Hell Night – April 17, 1941

London - April 17, 1941 - scarring the city as it had never been scarred before.

London – April 17, 1941 – scarring the city as it had never been scarred before.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – NBC News Of The World – April 17, 1941 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Touted as a “reprisal attack” by Germany for Britain’s raid on Berlin and Potsdam a few days earlier, the Luftwaffe staged a ten-hour air raid over London this April 17th in 1941. Revenge for what Berlin said were RAF attacks on residential and cultural centers on April 9th and 10th, the German raids dropped hundreds of bombs over London, leveling whole streets and leaving a high number of dead and wounded as the result. Hardest hit were industrial sections of London, but numerous neighborhoods were devastated by the almost continuous rain of bombs falling on the city from dusk to dawn.

Although it was the majority of the news for this day, a few other items also came in.

Notably, the situation in the Balkans was making the rounds as far as speculation in diplomatic circles was concerned. It was wondered what the Axis Order was going to look like, once the fighting had stopped. Yugoslavian resistance was waning as German troops occupied Sarajevo. Fighting in Egypt and Greece was continuing, with no confirmations one way or the other as to how it was going, since the reports were originating from Berlin.

News from Capitol Hill indicated that talks of strikes in the Defense industry were “nothing short of criminal”, according to Office of Production Management director William S. Knudsen. Saying most of the strikes were over “silly, small differences which seldom, even after they are settled, meant any gain to anybody”, Knudsen felt the unnecessary strikes were taking advantage of the Defense program. The comments and the news of the overnight raids on London would be main topic of conversation in Washington this day, as talk about Steel Prices, and the move to freeze them, would be brought up by the Price Fixing committee. Politics as usual – and a war going on.

All that, and so much more for this April 17th, 1941 as presented by NBC Radio‘s News Of The World and a Special Report from John McVain in London.

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