May 10, 2019

1948-1950. The Berlin Reports

Bill Downs Reports from Blockaded Berlin
Bill Downs (left) and Edward R. Murrow in East Berlin standing under a Free German Youth banner in 1948
Berlin, 1948 - 1950

Bill Downs served as the CBS correspondent in Berlin for nearly two years to cover the blockade and airlift. He stayed in the city from 1948 to 1950 with his wife, writer Rosalind "Roz" Downs (née Gerson). During that time he reported extensively on political developments in postwar Germany. In one letter home dated October 1948, he wrote:
You know just about as much as we do about what is going to come out of this mess. The decisions will not be made here. However the reflection of our policy shows here first and as far as I can make it out, we are preparing to continue this air lift for two years if necessary. There has been nothing that gives any hope for the lifting of the blockade in the near future. The Russians go as far as they dare without overtly precipitating war. I get the feeling that we do the same more or less. And the feeling is that there will not be any open, official conflict between the two major powers.
In another letter home dated September 1948, Roz wrote about the devastation in Berlin:
We drove into the city the other day. [Edward R. Murrow] wanted to see what was left of it. The only opinion I have of the Germans after seeing Berlin and the other parts of Germany we've driven through is that they sure were damn fools. I think before the war Berlin must have been one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Now, there is no city. For miles on end there is nothing but rubble. You are startled when you see a building standing until you drive close to it and see it's only four walls with no insides. . . . It is very depressing to go into Berlin proper. As Ed said, it looks like the end of the world. It looks like something out of a fantastic story magazine; something that looks like a civilization of the past, now dead.
Below are some of Bill Downs' reports from 1948 to 1950. The text is adapted from his typewritten scripts.
1948

July 22, 1948 to September 22, 1948: Berlin's newspaper propaganda wars

July 30, 1948: Politics and the black market in West Berlin

September 12, 1948: Communists hold "Victims of Fascism" rally in Berlin

September 13, 1948: Rumors of an "X-Day" putsch

September 14 to September 16, 1948: Outcry over the sentencing of West German protesters

September 17, 1948: The East-West standoff rattles the city

September 18, 1948: US celebrates Air Force Day by ramping up the airlift

September 19, 1948: Uneasy quiet ahead of UN meeting

September 20 to September 23, 1948: Western Allied Commanders convene on the eve of UN meeting

September 24, 1948: US increases the airlift operation

September 25, 1948: Worried speculation of Soviet interference in the airlift

September 26 to September 28, 1948: The Western occupation powers appeal to the UN

September 30, 1948: The tenth anniversary of the Munich Agreement

September 30 to October 12, 1948: One hundred days of blockade

October 2, 1948: War of nerves behind the Iron Curtain

November 16, 1948: Moscow withdraws recognition of Ernst Reuter

November 18 to November 26, 1948: Elections near as the Anglo-American airlift continues

November 21, 1948: Downs' car vandalized

November 28 to November 30, 1948: Eastern sector Communists oppose West Berlin elections

November 30 to December 4, 1948: The East-West divide widens

December 4, 1948: West Berliners go to the polls

December 6, 1948: Berlin, the "island of anticommunist opposition"

December 7 to December 10, 1948: The deepening isolation of West Berlin

December 16 to December 20, 1948: The French destroy Soviet-controlled radio transmission towers

December 18, 1948: Signs of economic difficulty reported in the Soviet zone

December 19 to December 30, 1948: Christmas in Berlin

December 1948: Germans making the most of the holiday
A crowd of approximately 200,000 listens to Mayor Ernst Reuter speak in Berlin at a demonstration against the policies of the SED and the Soviet military government, September 9, 1948 (source)
1949

January 1949: Bill Downs on the "moral reconstruction" of Germany

January 4, 1949: Stalingrad prisoners forced into the East German People's Police

