America at war! (1941– ) (Part 1)

Churchill ‘stands up’ –
Stokes: Prime Minister ‘weakens,’ grants mass interview

It isn’t done in England and British reporters gape as Premier submits to questions, mounts a chair
By Thomas L. Stokes, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Washington –
When the Prime Minister of Great Britain climbs on a chair in the office of the President of the United States–

Well, that’s something.

When the Prime Minister of Great Britain gives a mass interview to the press–

That, too, is something.

It isn’t done in England, and British newspapermen present for that interview in President Roosevelt’s office late yesterday looked on, astonished, as Winston Churchill submitted willingly to questions.

His bright, quick repartee reminded American reporters packed into the Oval Room of nothing so much as the man who sat smoking a cigarette beside the Prime Minister – Mr. Roosevelt himself.

Laughter from men unafraid

Thus was sealed formally in engaging informality the alliance of the English-speaking peoples under the leadership of the two men behind a White House desk. The round-faced, chubby Prime Minister with his eternal cigar, whose demeanor is so cheerful, whose eye has such a confident twinkle, despite all he’s been through. The President of the United States, whose smile lighted up the furrows of care and worry in a face that has, so often in these latter days, looked squarely into a world full of trouble.

You could feel the quickening pulse of free peoples in the very atmosphere of that room; because, more than anything else, of the simplicity of the occasion – of the comfortable laughter from men unafraid.

Two men imbued with the essence of democracy talked across a desk to representatives of a free press and a free people.

On the desks were the knickknacks that clutter up the homes and desks of democratic people. In a basket in one corner, usually reserved for Presidential papers, Christmas gifts were neatly wrapped.

The President and the Prime Minister sat talking together as newspaper correspondents filed into the room, a slow stream because of the necessary careful inspection of their credentials by Secret Service men outside.

President had news

“All in!” came the word from Bill Donaldson, superintendent of the House press gallery.

The President had some news, about the creation of an office of transportation, about a meeting at 5 o’clock of the Anglo-American coordinating staff. Then he explained that he’d suggested that the Prime Minister need not answer questions, but the Prime Minister had said he would like to.

Somebody asked the Prime Minister a question.

A shout came the crowd:

Let’s see you – stand up.

The President turned to Mr. Churchill and asked him if he would stand up.

He did. But still he could not be seen by many in the rear of the room, as he realized. So, he climbed it right up at the big leather chair.

A cheer broke out, and he stood there, smiling, for the spontaneous ovation.

Confident of victory

Then he sat down and answered questions, numbers of them.

He was confident of victory, but warned against overoptimism about a collapse in Germany anytime soon. What he wants is a collapse externally administered. Don’t count on a collapse from within.

He was grateful for the entry of the United States into the war, for Russia’s amazing stand against Hitler.

Then, and his voice was almost hushed, he spoke of England’s dark and lonely months in 1940.

And, before the mind’s eye, there rose the specter of tumbling homes, of grim, gaunt people in air raid shelters, of desperate hopes.

But no more.

That was a man, now, who sat beside him.

And millions and millions of others in great cities and small towns and on the farms, ready to stand beside him in a common cause, and work for it and fight for it.

He finished, and smiled again.

Dies hearings on Jap action were opposed

Use of committee data was frowned upon before war
By Peter Edson, special to the Pittsburgh Press

Washington –
If anyone in the United States has a right to get up and shout “I told you so!,” it is the Hon. Martin Dies of Orange, Texas.

Since 1939, he has been yelling about un-American activities and nobody would listen. He played the tune so often and so loud and so long that it got to be three times as tiresome as “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”

Then came Pearl Harbor and Secretary of the Navy Knox’s admission that the fifth-column work there was the most effective since Norway.

Jap probe quashed

Congressman Dies is famed principally for his digs at the communists, and more recently for his exposés of Nazi activities. Most people won’t recall that Mr. Dies ever raised much Cain about the Japs and in that respect they’ll be correct, for the simple reason that the lid was put on the Dies Committee investigations of the Jap fifth column in America before they had a chance to get started.

It is of course impossible to guess what might have happened if Mr. Dies had held his hearings on Japanese activities in America. Everyone might have yawned that Martin was at it again, and gone on dreaming. On the other hand, the hearing might have had the good fortune to wake everybody up.

Fleets secrets revealed

Some of the Dies investigators’ evidence is rather sensational – Japanese battle maps of the Pacific, U.S. fleet formations supposed to be secret, directories of every Jap in the United States, with his address and telephone number, handbooks of diagrams and photographs of every ship in the U.S. Navy. All of this was material obtained from Japs resident on the West Coast.

In fairness, it should be made clear that the Dies Committee had nothing at all on Japanese activities in Hawaii. Their investigators weren’t permitted to investigate there. But now that appeasing the Japanese no longer does any good, perhaps a more realistic attitude of the situation is permissible.

Editorial: Christmas 1941

It is no easy matter on Christmas Day in this Year of Our Lord 1941 to put aside, even for a little while, the sentiments of anger and vengeance that have with good reason inspired Americans since the Battle of Pearl Harbor.

But it will be a good thing if we who can and will pause for this one day, and recapture fleetingly the warmth and friendliness and affection, the peace and goodwill, that this holy day has always represented. There is hard work ahead. There is bad news ahead, inevitably, before the good can come. Many a door now wreathed for Christmas may be draped, before the new year is out, for an American killed in action.

But this one day, at least, those of us who are not on the firing fronts can grasp this opportunity to enjoy, and to reflect on, the solid things that our troops and fleets and air squadrons are now risking life to defend – the homes and churches, the traditions, above all the decency, that foredoomed fanatics beyond the seas have in their recklessness seen fit to challenge.

Canadian ship feared sunk by Japs in Pacific

Vessel two days overdue; West Coast submarine hunt continues
By Leicester Wagner, United Press staff writer

San Francisco, California –
A Canadian freighter, the 2,410-ton Rosebank out of Vancouver, today was two days overdue at a California port and authorities feared it may have fallen prey to the Japanese submarines lurking off the coast.

The submarines, in six days of activity sometimes within sight of California coastal cities, had attacked seven U.S. vessels, but had succeeded in sinking only one, or perhaps two. The 8,272-ton Standard Oil tanker Montebello, struck by a torpedo, shelled by the submarine’s deck gun, and pelted by a smaller caliber gun, was known to have gone down. The tanker Emidio, attacked Saturday, was abandoned by its crew, but the Navy did not reveal whether it had been sunk.

No warning given

The other five ships reached the safety of port undamaged.

Lives claimed by the underwater raiders totaled five. They were all of the Emidio.

The Navy, which combed the Pacific for the submarines with every facility at its command, and the crew of other coastal steamers which continued to ply their courses to keep supplies flowing between the Pacific ports, knew that they were against ruthless enemy seamen.

In no case has an attacker given warning to its unarmed, lonely quarry before firing the first torpedo or the first shell. In both the cases of the Emidio and the Montebello, the code of war has been ignored and the lifeboats of the escaping crews have been shelled. That was how three of the Emidio’s crew members lost their lives.

The submarines yesterday had their most active day since the first attack last Thursday. They sank the Montebello and a few miles away attacked the Richfield tanker Larry Doheny. They also chased the Texas company tanker Idaho into port.

U.S. retaliation secret

The Navy revealed that the Idaho had been followed for three days by a submarine which once surfaced and demanded to know its identity. The Navy did not reveal whether any shots were fired at the Idaho.

Authorities clamped down even stricter censorship over ship movements and Allied information. The Navy requested news services not to reveal the location of future submarine attacks.

Likewise, under a blanket of silence were details of the Navy retaliation for the attacks, although it was known that Army and Navy bombers answered calls for aid from two of the attacked ships and dropped depth charges in the vicinity.

Crews of the attacked vessels described the submarines as rather large and fast enough to do more than 20 knots and run circles around cargo ships.

American sailors good, Japs admit

Los Angeles, California (UP) –
Japan paid tribute to American sailors for their “skilled technique” in submarine warfare and admitted “it is stupid” to believe Britain and the United States can be defeated in a short time, according to a broadcast of Tokyo radio heard by NBC.

The Tokyo radio said:

It is stupid to think that Britain, which has maintained supremacy of the seven seas, and the United States, with its abundance of natural resources, can be defeated within a short time.

Supremacy of submarines is of vital importance judging from recent appointments of various United States commanders of the Pacific defense.

These commanders are authorities on submarine warfare. Supremacy of submarines and the best of strategy mean little without skilled technique and highly trained crew. Thus, we are reluctant to admit, the American sailors possess.

Japs circulate atrocity tales

Whip nation into frenzy by ‘horror’ stories

San Francisco, California (UP) –
The Tokyo radio revealed today that a campaign to whip the Japanese people into a frenzied hatred of the United States is underway.

Broadcasting the first atrocity fabrication against Americans – a propaganda technique used by the Nazis against the Poles, then the British, and finally against the Russians – the Tokyo radio asserted that “peaceful Japanese nationals” were machine-gunned by U.S. troops on the Philippine island of Mindanao.

The radio said:

This cruelty of the United States soldiers was not surprising as we have often heard of the lynchings in the Southern states. American movies show the activities of American gangsters but we find United States soldiers, the cream of American manhood, engaging in gangster-like activities. If American doughboys want to machine-gun somebody, why don’t they pick on Japanese soldiers rather than taking to their heels and butchering helpless Japanese civilians?

The military and official circles here express more disgust than indignation at the details of the cold-blooded murder of innocent Japanese residents at Davao by desperate American civilians and soldiers following the landing of Japanese forces at Davao. They also pointed out the marked contrast between the villainy of American forces and the magnanimous treatment which has been accorded to enemy nationals held in Japan and war prisoners captured by the Japanese.

Income ceiling may be needed to pay for war

U.S. would take all above fixed figure, tax rest of salary

Washington (UP) –
Congressional tax leaders believe today that the wartime need for revenue may make it necessary ultimately to fix an arbitrary individual income ceiling, perhaps $15,000, $20,000 or $25,000.

Such a plan, if adopted, would mean that no person could retain income earned in excess of the ceiling, even though he might have to pay taxes on the amount of income he would be permitted to keep.

For example, if a taxpayer’s income was $50,000 a year and the ceiling was fixed at $15,000, the government would confiscate $35,000 outright and require regular income taxes paid on the $15,000.

Still in talk stage

The fixed income ceiling idea is still in the “talk” stage.

