Sunday, 18 August 2013

World Waits for Hitler's Answer

Sunday Graphic dated Sunday September 3rd 1939
 Click to Read
Click to Read
On September 2nd 1939 the British Government, led by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, sent an ultimatum to Adolf Hitler stating that unless he evacuate all German troops from Poland by 11am on the 3rd, we would declare war.
So if you were reading this Sunday Graphic over your breakfast table on the morning of the 3rd you would be, as the headline suggests, waiting for Hitler’s answer and no doubt listening to the radio.
At a quarter past 11 you would have heard Chamberlain’s sombre voice intone

"This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note stating      that, unless we heard from them by 11 o'clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany…”

The whole broadcast lasted just under 13 minutes. Our war with Nazi Germany lasted 5 years and 8 months.
Click to Read
The National Services (Armed Forces) Act of 1939 made all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 41 eligible for call-up. Those in reserved occupations such as dock workers, miners, farmers, scientists, Merchant Seamen, railway workers, and utility workers (water, gas, electricity) were exempt. 

Click to Read
After the re-shuffle the War Cabinet looked like this –

Neville Chamberlain - Prime Minister
Sir Samuel Hoare - Lord Privy Seal
Sir John Simon - Chancellor of the Exchequer
Lord Halifax - Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Leslie Hore-Belisha - Secretary of State for War
Sir Kingsley Wood - Secretary of State for Air
Winston Churchill - First Lord of the Admiralty
Lord Chatfield - Minister for Coordination of Defence
Lord Hankey - Minister without Portfolio

Anthony Eden became Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs but not a Cabinet member.
Churchill took over as Prime Minister when Neville Chamberlain resigned in May 1940.

Click to Read
German troops invaded Poland on September 1st 1939 supported by widespread aerial bombing. This was in direct response to an apparent attack the previous evening by Polish saboteurs on a German radio station. The attack was in fact carried out by SS troops disguised as Poles.

Click to Read
Australia, New Zealand and India declared war on Germany during the afternoon of the 3rd. Canada followed suit on the 10th. South Africa had a long history of German allegiance and, although in 1939 it was a British Dominion State, its Prime Minister was pro-Germany and wanted the country to stay neutral. On September the 4th he was deposed and a pro-British Prime Minister, Jan Smuts, took over and South Africa declared war. 

Click to Read
The zookeepers were afraid that due to potential bomb damage the poisonous little blighters would escape. What about the lions, tigers, bears, wolves and not forgetting those devils incarnate the chimpanzees? 

Click to Read
Click to Read
It was generally believed that when War came the German Luftwaffe would immediately start bombing British cities much as it was doing in Poland, therefore the evacuation from major cities, not only of children but also pregnant women, disabled people and mothers with children under 5 along with all the teachers and carers that accompanied them, started on September 1st. During the next 4 days over 3 million people were displaced. 

Click to Read
Not the usual Himmler/Goering/Goebbels triumvirate.
Walther Funk survived the War and sentenced at Nuremberg to Life. He was released from Spandau in 1957 and died in 1960.
Dr Wilhelm Frick was also tried at Nuremberg and was hanged in October 1946.
After his ‘peace’ mission to Scotland, Rudolph Hess was tried and spent the rest of his life in Spandau Prison, committing suicide there in 1987.
Hans Lammers was sentenced to 20 years for crimes against humanity but this was reduced to 10 years and in 1952 he was pardoned. He died in 1962.
Wilhelm Keitel was the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces throughout the War and it has been said that if Hitler hadn’t contradicted his campaign plans then Germany would have won World War II. He was tried by the International Military Tribunal immediately after the War and hanged.

Click to Read
During the War the Allies’ armed forces were augmented by many exiles from occupied Europe including French, Danish, Polish, Czech, Belgian, Dutch, Norwegian and Greek refugees.

Click to Read
The Standard 8 might give you 50 miles per gallon but unfortunately with the outbreak of the War petrol was the first thing to be rationed as of September 16th.

Click to Read
The story about Spencer Tracy reminds me of one I read about Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman when they were making Marathon Man. Hoffman, he of the New York Method school, was complaining that he couldn’t really get the motivation for a particular scene, so Sir Larry said, “Try acting, old boy.”
‘The Wizard of Oz’ starring Julie Garland was released in Britain in November 1939.
‘One Million B.C.’ turned up in 1940 produced, not by Cecil B DeMille but by that other Hollywood veteran D W Griffith and directed by Hal Roach.
The boy-wonder Orson Welles, who, in 1939, was known for his stage and radio work as actor, director, producer and writer, was about to make his first feature film – ‘Citizen Kane’ – long regarded as the greatest American film ever made.

No comments:

Post a Comment