March 12, 1941 – Wide-Spread Night Raids Over England – Berlin Blasts Washington Over Lend-Lease – Here Comes Matsuoka.
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March 12, 1941 – As the war went into its 560th day, the night raids by German bombers over England stepped up. The night before delivering a shower of destruction through a wide area of England. Thirty-four separate districts were bombed during the night raids. All attacks were made by single planes, and some areas had several raids. Two German bombers were believed to have been shot down. The British communiqué said the damage wasn’t heavy. In one northwestern district, buildings were set afire, but all the blazes were out or under control by daybreak. Casualties throughout the country were reportedly few. London observers noted a lot of gunfire and many planes, but only minor bombing was reported and damage was negligible. British news censors cleared a report that Buckingham Palace had been bombed. Four bombs fell, one scored a hit while the others did little damage.
In other news, it was reported that Australian and New Zealand forces arrived safely in the Middle East from England. Meanwhile, Rome Radio reported Italian troops had captured a British position in the Kerrin sector of Eritrea. From Berlin Radio came word that the upcoming visit from Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka was eagerly anticipated and the press were busy running biographical pieces on Matsuoka as well as reports and background on Japan and its alliance with Nazi Germany. Reactions also in the German press regarding passage of the Lend-Lease bill in Washington were predictable – condemnations were the rule, laying blame on the likes of Secretary Morengthau, Justice Frankfurter for pushing the bill through. Intimating a Jewish conspiracy was at work and the U.S. was acting in a provocative manner in order to prolong the war for strictly business gain. And so went the continuing onslaught of propaganda from Berlin.
That’s just a sample of what went on, this March 12, 1941 as reported by NBC’s News Of The World from The Red Network.