Skip to comments.CHAMBERLAIN FEELS ’10 TIMES’ MORE SURE OF STIFLING REICH (4/5/40)
Posted on 04/05/2010 5:09:48 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Stupak got a little piece of paper from Obama.
Chamberlain got a little piece of paper from Hiter.
Britain and France threaten Norway
Friday, April 5, 1940 www.onwar.com
In Oslo... The government of Norway is given a note from Britain and France announcing that they reserve the right to act to deprive Germany of Norwegian resources.
In Britain... In a major public speech, Prime Minister Chamberlain proclaims that Hitler has “missed the bus.”
Something to jolt you awake on a Monday morning...
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt
APRIL 5, 1940
SAN FRANCISCO, ThursdayHere we continue yesterday’s description of my day in the beautiful valley. We saw another type of migratory labor camp, where the individuals own whatever they put up on a small piece of land. Here each one has his own water pipe, but it is frequently immediately next to the outside toilet. The shelter put up by the individual is built of boxes, scraps of tin, even bags; in fact, anything which can be picked up for nothing is used. When one individual moves out, he has the right to sell this strange conglomeration to another. One young man, who was sweeping in his yard, told me that he had moved in the day before and had paid twenty-seven dollars for what I saw. He, his wife and three children were planning to live there and he had a job! The potato harvest is about to begin. Men have been out of work a long time but now digging potatoes offers work again.
We visited the Kern County camp where the county authorities take some responsibility. The land is free, they put in water and electricity and people are given sites on which to pitch their tents. In this camp there is a recreation hall with a WPA worker in charge. An attempt is made to have a planned recreation program and to give some instruction in weaving and rug making. There are also some tubs and a washing machine installed by the county. There are more toilets and even a few showers, but the tents are pitched on the ground and in wet weather it is deep in mud.
Several people yesterday had to change their sites because they were flooded out. Their pitiful belongings were stacked up waiting to be moved. In hot weather, all these camps must be well nigh unbearable. This county camp, of course, is better, but even here living conditions are hardly what we call decent.
Outside of almost every little village and town, many of which look as though they had sprung up themselves in the last few years, you will find on the outskirts the type of private and squatters’ camps which I described in yesterday’s column.
We visited the Mineral King Ranch, which is a cooperative farm leased by thirteen families near Visalia. These families live in inexpensive houses. They do real farming and have a chance for a really worthwhile life, if they have the wisdom to stick together and believe in the goodwill of their advisers. Finally, I saw two government camps, one at Shafter and one at Visalia. For migratory workers, these camps indicate possible standards for decent existence. There is a nursery school for the youngsters, there are playing grounds for the elders, there are clinincs and, in Shafter, a cooperative store. Above all, they are run by the people themselves so that democracy may be seen in action.
April 5th, 1940
NORWEGIAN CAMPAIGN: Scapa Flow: British minelaying ships leave for Norway commanded by Vice-Admiral Whitworth on the battle cruiser Renown, with eight destroyers as escorts and four destroyers to lay mines across the Leads outside Narvik Fjord.
UNITED KINGDOM: Westminster: The Prime Minister told a Conservative Party meeting today that after seven months of war he feels ten times as confident of victory as he did at the start. In this unusually buoyant mood Mr. Chamberlain said: “One thing is certain. Hitler has missed the bus.”
The speech appeared to be aimed at dispelling some signs of public impatience about the conduct of the war. Mr. Chamberlain recalled that Germany was turned into an armed camp in the years before the war while Britain postponed rapid rearmament so long as any hope of peace remained.
He went on: “It was natural then to expect that the enemy would take advantage of his initial superiority to make an endeavour to overwhelm us and France before we had time to make good our deficiencies. Is it not extraordinary that no such attempt was made?”
Having made his point, he declared: “Whatever the reason, Hitler has very little margin of strength still to call upon.”
RAF Fighter Command: An unknown number of Luftwaffe aircraft attack Scapa Flow. RAF claim 5 destroyed.
U.S.S.R.: Katyn: Secret police remove a group of Polish officers from Kozelsk prisoner-of-war camp and shoot them dead in a wood. It is feared that this could be the first of a series of killings.
