October 4, 2021

1945. The Nazi Surrender to Field Marshal Montgomery

Montgomery Scorns Nazis, Exults, 'This Is the Moment'
Bill Downs broadcasting from Lüneburg, Germany on V-E Day, May 8, 1945 (Photo by Dennis Allen of the British Second Army)
BILL DOWNS

COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM

May 4, 1945 – 4:30 PM

(The transcript of this broadcast was printed in full in The New York Times on May 5. The text in parentheses was inserted by the newspaper.)

More than one million Germans on Field Marshal (Sir Bernard L.) Montgomery's Twenty-first Army Group front surrendered on this historic May 4, bringing hostilities to an end for the Canadian Army fighting in Holland and the British Second Army fighting in northern Germany. (Other dispatches and previous estimates set the figure of troops involved at well over 500,000, but not more than 600,000.) It was the biggest mass surrender of German forces since the Armistice of 1918 (provided the higher figure is correct).

A German surrender mission headed by Admiral von Friedeburg, Commander in Chief of the German Navy, signed articles of unconditional surrender for the German land, sea and air forces facing the Canadian First Army and the British Second Army at 6:25 o'clock this evening. Field Marshal Montgomery signed in behalf of the Allied Supreme Commander in Chief, General (Dwight D.) Eisenhower.

The signing occurred in a tent set up especially for the ceremony in front of Marshal Montgomery's headquarters on the Lüneburg Heath just south of Hamburg. It's significant that the northern German armies were surrendered on this barren, artificially forested heath, which for years has served as the training ground and birthplace for German armies. It was here that technically a large part of the Wehrmacht died.

For this northern European front, it means that the fighting for the Canadian and British armies here is virtually finished. The only European nation in northern Europe yet to be liberated is Norway. There still is the Dunkerque pocket, but these events must have a tremendous effect on the Germans still holding out there.

In the words of Field Marshal Montgomery as he walked to the tent where the official signing took place, grinned and commented to the reporters:

"This is the moment!"

It was a great moment, a historic moment, there in the cold rain, the blustering winds on the Lüneburg Heath, in the heart of northern Germany, a great moment not only for Britain and Canada but for the American Eighty-second Airborne Division, the American Eighth Infantry Division and the American Seventh Armored Division, fighting under the Second Army in its hour of victory.

It was also a great moment for America and Russia and France and the world.

Here is the background of the historic signing of the biggest mass surrender of German forces since the armistice of 1918. The stage was set for the big surrender in the north when the British Sixth Airborne Division, operating under the American Eighteenth Airborne Corps, drove northward to the Cleve-Elbe River bridgehead south of Hamburg to reach the Baltic Sea at the city of Wismar. This happened Wednesday night.

Then the British paratroopers linked up with the Russians. Coming up on the right flank, the American Eighth Infantry Division and the American Eighty-second Airborne Division made linkups to the south of Wismar on Thursday, the next day, with the Russian Army.

What happened was that this drive to the Baltic carried the Second Army thrust directly behind the line of retreat of the Germany Army Group, the Nazi armies retreating before the drive in the north by General (Konstantin K.) Rokossovsky's forces advancing westward.

In the first three days it is estimated that more than half a million prisoners were taken, mostly from this army group retreating westward. That explains the large number of staff officers who fell into British hands during these fateful days. We were capturing the generals before encountering their fighting troops.

The rout had set in for the German armies on the northern front. On Wednesday, May 2, a German general who said he commanded the so-called army group, hoisted a white flag and sent an emissary to the headquarters of the British Second Army. He said he commanded all the forces between the Baltic and the Weser River, the river running southward from Bremen. He said he wanted to surrender this army group.

General (Sir Miles C.) Dempsey, commander of the Second Army, replied that he should start moving, and a rendezvous was arranged for Thursday. The German general did not appear, but he sent word that negotiations were going on a much higher level than his military station. He could not negotiate.

It was yesterday that a party of four higher German officials again hoisted a white flag and drove into the British lines. The head of the party was Admiral von Friedeburg, commander in Chief of the German Navy who replaced Admiral (Karl) Dönitz while the latter assumed the title of Führer. Von Friedeburg's rank also carries the title of General of the Army; thus, he was able to negotiate for the ground forces as well.

With von Friedeburg was General Kinzel, the next ranking officer, who is chief of staff to Field Marshal (General Ernst) Busch, who is commander of the northern German armies. Field Marshal Busch, incidentally, is still missing from our prisoners' list, but we should catch up with him soon. And next came Rear Admiral Wagner, a staff officer to Von Friedeburg, and lastly, a Major Friede, a staff officer to General Kinzel.

This was the party who hoped to negotiate with Field Marshal Montgomery. They were taken to "Monty's" field headquarters on the Lüneburg Heath. He stepped out, returned their military, not Nazi, salute and asked, as if they were vacuum cleaner salesman, "What do you want?"

The Germans replied:

"We come from Field Marshal Busch to ask you to accept the surrender of three German armies which now are withdrawing in front of the Russians in the Mecklenberg area."

These armies, it was later revealed, were the Third Panzer Army, the German Twelfth Army, and the Twenty-first Army.

"ANXIOUS ABOUT CIVILIANS"

The Nazi officers continued: "We are very anxious about the condition of German civilians who are fleeing as the German armies retreat in the path of the Russian advance. We want you to accept the surrender of these three armies."

To his everlasting credit, Field Marshal Montgomery turned down three German armies willing to surrender to him. "No," he said. "Certainly not. Those German armies are fighting the Russians. Therefore if they surrender to anyone, it must be to the forces of the Soviet Union. They have nothing to do with me. I have nothing to do with the happenings on my eastern front. You go surrender to the Soviet commander. The subject is closed."

Then Field Marshal Montgomery asked: "Are you prepared to surrender the German forces on my northern and western flanks? Those forces between Lübeck and Holland and the forces in support of them, such as those in Denmark?"

The Germans said no, but they added that again they were anxious about the conditions of the German civilians on the northern flank. "We would like to come to some agreement with you by which the civilians would be saved from battle slaughter," they said.

Then the German commander proposed a complicated and difficult military program covering the next few weeks, in which the British Second Army would advance slowly while at the same time the German troops, by agreement, would retreat slowly. It would work well for the Germans.

Again Monty said: "No, I will not discuss what I propose to do in the future—nothing."

MAP SHOCKS ENEMY

Then the British Field Marshal took the offensive. "I wonder," he said, "whether you know the battle situation on the Western Front." And he produced his operational map; the war was too close to being won for it to have any security importance. This map, and what he said, were the final straw, the one factor which precipitated the surrender of 1,000,000 Germans. The German commanders were shocked, astounded by the progress of the Allies in the east and the west.

It was lunchtime and they went off to lunch alone. Admiral von Friedeburg burst into tears when he got out of sight of Montgomery, and he wept throughout lunch. After lunch, Field Marshal Montgomery called the Germans back for further consultation, and there he delivered his ultimatum, an ultimatum that must have hurt the Nazis as much as the landing in Normandy.

He told the Germans:

"You must understand three things: Firstly, you must surrender to me unconditionally all the German forces in Holland, Friesen and the Frisian Islands and Helgoland and all other islands in Schleswig-Holstein and in Denmark.

"Secondly, when you have done that, I am prepared to discuss with you the implications of your surrender: how we will dispose of those surrendered troops, how we will occupy the surrendered territory, how we will deal with the civilians, and so forth.

"And my third point: If you do not agree to Point 1, the surrender, then I will go on with the war and I will be delighted to do so."

Monty added, as an after-thought, "All your soldiers and civilians may be killed."

One, two, three, finished. This shook them. They said that they came entirely to ask for the acceptance of three armies who wanted to surrender. They said they had no authority to agree to Monty's demand. But they agreed that two of them would remain behind while the others presented the new terms of surrender to their superior.

So at 4 P.M. yesterday afternoon, Admiral von Friedeburg and Major Friede went back with the news. They returned today at about 5 o'clock in the afternoon with the complete acceptance of the unconditional surrender terms, and that's how surrenders are made.

And this is what it looked like, the signing of a great surrender of the German forces in the north to the British and Canadian armies. It was raining when we arrived at Monty's headquarters, set in the shrubbed pines and firs of the Lüneburg Heath. The weather was more like fall than spring, with the winds of the North Sea whipping a cold drizzle over the whole landscape.

But overhead, weather or not, the Spitfires and Typhoons roared over, heading always northward, where Germans were reported trying to escape to Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The air forces were continuing the attack until the last minutes of surrender, a sign of Allied strength built up in Germany.

We were led to a tent, a weather-beaten tent that had been pitched scores of times at the Field Marshal's headquarters. It wasn't large, about ten feet wide and twenty feet long. Family size. Inside was set up an ordinary kitchen-size table. On top of it was a blue cloth. Between two microphones was an inkstand with an ordinary steel-tipped pen lying on top.

The German mission arrived and walked to the front of Monty's caravan. Admiral von Friedeburg was invited inside for a last-minute conference. At this time it was not completely settled whether the German answer to the unconditional terms would be yes or no.

An extra person had arrived with the Admiral's party, a Colonel Paulik, once a member of the staff of Field Marshal (General Wilhelm) Keitel; Keitel is second in command of the German armed forces only to Führer Dönitz. The party had plenty of weight, but did not officially bear Keitel's authority.

And while Monty and the Admiral were meeting in the caravan, the other Nazi bigwigs stood in the rain, cold and shivering, just like us reporters. Then they marched down the gravel path toward the tent.

There was Admiral von Friedeburg dressed in a gray leather coat, German Navy style, with a battered hat on his head. But the striking thing was his face, the pushed-in German face, deeply lined and absolutely gray and motionless.

His was the responsibility in the surrender mission, and he showed the strain of his duty. Frankly the Admiral, who wept so copiously at lunch the day before, today looked as if he had been crying ever since.

But the most magnificent figure was General Kinzel, the chief of staff for the German armies in the north. He was the perfect figure of what the world has come to know its sorrow as the German military peacock, complete with monocle.

General Kinzel wore a light green, fastidious German Army greatcoat, with brilliant red lapels. His monocle seemed to glisten even in the dull gray of the afternoon. If his face had not been set in concrete, you might have expected him to burst into song for a Viennese operetta. He was that beautiful.

The small fry, the colonels and majors and all the rest of the surrender party, were gray ducks by comparison.

Again Field Marshal Montgomery kept the party waiting. They stood at attention around the kitchen table. Finally the Marshal, wearing immaculate British field battledress with red tabs on the lapels and a field marshal's baton on his shoulders, almost sauntered down the path. He came to this reporter and said out of the corner of his mouth:

"This is the moment."

He carried the surrender papers in his right hand. The moment he appeared the Germans snapped to attention, like puppets. The British Field Marshal sat down and stretched out his hand in invitation for the Nazis to do the same.

The cameras began to whirl and click, and Monty picked up the historic document that meant the surrender of more than 1,000,000 Germans. He put up his horn-rimmed spectacles, picked up the papers and said, "I will now read the terms of the surrender."

The Germans sat like statues, not a flicker of emotion on their faces. Solemnly, but with a note of triumph in his voice, Monty read the terms of surrender. You could tell that this was the moment for which he had been waiting in Alamein, in Tunis and in Italy.

Then, one by one, the Germans signed. Admiral von Friedeberg, General Kinzel, Rear Admiral Wagner, staff officer to von Friedeberg; General Paulik and Major Freiberger. They didn't say a word or betray a single emotion; it was strictly Prussian ceremony for the Germans.

Then the Field Marshal took up the wooden pen with the steel tip. "And now," he said, "I will sign on behalf of the Supreme Allied Commander, General Eisenhower."

The ceremony took about five minutes.

September 30, 2021

1940. Edward R. Murrow from a Rooftop During the London Blitz

The Sights and Sounds in London


Edward R. Murrow

CBS London

September 21, 1940

I'm standing on a rooftop looking out over London. At the moment, everything is quiet. For reasons of national as well as personal security, I am unable to tell you the exact location from which I am speaking.

Off to my left, far away in the distance, I can see just that faint red, angry snap of antiaircraft bursts against the steel-blue sky. But the guns are so far away that it's impossible to hear them from this location. About five minutes ago the guns in the immediate vicinity were working.

I can look across just at the building not far away and see something that looks like a splash of white paint down the side. And I know from daylight observation that about a quarter of that building has disappeared, hit by a bomb the other night.

Streets fan out in all directions from here, and down on one street I can see a single red light, and just faintly the outline of a sign standing in the middle of the street. And again I know what that sign says, because I saw it this afternoon. It says: "Danger: Unexploded Bomb." Off to my left still, I can see just that red snap of the antiaircraft fire.

I was up here earlier this afternoon, and looking out over these housetops, looking all the way to the dome of St. Paul's, I saw many flags flying from staffs. No one ordered these people to put out the flags. They simply feel like flying the Union Jack above their roofs. No one told them to do it, and no flag up there was white. I can see one or two of them just stirring very faintly in the breeze now.