However, Rep. Allen T. Treadway (R-MA), ranking Republican member of the House Ways and Means Committee which originates all revenue bills, said that kind of taxation was “within the realm of possibility.”

He did not think Congress would get to such extreme measures soon, but if war demands continue to increase, such a program might be inevitable, he said.

He said:

This is an all-out effort and that’s just what it means. If a man earns $25,000, regardless of the kind of living standard he thinks he must maintain, he has more than he needs.

If he has been used to keeping a big racing stable as a means of spending his income, he would just have to get along without racing to help the successful termination of this war.

Withholding tax urged

Meanwhile, most Congressional tax authorities saw no chance of writing taxes into the 1942 revenue bill that would keep federal income anywhere near abreast of war expenditures.

Meanwhile, Albert G. Hart, associate professor of economics at Iowa University, asked the committee to reconsider the withholding tax program which he proposed last summer. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. recently suggested that the Ways and Means Committee start work immediately on a $4,800,000,000 revenue program that included 15% income tax to be withheld from the wage-earner’s check and paid to the government by employers.

Mr. Hart’s proposal would eliminate all other forms of taxation and establish a sliding scale withholding rate designed to meet 90% of government expenditures.

Greetings to Armed Forces –
Roosevelt sees triumph over ‘the forces of evil’

Washington (UP) –
President Roosevelt sent Christmas greetings today to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and told them that:

You are setting an inspiring example for all the people, as you have done so often in the past.

The President, signing the message as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Commander-in-Chief, said he was confident that:

During the year which lies before us, you will triumph on all fronts against the forces of evil which are arrayed against us.

The message said:

In the crisis which confronts the nation, our people have full faith in the steadfastness and the high devotion to duty demonstrated by the men in all ranks of our Army and Navy.

In sending my personal Christmas greeting to you, I feel that I should add a special measure of gratitude to the admiration and affection which I have always felt, and have expressed in other years.

Background of news –
Wartime Christmas, 1917 and 1941

By editorial research reports

The situation at Christmas 1941, of the United States at war, is different in almost every respect from the situation at Christmas 1917. Now the nation is distinctly on the defensive, with a severe naval loss not many days before, with its territory in the Pacific invaded, and with its mainland preparing for attack from the air. In 1917, no soil under the U.S. flag was under attack or even in danger of attack. With the war only 18 days old at Christmas 1941, there have been several thousand deaths and casualties in action; with the war 8½ months old at Christmas 1917, U.S. forces had suffered only a few casualties, all at sea.

In 1917, the United States had entered war with only lackadaisical preparation. The Army and Navy had possessed exactly 55 airplanes, 51 of which the Advisory Committee on Aeronautics pronounced obsolete. By Christmas 1917, not a single U.S.-produced combat plane had been completed. But conscription (21-31) had been in effect for 7½ months, and 1,100,000 men were in the Army. By Christmas 1941, with conscription (21-36) in effect for 1¼ years, the Army has a strength of perhaps 1,750,000 (announced as 1,589,000 on Oct. 9, 1941).

Christmas in 1941 sees no immediate prospect of an American Expeditionary Force being sent to foreign lands outside the Western Hemisphere. At Christmas 1917, 165,000 men were already in Europe, although no American units were yet in the active battle line. The millionth soldier to be sent abroad had just been inducted into service (the average American soldier who saw actual fighting in France had had nine months’ training – six months in the United States, two abroad, one in an inactive section of the front). Some of the Christmas boxes sent to American soldiers in France were not delivered until the following spring.

By Christmas 1917, the number of flying officers in the Army and Navy had grown to 1,100, from 75 at the outbreak of the war. But no U.S.-produced new machine guns or field guns had yet been completed. The federal debt was around $7 billion; at Christmas 1941, it was $57 billion.

At Christmas 1917, the new communist government of Russia was conducting peace negotiations with Germany, and War Commissar Leon Trotsky was complaining that Germany had violated the armistice terms by shifting large numbers of troops from the Russian to the French front. At Christmas 1941, Germany is again withdrawing troops from the Russian front, but this time involuntarily.

At Christmas 1917, President Wilson was preparing to have the government take over the railroads, unable without such imposed unification to handle the war transportation problem satisfactorily. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker warned that Germany was about to launch another drive for peace. Food Administrator Herbert C. Hoover was protesting at the methods used by a Senate committee investigating the shortage of sugar.

Philippine invasion plans made by Japan months ago

Ability of enemy convoy to approach Luzon shows fleet comes from nearby bases, experts say

Washington (UP) –
Military experts today believe that before the war, the Japanese made elaborate preparations at nearby bases for the invasion of the Philippines.

The ability of a large Japanese convoy bearing an estimated 80,000-100,000 men to approach Lingayen Gulf on the west coast of Luzon as closely as it did without early detection, indicated that the invasion fleet had come from a base or bases so near that most of the trip was made at night.

In the opinion of the experts, these bases may be located on Hainan Island, about 500 miles across the China Sea from Lingayen Gulf, and Formosa, a Japanese island possession about 300 miles from the northern tip of Luzon.

Weeks before the Japanese surprise assault on Pearl Harbor, information reached here of large-scale movement of Japanese troops and supplies to Hainan. The impression here was that these operations were a prelude to an attack on Thailand or possibly preparations for an invasion of the Dutch East Indies.

The move on Thailand and the attack on Malaya, however, was apparently launched by troops which had been concentrated in French Indochina rather than by the forces which had been moved into Hainan, the expert said.

Reports from Manila that the Japanese had air support for their landing operations in Lingayen Gulf indicated, the experts said, that both sea and land-based planes were being used. Fighting planes, based in Hainan or Formosa, would not have sufficient range to participate in covering operations, the experts said, and apparently the Japanese were using aircraft carriers in the China Sea. Land-based bombers could be used, however.

Hainan and Formosa provide the Japanese with important bases for the maintenance of supplies to the invasion army. There was also a possibility that Japan might be using some of the hundreds of small uninhabited or sparsely-settled Philippine Islands as caches for supplies.

Wake probably captured by Japs, U.S. Navy reports

Heroic resistance of Marines believed over after sinking two enemy destroyers in final landing
By Rex Chaney, United Press staff writer

Washington –
Wake Island, coral-studded U.S. island in the mid-Pacific, has apparently fallen to the Japanese after a heroic resistance by the Marine garrison for 16 days against 14 attacks which cost the enemy four warships and several planes.

The Navy announced that radio communication with Wake has been cut and that the island’s capture is “probable.”

The Navy communiqué indicated that the heroic Marine garrison fell yesterday just before Christmas came to Wake Island. It is now Christmas on the little outpost which lies 2,004 miles west of Honolulu and across the International Date Line.

Guam, the United States’ furthermost outpost toward the Philippines, was taken Dec. 13.

The Navy communiqué announcing the “probable” fall of Wake also said that the Japanese had shelled Palmyra and Johnston Islands, U.S. possessions in the South Pacific.

But Midway, another island base which lies between Hawaii and Wake, is still holding out.

Went down fighting

The Marines at Wake went down fighting, the Navy indicated. Two enemy destroyers were lost in the final and successful Japanese attempt to put a landing party ashore on the four-mile-long island. In the early days of the war, the defending garrison’s airmen succeeded in sinking a light cruiser and a destroyer attempting to support an enemy landing operation.

The garrison had fought off 13 air and naval assaults. But in the 14th attack, the enemy managed to gain a foothold on the island.

This occurred the morning of Dec. 23 (Wake Island Time) after a strong air attack was launched by the enemy. Several Japanese planes were shot down.

After the Navy was advised the Japanese had landed on Wake, there was silence. Efforts to make communication with the heroic band of Marines were futile. It was then that the Navy decided that the island was probably lost. The occupation was completed Dec. 24 (Wake Time).

Wake log recited

Here is the log of the history-making fight put up by the Marines, as reported in Navy communiqués:

December 11:

The Marine garrison on Wake Island has been subject to four separate attacks in the last 48 hours by enemy aircraft and one by light naval units. Despite the loss of part of the defending planes and the damage to material and personnel, the defending garrison succeeded in sinking one light cruiser and one destroyer of the enemy forces by air action.

December 12:

The resistance of Wake […] continues.

December 13:

Wake […] continues to resist.

December 14:

There have been two additional bombing attacks on Wake Island. The first was light, the second was undertaken in great force. Two enemy bombers were shot down. Damage was inconsequential.

The Marines on Wake Island continue to resist.

December 15:

[…] Wake Island continues to resist.

December 16:

Wake Island has sustained two additional bombing attacks. The first occurred in the afternoon, the second in the evening. The first attack was light, the second heavy.

Wake […] is countering the blows of the enemy.

December 19:

There have been two additional air attacks by the enemy on Wake Island. The first occurred on the night of the 17th-18th and was comparatively light. The second was in greater force and occurred in the forenoon of the 19th. Wake Island continues to counter these blows.

December 21:

Wake Island has sustained two additional attacks by enemy aircraft.

December 23:

Wake Island sustained another strong air attack in the forenoon of the 22nd. Several enemy planes were shot down. An enemy force effected a landing on Wake the morning of the 23rd [Wake Time].

December 24:

Radio communication with Wake has been severed and the capture of the island is probable. Two enemy destroyers were lost in the final landing operations.

Wake was of strategic importance to the United States because of its value as an air base for patrol and farming purposes.

It was apparently deemed unwise for the Navy to attempt to relieve the garrison under existing circumstances.

Christmas Eve Message by President Roosevelt to the Nation
December 24, 1941, 5:00 p.m. EST


Broadcast audio:

Fellow workers for freedom:

There are many men and women in America – sincere and faithful men and women – who are asking themselves this Christmas:

How can we light our trees? How can we give our gifts?

How can we meet and worship with love and with uplifted spirit and heart in a world at war, a world of fighting and suffering and death?

How can we pause, even for a day, even for Christmas Day, in our urgent labor of arming a decent humanity against the enemies which beset it?

How can we put the world aside, as men and women put the world aside in peaceful years, to rejoice in the birth of Christ?

These are natural – inevitable – questions in every part of the world which is resisting the evil thing.

And even as we ask these questions, we know the answer. There is another preparation demanded of this nation beyond and beside the preparation of weapons and materials of war. There is demanded also of us the preparation of our hearts; the arming of our hearts. And when we make ready our hearts for the labor and the suffering and the ultimate victory which lie ahead, then we observe Christmas Day – with all of its memories and all of its meanings – as we should.

