February 28, 1942 – While the news was coming in over the threatened Japanese invasion Java in the Pacific, a bulletin had flashed just towards the end of this newscast. Giving little in the way of details, other than it happened and it was successful, the news offered a tantalizing morale boost to a beleaguered Britain. A raid on a German coastal radar installation on the northern coast of France was quick, deadly and brought back prisoners. It also destroyed and otherwise rendered useless an important element in German defenses along the French coast.
Word from Java that the first attempt at an invasion of the resource-rich Dutch East Indies island was beaten back by a determined force of United Nations sea and air forces came as a bit of good news. It was hinted that there had been hits on allied as well as Japanese warships, but the bulk of the damage was visited on the invasion force. It was indicated that the Japanese had suffered a real setback in their first direct attack on Java.
News from New Delhi indicated the Japanese were bringing the war to India with raids on the Andaman islands in the bay of Bengal. The Japanese aircraft attacked Port Blair, 375 miles southwest of Rangoon, which occupied an important strategic position in the sea lanes of the Bay of Bengal.
News from the Eastern Front indicated the Russian Armies were relentless closing their steel ring on the Nazis at Staraya Russa and Smolensk Units of the encircled German 16th Army were said to be giving way in panic, while Red Army troops were busily hunting them down and wiping them out.
But the breathless news came towards the end of this newscast, as it was announced a combined air and sea raid had taken place in Northern France at an undisclosed location at Bruneval. The information was released in a joint communiqué by the Admiralty, The War Office and The Air Ministry. Few other details were given at air time, other than it “appeared to be” an important Radio location post, and the communiqué went on to describe the attack as “successful” and finished “according to schedule”. Germany had not admitted the attack, but it was a developing story.
And that’s just a little of what went on, this February 28, 1942 – as presented by News Of The World from The Blue network.