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October 21, 1939 – Today In Europe – CBS – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
October 21, 1939 – News from the various fronts and Capitols during this first month of War. The latest news from France and Britain was word of a $240 million advance in credits to Turkey as part of the mutual assistance agreement, signed earlier in the week. Much speculation out of Moscow about a possible new move in the Balkans by the Soviets. Speculation was aroused by the editorial in Izvestia, which said that Great Britain and France had failed to drive a wedge between Russia and Germany. Moscow also said a compatible treaty could not be reached between Ankara and the Soviet Union. Russia warned they were keeping a “vigilant eye” on the Black Sea.
Meanwhile, no change of status between French and German troops. The sound of French artillery fire could be heard, which was harassing German rear and front line detachments. Some patrol activity was reported but otherwise, mud from overflowing streams was said to be slowing down the operations. The latest tally out of London still stood at three German war planes down in that raid on a British Merchant ship convoy. Three planes down out of 12 German attackers and no British planes were lost.
In Germany, diplomatic activity was so intense that some correspondents were calling it “feverish”. German Chancellor Adolf Hitler conferred with an ambassador and summoned Party leaders to Berlin, amid rumors of conferences with every country Germany considered friendly to the Third Reich.
In Berlin, the scene was anything but warlike – in what was considered a Saturday Night bid to forget the war, Berliners flocked the streets, bars and cafes to get away from news of the War despite blackout conditions which prevailed throughout the city. The driving of cars was prohibited, so the subways and buses were filled to overflowing. Business was brisk, talk was light and the war seemed light years away, although the reality was fear that the war would be going on for a long time.
And that’s a small slice of the news as presented by Columbia and their Today In Europe series for October 21, 1939.