World War II As It Happened
A MaritimeQuest Daily Event Special Presentation
Saturday March 15, 1941
Day 562

Personal note: Because of the time it takes to prepare these pages, I have to work on them days or even weeks ahead of time. In the course of working on the page for March 27th I found a quote by Col. William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan, which was so profound I feel it necessary to publish it now. I am afraid if I want until Mar. 27, there will no longer be a Ukraine to comment about.

As we all know, Russia's Vladimir Putin is waging war on Ukraine. This unprovoked and dastardly attack is almost a mirror image of how Adolf Hitler started World War II. Taking a little country, then a piece of another, now a full-blown invasion of Ukraine. The west (U.S.A. and NATO) just watches as Ukraine is destroyed. They send, or promise to send, weapons, but will not take part in attacking Russian forces. They all say they are afraid that Putin will launch a nuclear attack on the west. They have a point, but, if he is willing to launch a nuclear weapon, he will launch it no matter how much the impotent west attempts to appease him. We have seen this movie before, in 1938 and 1939 when Hitler was ramping up to attack Poland. The British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, thought he made a deal with Hitler, he did not. Hitler was playing him and he played him well enough to start the war Hitler wanted. The point is that Hitler had decided to cause a war, and nothing Chamberlain or anyone else did was going to stop him, that is nothing diplomatically.

After Hitler invaded Poland, England and France declared war on Germany, but the United States did not. The argument was that this was a European war and we should not fight another war for them. Hitler had annexed Austria then invaded and conquered Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Denmark, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Greece, (including Crete,) Yugoslavia (which was made up of Albania, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia,) Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine and the Soviet Union, right up to the gates of Moscow. Hitler intimidated Hungary into allowing German troops free passage through the country, an agreement that caused the Hungarian Prime Minister to commit suicide. Hitler had troops in Libya and Egypt in North Africa, his Axis partner, Mussolini, had invaded Eritrea, Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland (Somalia.) Hitler even occupied the Channel Islands, which is British territory and had bombed England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland for months, killing over 43,000 civilians, yet America did not find it necessary to help fight the war against Hitler. England, quite literally, stood alone. Yes, we sent them ships, aircraft, weapons, supplies, food etc. but no fighting force. The United States "stood behind" England, but stood very far behind. Almost to the point that England nearly fell. Even after all of Europe and half of the Soviet Union was under Nazi control and Hitler was trying to take over all of north Africa, America was not moved to action. As we all know only AFTER America was attacked by Japan on Dec. 7, 1941 did we finally realize that we had to fight.

Sadly, it appears that we are in the same position in 2022 that the world was in in 1939. If only two countries are fighting, it's not a World War, however, a couple of days ago the Iranians fired missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq, in an unprovoked attack. China warned us (U.S.) not to interfere if they attack Taiwan, which they want so badly to do. North Korea test fired more missiles. If you look around, you can see that all the makings of a World War are coming together. And yet, the west and the U.S.A. stand by and watch.

The following quote was made by Col. Donovan on Mar. 27, 1941, after touring European and African war zones. It is relevant to today in so many ways. I have added the modern comparison just in case some people don't understand.

It's “Foolishness to believe that it is for us to choose whether or not we will be attacked by Nazi Germany (Russia) or that we can avoid attack if we will avoid provocation. A dozen European countries prove the foolishness of that belief.” He declared “We have no choice as to whether or not we will be attacked, that choice is Hitler's (Putin's) and he has already made it – not for Europe only, but for Africa and Asia and the world. Our only choice is to choose whether or not we will resist. And to choose in time while resistance is still possible, while others are still alive to stand beside us.”

Yes, it is a risk, a big risk, but there is only one option to stop the war before it gets out of control, and that is to kill Putin's army now. The U.S. and NATO should take out every Russian unit that they can by air, preferably with drones and missiles. If Putin is allowed to take Ukraine unopposed by the west, he will move on the Baltic States later. If he is allowed to take Ukraine unopposed by the west, China will take that as an invitation to take Taiwan. If the west cannot stop Putin now, it will cost millions of lives later. For once the world should take this warning from history and learn from it before it's too late.
 
