The French Fleet: Fourth largest navy in the world - a flaming wreck.

Fourth largest navy in the world - a flaming wreck.
The French Fleet: Fourth largest navy in the world – a flaming wreck.

– News Of The World – November 28, 1942 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Dramatic news this day in 1942. Word came from Paris via London that the entire French Naval fleet was destroyed in one exploding catastrophe at the port city of Toulon overnight. The fourth largest Navy in the world was sunk in a matter of hours ahead of German occupation of the facility and seizure of the ships. Rather than fall into German hands, the decision was made to scuttle the entire fleet. Explosions were heard five miles away as the German Army rushed to seize other French military facilities.

In the rest of the war – The Eastern Front was roaring along, as Moscow Radio announced a successful Russian offensive against the Germans, re-capturing the city of Kletskaya, an important objective in the Don River elbow. Only 7 Russians were found wandering the streets of the city – the rest had been either taken prisoner by the Germans or massacred before the Germans left. Moscow Radio went on to announce that not one single German soldier was left standing on the West bank of the Don, which constituted a 50 mile stretch of the Don Elbow. Other reports indicated fierce fighting around Stalingrad and Leningrad

From Cairo came word that Rommel’s forces were digging in around Agila with an eye towards Tunisia where Allied armies were busy trying to split the Axis forces. There was also word that the remaining ships; one Battleship and four Cruisers from the French Naval fleet were interned in Alexandria harbor and were as yet untouched.

From the Southwest Pacific – news regarding the political situation in Australia and further preparations for what was feared might be a Japanese invasion.

From Capitol Hill – word of a pending major shakeup on the President Roosevelt’s cabinet, designed to provide a solution to the manpower problem currently gripping the war effort. Rumors that Interior Secretary Ickes was to be shifted over to the post of Labor Secretary with Paul McNutt assuming Ickes Interior job were rife, with rumors that a draft of the Executive Order was being prepared. Nationwide Gasoline rationing came one step further as the group of Congressmen opposed to the idea gave up the fight to ban such a step, but instead going after Price Administrator Leon Henderson in an attempt to remove him from his post via Appropriations. On a brighter note – both houses of Congress were planning on drafting a resolution to go on recess beginning December 15th, for the first formal holiday in three years, giving Congress a breathing spell before the 78th Congress reconvened on January 4th.

And aside from the news of the French Fleet that’s just a sample of what went on this November 28th in 1942 as presented by The Blue Network’s News Of The World.

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