Looking into the days to come, I have set aside a day of prayer, and in that proclamation, I have said:

The year 1941 has brought upon our nation a war of aggression by powers dominated by arrogant rulers whose selfish purpose is to destroy free institutions. They would thereby take from the freedom-loving peoples of the earth the hard-won liberties gained over many centuries.

The new year of 1942 calls for the courage and the resolution of old and young to help to win a world struggle in order that we may preserve all we hold dear.

We are confident in our devotion to country, in our love of freedom, in our inheritance of courage. But our strength, as the strength of all men everywhere, is of greater avail as God upholds us.

Therefore, I… do hereby appoint the first day of the year 1942 as a day of prayer, of asking forgiveness for our shortcomings of the past, of consecration to the tasks of the present, of asking God’s help in days to come.

We need His guidance that this people may be humble in spirit but strong in the conviction of the right; steadfast to endure sacrifice, and brave to achieve a victory of liberty and peace.

Our strongest weapon in this war is that conviction of the dignity and brotherhood of man which Christmas Day signifies – more than any other day or any other symbol.

Against enemies who preach the principles of hate and practice them, we set our faith in human love and in God’s care for us and all men everywhere.

It is in that spirit, and with particular thoughtfulness of those, our sons and brothers, who serve in our armed forces on land and sea, near and far – those who serve for us and endure for us that we light our Christmas candles now across the continent from one coast to the other on this Christmas Eve.

We have joined with many other nations and peoples in a very great cause. Millions of them have been engaged in the task of defending good with their lifeblood for months and for years.

One of their great leaders stands beside me. He and his people in many parts of the world are having their Christmas trees with their little children around them, just as we do here. He and his people have pointed the way in courage and in sacrifice for the sake of little children everywhere.

And so I am asking my associate, my old and good friend, to say a word to the people of America, old and young, tonight Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (December 25, 1941)

Churchill talk is scheduled by Congress

Cabinet, Supreme Court and other officials to attend

Washington (UP) – (Dec. 24)
Prime Minister Winston Churchill will address an informal joint session of Congress at 12:30 p.m. EST Friday, Senate Democratic Leader Alben W. Barkley (D-KY) announced tonight.

Members of the Supreme Court, the Cabinet and other high government officials will be invited to hear the British leader, who is in Washington to plot with President Roosevelt the strategy for destroying Hitlerism.

Not without precedent

There is a possibility Mr. Roosevelt may attend the session which, though rare, is not without precedent.

The late Ramsey MacDonald, when he was British Prime Minister, also addressed a joint session. During World War I, dignitaries of England, Belgium, France, Italy and Russia did likewise.

Barkley said the Senate will hold its scheduled meeting at noon and then stand in recess while Churchill speaks.

Churchill will face old friends, and also some legislators who bitterly criticized him for “seeking to pull the United States into war” before the Japanese bombed Hawaii.

It is understood he may express the Empire’s gratitude for the billions of Lend-Lease aid which Congress voted, and possibly use the occasion to officially deny that Lend-Lease privileges have been abused.

President starts Yule celebration

Faith in future shown in speech with Churchill at White House

Washington (AP) – (Dec. 24)
President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill paused in their war planning tonight to give the nation and its allies a message of Christmas cheer and confidence that the fight for a free and decent world would be won.

They spoke, the President first and then the Prime Minister, at the annual ceremony of lighting the National Christmas Tree here. Mr. Roosevelt pressed the button that set its many multicolored lights sparkling.

Then, the President told a throng of immediate listeners, and myriads more sitting at their radios, that the “conviction of the dignity and brotherhood of man which Christmas Day signified” was America’s strongest war weapon.

Faith is in human love

He said:

Against enemies who preach the principles of hate and practice them, we set our faith in human love and in God’s care for us and all men everywhere.

It is in that spirit, and with particular thoughtfulness of those, our sons and brothers, who serve in our armed forces on land and sea, near and far – those who serve for us and endure for us that we light our Christmas candles now across the continent from one coast to the other on this Christmas Eve.

Many were asking, he said, how in a world of fighting, suffering and death, they could celebrate Christmas, or pause in the urgent labor of arming “a decent humanity” against its enemies.

He said:

And even as we ask these questions, we know the answer. There is another preparation demanded of this nation beyond and beside the preparation of weapons and materials of war. There is demanded also of us the preparation of our hearts; the arming of our hearts.

Hearts are made ready

And when we make ready our hearts for the labor and the suffering and the ultimate victory which lie ahead, then we observe Christmas Day – with all of its memories and all of its meanings – as we should.

Churchill said the children of the English-speaking world would not be “robbed of their inheritance, or denied the right to live in a free and decent world.”

It was, he said, a “strange” Christmas Eve.

He said:

Almost the whole world is locked in deadly struggle, and, with the most terrible weapons which science can devise, the nations advance upon each other. Ill would it be for us this Christmastide if we were not sure that no greed for the land or wealth of any other people, no vulgar ambition, no morbid lust for material gain at the expense of others, had led us to the field.

Here, in the midst of war, raging and roaring over all the lands and seas, creeping nearer to our hearts and homes, here, amid all the tumult, we have tonight the peace of the spirit in each cottage home and in every generous heart.

Seek happiness for children

Therefore, we may cast aside for this night at least the cares and dangers which beset us, and make for the children an evening of happiness in a world of storm. Here, then, for one night only, each home throughout the English-speaking world should be a brightly-lighted island of happiness and peace.

Let the children have their night of fun and laughter. Let the gifts of Father Christmas delight their play. Let us grownups share to the full in their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie before us, resolved that, by our sacrifice and daring, these same children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied their right to live in a free and decent world.

And so, in God’s mercy, a happy Christmas to you all.

40,000 cheer chiefs

A lone red light, an airplane beacon, winked on at the tip of the Washington Monument as the President walked out onto the South Portico on the arm of RAdm. John R. Beardall, his naval aide, with Churchill following close behind. Each was attired in dark business clothes, minus overcoat or hat.

A crowd, estimated at 40,000, clustered in the middle of the grounds and around the fence outside, cheered wildly and the Marine Band struck up “Hail to the Chief.”

Churchill put on a pair of horn-rimmed spectacles before he began to speak and then he and the President stood silently for the most part, but chatting occasionally, while a chorus led the assembled throng in Christmas carols and the Marine Band played “God Save the King” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Mrs. Roosevelt, likewise bare-headed, was a few feet away from the leaders of the two nations and standing beside exiled members of Norway’s royal household.

Exiled royalty present

Crown Prince Olav and Princess Martha were present to join in the Christmas ceremony, along with their three children, Princesses Ragnhild and Astrid and Prince Harald.

Wearing a fur coat and a black hat with a fluff of feathers, Princess Martha leaned over from time to time to whisper in the ear of little Harald or to smooth his curly blonde hair. But Harald fidgeted and squirmed through most of the program.

Dusk had fallen midway through the services and lights burned in the State Department and Treasury, to either side of the White House. Before he began his address, Mr. Roosevelt pushed a button which set ablaze the lights in the 30-foot spruce tree at the far end of the White House grounds.

Living tree is lighted

The President said:

And now, for the ninth time, I light the living community Christmas tree of the nation’s capital.

There was a brief tinkle of chimes and then the President began to speak.

Churchill followed him, using but a few gestures and being interrupted frequently by applause.

Previously, Mr. Roosevelt had a personal message to the nation’s fighting forces, expressing confidence that the year to come would see them triumphant over the country’s enemies.

He wrote:

In the crisis which confronts the nation, our people have full faith in the steadfastness and the high devotion to duty demonstrated by the men in all ranks of our Army and Navy. You are setting an inspiring example for all the people, as you have done so often in the past.

Greeting to Armed Forces

In sending my personal Christmas greeting to you, I feel that I should add a special measure of gratitude to the admiration and affection which I have always felt and have expressed in other years. I am confident that during the year which lies before us, you will triumph on all fronts against the forces of evil which are arrayed against us.

Secretary of the Navy Knox saluted the Navy with:

Wherever our duties may take us, we are united – united in confidence in each other – united in devotion to our country’s cause.

Survivors reach land

Five of 35 torpedo victims are dead

Honolulu, Hawaii (AP) –
Survivors of the American freighter Lahaina told today of nine terrifying days in a stormy sea, with 35 men crowded into a 20-foot lifeboat after their ship was shelled and sunk Dec. 11 by an enemy submarine 800 miles out.

As the lifeboat headed for safety, two men leaped overboard, two perished aboard the small boat from exposure and a fifth died a few hours after the craft, under makeshift sail, reached a beach on Maui Island.

Thee they were mistaken for an enemy landing party until they could make their identity known.

Gaunt and exhausted, 30 men including Capt. Hanso Mathiesen put ashore at Spreckelsville, Maui, at dawn last Sunday.

U.S. assured on treatment

Diplomats, others referred to by Japs

Washington (AP) – (Dec. 24)
The Japanese government has informed the United States, through the Swiss Legation in Tokyo, that all U.S. citizens and U.S. diplomatic and consular officials in Japan, Manchukuo and Japanese-occupied China are receiving fair and courteous treatment.

MacArthur forces slowing up Japs’ drives on capital

Enemy lands heavy reinforcements but meets stiff U.S. resistance along both north and south fronts
By R. P. Cronin Jr., Associated Press staff writer

Where Battle of Pacific is raging

Fullscreen capture 12262020 82918 AM.bmp
This map gives an excellent idea of the theater of war in the Philippines where new landings were made by the Japanese and four air raids were carried out on Manila. Outnumbered defense forces fought valiantly, but in the face of new threats, authorities were considering declaring Manila an open city to save it from bombing. New Japanese landings were reported yesterday at Lingayen (1) in the Gulf of Lingayen, and at Atimonan in lower center of map. Fighting was reported raging in the Gulf of Lingayen at Agoo (3) where the Japs landed tanks and other equipment. Jap landings in forces were also reported at Damortis (2). To meet the enemy in this area U.S. troops were rushed forward from Clark Field and Fort Stotsenburg (4) and were declared to be more than holding their own. The air raids over Manila (5) started big fires in the Fort McKinley area.

Manila, Philippines –
U.S. Army forces with Gen. Douglas MacArthur personally in the field staved off Japanese advances toward Manila from both the north and south this Christmas Day, but the invaders continued to land in such numbers that they left no doubt that the battle for this Philippine capital itself is now on.

