November 18, 2019

1944. Allied Forces Push Through Western Europe

Updates from the Western Front
"HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map," September 9, 1944 (source with full size)
United Press story printed in the Sweetwater Reporter, September 10, 1944, pp. 1, 8:
ALLIES HURL BACK DESPERATE TRAPPED GERMANS
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BRITISH TURN BACK FRANTIC MASTER MEN

PARIS (UP) — Allied Armies in Western Europe have hurled back a desperate breakout attempt by tens of thousands of Nazis trapped along the channel coast.

The frantic Germans threw everything they had into one last try at pile-driving through the British lines between Lille in France and Ghent in Belgium.

But the determined Tommies held fast. In a giant battle, raging along scores of miles of the front yesterday, the Germans were stopped cold. The Allies still have them cornered.

Supreme Headquarters still is close-mouthed about progress of the triple Allied armies deployed along the frontiers of Hitler's Germany.

A United Press front dispatch from General Patton's Third Army says the battle of the Moselle River should be settled within two days. [Illegible] smother German troops defending the hills behind the river, or the fight will settle down into a long slugging match.

The U.P.'s man with the Third Army—Robert Richards—reveals that even now Patton is gathering his forces in the valley for a great lunge at the Germans entrenched in the heights beyond the Moselle. Already, the Americans have thrown five bridgeheads across the stream to serve as springboards for their coming assault.

A great fleet of American planes also paved the way for the attack today by striking a mighty blow at Nazi west wall bases in the Rhine and Ruhr valley. Hurling the battle lines for the second straight day, one thousand heavy bombers—shepherded by half as many fighters—struck road and rail targets and the Rhineland cities of Düsseldorf, Mainz and Mannheim.

German supplies are reported streaming into the Siegfried line, barely 18 miles ahead of the American advance. And the great air fleet, plus America's deadly new Black Widow night fighter, worked them over with bombs and bullets. Twenty-three bombers and four fighters are missing from today's assault.

To the north, the American First Army still is battling its way through the dense Ardennes forest toward the German frontier. Front reports say the Germans are streaming back before tankmen under General Hodges, hounded every step of the way by American flying columns.

While the First Army's left wing fans out through the Ardennes, its right wing has pushed 13 miles southeast of captured Sedan to within 28 miles of a triangle formed by the Luxembourg, German and French frontiers.

As for the British Second Army, an unofficial front report says it had smashed across the Albert Canal a second time. The new bridgehead is at Geel, 12 miles from the old one, which is under heavy German attack. Far behind the front, Canadian troops have pushed to within eight miles of Dunkerque.

Incidentally, a front report (from Bill Downs of CBS), says British, American planes have begun to use airfields in Belgium. Soon, they're expected to establish themselves also in Holland.

Back in England, Queen Juliana, heiress to the throne of Holland, has arrived by plane—perhaps in preparation for a return to her homeland.

As Allied armies pushed through masses of disorganized Germans today, the Berlin radio (as heard by CBS) comforted the home folks with the thought:

"The large-scale disengaging movements, upon which the German commanders were forced to decide recently, may be considered virtually at an end."

But in almost the next breath, Berlin said that the American Seventh Army has stepped up considerable the intensity of its attacks on the Belfort Gap—chief escape route for the broken Nazi 18th Army coming up from the south of France. An Algiers broadcast says Allied troops are within only nine miles of Belfort. But the latest Rome communiqué places them 25 miles away. The Seventh Army also is only 22 miles southwest of Dijon and has overrun the site of the largest munitions plant in France.

Across from Southern France, in Italy, the Germans in the western sector of the front have been forced back behind their Gothic line defenses. American troops, capturing two dominating heights north of Florence, now are within only two thousand yards of the big communications center of Pistoia.

On the other side of the front violent rain storms are restricting the operations of the British Eighth Army, which already has punched through the Gothic line.

Incidentally, the Germans long have been preparing to sink the big Italian luxury liner Rex in the harbor of Trieste once the Allies neared the port. But today the 51,000-ton vessel was written off as a total loss after RAF planes left it two-thirds submerged and burning fiercely.

