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 – April 1-3, 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

April 3, 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…

‘Stepping Up The Defenses’

Vice Admiral Max Horton -photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

Vice Admiral Max Horton
-photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

In England, German air raids continue at Scapa Flow, Scotland, where the main Royal Navy is based. During the attack, the lighthouse at Stroma Island and Duncansby Head were damaged. Anticipating a German attack from the sea though, British Royal Navy Vice Admiral Horton, who’s in charge of submarine operations in Britain, stepped up the defenses by sending out 12 submarines to patrol the North Sea on the 1st of April. The submarines included British, Polish, and French.
And while the British government did advise Sweden and Norway of their plan to mine their waters, in an effort to prevent any Nazi intrusion, warships from Scapa Flow departed in the early evening yesterday to begin their operation.
Meanwhile in France, the government authorized the construction 53 warships in all. This includes battleships, aircraft carriers, destroyers, and submarines. It’s an obvious indication of scrambling to prepare for war while revamping their military.

The Earl of Athlone, Governor General of Canada speaking with a munitions plant workman in Montréal. -photo courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

The Earl of Athlone, Governor General of Canada speaking with a munitions plant workman in Montréal.
-photo courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

‘Nazis On The Move’
As Canada’s Earl of Athlone being the newly appointed Government-General, and England’s First Lord of Admiralty Mr. Winston Churchill acquires more responsibilities by becoming the Service Minister’s new committee leader as well as Chairman of the Military Coordinating Committee, German warships and supply ships set sail today.
Expecting a move such as this, the Norwegian Ambassador in Berlin warned Denmark, Norway, as well as the British Intelligence yesterday of a possible German invasion, and the RAF were sent out on a mission yesterday to attack the German shipping in the northern coastal town of Wilhelmshaven.

A Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1 of No. 19 Squadron RAF being re-armed between sorties at Fowlmere, near Duxford, September 1940. -Image courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.

A Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1 being re-armed between sorties -Image courtesy of the Imperial War Museum.

A downed HE111 in Norway 1940.

A downed HE111 in Norway 1940.

‘RAF Shows Might’
After shooting down an HE 111 bomber, Lt. Ryder of the 41st RAF Squadron ditched his damaged Spitfire in the waters off Redcar, becoming the first RAF pilot to be shot down while defending the skies over England today. Both Ryder and the Heinkel bomber crew were safely picked up.

Meanwhile in the skies over Norway, while on patrol over the waters, a lumbering British Short Sunderland flying boat shot down a German Ju-88, forced another to land, and drove off the remaining 4 attackers. An amazing feat to have seen, I’m sure!

A Short Sunderland Mk II flying boat on reconnaissance and anti-U-boat patrol. -Image courtesy of the Air Ministry Second World War Official Collection.

A Short Sunderland Mk II flying boat on recon and anti-U-boat patrol.
-Image courtesy of the Air Ministry Second World War Official Collection.

A formation of Junkers Ju-88.

A formation of Junkers Ju-88.

1940 U.S. Census Poster

1940 U.S. Census Poster

‘America Shows Growth’
The 1940 Census of the population came out on April 1st. With a stated population of 131,669,000, that’s a 7.2% increase since 1930.
And unknown if it was an April fool’s joke, Time Magazine pictured Nazi Military leader Hermann Goering on its cover claiming that they do not support his policies, but have done so because of his relevance to current world events. Tomorrow, Goering plans to give a speech to the German nation on the air waves. The contents of the speech is unknown at the moment, but one can only guess what he might say.

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Hermann Goering on the cover of Time Magazine April 1, 1940

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

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