Yesterday, Gen. MacArthur and his aides disclosed they were considering declaring Manila an open city, in which case it would not be defended and the Japanese would be expected to spare it from attack.

No final decision yet reached

This morning, a spokesman said that no final decision had as yet been made on this point.

Bitter fighting occurred throughout yesterday in both the Lingayen sector, about 125 miles north and west of Manila, and in the Atimonan area, 75 miles to the southeast.

Only minor skirmishes occurred during the night, however, the Army Command announced in a communiqué issued shortly before 8:00 a.m. PHT today (6:00 p.m. Wednesday EST) and a spokesman added that there were no important changes on the frontline positions overnight.

Text of statement

The command left no doubt, however, that the Japanese pressure continued. The statement said:

It was a very quiet night, but there was still Japanese pressure both north and south. Practically the only activity overnight was small skirmishes by patrols.

Earlier it was disclosed that Japanese reinforcements continued landing in the Lingayen and Atimonan sectors as their advance forces battled their way toward Manila.

Manila had an air-raid warning at 1:40 a.m., but the spokesman said it was believed to have been a false alarm.

The main thrust was apparently coming from the Lingayen region.

On both the Lingayen and Atimonan sectors, the defenders were opposing numerically superior forces.

Although the Atimonan region was nearer Manila, the Japanese were believed to have landed there only as a supplemental threat to the main drive from the north. Because of the rugged terrain about Atimonan, the peril was not as great from that sector.

No word on Davao situation

As this dispatch was filed at 1:30 a.m. PHT (11:30 a.m. Wednesday EST), there remained complete silence about the situation at Davao, port on the big southern island of Mindanao where the Japanese landed in force last week.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces of the Far East, personally took the field last night along with his staff.

Consistent Japanese aerial activity in the provinces was obviously designed to disrupt communication and prevent U.S. and Filipino reinforcements from reaching the battle zones.

The complete silence regarding the Davao situation was inexplicable except as evidence that all communications were cut. The Mindanao campaign is a battle for shortcut sea lanes leading to Borneo.

A landing attempt by light Japanese forces was repulsed yesterday at Mauban.

The War Department in Washington announced late Wednesday, in advices that apparently covered later developments, that a landing had in fact been made at Mauban, which is about 30 miles above Atimonan and some 45 miles southeast of Manila.

Widespread Jap air raids

Fourteen towns were reported bombed in widespread Japanese air raids. Among those attacked were the railroad centers of Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija Province and Calamba in Laguna Province. Other strategic points were bombed in Pangasinan, Tarlac and Tayabas Provinces. Scores were killed or wounded, including more than 20 known dead in Manila.

During yesterday, a total of five Japanese planes were shot down, thus bringing the known total since the start of the invasion to 83. The figure is undoubtedly higher than that.

Despite everything the raiders could do, the crowds completed their Christmas shopping here in Manila, ducking from stores to shelters during the alerts, and then returned to their blacked-out homes. Food was still plentiful, but there was no light after nightfall.

Capital has four alarms

Heavily outnumbered on the new southern front about Atimonan and struggling against great odds in the Lingayen area to the north, U.S. and Filipino troops beat back gallantly at the invader’s rising pressure.

Four air-raid alarms shrilled over Manila before dusk – the fourth Japanese raid setting in the Fort McKinley district one of the greatest fires yet seen in the Manila area – and Gen. MacArthur’s headquarters announced that the military authorities were considering declaring this capital an open city, and thus one which could not be legitimately bombed.

This fourth visitation was only of nine minutes’ duration, but during those minutes, a cloud of dense black smoke miles wide arose from the McKinley vicinity. Twenty U.S. fighter planes swept southward in pursuit of the raiders.

Office boy describes attack

Emilio Quinton, as Associated Press office boy, thus described the attack as an eyewitness:

Many Japanese planes flew over. They were high up. About 25 American planes were in the air and two of them started a dogfight. The two Americans, roaring very loudly, went up under some of the Japanese. They curved and twisted quickly. Three Japanese bombing planes came tumbling down to the ground. When the Japanese planes hit, the fire started.

Buildings reported afire

An Associated Press photographer reported in from the scene that some buildings were burning.

The first of the day’s raids was by nine Japanese bombers which hit the port area with heavy bombs and left black smoke rising. There was an explosion that shook the city, but U.S. anti-aircraft guns threw aloft a tremendous barrage and one of the attacking craft fell from formation and trailed smoke as it disappeared from view.

Appearing over Fort McKinley, the assailants were driven off by heavy ground fire, and dropped no bombs there.

The second alarm was sounded just after 1:00 p.m. and the all-clear came at 1:48 p.m. The third was heard around 3:00 p.m., but no enemy plane appeared over the city and the all-clear was signaled half an hour later.

U.S. tanks go to front

While the second alarm was in progress, a big fleet of American tanks sped away from the city toward one of the fighting fronts. Civilians ran from their shelters to cheer the departing columns.

While the dual Japanese thrust – from the Lingayen area some 125 miles northwest of Manila and from Atimonan 75 miles southeast of the city – took the outward form of a pincer movement some observers expressed the opinion that the only immediately dangerous drive was from Lingayen. Any substantial Japanese progress from Atimonan, they said, could be halted by dynamiting the bridges and mountain road which the invader must take, in operations similar to those which had halted the initial Japanese push from Legazpi in extreme southern Luzon.

Defenders hard beset

In two communiqués during the day, however, Gen. MacArthur’s headquarters made it plain that the defenders were hard beset.

One communiqué said:

Forty transports are off the coast at Atimonan. Fighting is very heavy. Troops of the U.S. Armed Forces of the Far East are behaving very well but are greatly outnumbered.

There is very heavy fighting in the north. Our troops there are behaving admirably against great odds.

‘Open city’ status might save Manila

International law would bar attack, give it to winner
By the Associated Press

If Manila is declared an open city as expected, that capital would be neutralized under international law, with the occupants refraining from military operations and the enemy enjoined from attacking it. The main guarantee behind the declaration is that the open city contains no legitimate military objectives.

The general rule as enacted by The Hague Convention of jurists declares:

Aerial bombardment is legitimate only when directed at a military objective, that is to say, an object of which the destruction or injury would constitute a distinct military advantage to the belligerent.

Goes intact to winner

The purpose of the open city declaration is to avoid destruction and civilian casualties. The open city thus goes intact to the winner of the battle for it, which must be waged outside the city itself.

Paris was saved by this means after the Germans bombed it systemically only once, and other cities in Europe fell to the Nazis more or less intact. Rotterdam was reported to have been declared open before the Germans destroyed a great part of it in a mass bombing attack, described later as an object lesson in dive-bombing.

Belgrade was declared an open city, but the Germans bombed it terrifically, declaring it contained prime military objectives.

The Germans meticulously avoided bombing Athens proper before Greece fell, always keeping their bombs in the objectives outside, particularly the nearby port of Piraeus, which was wrecked.

Wake Island men fought with valor

Small garrison sank four ships, destroyed many enemy airplanes

Washington (AP) – (Dec. 24)
The Navy wrote a reluctant finis to the Marines’ gallant defense of Wake Island today in an account of how ewer than 400 fighting “leathernecks” held out against overwhelming odds for 14 days and destroyed four Japanese warships before surrendering the tiny mid-Pacific outpost.

The Navy conceded that radio communications with the Wake garrison had been severed and that “the capture of the island is probable.”

Later, it gave out details as to the number of the men and the meager arms at their disposal which presumably would have been kept a military secret unless all hope of further resistance had been abandoned.

Brilliant chapter ends

The Navy’s admission ended a brilliant chapter in the Marine Corps’ already glorious victory. The island’s heroic defenders consisted of 13 Marine Corps officers, 365 Marines, one naval medical officer and six enlisted men of the Navy Medical Corps, all under the command of a 38-year-old resident of the nation’s capital, Maj. James P. S. Devereux.

With a pitifully small amount of equipment, including only 12 fighter planes and six five-inch guns to start with, the “leathernecks” beat off wave after wave of enemy attacks both from sea and air. Cut off from outside aid, they repulsed four separate attacks in the first 48 hours of their siege which started Dec. 9, but lost most of their planes in those actions.

They sank a Japanese light cruiser and one destroyer by air attack, however, in those first engagements. In the closing hours of the siege, during which terse Navy announcements that “the Marines at Wake continue to resist” had excited the admiration of the entire country, the defenders had been so badly battered, the Navy said, that only one three-inch battery of four guns remained effective when the Japs launched their final drive to force a landing.

Battered day and night

The garrison was battered day and night by heavy enemy attacks which apparently caused many casualties and destroyed one after another the defenders’ meager stock of weapons but the Marines managed to put two more enemy destroyers out of action.

The Japanese apparently succeeded in landing soon after that, however, and from then on there was no word from the little garrison.

As the Navy told the story, Wake’s defenders were in “serious trouble” by Dec. 21.

The Navy said:

Seventeen heavy Japanese bombers attacked the island and were beaten off after heavy damage. The three-inch batteries were struck, the power plant was damaged, and the diesel oil building and its equipment was destroyed. Only one three-inch battery of four guns was now effective.

The following day [Dec. 22], the Wake defenders reported that they had sustained still another heavy attack by air, but that several enemy ships and a transport were moving in. This landing attempt was in great force, but two enemy destroyers were put out of action by the Marines before the invaders could effect a landing.

For many hours, the issue was in doubt. On Dec. 23, Tokyo claimed that Wake Island was completely occupied by Japanese forces and the Navy Department was forced to admit that all communications with Wake had ceased.

Located approximately 2,000 miles west of Honolulu, Wake Island was one of a chain of small naval air bases designed for the use of the Navy’s long-range patrol planes. It was also used as a stopping point for transpacific Clipper planes.

724 evacuees land from Alaska

Seattle, Washington (AP) – (Dec. 24)
A second ship bringing evacuees from Alaska points, most of them families of servicemen or of civilian employees working on defense projects in the North, has arrived here, Naval Headquarters reported today. Most of the 724 evacuees were women and children.

