It’s raining bombs, keep calm and carry on… – WW2 – 059 – October 12 1940

It’s raining bombs, keep calm and carry on… – WW2 – 059 – October 12 1940


October 12, 1940 They have a unified front to the rest of the
world, publicly dismissing any talk of a civil war in the face of invasion, but this week
the Chinese Nationalists and Communists fight each other. I’m Indy Neidell; this is World War Two. Last week, Adolf Hitler met with Benito Mussolini
and talked about possible military plans in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Gibraltar. Far to the east, the Battle of 100 Regiments
is devolving into guerrilla warfare, in Warsaw all Jews are ordered to move into the ghetto,
and there were a few changes in British High Command. That continued this week. On the 9th, PM Winston Churchill becomes leader
of Britain’s Conservative party. “This is an impressive achievement because
he was little liked by many in the party at the time of his selection as PM. He has succeeded in winning their loyalty
despite the hard times he has presided over. His attention to party affairs illustrates
his concern for the forms of parliamentary democracy.” Churchill has been Prime Minister since before
the ongoing Battle of Britain began and there is a major development in that this week. On the 12th, as the week ends, any German
invasion of Britain at all is officially postponed until at least the spring. “The Germans could keep coming over all
they liked, but they were not going to win. Neither Göring nor Hitler had any idea of
the true strength of Fighter Command, but they now began to accept that the great battle
against Britain had failed… All that effort, all that cost, it had come
to nothing. Air operations over Britain would continue…
but Hitler was now ever more set upon his next course of action. If Britain could not be brought to heel now,
then she would once the Soviet Union had been absorbed into the Third Reich.” But continue those air operation do, by both
sides. On the 7th comes the heaviest British air
raid on Berlin so far. 30 Wellington and 12 Whitley bombers drop
50 tons of high explosive bombs. On the 11th, Liverpool is heavily bombed by
the Luftwaffe. Four ships are sunk in port. But what is guiding the German air operations
now, if not the prospect of victory by invasion or aerial supremacy? Well, many in the German High Command think
that the continued bombing will have a big political impact. And that a brutal terror campaign against
the major British cities and the food supply chain can actually win the Battle of Britain. This strategy comes from Italian General Giulio
Douhet. He wrote “The Command of the Air” back
in 1921, which has had a huge influence on air forces and aerial strategy ever since. One thing he wrote about was the effect bombing
could have on morale. See, he identified five target types for bombing-
government, industry, communications, transport, and “the will of the people”. That last one is really important to him. Destroying civilians’ homes will destroy
their morale, and this in turn would lead to their resistance failing and the social
fabric of their society beginning to unravel. Then when they ran out of basic consumer goods,
they would rise up against their own government and have a revolution, and then make peace
with the attacker. His theories, however, were never put to the
test in the 20s and 30s, and it’s turning out now that his estimates for how much bombing
would destroy a city were extremely optimistic. He wrote in 1928 that 300 tons of bombs dropped
over a capital city would end a war in a month- that would be ten tons a day or so. But we’ve seen many single days with dozen
of tons of bombs dropped- 50 tons in one day this week- and that hasn’t ended the war. Douhet does, though, have a fair amount of
followers in German High Command. FM Joachim Von Ribbentrop’s Foreign Office
thinks that a terror bombing campaign will drive the inhabitants of London’s East End
into the more posh West End, and its inhabitants will make peace because they’ll be scared
of a social revolution. That’s a bit fanciful, but how is it, actually,
for the British people? They are trying, and in large part succeeding,
in maintaining a sense of normalcy. “The familiar images of workers and shoppers
picking their way through bomb debris each morning is mute testimony to the efforts made
to reassert the rhythms of ordinary life. The Daily Express ran a campaign under the
caption ‘Don’t be a Bomb Bore’. When the Ministry of Information began to
compile lists of ‘Questions the Public Are Asking’ in October, the newsletters were
full of mundane inquiries: are animals allowed in shelters? Are people liable to pay rent and rates if
their houses are made uninhabitable? Was there compensation for the loss of false
teeth, spectacles, gas masks…?” So life is going on with a semblance of every
day mundanity. Something interesting I read in Richard Overy’s
“The Battle of Britain”- British Home Intelligence discovers that there are as many
calls for bombing reprisal raids against Italy as there are against Germany, and there is
little sustained Germanophobia in Britain. Calls for reprisals against anybody, in fact,
die down this month, and those calls that there are are more prominent in areas that
have not been bombed. The bombing now comes at night, which changes
defenses, of course. Fighter Command has a night fighter force,
