June 11, 1940. German Armies cross Seine at several points, heading to Paris. French resistance failing. Germans bomb French ports. FDR signs Neutrality pact barring U.S. shipping in Mediterranean. Italian planes bomb Malta. RAF counter-attacks on Italian bases in Africa. Wife of N.Y. Times Editor James Reston explains reasons for fleeing War Zone. French Government moves to Tours. Refugees fleeing Paris.
June 11, 2012

Invasion of another sort - refugees.

News on this day in 1940 was anything but hopeful for the Allies. It was reported the German Army had crossed the Seine River at several points and was heading to Paris. Despite resistance from The French Army the Germans were making gains and were poised to take Rheims and the Argonne. Simultaneously, the Luftwaffe had been making repeated bombing raids on French harbors including Le Havre. As for Italian involvement in the French action, the heavily censored reports from Berlin stated the Italian Army really wasn't necessary at this point.

Reports from London told of at least 6 Italian Air Force raids so far on the British island of Malta. In retaliation, the RAF staged counter-attack raids on Italian bases in Africa, destroying a number of planes on the ground and bombing airfields. Also from London was a report by the wife of New York Times Editor James Reston on why she, and many other Americans were now leaving the War Zone, and that nerves were on edge over the sea journey back to the States.

On the subject of ships, while the broadcast was on, it was reported that President Roosevelt had just signed the Neutrality Pact on shipping in the Mediterranean and that American ships were told not to deliver goods to ports in the region, aside from those of Spain and Portugal, which faced the Atlantic.

News from France, again heavily censored, told of the French government relocating to the city of Tours and that refugees were streaming out of Paris by the thousands.

An updated bulletin towards the end of the newscast gave an update on the Neutrality Pact signing.

All in all, a nail-biting day in history as reported on this June 11, 1940 by the NBC Blue Network News Of The World.

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