London Gets "All Clear" on Hitler's Birthday

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London Gets "All Clear" on Hitler's Birthday

Post by Globalization41 » 02 Apr 2004 10:33

Berlin, By Telephone to The New York
Sunday, April 20, 1941: Official
German quarters today said that last night
[Saturday] the German Air Fleet carried out
an attack on the British Isles in which more
explosive and incendiary bombs were
dropped on London than ever before.
... The
Germans reported that large fires were
caused in the bend of the Thames, in the
Millwell Docks, and in the Greenwich section
of the city. ... The London attack, it was said
here, was in retaliation for the raid by the
British Royal Air Force on Berlin over Friday
night -- a raid that is declared here to have
been directed against Berlin residential

London, Special Cable to The New York
By James MacDonald, Monday, April
[Late Sunday, U.S. time] Britain enjoyed a
refreshing rest from German air raiders early
today, following the fierce battering of London
and other points over Saturday night. ...
Londoners heard the air raid sirens long after
dinner hour [Sunday] and mindful that it was
Adolf Hitler's birthday, braced themselves for
a bombing celebration on the part of the Nazi
Air Fleet. They got a surprise when, after a
few minutes of complete silence, they heard
the long high note of the "all clear" signal. ...
The Nazi fliers seemed to content themselves
with purely reconnaissance work, in which
they undoubtedly studied weather conditions.
... Although Saturday night's raids were not as
intensive as those of Wednesday night, they
again caused heavy casualties. ... Waves of
low-flying German planes came over at
irregular intervals until just before dawn
Sunday. ... Four hospitals, two churches, two
museums, a town hall, a grammar school, and
many houses were blasted when the rain of
high explosives and incendiaries
came down.
... Lone raiders attacked two points in
Northeast Scotland during daylight [Sunday]
causing some casualties and damaging
houses. The Southeast coast of Kent was
raided by a Nazi formation during the day but
no loss was reported there.

Berlin, Associated Press, The New York
Sunday, April 20, 1941: The war in
Greece was described in German dispatches
tonight as a hot chase across the plains of
Thessaly, south of Larissa, with the British and
Greeks in full retreat.
... According to military
reports, the Greek Army was falling to pieces
while the British were trying in greatest haste
to reach ports. ... Several reports told of
Greek surrenders in company and regimental
units. ... Authorized sources said an Allied
merchantman of 8,000 tons was sunk by air
bombing in Greek waters
yesterday and that
two other vessels, presumably transports,
aggregating 13,000 tons were damaged
heavily. ... The German air force downed five
Bristol-Blenheim bombers today over Greece,
D.N.B. said. The Agency said four Hurricanes
were shot down over Libya
yesterday. An
armed freighter was left a probable loss off the
English coast after a bomb attack, the agency

Athens, United Press, The New York
Sunday, April 20, 1941: King George II
tonight proclaimed himself the leader of a new
military dictatorship and called upon the Greek
Army and people, in their darkest hour of
to "continue the fight until the end." ...
Greece refuses to capitulate to the German
war machine, the King announced, and will
fight for her honor and independence. ... The
new government, with the 51-year-old
monarch serving as Premier and containing
three generals and an admiral was sworn in at
5:15 P.M. today, before the Archbishop of
Athens as air-raid sirens shrieked a warning
of approaching enemy planes. ... King George
assured his people in a radio broadcast that
the new government would be "only
temporary" and was set up 48 hours after the
suicide of Premier Alexander Korizis, who
killed himself in despair over the tragedy of his
country. ... King George's broadcast said that
after the sudden death of Premier Korizis,
"who gave all his strength to the great struggle
forced upon our nation by two powerful
empires," he had decided to take personal
charge of "the destinies of the new cabinet for
the time being." ... "The new government," he
said, "has been formed and we appeal to the
Greek people, to all those who are fighting at
the front, and to all those who are contributing
to the war effort behind the lines to stand
united and steadfast and to carry on the fight
for the country's honor and independence. We
must defend the nation to the very end. This
duty is imposed on us by the high traditions of
our history, the reverence due to our brave
dead, and in guarding the rights we have
acquired by our victories and sacrifice. We
therefore call upon all you Hellenes to stand
calm, determined, united, and disciplined in
the unflinching performance of our duty to the
country. May God save Greece."

