As the inevitable crept closer, preparations were underway for what was going to be all-out war at almost any moment.
The list of restrictions, the introduction of ration cards, the evacuation of non-combatants, the preparation for refugees – all taking place this August 28th in 1939. Trains to and from Poland were halted or cancelled, and Air Raid precautions were put in place, with practice drills and blackouts staged in major cities throughout Europe.
Everything, it seemed was either banned, restricted or rationed. Even the raising of Homing Pigeons was banned, out of fear they would carry messages between enemy agents. Clothing and food were severely rationed, with priorities given to the Military.
Passenger ships bound for the U.S. were packed to capacity, with Ambassador Kennedy assuring more ships would be on the way to take the many thousands of Americans escaping the oncoming war.
Despite all that, there were still hopes a settlement would arrive, and diplomatic efforts were continuing.
Here is an hour extract from the day of August 28, 1939 as reported by the BBC Home Service, in addition to a report from John Steele, reporting from London for Mutual Broadcasting.