mostly Beaufighters and Blenheims, but without quality airborne radar most contact with the
enemy is by chance. So the anti-aircraft guns are the main defenses. Thing is, that’s tougher at night too. From July to September, for example, AA batteries
destroyed 337 airplanes, but only 104 at night, and they estimated that they fired ten times
as many shells per plane. And starting from around now, half of the
German casualties will result from accidents that are caused by bad weather or ice. Still, a high proportion of the German bombers
make it through and hit their targets. There still is, as Douhet theorized, no really
effective way of preventing bombing. Even inflicting heavy losses on the attacker
does not prevent bombing, but- and here’s the thing- bombers only carry tiny loads in
comparison to the size of major cities, and there aren’t really that many of them, and
their targets are seriously scattered far and wide. Germany did not, except for a couple weeks
in August attacking airfields, attack any target system repeatedly. Ports, industrial targets, communications-
it was all scattered. British Intelligence did an analysis of this
at the end of September and called the results “remarkably small in proportion to the considerable
effort expended.” They came to the conclusion that since there
was no overall bombing strategy, the Luftwaffe was bombing them primarily to hurt morale,
and this they have failed to do. There is another fight going on this week,
though, one on the ground in the far east. I briefly mentioned last week that the Chinese
Nationalist and Communist started fighting each other, in spite of their declared Unified
Front against the invading Japanese. This is at Huangqiao, in Jiangsu Province. I’m gonna backtrack a bit here. Back in July, Communist leader Mao Zedong
had wanted to put pressure on Nationalist General Han Deqin in Jiangsu, so Communist
forces under Su Yu had gone on the march, crossing the Yangtze River, and destroying
a small Nationalist force at Huangqiao. Deqin had retaliated in early September with
an unsuccessful small attack, but had by last week gathered a larger force for a major attack-
Li Shouwei’s 89th Corps and Weng Da’s 6th Independent Brigade. Su Yu’s communist force prepared to defend
against them at Huangqiao, but on the 4th, they ambushed Weng Da’s brigade as it advanced
and routed it. Weng Da committed suicide. After this on the 5th, they launched a three
columned attack on 89th Corps, and by midnight this too was turning into a rout. Li Shouwei ordered a general retreat, during
which he himself actually drowned in the Bachihe River, and at least 5,000 Nationalist troops
were killed. Well, that’s one version. Peter Chen says that the Nationalists- some
30,000 strong- attacked the 4th, and though they did suffer some initial setbacks against
the far smaller Communist force- some 7,000 men, by the end of the day they were on the
verge of taking the town when Li Shouwei stopped his advance. On the 5th, the Communists counterattacked
and did so brilliantly, capturing 30 senior officers, 600 junior officers, 3,800 rifles,
180 machine guns, and 59 mortars. They took just 900 casualties and inflicted
11,000, effectively destroying the Nationalist 89th Army Corps. Chen says Li Shouwei died in action. Within days, the Communists consolidated,
occupying Hai’an, Dongtai, and Jiangyan, as the Nationalists fled the area. In yet another version, a brief one, Hans
Van de Ven says Han Deqin stood firm at Huangqiao, though he did lose thousands of troops. One thing everyone agrees on, though- both
sides suppressed and downplayed any reports of this battle, since they are supposed to
be fighting side by side against the Japanese. So we’ve seen action in the skies this week,
and action on land, but there is also action at sea. On the 12th comes the Battle of Cape Passero
in the Mediterranean. The British light cruiser Ajax takes on first
three Italian torpedo boats and then four Italian destroyers. Two of the torpedo boats are sunk, and one
gets away. When the destroyers then turn up, two of them
take heavy damage, but the Ajax disengages after taking damage itself. One of the damaged destroyers is sunk a few
hours later by the British cruiser HMS York. And here are some notes to end the week. On the 7th, German troops enter Romania- this
is the military mission I mentioned last month that is ostensibly to reorganize the Romanian
army, but is in reality there to protect the oilfields. That same day, Germany orders all Jews in
occupied France to register with the authorities, and on the 11th, Philippe Petain, leader of
Vichy France, broadcasts to the French that they should abandon their traditional ideas
as to who are their friends and who are their enemies. And that is the week. A naval battle in the Mediterranean, yet more
aerial bombing of Britain and Germany, and the Chinese Nationalists fighting the Chinese
Communists in the field. That broadcast by Petain is somehow apropos. Just two weeks ago, the Free French attacked
the Vichy French at Dakar, and now look at China- also countryman fighting countryman. The Chinese have been fighting the Japanese
on their own territory for over three years now, and they present a unified front to the
world, even as they fight each other. So who is the real enemy then? Other Chinese? The Japanese? I don’t know, but it seems to me, that in
order to win a war, one thing you must first do is identify the actual enemy.

