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 the time, this is my reporting and take of the news, 75 years ago today April 7, 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… ‘European Politics’ With the British newspapers having reported the concentration of troops at the German ports on April 4th, one can only speculate the Nazis are preparing to invade the Scandinavian countries of Norway or Sweden.
On that same day, while the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain proclaimed to the Conservative Party meeting in London that “Hitler missed the bus” by not taking advantage of their military might over Britain back in September of 1938, Winston Churchill traveled to Paris to sway the French government to mine the waters in Norway and the Rhine River. Unable to convince the French, and anticipating the Germans to invade the area, the next day the British navy began mining the Norwegian waters alone. Also unconvinced of Germany’s capabilities, Chamberlain announced that any attempt by the Germans to invade Western Europe would fail. Today he faced heavy criticism during a debate over Norway. Meanwhile, pleading with Norway to end their neutrality, both Britain and France sent a warning message about the possibility of a German invasion. The message declared their right to interfere through countermeasures such as their own invasion in order to prevent Hitler from gaining control, leaving country to face two fronts. ‘Turbulent Waters’ With the news of heavy activity at the German ports a few days ago, one of Britain’s submarines, the HMS Spearfish, was seen departing the port of Blyth on April 5th, possibly in search of any invading German ships in Denmark or Norway.
Just a day later, stepping up the patrols, three more British submarines, HMS Seal, Truant, and Tarpon, departed the port of Rosyth to join the search of any invading ships near the Norwegian and German coasts. And earlier this afternoon, an RAF Lockheed Hudson recon aircraft from the 220 Squadron reported seeing 7 German warships, consisting of a cruiser and 6 destroyers, heading north from Germany. 2 dozen Wellington and 12 Blenheim bombers were then scrambled to attack the warships and prevent any intention they may have, but reports came later of their failure. And while more British warships, such as HMS Seawolf, Thistle, Clyde, and Shark, departed today to join the patrols off the European coast, the British Home Fleet was seen departing Scapa Flow this evening, possibly headed toward the waters off Norway.
‘Victims at Sea’
Sailing up the river Thames, the first captured German merchant ship, the Uhenfels, was out on display to the cheers of the crowd. Meanwhile, surviving the dangerous 6 day journey across the North Sea, the Norwegian passenger ship Mira made it to their home port on April 4th with little or no injury to any of its 107 passengers and crew despite several attacks by the German air force. The Norwegian steamer Navarra didn’t have the same luck or fortune when they were torpedoed and sunk by German submarine off the coast of Scotland early yesterday morning. 14 of its crew of 26 were rescued by another Norwegian steamer, the Atlas.
‘U-1 Sinks!’ The first German U-boat, the U-1, was lost at sea yesterday. After a 5-year career, having been launched in 1935 and not one crew lost up until her final fate, her last transmission was a brief message reporting their position in the North Sea. With the Royal Navy secretly mining the area, unknown to the Germans, one can only speculate what may have happened to the submarine and its crew of 24. ‘Russian Ruthlessness and U.S. Neutrality’ U.S. Congress scaled back military spending by 10 percent a few days ago on April 3rd, and denied funding the Army Air force for heavy bombers. Meanwhile in Russia, also on April 3rd, after the Soviet’s secret police chief’s proposal to execute all Polish Officers over a month ago in an effort to avoid any uprising, Russia began massacring 20,000 Polish officers in the Katyn Forest. One can only hope the attention of this atrocity comes to light and justice is done after the war. That’s it for now. Your Roving Reporter, Aki Solomos, signing off.