You may be able to hear the sound of guns off in the distance very faintly, like someone kicking a tub. Now they're silent. Four searchlights reach up, disappear in the light of a three-quarter moon.

I should say at the moment there are probably three aircraft in the general vicinity of London, because one can tell by the movement of the lights and the flash of the antiaircraft guns. But at the moment, in the central area everything is quiet.

More searchlights spring up over on my right. I think probably in a minute we shall have the sound of guns in the immediate vicinity. The lights are swinging over in this general direction now. You'll hear two explosions in just—there they are. Again moving in, still a considerable distance away, moving still just a little closer—there you heard two. The searchlights are stretching out now in this general direction. I can hear just the faint whisper of an aircraft high overhead. Again those guns are considerable distance away. You'll hear them just vaguely in the background.

Straight in front of me now you'll hear two sounds in just a moment. There they are. That was the explosion overhead, not the guns themselves. I should think in a few minutes there may be a bit of shrapnel around here. Coming in, moving a little closer all the while, the plane is still very high and it's quite clear that he's not coming in for his bombing run.

Earlier this evening we could hear occasionally—again, those were explosions overhead. Earlier this evening, we heard a number of bombs go sliding and slithering across to fall several blocks away. Just overhead now, the burst of the antiaircraft fire. Still the nearby guns are not working. And the searchlights now are feeling almost directly overhead.

Now you'll hear two bursts a little nearer in a moment. There they are. That hard, stony sound.

August 31, 2021

1944. Report from Liberated Bayeux

Bayeux's Unofficial Holiday
"Two little girls being hoisted to the platform to present a bouquet of roses to a French War Correspondent who had addressed the enthusiastic crowd in Bayeux following the town's liberation by Allied forces, 9 June 1944" (source)
From the Daily Mail, June 10, 1944:
Children play; bells chime and shells whine overhead

By BILL DOWNS

This Norman town of Bayeux, only some 60 hours liberated, has declared an unofficial holiday. Everyone has put on his Sunday clothing.

The streets are lined with men, women, and children, and lots of dogs. The women and children smile, the men look grim and wave their hands.

Only the dogs remain quiet. They have seen so much fuss over the comings and goings of tanks and vehicles that it's old stuff to them.

Everyone who has one has dug out a tricolour flag, and the whole town is spotted with British flags from goodness knows where. You stop in the streets and a crowd gathers. Your jeep pulls to a corner and boys are all over it.

But it cannot be called riotous welcome. It is more a welcome with reservations—the reservations are only a mile and a half away.

A basket of eggs

The booming of German guns and the stutter of their machine guns are reminders to these people who have lived under the gun for some four years that liberation takes some getting used to—and it has to be made to stick. Somehow you can't blame them for these reservations. But our good armor and good will are slowly convincing them that this is not a Dunkirk operation and not a Dieppe raid.

The peculiar thing about this battle is that the French civilians are doing their best to ignore it. Not six streets from where a machine gun was operating, the residents of Bayeux were having their afternoon coffee, and the children were playing in the streets.

Turkey for dinner

I believe the children were actually enjoying the excitement. To them it was a come-to-life movie. There were eight children living in this house. It was shared by two women, both of whose husbands are still prisoners in German hands. An elderly man and his wife also lived there.

They said the uncompleted fortifications around the town had been built by local labour. The Germans paid four shillings a day for this work. Many of the men of the town have been shipped off for conscript labour in Germany.

The hotel gave us a treat for dinner. We had a cold hors d'oeuvre of potato salad and some German sausage. Then we had what was ordinarily the main course—mashed potatoes, mixed with some minced meat.

Then followed the treat—excellent roast turkey and peas. French cooking has not deteriorated under the Nazi rule. There is just less of it.

The underground

Walking down the main street, I came upon a brand new battle insignia. It is worn around the left arm and worn only by civilians. It is the red, white, and blue bandeau of the Fighting French. In the middle of this bandeau is the Cross of Lorraine.

These armbands are brand new and only recently handed out.

The civilians wearing them—and I saw half a dozen in the crowded street—grin self-consciously and give the V-sign. Many of them did not know themselves that their neighbours were members of the underground.

These people for four years worked in groups, but few knew who composed the group. They knew only that leader immediately superior to them. It is a proud day—the first day that they can come from underground and show their true colours. They are proud of them, as well they should be.

The sun is now setting and the artillery and tanks have started an evening bombardment. Big guns behind the town are sending their shells whistling over the hotel as I write. Somehow, with the peaceful appearance of this Norman community with its church bells chiming, and the smoke scenting the air, as housewives prepare the evening meals—somehow, all this noise is very vulgar and out of place.

July 31, 2021

1940. William L. Shirer Describes the Armistice at Compiègne Forest

Adolf Hitler Arrives in France for the Armistice Signing

William L. Shirer
CBS News
June 21, 1940

Here, a few feet from where we're standing, in the very same old Wagon-Lits railroad coach where the armistice was signed on that chilly morning of November 11, 1918, negotiations for another armistice—the one to end the present war between France and Germany—began at 3:30 PM German Summer Time this afternoon.

What a turning back of the clock; what a reversing of history we've been watching here in this beautiful Compiègne Forest this afternoon. What a contrast to that day a mere twenty-two years ago. Yes, even the weather, for we've had one of those lovely warm June days which you get in this part of France close to Paris about this time of year.

As we stood here watching Adolf Hitler and Field Marshal Göring and the other German leaders laying down the terms of armistice to the French plenipotentiaries here this afternoon, it was difficult to comprehend that, in this rustic little clearing in the midst of the forest of Compiègne from where we're talking to you now, an armistice was signed here on a cold gray morning at 5 AM on November 11, 1918.

The railroad coach—it was Marshal Foch's private car—stands a few feet away from us here at exactly the same spot where it stood on that gray morning twenty-two years ago. Only—and what an "only" it is, too—Adolf Hitler sat in the seat occupied that day by Marshal Foch. Hitler, who at that time was only an unknown corporal in the German Army.

And in that quaint, old wartime Wagons-Lits car, another armistice is being drawn up as I speak to you now. An armistice designed like the other that was signed on this spot to bring armed hostilities to a halt between those ancient enemies, Germany and France.
Only everything, everything that we've been seeing here this afternoon in Compiègne Forest has been so reversed. The last time the representatives of France sat in that car dictating the terms of the armistice. This afternoon we peered through the windows of the car and saw Adolf Hitler laying down the terms.

Thus does history reverse itself, but seldom has it done so as today on the very same spot.

The German leader, in the preamble of the conditions which were read to the French delegates by Colonel General von Keitel, chief of the German Supreme Command, told the French that he had not chosen this spot at Compiègne out of revenge, but merely to right an old wrong.

The armistice negotiations here on the same spot where the last armistice was signed in 1918 here in Compiègne Forest began at 3:15 PM our time. A warm June sun beat down on the great elm and pine trees and cast pleasant shadows on the wooded avenues as Herr Hitler, with the German plenipotentiaries at his side, appeared.

He alighted from his car in front of the French monument to Alsace-Lorraine, which stands at the end of an avenue about two hundred yards from the clearing here in front of us where the armistice car stands.
That famous Alsace-Lorraine statue was covered with German war flags so that you cannot see its sculpture work nor read its inscription. But I've seen it many times in the postwar years, and doubtless many of you have seen it: the large sword representing the sword of the Allies, and its point sticking into a large, limp eagle representing the old empire of the Kaiser. And the inscription underneath in French saying: "TO THE HEROIC SOLDIERS OF FRANCE. DEFENDERS OF THE COUNTRY AND OF RIGHT. GLORIOUS LIBERATORS OF ALSACE-LORRAINE."

Through our glasses we saw the Führer stop, glance at the statue, observe the Reich war flags with their big swastikas in the center. Then he strolled slowly toward us, toward the little clearing where the famous armistice car stood.

I thought he looked very solemn. His face was grave, but there was a certain spring in his step as he walked for the first time toward the spot where Germany's fate was sealed on that November day of 1918. A fate which, by reason of his own deeds, is now being radically changed here in this spot.

And now—if I may sort of go over my notes I made from moment to moment this afternoon—now Hitler reaches a little opening in the Compiègne woods where the armistice was signed, and where another is about to be drawn up. He pauses and slowly looks around. The opening here is in the form of a circle about two hundred yards in diameter and laid out like a park. Cyprus trees line it all around, and behind them the great elms and oaks of the forest. This has been one of France's national shrines for twenty-two years.

Hitler pauses and gazes slowly around. In a group just behind him are the other German plenipotentiaries: Field Marshal Göring, grasping his field marshal's baton in one hand—he wears the blue uniform of the air force. All the Germans are in uniform—Hitler in a double-breasted gray uniform with the Iron Cross hanging from his left breast pocket.

Next to Göring are the two German Army chiefs: Colonel General von Keitel, Chief of the Supreme Command, and Colonel General von Brauchitsch, Commander-in-Chief of the German Army. Both are just approaching sixty but look younger, especially General von Keitel who has a dapper appearance with his cap slightly cocked on one side.
Then we see there Dr. Raeder, Grand Admiral of the German Fleet. He has on a blue naval uniform and the invariable upturned stiff collar which German naval officers usually wear. We see two non-military men in Hitler's suite: his Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in the field gray uniform of the Foreign Office, and Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, in a gray party uniform.

The time is now, I see by my notes, 3:18 PM in the forest of Compiègne. Hitler's personal standard is run up on a small post in the center of the circular opening in the woods. Also in the center is a great granite block which stands some three feet above the ground. Hitler, followed by the others, walks slowly over to it, steps up, and reads the inscription engraved in great high letters on that block. Many of you will remember the words of that inscription. The Führer slowly reads them, and the inscription says: "HERE ON THE ELEVENTH OF NOVEMBER 1918 SUCCUMBED THE CRIMINAL PRIDE OF THE GERMAN EMPIRE. VANQUISHED BY THE FREE PEOPLES WHICH IT TRIED TO ENSLAVE."

Hitler reads it and Göring reads it. They all read it standing there in the June sun and the silence.

We look for the expression on Hitler's face, but it does not change. Finally he leads his party over to another granite stone, a smaller one some fifty yards to one side. Here it was that the railroad car in which the German plenipotentiaries stayed during the 1918 armistice negotiations stood from November 8 to 11. Hitler looks down and reads the inscription which merely says, "THE GERMAN PLENIPOTENTIARIES." The stone itself, I notice, is set between a pair of rusty old railroad tracks, the very ones that were there twenty-two years ago.

It is now 3:23 PM and the German leaders stride over to the armistice car. This car, of course, was not standing on this spot yesterday. It was standing seventy-five yards down the rusty tracks on the shoulder of a tiny museum built to house it by an American citizen, Mr. Arthur Henry Fleming of Pasadena, California.

Yesterday the car was removed from the museum by German Army engineers and rolled back those seventy-five yards to this spot where it stood on the morning of November 11, 1918.
"Left to right: Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel, Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler, and Walther von Brauchitsch in front of the Armistice carriage, on 21 June 1940" (source)
The Germans stand outside the car chatting in the sunlight. This goes on for two minutes. Then Hitler steps up into the car, followed by Göring and the others. We watch them entering the drawing room in Marshal Foch's car. We can see nicely now through the car windows.
Hitler enters first and takes the place occupied by Marshal Foch the morning the first armistice was signed. At his side are Göring and General Keitel. To his right and left at the ends of the table we see General von Brauchitsch and Herr Hess at the one end. At the other end, Grand Admiral Raeder and Herr Von Ribbentrop. The opposite side of the table is still empty. All we see there: four vacant chairs. The French have not yet appeared, but we do not wait long.
Exactly at 3:30 PM the French alight from car. They have flown up from Bordeaux to a nearby landing field and then driven here in auto. They glance at the Alsace-Lorraine memorial now draped with swastikas, but it's a swift glance. Then they walk down the avenue, flanked by three German Army officers. We see them now as they come into the sunlight of the clearing: General Huntziger, wearing a bleached khaki uniform, Air-General Bergeret, and Vice Admiral Le Luc, both in their respective dark blue uniforms.

And then, almost buried in the uniforms, the one single civilian of the day: Mr. Noël, French ambassador to Poland when the present war broke out there. The French plenipotentiaries pass the guard of honor drawn up at the entrance of the clearing. The guard snaps to attention for the French, but does not present arms.

The Frenchmen keep their eyes straight ahead. It's a grave hour in the life of France, and their faces, their bearing, show what a burden they feel on their shoulders. Their faces are solemn, drawn, but they're the picture of tragic dignity.

They walk stiffly to the car where they're met by two German officers, Lieutenant Colonel Tippelskirch, quartermaster general, and Colonel Thomas, Chief of the Führer's Headquarters. The Germans salute, the French salute. The atmosphere is what Europeans call "correct." But you get the picture when I say that we seen no handshakes. Not on occasions like this.

The historic moment is now approaching. It is 3:32 by my watch—the Frenchmen, under Marshal Foch's Pullman car, standing there a few feet from us in Compiègne Forest.