Chungking, China, Wireless to The New
York Times,
By F. Tillman Durdin, Sunday,
April 20, 1941:
Press and official comments
yesterday showed that Chinese resentment
over the Soviet- Japanese neutrality pact had
abated somewhat. The Ta Kung Pao, leading
daily newspaper in "Free China," commented:
"The Soviets have officially explained that the
treaty has nothing to do with China. Russian
policy is unchanged. We are dissatisfied with
the Soviet-Japanese declaration regarding
Manchuria and Outer Mongolia, but direct
relations of China and Russia are unchanged
and trade with the Northwest is still fully carried
on. Russia's policy is to do everything possible
to avoid being involved in war so as to have
time to strengthen her defenses.
It is very
conspicuous that conditions in Europe have
compelled Russia to take precautions on her
western boundary."

Berne, Switzerland, By Telephone to The
New York Times,
Sunday, April 20, 1941:
Forty thousand spectators crammed the
stadium here and thousands of others listened
to radio descriptions this afternoon as an
all-star Swiss eleven defeated the German
national team 2-1 at Association football in a
thrilling, clean game. There were no incidents.
The game was umpired by an Italian. ... A
military band played the German national
anthem while some 6,000 German spectators
sang. The German team gave the Hitler salute
while Swiss spectators stood respectfully
silent. The band then blared forth the Swiss
"Ruft du Mein Vaterland," and 34,000 throats
lustily rendered the words.

Chungking, China, United Press, The New
York Times,
Monday, April 21, 1941: [Late
Sunday, U.S. time] A Chinese communique
said today that 2,000 Japanese troops who
landed on the Fukien, west at the Min River
estuary, were advancing toward Foochow. It
said another detachment captured Chinhai
and Haimen Sunday, then advanced
westward 15 miles from Haimen and captured

Santa Cruz, Tenerife, United Press, The
New York Times,
Sunday, April 20, 1941:
The torpedoing of the 4,671-ton British
steamer Harpathian was revealed today when
the Spanish mine layer Marta arrived with 21
survivors. They said the ship was destroyed on
April 8 in an attack northeast of the Canary
Islands. [Tenerife is located within the Canary
Islands, more than a hundred miles off the
northwest Africa coast, west of Morocco's
most southwest point.]

