26 March 2010

A Sharp Challenge

From the article, "Interpreting The War News" by Associated Press staff writer, Kirke L. Simpson, published in the Daytona Beach Morning Journal on this day in 1940:
The intensified British patrol of the Skagerrak-Kattegat outlet from the Baltic to the North Sea has a more important purpose than any mere tightening of the economic net about Germany.

By sending the huge liners Queen Mary and Mauretania to sea, the British threw down a sharp challenge to nazi daring. And the British believe that it was through neutral Scandinavian waters fringing Skagerrak and Kattegat--Danish on one side, Swedish and Norwegian on the other--that the only two German surface sea-raiders of this war stole out to rove the Atlantic.

Closing the main door to the Baltic against egress of a nazi pocket battleship or swift cruiser to hunt distant seas for the two British merchant queens probably is the major British purpose in probing Danish and Norwegian coastal contours with submarines and small surface craft. The sinking, or driving ashore, of a few small German cargo craft is a far less important matter than baring that road for a nazi successor to the scuttled Graf Spee or the less successful Deutschland.

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