April 25, 1940 – News about the situation in Norway, this day in 1940. Reports that German troops had taken the town of Røros. But later reports said that the Germans had abandoned Røros, leading many to wonder if the so-called “lightning” approach to the German invasion was a misnomer and that the speed of the mechanized force was not entirely true. Reports reached Stockholm Sweden however, that the German force, which had pushed through a snowstorm at a speed of more than 30 miles a day was considered by the Germans to be too small to meet an imminent British/Norwegian counter-attack. The force, which was reported to be numbered some 500 troops, and which was a German motorized spearhead, the same type that was so effectively used in the Polish campaign was, as of this newscast, withdrawn to stronger positions in the hills outside of town. Elsewhere in Norway, there were several battles going on, all with varying degrees of result. Even while the newscast was going on, reports of advances and retreats were being reported – so that area of the War was in a state of flux.
Reporting on the war was coming under fire – in this case it was New York Post/Chicago Daily News reporter Leland Stowe, who published a story giving graphic description of a German victory in Norway. He was the only correspondent in Steinkjer Norway to witness some 1500 underarmed, poorly trained British troops annihalated by well-equipped German troops during four days of fighting where over half the British force was killed, wounded or captured. Reports that German planes were able to easily strafe the British forces because their dark uniforms against the white snow made them easy targets from the air. The question was whether or not the British censor was going to allow the story to reach the British public and repercussions were expected from Parliament to be severe.
And that’s just a small slice of news for this April 25, 1940 as reported by H.V. Kaltenborn and The News.