100 Comments on "It’s raining bombs, keep calm and carry on… – WW2 – 059 – October 12 1940"


  1. Indy mentioned our Instagram page, where we make a daily post about what happened in the war on that day. This might be something completely different from what's covered in these videos, or might add some more details. You can follow it by searching @world_war_two_realtime or by clicking here: https://www.instagram.com/world_war_two_realtime/. See you there!
    Cheers, Joram

    RULES OF CONDUCT
    STAY CIVIL AND POLITE we will delete any comments with personal insults, or attacks.
    AVOID PARTISAN POLITICS AS FAR AS YOU CAN we reserve the right to cut off vitriolic debates.
    HATE SPEECH IN ANY DIRECTION will lead to a ban.
    RACISM, XENOPHOBIA, OR SLAMMING OF MINORITIES will lead to an immediate ban.
    PARTISAN REVISIONISM, ESPECIALLY HOLOCAUST AND HOLODOMOR DENIAL will lead to an immediate ban.

    Reply

  2. In America today:
    Joker movie released
    People: "OMG, we're gonna get shot up, we need cops to swarm the theatres, panic!!!"

    In Britain eighty years ago:
    Germany tries for years to bomb them into oblivion on a daily basis
    "Do I have to pay rent if my house is bombed?"

    Reply

  3. ‘Remarkably small in proportion to the considerable effort expended’ – quite possible the most British thing I’ve ever heard, i can see why the British have the stereotype for understating.

    Reply

  4. The Germans made the same mistake as Hannibal. 2000 years of mistakes to be learned from and they learned nothing.

    Reply

  5. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, born in 1926, was not only involved in WWII before it became a Hollywood epic, but was also there for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

    Reply

  6. I came from Prof. Mark Felton's video on Hitler's secret (and tragic) lovers. This phone intro played well into that.

    Reply

  7. #59 The Battle of Britain continues but the consensus is that it was a waste of effort and resources by the Nazis. The theory of continued bombing with the objective of destroying British civilian morale failed.
    Philippe Pétain solidifies himself as a French traitor!

    Reply

  8. Amazing episode, as always. Keep marching on, TimeGhost Army!

    P.s.
    For Indy's eyes only
    Cape Passero is pronounced cape (ok, in Italian is Capo but that does not matter) paSSero. The two s have stronger stress upon them, like the "s" in "salt", PaSSe-ro, while the e is bit quicker on the tongue.
    Also, it mean Cape Sparrow ^^

    Reply

  9. I've said this in another video, but Indy reeeaaaally looks like Ribbentrop in that picture. Although in other pictures not so much.

