February 22, 1941 – Washington’s birthday, and celebrations all over the U.S., while another night of raids and counter-raids went on in Europe. On this night it was another German raid over the coastal Welsh town of Swansea; for the third night running. Casualties were described as “not light’ nor was the destruction. British bombers reciprocated with raids over Western and Northwestern Germany, as well as the French port of Brest and industrial objectives in the Ruhr.
There were reports, but no confirmation that the German entry into Bulgaria had begun. British observers reported expecting a full-scale invasion to take place over the coming days. It was also noted that peaceful German occupation of the region had been only partially successful. Greek and Turkish resistance held up plans for a few weeks, forcing the Germans to resort to armed invasion in order to succeed in their plans. It was speculated that other Balkan states would emulate the resistance of the Greeks and Turks. Word on Hitler’s list of stiff demands of Yugoslavian leaders, during a meeting at Berchtesgaden outlined what Germany’s intentions were for the region. However, Yugoslavian insiders in London put doubts that any such demands were made to the leaders, taking instead a more general line of occupation, and waiting until later to tighten the screws.
Meanwhile, in Berlin – Germany announced accusations that British Merchant ships were flying American colors while sailing in the Mediterranean. News followed reports of an incident where a Canadian cruiser had hastily flown the American flag in an attempt to avoid being fired on by German raiders. The German High Command reported the deception was spotted and the Canadian Cruiser was sunk. News was followed by reports of numerous U-Boat and air-attacks and the sinking of British merchant ships from the Mediterranean to the English Channel. Also reported in German papers were plans to win the War in Europe, the first time such an announcement had been made publicly. Among the details were the complete embargo and destruction of British Shipping, thus cutting off supplies to and from Britain. Also outlined was an intensified air-war over England as well as eventual plans for an outright invasion of Britain.
And that’s just a small slice of what went on, this February 22nd in 1941, as reported by NBC Radio’s News Of The World.