October 10, 1940 – Arthur Mann Reports from London – Mutual – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
A week’s worth of news, this October 10th, as reported by Arthur Mann in London for Mutual. News from the Air Ministry that the RAF had formed The Eagle Squadron, a group of American pilots who volunteered to fight for Britain and joined the RAF. It would be the first of several units that would eventually be rolled into the 8th Air Force when America entered the war in 1941. Some of the American pilots had already seen action over Europe in the early days of the War. Now they would be part of the same squadron.
News on the diplomatic front, as the U.S. reacted to Japan’s joining the Axis Pact several days earlier as well as reacting to the Axis/Soviet pact, which drew considerable unease both in London and Washington.
There was also American reaction to the British decision to re-open the Burma Road to China. Many speculated the move may have foreshadowed eventual U.S. fleet movements in the Pacific, indicating a possibility America would be involved in the War in the Pacific.
There were hopes that the resumption of U.S./Soviet talks both in Washington and Moscow would serve to detach Moscow from Berlin and turn Russia at least into a position of Positive neutrality with regard to Britain. There were some in London who expressed complete disbelief that any such aim could be achieved. They believed the Soviets were far too afraid of Germany’s armed superiority to risk a conflict with Hitler, particularly since the pact with Japan. They believed Russian would follow it’s own policy of appeasement even to the point of giving up aid to China in order to avoid war.
Britain’s feeling about the upcoming American elections were met with little concern since who ever got elected wasn’t going to influence the events in the world one way or the other.
All that, and The Eagle Squadron were what was going on in the world according to Arthur Mann in this shortwave report from London in October 1940.
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