Address by Prime Minister Winston Churchill to a joint session of Congress
December 26, 1941, 12:30 p.m. EST


CBS broadcast:

Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives of the United States,

I feel greatly honored that you should have thus invited me to enter the United States Senate Chamber and address the representatives of both branches of Congress. The fact that my American forebears have for so many generations played their part in the life of the United States, and that here I am, an Englishman, welcomed in your midst, makes this experience one of the most moving and thrilling in my life, which is already long and has not been entirely uneventful. I wish indeed that my mother, whose memory I cherish, across the vale of years, could have been here to see. By the way, I cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American and my mother British instead of the other way around, I might have got here on my own. In that case this would not have been the first time you would have heard my voice. In that case I should not have needed any invitation. But if I had, it is hardly likely that it would have been unanimous. So perhaps things are better as they are.

I may confess, however, that I do not feel quite like a fish out of water in a legislative assembly where English is spoken. I am a child of the House of Commons. I was brought up in my father’s house to believe in democracy. “Trust the people.” That was his message. I used to see him cheered at meetings and in the streets by crowds of workingmen way back in those aristocratic Victorian days when as Disraeli said, “The world was for the few, and for the very few.”

Therefore, I have been in full harmony all my life with the tides which have flowed on both sides of the Atlantic against privilege and monopoly and I have steered confidently towards the Gettysburg ideal of government of the people, by the people, for the people.

I owe my advancement entirely to the House of Commons, whose servant I am. In my country, as in yours, public men are proud to be the servants of the state and would be ashamed to be its masters. The House of Commons, if they thought the people wanted it, could, by a simple vote, remove me from my office. But I am not worrying about it at all.

As a matter of fact, I am sure they will approve very highly of my journey here, for which I obtained the King’s permission, in order to meet the President of the United States and to arrange with him for all that mapping out of our military plans and for all those intimate meetings of the high officers of the armed services in both countries which are indispensable for the successful prosecution of the war.

I should like to say, first of all, how much I have been impressed and encouraged by the breadth of view and sense of proportion which I have found in all quarters over here to which I have had access. Anyone who did not understand the size and solidarity of the foundations of the United States might easily have expected to find an excited, disturbed, self-centered atmosphere, with all minds fixed upon the novel, startling, and painful episodes of sudden war as they hit America. After all, the United States have been attacked and set upon by three most powerfully armed dictator states, the greatest military power in Europe, the greatest military power in Asia – Japan, Germany and Italy have all declared and are making war upon you, and the quarrel is opened which can only end in their overthrow or yours.

But here in Washington, in these memorable days, I have found an Olympian fortitude which, far from being based upon complacency, is only the mask of an inflexible purpose and the proof of a sure, well-grounded confidence in the final outcome. We in Britain had the same feeling in our darkest days. We too were sure that in the end, all would be well.

You do not, I am certain, underrate the severity of the ordeal to which you and we have still to be subjected. The forces ranged against us are enormous. They are bitter, they are ruthless. The wicked men and their factions, who have launched their peoples on the path of war and conquest, know that they will be called to terrible account if they cannot beat down by force of arms the peoples they have assailed. They will stop at nothing. They have a vast accumulation of war weapons of all kinds. They have highly trained and disciplined armies, navies and air services. They have plans and designs which have long been contrived and matured. They will stop at nothing that violence or treachery can suggest.

It is quite true that on our side, our resources in manpower and materials are far greater than theirs. But only a portion of your resources are as yet mobilized and developed, and we both of us have much to learn in the cruel art of war. We have therefore without doubt a time of tribulation before us. In this same time, some ground will be lost which it will be hard and costly to regain. Many disappointments and unpleasant surprises await us. Many of them will afflict us before the full marshalling of our latent and total power can be accomplished.

For the best part of twenty years, the youth of Britain and America have been taught that war was evil, which is true, and that it would never come again, which has been proved false. For the best part of twenty years, the youth of Germany, of Japan and Italy, have been taught that aggressive war is the noblest duty of the citizen and that it should be begun as soon as the necessary weapons and organization have been made. We have performed the duties and tasks of peace. They have plotted and planned for war. This naturally has placed us, in Britain, and now places you in the United States at a disadvantage which only time, courage and untiring exertion can correct.

We have indeed to be thankful that so much time has been granted to us. If Germany had tried to invade the British Isles after the French collapse in June 1940, and if Japan had declared war on the British Empire and the United States at about the same date, no one can say what disasters and agonies might not have been our lot. But now, at the end of December 1941, our transformation from easygoing peace to total war efficiency has made very great progress.

The broad flow of munitions in Great Britain has already begun. Immense strides have been made in the conversion of American industry to military purposes. And now that the United States is at war, it is possible for orders to be given every day which in a year or eighteen months hence will produce results in war power beyond anything which has been seen or foreseen in the dictator states.

Provided that every effort is made, that nothing is kept back, that the whole manpower, brain power, virility, valor and civic virtue of the English-speaking world, with all its galaxy of loyal, friendly or associated communities and states – provided that is bent unremittingly to the simple but supreme task, I think it would be reasonable to hope that the end of 1942 will see us quite definitely in a better position than we are now. And that the year 1943 will enable us to assume the initiative upon an ample scale.

Some people may be startled or momentarily depressed when, like your President, I speak of a long and a hard war. Our peoples would rather know the truth, somber though it be. And after all, when we are doing the noblest work in the world, not only defending our hearths and homes, but the cause of freedom in every land, the question of whether deliverance comes in 1942 or 1943 or 1944, falls into its proper place in the grand proportions of human history. Sure I am that this day, now, we are the masters of our fate. That the task which has been set us is not above our strength. That its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our cause, and an unconquerable willpower, salvation will not be denied us. In the words of the Psalmist:

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings. His heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.

Not all the tidings will be evil. On the contrary, mighty strokes of war have already been dealt against the enemy – the glorious defense of their native soil by the Russian armies and people; wounds have been inflicted upon the Nazi tyranny and system which have bitten deep and will fester and inflame not only in the Nazi body but in the Nazi mind. The boastful Mussolini has crumpled already. He is now but a lackey and a serf, the merest utensil of his master’s will. He has inflicted great suffering and wrong upon his own industrious people. He has been stripped of all his African empire. Abyssinia has been liberated. Our armies of the East, which were so weak and ill-equipped at the moment of French desertion, now control all the regions from Tehran to Benghazi, and from Aleppo and Cyprus to the sources of the Nile.

For many months we devoted ourselves to preparing to take the offensive in Libya. The very considerable battle which has been proceeding there for the last six weeks in the desert, has been most fiercely fought on both sides. Owing to the difficulties of supply upon the desert flank, we were never able to bring numerically equal forces to bear upon the enemy. Therefore, we had to rely upon superiority in the numbers and qualities of tanks and aircraft, British and American. For the first time, aided by these – for the first time, we have fought the enemy with equal weapons. For the first time, we have made the Hun feel the sharp edge of those tools with which he has enslaved Europe. The armed forces of the enemy in Cyrenaica amounted to about 150,000 men, of whom a third were Germans. Gen. Auchinleck set out to destroy totally that armed force, and I have every reason to believe that his aim will be fully accomplished. I am so glad to be able to place before you, members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, at this moment when you are entering the war, the proof that with proper weapons and proper organization, we are able to beat the life out of the savage Nazi.

What Hitlerism is suffering in Libya is only a sample and a foretaste of what we have got to give him and his accomplices wherever this war should lead us in every quarter of the globe.

There are good tidings also from blue water. The lifeline of supplies which joins our two nations across the ocean, without which all would fail – that lifeline is flowing steadily and freely in spite of all that the enemy can do. It is a fact that the British Empire, which many thought eighteen months ago was broken and ruined, is now incomparably stronger and is growing stronger with every month.

Lastly, if you will forgive me for saying it, to me the best tidings of all – the United States, united as never before, has drawn the sword for freedom and cast away the scabbard.

All these tremendous facts have led the subjugated peoples of Europe to lift up their heads again in hope. They have put aside forever the shameful temptation of resigning themselves to the conqueror’s will. Hope has returned to the hearts of scores of millions of men and women, and with that hope, there burns the flame of anger against the brutal, corrupt invader. And still more fiercely burn the fires of hatred and contempt for the filthy Quislings whom he has suborned.

In a dozen famous ancient states, now prostrate under the Nazi yoke, the masses of the people, all classes and creeds, await the hour of liberation when they too will once again be able to play their part and strike their blows like men. That hour will strike. And its solemn peal will proclaim that night is past and that the dawn has come.

The onslaught upon us, so long and so secretly planned by Japan, has presented both our countries with grievous problems for which we could not be fully prepared. If people ask me, as they have a right to ask me in England:

Why is it that you have not got an ample equipment of modern aircraft and army weapons of all kinds in Malaya and in the East Indies?

I can only point to the victory Gen. Auchinleck has gained in the Libyan campaign. Had we diverted and dispersed our gradually-growing resources between Libya and Malaya, we should have been found wanting in both theaters.

If the United States has been found at a disadvantage at various points in the Pacific Ocean, we know well that that is to no small extent because of the aid which you have been giving to us in munitions for the defense of the British Isles and for the Libyan campaign, and above all because of your help in the Battle of the Atlantic, upon which all depends and which has in consequence been successfully and prosperously maintained.

Of course, it would have been much better, I freely admit, if we had had enough resources of all kinds to be at full strength at all threatened points. But considering how slowly and reluctantly we brought ourselves to large-scale preparations, and how long these preparations take, we had no right to expect to be in such a fortunate position.

The choice of how to dispose of our hitherto limited resources had to be made by Britain in time of war, and by the United States in time of peace. And I believe that history will pronounce that upon the whole, and it is upon the whole that these matters must be judged, that the choice made was right. Now that we are together, now that we are linked in a righteous comradeship of arms, now that our two considerable nations, each in perfect unity, have joined all their life-energies in a common resolve – a new scene opens upon which a steady light will glow and brighten.

Many people have been astonished that Japan should in a single day have plunged into war against the United States and the British Empire. We all wonder why, if this dark design with its laborious and intricate preparations had been so long filling their secret minds, they did not choose our moment of weakness eighteen months ago. Viewed quite dispassionately, in spite of the losses we have suffered and the further punishment we shall have to take, it certainly appears an irrational act. It is of course only prudent to assume that they have made very careful calculations and think they see their way through. Nevertheless, there may be another explanation.

We know that for many years past, the policy of Japan has been dominated by secret societies of subalterns and junior officers of the Army and Navy, who have enforced their will upon successive Japanese cabinets and parliaments by the assassination of any Japanese statesmen who opposed or who did not sufficiently further their aggressive policy. It may be that these societies, dazzled and dizzy with their own schemes of aggression and the prospect of early victories, have forced their country against its better judgment – into war. They have certainly embarked upon a very considerable undertaking.

