Our Searchlight on the War
Splinters Mystery SolvedHeavy fragments of grooved steel, some of them still red-hot, were picked up in two areas on the South-East Coast following two heavy explosions on August 13. The explosions, which were not preceded by the characteristic noise of falling bombs, wrecked some houses, killed two A.R.P. workers, and injured many others. The splinters were later examined by experts who pronounced them to be pieces of shell fired from long-range German guns.
'Britain Delivers the Goods'A textile firm in Bradford had the happy idea of stencilling on its export packing cases the cheerful slogan "Britain Delivers the Goods", surmounted by a Union Jack. So excellent did this seem to the Export Council of the Board of Trade that similar stencils were sent to thousands of exporting firms. Some have adopted a variant of the wording: "Shipped in a British ship under the protection of the British Navy." Both slogans will serve to impress the consignees with our confidence of outwitting Hitler's vaunted blockade.
The Last Boat Floated OffTroops on board the Egyptian transport liner "Mahomed Ali El-Kebir" were just about to turn in when she was torpedoed at dusk on August 11. At their officers' orders they fell in on the canting deck, each detachment waiting in perfect discipline for its turn to take to the boats. The ship's officers stated that the loss of life (120 out of 860) would have been much greater had it not been for the skilled help of the naval ratings aboard the transport, and that the cheerfulness and "wisecracking" of the naval ratings were a powerful moral factor. The last boat was not lowered, but floated off the deck of the sinking ship. When all boats and rafts were clear there were still about thirty officers and men left, for one boat had been destroyed in the explosion. Diving into the sea – "Come on, mates. There'll always be an England. Let's swim to it", cried one of them – they were later picked up by a British warship.
New Tanks for OldIn the Midlands is a factory – one of many taken over for this purpose – where expert and responsible workers are engaged in reconditioning tanks and other armoured vehicles. Some of these casualties arrive so severely damaged as almost to appear total wrecks, but after being entirely dismantled, rebuilt and repaired, every small detail being carefully overhauled and rigorously tested, they leave the factory to all intents and purposes as good as new. Such an achievement is a tribute to our engineering craftsmen, as well as a contribution of great economic importance to our war effort.
German 'Paraspooks'With his usual happy knack, "Peterborough" of the "Daily Telegraph" has applied the term "paraspooks" to the German parachutists who, according to a Nazi broadcaster came down in the Midlands and the North in the early hours of August 14. Between 70 and 80 parachutes were dropped, each capable of bearing a weight of 400 lb., all with Nazi markings, and sometimes accompanied by bags containing instructions purporting to be operation orders. But in many instances the harness had not been undone, and in some cases Home Guards were on the spot to collect them when they landed. Hundreds of troops and police scoured the countryside, but no trace of German soldiers or arms was discovered and on August 15 it was officially announced that the scheme had evidently been faked by the Germans in the hope of creating panic.
American Armed Ships Off Greenland
As far back as April President Roosevelt issued a veiled warning that any German attempt to occupy Greenland would be an infringement of the Monroe Doctrine. But it seems – and who can blame him? – that he does not trust Hitler, and two specially armed U.S.A cutters, the "George W. Campbell" and the "Northland", have now been sent to Greenland waters as a precautionary measure against annexation for the establishment of German air bases.
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