(February 1941 - Marching to Bulgaria)
February 9, 1941 fell on a Sunday. Not very much happening on Capitol Hill but a lot going on in the European War. We were quietly watching the goings on, offering support to Great Britain via the Lend-Lease Bill and taking stabs at various peace proposals - none of which amounted to anything. The German Army was heading East, slowly taking over Bulgaria and Romania. The Italian Army was knee-deep in the Mediterranean and not doing particularly well in Albania or Greece. Reports coming in via Shortwave were distant and muddled, as evidenced by this report from Martin Agronsky reporting from Ankara, Turkey:
Martin Agronsky (NBC News): “Once more the nerve war, the war of rumor and counter-rumor is in full swing in the Balkans. This time it’s Bulgaria. Reports are pouring into Istanbul that the Germans are moving troops openly into Bulgaria. And though there has been no information here in the Turkish capitol that this is correct, there is completely authentic confirmation of the news that Germans soldiers in civilian clothes, the famous Nazi Tourists are increasing their number in Bulgaria every day. Two weeks ago I reported to you the Nazi Tourists in Bulgaria already numbered 6,000 men. Today their number is estimated at over 10,000.”
All of that and it seemed particularly far away. As if on another planet. For a time, anyway.