January 5, 1949: The Harnack House club

January 10 to January 24, 1949: The fascist remnants in Germany

January 12, 1949: Simmering tensions over the Ruhr

January 13, 1949: Dispute over missing German war prisoners in Russia

January 14, 1949: The West Berlin assembly prepares to meet in Schöneberg

January 14, 1949: The Communist-Socialist divide in East and West Berlin

January 17, 1949: Protests against the Ruhr occupation

January 24 to January 29, 1949: The Socialist Unity Party convenes in Berlin

January 26, 1949: The future of the two Germanies

January 28, 1949: West Germany's booming industry alarms Britain and France

January 30, 1949:  Reports of a shakeup for the US military government in Germany

January 31 to February 13, 1949: Stalin's conditions for lifting the blockade

February 9, 1949: Debate over Cardinal Mindszenty's sentencing in Budapest

February 16, 1949: Tensions grow as the Berlin blockade continues

February 17 to March 4, 1949: The eight Russians who refused to leave Frankfurt

February 19, 1949: Criminal trials in Munich

February 19 to February 20, 1949: Five men charged with espionage against the United States

February 23 to February 24, 1949: The Soviets opt to remain in Germany

March 2, 1949: Ultranationalism in West Germany

March 8, 1949: Fear dominates Leipzig

March 11, 1949: Soviets conduct defensive exercises along the Elbe

March 13, 1949: The West prepares for indefinite blockade

April 17, 1949: Easter in West Berlin

April 18, 1949: The US stages a major field exercise in Germany

April 19, 1949: New wave of blockade speculation in Berlin

April 20, 1949: The Kremlin reconsiders its blockade policy

April 23, 1949: The SPD and CDU work on drafting a constitution

April 23 to April 25, 1949: Western occupation powers urge statehood for West Germany

April 26 to April 27, 1949: The Kremlin calls for a Big Four conference

April 28, 1949: General Clay announces he will step down as military governor

April 29 to April 30, 1949: Berlin readies for May Day

May 5, 1949: The price to pay for lifting the blockade

May 7, 1949: Strategic failure as the Soviets plan to lift the Berlin blockade

May 8, 1949: Victory Day ceremony in Treptower Park

May 10 to May 13, 1949: Soviets dispute Western claims of ending the counter-blockade

May 11 to May 12, 1949: Celebrations as the blockade is lifted

May 14, 1949: Western powers grant West Berlin more autonomy

May 15 to May 17, 1949: Unexpected anti-Communist movement in East Berlin elections

May 21 to May 27, 1949: Massive worker uprising hits East Berlin

May 28, 1949: Council of Foreign Ministers meets in Paris to discuss Berlin crisis

June 3, 1949: Gerhart Eisler criticizes the United States

June 4 to June 10, 1949: No end in sight for the elevated rail workers' walkout

June 6, 1949: Pro-Soviet propaganda downplays D-Day's significance

June 11 to June 16, 1949: Rail workers vote to continue strike

June 18 to June 29: Occupation powers clash over rail strike

June 19 to June 23: Deal sought to end rail strike

June 25, 1949: Airlift marks its first anniversary

June 30 to July 1, 1949: Traffic snafu in Berlin

July 2 and July 8, 1949: The East awaits the economic collapse of the West

July 3 to July 6, 1949: American High Commissioner John McCloy in Berlin

July 4, 1949: American occupation troops celebrate the Fourth of July

July 10 to July 14, 1949: The "Little Blockade" of Berlin

July 16, 1949: Tragic accidents in Germany

July 17 to July 29, 1949: The Catholic Church's "open warfare" with communism

July 19 to July 22, 1949: East Germany seeks a united front

July 25 to July 27, 1949: "Little Blockade" finally ends

July 29, 1949: Western Allies pay tribute to lives lost during the airlift

July 31 to August 2, 1949: Allied occupation officials convene ahead of West German elections

August 7 to August 15, 1949: Factions vie for power in West Germany

August 15 to August 17, 1949: United States backs right-wing coalition government

August 19 to August 21, 1949: The Communists lose influence in the West

August 22, 1949: American officials promote the Marshall Plan

August 24, 1949: Adenauer set to form coalition

August 26, 1949: Intelligence reports of increased Volkspolizei activity

August 29 to September 10, 1949: US officials appeal to Soviets to release two American youths

