Wednesday, 19 March 1941

This post is part of a series post-blogging the Blitz of 1940-41 and the Baedeker Blitz of 1942. See here and here for introductions to the series, and here, here and here for conclusions.

Glasgow Herald, 19 March 1941, 7

Lead item in today's Glasgow Herald is a report that 'a German U-boat is believed to have reached waters somewhere off the North Atlantic coast of America' (7). Slow news day? Not really; the real story is the way the war is creeping ever closer to America, and vice versa. The U-boat news was announced shortly after Churchill's speech in honour of the new US ambassador, John Winant. Churchill said that

Not only German U-boats but German battle cruisers have crossed to the American side of the Atlantic, and have already sunk some of our independently routed ships not sailing in convoy. They have sunk the ships as far west as the 42nd meridian longitude.

Even more, he played up the significance of Lease-and-Lend, describing it as 'an ocean-borne trumpet-call [which tells us] that we are no longer alone'. Churchill's conclusion:

You, Mr Ambassador, share our purposes. You will share our dangers. You will share our interests. You shall share our secrets. And the day will come when the British Empire and the United States will share together the solemn but splendid duties which are the crown of victory.

It sounds like US entry into the war is a mere formality. Of course, Churchill would very much like it to be.

The Ministry of Food has announced that cheese rationing is to begin next week (6).

The Madrid A. B. C. says that London's 'Anti-aircraft defences have been so perfected that things have changed very much since last September and October, when enemy 'planes flew at will over the roofs' (7). It refers to 'Mysterious happenings [which] are occurring in the air', seemingly a reference to 'new A.-A. devices'.

Casualty estimates for the two Clydeside air raids have been released by the Air Ministry and the Ministry of Home Security: 500 people are believed dead and 800 seriously wounded. Rescue and demolition squads are clearing the wreckage of bombed houses, but there is little hope now of finding anyone alive. However, in one house, a dog and a canary were found to have survived the collapse of three storeys: 'The canary was found in a nest which it made for itself among the rubble' (6). Many 'dogs have been seen persistently remaining outside other broken homes'.

The City of Glasgow Central War Fund yesterday received contributions totalling £1202, all of which will be used for 'relief of the distress caused by the air raids in the area'. Misses Belle and Mary Findlay gave £25 each; a group of typists clubbed together to give a guinea; an anonymous 'Old Age Pensioner' gave 10s.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

2 thoughts on “Wednesday, 19 March 1941

  1. gina c in al

    Hope this comment is not entirely unrelated: Virginia Woolf only had 11 more days to live, walking into the Ouse on 28 March 1941. these were pretty dark days indeed. The outcome that we know was far from being a foregone conclusion.

    too many people today if they think about it all especially in the US only remember Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941, and while its fine to do that, my Polish husband also remembers Westerplatte (1-7 September 1939), and I remember Virginia Woolf.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *