Now it was The Balkans turn.
Now it was The Balkans‘ turn.

. . . Or click on the link here for Audio Player – Blue Network News Of The World – February 9, 1941

During the early uncertain and chaotic days of World War 2, the flood of news reports, claims and counter-claims filled the airwaves with alternately hopeful and ominous news from overseas.

On this particular February 9th in 1941, the news was about the goings on in The Balkans, the situation in Greece, the latest goings-on in Vichy France and rumors coming out of Rome. It was a busy day.

Starting with news of staggering Italian losses in Africa and Albania and much intense fighting going on the region. With the Italian Army mounting counterattacks in Albania, every attempt by the Italians to gain ground had turned back with heavy losses being reported from Rome. Meanwhile in the Balkans, the Germans were in the midst of a buildup, with last count at some 20 divisions in Rumania, some 300,000 troops. Reports that German agents had been busily at work in Bulgaria, weakening the infrastructure and readying for a German invasion of the country. Signs that an invasion was pending was evident by a late report that the British Legation in Bucharest ordered all its records moved to Istanbul Turkey and was expected to end and shut its offices within the next 10 days, or at a moments notice if the situation worsened. British correspondents were ordered to evacuate their families in Bulgaria and head to Ankara, Turkey by the end of the week.

From London came news of the speech Prime Minister Churchill gave the previous evening – how it was considered the best of the war so far and how it proved Britain was in it for the long haul. Italian involvement in the war wasn’t expected to continue that much longer, according to reports in London. With British successes in Benghazi and the bombardment of Genoa, it was felt the Italian stomach for war was quickly evaporating.

From Berlin came reports that Admiral Darlan may be appointed the new French Premier of the German-controlled Vichy government. Marshal Petain would continue on as a nominal head of the French people, but little more than a figurehead.

All that, and much more for this February 9th in 1941 as reported by the Blue Networks’ Sunday Night News Roundup.

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