Big things soon may be coming up in Italy. It is the anniversary of the American landing at Salerno. And, to commemorate it, Lieutenant General Mark Clark issued a special order of the day, promising that his Fifth Army troops soon will deliver a blow from which the enemy will not recover.

When and where the blow will fall is, of course, a secret—like another secret in Washington. The British ambassador to the United States, the Earl of Halifax, had a long talk with President Roosevelt today. Afterwards, he says they'd made a little bet as to when the war would end.

What were the bets?

"That," said the Earl, "is a secret."

November 15, 2019

1934. Nazis Declare Absolute Power After Referendum Vote

Hitler Uses Vote to Justify Consolidation of Power
"German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, upper window, returns the salute of a dense crowd, in Wilhelmplatz, Berlin, Aug. 19, 1934, gathered to greet him." (source)
This article is part of a series of posts on how The New York Times covered the rise and fall of fascism in Europe.

From The New York Times, August 20, 1934:
HITLER ENDORSED BY 9 TO 1 POLL ON HIS DICTATORSHIP, BUT OPPOSITION IS DOUBLED
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ABSOLUTE POWER IS WON
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38,279,514 Vote Yes, 4,287,808 No on Uniting Offices
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871,056 BALLOTS SPOILED
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Negative Count Is Larger in Districts of Business Men and Intellectuals
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HAMBURG HAS 20% NOES
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Reich Bishop at Victory Fete Says Hitler's Anti-Semitism Is Fight for Christianity
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By FREDERICK T. BIRCHALL

BERLIN, Monday, Aug. 20 — Eighty-nine and nine-tenths per cent of the German voters endorsed in yesterday's plebiscite Chancellor Hitler's assumption of greater power than has ever been possessed by any other ruler in modern times. Nearly 10 per cent indicated their disapproval. The result was expected.

The German people were asked to vote whether they approved the consolidation of the offices of President and Chancellor in a single Leader-Chancellor personified by Adolf Hitler. By every appeal known to skillful politicians and with every argument to the contrary suppressed, they were asked to make their approval unanimous.

Nevertheless 10 per cent of the voters have admittedly braved possible consequences by answering "No" and nearly 1,000,000 made their answers ineffective by spoiling the simplest of ballots. There was a plain short question and two circles, one labeled "Yes" and the other "No," in one of which the voter had to make a cross. Yet there were nearly 1,000,000 spoiled ballots.

38,279,514 Vote "Yes"

The results given out by the Propaganda Ministry early this morning show that out of a total vote of 43,438,378, cast by a possible voting population of more than 45,000,000, there were 38,279,514 who answered "Yes," 4,287,808 who answered "No" and there were 871,056 defective ballots. Thus there is an affirmative vote of almost 90 per cent of the valid votes and a negative vote of nearly 10 per cent exclusive of the spoiled ballots which may or may not have been deliberately rendered defective.

How Chancellor Hitler's vote declined is shown by a comparison with the result of the Nov. 12 plebiscite on leaving the Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations. The tabulation follows:
                                Yesterday         Nov. 12
Yes ......................  38,279,514    40,600,243
No .......................    4,287,808      2,101,004
Invalid .................      871,056          750,282
Per cent of noes ...              9.8                 4.8
These results therefore show that the number of Germans discontented with Chancellor Hitler's course is increasing but is not yet seriously damaging to it. He is the Fuehrer [leader] of the Reich with absolute power by the vote of almost 90 per cent of the Germans in it but the number of dissentients has doubled since the last test.

It is not yet a matter for international concern but there are other considerations which may be.

Dictatorship Now Complete

The endorsement gives Chancellor Hitler, who four years ago was not even a German citizen, dictatorial powers unequaled in any other country, and probably unequaled in history since the days of Genghis Khan. He has more power than Joseph Stalin in Russia, who has a party machine to reckon with; more power than Premier Mussolini of Italy who shares his prerogative with the titular ruler; more than any American President ever dreamed of.

No other ruler has so widespread power nor so obedient and compliant subordinates. The question that interests the outside world now is what Chancellor Hitler will do with such unprecedented authority.