Now we get our picture through the dusty windows of that historic old wagon-lit car. Hitler and the other German leaders rise to their feet as the French enter the drawing room. Hitler, we see, gives the Nazi salute, the arm raised. The German officers give a military salute. The French do the same. I cannot see Mr. Noël to see whether he salutes or how.

Hitler, so far as we can see through the windows just in front of us here, does not say anything. He nods to General Keitel at his side. We can see General Keitel adjusting his papers, and then he starts to read. He is reading the preamble of the German armistice terms. The French sit there with marble-like faces and listen intently. Hitler and Göring glance at the green tabletop.

This part of this historic act lasts but a few moments. I note in my notebook here it's 3:42 PM—that is 12 minutes after the French arrive—3:42 we see Hitler stand up, salute stiffly with hand upraised. Then he strides out of the drawing room, followed by Göring, General Brauchitsch, Grand Admiral Raeder there, Herr Hess, and at the end, Herr von Ribbentrop.

The French remain at the green-topped table in the old Pullman car and we see General Keitel remains with them. He is going to read them the detailed conditions of the armistice. Hitler, Göring, and the others do not wait for this. They walk down the avenue back towards the Alsace-Lorraine monument. As they pass the guard of honor, the German band strikes up the two national anthems, "Deutschland über alles" and "The Horst Wessel Song."
The whole thing has taken but a quarter of an hour—this great reversal of a historic event.

June 4, 2021

1944. The Murrow Boys on D-Day

The Murrow Boys Report on the Normandy Landings

RICHARD C. HOTTELET AT H-HOUR
June 6, 1944

DOUG EDWARDS: And now for the report of Richard Hottelet of CBS. Go ahead, London.

RICHARD C. HOTTELET: This is Richard C. Hottelet speaking from London.

The Allied forces landed in France early this morning. I watched the first landing barges hit the beach exactly on the minute of H-Hour. I was in a Ninth Air Force Marauder flying at 4,500 feet along twenty miles of the invasion coast.

From what I could see during those first few minutes, there was nothing stopping the assault parties from getting ashore. We spent about half an hour over enemy territory. We flew over and bombed some of the coastal fortifications, but except for some light flak from inland positions and from some tanks firing at us, we saw no enemy gunfire. The only other sign of life in enemy territory were some white and yellow parachutes dotting the ground, where all our paratroopers had hit the ground. The weather is favorable for the operation.

Offshore, Allied warships were bombing the enemy coast, and they seemed to be doing it without any opposition. As far as we were concerned, there was no opposition from the air, either. The Luftwaffe just didn't seem to be there.

What I saw was literally the last minute of the invasion preparation and the first minute of invasion. We were low, but we were traveling fast, and we could not tell how the battle for the beaches would develop. But if the ground action goes as smoothly as the air preparation, we can hope for the best.

I went in with a bomber group—probably the hottest group in the Ninth Air Force. Our mission was to plaster the invasion beach and some coastal fortifications with bombs seven minutes before our assault parties came ashore. This group was chosen for the hair-trigger work because of its previous superb record.

Well, we delivered, and we delivered on time.

This is the way it worked. Last night we were told briefing would be at 3 o'clock. We got up at 2, had griddle cakes and fried spam for breakfast, went into the Nissen hut that serves as a briefing room. The doors were closed, and the commanding officer announced that the invasion had begun. He said that, since midnight three hours before, our paratroopers—some 20,000 of them—had been landing in France. The men cheered. The colonel went on to say that the air forces were being called upon for their maximum contribution. There were going to be more than 1,500 Fortresses and Liberators flying ahead of us. Hundreds of medium bombers, too, were going to precede us, and our group was to wind up the pre-invasion bombing.

When he said this, the men really cheered. To top it off, we were going to have cover from more than 2,500 Allied fighters. The colonel made it plain that nothing was to be left to chance. The weather in the target area had been unsettled and cloudy, and as we were going to deliver precision bombing, we would have to fly below the clouds, and then we would go down and bomb from a thousand feet. When he said that, not a man blinked an eye, despite the fact that such a low altitude counts as suicide for the Marauders.

It was still dark when we took off, and raining. But one by one, those Marauders roared down the runway and took off. An hour and a half later we were out over the English Channel. First we couldn't see anything except a few stray vessels. Great care had been taken to keep our ships from firing at their own planes. Every single bomber and fighter had been painted overnight with special markings on wings and fuselage, and the direction we were to fly, the way we were to turn if we got into trouble, and the recognition signals we were to give, had all been very carefully worked out. Even so, when we passed over the first few barges, we had the uncomfortable feeling that we were being shot at. It didn't last long. We were out of the way in a matter of minutes.

By this time it was getting on, and the sun was painting the sky a bright orange color on our left. Below us, the English Channel was a fine, deep blue. There were a few whitecaps, but we got the impression that it wasn't very rough down below. About five miles off the French coast, we saw a plane in a steep dive laying a smokescreen. Just about the same minute, the pilot said he saw fires on the shore. I looked as hard as I could, and there down to the left were some naval vessels. They looked like cruisers firing broadsides onto the shore. Their guns belched flame and smoke. Once, I saw a fountain of water not far from one of them, which may have been a shot from the shore or a death charge. Near the cruisers were dozens of landing craft of all kinds, hardly visible in the early morning haze. All this while, we saw medium bombers and fighters crisscrossing on the way to the target without a sign of a German plane. Then, as we turned in over the coast about ten minutes before H-Hour, we saw a fast assault boat race along parallel to the beach laying a smokescreen. From the way the screen laid, smooth and even, it looked as if there were no wind.

We opened our bomb bay doors. Light flak began to come up after us; little balls of fire off to our right and to our left. Some heavy flak off to our left, not near at all, firing only sporadically. The flights ahead of us dropped their bombs. The guns on the ships offshore resumed fire. The bombs and the shells burst together on the target. There were sheets of flame down below, then rolling balls of brown and black smoke.

Four and a half thousand feet up, our plane was rocked by the concussion, and we got the stench of the explosives. We dropped our bombs as scheduled. And just then, we saw down below on our left dozens and scores of white streaks as the assault boats raced over the blue water to the beach, leaving their white wakes stretched out behind them.

As we turned away from the target, we saw the boats hit the beach. Then we took evasive action—I couldn't see anymore. Down below, except for some more sporadic flak, it was a dead country. No sign of life. No vehicles on roads; no troop movement. And all the way in, we saw our Marauders weaving in and out in perfect formation above us, below us, and around us on all sides. We didn't see a single one of our planes in distress.

The mission wasn't the way we had figured it. We had expected to see German fortifications give back blow for blow with our ships. There was no sign of it. We had expected to see the Luftwaffe out in its full remaining strength to try to stop our planes, or at least strike a blow against our landing craft. We didn't see either. We had expected to find enemy territory full of antiaircraft, alive with reserves moving into threatened areas. We didn't see that.

The circumstances of our flight, the fact that we got there simultaneously with the invading troops and left in a minute, make it impossible to draw any far reaching conclusions on how the battle is going. But one thing we can say already, and that is: our air supremacy over the coastal invasion zone today is not seriously challenged.

I return you now to the United States.

CHARLES COLLINGWOOD AT UTAH BEACH
June 6, 1944 (broadcast June 8)

EDWARD R. MURROW (from London): This is London. Late on the afternoon of D-Day, Charles Collingwood took his recording gear in a little 36-foot LCVP onto a French beach. Nearing the beach, the water was filled with floating objects. Part of a parachute; a K-ration box; a life jacket; wreckage from a ship; shell cases. Here is part of the recording.

CHARLES COLLINGWOOD: This is Charles Collingwood. We are on the beach today on D-Day. We've just come in. We caught a ride in a small boat which came in from our LST loaded with a thousand pounds of TNT, half a ton of high explosives on this beach which is still under considerable enemy gunfire.

While we have been here we have just seen one of the strangest and most remarkable sights of this invasion so far. Two great fleets of over a hundred gliders have gone overhead towed by C-47 transports, who are certainly proving the workhorses of this invasion. They've hauled them right over the beaches and it seems as though the German gunners, amazed at this incredible sight, have stopped firing on the beach now because it's quiet here, and the second batch are droning over now. I can see them. They're casting off the gliders as they circle around over the beach and the transports are circling around and beginning to make off home. Where they're landing we don't know because we're down here on the beach, and there's a seawall in front of us and we can't see the land behind.

This is the way the beach looks, which was hit by our troops about twelve hours ago early this morning. It's a flat, sandy beach, like almost any beach that you're likely to see, and it floats gently away from the shore—from the seashore up to the dunes and then to the seawall, which was the first objective of our troops and which they took early on in the game.

Since that time, we have been able to bring in quite a bit of equipment. There are various trucks and jeeps and motor vehicles of all kinds here. There are also antiaircraft guns. We breached the seawall in various places and have set up guns there to defend against any possible enemy counterattack on the beaches, which has not occurred.

A naval party has just come in from the shore and begun to unload our TNT here, which is taking a load off my mind as well as a load off this vessel. And I asked him how things were going and he said it was pretty rough still. I asked him how far the troops had gone on inshore and he said that they'd got five or six miles inshore, which sounds as though they're making good progress. He said that the beach was still under considerable gunfire. The Germans had some 88s which we haven't been able to silence.

These boys are apparently having a pretty tough time in here on the beaches. It's not very pleasant. It's exposed, and it must have been a rugged fight to get it—although as nearly as we can see there is not a great deal of evidence of damage. Perhaps that's because it has been smoothed up. We can look along down the coast now and see this flat part of the beach which joins the water, going all the way down to the lower beach which is marked for us by columns of white smoke which are arising from it. And further up at the end of this beach we can see another huge column of white smoke which has apparently been caused by naval gunfire.

Looking out to sea, all we can see of the vast invasion fleet which is assembled for us are the silhouettes of the big warships, the battleships, and cruisers which have been putting a steady bombardment against the enemy positions all day. We can also see a few of the transports, but the fleet of LCTs and LCIs and other craft, which we have brought and assembled back maybe ten miles offshore, is invisible from us at this moment. They're coming back now, taking off more and more of this ammunition.

We've got a captain here who has come by and is looking rather curiously at this gadget we've got. Captain, can you come over here a minute? Can you tell us how things are on the beaches?

LIEUTENANT: Thank you for "captain," but actually I'm a naval lieutenant. Sometimes we get on these beaches by—we get to look like all kinds of things, particularly after you take a few running jumps in the sand.

COLLINGWOOD: Well Lieutenant, what's your name?

LIEUTENANT: Well, I work for a rival network in New York City...

COLLINGWOOD: You do?

LIEUTENANT: So that—or I did and I don't think I wanna ruin your broadcast. Let's just—let's say we dropped in, and that alone.

COLLINGWOOD: Okay, well, how are things going on the beach there?

LIEUTENANT: I've only been in for a little while, while these other boys have been there all day and if you might have made—maybe an army word, it's "rugged" as a matter of fact.

COLLINGWOOD: Is the beach still under some enemy shellfire?

LIEUTENANT: The beach is being pounded by enemy shellfire, though we hope to have it knocked out in the near future.

COLLINGWOOD: Boy, those gliders that just went over were quite a sight, weren't they?

LIEUTENANT: That was an impressive thing. I think that all of you folks listening at home, if you could've heard the "oohs" and "aahs" from men who are really dug in the shell holes in the sand—if you had heard those it would've done your heart a lot of good. It certainly did mine to see them go by.

COLLINGWOOD: Well I can agree with that too because it was a very impressive sight.

And now looking out we can see them going back very low along the water. The C-47s—which brought the gliders in—they've cut loose. And here comes another flight. The third flight of gliders which is being pulled in. I can't tell how many of them there are. They're coming in over the beach here. Squadron upon squadron of them have lined up in perfect formation, with the gliders coming along behind the big C-47s, and they're coming in apparently to drop right where they dropped before. Further up the beach, there's a fire which has apparently just been started by enemy shelling. It's maybe a quarter of a mile up from us.

At the moment there's no shelling in our immediate vicinity, although when we first beached our little LCVP about a hundred yards down the beach, German 88s were kicking up big clouds of sand as they shelled our positions down there, and you can still see some smoke drifting off from it. And over to our left, there's what is left some small craft or other which has been hit and is burning.

A great big Rhino ferry is making its way into the beach loaded with every kind of vehicle and craft. I can make out jeeps and trucks on it, and men sitting up there manning their guns which are already in case of enemy air attack. But there is no enemy air to be seen anywhere around here. The sky however is filled with this third fleet of gliders which are coming in full of our airborne infantry.

There is something which just dropped into the ground—into the sea. I don't know whether it was a plane or what it was that it made a big splash up there as it dropped down from out of the sky. The gliders are coming in now hauled in by the C-47s and protected by fighters which are around there. I can make out Thunderbolts and Spitfires which are giving them cover, and they've just taken off the last of our thousand pounds of high explosives, which is making it considerably more pleasant on this little boat. They're having to wade in across maybe fifty yards of water to get it into the beach.

