' I feel so fresh - Spring is coming' - Allied propaganda leaflet used in 1942.

Propaganda Leaflets.

During March 1942 the number of leaflets released by the R.A.F. amounted to 19,268,725, which closely approaches the record established in March 1940. The leaflets were disseminated over Germany, France, Norway, Holland and Belgium.

One special leaflet explained to the French people why it had been necessary to bomb the Renault works, and contained excellent reproductions of air photographs showing the damage inflicted on the works. Over 2 million of these were distributed over Paris and the industrial areas of France.

From the Air Situation Report for the week ending 23rd April as reported to the British War Cabinet, see TNA CAB 66/24/6

The raid on the Renault works on the 3rd March , designed as a demonstration of the RAF’s growing bombing capability, had resulted in heavy casualties amongst French workers living close to the factory. There was a need for the British to explain themselves.

' The Renault factories worked for the German Army. The Renault factories were hit' - a British propaganda leaflet designed for the French audience, produced by the Political Warfare Executive and dropped by RAF bombers.

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Apr

22

1942

Norwegian SS troops fight off Russian assault

22nd April 1942: Norwegian SS troops fight off Russian assault

From the Russian side they must have used over 1000 soldiers to storm us in the attack. Since the attacking forces were not the regular forces we had been looking at over the frontline for some time now, they were unable to break through our lines as they seemed completely unaware of our positions and any weaknesses our lines may have had.

Apr

21

1942

Spitfire versus Me 109s over Malta

21st April 1942: Spitfire versus Me 109s over Malta

Ahhhhh! A huge part of a Ju 88, nose and engines, flashes out from under my left wing: must have been right on top of him! Gone now. Easing gently out of my dive, watching my graceful target flying backwards towards me, larger and larger in my gun-sight. Quick search in all directions: lots of 88s but no enemy fighters.

Apr

20

1942

Spitfires for Malta are flown off USS Wasp

20th April 1942: Spitfires for Malta are flown off USS Wasp

The deck ofiicer began rotating his chequered flag and I pushed forward my throttle until I had maximum rpm. His flag then fell and I released the brakes and I pushed the throttle to emergency override to get the last ounce of power out of my Merlin. The Spitfire picked up speed rapidly in its headlong charge down the deck but not rapidly enough. The ship’s bows got closer and closer and still I had insufficient airspeed …

Apr

19

1942

Spring thaw delays Russian offensive

19th April 1942: Spring thaw delays Russian offensive

Thaw conditions, which are unusually severe, continue to limit opera­tions. All indications point to mid-May as the earliest date for a German offensive, although a local one in the Crimea might be staged sooner if the Germans can establish air superiority there.

Apr

18

1942

Doolittle raiders bomb Japan

18th April 1942: Doolittle raiders bomb Japan

Final instructions were to avoid non-military targets, particularly the Temple of Heaven, and even though we were put off so far at sea that it would be impossible to reach the China Coast, not to go to Siberia but to proceed as far West as possible, land on the water, launch the rubber boat and sail in.

Apr

17

1942

Low level Lancaster raid on Augsberg

17th April 1942: Low level Lancaster raid on Augsberg

Soon after crossing into enemy territory his formation was engaged by 25 to 30 fighters. A running fight ensued. His rear guns went out of action. One by one the aircraft of his formation were shot down until in the end only his own and one other remained. The fighters were shaken off but the target was still far distant. There was formidable resistance to be faced.

Apr

16

1942

Wartime Taxes rise again in the UK

16th April 1942: Wartime Taxe rises again in the UK

Quite apart from the dangers of war, the blackout and rationing, the British were being hit hard in their pocket. The war had to be paid for and that meant almost penal levels of taxation for everyone. Income tax had already been raised to 50 per cent. In addition to rationing on food and clothing there were shortages of many commodities so there was a limited range of things people could buy even if they did have the money.

Apr

15

1942

Malta awarded the George Cross

15th April 1942: Malta awarded the George Cross

An immense amount of damage has been done on the island, and among familiar landmarks which have been destroyed or seriously damaged are both Admiralty Houses (at Valetta and Vittoriosa), St. Angelo, the Customs House, the Castille, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Opera House and the great dome of the church at Musta.

Apr

14

1942

First U-Boat kill by U.S. ship

13th April 1942: First U-Boat kill by U.S. ship

A barrage of eleven depth charges was laid by use of racks, Y-guns, and K-guns, based on an eye estimate of the submarine’s location plus an excellent sound contact. The bearing of the submarine remained almost constant and the speed was negligible. Wreckage could not be detected because of the darkness. On two occasions this ship passed near the survivors, but the fact that German submarines frequently work in pairs made the conduct of any rescue work before daylight far too dangerous to risk.