World War II As It Happened
A MaritimeQuest Daily Event Special Presentation
Friday April 5, 1940
Day 218

April 5, 1940: Front page of The Midland Daily Telegraph, Coventry, England.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 1: "Graf Spee Officers"


April 5, 1940: Front page of The Daily Mail, Hull, England.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report at top right: "Girl of 11 Admits Hammering Mother to Death"
(The news of the Chloe Davis case hits the British press.)
[More about this story below.]


April 5, 1940: Front page of the Newcastle Journal And North Mail, Newcastle, England.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report at bottom left: "Germany Rations Coal Now"


April 5, 1940: Front page of the Press and Journal, Aberdeen, Scotland.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 1: "Mauretania Near Honolulu"
(Another report that the enemy much appreciated.)


April 5, 1940: Front page of The Examiner, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 8: "Sentenced Poles To Starvation"


April 5, 1940: Front page of The Sydney Sun, Sydney New South Wales, Australia.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 4: "War Guilt Proved By Diary"


April 5, 1940: Front page of The Lethbridge Herald, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report at top right: "Four Destroyers In Wilhelmshafen Area Damaged In Raid"
Official documents from the time tell a different story than the one told to the press and public.
In British documents the raid was described as such;

"April 4, Air reconnaissance in unfavourable weather conditions early on the 4th April disclosed the presence in the Jade of two capital ships. Aircraft which were sent to attack these ships observed two large ships at anchor in the roads and one alongside at Wilhelmshaven; five destroyers, many minesweepers and about 60 merchant vessels were seen in Schillig Roads proceeding northwards. The attack achieved a possible hit on a destroyer."

[The German force seen sailing northward was the invasion force for Norway and Denmark.]

The official German documents describe the attack in this way;

"Apr. 4, Enemy bomber flights as far as the estuaries in the morning and afternoon. Bombs were dropped off Brunsbüttel and in the Jade, but fell in the water and did not explode, so it is a possibility that mines or drift mines were dropped."
Also note the report in column 4: "Mauretania In Honolulu On Dash Across Pacific But Already Prepares To Continue Secret Trip"
(Some secret, it's on the front page of newspapers around the world.)


April 5, 1940: Front page of The Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


April 5, 1940: Front page of Haarlem's Dagblad, Haarlem, Netherlands.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


April 5, 1940: Front page of The Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield, California.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the headline: "Accuse "Baby Borgia," 11, in Hammer-Slayings of 4"
(A follow-up on the report from yesterday "Mad Mother Slays 3 Children, Self" now focused on 11 year-old Chloe Davis as the murderer. The police, a psychiatrist and apparently the press, all now blame Chloe for the brutal murders. The psychiatrist, Dr. Paul de River, is quoted as saying that Chloe was "the cruelest-blooded, coolest individual I ever met." The headline writer, seemingly attempting to giver her a nickname, "Baby Borgia" failed in his attempt because it did not stick.)
 
[Sadly the story above is not an isolated incident. On Apr. 10, 2021, only a few days after the 81st anniversary of the Davis murders, this headline came across my computer "Los Angeles Mother Taken Into Custody After Three Toddlers Found Stabbed To Death." Another woman, again in Los Angeles, was arrested for murdering her three young children, this time with a knife. Not even an hour before I saw this, I had been discussing the Davis case with my daughter.]


April 5, 1940: Front page of the San Mateo Times, San Mateo, California.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the headline: "Suicide Clue Found In Hammer Deaths"


April 5, 1940: Front page of The Evening Gazette, Xenia, Ohio.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 1: "Child Tells Story Of Family Murder"
Also note the report at bottom right: "Death Nears Two Trappers"
(This is the part 2 of a 3 part report which publishes the diary of two trappers, James Ryckman and Lloyd Coombs, who slowly starved to death in the forests of western Vancouver. Fortunately, Combs kept a diary of their tragic adventures. The bodies and the diary were found when the plane that dropped the men off in July returned on the agreed to date to pick them up.)
 
[Part 1 can be found in The Evening Gazette of Apr. 4, 1940.]


April 5, 1940: Front page of the Syracuse Herald-Journal, Syracuse, New York.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


April 5, 1940: Front page of The Corona Daily Independent, Corona, California.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 6: "Quest for Pirate Hoard Proves Unsuccessful"
(The discovery of the "Loot of Lima" was reported in Jan. 1940, but it was not until today that it was proven to have been wishful thinking at the least. Eighty-one years later when this page was published, the treasure has still not been found.)


April 5, 1940: Front page of the Teltower Kriesblatt, Teltow, Germany.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
1. Hier ist Reynauds Europakarte!
(Here is Reynaud's map of Europe!


April 5, 1940: Front page of the Hamburger Neueste Zeitung, Altona, Hamburg, Germany.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
1. Englische Phantasien überschlagen sich:
Hamburg als zweites Danzig!
Bundeshauptstadt Frankfurt!
(English fantasies come thick and fast:
Hamburg as the second Danzig!
Federal capital Frankfurt!)



   
Page published April 5, 2021