News Reports from France – November 8-9, 1939 – Mutual – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
November 8-9, 1939 – The Phony War on the Western Front continues. The Dutch believe the date of the invasion is November 12, due to Hans Oster’s leak to their military attaché. They cancel Army leave, reinforce the border and prepare to flood strategic areas. On the French border, German troops reinforce the Siegfried Line. German probing attacks stimulate French rifle and artillery fire.
Two reports, filed from Paris, tell of preparations and a few skirmishes, mostly from the air. But for all the reports of stepped up attacks, a feeling this war may be a repeat of the last one and it has no one clamoring to get things started. Some felt the invasion of Poland was a fluke and that the war was on hold until supplies arrived. In the meantime, British and French Anti-aircraft batteries dotting the countryside gave an almost bucolic picture of Country life near the Siegfried Line, broken up by the occasional burst of anti-aircraft fire or an overhead dogfight, a distant explosion.
The reports were lending some aspect of credence to the notion of a phony war, if it weren’t for ominous reports of troop buildup on the French border or increased activity in the waters around Britain by way of U-Boats or an uptick in sunk Merchant ships. It was that pause before the next big thing arrived that had many wondering what 1940 was going to be looking like.
But for the time being all was relatively calm as reported on November 8 and 9, 1939 by Mutual via the BBC.
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