Japanese bombers - 1942

Raids on Sumatra - Tokyo boasted of air superiority - some observers agreed.

January 19, 1942 – Sumatra: Burning Oil Fields – Singapore: “New Stages Of Bitterness And Ferocity” – London: Serious Questions To Answer.

Japanese bombers - 1942
Raids on Sumatra – Tokyo boasted of air superiority – some observers agreed.

January 19, 1942 – News Of The World – NBC – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

January 19, 1942 – The Pacific war was looking grimmer by the hour. Japanese Bombers staged raids on oil fields in Sumatra as well as raids over Burma. The battle for Singapore was relentless and intense and, according to sources, achieving new stages of “bitterness and ferocity”. All this leading to the conclusion that Singapore and, for the most part, the Far East was rapidly becoming a lost cause for Britain and the Allies. Many felt the problem lay in leadership, that the military was engaging in “too little – too late” and that the blame rested squarely on #10 Downing Street. Prime Minister Churchill arrived back in London after spending a month in Washington in talks with President Roosevelt and lawmakers on Capitol Hill – his arrival was greeted with amazement that such a daring trip across the Atlantic was pulled off without incident. Once the credulity subsided came calls for a shakeup in the government and the possible replacement of Churchill as Prime Minister over the disastrous handling of the Pacific war. Churchill was expected to face the House of Commons in what was certain to be a stormy and withering assault of questions and accusations over his handling of the Malaya and Sumatra situations. But for all the shouts and threats, most agreed that Churchill had an enormous job and they needed to go along with him; good or bad. Not much choice in the matter.

Meanwhile, some rays of hope coming by way of Russia. News reports from Moscow told of Russian and German troops fighting hand-to-hand in the streets of Mozhaysk, just west of Moscow and the pivot point in the German offensive against the city. The report went on to say the Russian Army had defeated the “cream of the German Army”, but no further details were forthcoming.

Not so much on Malta, as reports came in that German attacks on the critical entrance to the Mediterranean were increasing in intensity. British air defenses were strong, but there was no indication from the reports that those defenses were adequate.

Britain restored Haile Selassie to the throne in Abyssinia. An Anglo-Ethiopian agreement was signed, restoring full sovereignty to the Emperor and granting Selassie every assistance to place his country on a sound economic basis. So Ethiopia got back what Italy took away by way of appeasement.

And that’s only a small slice of what went on, this January 19th, 1942 as reported by NBC’s Morning News Roundup.

Stay tuned – Radio Tokyo’s version of the days news is coming up shortly.

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