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October 16, 1939 – CBS Today In Europe – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
October 16, 1939 – The day German offensives were taking place on all fronts – the first German air attack on the British Isles took place over the Firth of Forth in Scotland where British warships were anchored. German radio was silent on the subject for several hours before announcing an attack took place and that two German bombers went missing. Also reported was a U-Boat attack on the British battleship Repulse. British radio denied the attack took place, and German radio insisted it had. Only the next day did the British Press say a U-Boat had attacked the Repulse, damaging it and putting it out of action, but not sinking the ship as ws previously reported in the German press.
German radio also announced the shooting down of one French and one British plane over the Western Front. Also reported was fighting along the Moselle River which German forces pushed French forces back, across the river. A later German radio news bulletin indicated two French merchant ships had been sunk, crew members were rescued but no mention of it was made in the French press. French Radio reported that Admiral Darlan was leaving for Brittany shortly after receiving news about the Repulse.
But most of the news for this day centered around action in the air and the ground. Earlier in the morning, the German army launched offensives with artillery action in the area just east of the Moselle River and on a front of approximately 6 kilometers. Other news indicated German forces were preparing to launch an offensive aimed at either Luxembourg or Saarbrucken and the action up to this point was in preparation for what would be the big offensive. Neutral observers noted that the German army was amassing some 7-800,000 troops along the border between Germany and France.
All that, and much-much more for this October 16, 1939 as presented by CBS Radio’s Today In Europe program.