Nazi opinion is not disposed to be altogether cheerful about the result. When one high official was asked by this correspondent to comment on it he said:

"Obviously we feel the effects of June 30."

He referred to the execution of Ernst Roehm and other Storm Troop chiefs.

That is also the opinion of many other Germans, especially among the more substantial classes. They interpret the result as the beginning of a protest against the rule of arbitrary will and as an effort to force Chancellor Hitler back to the rule of law.

In their view the vote may induce the Fuehrer to steer henceforth a more moderate course and take account of the sensibilities of general opinion. Some of the more optimistic even hope it may induce him to get rid of some of his radical advisers to whom the opposition within Germany is great.

This view, however, is not shared generally and the dissent is borne out by the remark of a Nazi official who said bitterly, "We have become too soft."

Ex-Marxists Support Hitler

A feature of the election was that former Marxists cast a far heavier vote for Chancellor Hitler than the so-called bourgeoisie. In Berlin especially, judging by their vote, former Communists still are Leader Hitler's most loyal followers. In one voting district in Wedding, where a few years ago Communists fought from behind barricades against the police, the "yes" votes amounted to 949; the "no" votes and invalid ballots totaled 237.

In one district west of Berlin, inhabited mainly by business men and intellectuals, the "yes" vote was only 840 and the "no" votes and invalid ballots totaled 351. Other tests provided similar results.

In the Communist districts protest votes with Communist inscriptions were rare. In Western Berlin they were more frequent. In one district five ballots had the name "Thaelmann" written in. [Ernst Thaelmann is an imprisoned Communist leader.] One ballot contained this inscription, "Since nothing has happened to me so far I vote 'Yes.'" It was signed "Non-Aryan."

Interesting also are the following results: the hospital of the Jewish community in one district cast 168 "Yes" votes, 92 "Noes," and 46 ballots were invalid. The Jewish Home for Aged People in another district cast 94 "Yes" votes, four "Noes" and three invalid ballots. This vote is explainable, of course, by the fear of reprisals if the results from these Jewish institutions had been otherwise. It is paralleled by other results outside Berlin.

In all Bavaria Chancellor Hitler received the largest vote in his favor in the concentration camp at Dachau where 1,554 persons voted "Yes" and only eight "No" and there were only ten spoiled ballots.

Hamburg Leads Opposition

Hamburg, which only two days ago gave Herr Hitler the most enthusiastic reception he had ever received anywhere, led the country in the opposition vote. The official figures were: Total vote cast, 840,000; "Yes," 651,000; "No," 168,000; invalidated ballots, 21,000.

The "No" vote, in other words, was 20 per cent of the total vote. Counting the invalid ballots as negative in intent, the total opposition votes exceeded 22 per cent. The percentage of the electorate voting was 92.4.

Hamburg is the home city of Ernst Thaelmann and on his triumphant entry into the city on Friday, Herr Hitler made it a point to drive past Herr Thaelmann's former home.

As far as observers could ascertain, the election everywhere was conducted with perfect propriety, and secrecy of the ballot was safe-guarded. The ballots were marked in regular election booths and placed in envelopes and these were put in the ballot boxes. After the voting had ended the ballot box was emptied on a large table and the vote was counted publicly in the regular manner. Appraising of individual votes seemed impossible.

One check on possible non-voters, however, was exercised by instructions that the voting authorizations issued to those who for one reason or another planned to be outside their regular voting district on election day must be returned unless used. The number of such authorizations issued for this election exceeded anything known before.

Throughout the day Storm Troopers stood before each polling place with banners calling on the voters to vote "Yes." Otherwise voters remained unmolested. Inside the polling places uniforms and even party emblems had been forbidden, but the execution of this order was lax. In some apparently doubtful districts brown uniforms dominated the scene as a warning to would-be opponents.

Nazis Try for Record Vote

All past efforts in getting out the German vote were eclipsed in this election. During Saturday night a huge final poster was plastered on billboards everywhere. It said:

Your leader [Hitler] has traveled 1,500,000 kilometers by airplane, railway and motor car in the cause of Germany's rebirth. You have but to walk 100 meters to your voting booth to vote "yes."

