World War II As It Happened
A MaritimeQuest Daily Event Special Presentation
Thursday July 4, 1940
Day 308

July 4, 1940: Front page of the Manchester Evening News, Manchester, England.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
Note the headline: "Royal Navy Overpowers French Ships In Encounter Off Oran"
(These are the first reports of the Battle of Mers-el-Kebir.)
Also note the report at bottom center: "July 9 Is New Blitzkrieg Date"
(The report, by Otto Tolischus of the New York Times, claims that the Germans are going to launch their invasion of England from Norway. While this reporter seems to have some credibility in general, this report was completely absurd. We now know that Germany never invaded England, but to consider that the Germans would first move tens of thousands of troops, ships and supplies to Norway to launch an invasion of England, one wonders what Mr. Tolischus was thinking when he wrote this piece.

To offer proof that this and all reports of the upcoming "invasion" were either made from whole cloth or the reporters and officials were completely fooled by the German propaganda and counter-intelligence services. On July 2, 1940 General Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of Staff of the German Armed Forces High Command, sent a memo to all his commanders. He wrote;

"A landing in England is possible, provided that air superiority can be attained and certain other necessary conditions fulfilled."

He then requests information on basic logistics, which if a real invasion had been planned, should have been done months or years earlier. Wanting to know British Armed Forces strength, possible landing points in Southern England, equipment on hand, projected losses of men and equipment, naval assets and so on. The last paragraph reads as follows;

"All preparations must bear in mind that the plan to invade England has not taken any sort of definite shape as yet, and that these are only preparations for a possible operation. As few people as possible should be informed of these plans."

This memo from two days before this newspaper report, clearly shows that there was in fact, no preparation for an invasion on July 9th, or any time in the near future. An invasion of this scale takes months or even years of careful planning, which as you can see, had not been done by the Germans.

To provide concrete evidence that no invasion was planned I offer this. In a directive dated July 16, 1940 this was written;

"Since Britain, despite her hopeless military situation, still shows no indications of a desire to come to terms with us, I have decided to prepare an invasion, and, if necessary, to carry it out."

This was signed by the only man who really knew if there was going to be an invasion of England, Adolf Hitler. He then directs his commanders to provide him with the information and operational plans one would need to plan an invasion. Keep in mind that while this was going on, Hitler was planning and preparing the invasion of the Soviet Union. On Sept. 3 he sets a date for the invasion of Sept. 20, landing on the 21st, but on the 14th the invasion was postponed. On Sept. 19th Hitler ordered the transport fleet concentration be stopped and those already in position be disbanded. Finally on Oct. 14, 1940 Hitler scrapped the invasion plans, such as they were. Keitel, in a memo to his commanders, wrote this;

"The Führer has decided that preparations for the landing in Britain are to be kept up from now until spring, MEARLY AS A MEANS OF EXERTING POLITICAL AND MILITARY PRESSURE."

Meaning, as a ruse to keep British forces tied down planning to defend Britain from an invasion, that would never happen, rather than from planning and executing offensive operations against Germany.

The invasion of England was, as had been demonstrated, only a ruse, the real target was Soviet Russia. On Dec. 18, 1940 Adolf Hitler released Directive #21 entitled Operation Barbarossa. This was the first official announcement to the German general staff confirming that Hitler was ordering the invasion of the Soviet Union. The first sentence reads; "The German Armed Forces must be ready to crush Soviet Russia in a rapid campaign, even before the termination of the war with Britain."

Another memo from Wilhelm Keitel on Jan. 9, 1941 states the following;

"The Führer decides as follows on 9 Jan. 1941...
3. Preparations for Operation Seelöwe (Sealion)
Preparations are likewise to be discontinued except for the development of special equipment and for the purpose of deception."

Also, in Führer directive #23 of Feb. 6, 1941 this can be found;

"5. Up until regrouping begins for operation "Barbarossa", air and sea attacks are to be steadily increased, if possible, not only in order to cause as much damage as possible to Britain, but also to create the impression that we still plan to invade the British Isles this year."

It is clear that Hitler never seriously considered invading England, and by Dec. 18, 1940, with his announcement of the invasion of the Soviet Union, all his focus and his forces would be concentrated on this task.

Tolischus' report is as absurd as the reports last March [2021] of a planned attack against the U.S. capitol on Mar. 4th. The left-wing media repeated the lies from the Biden administration, Nancy Pelosi and the so-called intelligence agencies that right-wing militias and of course the omnipresent, white supremacists, were planning this attack. For weeks we were told this was why the National Guard had to be kept in Washington to "protect" the capitol. Another absurd lie from the left. I never heard one single so-called journalist ask, where are these thousands of people staging their attack from? Where are they assembled? Where is their equipment? The media never asked, because they knew it was a lie from the start, and to ask such questions would undermine the lie.