We've come in in this LCVP through the transport area where our ship is. It's taken us about two hours to get in, and we came in through the choppy seas, with every second wave breaking over the ship and dousing us with spray. Gene Ryder and I are—and everyone on this little boat—are soaked absolutely to the skin. We're wet through and through. The salt is caked in our eyebrows. Every time we lick our lips we taste the salt. Our hands are cold and chapped as... We just found ourselves lucky that, after having made a trip like that, we don't have to go onto the beaches and fight. All we have to do is make the trip again.

GENE RYDER: I might tell the Navy Department we owe them one recorder.

COLLINGWOOD: Gene is referring to the fact that we took our recording machine which the Navy has lent us along with us here, and it has been absolutely inundated with the spray. Somehow or other Gene has made it work. I don't know what—he was out there polishing it with his handkerchief. Gene says he doesn't know how he made it work either.

And looking back now, turning around with my back to the beach and looking out to the sea, more and more and more of these glider-borne troops are coming in. These gliders are coming in towed very slowly by the big C-47s in what is apparently an unending stream. It's an incredible sight. And as that navy lieutenant told us a moment ago, the troops are waving and pointing and talking about it on the shore, at least those of them who have time and are not too busy taking care of themselves.

The troops are well dug in here along the seawall which is partly covered by sand. They're sitting down now, most of them dug deep into the ground as close as they can to the seawall to protect themselves from the enemy shelling. Some men are lining up further down the beach near a sign which says "five." They are taking over a truck and are apparently about to move off, whether through a breach into the seawall back inland or not, one can't tell.

We're standing here—it's an absolutely incredible and fantastic sight. I don't know whether it's possible to describe it to you or not. It's late in the afternoon. The sun is going down. The sea is choppy and the beach is lined with men and materiel and guns, trucks, vehicles of all kinds. On either side of us there are pillars of smoke perhaps a mile, two miles away, which are rising from enemy shelling. And further back we can see the smoke and results of our own shelling. Looking behind us we can see the big ships and the—some of the transports which have brought the troops in.

And overhead this incredible sight is still going on as more and more gliders are towed in by the C-47s going over the seawall, disappearing out of sight in apparently a wide sweep, and dropping their men somewhere back there who—for a function which we don't know anything about. All we can do is stand here and marvel at the spectacle. Now our men—we're trying to get the LCVP in closer to pick up the men who have been waiting ashore in this cold sea and choppy wind to pick up the stuff.

This place even smells like an invasion. It has a curious odor which we all associate with modern war. It's a smell of oil and high explosives and burning things. All—thank you. Come on over here! [Inaudible], who is one of the sailors, has just come with a handful of sand because he heard me say a while ago that what I wanted to do most of all was just to get ashore and reach down and take up a handful of sand and say "This is France!" and I've got it in my hands. France at last, after four years. [Inaudible], how does it feel just to reach down and grab a piece of sand and say "I'm grabbing French soil," huh?

SAILOR: Well it's—since I was born in France it has special meaning to me.

COLLINGWOOD: Were you born in France?

SAILOR: Yeah.

COLLINGWOOD: Where were you born?

SAILOR: In Calais.

COLLINGWOOD: You were? Well that's not very far from here. Well it has a special meaning for me too, as you can imagine. Have you got some? We've gotta save this. We've gotta put it in a bottle or something.

Now the transport planes are going back. The C-47s who came in towing the gliders, they're going back very close to the sea and we're going back too. We've got our men aboard all with handfuls of France in their hands, and we're going to save it because this has been a momentous occasion for all of us.

There go our motors. The ramp is going up. We're backing away from the beach now, and soon we'll be out in the salt spray and it'll be impossible for us to broadcast anymore.

MURROW: That was a recording made by Charles Collingwood at a French beach on the afternoon of D-Day. We return you now to the United States.

CHARLES SHAW IN LONDON
June 6, 1944
 
 
ROBERT TROUT: And now we've just had word that we're to hear further news direct from overseas. And so for another report of the pooled broadcasts, we take you now to London for the report of CBS correspondent Charles Shaw. Go ahead, London.

CHARLES SHAW: This is Charles Shaw in London. For an hour after the broadcast of Communiqué Number One [audio], I played town crier to a London generally unaware that France had been invaded. I rode and walked through the strand—Fleet Street, past St. Paul's, along the Thames embankment to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, out to Piccadilly Circus and other parts of so-called downtown London—asking people here and there what they thought of the news. In most cases I found out that I had to report the news before getting any comment.

It looked like London any morning between 9:30 and 10:30. The streets comparatively deserted, soldiers of all nations dancing about, street cleaners running their brushes along the curbs. I asked a taxi driver to take me around the city because I wanted to see how people were reacting to the news. Incidentally, I asked him, "Have you heard the news?"

"I heard something about it," he said, "But I don't know whether it's official." I assured him it was, because I had just returned from the studio where the communiqué was broadcast.

Waiting for a traffic light, we drew alongside a car driven by a girl wearing the uniform of France. I leaned out and said, "What do you think of the news?"

"What news?" she asked.

"The Allies have landed in France."

All she said was, "Thank God."

Fleet Street, headquarters of the press in London, was normal. A couple of men who might have been reporters were seen dashing into buildings and up to St. Paul's Cathedral to see whether there were worshipers inside. And the only person in the vast auditorium was a black robed guide to the crypt who hadn't heard the news. His comment after being informed was, "That's good."

And so it was all over London. Two RAF sergeants were sightseeing in Westminster Abbey. A couple of women were trying unsuccessfully to gain entrance to the Houses of Parliament. Downing Street was empty except for a street cleaner almost in front of Number 10. All over London women were selling flags for the benefit of the Red Cross. The girl I patronized hadn't heard the news, and her expression changed little when she was informed.

The next interviewee was a roly-poly woman, dressed about as broad as she was long, who had heard the broadcast. "It's gewd," she said. Not a newspaper extra appeared on the street. London this morning, for at least an hour after the broadcast of Communiqué Number One, was the same London that it was yesterday morning.

Earlier this morning, the telephone rang at 7 AM. It was Ed Murrow. He said, "Better get dressed and wait for a call from me." A new world speed record for getting dressed was promptly set. The dressing was accomplished against a background of heavy sky noise, the sound of great fleets of planes. They were too high to be seen, but their roar seemed to fill the sky, and the planes seemed to be everywhere.

At 7:45 the phone rang again. "Get to such and such a building as quickly as possible." It was a building from which the big communiqué was to be issued.

It was going-to-work time for London, and masses of shopgirls and businessmen jammed the sidewalks leading to that building. Almost bursting with what I felt was the big secret, I studied the faces of those people. Their expressions were the same as those of going-to-work people all over the world. Most of them looked sleepy. Quite a few of the girls were white-lipped, apparently having got up too late to put on lipstick and intending to do so at their offices. Some were neatly dressed, others had ties askew just like the eight o'clock crowd in Pittsburgh or San Francisco.

But there was one difference. The clothes they wore neatly or carelessly were mostly of 1939 and 1940 vintage. The lipstick the girls wore or forgot to wear was of a hard, chalky substance—war stuff. The tiredness in their faces came not from a bad night, but from almost five years of working in the front lines of war. You felt like shouting to those weary people, "It happened! The invasion has started!" Because that's what these people have been working and fighting for; fighting beside antiaircraft guns, fighting with fire hoses, fighting with industrial tools since one day exactly four years ago when the tattered fugitives from Dunkirk reached these shores. In a few hours they would know, and you wondered how they would take it.

The building was reached, and the way correspondents were converging on the gates from all directions reminded you of the old Toonerville Trolley animated cartoons in which an incomprehensible number of people would enter small apertures. They were all hurrying; some of them just moved their legs faster without seeming to cover much more ground. Practically every pass that you've been issued since arriving in London had to be produced. No one-eyed Connellys could get in here.

Bureau chiefs were herded into one big room. One person from each press association, major newspaper, and broadcasting network. All others were barred. And downstairs, outside of news special studios, the other broadcasters were waiting and typing out last minute pieces. And one of those studios had been locked tightly since its construction was completed. That was the studio that which the communiqué was to be read to a waiting world. Already the German radio was broadcasting reports of fighting in France. London was maintaining silence.

The broadcaster's workroom was filling with colonels, majors, lieutenants, and GIs of both the American and British armies. Nobody seemed quite sure of what so many soldiers were supposed to do in so small a room. White legging-ed, white belted MPs, their garrison caps banded with what looked like white bandages, took spaces inside and outside the doors.

In came the official Allied spokesman with retinue. He began calling New York network headquarters, informing them that the first communiqué would be broadcast at 9:32 London Time. 9:32 arrived. The communiqué was broadcast. The big secret was out.

This is Charles Shaw in London returning you to New York.

BILL DOWNS "SOMEWHERE IN NORMANDY"
June 14, 1944

BILL DOWNS: I'm speaking to you from a tent somewhere in Normandy—that bit of a truly free France liberated eight days ago by the invasion of British, Canadian, and American troops. It is 6:30 AM over here—the ninth day of the invasion is only a few hours old.

If you hear strange noises during this broadcast, it's the RAF and the Allied air forces and the American air forces on dawn patrol. It's more than dawn patrol—it's dawn attack.

I could take you right now in a thirty minute jeep ride to where the Allied troops are fighting. You can get to some part of the front in thirty minutes no matter where you happen to be.

So much has happened in these past eight days that they seem like eight months to every one of us over here. Americans have died, and British and Canadians have died—and a very great number of Germans have died. But the Allied forces have achieved what Hitler's henchmen said was impossible. We are in Europe to stay—and you only have to look at the face of an American doughboy, or into the eyes of a man from Calgary or from London, to know that we're not going to stop until we have completed the job.

All this comes under the category of making history.

The news from the front this morning is good. As a matter of fact, we've no bad news to report since the Allied forces crossed the beaches.

On the American sectors of the front, the troops continue to widen the bulge, threatening the entire peninsula of Cherbourg. The British-Canadian sector likewise is slowly expanding. There are hold-ups at a village here or there which the Germans have strongly fortified. There has not been much forward movement [around the city of Caen on the left flank of the] beachhead.

But you might compare this bit of liberated France to a giant muscle, which daily is becoming stronger and stronger as the sinews of war pour into it. As more tanks and guns and men pour in, the muscle expands.

Thus far the Germans have been unable to do much about it. However, last night and today there are signs that the Nazi high command has finally been able to get some fresh troops into the line. The fact that it took a week for his first reinforcements to arrive speaks for itself as to the effectiveness of the Allied night and day bombing over the past few months.

But as the Germans reinforce—and we are reinforced—there can be little doubt that a big battle is developing. In this sense, the Battle of France is a race between supply systems of the opposing armies. The force that gains superiority first will strike. You'll be interested to know that our supply position is all right.

I have heard so many stories of gallantry and pure guts since I arrived here that it is difficult for me to begin to tell them. Heroes are not uncommon on this beachhead. I was lucky in my own personal invasion of France. I came in on a comparatively quiet sector.

As General Montgomery has announced, the battle for the beaches has been won. Sometime when we're not so busy, history will record the battle of the Commandos who landed behind the German defenses and so disrupted the Nazis that they were firing at each other. Or of the Canadians who walked point blank into German shellfire to silence these batteries.

And the most glorious single action of the whole invasion was performed by the American assault force. They clung to their position literally by their fingernails. They fought as no Americans have ever fought before. They were outnumbered; out-gunned with odds twenty to one against them.

They took their position coming through a wall of shrapnel, mortar fire, and machine gun bullets that was terrifying. The casualties were high—higher than on any other salient.

LARRY LESUEUR FROM THE NORMANDY BATTLEFRONT
June 18, 1944

ROBERT TROUT: And now Admiral takes you direct to the invasion beachhead in France, Larry LeSueur reporting.

LARRY LESUEUR: This is Larry LeSueur speaking from the American sector of the Normandy battlefront. Tonight the American troops hold the entire neck of the Cherbourg Peninsula firmly in their grip.

The picturesque little town of Bonneville on the western side of the peninsula has been captured, and we are now astride every road leading to Cherbourg. Thus the big French port, with its large garrisons, is cut off from the German Army in the interior of France.

Although today is D-Day plus thirteen, the boys who are up on the front lines still find themselves talking about their adventures on D-Day whenever they get a chance to smoke a cigarette.

My experience was similar to that of many of the men in the 4th Division who made the assault on our beach. The 4th Division has the enviable record of being the last American division to leave Germany after the occupation in the last war, and it was chosen to be one of the first American divisions to land on the continent.

It was very rough on the Channel, and after hours of seasickness we all felt pretty gloomy. Most of us had spent the time resting in our soaking wet [inaudible] waves had crossed over the sides of our little landing craft. But after a sleepless night, D-Day dawned. And we tramped forth from our barge towards tiny personnel assault craft. And with the regimental combat team, we began a rough ride into the beach.

It was a fantastic sight. We could see great geysers of sand shooting up from the beachhead as our planes drenched the area with bombs in great green and yellow flashes. Every time a salvo of bombs hit the beach, our assault craft seemed to bounce back about ten feet. We were the first regimental command post to make the landing.

