Continue’

Danish merchant Argentina. Photo courtesy of Danish Maritime Museum, Elsinore

Danish merchant Argentina.
Photo courtesy of Danish Maritime Museum, Elsinore

In the Bristol Channel, while sailing to Buenos Aires, Yugoslavian steamer Slava hit a German mine yesterday, killing 1 of the 34 crew members.

And the Danish merchant Argentina was torpedoed earlier today by German submarine U-38 east of the Shetland Islands, Scotland -all 33 of the crew were killed.

‘Troubles In South America’

Across the Atlantic, in South America, Panamanian President, Augusto Boyd, sent a formal protest yesterday to the King of England for violating the Pan-American Neutrality zone during the Wakama Incident that took place on February 12, when Britain’s heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire stopped the German freighter Wakama just 12 miles off the coast of Brazil, and its crew scuttled the vessel to prevent its capture.

German cruiser Graf Spree after being scuttled in Montevideo, Uruguay. Photo taken on 2 February 1940 by Ensign Richard D. Sampson, USN, for an intelligence report prepared by USS Helena.

German cruiser Graf Spree after being scuttled in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Photo taken on 2 February 1940 by Ensign Richard D. Sampson, USN, for an intelligence report prepared by USS Helena.

Meanwhile, the Argentine government deported the crew of the German heavy cruiser Admiral Graf Spree yesterday, and forbade them from wearing their uniforms. This is the same crew responsible for sinking 9 ships between September and December of last year. The Graf Spree was badly damaged during the Battle of the River Plate against 3 British cruisers on December 13, and later scuttled by its own crew upon false reports of an approaching superior British force while being repaired.

That’s it for now. Your Roving Reporter, Aki Solomos, signing off.

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