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World War II Chronicles

Radio America

World War II Chronicles is a weekly look back to 'This Week in World War II, 75 Years Ago.' Originally produced in coordination with the National Archives to mark the 50th anniversary of the war, World War II Chronicles features original newsreel reports and archival footage to tell the story as it happened, week by week. Hosted by famed World War II newsreel anchor Ed Herlihy, World War II Chronicles is produced by the American Veterans Center.

World War II Chronicles is a weekly look back to 'This Week in World War II, 75 Years Ago.' Originally produced in coordination with the National Archives to mark the 50th anniversary of the war, World War II Chronicles features original newsreel reports and archival footage to tell the story as it happened, week by week. Hosted by famed World War II newsreel anchor Ed Herlihy, World War II Chronicles is produced by the American Veterans Center.
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United States

Networks:

Radio America

Description:

World War II Chronicles is a weekly look back to 'This Week in World War II, 75 Years Ago.' Originally produced in coordination with the National Archives to mark the 50th anniversary of the war, World War II Chronicles features original newsreel reports and archival footage to tell the story as it happened, week by week. Hosted by famed World War II newsreel anchor Ed Herlihy, World War II Chronicles is produced by the American Veterans Center.

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 89: Blood Plasma Saving Lives

8/15/2018
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The discovery of preserving blood plasma was vital to the development of military medicine. Plasma could now be freeze-dried and sent to field hospitals and medics. Throughout the war, civilians were asked to donate blood to blood banks for soldiers' use at the front.

Duration:00:03:46

Episode 88: The Bombing of Ploiești, Romania

8/8/2018
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At dawn on August 1, 1943, 179 B-24 Liberators thundered away from bases in North Africa, headed for a sacred target across the Mediterranean. It was a daylight bombing of the oil refineries in Ploiești, Romania - one of the most daring raids of the war. The raid was a total disaster. The oil refineries, though badly hit, were still in operation, and still producing oil when Russian Armies rolled over them in August 1944.

Duration:00:04:16

Episode 87: The Allied Bombing of Italy

8/1/2018
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Mussolini and Hitler met on July 19, 1943 - nine days after the Allies invaded Sicily. At their meeting in Northern Italy, Mussolini was unwilling to admit that Italy would not be in the war much longer. As the meeting came to a close, it was announced that the Allies were bombing Rome.

Duration:00:03:43

Episode 86: The Bombing of Hamburg

7/25/2018
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During the Summer of 1943, with U.S. planes raiding Germany during the day, the Royal Air Force continued their carpet bombing at night. On July 24, 791 RAF planes struck at Hamburg -- Germany's second largest city and Europe's second largest port. For six straight days, Hamburg was attacked by Allied bombs. The raids resulted in the first ever firestorm. Almost three quarters of the city was destroyed, and over 40,000 people died in the blazes.

Duration:00:03:34

Episode 85: Allies Land at Sicily

7/18/2018
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As a follow-up to victory in North Africa, the Allies began an attack on Hitler's "Fortress Europe." On July 10, 1943 the landings at Sicily with more than 150,000 Allied troops met little opposition. On land, the operation progressed well as General Patton's 7th Army pushed towards Palermo, and General Montgomery's 8th Army battled up the island's east coast. The conquest of Sicily was accomplished in 38 days, paving the way for an invasion of the Italian mainland.

Duration:00:03:43

Episode 84: German Offensive in Kursk

7/11/2018
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By the Spring of 1943, Hitler failed to comprehend Germany's inability to match the Soviets' in replacing men and materials. Instead, he planned an offensive to destroy a Soviet bulge within the German lines in the town of Kursk. The attack launched by the Germans on July 5, 1943 became the largest tank battle in history.

Duration:00:03:50

Episode 83: Operation Cartwheel

7/4/2018
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In late Spring 1943, General MacArthur and Admiral Halsey prepared to resume their counteroffensive in the Pacific, with a two pronged drive aimed at Rabaul -- codenamed Operation Cartwheel. On the night of June 29 6,000 Marines left Guadalcanal and landed on the beaches of Rendova and New Georgia islands. On August 5, 1943 the Japanese were driven from their last positions near airbases at Munda. Halsey was now positioned to attack the island of Bougainville.

Duration:00:03:47

Episode 82: Wartime Race Riots

6/27/2018
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During the summer of 1943, racial clashes broke out in several cities throughout the United States, including Beaumont, TX, Mobile, AL and Los Angeles. The worst of the wartime race riots occurred on June 20 in Detroit, MI. The nation's fourth largest city during the war, Detroit was overcrowded and tense, and the governor order martial law. So many race riots erupted during the war, that in October of 1943, the American Civil Liberties Union published a pamphlet detailing how to prevent...