Berlin, By Telephone to The New York
By C. Brooks Peters, Sunday, April
20, 1941:
Although today's communique of the
German High Command makes no specific
reference to the extent of the German advance
on the enemy lines in Greece, there are
reasons to believe that the advance is making
rapid progress. ... The official news agency's
description of the celebration of Reichsfuehrer
Hitler's birthday at his field headquarters
midnight declares the military reports
continuously arriving there indicate that the
definitive collapse of the Anglo-Greek front
was imminent and that "a new military
catastrophe for the British" was probable. ... In
his speech of congratulation at the celebration,
General Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel, as
Chief of the High Command, declared the
Reich's forces were about to drive the British
from the European Continent.
... The High
Command's communique, however, declares
merely that the German forces are closely
pressing the combined Anglo-Greek forces,
which have been thrown from their positions in
the plains of Thessaly. ... West of the Pindus
Mountains, the Allied forces are said to be
retreating before the advance of the Italian
troops and to be giving signs of dissolution. ...
East of the Pindus Mountains, the
communique adds, without mentioning
specific locations, numerous Greek soldiers
and units of the Greek forces have
to the advancing Germans.
... Informed quarters that have been
consistently correct in elucidating the facts
behind the reticent High Command
communiques describing the progress of the
German forces suggest that the British are in
a general and continuing retreat,
which in
some sectors has assumed the form of a
flight. ... On the plains of Thessaly, which have
been the scene of so many titanic struggles,
the German forces appear to be in a wide and
rapid advance. The most important avenue of
retreat, the main highway running from Larissa
southward to Lamia, is reported by the official
news agency to be jammed with retreating
motorized and marching columns.
... What is
happening along this major line of retreat is
indicated by reports of German soldier-
correspondents. They suggest that German
dive bombers
and pursuit planes are
subjecting the retreating forces to an inferno of
explosive bombs and machine-gun and small-
caliber cannon fire, which inflicts terrible
losses on fleeing units and further jams the
already cluttered single major roadway. ...
German motorized units, led by tanks,
occupied Larissa, yesterday morning. They
have since advanced considerable distances
beyond that city, as well as beyond Trikkala,
according to reports here, none of which gives
specific names of points all ready reached. ...
[The German motorized and tank units']
advance, judging from stories of front-line
correspondents that will be published here
tomorrow, was made possible chiefly by the
air force. These reports indicate that, more
than in any of the previous campaigns, the air
force was called on to supply the rapidly
advancing motorized units
with food and
munitions. In the mountains of Yugoslavia and
Northern Greece, it is said, in addition to
providing reconnaissance reports that were
invaluable to strategic decisions of the High
Command, the German planes were able to
replenish the food and munitions supplies of
motorized units operating far beyond the
German lines,
harass the retreating columns,
and throw the allied forces generally into a
state of such confusion that the advance of the
German ground forces was greatly simplified.
... The line of the [Allied] retreat is reported
here to be an avenue of destruction, with
abandoned tanks wrecked by fire, destroyed
trucks and automobiles, and indication of
general destruction suggestive of Dunkerque.
[On May 10, 1940, the Germans staged a
diversionary attack through the Netherlands
and Belgium against the Allies in northern
France. The Allies fell back to Dunkerque
and, from May 27 to June 4, evacuated
227,000 British troops and 113,000 French
troops across the Channel to England.
The Germans then unleashed their main
forces, launching massive offensives on
June 5 (Army Group "B" fanning out north
of Paris) and June 9 (Army Group "A"
thrusting south of Paris). Shortly, on June 25,
1940, France folded, surrendering over a
million troops.]
... Further south [in Greece]
much of this damage was caused by German
planes flying some ten yards above the
columns and letting loose on them cannons,
small bombs, and machine-gun fire. ... That
the Germans are trying to prepare a second
Dunkerque for the British forces is indicated
by the reports of repeated air attacks on
British vessels in Greek harbors. Those
attacks appear to have been concentrated on
the harbors of Volos and Chalcis, where the
Germans declare vessels are waiting to
evacuate the British forces. ... Even the
British, it is said here, recognize the
seriousness of their military position in
They are already preparing the
British public in advance for another
Dunkerque, German quarters add. ... The
Greek forces in the southern theatre of war
have been badly shaken by the fury of the
German advance, it is said in semi-official
Berlin quarters. Large units of the Greek Army
are already in dissolution, the Germans add,
and the possibility of a unified Greek military
command to continue to function has been
made extremely difficult by the Axis advance.
... In Northern Yugoslavia, the Germans assert,
of the prisoners taken, 244,000 men and
1,500 officers have been "counted." The men
may be expected to join the bulk of the
prisoners of war now working on various
projects in Germany
under the terms of the
Hague Convention with respect to the
treatment of war prisoners, it was announced

Rome, By Telephone to The New York
April 20, 1941: [Excerpts of Pope
Pius XII's Sunday morning address follow.]

Virtues of humility and charity do not diminish
love of country or lessen valor or prevent the
citizen, who in a truly just war struggles for the
defense, the honor, and the well-being of his
country, from fighting with full strength against
an adversary armed to overcome him. But
beneficent charity is not fostered by
wickedness, not even on battlefields. ... It
[charity and humility] forbids those who fight
to become savage against the innocent
or to
punish the guilty beyond the limits of justice.

