April 15, 1940 – With the German invasion of Norway some six days old, the Allies were trying to maintain a foothold. Combined forces of the Navy, Army and Airforce were providing much needed assistance in order to bolster troop strength against the German armies. A ten word communiqué issued earlier in the day, announced that British forces had already landed at more than one point in Norway. Later on in the day, a communiqué from the Norwegian government revealed that the much contested town of Narvik had been recaptured by the Allies as well as the country surrounding it. The statement added that British and French forces were adding great help to Norway and that the strength of the forces were going against the statement to the press in Berlin by Joachim von Ribbentrop that “no British or French forces would ever get a glimpse of Norway of Denmark”.
At the time of this newscast, from the BBC World Service, there was no indication of the whereabouts or number of places occupied by Allied forces. German forces were still at Bergen meeting stiff resistance. Stavaga was again being raided by the Royal Air Force, making it the sixth time in a as many days the raids were taking place with at least two German seaplanes being sunk. Fifteen British planes also staged raids on Bergen, sinking and damaging a number of German ships. One British plane was lost. The British news reports went on to state that, despite German radio reports that some four British battleships, eight cruisers and eleven destroyers had been sunk since April 8th, when the invasion began, no British battleships or cruisers had been sunk and only four destroyers had been lost.
And that’s a very small slice of what happened this April 15th in 1940. A war was raging in Europe, but we weren’t involved yet – we were only glued to our shortwave radios, listening to the BBC World Service reports.