“Damn The Torpedoes” – October 28, 1941

As the war of words heated up - so did the Eastern Front.

As the war of words heated up – so did the Eastern Front.

News Of The World – October 28, 1941 – Blue Network – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

News for this October 28th in 1941 had much to do with reaction to President Roosevelt’s speech during Navy Day celebrations the previous day. With the phrases “Damn the Torpedoes” and “the shooting has started”, many were convinced war involving the U.S. was a matter of days, or even weeks.
The speech was listened to carefully in London as well as Berlin. The German Radio issued scathing editorials, saying in effect that President Roosevelt had lost his mind and his assertion that Germany had plans for South America were the ravings of a lunatic. Clearly, the war of words were heating up – it was only a matter of time before all-out War was declared.

Meanwhile, the full text of the speech was run in the afternoon papers in Britain and had a cheering effect on the war-weary population. News from the Eastern front was of pitch-battles and retreats and advances all along the front, and with reports of German troops some 40 miles outside of Moscow, it was a time to hold breath. London had ready for emergency, the biggest combined catering scheme ever devised in food rationing and was ready to implement it the minute the City council felt it was necessary. West End Hotels, Workmen’s Dining Rooms, Clubs, Tea-shops, Milk bars and Pubs all united to perfect the organization in which each will serve alike. Menus were to be standardized – a cup of tea would cost 1 penny – soup, 2 pennies – stew, 10 cents and all of this would be available in West End Hotels or East End Coffee stalls. It was advised that this would only be used if the emergency were really grave, but it was ready to function immediately.

Back in Washington – the buzz was about reactions to Roosevelt’s Navy Day address. The anticipated debate in Congress was sure to be historic. The words “shoot on sight” along with the famous Admiral Farragut quote stirred considerable discussion around Capitol Hill. But the big news around Washington circles was the disclosure of the Map, which President Roosevelt mentioned, was a discovered Nazi plan on the division of South and Central America into 5 zones, which included the Panama Canal under Nazi control, as well as a plan to wipe out all religion, and displace God with Adolf Hitler. Despite the fact that the German Radio sneered at such a discovery, saying that no such map was in existence, word that such a discovery was made a few years earlier by American counter-espionage agents and had been held secret until recently.

All that – and so much more, for this rather busy October 28th in 1941 as reported by News Of The World from The Blue Network.

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