Eighty years on. 29th April 1940


Having blown bridges to slow the German advance up the Gudbrandsdal, 15th Brigade waited at Dombås while the remaining Norwegian troops withdrew through their lines.   Kampfgruppe Fischer of 196th Division linked up with troops advancing from Trondheim.

The British destroyers HMS Kelly, Maori and Imperial with the French destroyer Bison left Scapa Flow to evacuate Namsos, screened by the cruisers HMS Devonshire and York.

The British submarine HMS Unity collided in fog with the Norwegian freighter Atle Jarl in Blyth harbour and sank.

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan began in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Personal note:  My father was involved in this, posted to Vancouver Island, Canada as ground crew, working with Avro Ansons and Handley-Page Hampdens. (More below)

U.S. President Roosevelt sent Benito Mussolini a telegram that said, “I earnestly hope that the powerful influence of Italy and of the United States — an influence which is very strong so long as they remain at peace — may yet be exercised, when the appropriate opportunity is presented in behalf of the negotiation of a just and stable peace which will permit of the reconstruction of a gravely stricken world.”

Helsinki forfeited the 1940 Summer Olympics.

In the new camp at Auschwitz, Commandant Rudolf Hoess posted 30 convicts from Sachsenhausen Prison as guards.

Game day 242. Japan

Infantry in Kwangtung and Manchukuo moved west towards the border with China to head of Chinese forces.

In Japan six armoured battalions loaded onto transport ships.

Family History

My father served in the RAF at Patricia Bay, Vancouver island from 1942-43.  I am lucky enough to own his service papers and his collection of station magazines (“The Patrician”) which give a marvellous insight into daily life and attitudes.  My brother has Dad’s photograph album.  I visited the area four years ago with the old photo’s and saw how much – and how little – has changed.

My dad could not understand why he, a trained boat-builder, was assigned to engines while his pal Albert, a garage mechanic, was put on airframe maintenance.  I deduced that it was because the powers that be wanted everyone to learn the RAF way of doing things, rather than coming with pre-conceived ideas that they knew the job already.  Of course, it could have been simply random.

Published by

General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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