September 3, 1949: Tensions rise with the Yugoslav-Soviet split

September 7, 1949 to September 9, 1949: The West German parliament meets in Bonn for the first time

September 11 to September 15, 1949: Konrad Adenauer becomes Chancellor of West Germany

September 18, 1949: Son of Communist leader Max Reimann escapes the Volkspolizei

September 22, 1949: Adenauer government begins work

September 26, 1949: The Soviets successfully develop nuclear weapons

October 11, 1949: Massive pro-Communist parade down Unter den Linden

November 14 to November 15, 1949: Secretary Acheson meets with Allied High Commissioners

November 16 to November 25, 1949: Adenauer signs the Petersberg Agreement

November 30, 1949: East Berlin marks anniversary of rump magistrate's founding

December 4, 1949: American labor leader Walter Reuther visits Germany

December 5, 1949: Threats of violence overshadow West Berlin elections

December 6, 1949: East Berlin criticizes West; Germans clean up World War II battlefields

December 9, 1949: Yugoslav diplomats detained in East Berlin

December 10, 1949: The question of rearming West Germany

December 11, 1949: More purges in East Germany as technicians flee to the West

December 14, 1949: Soviet Foreign Minister Vyshinsky visits Berlin

December 15, 1949: Occupation powers back German youth movements

December 17, 1949: US ramps up economic ties to West Germany

December 18, 1949: Far-right nationalist movement emerges in Bavaria

December 21, 1949: East Berlin celebrates Stalin's birthday

December 23, 1949: Downs reports for the American Forces Network

December 24, 1949: Berlin prepares for its first Christmas after the blockade

December 24, 1949: Positive news for West Germany on Christmas Eve

December 25, 1949: Downs celebrates another Christmas in West Berlin
The Free German Youth marches in East Berlin to protest the Marshall Plan and the Western Powers, with a banner reading "Yankee, go home," May 1950 (source)
1950

January 6, 1950: Downs returns to Berlin from New York

January 8, 1950: Germany reacts to British recognition of Communist China

January 13 to January 15, 1950: Adenauer meets with French Foreign Minister Schuman Meet in Bonn

January 18 to January 22, 1950: East Germany threatens to impose new traffic blockade on Berlin

January 25, 1950: Soviets shut down internment camps in East Germany

January 27 to January 28, 1950: East Berlin announces the creation of the Stasi

February 1, 1950: Traffic slowdown at Helmstedt-Marienborn checkpoint

February 6 to February 10, 1950: Klaus Fuchs arrested in Britain

March 1 to March 3, 1950: East criticizes Western preconditions for reunifying Germany

March 4, 1950: Soviet deportation plan for Germans stokes tensions with British

April 2, 1950: German Communists react to Senator Joseph McCarthy

April 28, 1950: East German lieutenant testifies Soviets building a German army

April 29 to May 2, 1950: East and West Berlin hold dueling May Day demonstrations

May 7, 1950: Political reshuffling on both sides of Germany

May 8, 1950: West Germans scoff at Communist declaration of "Liberation Day"

May 18, 1950: West Germany celebrates holiday as the East prepares for elections

April 2, 2019

1964. Defense Secretary McNamara on the Gulf of Tonkin Incident

Bill Downs Reporting Live From the Pentagon


On August 6, 1964, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara held a press conference to discuss the Gulf of Tonkin incident and the US military action that followed. Bill Downs reported live from the Pentagon.
Bill Downs

ABC Washington

August 6, 1964

BILL DOWNS: The ABC Radio network brings you live from Washington, DC a news conference by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara concerning the grave situation in Southeast Asia. This is Bill Downs reporting from the Pentagon.

It has been more than 36 hours since American carrier-based planes struck at Communist torpedo boat installations along the coast of North Vietnam in reprisal for the two Gulf of Tonkin attacks on US warships patrolling international waters there. Since then, there has been no further announcements of military action in the area, and some of the crisis atmosphere has been slacking off here at the Pentagon and also at the White House.

