March 1942

Mar

12

March 1942

Warship Week raises millions for the war effort

There was a long tradition of Royal Navy warships being ‘adopted’ by local areas – formal or informal links would be established between a town and a particular ship. Often the ships company would visit the ‘adopted’ area and there might be a parade. The ship’s Arms or a plaque would be displayed in the town council.

Mar

11

March 1942

U.S. forces continue the bitter fight for Bataan

No man gave up. No man thought of surrendering. We had seen the mutilated bodies of our friends when they fell into Japanese hands. We knew the Japanese were not taking prisoners on the line and we felt sure no prisoners would be taken at all. So we held on for our lives, and prayed and waited for the help that was surely coming from the States.

Mar

10

March 1942

First Lancaster bombing raid

The principal target on three nights was Krupps’ Works at Essen, a total of 336 aircraft dropping 397 tons of H.E. bombs (including 37 of 4,000 lbs.) and nearly 78,000 incendiaries. Our bombers included Lancasters, which were taking part for the first time in offensive operations. Fifteen of our aircraft
are missing.

Mar

9

March 1942

Fleet Air Arm attacks the Tirpitz

Subsequently this ship was identified as the Tirpitz, which was located and attacked with torpedoes by aircraft of the Home Fleet at 0930 on the 9th, about 80 miles west of the Lofoten Islands. No hits were claimed and Tirpitz was last seen steering towards Vestfjord. The Home Fleet has returned to Scapa.

Mar

8

March 1942

A different look at the war in the desert

The Bedouins, in the wadis near the shore, watching the battle wage backwards and forwards along the tableland, consider the protagonists mad. They see first one army then another retiring in haste, leaving behind a wonderful amount of loot. The Bedouins steal forward and sell their spoils to the conquering army.

Mar

7

March 1942

Mussolini – the Italians are not up to this war

The Duce, who is dissatisfied with the way things are going, said, “This war is not for the Italian people. The Italian people do not have the maturity or the consistency for such a tremendous and decisive test. This war is for the Germans and the Japanese, not for us.”

Mar

6

March 1942

Can Churchill survive defeats in the Far East ?

Although the British are keeping a stiff upper lip, the surrender of their troops at Singapore has shattered confidence to the core – even in themselves but, more particularly, in their leaders. They don’t intend to take it lying down and I am satisfied we will see the rebirth of greater determination.

Mar

5

March 1942

War Cabinet discusses Japanese atrocities in Hong Kong

Two things will be clear from it, to the House, to the country and to the world. The Japanese claim that their forces are animated by a lofty code of chivalry, Bushido, is a nauseating hypocrisy. That is the first thing. The second is that the enemy must be utterly defeated.

Mar

4

March 1942

HMS Torbay slips into Corfu harbour for sneak attack

0734 hours – Fired two torpedoes at the destroyer / torpedo boat which unfortunately ran under. At this moment one torpedo struck the first ship fired at. Torbay went deep and turned at full speed to 145º. This was the direct course for the South channel. Cdr. Miers thought it was now time to get out and not to overstay their ‘welcome’.

Mar

3

March 1942

The RAF’s largest bombing raid so far – on Paris

The Renault factory, in the town of Boulogne-Billancourt just west of the centre of Paris, was making an estimated 18,000 lorries a year for the German forces. 235 aircraft – 89 Wellingtons, 48 Hampdens, 29 Stirlings, 26 Manchesters, 23 Whitleys, 20 Halifaxes – were dispatched in 3 waves, the crews of the leading wave being selected for their experience.