All over Germany means were taken to get the Sunday late-sleeping population out of bed early. The polls opened at 8 o'clock, but in Berlin Storm Troops, Hitler Youth Troops and Nazi labor union groups took to the streets as early as 6 o'clock to wake the populace by shouting at them to do their duty. Many of these groups had bugles or drum corps and an occasional band was heard.

In Munich twenty-five brass bands started marching through the city about the same hour with the same object. At Frankfurt-am-Main Storm Troops' bands played at the most important street intersections all morning.

At Erfurt late Saturday night Storm Troopers with torches marched the streets, and soon after daybreak again were under way shouting to the citizens to get up and vote. In Bremen all the church bells rang for fifteen minutes before 8 o'clock. In Karlsruhe saluting cannon reinforced the brass bands.

Berlin Goes to Polls Early

The result was that at Berlin's twenty-seven polling places throughout the morning there were long lines before each, waiting to vote. In the working class districts crowds assembled before the polling places were opened. By 11 o'clock 40 per cent of the vote had been polled, but all day trucks equipped with buglers and cheering corps went through the city rallying the laggards.

Ambulances for the sick voters and volunteered private cars for the aged and infirm were busy all day. The polls were open until 6 o'clock, but in the late afternoon comparatively few votes were registered. The voting had been done.

An odd feature of the election was the large number of voters who voted outside their home districts. This is the holiday season, so 2,500,000 had special permission to vote away from home. Four Saxon cities granted 130,000 such permissions to vote in other parts of the Reich.

At the central railway station in Munich 10,000 travelers had voted in thirteen special booths set up there before 11 o'clock. Polling places were set up along the wall of the Kiel Canal for sailors on German ships.

In foreign ports German Consuls hired vessels and took voters out to the high seas, making a celebration of it. Lieut. Col. Franz von Papen, envoy to Vienna, came back to Berlin from Austria to vote.

In Berlin enthusiasm was skillfully maintained by every conceivably device. Around the chancellery, where Chancellor Hitler slept, there was a crowd from daybreak onward. By 8 o'clock the police had to rope off Wilhelmstrasse for through traffic.

A loud-speaker in an open window in the Propaganda Ministry across the street led the crowd in singing Nazi songs. During the day Chancellor Hitler appeared in a chancellery window about twelve times and was madly cheered.

At all important traffic centres in Cologne busts of Chancellor Hitler had been set up and at the polling places his picture was wreathed in evergreens hung over the entrances. All cities were beflagged as for triumph.

In Breslau the polling places were decked with flowers and there were long parades of Storm Troopers and war veterans through the streets all day. At Neudeck the ninety-six voters of the Hindenburg manor went to the polls in a body to vote "yes."

More to attain the universal "joyous affirmation" that all Nazis speakers demanded throughout the campaign could hardly have been done.
The New York Times, August 19, 1934:
Hitler Now World's Supreme Autocrat; Legally Answerable to Nobody for Acts

BERLIN, Aug. 19 — Powers greater than those held by any ruler in the modern world are put in the hands of Adolf Hitler as a result of today's plebiscite.

As Reich leader and Reich Chancellor he holds the powers that belonged to the late President von Hindenburg and he has in addition the enormous authority conferred on him as Chancellor by an act adopted when the Nazis obtained full power in the Reich. Under that act he has virtually supreme legislative authority. He now inherits any and all executive authority that he has not enjoyed previously. In short, Herr Hitler alone has the powers formerly exercised by the Kaiser, the President and Parliament. It must be realized that the Reichstag has become a mere rubber stamp for his decrees.

Herr Hitler has the power to declare war and to make peace. He inherits from the late President the exclusive right to make binding agreements with other nations. Hence he alone may sign treaties and make alliances. His consent is required to all diplomatic appointments, and all German diplomatic representatives must report to him at his request.

