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September 9-10, 1940 – News from the BBC – News Reports from Arthur Mann – Mutual – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
September 9-10, 1940 – In the opening days of the Blitz and Shortwave news reports from London, delivered with an almost icy calm, describing waves of German bombers flying over London – the mass destruction and the seeming paucity of casualties, save for “very light”, despite blocks of burning buildings and whole residential sections obliterated.
These were nights of raids from both sides – with reports of RAF bombers raiding Berlin and Hamburg. Reports that waves of bombers over Hamburg went on for well over three hours, dropping heavy bombs and incendiaries – similar raids over port cities in France and Germany. Newspapers in Berlin telling residents to stay home, go to sleep early and set their alarms to midnight as well as go to bed dressed; ready for anything. King George visiting destroyed neighborhoods around the east end of London, to the cheers of residents whose homes no long existed.
Each side was letting the other know these endless waves of attacks weren’t doing nearly the damage they were intended. But that’s the nature of war – each side letting the other know their roundhouse punches are landing without any consequence.
But the truth of the matter was; Britain was afraid the Blitz was the start of what would be a German invasion and these raids were a means of softening up resistance. Germany, on the other hand, was shocked Britain was resilient to the point of staging counter-raids with devastating results. Despite Berlin Radio giving one story, the newspapers and local authorities were saying something else. RAF raids were also taking place over areas of northern Italy and with air raids taking place over Turin and Milan, targeting factories.
News reports continued with Italian air raids taking place over the island of Malta and Egypt, taking its toll on the population of Alexandria as well as Malta.
And that’s a small slice of what happened during this war-filled September in 1940 as reported by The BBC and Mutual via shortwave.
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