May 5, 1942 – South Pacific Air War: Optimistic Pessimism – Invasion Of Madagascar – First Day Of Sugar Rationing: So Far, So Good.
May 5, 1942 – NBC News Of The World – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
May 5, 1942 – News for this day was cautious, particularly with reference to the Air War in the South Pacific. It was reported that Allied pilots were scoring decisive victories in the air, despite being outnumbered by the Japanese. It was estimated Allied Pilots were taking down 3-4 Japanese planes to the Allies’ 1, since the start of the battle over New Guinea the week before. It was a hopeful sign but it was tempered by the fact that the Japanese were sending up larger numbers of planes, with more in reserve and that the Air war was widening and deepening in the South Pacific region. Despite that, the Allies were showing that a victory in the South Pacific would only be possible by gaining an advantage from the Air – it was all a matter of time and keeping supply lines open. For the time though, it was acknowledged that the Japanese war machine had exceeded the Allies, but what was also acknowledged was; even though the Japanese had quantity, the allies had quality and that was a potentially big difference.
Meanwhile, an invasion of Vichy-controlled Madagascar by British troops was met with little opposition. The British War Office stressed the invasion was strategic rather than political. It was said that no political barrier stood in the way of a potential Japanese occupation of the island and that there was no obstacle on the parts of the Vichy government to allow that occupation from happening. The experiences with Indochina and Syria (both under control of Vichy) made it likely that the Vichy government wouldn’t lift a finger to prevent that occupation from happening. And so Britain made sure no replay would happen.
And the first day of Sugar rationing went off without much of a hitch. Aside from massive lines forming and volunteers helping distribute ration booklets being overwhelmed in some cities, many felt it was a good start. More rationing on the way.
And that’s a tiny slice of what happened, this May 5, 1942 as presented by NBC’s News Of The World.
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