There have been charges and recrimination from the Communist propaganda broadcast stations in the Viet Cong capital of Hanoi and from Radio Beiping in Red China. The Soviet Union also has condemned the US reprisal action but in surprisingly mild manner.

Now here is Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

McNAMARA: I have four brief announcements to make, after which I'll endeavor to answer your questions.

First, there have been no further enemy attacks on our vessels operating in the Gulf of Tonkin since I spoke to you last night.

Secondly, the routine patrol of our destroyers operating in that gulf in the area shows on this map in between Hainan Island and the coast of North Vietnam has been resumed.

Thirdly, the preliminary analysis of the photo‐reconnaissance taken following our strikes yesterday tends to confirm the damage assessment which I reported to you yesterday morning. You recall that at that time I stated our aircraft striking the bases of the patrol boats at Hon Gai, Loc Chao, Phuc Loi, Quang Khe had destroyed or damaged approximately 25 of the torpedo boats.

That in addition our aircraft striking at the petroleum storage dump at Vinh in support of the patrol boats had destroyed 90 percent of that storage dump.

At Vinh is located about 10 percent of the petroleum storage capacity of North Vietnam. The additional information brought out by the photo‐reconnaissance analyses is that in addition we destroyed approximately seven of the antiaircraft installations at Vinh.

Now fourthly I've asked Admiral McDonald to award the Navy Unit Citation to the men of the ships and aircraft participating in the operation both in recognition of their bravery and also in recognition of the effectiveness of their operations.

Admiral McDonald has enthusiastically agreed with that recommendation and is taking steps to put it into effect.

And now I'll be happy to try to answer your questions. Yes?

Q. Mr. Secretary, does our government have any information from the North Vietnamese government through diplomatic channels about the possible prisoner?

A. No, we have not received any such information, but we're taking steps to endeavor to obtain his release, if he has been captured as has been alleged by them.

Q. Mr. Secretary, Radio Hanoi claims that North Vietnam shot down eight attacking US planes Wednesday and damaged three others.

A. I think this is typical of the veracity of their reports. We lost two aircraft, as I reported to you yesterday. One, an A‐4, which is a jet attack aircraft—naval aircraft—and the other an A‐1, which is a propeller driven naval aircraft, both operating off the carriers Ticonderoga and Constellation. In addition, there was minor damage to two other aircraft, both of which have returned safely.

Yes?

Q. Do you have any information over the last four days that would indicate the Chinese Communists made any military effort to assist or respond to assist the North Vietnamese to respond to our attacks?

A. No, I have no information that the Communist Chinese in any way assisted the North Vietnamese in their attacks on our vessels. I think it's probable that the Communist Chinese will introduce some combat aircraft into North Vietnam in support of them. As I told you before, North Vietnam does not possess any combat aircraft of its own.

Q. Mr. Secretary, you say you think it's highly probable. Does that mean that you already have an indication—

A. No. No, I have no indication of it, but I would think that that would be a likely response.

Q. Mr. Secretary, have you had any word one way or another that there has been a third incident of any kind as claimed by Radio Hanoi?

A. No, we have no indication of any third incident. There have been no attacks or hostile actions directed toward our vessels operating in the gulf. I explained to you yesterday that our routine patrol is functioning in this area, moving south.

We have two carriers—the Ticonderoga and the Constellation—in approximately this position. They in turn are escorted by destroyers. There have been no attacks or reported attacks nor attempted attacks at any of the vessels operating in that area.

Yes?

Q. Have there been any incidents that you know of involving the South Vietnamese vessels and the North Vietnamese?

A. No, none that I know of, although I think that I should mention to you the South Vietnamese naval patrol activities that are carried on to prevent in the infiltration of men and materiel from the North into the South.

In the last seven months of 1961, for example, about 1,400 men were infiltrated across the 17th parallel from North Vietnam into South Vietnam. To prevent further infiltrations of that kind, the South Vietnamese with our assistance have set up a naval patrol which is very active in that area which continues to inspect and examine junks and their personnel. In one eight‐month period that I can recall they discovered 140 Viet Cong infiltrators.