The International Situation, The New York
April 20: Berlin announced that Nazi
armored divisions had broken through the
mountain passes of Northern Greece and
were now on the plains of Thessaly, pursuing
British and Greek forces southward. One
German column occupied Trikkala,
important rail town, as other advance Nazi
troops spread out over the plains while
overhead the air force bombed and harassed
the Allies in their retreat. German sources
said Greek troops were beginning to disband
and they charged that the British forces were
heading hurriedly for embarkation ports. ...
Reichsfuehrer Hitler celebrated his 52nd
birthday with a simple ceremony in his railway
somewhere in the Balkans, surrounded by
his military and navy chiefs, and he followed,
by means of maps and a constant stream of
reports, the progress of his armies as they
swept forward in Greece. ... The advance of
the Italian forces to the Albanian-Greek
whence they had been driven by the
Greeks last Autumn, was announced in a
communique of the Italian High Command,
which said that the Italian 11th and 9th Armies
had overcome "tenacious resistance of strong
Greek rear-guards."
Stiff fighting at the border
town of Perat was reported. ... The Allies were
falling back in Greece, Athens acknowledge.
But as the British evacuated their positions
and as the Greeks fell back to keep the front
intact, the Allies reported they were inflicting
tremendous losses on the invaders. ... King
George II
of Greece formed a military
government, which he announced will be "only
temporary." The Greek monarch called on the
Greek Army to "continue the fight until the
end." ... There were indications that Rumania
might soon embark on a program to regain
some of the territories taken from her during
the past year. Bitter anti-Hungarian comment
flared up in the press
and border incidents
were reported. ... As British patrols in North
Africa harried the immobile Axis forces,
inflicting "serious losses" on Axis troops at
and beating back a tank attack at
British military quarters in Cairo said
that the Army of the Nile would counterattack
in force "when the moment was ripe."
R.A.F. meanwhile, heavily bombed Tripoli and
Bengazi. ... German aircraft dropped bombs
on a Southeastern English town and on two
Scottish centers during the day, but Britain's
attention was still centered on London, where
weary defense workers toiled to restore order
amid the debris left after the heavy Nazi attack
Saturday night. ... Dispatches from Vichy said
Reichsfuehrer Hitler had signified his
willingness to revert to a condition of
"collaboration" between German and France.
It was said he had assented to the opening of
negotiations for a permanent peace between
the two nations.
... Reports appearing in an
English-language newspaper in Tokyo said
the United States, Britain, China, India,
Australia, and the Netherlands Indies had
entered into a military pact to bar Japanese
expansion in the Southern Pacific.
... A
Canadian-United States pact for cooperation
in the production of war materials for Great
was announced Sunday in a joint
statement by President Roosevelt and
Canada's Prime Minister Mackenzie King
following a seven-hour conference at Hyde
Park, N.Y.

Shanghai, Associated Press, The New
York Times,
Sunday, April 20, 1941:
Japanese Army officials announced today the
capture of the Chekiang Province ports of
Ningpo, Wenchow, and Haimen and a 50-mile
drive inland
from the latter in operations
reportedly aimed at choking off Chinese
supply lines in that area before American aid
could begin to arrive on a large scale. ... Other
forces operating southward from Hangchow,
the provincial capital and chief port, were said
to have captured Chuki, on the Hangchow-
Kiangshan Railway,
part of which the Chinese
have been operating. Ningpo, first port
captured in the sudden Japanese offensive, is
100 miles south of Shanghai. ... Informed
sources here said the Japanese appeared to
be racing against time to close off all possible
ports of entry for Chinese supplies, especially
those expected from the United States.
said this was one of the first concrete results
of the Japanese-Russian neutrality pact and
predicted further similar operations along the
entire coast of China,
now that Japan feels
free to "turn her back toward Russia" and
devote more energy to her efforts to conquer
... The failure of the Japanese to move
against the Chekiang coast before now has
been one of the mysteries of the nearly four-
year-old war. ... Some sources said this was
explained because the Japanese collected
large sums on trade that they allowed to filter
through their blockade.