I don't remember wading ashore—I think I must have just skipped in to get my feet on the ground. Every one of us felt the same way. We didn't care what happened to us as long as we could get off that bucking, bouncing boat.

The din of gunfire was deafening, and the first thing I vividly remember was a little sergeant with a Brooklyn accent. He was standing on the beach, and he said to me with a grin, "Boy, we made it." Out of all things, he handed me a cigar.

The stunned Germans defending the beach were being gathered in, and I remember their tall, blond Nazi captain. Dressed immaculately, he was, and as arrogant as ever. He refused to lie down with the rest of his men, although German shellfire was hitting the beach, and when my colleague Bob Landry of Life magazine tried to take his picture, the Nazi officer turned his back on him and on the whole American landing with deepest scorn.

A few minutes later a German shell hit the beach, and the German captain went down forever. He was killed by his own shellfire.

The colonel of the regiment quickly made contact with his men and led them off the beach across the green watery wastes of the port of Carteret in the rear. We followed them—long, soaking lines of men armed to the teeth. The first tank that tried to cross was hit by a German antitank shell. The second American tank fired one shot at the German antitank gun and silenced it. We were on our way.

In ten minutes I had reached the position of the German gun. It was trained perfectly on the only road by which we could cross. But that first shell had panicked the German gunner, and he had fled leaving his gun perfect condition.

I looked back at the beach from his observation post. With just that one gun he could have held us up on that single road crossing the swamp for hours. Now I could see other German cells docking and pulling up sand on the beach in back of us. And landing craft was going skyward as they hit underwater mines. But I was already inland, and I was glad I had chosen an early landing before the enemy had time to recover from the bombings, the shellings, and his surprise.

The colonel kept pushing ahead—gathering his men, advancing his command post, and sending out the code to wipe out the machine gun nest that harassed us from time to time.

By mid-afternoon, Bob Landry and I were already in the little town of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont some three miles inland. Here we met the paratroops. They were fighting a steep battle with the Germans. While I watched one paratrooper in hand-to-hand combat with a German, a shot rang out from a church steeple, and both the paratrooper and the German fell together—killed by a German bullet from that church.

Other paratroopers immediately turned their attention to the church steeple, tossing grenades as high as they could. And meantime, a Frenchwoman doctor refused to take cover and was giving a wounded paratrooper morphine as he lay wrapped up in his red parachute on the village green.

Whenever the machine guns opened up or a grenade exploded, the French people of the town would run for cover. And as soon as it stopped, they would emerge again. It was a most confusing scene—like a Hollywood movie set, only the dead men littering the streets made it appear real.

It was glowing dusk by this time, and we decided to set down on the grass for the night. Nobody had bedrolls or blankets, but we were wildly excited over the success of the Second Front. As it hit dusk, the planes from England started to come in towing gliders. They put down in fields all around us—meeting us, murderous ground fire from the Germans who seemed to be all around us judging by the screams of color tracers that went up to meet the gliders.

And then I talked to the soldier next to me. He was a youngster from South Carolina, and he'd been carrying a flamethrower all day long. He allowed as to how he was tired and his legs hurt him. I rolled up his pants, and I saw a wicked shrapnel wound in his leg. He had walked all day long with it, and never complained.

Those were the American soldiers on D-Day. And this is Larry LeSueur returning you now to New York.

BILL DOWNS ON THE WESTERN FRONT
June 18, 1944

BILL DOWNS: I have just returned from another one of those "little wars"—an isolated battle which is becoming more and more common in this ever-growing struggle for Europe.

This little war in no way ranks in importance with the American drive across the Cherbourg Peninsula. Everyone on the British-Canadian sector of the front regards the cutting of the peninsula the most important single achievement since the Allied troops crossed the beaches of Normandy. But the Battle of the Hindenburg and Bleecker bastions in which I participated is the perfect example of the type of fighting that is going to occur more and more as our armies advance. I was with the Royal Marine Commandos which took these two strong points. I didn't intend to go with the commandos—it just happened that way.

We haven't been able to tell you before, but just west of the city of Caen, a group of Germans has been holding out for the past ten days in two very strong defense points. These strong points, about one hundred yards apart, were built along the lines of a miniature Maginot Line. They were dug twelve feet into the ground, filled with reinforced concrete with walls three feet thick, and several medium artillery guns. The whole position was set on a rise of ground surrounded by mine fields and an intricate trench system. The Germans were so proud of these defenses that they printed the names "Hindenburg" on one of the super pillboxes and "Bleecker" on the other. The Hindenburg and Bleecker bastions were so strong that it was decided to bypass them on D-Day, and let this group of Nazis stew in their own juice. There was no hurry—the Germans couldn't do much damage there. They were completely isolated and could be cleaned out at will.

Yesterday, the order came to blast them out.

The strange thing about this battle was that to get there, you merely turned off a busy Allied supply route jammed with trucks. You drove a block up another road, parked your jeep up behind the hedge, and on the other side of the hedge was the war. For half an hour, artillery whistled over our heads, bursting all over the Nazi island of resistance. Direct hits sent bits of masonry high into the air—dust from the bursting shells mixed with the black smoke of exploding mines and a burning gasoline dump to darken the sun. We were only some two hundred yards from where the shells were landing, and you had an uncontrollable tendency to duck your head just a little every time a shell came over. The artillery punctuated the barrage with shrapnel shells that burst in the air downward into the trenches. Then the barrage stopped and the tanks moved in. There were a dozen of them approaching from two directions. They crawled forward, their machine guns and heavy guns ripping into the super pillbox. Behind them moved the commandos.

I was watching the battle with Richard McMillan of the United Press. When the tanks moved in, we couldn't see very much so we decided to walk up behind the nearest one and have a look. Out of the embrasures of the two bastions, heavy German machine guns fired in our direction. We clamped down in the tall wheat, but no matter how low you got you still felt as if you were sticking up as high as the Empire State Building.

The funny thing about it was that we weren't particularly frightened. We were too excited to be afraid. McMillan, the British conducting officer, and myself were tremendously surprised to find ourselves in with the commandos. We had followed their attacks so closely that we had actually got caught up in the middle of it.

Up ahead, an assault engineer climbed on top of the Hindenburg bastion and placed a charge of explosives on it. As soon as he lit the fuse he ran like the very devil. We all ducked. The heavy explosion must have blown a hole in the top of the pillbox. Other commandos crept up to this hole and tossed in hand grenades. One explosion set the whole works off. Out of the hole came a German "potato masher" grenade. It was on fire. We ducked again, but it didn't go off.

By this time we had reached the trench system. On both sides of us men were going along the trenches with their Tommy guns. A tank assaulted one of the trenches and behind it was a young radio operator calmly chewing a stalk of wheat, waiting to flash the words that the bastion had been taken. Shouts of "come on out of there you Nazi so-and-sos" and "keep your hands up you such-and-such" announced the arrival of the 1st Troop. Then they began to pop up like prairie dogs. All told, there were between a hundred and fifty and two hundred of them.

For the number of them, the Nazis resisted surprisingly weakly. It took only two squadrons of commandos to dig them out. The tanks merely stood by and watched after they had escorted these troops into position. We lined them up; they were as shaken a group of men as I've ever seen.

There were all shapes and sizes of Nazis. Big ones, little ones, old, and young. But the most surprising discovery made was a large number of ordinary chicken's eggs in the bastion. The surprise was that these eggs were fresh. We could not confirm earlier reports that the Germans had women in the strong point with them. There also was plenty of food, and we shared a bottle of brandy with the victorious commandos. It was a glorious feeling being in on a success like that. But even so, I believe it's the last time that I want to be that close to a practicing commando in action.

This is Bill Downs in Normandy, returning you to the United States.

May 19, 2021

1955. The Murrow Boys on the Cold War

Years of Crisis: 1955


This edition of the annual news roundup "Years of Crisis" aired on January 1, 1956. CBS foreign correspondents gathered with Edward R. Murrow to discuss the international developments of the past year. The correspondents included: Bill Downs, Richard C. Hottelet, Alexander Kendrick, Robert Pierpoint, David Schoenbrun, Daniel Schorr, Eric Sevareid, and Howard K. Smith.

From CBS, January 1, 1956:
YEARS OF CRISIS: 1955
ANNOUNCER: "Years of Crisis: 1955." At this time, CBS Radio presents the seventh annual year-end report by CBS News correspondents who have gathered in New York from their posts around the world. Eight members of this distinguished team of reporters are meeting today with Edward R. Murrow to bring you this recorded analysis of the year's major news developments. Now, here is Mr. Murrow.

EDWARD R. MURROW: Let's begin, gentlemen, with the question: What kind of year has it been? First, Bob Pierpoint, stationed in Tokyo, who is just back from a trip through Southeast Asia.

ROBERT PIERPOINT: It's been a year of change, of awakening, and of opportunity.

MURROW: Dick Hottelet from West Germany.

RICHARD C. HOTTELET: In Germany, fulfillment has been clouded by fear and frustration.

MURROW: David Schoenbrun from Paris.

DAVID SCHOENBRUN: For the French, a year of terror in North Africa, and the end is not yet in sight.

MURROW: Eric Sevareid, the chief of our Washington bureau.

ERIC SEVAREID: In America, a year of bigness in everything from business to basketball players, but not in doubts. The doubts were small.

MURROW: Howard Smith, our chief European correspondent from London.

HOWARD K. SMITH: In Britain I suppose it's been a year of converting the nation from the stern Cold War fortress of Churchill to what might be called the prosperous "Garden of Eden."

MURROW: Dan Schorr from Moscow.

DANIEL SCHORR: In the Soviet Union, the year of aggressive coexistence. The year when Kaganovich proclaimed "this is a century of communism."

MURROW: Alex Kendrick from Africa.

ALEXANDER KENDRICK: In most of Africa, a year of dawn, but in South Africa, a year of sunset.

MURROW: Bill Downs from Rome and the Middle East.

BILL DOWNS: In the Eastern Mediterranean this has been the year of the hot grenade and the concrete kindergarten.

MURROW: Well it would appear then, gentlemen, that we still live in a time of crisis. Do you find that the nature of this continuing crisis has changed? Dave Schoenbrun, how do you feel about this as you view it from Paris?

SCHOENBRUN: I feel the crisis has changed in time and place and kind. In time, there's no longer the sense of immediacy, the ever-present fear of war that characterized the last decade of history. In place, the crisis has shifted from Europe to the Middle East and Asia. Finally, it's a different kind of crisis. The Russians call it "competitive coexistence." Mr. Dulles calls it "peaceful competition." So apparently the Americans and Russians do agree on one thing: the crisis has changed in form. But I would say that we could all agree that fundamentally it is still the ancient crisis of freedom versus tyranny.

MURROW: Eric Sevareid, how does it look to you in Washington?

SEVAREID: About as it looks to Dave in Paris I think, Ed, but this is not only a struggle of ideologies, it's also an old-fashioned power struggle for purely national ends. Russia has not yet balanced the air-atomic equation. She has gone only two thirds of the way. First, our advantage was in the supply of the weapon itself, and she equalized that. Our next advantage was in the means of delivering the weapon. Judging by this year's report on her long range bombers, she is about to equalize that.

Our last remaining advantage is in the location of the bases from which the weapon can be delivered, and Russia's immediate objective is to equalize that one. She can't get our bases out of Europe anytime soon. She is trying to remove them from the Middle East. She is determined to break up the American-British alliance system now extending along her southern borders. She began that process with an end run: the arms deal with Egypt.

MURROW: Dan Schorr, what do you say as someone who has just spent four months in Moscow?

SCHORR: In the Soviet Union the big change is the recognition of an atomic stalemate, or the "senselessness of war" as Bulganin and Khrushchev have put it. The idea of inevitable war followed by inevitable victory of communism is out the window. Now it's recognized war might be followed by inevitable nothingness. In the Communist Party Congress in February, the first since Stalin's death, will have to face up to that.

MURROW: Bob Pierpoint, what about the continuing crisis in Asia?

PIERPOINT: In a sense the crisis in Asia, Ed, has become more of a standing threat now that the communists have at least temporarily halted their military aggression. Only in the Formosa area is there still a shooting war. Elsewhere during this past year the Reds switched their emphasis from the military to the political and economic. They've started a sales campaign. The Soviet Reds even sent their two super salesmen, Mr. Khrushchev and Mr. Bulganin, old baldy and bulgy as we call them in the Far East, to spread the good word of communism through India and Burma. It's the new soft line.

MURROW: Howard Smith, how would you explain these new tactics?

SMITH: Well, let me put it this way, Ed. I think we were on the road to war, then both we and the Russians became afraid that war in the fusion bomb age would mean mutual annihilation, so in 1955 we both tacitly agreed to turn off onto a new road which might be called "struggle by all means other than war."

I think the Russians were not sure what our intentions were, so they paid some high prices in 1955 to get us to declare. They gave Austria her peace treaty, they abased themselves before the Yugoslavs, they cut some amiable capers in the presence of American reporters who reported this home, and this affected public opinion.

