Every June 6 (which came and went this week) American news media faithfully observes the Normandy invasion by Allied forces during World War II. It’s an important anniversary because it marked an important point in the defeat of Nazi Germany.
But how did America first learn of the Normandy landings?
The first news came from a surprising source: Nazi Germany.
Early in the morning of June 6, 1944, NBC came on the air with the news of the invasion at about 12:45 a.m., three minutes after receiving an Associated Press bulletin. CBS broadcast the news at 12:48 a.m., waiting for confirmation from a second source. The first reports clearly identified the German news agency TransOcean as the source of the information.
There was ample reason to be cautious. Three days before that, the Germans had issued news of the invasion in an attempt to get the Allies to reveal something about their plans. The Associated Press issued a flash bulletin based on that information and then had to resend it within minutes.
This time, however, the news was the real thing, and the invasion was on.
Here is George Hicks‘ recording from within the convoy heading to Normandy beach:
The New York World Telegram called it “the greatest recording yet to come out of the war.” This was the amazing recording made by George Hicks, London Bureau Chief for the Blue Network (soon to become ABC) of the beginning of the D-Day Normandy Invasion. Added to the Library of Congress Audio Archive.
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