World War II As It Happened
A MaritimeQuest Daily Event Special Presentation
Friday, November 17, 1939
Day 78

November 17, 1939: Front page of the Grimsby Evening Telegraph, Grimsby, England.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
Note the report at top center: "General Von Blomberg Shot"
(Werner von Blomberg, former Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht and Reichsminister of War, resigned in January of 1938 after marrying a woman other top Nazis and Hitler disapproved of. At least that was the excuse that was used to remove him. In reality it was a conspiracy hatched by Reichführer-SS Heinrich Himmler and Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring to get rid of the "old guard" of the German army. Both of them believed that they would be given the post, but Hitler appointed himself Supreme Commander of the German military. The report of his death was completely false and is another example of the press reporting that top Nazi officers have died , been arrested or executed. Almost all of which since the beginning of the war were untrue. Von Blomberg died in 1946.)


November 17, 1939: Front page of the Manchester Evening News, Manchester, England.
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Note the report at bottom left: "Disguised Pocket Battleships Ruse"
(Another confused report about the German raiders operating in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact Admiral Scheer was in Germany, but Deutschland was operating in the North Atlantic, not in a German harbor. The other ship which was operating in the Atlantic was the Admiral Graf Spee. A curious observation that I have made is that the British were not even looking for the Admiral Graf Spee, and the ship was constantly identified as either Admiral Scheer or Deutschland in the press. In fact the Admiral Graf Spee is not even mentioned in the British press until after the Battle of the River Plate in December, when the mystery raider was finally identified.)
[More on Deutschland]


November 17, 1939: Front page of the Press and Journal, Aberdeen, Scotland.
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Note the report in column 3: "British Ship Sunk by Sea Raider"
(Another report which identifies the Nazi raider as Admiral Scheer or Deutschland, when in fact it was Admiral Graf Spee which had sunk the Africa Shell)
Also note the report in column 4: "More Threats by Soviet"


November 17, 1939: Front page of The Melbourne Herald, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
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Note the report in column 6: "Grab by Soviet In Latvia"


November 17, 1939: Front page of The Telegraph, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
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November 17, 1939: Front page of The Sydney Sun, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
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November 17, 1939: Front page of The Lethbridge Herald, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
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November 17, 1939: Front page of The Winnipeg Tribune, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
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November 17, 1939: Front page of Het Volksdagblad, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
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November 17, 1939: Front page of The Port Arthur News, Port Arthur, Texas.
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November 17, 1939: Front page of The Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield, California.
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Note the headline: "9 Czech Students Slain by German Firing Squad"
(This story is seen in other papers of the day, but this was the most prominent headline. It should serve as a demonstration to students of today, who were protesting that America was a fascist, evil state, what a real fascist, evil state is capable of doing to disgruntled students.)


November 17, 1939: Front page of The Lowell Sun, Lowell, Massachusetts.
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It should not be necessary to mention the obvious parallel to today's election. It's enough to remind people of a famous historical axiom, "it's not the people who vote that counts, it's who counts the votes."


November 17, 1939: Front page of The Helena Independent, Helena, Montana.
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Note the report in column 4: "Prosecution Rests Case in Kuhn Trial"



November 17, 1939: Installment #6 of "Stalin Unmasked" from the San Antonio Light, San Antonio, Texas.
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November 17, 1939: Front page of The Hamburger Neueste Zeitung, Altona, Hamburg, Germany.
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1. Konvoi kein Allheilmittel: England spürt seine Einfuhrverluste
(Convoys are not a panacea: England is taking important losses.)
2. Berbesserungen im Hamburger Berkehrswesen.
(Improvements to the public transportation system in Hamburg.)