That public opinion enabled the president to reject his party's right wing, which was opposed to negotiation, and persuaded the president to go to the Geneva Summit talks and show, by his behavior, what the Russians wanted to know: that America very much wanted peace and could be counted on to remain peaceful unless militarily provoked. With that assurance, the Soviets proceeded to what is called "the new phase of the conflict." Courting Asian countries, spreading bad will propaganda. The new phase is troublesome, but I think it's a decided change for the better.

MURROW: Well some of you fellows have mentioned the phrase "the Geneva spirit." Whatever happened to the Geneva spirit, anyway? Hottelet?

HOTTELET: The "Geneva spirit" was a fabulous piece of political ectoplasm. Howard has described how the Russians conjured it up. Austria, Belgrade, establishing relations with Adenauer's Germany, cutting the Soviet army by 640,000 men, and finally, at the summit, swearing that they want peace as much as we do.

But what the Kremlin really wanted was a breathing spell. It wanted outer calm to cope with difficult internal problems, political, economic, and military. Meanwhile, it wanted to hold its ground and soften up the West by getting Western recognition of the status quo. "Live and let live" is an appealing slogan, but it was designed to weaken Western resolve and kill the hopes of people in communist hands. The Western foreign ministers at Geneva showed how phony it was.

MURROW: Bill Downs, what do you think happened to the "Geneva spirit?"

DOWNS: Well I think that so-called spirit was only "coexistence with a smile." Then, when Molotov frowned at the foreign ministers conference four months after the summit conference, the West for some reason felt hurt and disappointed. But the basic fact of coexistence as a substitute for war has not changed in Geneva or anywhere else.

MURROW: Howard Smith, that summit meeting produced a lot of high hopes. What do you think went wrong?

SMITH: Well the spirit of cordiality that was so obvious there, that was visible there, was simply not followed up by either side I think, Ed. We know that the Russians refused to come closer to us by yielding vital interests like their hold on East Germany. We found that they were still afraid to let their people have too much free contact with Western people. In a very marathon of conferences on disarmament they proved that they still wanted to make propaganda on that subject but there was still no basis of trust on which to construct any real agreement to disarm.

We know all these things, but what we tend to overlook, I think, is that we too did nothing to develop the spirit. We continued, for example, to build military bases on Russia's frontier in Iran, for example. I think it's a little misleading of us to blame the Russians entirely for the failure of the Geneva spirit.

I would say that the basic truth probably is in present circumstances a spirit of friendship between us is out of the question. The Geneva spirit really had no foundation. I would like to emphasize however that I believe the Geneva Summit talks did radically change the terms of the world argument from war to less dangerous methods, and I think that was an achievement.

MURROW: Alex Kendrick, what do you think was achieved by the Geneva meetings?

KENDRICK: Well don't forget there were three Geneva conferences this year and not two, and it may be that the middle one turns out to be the most important. That was the one devoted to the peaceful uses of atomic energy based on the exchange of information and the reestablishment of scientific relations between East and West. Now this was done on a limited scale, but nevertheless it was done. And it's too early to see to what degree this liaison is being maintained, but I think an important step has been taken in the realm of competitive coexistence. The three Geneva conferences—two political and one scientific—canceled out the atom and started East-West competition on a new basis. I think that's what the Geneva spirit really means, and I think it's still around and likely to be so for some time.

MURROW: Well, Dan Schorr, from your base of operations in Moscow what do the Russian people think about the Geneva spirit?

SCHORR: Well, oddly enough, the Russian man on the street isn't aware of any change in climate since the Geneva foreign ministers' conference. I think we've misunderstood what the Soviets meant by "Geneva spirit." To them it meant a standoff among the atomic powers to allow them to pursue their aims without fear of a general war.

But the trouble they've been stirring up in Asia and Africa—well, that's just their idea of competitive coexistence. When President Eisenhower talks of freedom for satellite states, Khrushchev gets mad because under their idea of "Geneva spirit," or let's say the Moscow spirit, we're supposed to accept the status quo in Europe. In a word, we're not supposed to rock their boat while they're trying to rock ours. That's their idea of coexistence.

MURROW: And Bob Pierpoint, what about the Geneva spirit in Asia?

PIERPOINT: The new communist approach during the past year—and that's what I think we're already talking about here, Ed—it emerged in Asia at Bandung even before the first Geneva conference. Delegates from twenty-nine different African and Asian nations met in April at Bandung, Indonesia to discuss the problems and the ambitions of the world's colored peoples, the non-whites. It was the first time in history that a strictly racial conference of this scope has ever been attempted. Well over half the population of the world was represented.

It was the Afro-Asian conference at Bandung that gave the communists the opportunity to peddle this thing we call the "Geneva spirit." The five principles of coexistence, the peaceful, friendly line. The sort of naive faith that the communists sold at Bandung is still going very well. I'd say, Ed, that the hopes inspired by Bandung and Geneva are far from dead in Asia.

MURROW: Well the Geneva spirit would seem to be a much livelier ghost in the Soviet Union and in Asia than it is in the West. Now let's try to find out what you gentlemen think was the single most significant change in your area during 1955. Kendrick, what did you observe in Africa?

KENDRICK: The most significant change in Africa in 1955 was the unilateral declaration of independence by the Sudan. The Sudanese just couldn't wait to go through the proscribed constitutional process, and this urge to get rid of colonialism on a can't-wait basis is spreading through Africa.

MURROW: Howard Smith?

SMITH: I think probably the main change in Britain was the one that took place in Princess Margaret's mind.

MURROW: And like everything else in Britain that was a gradual change, wasn't it? (laughter) Hottelet?

HOTTELET: West Germany became a sovereign nation. It put aside the cushions and crutches of Allied occupation and went ahead on its own. Adenauer's Germany now has complete freedom of choice, and unlike Princess Margaret it has not changed its mind. It's still carrying its full share of responsibility in the Western alliance, and it feels the full force of communist pressure.

MURROW: Pierpoint, what was the most important thing that happened in Asia?

PIERPOINT: Perhaps it was the realization, partly inspired by that Bandung conference again, that Asians as a people are a powerful force in the world today. The men who met at Bandung are now fully aware that when they get together they make up the largest share of the world's population. And this realization of their potential has given them added and needed confidence. Asians are becoming increasingly aware that not only can they throw off the domination of the white colonials and successfully rule themselves, but even that they can grow industrially and militarily strong. Today the people of Asia are beginning to understand that it's not only the Westerner who can be rich and powerful.

MURROW: Dan Schorr, what about the Soviet Union?

SCHORR: Well, there the most significant change was the opening of windows on the West and the way the Russians have flocked to those windows for a breath of fresh air. It's now officially permitted—in fact almost compulsory since things that are not prohibited there are compulsory—to note American superiority in some technical fields. Russians are meeting a few Americans, and there's an explosion of enthusiasm about the whole West as if they were starved for these contacts.

Last week I saw members of the Porgy and Bess Company almost mobbed by admirers on the streets of Leningrad. And the whole Soviet world of art and culture is breaking through the old Stalinist crust, groping for new freedoms. All this may go further and faster than the rulers intended. The thaw has already reached a point where even now it would take some grave international crisis to turn it off.

MURROW: Bill Downs, what's the single most important thing that happened in your area?

DOWNS: Well, out of right field in the Eastern Mediterranean I'm sure it's the new conditions created by the communist arms sale to Egypt. This not only represents a Russian foothold in the Middle East, but also reveals a new pattern of foreign economic policy now being employed by the Soviet bloc.

In fact, probably of more importance than the sale of Stalin tanks and MiG jets to the Egyptians is the Russian offer to finance the High Dam on the Nile—though as of now the revolutionary government of Premier Nasser has not chosen to further mortgage its future to the communists. But it would appear that the Russians are now embarking on their own brand of economic aid to win alliances and support among the uncommitted peoples of the world. It's a challenging Moscow Marshall Plan.

MURROW: Eric Sevareid?

SEVAREID: Well, Ed, of course the President's heart attack, but in connection with that the start of, I think, a great change in the institution of the presidency, towards trimming its responsibilities to manageable size which might soon take actually statutory form.

MURROW: And Dave Schoenbrun from Paris.

SCHOENBRUN: I think a social revolution began in France this year almost unnoticed. The nationalized Renault automobile company offered its workers a guaranteed wage increase if they helped to increase production. The communist unions rejected the offer as a capitalist trick—a speed up system—but the workers accepted it. They forced their communist labor leaders to endorse the contracts.

This has been a severe setback to communism, for it means that the French workers no longer believe a basic Marxist axiom, the inevitable corporatization of the working class in capitalist society. Or translated simply, that the bosses just won't share increased profits with the workers. This I think has been a direct result of an American example, which was the granting of a guaranteed annual wage to the auto workers. It opened up the eyes of the French workers, and I think it blackened the eyes of the communists.

MURROW: Well, gentlemen, unrest exists in great areas of the world. There has been something of a disposition I think to credit this to communism. But much of it, I suspect, may be a natural reaction to colonialism. Would you fellows care to comment on that? Will you start, Pierpoint?

PIERPOINT: Colonialism still exists as a burning issue in the minds of millions of Asian peoples, Ed. Peoples who've won freedom only in the recent past. It exists because they cannot quickly forget the indignities and the frustrations of colonial rule. And because they simply don't trust the white man. The question that bothers me is whether it's really necessary for America to stay neutral on this problem of colonialism. In Asia people say bitterly that America refuses to oppose colonialism anymore because it may hurt our relations with our NATO allies. What about this, is it true?

SMITH: No, I don't think so, Bob. Our allies are not in NATO merely to please us. They're in the alliance for their own survival, and I don't think we need support their colonial rule just to keep them as allies.

MURROW: Alex Kendrick, what about colonialism in Africa?

KENDRICK: It's a hundred years old there, and in one form or another it may survive in some places for a good while to come. But this year I think its death knell was heard. The Sudan took its own independence and there was nobody there to say no. After keeping him in exile for two years, the British were compelled to let the Kabaka, the tribal ruler, come back to Uganda in order to keep their slight grip there. A major event is about to occur in Kenya. The black man will be given the vote. Nigeria and the Gold Coast, longtime British colonies, should be getting their independence in 1956.

And the interesting thing is that all this, Africa busting out all over, has taken place without any reference to the Cold War. Colonialism is not being ended by the power and assistance of international communism, as Khrushchev and Bulganin boasted just the other day. But it's by the deep-seated, natural instincts on the one hand, and the acceptance of inevitability on the other.

MURROW: Well of course you don't mean to imply that the communists are not interested in Africa, Alex?

KENDRICK: No not at all, Ed, because as colonies become independent, their first reaction is to be over-independent and to avoid East-West complications by staying neutral. And that, a communist would like. The uncommitted nations that Khrushchev and Bulganin are wooing lie in Africa as much as in Asia. The Bandung conference was as much African as Asian.

But it's easy to blame unpalatable developments on communism, and I think we make that mistake most often in Africa. In the first place, the ending of colonialism should not be unpalatable for us. And in the second place, there's no credit to communism there. African nationalism owes less to Marx than to Woodrow Wilson, and even Mao Mao was the result of a London, and not a Moscow, education.

MURROW: Dave Schoenbrun, you recently visited North Africa. What's the outlook there?

SCHOENBRUN: Great crisis ahead, Ed, but for the first time I think some hope. Slowly, painfully, with mental reservations but irrevocably, France is coming to terms with North African nationalism. Home rule was granted to Tunisia this spring, and now nothing can stop Tunisia's evolution to complete independence whether the French grant it or not. The same is true for Morocco. I was there a few weeks ago, and saw the sultan restored to his throne and independent government set up.

Now, this didn't bring peace overnight, of course. The French are still paying the price in blood for years of oppression. But the turning point has been passed and hope is ahead, except in one place: Algeria. The crisis there is desperate. The French made Algeria part of France in law, but not in fact. Almost one million French settlers are an oasis of wealth and privilege in a desert of misery for eight million Arabs and Berbers. I don't know how they can resolve this built-in conflict between two such huge and almost irreconcilable masses. But I am sure of this—Algeria too means to be, and will be, free.

MURROW: Howard Smith, the British have had a lot of experience with colonialism and have liquidated most of their empire. What's the future as viewed from London?

SMITH: Well, there's a casebook example of some people giving the communists credit they don't deserve, and that I'm afraid is Britain's handling of the Cyprus question. It's a case of pure British bungling with no assists from any other quarter.

MURROW: Eric Sevareid, on this issue of colonialism, does it seem to you that our country is stepping a bit out of its traditional character?

SEVAREID: I think it is, Ed. We have a 180-year-old tradition of very vigorously opposing colonialism, because we were a colony. I think we're downgrading this tradition now. Maybe not in our words—there's still a lot of words about this—but in our acts or our non-acts. The reasons are rather obvious. Our chief allies happen to be colonial powers, and also I think because apparently we do not dare to appear to be on the same side of any question with a communist. But I don't know, Ed, maybe it's not so important. To judge by what these boys have been saying, colonialism seems to be liquidating itself.

MURROW: Well, Dick Hottelet, what about the Soviet-style colonialism?