Tokyo, Wireless to The New York Times,
By Otto D. Tolischus, Monday, April 21, 1941:
[Late Sunday, U.S. time] Two developments,
which if confirmed are of the greatest
significance, are reported this morning by the
Osaka Mainichi and the Tokyo Nichi Nichi's
English-language edition. ... The first, reported
under a Shanghai dateline, said to the effect
that the U.S., Britain, China, British India,
Australia, and the Netherlands Indies are
supposed to have concluded a military and
naval pact which pools their resources,
including those of the Philippines, to oppose
Japan's southward advance. This alleged
pact is reported in considerable detail. ... The
second development reported on is that
Russia is demanding the right to occupy the
northern provinces of Iran
in order to protect
the Baku oil fields, as well as obtain an outlet
on the Persian Gulf in the event of a German
drive on the Dardanelles. [With this rumor,
Stalin was hinting to Hitler that he was
considering the Fuehrer's advice to Molotoff
in November 1940 regarding natural spheres
of influence.]
Russia is said to be
concentrating troops around Tiflis for
"manoeuvre purposes" and considerable
tension is reported between Russia and Iran,
which had already led to suspension of Iran's
air service and through traffic to Russia. ... If
this is true, it might provide one explanation
for the movement of Russian troops from the
Far East to the west.
... Official quarters here
recall that the Japanese press has been
emphasizing that, by virtue of the Russo-
Japanese neutrality pact
as a corollary of the
Russo-German non-aggression pact, Russia
has really became a quasi-member of the
Axis camp
and by tacit understanding of her
partners has received a free hand in Central
Asia to expand the Soviet block.
standard negotiating tactic of demanding the
impossible until the very last moment, then
offering concessions, had been applied to
Hitler. But with rumors now pouring in that
Germany planned to invade Russia, Stalin
(with hints to the Japanese) hoped Hitler
would believe that the U.S.S.R. was willing to
accept the Fuehrer's offer of late 1940 to
expand southward toward Iran and India
instead of Eastern Europe.]
... The Japanese
press insists that the ratification of the Russo-
Japanese pact
is "almost certain," while
Foreign Minister Matsuoka himself, in a
statement issued at Manchuli, on the Soviet
said: "While traveling across Siberia
I heard that some newspapers had been
declaring that the pact gave many advantages
to the Soviet Union and none to Japan.
Important international treaties can be
concluded only if they are beneficial to both
sides. The pact is beneficial to Japan, too. I
have concluded no treaty that did not benefit
Japan and Manchukuo." ... Mr. Matsuoka paid
a high tribute to the progress of the Soviet
Union in the eight years since he last saw it.
... "The conditions existing then," he said,
"were attributed to famine at the time.
Today the people in Moscow and Leningrad
wear smiles. The Soviet Union is paying
serious attention to the education
and raising
of children. This shows how seriously the
Soviets, the Germans, and the Italians are
concerned over the future. And it also
indicates an unprecedented situation in the
history of mankind
." ... Modestly disclaiming
any credit for the neutrality pact, Mr. Matsuoka
said that its conclusion should be attributed to
"the power of the times," and that he had
merely done his duty "like a soldier at the
front." He repeated that it had not been in his
original program to stay in Moscow and that
the pact was an unexpected result of his trip.
Describing the circumstances leading to its
conclusion, he said that the welcome
extended in Moscow to him on his first arrival,
en route to Berlin, was so great that he visited
Moscow again on the return journey to express
his thanks. This, he said, provided an
opportunity for an exchange of views with the
Soviet leaders on the question of neutrality.
"The decision to conclude a neutrality pact,"
he continued, "was made in a matter of ten
minutes or so. Arrangements for it were made
accordingly. I was anxious whether my
commission of full power to do so would arrive
in time. Fortunately the expected document
came to hand about 11 o'clock on the morning
of April 13." ... "After the signature of the
agreement," said Matsuoka, "a small informal
was given in a small office room at
which Mr. Stalin attended in person. At this
part, some went into the convivial course in
ernest. Thereupon Mr. Stalin suggested that I
had better put off my departure. Then he went
into an adjoining room to make a telephone
in Russian, which I could not understand,
but when he returned he told me that he had
given an order to put off the departure of my
train for one hour. I replied that being a railway
man myself, I was aware of what trouble it is to
change a fixed schedule. But I could still leave
Moscow with little delay." ... Germany and Italy
gave him a greater welcome than he expected
and this moved him deeply. His talks with their
leaders, he was sure, contributed to "mutual
understanding." ... "Germany gave me a
glorious welcome," he said. "Because of it I
had good training in the German style of
The German people, even laborers,
are paying the highest tribute to Hitler. This is
the reason that Germany is such a strong
power. There wasn't a British air raid during
my stay. I do not suppose that this was due to
the British forces' respect for me. I think it was
due to bad weather." ... Regarding Italy, Mr.
Matsuoka merely said: "There were many
pretty girls in Italy,
which gave me a bright
impression" [and inspired him to write a
(Roughly translated it reads: A flowery
country is bright with pretty faces and a Spring
sky.) "Don't you think it is an excellent poem?"
... Premier Mussolini, he said, gave him a
motorboat, but he hadn't seen it and didn't know
what to do with it since he couldn't take it with
him. Summing up his personal impressions of
Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini he merely
said: "They are like men who have made
great achievements.
That is sufficient to
describe my impression of them."