After the outrages they have committed upon us at Pearl Harbor, in the Pacific Islands, in the Philippines, in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, they must now know that the stakes for which they have decided to play are mortal. When we look at the resources of the United States and the British Empire compared to those of Japan; when we remember those of China, which have so long valiantly withstood invasion and tyranny – and when also we observe the Russian menace which hangs over Japan – it becomes still more difficult to reconcile Japanese action with prudence or even with sanity. What kind of a people do they think we are? Is it possible that they do not realize that we shall never cease to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget?

Members of the Senate, and members of the House of Representatives, I will turn for one moment more from the turmoil and convulsions of the present to the broader spaces of the future. Here we are together, facing a group of mighty foes who seek our ruin. Here we are together, defending all that to free men is dear. Twice in a single generation the catastrophe of world war has fallen upon us. Twice in our lifetime has the long arm of fate reached out across the oceans to bring the United States into the forefront of the battle.

If we had kept together after the last war, if we had taken common measures for our safety, this renewal of the curse need never have fallen upon us. Do we not owe it to ourselves, to our children, to tormented mankind, to make sure that these catastrophes do not engulf us for the third time?

It has been proved that pestilences may break out in the Old World which carry their destructive ravages into the New World, from which, once they are afoot, the New World cannot escape. Duty and prudence alike command first that the germ-centers of hatred and revenge should be constantly and vigilantly served and treated in good time, and that an adequate organization should be set up to make sure that the pestilence can be controlled at its earliest beginnings, before it spreads and rages throughout the entire earth.

Five or six years ago it would have been easy, without shedding a drop of blood, for the United States and Great Britain to have insisted on the fulfilment of the disarmament clauses of the treaties which Germany signed after the Great War. And that also would have been the opportunity for assuring to the Germans those materials – those raw materials – which we declared in the Atlantic Charter should not be denied to any nation, victor or vanquished. The chance has passed, it is gone. Prodigious hammer-strokes have been needed to bring us together today.

If you will allow me to use other language, I will say that he must indeed have a blind soul who cannot see that some great purpose and design is being worked out here below of which we have the honor to be the faithful servants. It is not given to us to peer into the mysteries of the future. Still, I avow my hope and faith, sure and inviolate, that in the days to come the British and American peoples will, for their own safety and for the good of all, walk together in majesty, in justice and in peace.

U.S. War Department (December 26, 1941)

Communiqué No. 29

Philippine Theater.
From his headquarters in the field, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commanding U.S. forces in the Far East, advised that he has reorganized and strengthened the positions held by our troops in the general vicinity of Lingayen Gulf.

Repeated enemy assaults in this sector have been successfully resisted. Indications point to heavy reinforcement of Japanese troops in this area.

Brisk fighting in also reported from other fronts on the island of Luzon.

Heavy enemy air activity in the Philippines continues.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

Communiqué No. 30

Philippine Theater.
Military operations in the Lingayen Gulf area were limited to heavy artillery dueling. U.S. and Philippine soldiers are defending a position along the Agno River.

Southeast of Manila in the Atimonan area, enemy pressure is increasing.

Hostile aircraft was particularly active during the past 24 hours.

The War Department has been officially advised that the Commanding General, USAFFE, had declared Manila an “open city.”

There is nothing to report from other areas.

U.S. Navy Department (December 26, 1941)

Communiqué No. 18

Far East.
Press reports of U.S. submarine activities in the Far East on Christmas Day are confirmed. A dispatch from Adm. Hart states that one enemy transport and one minesweeper have been sunk. An additional transport and one seaplane tender are probably sunk.

Manila has been declared an open city as defined in Hague Convention (IV) of 1907, Annex, Article 25. Our forces have complied with the stipulations of that convention.

Central Pacific.
Enemy reports that 3,000 naval and Marine personnel were engaged in the defense of Wake Island are incorrect. The total strength of the garrison was less than 400 officers and men. There were approximately 1,000 civilians engaged in construction work on the island, which may account for the enemy statement that 1,400 prisoners were captured.

Eastern Pacific.
Naval operations against enemy submarines are being vigorously prosecuted.

There is nothing to report from other areas.

The Pittsburgh Press (December 26, 1941)

Offensive in 1943 to ‘beat life out of Nazis’ is seen by Premier

By Lyle C. Wilson, United Press staff writer

Washington –
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill predicted to Congress today that the United States and Britain will launch a worldwide offensive in 1943 to “beat the life out of the savage Nazis” and their allies.

Addressing a joint informal session held in the Senate, the British war leader declared the smashing British successes in Libya are:

…only a sample and a foretaste of what we have got to give him and his accomplices wherever this war should lead us in every quarter of the globe.

Time and again, his sedate audience – members of Congress, high officials and diplomats who jammed the small chamber – burst into applause as he praised the Soviet counteroffensive against Germany or as he reiterated his faith in the ability of the democracies to deal Germany, Italy and Japan a knockout blow when our forces get completely organized.

Mr. Churchill declared that at the end of the war, Britain, the United States and their allies will set up machinery to make sure that “this curse” of war does not come upon us again.

He said:

An adequate organization should be set up to make sure that the pestilence can be controlled at its earliest beginnings, before it spreads and rages throughout the entire earth.

He declared that he was happy to place before Congress:

At this moment when you are entering the war, the proof that with proper weapons and proper organization, we are able to beat the life out of the savage Nazi.

Says Allies gaining

I think it would be reasonable to hope that the end of 1942 will see us quite definitely in a better position than we are now. And that the year 1943 will enable us to assume the initiative upon an ample scale.

He denounced the Japanese attack on the United States and Britain and said it was difficult to “reconcile Japanese action with prudence or even with sanity.”

He asked:

What kind of a people do they think we are? Is it possible that they do not realize that we shall never cease to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget?

Forces divided

The unpreparedness of northern Malaya to the initial Japanese thrust, he declared, can be attributed to the impossibility of dispersing men and equipment from Libya to meet the Nipponese invaders in the Far East.

Had we diverted and dispersed our gradually-growing resources between Libya and Malaya, we should have been found wanting in both theaters.

If the United States has been found at a disadvantage at various points in the Pacific Ocean, we know well that that is to no small extent because of the aid which you have been giving in munitions for defense of the British Isles and the Libyan campaign.

He said there has been good news from the North Atlantic where joint U.S.-British naval and air operations have kept open the supply lines between the two countries.

Cites test of arms

The test of arms between the British in Libya and the Italo-German forces has given the British their first opportunity to meet the Nazis on equal terms, he said. The result, he added, has been the routing of the Axis forces.

As the lines are now drawn, he declared, the war can end only in the overthrow of the Axis or the overthrow of the anti-Axis powers, but victory will come to the latter.

He said:

In a year or eighteen months hence will produce results in war power beyond anything which has been seen or foreseen in the dictator states.

Mr. Churchill said Japan has been dominated by secret societies of junior officers of the Army and Navy who “forced their will” on the Japanese Cabinet and Parliament by the assassination of any statesmen who opposed their policies.

Blamed for war

He declared:

It may be that these societies, dazzled and dizzy with their own schemes of aggression and the prospect of early victories, have forced their country against its better judgment – into war. They have certainly embarked upon a very considerable undertaking.

After the outrages they have committed upon us at Pearl Harbor, in the Pacific Islands, in the Philippines, in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, they must now know that the stakes for which they have decided to play are mortal.

In characteristic Churchillian style, the Prime Minister promised that:

…from the turmoil and convulsions of the present to the broader spaces of the future. Here we are together, facing a group of mighty foes who seek our ruin.

He said he had found here:

…an Olympian fortitude which, far from being based upon complacency, is only the mask of an inflexible purpose and the proof of a sure, well-grounded confidence in the final outcome. We in Britain had the same feeling in our darkest days.

He continued:

The forces ranged against us are enormous. They are bitter, they are ruthless. The wicked men and their factions, who have launched their peoples on the path of war and conquest, know that they will be called to terrible account if they cannot beat down by force of arms the peoples they have assailed. They will stop at nothing.

Cites condition in 1940

He declared that:

If Germany had tried to invade the British Isles after the French collapse in June 1940, and if Japan had declared war on the British Empire and the United States at about the same date, no one can say what disasters and agonies might not have been our lot.

But now, at the end of December 1941, our transformation from easy-going peace to total war efficiency has made very great progress.

While the Prime Minister – British son of an American mother – spoke on Capitol Hill, Mr. Roosevelt remained at the White House awaiting the arrival of Canadian Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King to participate in joint talks.

Mr. Roosevelt, meanwhile, canceled his regular Friday press conference, but arranged to hold his weekly Cabinet meeting, later conferring with a special supply group in connection with the British-American conversations.

At supply session

Meeting with the President at the supply conference will be:

  • Lord Beaverbrook, British Minister of Supply;
  • William S. Knudsen, director of the Office of Production Management;
  • Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson;
  • Assistant Secretary of War for Air Robert A. Lovett;
  • William L. Batt, director of the OPM Materials Division;
  • Donald M. Nelson, executive director of the Supply Priorities and Allocations Board;
  • Leon Henderson, director of the Office of Price Administration;
  • James V. Forrestal, Under Secretary of the Navy;
  • Harry Hopkins;
  • Vice President Henry A. Wallace.

The President and the Prime Minister will convene the Anglo-American War Council at the White House later, meeting with Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George C. Marshall, Army Air Chief Lt. Gen. Henry H. Arnold, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Harold R. Stark, and Adm. Ernest J. King, Commander-in-Chief of the combined U.S. Fleet.

Others at parley

Also participating in the conference will be:

  • Adm. Sir Dudley Pound, First Sea Lord of Great Britain;
  • Sir Charles F. A. Portal, British Air Chief;
  • Sir John Greer Dill, Governor of Bombay and former Chief of the Imperial Staff;

Mr. Early said he did not know when other anti-Axis nations would be brought into the Anglo-American discussions which, he said, are still preliminary to the development of complete “unity of action” among the warring powers.

Kept informed

Mr. Early said the Russian, Chinese and Dutch diplomatic representatives here are being kept constantly abreast of the discussions between Mr. Roosevelt, Mr. Churchill and the War Council. But he was unable to say when they would actually be brought into the conference room to participate in the discussions.