HOTTELET: That is not liquidating itself. You know, the hypocrisy with which the Russians have capitalized on colonialism is nothing short of staggering. It's they who've brought a new, twentieth century brand of colonialism into world history. The satellites of Eastern Europe are Soviet colonies. They're exploited for Russia's profit, molded on the Soviet pattern, and for them there's little present hope of liberation.

Look at East Germany. The whole economy is geared to the Soviet five-year plan. Moscow sets the terms of trade and gets the gravy. The people live in poverty. Collective farms are taking over agriculture. The middle class and the little businessmen are being wiped out. Opposition is destroyed. Only the communist bosses are sitting pretty. That's Russian colonialism for you.

KENDRICK: Yes, and don't forget, Dick, about Soviet Central Asia. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

MURROW: Well certainly Russia practices colonialism. The United States often merely abstains. Alright, fellas, what's the best thing we did in your area last year? Let's start with Sevareid.

SEVAREID: Let's see, we sent the Salk vaccine abroad, and we kept [inaudible] at home. (laughter)

MURROW: Bill Downs?

DOWNS: Well, we set up a program to share the atom instead of only threatening to drop it.

SCHOENBRUN: I think that we did a good thing to bring the Comédie-Française from Paris to New York. News that their national theater company was a box office hit on Broadway boosted French morale, and it helped them love us just a little more because we love what was best in them.

HOTTELET: The best thing the United States has done in Germany this year is to continue radiating economic and political strength. This country is still the most important stabilizing force in Europe.

PIERPOINT: Frankly, I'd say that about the best thing we did in the Far East was when the State Department brought the Symphony of the Air Orchestra out. They made a tremendous hit. On a political level, we seem to have made a smart move in strongly backing President Diem in Indochina. Despite the prophecies of all the doom criers, my colleagues, and myself, President Diem has performed a near miracle this year in South Vietnam.

SCHORR: In the Soviet Union, the best thing we did was to exchange farmers and engineers and newsmen, to lift passport restrictions on travel to Russia, to send a company like Porgy and Bess, in a word, to blow a little fresh air into the window they opened.

SMITH: Well, so far as the British are concerned, I think possibly the best thing was the meeting in Geneva on the ambassadors level between the United States and the Red Chinese. Red China, as you know, is the only important issue dividing Britain and America now, and that meeting, plus the decline of tension over Formosa, have contributed to make this the year, I think, of the least anti-American feeling in Britain since the war.

KENDRICK: The best thing we've done in Africa on the moral plane was to outlaw segregation in our own country, and on the practical plane our decision to help finance the Egyptian High Dam project even though it was on a late, limited, and grudging basis.

MURROW: Well now gentlemen those are some of the good things we did. What, from your vantage points, were some of the worst things we did? Smith?

SMITH: Well, commercial television opened in Britain in 1955, Ed, and I have heard it said that perhaps the worst thing the US has done to Britain has been Liberace at 3 PM every Sunday. (laughter)

MURROW: Well but that was a free and voluntary decision on their part, wasn't it?

SMITH: (laughing) Yes.

KENDRICK: In Africa the worst thing we did was to keep equivocating on the colonial issue in the UN. But on a personal level, the stupidest thing Americans have done in Africa this year was to start an American club in Addis Ababa which does not allow Ethiopians in. The only example of segregation in the whole country, and it's somebody else's country.

SEVAREID: Well I'd say that Americans suffered the rather distressing loss of prestige inside the United Nations by our fumbling and switching on the big question of the new memberships above all. So we find ourselves abstaining on votes, a rather footless position for a great power, and as a result we no longer enjoy an automatic majority.

SCHOENBRUN: Well, in France...I don't think I can really think of anything. It's been an excellent year in French-American relations, and no major frictions to report.

HOTTELET: What shook the Germans most this year, albeit only temporarily, was the apparent effect of the Geneva spirit on the United States. The Germans are secretly just as much afraid that we'll sell them out to the Russians as we are that they'll make a deal with Moscow. Illusions like the Geneva spirit gave them the creeps.

SEVAREID: They've given us some creeps in the past, Dick. (laughter)

PIERPOINT: In my opinion the worst thing we did in Asia this past year was to evacuate Chiang Kai-Shek's troops from the Tachen Islands. And the second worst thing was not to evacuate them from Matsu and Kimoi. This may sound like doubletalk, but what I mean is this: by encouraging the Nationalists to defend these islands at first, and then by pulling the Nationalist troops off as soon as the Reds start putting on the pressure, we play directly into the hands of Chinese communist propaganda.

DOWNS: Do you mind running through that again? (laughter)

SCHORR: To my mind, the worst thing we did in the Soviet Union was to refuse to go in for freer trade. I think if there's any hope of mellowing the Russians, it's only be ensuring they have some more of the good things of life.

DOWNS: How would you mellow a Russian?

SMITH: That sounds a little like mellowing an enemy by refusing to shoot at him and getting him unaccustomed to being shot at.

HOTTELET: I think Dan believes that candy is candy and liquor is quicker!

SCHORR: Well candy and liquor are fine, but I've found that the Russians are crazy about American gadgets.

DOWNS: Well in Italy gentlemen, I—

KENDRICK: That'll un-mellow them! (laughter)

DOWNS: In Italy, I submit that our biggest failure was that of not importing Gina Lollobrigida. (laughter)

SEVAREID: I'll speak to Foster about that. (laughter)

MURROW: Well, gentlemen, for the most part we've been threshing around here with some rather weighty subjects to the best of our ability, but let's look at some of the smaller, insignificant things you've noticed. Dick Hottelet, what did you see in West Germany that reminds you of home?

HOTTELET: I'd say Coca-Cola, laundromats, public relations, and the installment plan.

KENDRICK: And the biggest American soda fountain in all Africa, in fact I think the only one, has been opened in Khartoum.

SCHOENBRUN: Well, in Paris I've seen two American innovations: self service in restaurants and a striptease act in nightclubs. And I've seen Parisians behaving in the latter as though they were in the former.

DOWNS: Well the land of the lasagna last year, they began manufacturing corn flakes and cocktail crackers.

SMITH: I'll still take lasagna. (laughter)

SCHORR: In the Soviet Union, the first American-style nightclub, young people listening to American jazz on the Voice of America.

PIERPOINT: The Japanese built a television tower on top of Mount Fuji.

SEVAREID: Didn't they used to jump off it?

PIERPOINT: They still do. (laughter)

MURROW: Moscow claims that communism is still on the march and will ultimately win the world struggle. Let's see what's happening to communism outside the Soviet Union. Italy has the largest communist party outside the Soviet Union, and you cover Italy—what's been happening there, Bill?

DOWNS: Well I think the picture not only in Italy, Ed, but in Western Europe is generally good. Would you agree, Howard?

SMITH: Absolutely.

DOWNS: Dave?

SCHOENBRUN: Oh, yes.

DOWNS: Well, there have been no definitive popular elections in Italy, but in the major factories such as Fiat there has been a sharp decline in communist union strength. The Sicilian elections also showed a decline in the communist vote, but a corresponding increase in the fellow traveling socialist vote. In other words, the strength of the left has not declined, but there are signs that the workers and intellectuals are getting sick of the vacillations of Marxist dogma.

MURROW: Alex, what inroads have the communists been able to make in Africa?

KENDRICK: So far they've been able to make some economic penetration. The Czechs and the East Germans especially are doing lots of business. The Czechs sold out their exhibit of cheap consumer goods at the Addis Ababa fair. But then, why not? The American exhibit consisted mainly of a Ford Thunderbird, 3600 bucks.

MURROW: Dan Schorr, what would you say about communism in Russia?

SCHORR: Well, the GHQ of communism—they're apparently getting ready for another shift in tactics. There's new emphasis on expanding the Communist Party. That's reversing the Stalin-Beria policy of a small, hard core of trustworthy members. Membership in the party is going up, and more people will be recruited.

Outside Russia, perhaps as a reaction to what's been described by Bill Downs, the popular front is going to be given another whirl. And one of the most significant things was Khrushchev's recent offer of cooperation with a Norwegian socialist party, bypassing the Norwegian communists. Communist parties abroad may be given greater independence of action. But if you think the Soviets are ditching the communist parties for good, just remember this: at a Kremlin reception a few weeks ago, Khrushchev told two French communists, "Every year we gain is a promise for the future."

MURROW: Well there are certainly, and I think we would all agree, three obvious danger points. One in Berlin, the other the conflict between Israel and the neighboring Arab states, and the third around Formosa. Let's examine those briefly. Will you start off, Hottelet, with Berlin?

HOTTELET: The tension in Berlin is terrific. And Berlin is only one part of the continuing bitter contest for all Germany. The Russians are using every device to pull Germany out of the Western camp. They know as well as we do that Germany is the keystone of Western security in Europe. They're tempting the Germans with neutralism and the promise of markets in the East. They whisper in the dark and they shout in propaganda. And when deceit gets nowhere, the Soviets resort to open blackmail. They sold Adenauer ten thousand prisoners in return for diplomatic relations. The means keep changing; the struggle and the danger never stop.

MURROW: Bill Downs, you've just made a trip through the Middle East. What about the Arab-Israeli powder keg?

DOWNS: The critical time for Israel will be this spring. It's reported that important amounts of the new communist arms being delivered to Egypt are going into training centers north of the Suez, and this forms a tempting prize for Israel's army if that nation feels that it must try to invoke a settlement by force.

However, there is a school of diplomatic thought that says war is not made inevitable because of the communist arms sale; that Premier Nasser has gained so much prestige and strength that he can now maneuver diplomatically—possibly even make a settlement of some kind with Israel.

The Israeli dilemma is whether to place their hopes on diplomacy—thereby losing valuable time and possibly their military superiority—or to move while they feel that they can win. On both sides of the line I found no popular desire to go to war, but if the hope of settlement ever disappears in the Middle East, then watch out.

MURROW: Bob Pierpoint, what are the particular danger points in the Far East?

PIERPOINT: Just one, Ed. If the communists attack Matsu and Kimoi this spring, as it looks like they may do, war could spread to Formosa and beyond.

MURROW: And it could also be reopened in Korea, couldn't it?

PIERPOINT: It might be. But we certainly hope not.

MURROW: Well, gentlemen, let's examine now a problem that is perhaps best described as being below the surface. What undercurrents have you observed, as you've wandered about in your areas, that have particularly affected the lives of the people? Things that have not made big banner headlines, but which nevertheless have been significant in the life of the countries where you're stationed. Kendrick, what's happening in the African countries?

KENDRICK: Every country in Africa is different. There are forty-odd countries, and almost as many kinds of colonialism; almost as many kinds of nationalism. But there is a definite pattern to the main current beneath the surface. In order to develop the natural resources of the continent, the White Man has had to educate the Native to new skills. The Native gets improved living standards, the death rate from disease goes down, the Native becomes more prosperous, he demands more education, and more education means more nationalism; more urge to govern himself. So the White Man starts out as boss and ends up lucky to be partner. And frankly, there are not many people in Africa who are sorry—for independence is just as magic a word there in 1956 as it was here in 1776.

MURROW: And Hottelet, what about the groundswells in Germany?

HOTTELET: In Germany you begin to see the contours of a new society. High prosperity and political stability have given more people something to defend; have made them more conservative in the good sense. The old social extremes, the arrogant aristocracy and the militant Marxist proletariat, are being whittled away. A new, larger middle class is taking shape, and it's a middle class such as Germany has never had in all its history. In Parliament it is now exercising political leadership with growing self-assurance.

MURROW: Wouldn't you say, Schoenbrun, that French society is undergoing a somewhat similar change?

SCHOENBRUN: Exactly the same thing, Ed. A vigorous comeback of the democratic middle classes in France, and I think this will be the big story to emerge from tomorrow's national elections there. The democratic parties will win at least two-thirds of the votes. And when all the returns are in, I think we'll find two big democratic blocs on top. The non-communist left of Mendès France and the non-fascist right of Antoine Pinay and Edgar Faure. Neither one, I fear, will win an absolute majority, so there's no immediate prospect of stable government in France, but the trend is towards larger, more cohesive, and democratic blocs. That's quite a difference from 1951 when the Gaullist and Communists were crushing a weak and frightened Centre, and when democracy seemed doomed to die in France.

MURROW: Howard Smith, what sort of social weather vane do you observe in Britain?

SMITH: I suppose it's as important as anything else that a London borough after fifty years renamed a local club from "The Working Men's Association" to "The Community Centre." That, I think, adequately indicates the steady elevation of the Western worker into the stratum of great middle classes in these years of prosperity.

I don't know whether it fits your question, Ed, but another thing—all the color has gone out from Parliament since Winston Churchill retired, and reporting in London has become a much less rich experience than it was.

MURROW: I'm sure all of us who have had that experience would agree with you, Howard. Pierpoint, what about the basic changes in Asia?