March 15, 1941: Front page of the Nottingham Evening Post, Nottingham, England.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the photo at top right: "New U.S. Bomber For Britain"
(Photo of the first B-24 Liberator delivered to England from the U.S.A.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of The Daily Mail, Hull, England.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of the Western Mail and South Wales News, Cardiff, Wales.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 6: "Jam To Be Rationed"
(Marmalade, syrup and treacle in all. They will be rationed as a group called preserves and customers will have to register with their retailers to receive them. The allowance is 8 oz. per month.)
Also note the report in column 2: "Thyssen in Nazi Hands"
(Dr. Fritz Thyssen and his wife would spend the rest of the war in concentration camps, but were treated far better than “normal” prisoners. After the war he was tired for being a Nazi supporter and received a fine, but no prison time.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of the Evening Telegraph and Post, Dundee, Scotland.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 3: "The Pope Is Rationed"
(Vatican City placed on restricted diet, presumably by the Italian government The ration cards will allow 1 ½ oz. meat and 10 ½ oz. bread per day, 3 ½ oz. butter a week and 17 ½ oz sugar a month.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of The Examiner, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of The Sydney Sun, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of The Telegraph, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 6: "Freighter With Bombers for Britain Reported Sunk"
(The report out of Los Angeles states that the Benjamin Franklin had been lost with all 31 men. The report was not accurate. The story is quite tragic. Benjamin Franklin had been sunk by U-103 on Feb. 19, 1941. The master and two men were list with the ship. There were 33 survivors in lifeboats. 7 were picked up by HMS Pimpernel a week later. 25 or 26 others were picked up by the SS Memphis, the date unknown. Tragically, Memphis suffered an engine failure in heavy seas and sank with all hands, including the survivors from BF on Feb. 28, 1941. One other man may have been picked up by a passing unidentified ship, but was lost when that ship was sunk.)
Also note the report in column 5: "R.A.F. Plane Sinks German Supply Ship"
(I have not been able to confirm that this actually happened.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of The Lethbridge Herald, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of the Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of the Biddeford Daily Journal, Biddeford, Maine.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 1: "American Journalist Held For Espionage"
(United Press reporter, Richard C. Hottelet, reported under arrest in Germany.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of The Evening Star, Washington, D.C.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 6: "Nazi Court Gives U.S. Woman 3-Year Term"
(Mrs. Etta Kahn Shiber sentenced to 3 years for assisting British military men escape occupied France.)
Also note the report in columns 2-4: "Newsman Tells How U-Boats Hit 6 Ships in Convoy Ambush"


March 15, 1941: Front page of The Evening Gazette, Xenia, Ohio.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of The Port Arthur News, Port Arthur, Texas.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report at bottom right: "Sale Of Weapons Used In Murder Of Former School Teacher Traced"
(There was no gun registration back in 1941, but the weapon was not a gun, it was a hammer. It seems that there was a lot of hammer violence back then.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of The Nevada State Journal, Reno, Nevada.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of the San Mateo Times, San Mateo, California.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 2: "Grandson of De Mille Dead"
(Christopher Quinn, the 2-year-old grandson of Cecil B. DeMille, son of Anthony Quinn and Katherine DeMille wandered away from DeMille's home and drowned in a swimming pool at W. C. Fields home.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of the Hamburger Neueste Zeitung, Altona, Hamburg, Germany.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
1. USA=Journalist in der Reichshauptstadt verhaftet
(USA journalist under arrest in the Reich's capital.)
[This is the German version about the arrest of United Press reporter, Richard C. Hottelet.]
 
2. Stahlzentrum Sheffield wirksam bombardiert.
(Steel center of Sheffield effectively bombed.)


March 15, 1941: Front page of the Völkischer Beobachter, the official newspaper of the NSDAP.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
1. Glasgows Werften ein Flammenmeer.
(Glasgow's shipyards in a sea of flames.)
2. Der erste deutsche Großangriff auf die zweitgrößte britische Stadt.
(Germany's first major attack against Britain's second largest city.)



   
Page published March 15, 2022