The nation’s Christmas guest spoke to members and distinguished guests in the small Senate chamber. His address was broadcast throughout the world.

Brief glimpses of the British leader in two semi-public appearances jolted even this blasé capital which has a few top shelf speakers on its own account and has been accustomed, besides, since March 4, 1933, to the polished and forceful platform appearance and phrase polishing of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

More than a joke

But there is more than a joke behind the wisecrack which passed around Washington’s Christmas Eve dinner tables after the President and the Prime Minister had divided a few minutes of radio time to light a community tree.

Chuckling Washingtonians were telling each other:

That’s the fellow for whom the Republicans have been looking.

Churchill is that good. And after they heard him today, members of Congress will probably be introducing bills summoning him for speaking dates in their constituencies just as they annually attempt to legislate the Army-Navy football game into the hinterland.

Congress has previously honored such distinguished foreigners as:

  • Charles Stewart Parnell, Irish political leader, Feb. 2, 1880;
  • The Marquis de Lafayette, Dec. 6, 1824;
  • Marshal Joseph Joffre, Oct. 2 and 6, 1917;
  • Louis Kossuth, Polish patriot, in 1851;
  • Ramsey MacDonald, British Prime Minister, during the Hoover administration.

Go to church

Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill yesterday carried their great responsibilities to the altar of God where they prayed for strength in the arduous days ahead. Accompanied by their military and naval leaders, they attended interdenominational services at the 125-year-old Foundry Methodist Church. They prayed for “the triumph of good will among men” and heard appeals for divine aid in the battle “for a genuine new order worthy of human civilization.”

Later, the President and the Prime Minister had Christmas dinner at the White House and prepared for many more conferences to begin today. The Canadian Prime Minister, W. L. Mackenzie King, accompanied by high Canadian officials, arrives this afternoon to enter the Churchill-Roosevelt conferences.

Super war council talks intensified

Washington (UP) –
The fall of Hong Kong and renewed Japanese pressure on the Philippines today intensified Anglo-American strategy talks which may shortly culminate in creation of a super war council.

Christmas notwithstanding, President Roosevelt and his house guest, Prime Minister Churchill, presumably worked yesterday in close coordination with the ranking American and British tacticians and supply experts who were striving to cut through a multitude of preliminary technical problems.

Experts move swiftly

The experts had to move swiftly. Both the President and Mr. Churchill are said to regard the Far East as the major war front – one that must be held no matter what it costs in men, arms and ships to preserve the Anglo-American supply line and safeguard the vital Dutch East Indies.

Underscoring the talks was a dispatch from Canberra stating that Australia had been asked to supply immediately vital information on Pacific defense problems. The dispatch said the request came direct from Washington.

If the Philippines should fall – and 200,000 Jap soldiers with strong naval and air support were fighting for that objective – the entire Far East would be exposed.

To resume talks

After addressing the joint session of Congress, the Prime Minister will return to the White House, there to resume his momentous talks with the President. Meeting sectionally with American officials meanwhile will be the 80-odd technical experts who accompanied Churchill and Lord Beaverbrook, the British Supply Minister, on their unheralded trip to the United States.

They face an arduous task. The problems of an overall strategy plan are so complex that weeks may elapse before the public receives concrete evidence the council is functioning.

Two problems predominate:

  • Coordination of land, sea and air forces to wage offensive warfare against the Axis powers.
  • How to keep these forces supplied.

The current talks are preliminary. When they get down to tangibles, the other Allied nations – Russia, China, the Dutch Indies, the British dominions and the Americas – are expected to be brought into the council.

Strategy to follow

Development of grand strategy will follow but, if the plan goes according to schedule, a master inner-command will be superimposed on the council. It would be the liaison between the council and the widely-separated war front, dealing principally with problems of supply.

Russia, China and the other allies are being kept informed. Presumably, they will be prepared to cooperate when the final plan is drafted.

Mechanized units inflict heavy losses

Philippine capital suffers six air raids as government evacuates
By Frank Hewlett, United Press staff writer

Manila, Philippines –
U.S. mechanized units were reported inflicting severe casualties on Japanese invaders in the southeastern Luzon front tonight following all-day air raids on the capital area despite the designation of Manila as an open city.

Strong enemy forces – including tank units – were heavily engaged in the Atimonan-Mauban sector about 57 miles southeast of the capital, where the defenders as well as the invaders suffered considerable casualties. The Japanese pressure on the southeast was increasing.

Defense forces were reported holding firmly against the Japanese in the Lingayen Gulf area, about 125 miles northwest of Manila.

A Washington communiqué said that the Lingayen lines had been strengthened to oppose reinforced Japanese landing forces.

The final communiqué to be issued in Manila – since the government and military departed in order to declare the capital an undefended city – said that heavy tank battles were in progress in the southeast but gave no details.

Six air raids

Japanese airplanes raided the Manila area six times during the day, striking chiefly at the harbor area. A big fire that seemed to be an oil storage could be seen burning south of the capital, but it was believed that it had been set by the military forces before the evacuation in order to prevent supplies from falling into Japanese hands.

Tokyo broadcasts said that it would be “almost unthinkable” for the Japanese to consider Manila an undefended, open city and added:

If Manila is an open city, Singapore and Chungking could also be considered open cities.

The sixth air-raid alarm came after the city area had been under attack almost all day. Damage did not seem to be great during the earlier raids.

The announcement that Manila was to be considered an open city was accompanied by statements from Gen. Douglas MacArthur, High Commissioner Francis B. Sayre and President Manuel Quezon, all of whom emphasized that the fight would be carried on vigorously on the military fronts.

Fight to go on

Mr. Sayre declared:

We will fight to the last man. There can be no shadow of question as to ultimate victory.

This afternoon’s war communiqué was the last to be issued by the Manila headquarters as Gen. MacArthur had already taken the command in the field.

This was the first disclosure that military evacuation of Manila had been carried out, although it had been announced earlier that it would be.

The Japanese aerial attacks throughout the day centered on the Manila port area following an official declaration that the capital was an open city, issued in order to safeguard civilians from attack by “air or ground.”

High explosives crashed into the port area as the Japanese sought to knock out ships there, but bombs also fell near the Army base at Nichols Field and near Engineer Island, close to the mouth of the Pasig River, during the second raid.

As the first alarm was sounded, a huge fire was seen burning on the southeastern outskirts of the city. By late afternoon, hours after the proclamation of Manila as an open city, there had been six raids on the capital area.

During the fifth raid, a bomb fell near Nichols Field, the Army air base. Though three of the raids were directed largely at ships in Manila Harbor, it was reported that only one ship had suffered damage.

More transports sighted

Half an hour after the first “all-clear,” bombs again crashed on the docks vicinity, only to fall in the water. Then, a second wave of bombers swept over and bombs struck in the vicinity of Engineer Island near the mouth of the Pasig River which flows through the city. Thick smoke rose from the bombed area, a few hundred yards from the United Press offices.

Gen. MacArthur, Commander-in-Chief of U.S. forces in the Far East, in issuing the proclamation declaring the capital an open city, said the Philippine government, the U.S. High Commissioner and all combatant military installations would be withdrawn “as rapidly as possible.”

Gen. MacArthur said:

In order to spare the metropolitan area from possible ravages by attack either from the air or the ground, Manila is hereby declared an open city without characteristics of a military objective.

In order that no excuse may be given for a possible mistake, the American High Commissioner, the Commonwealth [Philippine] government and all combatant military installations will be withdrawn from its environs as rapidly as possible.

The municipal government will continue to function with its police powers, reinforced by Constabulary troops, so that normal protection for life and property may be preserved.

Citizens are requested to maintain obedience to the constituted authorities and to continue the normal process of business.

President Quezon leaves city

President Manuel L. Quezon immediately announced that he and his government were leaving the city to:

…continue the administration of affairs of civil government in cooperation with the commanding general of the military forces from the place where I may be.

U.S. High Commissioner Francis Bowes Sayre followed with a proclamation that he was leaving at Gen. MacArthur’s direction, but that a part of his staff would remain:

…charged with the duty of carrying on the functions of this office and looking after the welfare of all so far as military necessity permits.

Mr. Sayre’s proclamation ended:

We will fight to the last man. We know that our fight is America’s fight. American’s help is sure. There can be no shadow of question as to ultimate victory.

Army authorities emphasized that the declaration of the capital, with its 623,500 people, as an open city was decided upon purely to protect civilian lives, and that U.S. and Philippine defense forces were holding firm against numerically-superior Jap forces.

Japanese invasion forces were driving ferociously in the Atimonan-Mauban sector, 75 miles southeast of Manila, and Jap planes were raiding all over the island.

U.S. and Philippine forces were holding firm and a United Press dispatch from the Atimonan sector reported the wiping out of one Jap tank force by the defenders. Adm. Thomas C. Hart, U.S. Asiatic Fleet commander, had announced the sinking by American submarines of a large Jap transport and a minesweeper, and the probable sinking of a large seaplane tender and a second transport.

Jap pressure increases

An Army communiqué issued at 12:50 p.m. PHT (10:50 p.m. Thursday EST), just after the declaration that Manila is an open city, said:

Action on the northern lines is confined to artillery dueling. On the southeastern front, from Atimonan to Mauban, enemy pressure is increasing. The enemy is most active in the air.

An earlier communiqué had said:

Enemy pressure continued on both the north and south Luzon fronts. No additional landings have been reported and U.S. lines are holding.

After four raid alarm periods Christmas Day, there were four alarms early today.

Refugees pour into Manila

Refugees from the southeastern invasion area flooded into Manila despite the repeated alarms, fleeing the Japanese who had secured footholds in the Atimonan-Mauban area.

Fires, some of which appeared to be in the vicinity of the Cavite Naval Base, could be seen throughout last night outside the capital. Explosions were also heard from the Cavite direction but there was no official news of any destruction of naval forces.

Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets, recently called for service, were disbanded today. The move remained unexplained but it was suggested that it was decided upon because the capital was being declared an open city.

Japanese airplane activity was steadily intensified.

Bombs fell in the vicinity of Engineer Island, near the mouth of the Pasig River in the Manila area, during today’s second alarm period which lasted one hour and 59 minutes.

Passenger train bombed

Six persons were killed and 16 wounded yesterday at Tarlac, 65 miles north of Manila, when Jap planes bombed a fully-loaded passenger train.

