May 29, 1941 – Skies Over Crete – Directive From Darlan
May 29, 1941 – Another day with Europe engulfed in War. Skies over Crete were filled with the sight of parachutes, falling to the earth from German planes. It was the advance force to a larger invasion coming ashore. Word from London was that the position in Crete was more serious, even though details were scant. German ground forces were taking up position and word was reaching London that some towns had already been taken or were utterly destroyed, leaving thousands of civilians homeless from the bombing raids. Though not confirmed, it was rumored that British reinforcements had reached Crete.
Meanwhile, night raids over England were continuing with the previous night being the biggest in a long time. Raids were reported over Liverpool and Belfast doing considerable damage. Likewise, British bombers were busy, attacking Northwest Germany and doing sweeps along the French coast.
German newspapers were reporting that Berlin had relaxed the armistice terms to allow the Vichy French Air Force to “defend the French empire“. The fact that the report was printed in Britain without comment indicated that the real purpose of the measure came as no srprise to French circles in London was to construct a very clever German move engineered by Admiral Darlan for the sole purpose of tricking the workers in the French aircraft factories. Germany wanted France to make planes for Germany, which had become vital since it was becoming more evident that Germany would have to face the full force of America, if and when they are drawn into the war. American plane production was cutting down the German lead and only full cooperation of the factories in the occupied territory would give Germany even an outside change of even holding her own. But the workers in the French aircraft factories were very anti-German. If they knew the planes they were making were heading off to the Luftwaffe, there would be sabotage and work slow-downs and strikes in production which would seriously affect the number of planes Germany could use from the French factories. The owners of the aluminum factories (which there were four) were known to be readily willing to work with Germany, but the others were doubtful as the snag came with the workers. So via the instigation of Berlin, Admiral Darlan devised a plan to overcome the obstacle. The Vichy government made a public announcement that the French Air Force (cut down to nothing, due to the Armistice commission) was to be reactivated and strengthened. Darlan told the workers that all the planes they produced would go to increase the French Air Force. Many felt that perhaps the planes would one day be used against Germany, but secretly Germany and Vichy agreed that every 7 of 10 planes produced would be handed over to Germany.
And that’s just a little of what happened, May 29, 1941 as reported by the Blue Network’s News Of The World.