    Reply

  10. The one thing that' I've always questioned if they thought the bombing would break there will why did not realise it wasn't working as Britain was doing the same to them and could see wasn't working on them

    Reply

  11. Ah the Incident that sparked the New 4th Army Incident. What caused this nobody knows, no matter what sparked this the United Front is no more. Chiang is going to launch his counterattack.

    Reply

  12. Politicians – we will bomb our enemies, crushing their morale!

    Also politicians – enemy bombs will never demoralize us!

    Reply

  13. Question for you guys. What differences in an aircraft make it a night fighter versus a regular day fighter? Why do most night fighters seem to be bigger and have two engines?

    Reply

  14. Any chance to have James Holland directly contribute to the show? Besides his acclaimed WW2 expertise the guy is just a great narrator.

    Reply

  15. I dont think my heart will be able to handle the war against humanity episodes when we get to 1942 onward thanks to Auschwitz, oh God weekly reports of that are gonna be horrendous, as well as the Between Two Wars coverage of the Nanking massacre

    Reply

  16. Did I blink and miss the thumbnail, or is it not actually in the episode? Is that Princess Elizabeth (the current queen)? Or her mother? And what's that flag (if it's a flag) behind her? I can't find it as a British national flag, or Commonwealth nation's flag, or British military flag, or the flag of the royal house. Maybe it's not even British? Maybe that's the Queen of Romania and HER flag. What's up?

    Reply

  17. I kept staring at the clock in the upper right corner. If accurate, it took roughly 18 minutes to shoot this 12+ minute video. That's pretty damn good guys!

    Reply

  18. When will talks for Greece begin? I think you missed the destroying of the Greek Helli destroyer by an Italian submarine.

    Reply

  19. nearly 40,000 Chinese troops fight each other deep inside what is shown on the map as territory held by Japan. how could that area be considered Japanese controlled if that many enemy troops are present and supplied?

    Reply

  20. fear of social revolution … that's funny, the only likely thing the english would do is start movements against inequity, and blame the germans for wasting time when a social problem has arisen

    Reply

  21. the best part about the title. The Keep Calm And Carry On posters where made but never put up. Since there was no need to put them up.

    Reply

  22. I am a bit curious about the thumbnail. St Edward's Crown and HRH the Princess Elizabeth? As her subject, I waited in vain for a mention of the Royal Family.

    Reply

  23. Hey Indy and team, I would find it very interesting if you created special episodes about best snipers in different theaters or about how different there these tactics in different battlegrounds? Weren't they a target of propaganda the same as the flying aces?

    Reply

  24. Love this channel and the team. I honesty don't think it would be the same without indy. Hopefully I can become a patrion once I'm better off financially. Keep up the awesome job!

    Reply

  25. Indy, you forgot to mention the events of Operation Medium which occurred on the night of October 10-11. It was a raid on Cherbourg where HMS Revenge was ingeniously turned into a stealth battleship via a well timed air raid; it took a while for the German defenders to notice the large battleship methodically sinking invasion barges in the harbour.

    Reply

  26. The IRA was bombing and killing around this time too.

    and as a neutral State Ireland didn't want to turn its lights off – Irish cities brightly lit up gave lovely navigational aids to the Luftwaffe bombing cities in the West of Britain and Northern Ireland… just their bad luck…

    I don't know why Indy is so surprised that there were calls for reprisal raids against Italy… Italy did take part in bombing the UK.

    Lummey.

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  27. Hi. I do not know if you have this in your sources, however I am giving you the link. It is the press conference speech of PM Metaxas on the 30 Oct 1940, two days after the Italian invasion….if you have issues translating it please let me know….cheers.
    https://el.m.wikisource.org/wiki/%CE%91%CE%BD%CE%B1%CE%BA%CE%BF%CE%AF%CE%BD%CF%89%CF%83%CE%B7_%CE%99._%CE%9C%CE%B5%CF%84%CE%B1%CE%BE%CE%AC_%CF%80%CF%81%CE%BF%CF%82_%CF%84%CE%BF%CE%BD_%CE%91%CE%B8%CE%B7%CE%BD%CE%B1%CF%8A%CE%BA%CF%8C_%CE%A4%CF%8D%CF%80%CE%BF,_30_%CE%9F%CE%BA%CF%84%CF%89%CE%B2%CF%81%CE%AF%CE%BF%CF%85_1940

    Reply

  28. If you spend a work day in a bomb shelter does your employer have to pay you for that day? If I remember correctly the Germans had different rules about that than the British.

