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April 12, 1942 – NBC News Of The World – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
April 12, 1942 – Even for a Sunday, a war with no let-up. News from Libya of British advances and German retreats near the coastal town of Gazala. News of a breakdown in negotiations between Britain and India over the issue of Independence, while anticipation grew over a possible invasion of India by Japan. Because of that, a rush of recruits to join the Indian army were pouring in faster than they could be equipped. 85% of those recruits were coming in from predominately Muslim Northwestern India with only 15% coming from the largely Hindu Southeastern part where India’s Congress influence predominated. The indication being, if Sir Stafford Cripps had given in during negotiations and let the Indian Congress handle it, there would have been a revolt among the Muslims who made up some 37% of India’s military spelling out disaster for the defense of India. Fortunately, the Indian Army was prepared for an invasion at any time.
News from Moscow that the Red Army was making advances along the Kalinin front as the Spring thaw was beginning. Reports of German losses at roughly 320 killed and wounded. In a nearby sector the Germans tried a desperate attack, but the Russians broke into the attack and drove the Germans out of two more populated areas. Moscow also reported daring Red Army patrols operating behind German lines who were in constant danger of torture and death if they are captured. So far, one of the patrols managed to kill some 250 Nazi men and officers on the Central front. It was also reported that Russian planes had destroyed some 300 German planes in three days of fighting. Dispatches from Stockholm told of a German division being beaten in the Crimea and it was announced some 2 million Germans were estimated to have been immobilized during the winter by frostbite.
And the British Air Ministry announced that in four air raids over Germany the past week, some thousand tons of bombs were dropped on targets, working out to a ton a minute during the time the raids were in progress.
And that’s a small slice of what happened, this April 12th in 1942 as reported by NBC’s News Of The World.