Suspension Of Niceties – September 4, 1939

Sinking of the SS. Athenia - The sinking of a passenger ship was harbinger of things to come.

Sinking of the SS. Athenia – The sinking of a passenger ship was harbinger of things to come.

News from BBC World Service – Mutual Correspondent John Steele – Radio Paris English Service – September 4, 1939 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

No sooner had war been declared than news of the sinking of an unarmed passenger ship surfaced. The British Liner SS Athenia, bound for Canada from England was torpedoed some 200 miles west of The Hebrides. The ship carried over 1,400 passengers, the majority were women and children bound for Canada and refuge from the war, as well as Americans heading away from the war zone. Air raid sirens went off in London and other major cities as practice drills for impending air attacks began.

Meanwhile, news from Poland reported the continuing attacks by German armed forces and advances toward the Polish capitol.

An ominous day, with reports from several sources, as it was broadcast on September 4, 1939.

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