February 11, 1942 – The Situation Is Worse, But It’s Better
February 11, 1942 – news for this day was ominous, sketchy and strange. The situation in Singapore was described in London as growing worse, but in some ways it was getting better. British troops were counterattacking Japanese invasion forces, and those counterattacks were said to be successful. British sources went on to say the bombings taking place in Singapore had hardly touched the business and residential sections of the city, which was interpreted by London as the Japanese were hoping to take Singapore intact. The lack of fighter support had many worried the Japanese bombings would go unopposed. Despite the lack of substantial news, British sources ventured to guess the Japanese invasion of Burma wasn’t on the grand scale they first thought. Still, nothing concrete to report and concerns were over the British Naval base, which was though to be a key target for the Japanese.
Meanwhile, British bombers flew raids over northwest Germany the previous night, with Bremen being the main objective. The docks at Brest were also bombed. All British planes returned safely to their bases.
Elsewhere in the Pacific – bitter fighting was continuing in the Bataan peninsula, with Japanese reinforcements taking their toll on the badly outnumbered American forces defending The Philippines, but latest word was that Philippine and American troops were still holding out, but it was feared the sheer number of enemy troops would force a retreat to Corregidor Fortress in a last ditch attempt to stem the invasion.
Japan was busy celebrating Empire Day, the founding of the island of Japan over 2,600 years earlier. It was hoped in Tokyo that news of the fall of the Philippines and Singapore would be an extra bonus in celebrations, but that wasn’t going to happen.
Dutch troops were attempting to fight off Japanese forces invading Batavia, but were becoming overwhelmed and it was a matter of time before Japan was occupying the East Indies.
Back in Washington – partisan bickering was causing many to wonder just what politicians were thinking, in light of news from the Pacific and the expected news over the impending fall of Singapore, which many in Washington was going to happen at any time. If such a thing happened, the burden of carrying on the War in the Pacific would fall largely on the shoulders of Americans. Much of the squabbling had to do with the budget, and a big fight was looming over the proposed St. Lawrence Waterway, which was being proposed as a defense measure, but which many in Congress considered a waste of money as it wouldn’t possibly be finished any time to be of use in the war effort.
And that’s just a small slice of what went on, this ominous February 11th in 1942, as presented by The News of The World from the NBC Red Network.