Tokyo, Associated Press, The New York
Sunday, April 20, 1941: A portion of
the Japanese press declared today that "it no
longer is a crazy dream to expect a great war

with Japan, Germany, Italy, and Soviet Russia
on one side, and the United States, Britain,
and China on the other." The newspaper
Miyako said war between Germany and the
United States would lead to "war between
Japan and the U.S." and that this war might
come before June. ... Domei, the Japanese
official news agency, reported under a Manilla,
Philippines, dateline that U.S. Army
authorities had advanced the deadline for
evacuation of Army dependents from July 15
to May 15.

Athens, Associated Press, The New York
April 20, 1941: The British fell back
before Mount Olympus to a new and shorter
defense line today in a retreat covered by
determined rear guard fighting against fiercely
charging German troops. ... The Greeks to the
west were also reported falling back with the
British. Informed military sources declared
that the situation was "serious," but the Allied
forces were falling back in orderly fashion and
maintaining an unbroken line in the face of
intense German pressure. ... The British said
all arms were brought into action. The
Germans were giving the heaviest possible air
support to their armored units charging British
and Greek lines. ... The Germans continued to
hurl masses of troops into battle, regardless of
cost, the British said. But in spite of the
fighting, the retirement was said to be
proceeding according to plan.

Bombay, India, Associated Press, The
New York Times,
Monday, April 21, 1941:
[Late Sunday, U.S. time] Mohandas K.
Gandhi declared today his seven-month-old
"individual civil disobedience" program must
"continue at all odds." ... His statement was in
reply to an appeal of The London Times to
call off the movement in view of the European
war developments and a widening breach in
India between Hindus and Moslems.
... Hindu-
Moslem riots at Ahmendabad, 300 hundred
miles north of here, caused at least 56 deaths
and injury to 318 persons, it was reported
yesterday. Strife broke out Friday and police
fired on crowds twice.
More than 400 rioters
were arrested. ... Mr. Gandhi said that the
movement was neither anti-Moslem nor anti-
British. ... "It remains a silent declaration of
unquenchable faith in the power of non-
even in the midst of circumstances
so terrible and so baffling as face the world
today," Mr. Gandhi said.

London, Special Cable to The New York
By Robert C. Post, Monday, April 21,
[Late Sunday, U.S. time] Saturday
night the R.A.F. again attacked German
shipping off the Netherland coast. These
attacks -- made for the second day in
succession, which would seem to show that
the British have some information about the
German shipping
on the move in that area --
were fairly successful. ... Blenheim bombers,
going down very low, left one Nazi supply
vessel sinking by the stern. ... Another that
was escorted by a destroyer was hit twice and
left listing to port. It was claimed a total loss. ...
In the course of this operation, which was
apparently wide and persistent, several small
Nazi convoys, mostly under naval and fighter
plane escort, were attacked by Bomber
Command aircraft. ... Some British planes, not
content with bombing, went down to rake the
decks of the German ships with machine-gun
Every vessel of one convoy was attacked
in this way. ... At dusk Saturday planes of the
R.A.F. Coastal Command again attacked
Brest, haven of the Germans' battleship raiders
Gneisenau and Scharnhorst. Bombs were
dropped in the area of the drydock where one
of the battleships has been berthed.

[Stay tuned for late breaking war bulletins.
... Globalization41.]

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