NORWAY: Oslo: The Allies send a diplomatic note to saying Norway that they reserve the right to cut off Norwegian supplies to Germany.
IRAQ: MacPhail and Burton fly from Habbaniya for their second reconnaissance mission over the Soviet oilfields. This time the target is Batum, the most important Soviet oil seaport on the Black Sea and the terminal point of the Baku pipeline. They fly across Turkey and approach Batum at high altitude from the Black Sea. They just finish photographing the port and are circling over the rows of oil refineries, when anti-aircraft shells explode around them. MacPhail pulls up the aircraft and is able to escape under a protective cloud cover.
Day 218 April 5, 1940
The French government is informed that Britain will go ahead with Operation Wilfred (mining the coast of Norway) without Operation Royal Marine (mining the River Rhine). Even Chamberlain believes the Allies have seized the initiative, crowing that Hitler missed the bus words that he will come to regret. Allies deliver diplomatic notes (admonitions) to Norway and Sweden warning of actions to hinder German trade with these countries. Norwegians are now convinced of an Allied invasion and forget about Germany.
At 6.30 PM, British battlecruiser HMS Renown, destroyers HMS Inglefield, Ilex, Imogen, Isis, Greyhound, Glowworm, Hyperion, Hero & minelayer HMS Teviotbank depart Scapa Flow to mine the Norwegian coast.
Norwegian ambassador in Berlin warns of German plans to invade Denmark and parts of Southern Norway. The British also receive intelligence reports that Germany will soon invade Norway, including landings at Narvik. These warnings are ignored.
British submarine HMS Spearfish leaves Blyth for the Danish coast. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCiBP8f5xVo
Oh, yeah. Sanctions worked that time. Not.
Did the British MP and PM elections happen in April or May of 1940?
I don't know about the scheduled Parliamentary elections, but there will be a change at the top in May.
What an odd expression... how many times now has Chamberlain publicly proclaimed that Hitler "missed the bus," a dozen? Seems like every few weeks we've seen another such declaration.
What an odd bus that must be.
Every time it pulls to its stop, Hitler walks up, but somehow misses it, according to Chamberlain.
Whatever could that mean?
Do you not suppose it would eventually sink into Chamberlain's mind that possibly, perhaps Hitler was never trying to catch his stinkin' bus? ;-)
And speaking of "missing the bus," isn't there some serious transportation moving toward Norway about now? Wonder if Chamberlain will get there on time?
It is in that context that I found the last of today's articles, "Nazi Sailors Meet British at Narvik," to be strangely interesting.
Back when the French had a pair.
This was the much discussed and oft-postponed mining of the Norwegian Inner Leads against the iron-ore traffic to Germany. The constant brake on British action, the Altmark incident notwithstanding, was Norwegian neutrality. The general naval blockade had only disrupted the flow because searches for contraband could not be carried out in neutral waters. The operation envisaged one diversionary and two serious minelaying sorties aimed at shipping coming from the ports of Narvik and Trondheim, at points where it was obliged by the convolutions of the coastline to pass briefly to the open sea. The British Admiralty's thinking had progressed far enough to envisage the possibility of a strong German reaction to such a move and 'Plan R4' was drawn up for a pre-emptive occupation of the four main western Norwegian ports - Narvik, Trondheim, Bergen and Stavanger - should the Germans show signs of moving against them in retaliation. The minelaying itself was to be covered by the battlecruiser Renown and supporting vessels. Troops, transports and escorts from a move against Narvik and Trondheim were assembled in the Clyde, in the south-west of Scotland; at Rosyth in the Firth of Forth to the east, four cruisers embarked army units to be landed at Bergen and Stavanger.
- The Atlantic Campaign, Dan Van der Vat, pp 150-151.
Both parties were coming to the same conclusion that made Norwegian neutrality untenable for either of them. The only question now, as BroJoeK said, who will get there first?
There were no general elections in Britain from 1935-1945. Baldwin resigned in 1937 as PM and recommended Chamberlain to the new King George VI as his successor. Chamberlain would resign after the Norway debate in May 1940. He wanted Lord Halifax to succeed him but Halifax refused, leaving Churchill the obvious choice. There was a coalition Government, including the Labour Party, under Churchill as PM from May 1940-1945.
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