    Reply

  29. I’m surprised you haven’t brought up the Canadian psychiatrist, J. T. MacCurdy’s ‘The Structure of Morale’ when discussing the Blitz. I’m wondering if you’re going to do a special on the psychological impact of mass bombings?

    Reply

  30. It fascinates me that the civil war in the Far East is so swept under the carpet – tens of thousands involved yet left to a murky interpretation at best. I
    Those interpretations of events becoming twisted as they commence and becoming something different entirely by their completion, a shape of things to come I wonder?

    Reply

  31. The resilience and bravery of the British makes me proud to be English by ancestry… until someone brings up Monty Python, then I tell people I'm Albanian.

    Reply

  32. The Warsaw Ghetto-this needs to be highlighted. As I understand things the Warsaw Ghetto was demolished after the war. The only Memorial to this ghetto now standing in 2019 is a walled unmarked cemetery. What can we do about this? More needs to be done to make this area a special museum and historical landmark to the world. I call on Poland and the world to step up.

    Reply

  33. On the contribution of countries to the fight against fascism: the losses of the Soviet Union – 27 million people.

    Losses of the United States-0.5 million people, and the loss of the UK-only 400 thousand people.

    The USSR fought the largest battles – the Kursk bulge (2.2 million), the battle of Stalingrad (1.8 million),

    the Battle of Moscow (3.2 million), the Battle of Rzhev (2.6 million) and the Russians stormed

    Berlin-storming Berlin (0.5 million). The Russians made the greatest contribution and defeated fascism.

    Reply

  34. Caller : "We're playing RISK."
    Indy: "You're doing WHAT!! But, like, with each other? What if the world finds out?? Yeah, ok!!"

    Reply

  35. WHY DID GERMANY DECIDE THEY NEEDED TO PROTECT THE OIL FIELDS IN ROMANIA???? What Russian action or statements caused the Germans TO DO THIS??????????????????????????????????????????????

    Reply

  36. So the first thing that really fell down to the famous well was an idea from an Italian guy…… hmmmmmm

    Reply

  37. 8:54 I guess Chin decided he needed to wipe out all 6.2 billion reds <Hong Kong 97 theme plays in background>

    Reply

  38. Thought this was interesting…
    The road of bones, Fergal Keane
    https://www.gordonpoole.com/talent/fergal-keane-obe/

    Reply

  39. You would think they would stop after losing so many planes. Plus it seems like every enemy of Britian thinks their dominions are weak. Which is never the case

    Reply

  40. I love your videos, but when you say the bombardments over civilian population never occurred in the 20's and 30's it's not entirely true. The German and Italian airforce bombed a lot of cities in Spain during the Spanish civil war. The Guernica made for Picasso is a good example of that.

    Reply

  41. The USA and Britain were the only prewar powers who fully embraced Doucet's theories. That is why they're the only ones to develop heavy bombers. These bombers were designed to attack civilian targets. German and Japanese aerial attacks were ad hoc, not part of their war doctrine.

    Reply

  42. "….destroying homes will destroy the people's will"

    OR It'll make then angrier and want to fight even harder. I mean…If some shitter dropped a bomb in my neighborhood the first thing i'm doing is signing up for the Army to fuck the enemy up

    Reply

  43. House of Windsor; The name was changed from Saxe-Coburg
    and Gotha to the English Windsor (from Windsor Castle in 1917 because of anti-German sentiment in the British Empire
    during World War I. You can view Elizabeth II the Queen of England performing a Nazi salute with her family at Balmoral?
    The whole royal family are Germans and Hitler Nazi supporters so – stop – the – bullshit.

    I think British English people have too many psychological problems too. It's 2019 and they still have a
    Nazi Queen and I think that is insane.

