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Warren Phillips was a teenager with a growing interest in journalism when the Second World War broke out, and he began to collect news items from a wide variety of publications. This volume, picked up from the German Information Office in Manhattan, is an issue of the German propaganda magazine Signal. (Selections - full volume available from Queens College Archives)


World War, 1939-1945--Germany--Propaganda
World War, 1939-1945--Periodicals
Germany--Armed Forces--History--World War, 1939-1945


Deutscher Verlag (Berlin, Germany)




Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)




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World War, 1939-1945



Special Edition of the "Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung"
June 1, 1940
No. 4
U.S.A. 10 Cents

Heading for the goal: Bombs drop on a French aerodrome

Page 2

products all over the world!

"Well-the war has at last begun"

Henri de Kerillis, who was a flying officer in the Great War and is now one of the trusted journalists of the French General Staff, had finished writing a leader for the Epoque. He read his conclusive words over again, as they were to appear the next morning in the paper: - "If Germany should succeed in gaining a firm footing in Holland after now having made herself master of South Norway and Denmark, then she would be in possession of a very formidable base for air raid half round the British isles. She would further be able to use this base for disputing the supremacy of the English fleet in the North Sea, and also for severe and repeated bombardments, for the purpose of bringing about a moral collapse of the English people.
Are not these words hint enough? Henri de Kerillis knows still more about the plans of the general staff. For it had been confided in him that British and French troops could be in Holland and Belgium in record time, because the final preparations had been made a few days before. But that was information which might only be published at the right moment. It must for the time suffice to mention that, if the Germans got hold of Holland, it would then have to be regarded as a zone of danger for the Allies.
The fatal 9th May was a mild spring evening in Paris, and the cafe terraces and main boulevards were crowded with people. The newspaper sellers were shouting out the evening news, but although the war had been going on for eight months people were far from being in the same state of excitement as during the first days. Had it not been for the great prevalence of uniforms among the passers-by and those sitting in the cafes and bars, and also for the shop windows plastered over with paper and the sand bags in front of the cellar windows which reminded one of war, no one would have noticed the difference from peace-time in the spring atmosphere of Paris.
It was at this hour of the evening that the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Koht, had gathered a number of French journalists around him in one of the large hotels. It was easy to detect in his broad face, which with the brushed up hair suggested that of a yokel, the dejection caused by his flight from Norway and the disappointing negotiations in London. "I could never describe to you," he said to the press representatives, "the feeling of grief felt by the Norwegians, when they heard that the English and French troops had been re-embarked." He paused and then added with constrained optimism: "But since being in London and Paris I now have the hope that the French and English Governments will do all they can to support the cooperation between, the Norwegian and the Franco-British forces.
The people were pouring out of the theaters and cinemas into the darkened streets of Paris, and tediously groping their way in the moonless night to the underground and home.
Towards midnight the French Embassy in Brussels rang up the Quai d'Orsay:- "The Germans are apparently about to march into Belgium. A night meeting of the Belgian cabinet has been called. Will report further in the course of the night."
During the night the members of the French cabinet were hastily summoned to Premier Reynaud, he and Daladier, the Minister for National Defence, having already conferred with the Supreme Council for National Defence. Reynaud stated the result briefly:- "Gamelin reports that our troops were ready for our own action the night before, and our armies therefore ready to march in, although the Germans have again deprived us of the advantage of being first in the field. The co-operation of the Dutch and Belgian staffs has been guaranteed long ago. Gamelin is in touch with Genera Gort, in order to assure simultaneous action on the part of the British army. Gamelin's daily orders to the army are ready. The language is calm and confident." He handed a few typed duplicates round.
Daladier began to speak: - "By order of the Ministries for National Defence the War and Air Ministries are immediately cancelling all leave. All officers on leave have to join their units to-morrow."
"How about leave for the farmers?" asked Tellier, Minister for Agriculture. For he had just declared in an interview that the food supply of France was guaranteed, since he had got his way with the Ministries for National Defence.
Daladier shrugged his shoulders and answered:- "No exception can be made, Tellier, we can only consider the army."
"If there is to be no leave for the farmers, then there will be no spring sowing," answered Tellier.
"You can come to an agreement to-morrow, Gentlemen," Reynaud broke in, for he does not like such discussion of details. "There are more important matters, such as changes in the Government. You know that, when the new Government came in, it had only a majority of one in the Chambre. We now require a national coalition Government, and the Conservatives must come into the cabinet."
"Together with the Socialists?"

