Waiting for every sign - hanging on every word.
Waiting for every sign – hanging on every word.

News from Radio Berlin – EIAR, Rome – BBC World Service – CBC Canada – MBS – September 3, 1939 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Since the writing had been on the wall for several days, even those hoping for an eleventh hour miracle seemed resigned to the fact that war was inevitable.

And so on September 3rd, 1939 – Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went before the microphones and declared a state of War had existed between Britain and Germany. No surprise, but a feeling of 1914 swept over everyone.

And what followed were a steady stream of reports, addresses, observations and bulletins, filling the day with dread and alarm.

Here is an 80 minute excerpt from the days news via Shortwave. Beginning with English language reports from Radio Berlin, and reaction to Chamberlain’s address. Following that is news from Rome and Italy’s reaction to this turn of events. Followed by an address from President Roosevelt, in reaction to the news. And right after that, an address by Canadian Prime Minister MacKenzie King and ending with news analysis from America by commentator Raymond Gram Swing.

A momentous day in history, from which there was no turning back. What lay ahead was uncertain, and no one had a clue as to how it would turn out.

On this day it was the business of packing up and leaving Embassies no longer welcome in beligarent countries, packing up children and invalids for safety to the country and packing up conscripts, sending them off to war.

All on September 3, 1939 as reported by Radio Berlin, Radio Rome, BBC and Mutual Broadcasting in the U.S.

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