Q. Mr. Secretary, there have been reports about considerable troop movements by US aircraft in South Vietnam to the 17th parallel. Could you give us an assessment about those?

A. We have, to the best of my knowledge, moved no South Vietnamese troops nor have we moved US troops into South Vietnam. We have, as I reported to you yesterday, moved interceptor aircraft into South Vietnam to be prepared for whatever eventuality develops.

We have in addition moved certain fighter aircraft into South Vietnam. We've moved certain fighter aircraft into Thailand. We've made reinforcements of our advance bases in the Pacific—reinforcements moved out of the United States for that purpose. We have moved certain fleet units.

I mention the attack carrier group moving from the First Fleet, which is homed in the Pacific waters off the Pacific coast out into the western Pacific.

We've also moved an antisubmarine warfare task group down into the South China Sea—this in order to provide proper protection to our carriers and destroyers operating in these waters, both in the gulf and in the waters south of Hainan Island.

Q. Mr. Secretary.

A. Yes?

Q. Could you tell us why you think that it's highly probable that the Chinese would move planes into North Vietnam?

A. As they have no combat aircraft of their own, I would assume that they would make such a request and that it would be answered.

Q. Mr. Secretary.

A. Yes?

Q. The Nationalist Chinese reported large troop movements in the mainland to the province of Yunnan. Is there any indication that there was a large-scale Communist—

A. We have no indication that there have been any substantial movements of Communist Chinese forces either land or air.

Q. In the months preceding this—

A. I'm speaking now of the recent past, the last few days. I know of no large movements of the kind you suggest for that matter during the past several months.

Q. Mr. Secretary, it has been some 48 hours now since that first attack. In studying the situation further, have you arrived at any answer to the mystery of why this was done?

A. No, I can offer no explanation. We've considered a number of alternative explanations, but it would be sheer speculation on my part to express them to you and I think it would be better not to do so.

Q. Mr. Secretary, you said that the South Vietnamese patrols which were inspecting junks were set up with United States assistance. Could you tell us what form that assistance took?

A. Yes. At the time we began the expanded program of assistance to South Vietnam in December of 1961, at which time we analyzed in some detail the extent of infiltration during the previous six months. It was on that basis that I reported to you the very extensive infiltration that took place then.

We concluded the best form of prevention would be the establishment of a junk patrol. To that end we provided the funds necessary to construct about 500 junks. These formed the four categories: command junks, which are motorized and carry a crew of about 10 men, are armed with automatic weapons, equipped with radios; motorized sailor junks, which are also armed which patrol the coasts; sailing junks which act as picket ships to carry out surveillance of particular areas, and motor junks without sails.

This force of some 500 junks was constructed in the shipyards of South Vietnam, equipped with engines in some cases supplied from this country and generally financed by the military assistance program of this country.

Q. They operate on their own?

A. They operate on their own. They are part of the South Vietnamese Navy, commanded by the South Vietnamese Navy, operating in the coastal waters inspecting suspicious incoming junks, seeking to deter and prevent the infiltration of both men and materiel from North Vietnam into South Vietnam.

Q. Mr. Secretary. Do these junks go north into North Vietnam areas?

A. They have advanced closer and closer to the 17th parallel and in some cases I think have moved beyond that in an effort to stop the infiltration closer to the point of origin.

Q. Do our naval vessels afford any cover for these operations?

A. Our naval vessels afford no cover whatsoever. Our naval personnel do not participate in the junk operations.

Q. Mr. Secretary. If the North Vietnamese are holding an American pilot, does it appear that it is Lieutenant Everett Alvarez?

A. There is some indication that if they hold one of our pilots, it is he.

Q. What are the indications that you have?

A. We believe that he bailed out of his aircraft. There was an indication from the automatic beeper attached to a parachute that he did so.