PIERPOINT: In Asia, Ed, as in Alex's Africa, many nations, many currents. But one thing is becoming increasingly evident: the fact that Asians as a people really desire the material riches of Western civilization. It's easy to say that the average Asian rice farmer must be perfectly content if he can provide himself and his family with enough food to eat and enough clothes to wear and a decent place to live. That's a cliche, and it just isn't true anymore, if it ever was. Today, Asians see all our bright, shiny goods in our movies and in their own newspapers and magazines, and they don't see why we should be the only people to have them.

MURROW: Now, Dan Schorr, would you say there is a restlessness in Russia?

SCHORR: Oh, I don't know if you'd call it restlessness in Russia, but there is something, Ed. It's especially among the younger generation, who seem to be getting a little bored with theoretical communism. They're even starting to tell jokes against their regime.

This one may not be very funny or very new, but it is being told at Moscow University: Someone says, "You know, Adam and Eve were Russians." And when you ask how that could be, the answer is, "There's absolute proof, you see. They shared an apple between them, they had no clothes, and they though they were living in paradise."

KENDRICK: No it isn't. It's new, anyway. (laughter)

SCHORR: Now, don't get me wrong. I don't say there's widespread dissension—there isn't. But there is a generation maturing to whom the revolution is just something they read about; to whom ideological teachings are a bit boring. These young people are not disaffected, they're just unaffected.

MURROW: Well, Eric Sevareid, what about our own society?

SEVAREID: Ed, I really think we're changing very rapidly in our minds and in our matter. There's a certain swing away from preoccupation with great international themes and issues, and toward a preoccupation with our personal, family, community problems; our health, our juveniles, our neuroses, our cars, gadgets, and sports. Television rating show this. So do the new emphases in big magazines and papers. We're interested in the problems and the opportunities of our wealth and leisure. We seem to be in a period at least superficially like the '20s.

And in physical and economic terms, the change is rather breathtaking. It's a new country just in the last ten or fifteen years. Bigness is everything. The old family-sized farm is disappearing, the overall profits of big business grow while those of small business shrink, the number of mergers is incredible; hundreds of corporate mergers this year in manufacturing and mining alone, hundreds of bank mergers; even labor has merged into a giant semi-monopoly. But there are fewer individual business titans with great personal power as we used to have, because ownership is being more widely spread, including a lot of employee ownership.

I think all in all, Ed, that we're tending to become smaller individual cogs, and bigger mass machines. Now the material result, of course, is fabulous. We seem to have truly discovered the Midas touch. The question is, do we pay a price in moral and intellectual terms as we more and more work and think and dress alike? As big government, big press, and big business tend toward a kind of coalescing, are we losing our individuality, our moral toughness, our courage to think and speak differently? One American puts it this way. He says it's like "great, jagged mountain peaks melting down into one vast, level molten mass."

MURROW: I wish I had said that because I believe it to be true, Eric.

SEVAREID: Well I rather do too, Ed, and it seems to me the great question now for our country is whether this is the way to strength and to world leadership, or the way to some kind of terrible ultimate weakness.

MURROW: And these, you think, are the real national issues for this country today?

SEVAREID: I do.

MURROW: Bill Downs?

DOWNS: At the beginning of the show I said this past year was the year of the "concrete kindergarten." Well, it was reinforced concrete. I discovered that building on an Israeli collective farm on the Gaza border. The settlement needed a new kindergarten—birthrate was up. But government specifications just about has wrecked the economy of that farm because of that kindergarten. It was ordered that the kindergarten be made of reinforced concrete in order to protect the children from mortars and shells. And on the other side of the Gaza border, there now are a third generation of Arab refugees who don't have any kindergartens at all.

MURROW: Well, gentlemen, could we examine for a moment ultimate objectives? What do we want, and what do the forces of communism want? First, Eric, what do you think we want?

SEVAREID: I think, Ed, we want what we have always wanted, and that is a genuine peace of world tranquility. The great rich country always wants peace. It doesn't want real change. But we'll settle, I think, for a reasonable, non-atomic facsimile. And I believe that this means that, in truth, we will settle for a world that is part free and part slave as long as the slavery is not extended. You might call that the Missouri Compromise on a world scale. We never of course say this, but I think it's really the fact of the matter. At Geneva, at the summit meeting, the president wasted no more time than the simple decencies required talking about freedom for the satellites, for example, then dropped the subject then.

I think we ought to face it. We're not going to do anything overt about those satellites or about the communist possession of China; we're not going to go out of our way to help the colonial people get their independence. I have the feeling that we're drawing away in everything but our words from a tradition that goes all the way from the Declaration of Independence to the Korean intervention. But I am not saying that this is wrong or evil. I suspect it's inevitable; part of the price of great responsibility for human lives in a hydrogen world. It all seems to me it's a little like an individual who grows to middle age and finds that he has to come to terms with life. Perhaps America's come of age; age always brings some disillusionment and some compromise.

MURROW: Dan, what about the ultimate objectives of the Russians?

SCHORR: Well I think the Russians want something quite different. I think that the Soviet Union could not afford to admit that it has come of age even if it were true—and it's not true. But the communist want is still communism.

First of all, they want to be assured of peace so they can build communism in their own country. Then they want to see it spread, or make it spread, although they are now reconciled to a longer haul than they originally contemplated. Khrushchev has said in effect, "Let's fight it out with production, with propaganda, with everything but war, and then let's see who wins." Kaganovich said in November that communism travels without passports or fingerprints.

Seeing the Soviet leaders at close range, you get the impression that they're supremely confident. That opinion is shared by diplomats of long experience in Moscow. That confidence may or may not be well-founded, but they're prepared to act on it. Furthermore, I think they have to act on it. They have to push ahead in order to rekindle the flying revolutionary spirit.

MURROW: Well, gentlemen, if this competition is to go on—if this grinding, wearing process is to go on and on always in the shadow of the possibility of mutual annihilation—what must we do to be saved, or more particularly, what must we do as a nation in order to compete successfully with the communist world? Kendrick, what do you say?

KENDRICK: Obviously the best way for us to compete in colonial Africa is to remember that we used to be a colony ourselves. And to give moral, political, and financial encouragement to the idea of independence in Africa, no matter how many of our colonial allies may be offended. The Russians certainly use the anti-colonial theme to a high degree in their propaganda, and we were able to do that once also. But I think American sympathies are instinctively on the side of self-determination in Africa, but we have sometimes let short-term political expediency confuse and divert us. Our reputation on the Dark Continent this year has been dark too, but we can still redeem ourselves.

MURROW: Dick Hottelet?

HOTTELET: Well I think that in Germany we have a concrete example. There, we have so far competed successfully with the Russians; we're away from theory. The most important thing we have done in Germany has been to help kindle and feed a desire for freedom. This has made the Germans highly resistant if not impervious to communist and fascist pressure. What we've done is to tie Germany to the West with every bond of legitimate self-interest. The German people have prodigious vitality, and we've given them a wholesome outlet for it.

Economically, we've given them the satisfaction of working hard and the profit of enriching themselves. Politically, we've given Germany the influence and responsibility which is due a great nation in the councils of the Western world. Our policy has made Germany a genuine ally, and it's imbued the defense treaties, which might otherwise have been empty and meaningless hooks, with a spirit of solidarity. This is a practical precedent. It might have come unconsciously, but we might do well to apply it elsewhere.

MURROW: Dave Schoenbrun, what do you think we must do in order to compete successfully?

SCHOENBRUN: Well I think first of all we must keep strong. We must continue to give support to the North Atlantic alliance, not forgetting that it was the fact that this alliance created a military stalemate in the heart of Europe that made the Russians shift their tactics and the place of their attack to their new challenge. And I think we should accept this new challenge with confidence—in fact, with joy. For if the Russians really want to compete with us politically and economically rather than militarily, then this is exactly what we are best equipped to do, or say we are.

Our democratic way of life is surely richer in spirit and resources than the communist's. So why don't we exploit it? We could build bigger and better dams for the Egyptians than the Russians can. We can buy more rice from the Burmese, and we can give it to the hungry Indonesians. And we can give it without political strings tied on to the rice bags. When people are forced to sign a military pact or something like that just in order to eat, then everything they swallow tastes like crow.

With their rice, too, I suspect they want something else. They want respect perhaps even more than they want rice. This may be a gamble. It may be a gamble to offer aid to people who won't join our team; people who want to be neutral. But I would suspect it's the kind of gamble we're going to have to take as this new Soviet challenge grows.

MURROW: Dan Schorr, from your position in Moscow, what do you think this nation must do in order to compete successfully?

SCHORR: I'd like to see the gamble that David talked about carried even further. I'd like to see it carried to the home grounds of the Soviet Union. Because just as they're convinced that their system will stand the ultimate test against capitalism, so am I convinced that we can beat them. And I mean in Russia. I think democracy can also travel. I think we should seize every opportunity to penetrate Soviet Russia, with trade, with travelers, and with ideas. I think the more that Russians are exposed to Americans and to other Westerners, the more we can implant a certain kind of doubt in their minds about their system.

Because you know, despite all their talk about exchanges, the Russians so far are sending only pig delegations abroad, and in Moscow some of us have the impression that they don't dare to let their people travel freely. Yet they say Americans can go to Russia. Well, I'd like to see a lot of Americans try to go and get there—as many as possible. I should like them to see Russians on their home grounds and talk to them and see what effect that has on them. Incidentally, I'd like some company. (laughter)

MURROW: Bill Downs, what do you think our nation must do in order to compete successfully?

DOWNS: Well, despite all of this excellent advice being handed out here, I think this question is going to be settled among the American people. I think we've got to make up our mind if we really want to compete. We have lost, or appear to be losing, the international title as the greatest revolutionary power in the world, and we seem to be losing it to a revolutionary form of totalitarianism. We might be getting so fat and happy that maybe we're not interested any longer in the title. And being so tremendously successful, maybe the American Revolution really is over. Most of the people in my part of the world don't think so, but if it is true and we let the championship go by default, we know who's going to pick up the gloves and, who knows, that we might some future time have to revolt again. This time against the commissars.

MURROW: Howard Smith, as our chief European correspondent, how do you see this?

SMITH: Well, Ed, I think there are two general things for this generation to worry about in the realm of international affairs we're talking about. First, what may happen to Germany in the wooing and pressures she is to be subjected to by the Russians from now on. And second, how far Russia may succeed in courting the uncommitted Asian and Near Eastern nations, which she's begun.

In regard to the first of these threats, that in Germany, the answer seems to me to be what it always was. We must do all we can to urge the creation of European unity. Once Germany is embedded in a United States of Europe as solidly as, say, California is in the United States of America, our fear of Germany going neutralist or pro-Russian will be over. In the uncommitted countries, a big increase in monetary aid is obviously called for. I think we should not be too worried about Russia offering help also. Economic aid tends to reinforce whatever system prevails in a country, and if Russia wants to help reinforce non-communist governments I think we should encourage her in this praiseworthy endeavor. We should do so to the extent of ourselves offering very large amounts to, say, India, on condition that Russia will match the amount. The United Nations could administer it. I think it would be good for our Asian friends and acquaintances to hear Russia's answer to a proposal of this kind. I think we would soon be much less concerned about bad will tours of those countries by Bulganin and Khrushchev.

MURROW: Bob Pierpoint, as you view the situation from Asia, what do you think the United States should do to compete successfully?

PIERPOINT: Nothing revolutionary, Ed. We've already got the formula. In Europe it was called the Marshall Plan. I think we can successfully compete in Asia by putting in more of the same—more aid and more effort. Except that we need a change in emphasis, playing down the military side of American aid with an increase in the political and economic would help our program a great deal.

Certainly we can't afford to let out military guard down while the communist threat still exists, but the Reds are beginning to hit us on another front in Asia: the propaganda and progress front. The Asian people want progress. They want economic development as fast as possible, and the communists claim their system can bring it faster. They're wrong, and I believe that we can show Asia how to get this progress better than the Russians can. To successfully compete now we should take advantage of our opportunity by pouring more aid and more effort into a program that's already underway.

MURROW: Eric Sevareid?

SEVAREID: Well surely, Ed, we must keep the great image of America—the finest, the humanitarian face of America—turned to the world. Remain militarily strong, stay prosperous, extend our own democracy within our own borders including racial democracy, strengthen others; open our gates wider to others, try by every means to keep the present small gates in the Iron Curtain open. Peace may depend on ushering—and quickly—half the people of the world into the twentieth century.

MURROW: Gentlemen, you appear to agree that in this struggle between the forces of freedom and tyranny, the danger of mutual annihilation has receded somewhat. The economic and ideological competition has increased. You feel that this country has become somewhat pact-happy, demanding military arrangements as preconditions for economic aid. You note areas where limited conflict could produce unlimited nothingness, turning citizens into cinders. You report a situation in which there are no easy or quick solutions. Some of you wonder whether this country has the patience and fortitude, the willingness to sacrifice that may be required. You all feel that people who are struggling to be free have a claim upon our conscience.

Thank you very much gentlemen. Good luck, and good news.

ANNOUNCER: The team of correspondents who participated in this recorded broadcast can be heard throughout the year on regular CBS News programs. Around the clock, they cover the top developments in this country and throughout the world. This is the CBS Radio Network.