Twenty wounded civilians arrived here from Los Baños, 35 miles to the south, where Jap planes bombed a railroad station and returned to machine-gun persons who waited to board a train.

Jap planes which attacked Cabanatuan, 45 miles north of Manila, bombed two hospitals, a newspaper dispatch said. One bomb destroyed the empty maternity wing of the provincial hospital. Another struck the emergency hospital but failed to explode. It caused a few casualties, according to reports.

Other towns within a 100-mile radius of Manila were subjected to Christmas bombings in which the Japanese centered their attack on railroad stations and trains.

Berlin: New Luzon landings made

London, England (UP) –
Berlin radio quoted Tokyo as asserting today that new Japanese landings had been made on the east coast of Luzon, that fighting for Manila had begun and that all U.S. naval forces of the Philippine Command had been destroyed.

The Berlin radio gave the Japanese General Headquarters as authority for the statement that all naval units of the Philippine Command had been destroyed by Japanese planes and naval forces.


Roosevelt receives Litvinov

Washington –
President Roosevelt conferred today with Soviet Ambassador Maxim Litvinov, bringing him up to date on Anglo-American war conferences led by the President and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Earle on way to Turkey

Zürich, Switzerland –
The Italian Stefani Agency reported today from Sofia that U.S. Minister George H. Earle, former Governor of Pennsylvania, and other North American diplomats left Thursday for Istanbul, accompanied by their families.

Monks revealed as Jap spies

Chungking, China –
The Chinese Central News Agency said today it had received reports that Japanese spies disguised as Buddhist monks were captured recently in the vicinity of Kunming, near the Burma Road. The spies were endeavoring to obtain information about the number and location of pilots and planes in the American Volunteer Group, the reports said.

‘Swimming soldiers’ open way to Hong Kong

Berlin, Germany – (official broadcast)
Tokyo dispatches said today that “swimming soldiers” opened the way for the capture of Hong Kong. Troops trained by Japanese Olympic swimming stars swam through the narrow passage between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon mainland and cleared away mines to permit transports to approach the stronghold, it was said.

Nazis bag merchant ship

Berlin, Germany – (official radio)
German airplanes last night sank a British merchant ship of 3,000 tons east of Whitby, England, and seriously damaged four other merchant ships totaling 17,000 tons, the High Command said today.

One-plane raid on London

London, England –
A single German plane flew over the east coast Christmas Day and dropped incendiary bombs, which caused neither casualties nor damage. There was no enemy air activity over Britain last night.

Nazis admit fall of Benghazi

Berlin, Germany – (official radio)
Benghazi, capital of Cyrenaica, has been evacuated by Axis forces “in accordance with plan,” the High Command said today.

19 Jap planes downed in Burma

Chungking, China –
Two Japanese air attacks on Rangoon, Burma, this week cost the Japanese 19 planes in combat with Anglo-American pursuit planes, it was reported reliably today. Defenders in American-made Brewster Buffalos and Curtiss P-40s attacked formations of more than 60 enemy planes Dec. 23 and downed 13, it was said. Four defending planes were reported shot down and four others were damaged.

Rome puts U.S. death toll at 9,100

Rome, Italy – (official Radio Rome broadcast)
Tokyo dispatches reported today that 9,100 Americans had been killed in fighting with Japan since the outbreak of Pacific hostilities.

Tokyo: Nine vessels destroyed

Berlin, Germany – (official broadcast)
A Tokyo dispatch claimed tonight that Japanese troops destroyed nine British war vessels in the capture of Hong Kong and seized 40-50 “ships” in occupying nearby Stonecutters Island. The war vessels destroyed were listed as a submarine, a gunboat, destroyer and six torpedo boats.

Japs: 5,000 taken at Hong Kong

Berlin, Germany – (official German broadcast)
Sir Mark Young, Governor of Hong Kong, has accepted a Japanese demand for unconditional surrender of Hong Kong, the Japanese Dōmei News Agency said today. The disarming of British prisoners in Hong Kong has been completed, the agency said, with 5,000 prisoners counted so far.

Largest RCAF group reaches Britain

An eastern Canadian port, Canada –
The largest group of air trainees ever to sail from Canada has arrived safely in Great Britain, it was disclosed today. Convoyed transports also carried U.S. Army signal officers to take observation courses and a large contingent of American civilian technical corps experts. Also included were hundreds of reinforcements for Canadian Army units, artillery, signal, infantry, ordnance, tank units and the Army service corps.

Tokyo: 21 RAF planes downed

Berlin, Germany – (official German broadcast)
An official news agency dispatch from Tokyo today quoted Japanese Imperial Headquarters as saying that 21 British fighter planes were believed to have been shot down in a second mass attack by Jap bombers on Rangoon, Burma. The dispatch said that 32 British craft opposed the raiders and that nine of the 21 listed as shot down were “probably destroyed.”

‘Lost’ British get through Jap lines

Singapore –
Advices were received today that more than two-thirds of the men of a British regiment, missing since fighting in Malaya moved southward from near the Thai border, had fought their way through the Japanese to the new front 300 miles north of Singapore.

Japs extends peace feeler to Chinese

Tokyo, Japan – (official radio)
Premier Plaek Phibunsongkhram of Japanese-occupied Thailand has broadcast an appeal to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek to reach an agreement with Japan. Using the Bangkok radio and speaking in the English language, the Thai Premier said:

This is not a time for Asiatics to be fighting among themselves.

Gunners escape from Japs

With U.S. Army in North Luzon, Philippines –
Four “lost” machine-gunners of a cavalry unit returned to their base today without any regular clothes but with a fine contempt for Japanese “marksmanship.” The four, who were practically naked, said they had been captured by the enemy and their uniforms and guns were taken from them. Then the Japanese told them to run and started shooting at them. They dropped to their knees and crawled through shrubbery until they escaped.

Japs close river in China

Chungking, China –
Japanese troops in great force have renewed offensive operations in Hunan Province, south of Hankow, the Chinese Central News Agency reported today. Some 10,000 Japanese troops succeeded in closing the Hsinchiang River at six points.

Japs spread terror among civilians

Manila, Philippines –
Refugees from the north province reported today that Japanese invaders are spreading terror among the civilian Philippine population. The refugees reported that in some towns, Japanese troops lined up recalcitrant civilians against walls and shot them in order to intimidate the rest of the populace.

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Planes, ships ‘halt’ raids of Jap subs

No reports of attacks since Wednesday; bomber bags one marauder

San Francisco, California (UP) –
U.S. patrol bombers and warships sweeping the Pacific in search of enemy submarines today appeared to have halted, at least temporarily, raids on American coastwise shipping.

There had been no reported attacks on American ships since Wednesday. Nine ships had been attacked along the coast between Dec. 18 and Dec. 24, of which one was sunk and two damaged. Six seamen have been killed and five injured.

The last definite news of Pacific Coast submarine warfare was the War Department’s Christmas communiqué announcing that a U.S. Army bomber had smashed one Japanese submarine off the California coast. It was known that U.S. planes were in action against the submarines in at least three of the attacks.

‘Successful attack’

The communiqué said that a bomber of Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt’s Western Defense Command “successfully attacked an enemy submarine off the California coast.” The communiqué detailed:

Soon after the submarine was sighted, it made an emergency dive. A bomb was dropped and the submarine emerged and then sank. Two more bombs were dropped with apparently direct hits, filling the air with debris.

Location of the action was not divulged by the Army.

The Berlin radio quoted the Japanese Dōmei News Agency as reporting that five ships had been sunk off the California coast. Official U.S. quarters, however, have announced only the sinking of the tanker Montebello off California and the freighter Cynthia Olson, 700 miles offshore, and Lahaina in Hawaiian waters.

The log of enemy action against American ships off the Pacific Coast follows:

December 18: Freighter Samoa, escaped.

December 20:

  • Richfield tanker Agwiworld, escaped.
  • General Petroleum tanker Emidio, damaged, 5 dead.

December 22: Standard Oil tanker H. M. Storey, escaped.

December 23:

  • Richfield tanker Larry Doheny, escaped.
  • Union tanker Montebello, sunk, crew escaped.
  • Texas Corp. tanker Idaho, escaped.
  • Standard tanker Storey (second attack), escaped.

December 24:

  • McCormick freighter Absaroka, damaged, 1 dead.
  • Unidentified lumber schooner believed the Barbara C. of San Francisco, escaped.
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Chicago raid alarm keeps area guessing

Navy remains ‘watchful’ after alert interrupts Christmas party

Chicago, Illinois (UP) –
Circumstances of the Midwest’s first genuine air-raid “alert” mystified the civilian populace today.

Naval authorities said they were following a policy of “watchful waiting” and reported there were “no further developments” after the 70-minute “alert” which interrupted Christmas Day festivities for 9,000 men at four naval stations in the Chicago area.

The alarm was sounded at 1:00 p.m. CST during a Christmas show at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. Hundreds of sailors swarmed into air-raid shelters where they continued singing carols and Navy songs. The school’s theater was preparing to show the motion picture Dive Bomber.

Rehearsal denied

The “all-clear” signal was heard and the holiday show resumed before the Army, civilian defense and other authorities learned of the alarm, which naval officers insisted was not a rehearsal.

Cdr. T. DeWitt Carr, Executive Officer of the Great Lakes School, released an official statement announcing the “alert” was ordered after receipt of:

…a warning from a responsible source that 8 to 12 unidentified planes, coming from the northeast, were heading west across Lake Michigan.

He said:

There was no word of flights at the time, and, in view of the mysterious circumstances surrounding the strange planes, the alarms were given. Navy patrol planes were sent up to carry out defensive assignments, if necessary.

Planes not found

Cdr. Carr indicated that the reported flight of planes had not been discovered by the patrol craft when he said later that their identity remained a mystery.

Cdr. R. A. Brown, Public Relations Director for the 9th Naval District, said there had been no evidence to indicate the warning was not “absolutely authentic” and that the Navy was following a policy of “watchful waiting.”

The “alert” was ordered at the school at Great Lakes, Illinois, the Naval Air Base at Glenview, Illinois, and at the Navy Service School and the Navy Armory at Chicago.

Sources not identified

The Navy officers declined to identify the “responsible source” from whom the warning was received.

Cdr. Carr complimented the sailors on their response to the alarm and said:

The warning found everyone alert and ready for any eventuality.

Sentry patrols were strengthened during the “alert.” Visitors were not permitted to leave and only uniformed sailors and Marines were allowed to enter the training station.

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