Q. What sort of status does a man like this have and what steps can be taken?

A. He's a captive of war and we would seek through mutual channels to obtain his release. Whether we're successful in doing so, I don't know, but we're bringing to bear every possible pressure to that end.

I have time for one more question, gentlemen.

Q. Mr. Secretary, you said these destroyer patrols had been resumed in the Gulf of Tonkin, broken off in—

A. It was broken off during the attack upon it in the darkness of the night before last and of course during the action of yesterday it was also broken off, but it has been resumed and will continue until completed some time later this week or early next.

Q. Mr. Secretary—

A. Thank you. One question.

Q. Are the reinforcements semi-permanent—in other words, would another additional incident in a week or two weeks, would these planes start coming down—

A. The reinforcements will stay in position as long as required.

DOWNS: The ABC radio network has brought you a news conference by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara as he answered Washington correspondents' questions concerning the crisis in Vietnam.

This is Bill Downs, ABC, the Pentagon.

March 14, 2019

1944. CBS Correspondents Report on the Normandy Breakthrough

The Allies Flood Forward
"A mortar platoon carrier passes a group of German prisoners being escorted by a military policeman on a motorcycle, Caumont, 30 July 1944" (source)
The reports featured here are from a 1945 collection of CBS broadcasts entitled From D-Day Through Victory in Europe, pp. 89-95 (large PDF).

On July 31, 1944, CBS correspondents Bill Downs, Allan Jackson, Charles Collingwood, and Ned Calmer reported from Europe on the Allied drive through France.

The chapter also includes a small part of Bill Downs' June 14 broadcast, the first live report from Normandy to be heard in the United States. Charles Collingwood had also recorded a report from Utah Beach on D-Day, but due to technical difficulties it was not broadcast until June 8.
BREAK THROUGH

The Allies flood forward, ebbing under counter-attack, slamming back with new advances. Robot planes begin to pound London. On June 27 the United States Seventh Corps took the surrender of Cherbourg. July 9 the British took Caen. Bastille Day saw the United States Army from St. Lo to the sea "on the move." Four days later it had cleared St. Lo. On July 20, Hitler was unfortunately not killed by a bomb. By July 29, the Allies had passed Coutances. Fifty-six days of the fiercest enemy resistance to an irresistible internal combustion from the swollen beachhead brings us to—

July 31

6:00 a.m.

ALLAN JACKSON:

In Normandy, this morning, American troops have entered Avranches, one of the main objectives in their drive down the Cotentin peninsula. Another column pushing down the coast is within three miles of the important port of Granville. All German attempts to break out of the allied trap have been repulsed, and our troops have taken many more Nazi prisoners. The total of German prisoners taken since the beginning of our offensive last Tuesday had risen yesterday to ten thousand men. Some of these were the famous SS German crack troops who threw in the sponge and voluntarily surrendered.

9:05:20 a.m.

DOWNS (from the British sector of the Normandy battlefront):

British tanks this morning have expanded their latest wedge into the German lines another three miles, making a total advance southward from Caumont of six miles since they started this new attack yesterday morning. Infantry and tanks are now fighting in the town of St. Martin, some six miles south of Caumont on one of the main lateral German supply roads, between Avranches and Caen.

This British wedge points southward like a finger, some two miles wide, with German troops on both sides of it.

For the first time in this Normandy fighting . . . infantrymen and machine gunners who usually advance on foot found the going too slow and found that they cluttered up the narrow farm lanes over which the tanks were passing. So the situation was solved by allowing the foot soldiers to climb aboard the tanks and to ride into battle with them. It is by no means a new idea but it has worked very effectively in this difficult battle country.

Several hundred prisoners have already come in and more are arriving. Many of these prisoners say they are members only of outpost German battle groups. They say that their main forces have been drawn back a few miles where a strong defense line is being constructed. . . .

