1941

Dec

31

1941

No pity for the Germans suffering in the cold

German pictures of the Wehrmacht on the Eastern front gave little indication of the the terrible state many of their troops were in.

We watch as military ambulances and trains go west, loaded with wounded and frostbitten soldiers. Most frostbite occurs on hands, feet, ears, noses, and genitals. You can judge the desperation of the German military situation by the fact that Hitler has taken direct responsibility for all military action in Russia.

Dec

30

1941

Churchill’s ‘Chicken speech’ to the Canadian Parliament

A Canadian Official portrait of Churchill addressing the Canadian Parliament on 30th December 1941.

t was their duty and it was also their interest to go to North Africa, where they would have been at the head of the French Empire. In Africa, with our aid, they would have had overwhelming sea power. They would have had the recognition of the United States, and the use of all the gold they had lodged beyond the seas. If they had done this Italy might have been driven out of the war before the end of 1940, and France would have held her place as a nation in the counsels of the Allies and at the conference table of the victors.

Dec

29

1941

A grim journey to the Russian front

German troops unloading frozen supplies on the Eastern front during the winter of 1941-2

A transport train carrying wounded men stops nearby. It’s a wretched sight which makes it clear to us how bitterly this war is being fought. It consists of ordinary goods wagons with straw in them for the wounded to lie on. Filthy and louse-ridden, with inadequate dressings and hardly any medical orderlies, no heating – that’s how the boys are brought home.

Dec

28

1941

Brief respite from a global war

Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, KCB, DSO, broadcasting the Fleets Greetings from the cabin of his flagship HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH off Alexandria. He stated that "The Navy in the Mediterranean in the past year has fought and won against some pretty long odds and has kept the sea."  This Admiralty photograph released to the press was all part of a cover up following the recent  disabling of the Queen Elizabeth.

We first slipped into the dining room for a cup of tea – ah! sublime luxuries of town! – and chain smoked many excellent cigarettes. Sometimes we’ve thought “Wog” Woodbines a luxury, but now we had lots of Players, Gold Flake and Craven “A”, with no danger of the supply becoming exhausted.

Dec

27

1941

Commando raid on Vaasgo, Norway

An Me 109 fighter attempts to take off as the Norwegian airfield of Herdla comes under low level attack, bombs can be seen exploding. Blenheim bombers from No.114 Squadron made this diversionary raid 80 miles south of Vaasgo.

About a hundred yards from our landing place, I fired ten red Very light signals. This told the ships to stop firing and the aircraft to come in with their smoke bombs. As I leaped from the leading landing craft three Hampden bombers passed over me at zero feet with a roar. As they did so they loosed their bombs, which seemed to flash and then mushroom like miniature atom explosions. Some of the phosphorus came back in a great flaming sheet.

Dec

26

1941

The death toll mounts in a cold starving Leningrad

Residents of Leningrad queueing up for water”. People in besieged Leningrad taking water from shell-holes. Location: Nevsky Prospect, December 1941

Each day, eight to ten bodies are brought there on sleighs. And they just lie on the snow. Fewer and fewer collins are available, and less and less material to make them. So the bodies are Wrapped in sheets, in blankets, in tablecloths, sometimes even in curtains. Once I saw a small bundle Wrapped in paper and tied with string. It was very small, the body of a child.

Dec

25

1941

Christmas Day in a war torn world

An Admiralty official photograph released to show Christmas on board ship 1941 "In the ward room that has been decorated with balloons and streamers, the First Lieutenant carves the joint during Christmas celebrations on board HMS WESTMINSTER at Rosyth."  Note the vacant chair for the officer on watch and the aircraft identification pictures on the wall.

At 5:00 P.M. on the 25th, our boys got together for one last crack at the little brown devils. The morale was very high, being backed up by hatred, contempt and disgust for those wanton, raping, sadistic, cold blooded murderers from Japan. A Hong Kong volunteer defence corps captain, a vet. of WW1, later told me it was the finest bayonet charge he had ever witnessed.

Dec

24

1941

Christmas messages from Goebbels and Churchill

Joseph Goebbels, the German propaganda minister , was totally devoted to Hitler and like many senior Naz's, anxious for his approval.

In thinking of the Führer, who on this evening too is everywhere where Germans gather, we are reminded of the Fatherland. It will be larger, more beautiful, more prosperous after the war is over. It will be a proud and free homeland for us all. We want to thank the Führer for that. He can depend on his people at the front, at home, and in the wide world. He leads us, and we follow him.

Dec

23

1941

Flying Tigers confront the first raid on Rangoon

Aircraft of the 'Flying Tigers' are guarded by a Nationalist Chinese soldier

Found a bomber away from the formation, made about three passes, and on the last one went in to about 50 yds., firing all guns and he blew up right in front of me + down in flames. Went after another and McMillan and I together put out his right engine and smoke trailed out. He was losing alt. last time I looked, but about that time I was jumped by three Jap fighters.

Dec

22

1941

Winston Churchill arrives at the White House

The battleship HMS Duke of York crashes across the North Atlantic as it conveys Winston Churchill for a conference with Franklin Roosevelt. The journey took ten days.

I formed a very strong affection, which grew with our years of comradeship, for this formidable politician who had imposed his will for nearly ten years upon the American scene, and whose heart seemed to respond to many of the impulses that stirred my own. As we both, by need or habit, were forced to do much of our work in bed, he visited me in my room whenever he felt inclined, and encouraged me to do the same to him. Hopkins was just across the passage from my bedroom, and next door to him my travelling map room was soon installed.