Sept. 18, 2021 update: Over the past few weeks the government and the left-wing media repeated the lie again. The Capitol was fenced off because we were told that a right-wing group was planning a demonstration in support of people who were still in jail from the January 6 riot at the Capitol. The demonstration was scheduled for Sept. 17th, Constitution Day. We were again told there would be a riot and again it was a lie. The media and police outnumbered the protestors 10 to 1. When will the people of this country hold those in power accountable? When will the people of this country tune out the liars in the left-wing media? Can the people of this country even recognize a lie anymore? For generations they have not been taught how to think, so maybe they cannot.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of The Daily Mail, Hull, England.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
Note the report in column 3: "German U-Boat Claim"
(In the report the Germans claim to have torpedoed the British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. The Germans even identify the submarines commander as Endrasz. His name is spelt differently in other papers. His name was actually Engelbert Endrass, and he was the commanding officer of U-46. After checking the German documents I have, I can find no original source for this claim, the Kriegsmarine High Command itself said the claim was "questionable." I don't have the war diary for U-46, so I can't confirm that Endrass made the claim himself, but wherever it came from, it was not true. As a side note, Endrass was an officer aboard U-47 when that submarine, under the command of Günther Prien, sank HMS Royal Oak.)
[More about HMS Illustrious here.]
[More about HMS Royal Oak here.]

July 4, 1940: Front page of the Nottingham Evening Post, Nottingham, England.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of the Press and Journal, Aberdeen, Scotland.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
Note the report in column 5-6: "U-Boat Torpedoes Boatload Of Nazis And Italians"
(About 800 people were killed when U-47 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Günther Prien, torpedoed the ship. Many of the dead were his countrymen.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of The Examiner, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
Note the report at bottom right: "R.A.F. Penetrates Kiel Canal Defences - Rains Bombs On Battleship Scharnhorst"
(In official British papers from the time, it was their belief that Scharnhorst had been damaged, however it was a case of misidentification as Scharnhorst was not hit, it was actually Prinz Eugen that was hit. Prinz Eugen was still being fitted out and was not yet in commission. The damage was described as slight and the commissioning was delayed for a month. As an interesting side note, it was during this raid that the British used a one-ton bomb, which was the largest weapon delivered so far during the war. It was supposed to hit the ships, but a faulty release mechanism in the Hampden bomber caused the bomb to be dropped in a non-military area.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of The Sydney Sun, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of The Telegraph, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of The Lethbridge Herald, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of The Winnipeg Tribune, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of Haarlem's Dagblad, Haarlem, Netherlands.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of the Nevada State Journal, Reno, Nevada.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
Note the patriotic tone of the front page. It is unlikely that you will see this in our papers today in 2021.
(It turns out, I was right. In the New York Times for July 3 there was an article entitled "A Fourth of July Symbol of Unity That May No Longer Unite." In addition to that, PBS, the partially taxpayer funded national broadcasting company, had decided to have Vanessa Williams, the first Black Miss America, sing the Black National Anthem at their annual "A Capitol Fourth" broadcast. Whether they will also have someone perform the proper National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, or not I don't know, but I can assure you I will not be watching this broadcast. A big thanks to the America hating, left-wing media for proving me to be correct. To be fair, it was an easy call, no surprise at all.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of The Evening Star, Washington, D.C.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of the Syracuse Herald-Journal, Syracuse, New York.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of The Port Arthur News, Port Arthur, Texas.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of The Tacoma Times, Tacoma, Washington.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of The Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield, California.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)

July 4, 1940: Front page of the Hamburger Neueste Zeitung, Altona, Hamburg, Germany.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
1. Seeschlacht vor Oran.
(Naval battle off Oran.)
2. Britischer Ueberfall auf die französische Flotte.
(British raid on the French fleet.)
3. Mehrere Einheiten vernichtet - Rest entkommen.
(Several units destroyed - the rest escaped.)
Note the report at bottom right: "Wehrmachtsbericht: Torpedo auf dem neuesten britischen Flugzeugträger"
(Wehrmacht report: Newest British aircraft carrier torpedoed.)
[This is the German report of the attack on HMS Illustrious.]

July 4, 1940: Front page of the Völkischer Beobachter, the official newspaper of the NSDAP.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
1. Die Geheimakten des französischen Generalstabs.
(The secret files of the French General staff.)
2. Der Kriegsplan: Über Schweden und den Kaukasus nach Berlin.
(The war plan: Through Sweden and the Caucasus to Berlin.)

Page published July 4, 2021