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Daladier broke in again in support of Reynaud:- "Yes, together with the Socialists" adding, "if you take my advice, you will even appoint the Conservative ministers to be members of the Supreme War Council, for they must be offered something."
"I had even thought of making all the undersecretaries of state resign so as to have posts vacant." "But for God's sake leave us the specialists for aeroplane production, for evacuation and other such matters."
Reynauld's secretary appeared at this moment with the news:- "The Belgian cabinet has decided to call upon England and France for help. The German troops have crossed the Dutch and Belgian frontiers."
The discussion was suddenly interrupted by the prolonged howling of the sirens:- "Air raid alarm". The members of the cabinet looked at one another: "It's getting serious. Is that an air raid alarm? Any way the first for months." "The tenth since the outbreak of the war, if I am not mistaken."
Paris was awakened from its peaceful spring sleep, and every one was startled by the shock: "Is that an air raid alarm?" Watches were consulted. It was not quite five o'clock. "Was it then only a trial?" But the sirens continued howling. Lightly clad figures hastened in the darkness down into the anti-aircraft cellars, with only a cloak or blanket thrown over them. But we so often have air raid alarms, some of them said, and it was never serious. Let us go out on to the balcony. There were soon lightly clad figures at the windows and on the balconies, and the humming of the engines began to be heard. The sky was swept by the quivering search lights and two aeroplanes could be seen flying in the direction of Vincennes.
There could be seen the flashes of bursting anti-aircraft shells around the shining planes accompanied by the screams and groans of people, who, in their curiosity to see, had been wounded by falling splinters of the anti-aircraft shells.
At 6,20 the sirens howled again, the danger being past. But at this moment a terrific explosion was heard in the far distance. "The aerodrome of Pontoise has been bombed by the Germans," was shortly after reported to Head Quarters. This was followed by the report: "The Aerodromes of Lille, Lyon, Annemasse, Metz, Amiens bombed. The air raid on Lyon is continuing." Reports then followed in quick succession. Paris then went to bed again cursing. An hour and a half later the sirens were again heard in Paris, and people again fled into the anti-aircraft cellars, which had been laughed at when they were built; in the case of better class houses there were even couches, easy chairs and stocks of drinks in them. "What is the meaning of two air-raid alarms in one night" was the question angrily asked by every one when they returned home, and they put the wireless on. "German troops have crossed the Belgian and Dutch frontiers," the wireless bawled out. The Belgian and Dutch Governments have called in the assistance of England and France. All who are on leave are to return at once to their regiments. The public are to wear their gas masks if they have any... The terrified Parisians were overwhelmed by endless orders.
Early in the morning officers of all ranks and regiments were hastening to the railway stations. Early in the morning placards announced that the railway lines to the north and east were closed for traffic, as they were required for the army. Early in the morning there were Placards calling for the public to leave the city and to remain in the country wherever possible. Early in the morning the Dutch and Belgian legations called upon all their nationals to report at once for military duty. In front of the banks and shops there were long queues of people, who wanted to draw money from the bank, or make purchases. For the first time since September people were seen wearing gasmasks, and saying to one another:- "The war has actually begun on the 250th day of the war.


In the evening of the May 9th a discussion went on for three quarters of an hour at No. 10 Downing Street as to whether it would be possible, after the disaster in Norway, to form a cabinet including all parties. Late in the evening Lord Halifax telephoned to the Prime Minister:
"Telephone calls to the Hague are not possible. The Dutch Government has apparently stopped all telephone calls." "Stopped all telephone calls"? The decision is premature for our purpose". "Should the Germans..."
Soon after, there was a whole series of telephone calls. "Report from Brussels: Night meeting of the Belgian cabinet. Reports from Paris, reports from General Gort, the Commander in Chief of the British Expeditionary Force in France: German air raids on the aerodromes of the expeditionary force."
The Prime Minister called a meeting of the war cabinet. The First Lord of the Admirality, Winston Churchill, appeared, just shaved, and wearing as usual his dark blue white spotted bow: "You will win the race, Churchill," Chamberlain said to him with a languid smile. "The Labour Party is mad to see you Prime Minister."
With a condescending movement of his hand Churchill replied: "That is unimportant at the moment, but what is going on in Holland?"
"Apparently the Germans are marching in".
"The we are again too late? I will immediately summon the Ministers of National Defence and the Staffs".
The siren began to howl. Air raid alarm over London. It was only short, and London is used to air raid alarm. But it was not long before reports arrived: Enemy planes over the mouth of the Thames and the county of Kent. Four bombings and the anti-aircraft batteries in action.

