Battle of Kerch

Battle of Kerch - conflicting reports and rumors of secret weapons.

May 13, 1942 – Relative Quiet In The South Pacific – Rationing In Britain – Reports From Kerch.

Battle of Kerch
Battle of Kerch – conflicting reports and rumors of secret weapons.

May 13, 1942 – News Of The World – NBC – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

May 13, 1942 – A day of relative calm in the South Pacific area, the communiqué issued was probably the shortest on record. It indicated Allied air activity had been restricted due to weather conditions. Communications with the Philippines and Corregidor had been severed. Actual combat activity under General MacArthur’s command was not referred to in a GHQ communiqué. It simply said Air activity in Northeast Sector was restricted due to weather. Routine activity only in other areas. And that was it.

News from Britain reported that military sources were receiving no information regarding the situation in Kerch, near the Crimea but something was expected shortly. Other news from Britain had much to do with rationing of Food and Fuel. It was announced that the number of dining cars on trains was to be cut. At present, long-distance travelers who find a dining car on their train consider themselves lucky and people were being advised to being their own food on trains and even their own drinking mugs. Ceiling prices in restaurants had many in Parliament wondering if this would put an end to “ostentatious dining” as London was rapidly becoming known as one of the most expensive cities as food is scarce and when it is available is becoming increasingly higher priced. So people who can afford it eat in restaurants occasionally and many felt that was unfair to the poor family who has to make do with whatever rations they can get, even though the government was trying to make dining out within everyone’s price range. But there were so many loopholes in the law that most felt the new legislation and price ceiling would have no effect.

And news reports from Kerch via Stockholm were finally coming in, but they were reports from the German High Command who claimed German armies had completely surrounded Russian forces and that the fighting had come to an end with over 40,000 Russians were taken prisoner. It was also reported that the Germans were pursuing the Russians in a path which ran between the Sea of Azov and The Black Sea. If the report was true it meant the German army was in a much better position to launch their much touted “spring offensive”. The Communiqué was giving out more information on their method of attack, including mention of their “secret weapon” which was not revealed exactly what it was. But unsubstantiated reports from Berlin said the weapon was a type of anesthetic gas which rendered the Russian troops unconscious after one whiff. The report did admit the Russians were offering heavy resistance, but downplayed that aspect of the communiqué.

And that’s just a small slice of the news that went on for this May 13, 1942 as reported by NBC’s News Of The World.




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