Moreover, Herr Hitler may annul existing legislation or call for new legislation. He employs and discharges all state employees unprotected by the complex civil-service law. He has the power to pardon any person sentenced by a Reich court, thus holding the power of setting aside a court decision.

Further, Herr Hitler is commander-in-chief of the army, the navy and the air force. Under Article XLVIII of the Weimar Constitution—which is now moribund but which can be invoked at Herr Hitler's will—he may employ force against any German Province that in his opinion fails in its duty toward the Reich.

Under the same article he has the widest dictatorial powers in times of national emergency, and under precedents set by the Bruening Government he may make virtually any internal difficulty the excuse for declaring a state of national emergency.

November 12, 2019

1953. "Korea Lesson: How Not to Cover a War" by George Herman

CBS Radio Correspondent George Herman on Covering the Korean War
"Tokyo, December, 1952: CBS commentator Edward R. Murrow, center, and Washington bureau chief Bill Downs, right, are welcomed to Tokyo by Japan-Korea bureau manager George Herman" (source)
Article by George Herman in Broadcasting magazine, December 7, 1953, pp. 97-100 [PDF]:
Considering the primitiveness of the equipment they had to work with, it is a wonder that radio correspondents who reported the Korean War ever got a broadcast out of that beleaguered country. The author of this article, now CBS Radio's White House correspondent, believes the planning of radio coverage of future combat should begin now. If he sounds somewhat embittered, it is because, as chief of his network's Far Eastern bureau, he learned at first hand the . . .

Korean Lesson: How Not to Cover a War

By GEORGE HERMAN

Now that the Korean War is over, those of us who covered it for radio can look back on our experiences with more objectivity than was possible while we were struggling with the absurdly inadequate radio facilities made available to us. We may be able to manage a weak little laugh at the hay-wire contraptions we had to lash up ourselves because the military flatly refused until the very end to make anything available to us except wire. And we can certainly offer some serious thoughts about what must be done in the event of any future wars or police actions which may, unhappily, erupt elsewhere.

It is my understanding that in World War II in the European Theatre of Operations radio news broadcasts originated largely in the mobile studios and vans of commercial radio outfits such as Press Wireless, RCA, and MacKay Radio. And in the Pacific, I am told, United States military facilities with studios and technicians were made available from island to island.

For some incomprehensible reason, the military ruled flatly against making any such facilities available in the Korean War. Commercial companies, after an abortive attempt by RCA, were deterred from installing facilities by the ephemeral nature of the war, which seemed continually about to end, either in victory, defeat, or Panmunjom.

What is incomprehensible to me is why, during the three years this Korean conflict dragged on, with news of incomparable interest and importance to every American, one of two things was not done. Either the American radio networks should have pointed out forcefully to the military its failure to accord fair and equal consideration to the needs of the radio medium, or the radio companies themselves should have supplied the technicians and equipment needed.

The Army and Air Force gave a good deal of thought to getting out the news, but somehow they always thought in terms of teletypes and never in terms of the faster on-the-spot listener coverage of radio. And the radio networks, content to leave the problem to their newsmen, non-technicians though they were, sent out only the equipment those newsmen requested and never brought the minds of their high-paid technical departments to bear on the problem. Consider our experiences:

When the North Koreans opened their unprovoked attack on South Korea the city of Seoul boasted one of the four really good commercial transmitters in the Far East capable of reaching San Francisco. (The others: Tokyo, Hongkong, Jakarta.) Which was fine for radio newsmen except that we didn't hold Seoul long enough to get much use out of it. And the only way a voice signal could be gotten out of the rest of South Korea was by means of an ancient and rickety telephone system built by the Japanese and maintained in rather desultory fashion by Korean technicians.

During the days of the Pusan Perimeter a sweating, steaming radio correspondent had to start out with an army field phone—and you know what kind of quality they have even for radiomen smart enough to keep a full pocket full of fresh batteries for them. This military phone connected by frayed string into the ancient Mukden cable which snakes its way under the water separating Japan from Korea plugs into the improbable long-distance telephone system of Japan. That brought a precious fraction of the sound into Tokyo where perspiring Japanese technicians under the command of a U.S. Army corporal fed it into the overseas shortwave hookup, and thus eventually to San Francisco.

