September 6, 1939 – BBC World Service News – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
September 6, 1939 – News for this day was still preoccupied with preparations for an all-out war. Some referred to it as “the Phony War”, while others were convinced this was going to be a repeat of 1914.
Allies were quickly gathering. Everyone from Turkish leaders to the Aga Khan pledged support and offered troops for any eventuality. America was steadfast in its refusal to get involved. This was going to be a hot-topic of discussion on both sides of the Atlantic over the coming months.
Meanwhile, fighting all around the Polish border was continuing with both Polish and German forces claiming victories. Reports of towns and villages, initially captured by German forces now being re-taken by Polish forces, offering some hope the war may not be a drawn-out protracted affair but one which could come to a quick end.
Officials in Paris had issued a public warning that anyone caught pilfering from stores which had been closed due to bombings would be immediately arrested and shot for looting. Maybe the war might have seemed phony, but it came with real-life consequences for doing the wrong things at the wrong times. Many of those shops in question were offering 20% discounts to anyone serving the French armed forces.
And pending local elections in Britain were being curtailed for the time being, allowing people to concentrate on precautions, the war effort and the pressing issues at hand, rather than politics.
And that’s a small slice of what happened this September 6th, 1939 as presented by the BBC World Service.
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