December 17, 1941 – Ten days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and it seemed like the entire world was engulfed in one form of war or another.
Beginning with reports from Malaya over British defense of Singapore and Hong Kong. Despite upbeat-sounding reports and patriotic resolve, the Japanese armies were threatening to overrun the town of Penang, which was just a short distance from Singapore. Reports from Britain asserted that what happened in Penang would likely affect northwest Malaya. They went on to report that the surprise attack was a shock but the army was expecting more. The key assertion was that Singapore “must not fall”, and the report added “Shall not fall”. Further reports said the Japanese were fifteen miles from Penang.
The situation in Hong Kong wasn’t faring much better – The BBC reported that the Army was “ready to meet all enemy assaults”, which were expected to be launched by land, sea and air against the island fortress, and that the army’s withdrawal from the mainland, it was believed that British forces sustained no casualties in the action.
Reports from Tokyo, via the Domai News Agency said that 354 persons were killed and injured in an earthquake hitting southern Formosa. Even natural disasters were part of war news.
In the Philippines, reports said there was no major change in the situation on the ground and no air activity had reported since the day before.
On the other side of the world – Turkish Radio was reporting Adolf Hitler was forced to leave the Eastern Front because of in “imminent nervous breakdown”. The unconfirmed report said Hitler was taken by Doctors to his Berchtesgaden retreat in the Bavarian alps for they called a “rest cure”.
And that’s just a small slice of what was happening, this December 17, 1941 from reports and newscasts via NBC Red and Blue Networks.