It's easy to see from all this why such husky-voiced specimens as Edward R. Murrow, Bill Downs, Bill Dunn, and the like huffed and puffed and failed to get through with regularity. It's hard to know how many great classics of radio war reporting we missed during the darkest and most dramatic stages of the Pusan period. It's even more painful to think how needless all this waste of talent was.

We know now that a simple piece of equipment, costing less than $50 at the most, could have reversed the odds and jammed a signal through nine out of ten times. Just a line amplifier and a cheap microphone of any variety, plus a couple of leads with alligator clips to clip onto the phone wire where it comes out of the Army field phone. Any duffer of a hi-fi enthusiast could figure it out. And the first hi-fi fan to arrive in Korea immediately did so.

For two years almost every single broadcast which came out of Korea was punched out by a battered elderly CBS Magnecorder pressed into overtime service as a remote amplifier between recording jobs. From Taegu, from Suwon, from Seoul, all broadcasts after January 1951 until quite recently were made over this single piece of gear or over duplicate models later imported by the Army.

Only for one brief period, from Oct. 12, 1950, to Jan. 2, 1951, did we use anything which might be termed studio facilities. And I hesitate even to describe them. In the center of Seoul during this period was a small studio carefully hung with splendid oriental rugs used as sound proofing. From its control room a set of Army phone wires ran across the street to a tall building atop which a U.S. Army FM radio setup kept us in contact with the short wave receiving station 12 miles north of Seoul and the transmitter in a town called Poo'pyong, 16 miles west of Seoul.

The FM link was unsteady to say the least and the first hour before the broadcast was always entirely occupied by a Korean technician shouting despairingly into the phone "Hello Poo'pyong, Hello Poo'pyong," a sound I still occasionally hear in bad dreams after an overdose of apple strudel.

With Jeep and Carbine

For any really important or lengthy broadcast I usually jeeped out to Poo'pyong, with a GI driver who insisted on arming me with a carbine because of the prevalence of snipers, and did the broadcast from there. There was no studio, merely the Magnecorder set up on an overturned oil drum in the middle of a vast barn-like building. But the equipment, a mixture of RCA and Russian gear abandoned by the North Koreans, worked fine until the Chinese returned for it on Jan. 3, 1951. So, back again to the old Taegu-Pusan telephone line.

But by now we had the Magnecorder system to work with. The Army built me a small phone-booth kind of cubby in a corner of the correspondents' billets. The Army Signal Corps ran in a set of wires, handed over the bare ends and said, "Go ahead, broadcast." Although we held endless consultations with various colonels and even a brigadier general or two in the Signal Corps, the Army never furnished us with any technical equipment at all until the outbreak of the peace talks.

For future reference it should probably be noted that the Army also had strong objections to our doing broadcasts from any place but the correspondents' billets, mostly for censorship reasons. But in time we managed to argue our way out of that, and during the final stages of the retaking of Seoul, we moved our Magnecorder up to a wrecked airplane which served as a temporary correspondents' hangout at Suwon airfield. Turning up the gain jammed a usable signal down the miles of battered cable to Taegu, Pusan and across the straits to Tokyo. It also occasionally jammed the phone communications of irate generals who picked up our signal by induction along their regular command lines. But by keeping our circuit time to the barest minimum, we managed to avoid any restrictive action.

In due time, of course, the Eighth Army retook Seoul and we moved the CBS Radio Magnecorder into a special room in the correspondents' billets there, a room sound-proofed with slabs of compressed seaweed of the most unappetizing appearance. Again the Army ran in some wires, handed us the ends and said "Here you are; go ahead." And in the very next room they set up bank after bank of complex and expensive teletype installations for the newsmen who worked in the printed medium.

Again we queried the Signal Corps on the availability of the kind of radio gear used in the second World War. They said there wasn't any requisition number for any gear, that it would have to be sent from Washington, that it couldn't be authorized, and so forth far into the war. Also that it wasn't their duty to provide us with radio gear, even if they did provide all gear for teletype copy.

