Battles begun - First glimmers of Operation Torch.

Battles For Control – Eyes On The Solomons – First Words On North Africa – November 7/8, 1942

Battles begun – First glimmers of Operation Torch.

November 7/8, 1942 – News Of The World – initial bulletin on North Africa Invasion – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Battles this day in 1942 – Word from The Solomon Islands in the South Pacific told of fighting continuing on Guadalcanal, while fighting in New Guinea was approaching a strategically important stage with the recapture of Rabaul imminent and the further cutting off of Japanese supply routes.

From London came word that RAF bombers were staging another major raid over Genoa, the third so far this year and an indication of bigger things to come. It was a clear signal to Rommel, who was suffering a major defeat in Egypt, due largely to loss of supplies and a further demoralizing of the Italian troops who were giving up in large numbers while being abandoned by the retreating Afrika Corps. Prime Minister Winston Churchill reported that already there were some 20,000 Axis prisoners in Allied custody along with some 350 tanks and 400 guns and many thousands of vehicles. Word was circulating that Rommel had very few tanks left and that prisoners among the five decimated Italian divisions were an additional 20,000 with many more predicted to be taken.

One of the potential big issues on the war/home front was the number of recent enlistments in the armed forces and how they were sapping much needed skilled labor in war work. According to reports, the Southern California aircraft industry alone lost some 5,000 aircraft workers to enlistment in the previous month. If it were to continue, the labor shortage for skilled workers would be critical and could prove a deciding factor in the war effort. And so the subject of doing away with enlistments and concentrating solely on draftees to fill the military quota.

It was also the 25th anniversary of the October Russian Revolution and the first year where the streets of Moscow were virtually deserted, owing to the battles going on around the Capitol.

Later in the evening, initial bulletins came in reporting the first stages of the invasion of North Africa. It was happening during the dawn hours (on the 8th) but it was still the 7th as the news was being reported in the U.S. – the report, which was being broadcast by Alex Drier from London cuts abruptly off mid-sentence with a muffled “we’ve been cut off” being heard in the background, suggesting censorship was at play.

And that’s just a small portion of the news, the Battles taking place and the Battles to come, this November 7, 1942 as reported by NBC.

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