    I sincerely hope the fallout of Brexit tears the UK apart. Goodness knows the Nazi English Queen and English fascist bastards deserve it?
    The sheer arrogance of British English is just unbelievable.

    The English scum Churchill was fighting a
    racist who killed millions while being one himself? So stop the – bullshit.

    Churchill was a protege of King Edward VII. And WW1 is really King Edward VII
    handiwork.

    King Edward VII of Great Britain: Evil Demiurge of the Triple Entente and World War I

    http://tarpley.net/online-books/against-oligarchy/king-edward-vii-of-great-britain-evil-demiurge-of-the-triple-entente-and-world-war-1/

    Plus: King Edward VIII abdicated the British throne in December 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson.

    The couple harboured pro-Nazi sympathies and were involved in a failed plot to overthrow the British crown during World War II.

    P.S. The British English are nothing more than the ugliest offspring cousins of inbreds.

    The greatest collection of nuff-nuffs, spastics and retards God ever shovelled guts into.

    Reply

  44. Hmm., I wanted to make a one-off donation/contribution, so I followed the patreon links. They only offer tiered monthly subs…?

    Reply

  45. Great video as always – keep up the amazing work!

    Minor niggle with pronunciation at 10:09: It's pronounced "Pássero" (with the stress on the "a") – passero means "sparrow" in Italian.

    Reply

  46. I remember the blitz. I was 6 but my memory is still vivid. I never saw any panic. Stoical seemed to be the order of the day. The only moaning I heard was about the inconvenience of it all. There was a determination to overcome any of these raids with the thought that we would get revenge. AND WE DID.

    Reply

  47. I feel like the the Chinese civil war is to history what Quantum mechanics is to physics. He's an initial state and a final state and here's a bunch of ways we might have got from the first to the second.

    Reply

  48. Stalin said the death of one is a tragedy. The death of a million is a statistic. In in Chinese history it's anyone's guess.

    Reply

  49. "strongest voices of people calling for reprisals came from areas that weren't hit''
    Actually it's kinda similar to today when areas where there are the least amount of migrants are the most radical in being against immigration. I think we can see what fear does to people. Scary stories in media (and us imagining that ''THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU!") influence most us far more than actual events that are happening.

    Reply

  50. Indy , Spart , Astrid and the team . Thank you for the Vids .  I am glad you mentioned Richard Overy's account  , It is one of the Books that is constantly opened .  Some of the attitudes of the people living thru this are amazing .  There is a 1976 Book Written by Tom Harrison Copy right by the Trustees of the Mass- Observation Archive . Schocken books / New York  , Please do not be shocked by a New Term ?  " Title is " Living through the Blitz " .    Both Books are an Eye Opener about what was not happening while it happened .    The Panic did not cripple the War Effort .  Very resilient People who did not give up on Daily Life .  I had a English Teacher in High school who taught European History who was an Air Raid Warden .  He did not complain at what he went thru  , other than they took the Wrought Iron Fence in front of his Family's home for the War Effort  . The Only other Time he got upset Talking about Living in London back then was St Patrick's Day .  We spray Painted a Can Of Spam Kelly Green and wished him Happy St Pat's day .  He had no trouble with us being Irish  But The Canned Meat sent him up the Wall .  We had no Idea it would Upset him because we did not live it like he did .    He had my Respect for what he did not tell us .  Keep up the Good Work !

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  51. I really can't ever make heads or tails out of what the Germans were hoping to accomplish by bombing people according to their class. Like that's going to start a class war – that's delusional.
    My old man said they bombed a city in Korea after he went through it twice door-to-door and B-29's left nothing over waist high. They didn't have any insurgent problem after that. The civilians had already fled or were killed by the North anyways so anyone there wasn't friendly.

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  52. If Luftwaffe wanted to break British moral ,why didn't they bomb the more wealthy areas & royal palaces ???

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  53. I just had this in my suggestions, what a brilliant idea! Reliving WWII as it happened! I love this channel! Subscribed!

    Reply

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