Eventually the peace talks developed and then everybody said it would all be over very soon anyhow, so why worry. That was, let me think, July 1951! The Public Information Office (not the Signal Corps) did, however, make available a series of several Magnecorders and a bright young radio hobbyist named Hugo Victor. Single-handed, and with his own money very largely, this enthusiast rescued American radio from its own inertia and that of the Pentagon. He built a studio, soundproofed it with Army blankets, and constructed an ingenious control room out of odds and ends which he scrounged or we bought for him in Tokyo.

But all this came about only after a bitter battle between radio and the press services which is better forgotten about. The Public Information Office of the UN Command under Brig. Gen. William P. Nuckols for a time sided with the press services, but eventually put in the lines which enabled us to do direct broadcasts from the news train at Munsan.

Which was all right until the news broke out at the other extreme of the stretch of Korean peninsula under our control. You may remember the riots at Koje-do when Communist-minded Chinese and Korean prisoners kicked up such a fuss? Quite a news story. And quite a long way to carry the CBS Magnecorder by train, plane and boat.

From Koje Island to the Korean mainland we had only one line of communications, the feeblest, leakiest phone line I have ever used. But once again the simple expedient of high-gain line amplification solved the problem. It even helped soothe relations between press associations and radio. We set up the Magnecorder in the press tent by day and briefed the newspapermen on microphone technique, and they used it to read their copy to Tokyo. It worked fine, but really there ought to be some kind of field amplifier lighter than the maggie. It was a lot of weight to carry back and forth from the press tent to the telephone shack where the commanding officer of signals had allowed us the use of his bedroom as a comparatively soundproof studio.

By this time everybody in the Far East Command had begun to catch on to the idea of line amplifiers. The lone CBS Magnecorder was joined in Korea by a brother job from NBC as the peace talks moved to a climax. Three more were provided by the Public Information Office and the Psychological Warfare division. Everybody in radio news in Korea had acquired packrat habits, and rolls of wire and spare connectors and odds and ends of equipment began to show up. The only thing we never seemed to have enough of was Cannon XL connectors.

By now you must have heard how we made certain connections at Big & Little Switch, the exchanges of prisoners. Enough mention has been made of how we stuck bare ends of mike wire into Cannon female sockets and braced them in with whittled matchsticks. But even as veteran an ad-libber as Ted Church, director of CBS Radio News, was shocked when he actually saw the broken match-ends sticking out of the sockets in the side of the amplifier.

More Makeshift Measures

By then we were using a Gates three-pot job provided by Psychological Warfare, and it took a lot of matches to set it up every day. Ted paled visibly when he first saw the contraption, placed precariously on an Army table in the middle of the prisoner reception center. We didn't tell him about the days during Little Switch, the preliminary exchange of sick and wounded prisoners, when one of us had held a pair of stiff Signal Corps wires tightly twisted together in his hand during an entire 20 minute broadcast, somewhat like the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. We didn't get to solder that connection until late that evening. And since the broadcasters were also technicians, there's no telling what we said, it was a triumph just to hear that faint faraway voice in the earphones saying "We hear you loud and clear,—where've ya been—ya go ahead in 20 seconds from woof!"

Better Help for Radio

The point, I think, is this. If the American military is going to have its action in the field covered, it's got to stop thinking in terms of press services alone. The frustrating favoritism accorded to press service reporters is known to every radio newsman. That it should apply to facilities as well is intolerable.

Why there should be an order number and a supply item of teletypes for press men and not for an amplifier for radio men is absolutely beyond me. The cost of the radio gear is fractional.

There is no reason why the Army should make teletypes and teletype operators available to press men and flatly refuse to make radio gear and even one single technician regularly available to radiomen. And the radio industry had damn well better realize this and get on the ball before the next overseas fracas. Both the policy and technical departments of our industry can make better suggestions than this correspondent. Leave them do so PDQ or the next fight will again see the finest, high-priced radio news talent again shouting into unresponsive field phones in a "press" tent filled with other correspondents grinding out copy to go slowly but surely by teletype.