Then came the final report: German troops have entered Holland and Belgium. A call from the Hague: The Dutch Government will officially call for the help of Great Britain, and is confident that the arrangements already made will be carried out. The Ministers for Foerign Affairs and the Colonies will arrive tomorrow by air.
When the Londoners looked out of their windows early in the morning, they were amazed at the unaccustomed sight. For all along the horizon the huge silver grey inflated sausage shaped barrage balloons were swaying in the sky. "That is the matter". They put the radio on, but could only hear the usual morning program, when towards eight o'clock there was an interruption and the following announcement was made: German troops and air force units have invaded Belgium and Holland last night. The Dutch and Belgian Governments have requested the British Government for assistance, this assistance will of course be given without delay. There is a special meeting of the war cabinet at eight o'clock." A little later: "The Home Office states that particular attention is to be paid to the doings of secret agents in England. All foreigners, even when not enemy subjects, may henceforth be interned in case of suspicion". And a few minutes later: "Hallo, hallo!, the sentries in the streets of London have been order to fire ball cartridge at once, if their orders are not followed. All Whitsuntide leave is cancelled, also Coronation leave. Munition factories will continue to work throughout the holidays without stopping".
Sir Dudley Pound, the first Sea Lord, who was just leaving after the Cabinet meeting, realized that he must say something encouraging, while taking the few steps from the exit of No. 10, Downing Street to the car, in which his own minister, who was about to be his Prime Minister, was awaiting him. He jerked his head on which he had just put his naval cap, and turning to the journalists said: "Well if you want my opinion, the war has at last begun".

Whilst the English cabinets were wasting time with discussions German parachutemen were landing in the morning of the 10. May 3.5 kilometers from Rotterdam. A German landing party (left) getting into touch with their comrades

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The battle with the "Glow-worm"

On the afternoon of April 8 an enemy destroyer appeared out of the mist to the west of the German detachment. It was already too late for the enemy to escape by the time that he saw, he was discovered. There were then only 2000 meters between the Englisch destroyer and the heavy German cruiser, when the latter opened fire hitting it with the first volley amidships. The English ship, which was the destroyer Glow-worm, and formed the advance guard of the English detachment, which was on its way to Norway, began to list very much to the side. Out of its funnels there came thick black clouds of smoke, for it was trying to screen itself in fog, in order to escape under its cover. The water foames around the bows of our cruiser as it chased the destroyer, and plunging into the clouds of fog came within near range, and hailed shells at it. The finish of the fight was at close quarters, the Glow-worm gunners rushing up again to their guns and firing. Our cruiser then rammed the destroyer from the side, and it was cut in two, sinking in a few moments. The German detachment searched the water for English sailors, and fourty men were rescued.

Baffling the enemy's torpedoes

Although badly hit, the "Glow-worm" succeeded in getting into a favourable position for firing its torpedoes, and fired three, the bubbles made by them coming right in the direction of the cruiser broadside on. Then there was heard the lightning like order of the commander to steet, "right over to starboard". The engines began to run full out, and the torpedoes rushed a few meters past the side of the German ship

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It is often a perilous journey for the man who fetches the rations, but he is sure of the gratitude of his comrades. Heavily laden, he advances, often very close to the enemy lines. He brings rations, the much awaited mail, and the latest front newspaper to the troops

Original Format

10 x 13.5 inches (254 x 343 mm)


Deutscher Verlag (Berlin, Germany), “Signal,” Queens College Archives and Special Collections, accessed June 18, 2019,