You have no idea just how hard it is to get around in this close country. With men and material, guns and tanks crowding roads to the front, it's like trying to fight a war in the middle of a holiday traffic jam. I spent two hours trying to reach one divisional headquarters this morning and the dust is so thick that it coats everything like a layer of talcum powder. Visibility is sometimes less than three feet along the road. You literally have to use your windshield wiper to clear the dust from the windshield. You come back from these trips looking like an unbeaten rug and when you move you leave a small cloud of dust behind you as if some dusty spirit were following you.

We were held up for more than a half hour on one narrow dusty lane by a huge American-made truck. Tempers are short under such conditions and it didn't do mine any good when after a half hour I found that this truck, stopping us from going forward, was loaded only with hundreds of pick handles. Now, what they want with hundreds of pick handles this close to the front I couldn't and still can't imagine.

9:07:30

COLLINGWOOD (from London):

An American tank column has lunged forward all the way to Avranches, the French town which lies at the hinge where the Normandy peninsula ends and the Brest peninsula begins. This means that any German line to keep us bottled up in the Cherbourg peninsula has already been turned. Ahead of us now lies the whole of France, spreading out in any direction General Montgomery decides to advance.

The American push is proceeding in miniature blitzkrieg style. The armored column that has entered Avranches drove straight down the main road. In its wake, behind and on either flank, it left pockets of German resistance, still fighting hard, still holding on . . . we are still three miles from Granville, a coastal town 15 miles behind Avranches. And heavy fighting continues in the areas of Gavray, Percy, and Tessy-sur-Vire.

This concerted offensive in Normandy plus the stepped-up air bombardment, plus the spectacular, incredible Russian advances, add up to a general attack on Germany at a time when her internal weakness is evident for the whole world to see. That all the world can see it is shown by the present attitude of the wily Turks who have shown themselves to be very astute in keeping their eye on the main chance. . . . There are hints that are practically promises from Ankara that in the next couple of days Turkey is going to break with Germany. . . . At least, Von Papen and his German staff in Turkey have begun to pack up. . . .

11:01:50

CALMER:

We've really broken the bottleneck on the western flank of the beachhead in France. . . . In a fresh forward surge, American columns have covered eighteen miles in a day. They've crossed the See River at Avranches . . . have taken Avranches itself . . . Granville on the Atlantic coast has fallen and Brehal, six miles to the northeast, is also ours. The last of the Germans in this area are being mopped up . . . six enemy divisions have virtually been destroyed . . . two others have been badly mauled. All along the right wing the American First Army is on the move . . . we're moving forward and the enemy is falling steadily back . . . we become free to strike across the Brest peninsula or turn eastward toward Paris—160 miles away. Only below Saint Lo and Caumont is the enemy offering anything that even resembles a fight. . . . They have in fact regained control of Percy and Tessy-Sur-Vire, two towns we had previously taken. . . .

The British are doing more than holding their own around Caumont. And their progress is limited only by the speed with which sappers can clear the densely laid mine-fields. . . . The whole allied offensive in France is fitting into a pattern: while we strike, the British hold, and when the British move forward, we land the diversionary support.

At the other end of the European pincers, the Russians continue to move westward along a thousand mile front. In the past 24 hours, another two thousand populated places have been over-run. And tonight . . . the Russians have already opened a large-scale attack on the eastern suburbs of Warsaw. . . .

In their drive toward East Prussia, the Russian armies have advanced to within 15 miles of the frontier and to within less than sixty miles of Insterburg, one of the vital rail hubs of East Prussia.

In the air war over Europe, a thousand or more of our bombers went after scattered points near Munich and Ludwigshafen today. . . . For the first time, so far as is known, the enemy sent jet-propelled fighters against our ships. . . . While we were hitting Germany from the west, other bombers from bases in Italy picked up the attack over the Balkans. Storage plants near Bucharest and the oil fields at Ploesti were bombed. . . . On the ground in Italy, the Germans are fighting doggedly to hold their lines before Florence . . . if any of us tonight are feeling resentful about war conditions or our own sacrifices, we might think about the Englishwoman who said today: "A doodlebug just hit my house and I'm bombed out—my husband is a prisoner of war—and my sons are fighting at the front—but I've still got my job in the war plant."