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 – May 10, 1940 – The Roving Reporter, Aki Solomos, Covering The News 75 Years Ago Today

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May 10, 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…

‘Neville Chamberlain Resigns, Churchill Is Now The Prime Minister’

4005-Neville-Chamberlain

Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain

In London this morning, despite having won the call for a vote of no confidence and news this morning of Germany’s invasion into western Europe, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain decided to resign his position.

This comes after many in government as well as the public have lost faith in his ability to lead during the time of war.  After discussing the matter with others in government as well as the King himself, at 6pm local time, the role of Prime Minister now falls onto the hands of Winston Churchill.

During the Norway Debate, Churchill finished his speech by stating, “Let pre-war feuds die.  Let personal quarrels be forgotten, and let us keep our hatreds for the common enemy.  Let party interest be ignored.  Let all our energies be harnessed.  Let the whole ability and forces of the nation be hurled into the struggle.  And let all the strong horses be pulling on the collar.”

Germany Invades Western Europe

German forces crossing through the Ardennes Forest 1940

German forces crossing through the Ardennes Forest 1940

The main German army crossed the Belgium, Holland, and Luxemburg borders, pushing their war machine westward first thing this morning.

Belgium’s fears came to realization at 3:30am when German troops landed over key defensive positions over their country as well in Holland.  At 5:30 this morning, the Belgium Fort of Eben Emael (the main defense for the city of Liege) was taken by German airborne troopers with the use of glider planes and parachutes, pinning down 700 of its defenders.

Both France and Britain immediately responded by enacting the Dyle Plan -moving their troops forward to create a defensive position at the Dyle River in Belgium.  While taking up positions to defend against Hitler’s forces, Belgium troops fired upon them mistaking them for Germans.

German forces entering Belgium 1940

German forces entering Belgium 1940

German airborne troops also parachuted over Rotterdam, Moerdijk, Dordrecht, and The Hague in the Netherlands, quickly taking over key bridges and airfields.  While attempting to capture the Dutch political leaders, Dutch fighters shot down 18 German transport planes, foiling their plan.

During the attacks, taking away the ability to counter-attack and help defend their allies, the German Luftwaffe destroyed several French aircraft still on the ground in France.  Meanwhile in Luxembourg, the royal family narrowly escaped the invaders by managing to evacuate south, away from Hitler’s reach.

Before the dire hour of these attacks, Hitler gave his orders with the following speech,  “The hour has come for the decisive battle for the future of the German nation. For three hundred years the rulers of England and France have made it their aim to prevent any real consolidation of Europe and above all to keep Germany weak and helpless. With this your hour has come. The fight which begins today will decide the destiny of the German people for a thousand years. Now do your duty!”

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

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