Skip to comments.POPE REPORTED SEEKING AID OF ROOSEVELT TO LIMIT WAR; 3 ALLIED DESTROYERS SUNK (5/7/40)
Posted on 05/07/2010 4:30:11 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
PRESIDENT HAS A HUNCH Hurries Back to Capital, Feeling Something is About to Happen
Do you suppose FDR will be hearing from that same little bird towards the end of next year?
thanks for posting this Homer - I really like reading history like this!
Debate forces Chamberlain to resign
Tuesday, May 7, 1940 www.onwar.com
Neville Chamberlain after the resignationIn Britain... There is a major debate in the House of Commons on the conduct of the war and especially of the Norwegian campaign. At the vote Chamberlain’s government has a majority of 281-200 but when compared to former support this is not sufficient to allow the government to continue to claim to be representative. Neville Chamberlain resigns. In fact the errors of the Norwegian campaign have been at least as much Churchill’s as any others. However, in a wider sense the responsibility is Chamberlain’s for failing to to establish a coherent decision-making structure to see that plans were properly coordinated and that subordinates worked sensibly and efficiently.
May 7th, 1940
Westminster: Debate begins today and continues through tomorrow in the British House of Commons on the “Conduct of the War” especially in Norway. Chamberlain is unable to explain why time was wasted landing troops at Namsos and Åndalsnes rather than attacking Trondheim.
The pacifist George Lansbury, Labour Party leader from 1931 to 1935, died today aged 81. Lansbury had many critics but no enemies. He was the “Cockneys MP” for Bow and Bromley for 30 years and a former Mayor of the East End borough of Poplar. As first Commissioner for Works in the first Labour government in 1924 he introduced swings and sandpits for children in London parks. He resigned the leadership in 1935 after Ernest Bevin, the union leader, attacked him for “hawking his conscience” around the land when preaching against war and rearmament.
The first production Shorts Stirling flies from Rochester (N 3635).
Submarines HMS Trooper and Una laid down.
ASW trawler HMS Gavotte launched.
Destroyer ORP Piorun (ex-HMS Nerissa) launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
NETHERLANDS: The mobilisation programme is completed.
GERMANY: Jodls diary: Fuhrer railroad train is scheduled to leave Finkenkrug at 16.38 hours. But weather remains uncertain and therefore the order [for the attack] is rescinded...Fuhrer greatly agitated about new postponement as there is danger of treachery. Talk of the Belgian Envoy to the Vatican with Brussels permits the deduction that treason has been committed by a German personality who left Berlin for Rome on April 29...
NORWEGIAN CAMPAIGN: HMS Glorious is anchored at Greenock taking on provisions, ordnance, stores, and supplies. HMS Furious remains in dockyard hands.
Off Narvik: HMS Ark Royal in position 70.17 N, 16.98 E, recovered the Walrus from Harstad at 0610. Per instructions, she implemented standing section fighter patrols over the Harstad area, the first patrols leaving 0800 and 0830. One of them later crashed on landing, the aircraft requiring a major overhaul. At the same time, two Swordfish were dispatched on a photo-reconnaissance mission in the Bogen area. After a period of inactivity due to poor weather, a further fighter patrol of two Skuas of 801 Squadron (Lt. T. E. Gray, RN) was dispatched at 1330 with another trio from 803 ( Lt. W. P. Lucy, RN). They clashed with two pairs of He-111s over Ofotfjord, claiming two probably downed, though in reality only one 8/KG 26 machine was damaged though it managed to make it back to Vaernes and make a crash landing. One FAA pilot, Lt.(A) G. F. Russell of 803 was wounded by return fire.
Reports placed German troop carrying aircraft in the area, so two further fighter patrols were dispatched at 1700 and 1900, but nothing was sighted. Finally, the days activity was ended when the Walrus was dispatched to Harstad to be transferred to HMS Effingham.
U.S.S.R.: Aeroflot opens a new internal air route between Moscow and Lvov (Lwow) in occupied Poland.
U.S.A.: President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the U.S. Fleet to remain in the Territory of Hawaii indefinitely as a deterrent to the Japanese. (Jack McKillop)
Day 250 May 7, 1940
Debate opens in British parliament on the conduct of the war. Prime Minister Chamberlain is ridiculed by opposition parties taunting him with his statement that Hitler had missed the bus in Norway. He is also denounced by Conservative MPs. Former Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Keyes, in full uniform & 6 rows of medals, details the governments mishandling of military events in Norway. Backbencher Leo Amery rouses the House with a stunning critique and dooms Chamberlain with a quote from Oliver Cromwell You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norway_Debate
Luftwaffe continues to pound Allied ships near Narvik. At 4.41 PM, British cruiser HMS Aurora is hit putting A and B turrets out of action (7 Marines are killed) but she will stay in action until 25 May. 5 die in a gun accident on WWI-era cruiser HMS Curlew.
I wonder what German plane they are talking about on page 6 under heading “Plumet Plane Told Of”? When I think German dive bomber I think JU87 Stuka. But by ‘40 those were not new and becoming obsolete by the time the BoB started in July-Aug. Plus they were 2 seaters and the article talks of a new single seater.
1940 Sinking of the Polish Destroyer ‘Grom’
Excellent find. Thanks for posting that.
Curious little article isn’t it. The British are already reading Enigma codes. I wonder if they passed something on to the U.S. that triggered this. Or perhaps it is just a gut feeling that things are about to escalate, though I’m not convinced about that.
Yes, the "little birdie" on FDR's right shoulder whispers all the secrets from many intelligence sources into our Spymaster in Chief's ear.
But... but... on Roosevelt's LEFT shoulder sits the "Sergeant Schultz Bird," which just squawks, over and over again:
"I see N O T H I N G!"
Which will FDR hear on any given day?
Iirc, there's an interesting story here.
Wasn't the new German bomb sight stolen from Norden?
I’d be curious if FDR got wind of the May 1st Enigma changes from the British. Up to that day they could read German Army administrative codes “The Green”, Luftwaffe codes “Red”, and their operational codes for Norway “Yellow”. On May 1st the twice encrypted Enigma indicators disappeared from all codes except Yellow which make the “Netz” method of breaking them useless. Nothing is more foreboding that a sudden change in your enemies codes. FDR getting word of this makes more sense to me than a “gut feeling”.
Probably. The Nordon Bombsight was stolen by Hermann Lang, who was part of the Duquesne Spy Ring.
Here's the FBI's entry on him. Hermann Lang
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