16 May 2009

D-Day Begins: first reports

I'm working my way through the complete broadcast day of D-Day, June, 6 1944.  I found the mp3's for this at the Old Time Radio Catalog site (otrcat.com).  Most of my podcasts are free downloads from iTunes, but otrcat.com is an inexpensive way to feed my history podcast addiction.  There's a huge variety of old radio broadcasts,  in both CD and MP3 formats.

The first reports were unclear as to the veracity of the German broadcasts proclaiming the beginning of the invasion.  Bob Trout (1909-2000) anchored Columbia's early-morning broadcast.  Here's his verbatim report:

"CBS World News, Bob Trout speaking and again we bring you the available report, all of them from German sources,  of what the Berlin Radio calls, 'The Invasion.'  There is still no Allied confirmation from any source.  The correspondents who rushed to the War Department in Washington soon after the first German broadcast was heard were told that our War Department had no information on the German report. There's been no announcement of any sort from Allied headquarters in London.  The first news of the German announcement reached this country at 12:37 a.m. Eastern War Time.  The Associated Press recorded this broadcast and immediately pointed out that it could be one which Allied leaders have warned us to expect from the Germans.  Shortly after 1:00 a.m. Eastern War Time the Berlin Radio opened its news program with a so-called "Invasion Announcement."  Columbia Shortwave Listening Station here in New York heard the Berlin Radio say, and I quote, 'Here is a special bulletin.  Early this morning, the long-awaited British and American invasion began when paratroops landed in the area of the Somme estuary.  The harbor of Le Havre is being fiercely bombarded at the present moment.  Naval forces of the German Navy are off the coast fighting with enemy landing vessels.  We just brought you a special bulletin.'  That is the invasion announcement as heard from the Berlin Radio by Columbia Shortwave Listening Station.  

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