Admiral Graf Spee and curious onlookers outside Montevideo. News for the week of December 14, 1939 was concerned mostly with the sea battle going on between the German battleship Admiral Graf Spee and the British Navy, outside Montevideo,
December 14, 2011

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Admiral Graf Spee and curious onlookers outside Montevideo.


News for the week of December 14, 1939 was concerned mostly with the sea battle going on between the German battleship Admiral Graf Spee and the British Navy, outside Montevideo, Uruguay. The encounter, which eventually cost the German navy one of their prize ships, was a much needed victory for Britain and a morale boost.

Meanwhile, the subject was Christmas in Berlin, with an estimated 1 million Christmas trees heading for the capital and reports of changes in the way the holiday was being observed with the war going on. Meanwhile, reports came in regarding naval action in the North Sea and reports the Irish Navy were being supplied with Torpedo boats by Britain. News of the conflict in Finland came in with reports of Russian air raids on the Finnish capital of Helsinki and clashes between Russian and Finnish troops.

In the Far East, word of Japan's reopening of the Yangtze River to foreign traffic came as some small relief, but the Japanese occupation of China was still a subject of concern.

And so went the first Christmas season of War, as reported by Mutual Broadcasting and their weekly program Foreign News.

As a bonus, I'm including on-the-spot shortwave reports via NBC in Montevideo on December 14, 1939. The sound is iffy, but the history factor is high.

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