And Malta was quickly becoming the most bombed Island in the Mediterranean.
And Malta was quickly becoming the most bombed Island in the Mediterranean.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Red Network News Of The World – January 19, 1942 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

No shortage of grim news, this January 19th in 1942. The Far East was in a state of turmoil, with Singapore hanging on by threads and Japanese attacks on islands throughout the Pacific increasing. The situation was deteriorating for U.S. forces on Luzon and relentless attacks by invading Japanese on the Battan peninsula forced a withdrawal of MacArthur’s forces. Other news was vague and spotty regarding the situation around Malaya – but it too, wasn’t looking good.

In other areas – some hopeful news was reported via Radio Moscow that fierce hand-to-hand fighting was taking place just west of the Russian capitol and that Russian advances were gaining ground, defeating what military spokesman said was “the cream of the German Army”.

Meanwhile, Air attacks were stepping up on Malta. Military spokesmen in London said air defenses were strong, but wouldn’t say whether or not they were adequate. Malta was quickly gaining the reputation as being the most relentlessly bombed island in the Mediterranean.

There were rumors of a shakeup in the British government. Prime Minister Churchill was expected to deliver an address to Parliament soon and speculation was rife that heads would be rolling.

Similarly, in Washington – there were grumblings on Capitol Hill that changes were afoot. One key member of FDR’s cabinet was threatening to resign over what he called a “mean, sneaking atmosphere – where there are so many self-centered people, striving and conspiring for more personal power and more limelight”. Some things just never change.

And that’s a small slice of what went on this January 19th day in 1942, as presented by The Red Network’s News Of The World.

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