Duration:00:03:13

Episode 81: The Tuskegee Airmen

6/20/2018
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Despite the bravery of black troops in the First World War, the U.S. Armed Forces were reluctant to admit African-Americans at the start of World War II. Under increasing public pressure, the Army Air Corps set up a training center for Black Americans in Tuskegee, Alabama. In April of 1943, the first class to graduate from the Tuskegee Institute were designated the 99th Pursuit Squadron in North Africa. Due to segregation within the Armed service, the squadron was all-black, but the bomber...

Duration:00:03:23

Episode 80: Raid on Pantelleria

6/13/2018
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In the Mediterranean, Allied bombers were holding Italian islands and Italy itself under constant attack to ensure clear shipping lanes for the invasion of Sicily. Assaulting the island of Pantelleria was the first step. In the years prior to war, the Italians had labored to heavily fortify the island. On June 1, 1943, Allies began around the clock bombing of Pantelleria. The raid slowly intensified until June 11.

Duration:00:02:59

Episode 79: Boomtowns and Slums in Wartime America

6/6/2018
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In addition to the 16 million Americans who left home for military service during World War II, another 15 million changed their residence. Most people moved for new jobs in war plants. As a result of the population movement, 'boomtowns' appeared throughout the nation, and with them came slums. In Washington, DC, the population grew from 900,000 in 1940 to almost 1.3 million by the summer of 1943.

Duration:00:03:41

Episode 78: The Battle of Attu Island

5/31/2018
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During the Battle of Midway in June 1942, the Japanese had captured Attu and Kiska in the Alaskan Aleutian islands. Due to the terrible combat conditions in Alaksa, an American assault on the outposts could not be accomplished until May 1943. Until then, U.S. bombers shelled the islands in preparation for an invasion. On May 11, with overwhelming superiority in air, sea, and ground forces, American troops landed on Attu. For 18 days, U.S. forces faced some of the fiercest counterattacks of...

Duration:00:03:31

Episode 77: Turning the Tide in the Atlantic

5/25/2018
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In the Spring of 1943, the German U-boat service was coming close to winning the war on its own. The German submarine campaign proved a vital threat to the Allies. Suddenly, German submarine losses began to climb, and Allied shipping casualties dropped during the first weeks in May. With new tactics and technology, the Allies turned the tide in the Battle of the Atlantic.

Duration:00:04:10

Episode 76: The Memphis Belle

5/16/2018
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On May 17, 1943, the crew of a B-17 named the "Memphis Belle" flew a mission over German-occupied Europe. With the raid on Wilhelmshaven, they become the first American crew to complete the required 25 missions with the crew intact. Their days in Britain became the focus of a 1944 documentary, with the raid on Wilhelmshaven as the featured event. After completing its tour of duty, the crew flew the plane back to the United States to participate in a morale building tour on behalf of the...

Duration:00:03:37

Episode 75: The Trident Conference

5/9/2018
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On the heels of the Allied victory in Tunisia, British Prime Minister arrived in Washington on May 12, 1943 for a meeting with President Roosevelt known as the Trident Conference. The Allies' position in the war had changed dramatically since Churchill had visited Washington in December of 1941. He made reference to the Allies' long struggle in an address to a joint session of Congress during his visit. The relationship between the Allies had altered significantly, and the US became the...

Duration:00:03:41

Episode 74: Victory in North Africa

5/4/2018
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In Tunisia, the Allies had severely weaked the Axis in series of battles since February 26, 1943. By the last week in March, they were preparing for the final offensive. On April 7, U.S. forces in the in east and the British Eight Army in the west coverged to form an unbroken line of Allied forces. The Americans captured Bizerte on May 7, and by May 13 had achieved victory in North Africa.

Duration:00:03:39

Episode 73: Warsaw Fights Again

4/25/2018
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Following the invasion of Poland in 1939, Jews living in Warsaw were forced into a walled ghetto. By July 1942, thousands were being deported to the Treblinka death camp. When the tragic news reached the Warsaw ghetto, the remaining Jews revolted. On April 19, 1943, SS troops were ordered to put down the Warsaw ghetto resistance. After four days of fighting, the entire area was destroyed, but the resistance continued for almost a month. It was May 16th before the Germans could announce...

Duration:00:03:34

Episode 72: Operation Vengeance

4/18/2018
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After the retreat from Guadalcanal, Japanese commander Admiral Yamamoto -- the chief architect of the attack on Pearl Harbor -- sought to shore up his defenses. He staged a massive series of air strikes at Guadalcanal and New Guinea. Yamamoto mistakingly believed these raids to be successful. However, in early April 1943, U.S. intelligence intercepted information regarding Yamamoto's itinerary. On April 18, a squadron of P-38s intercepted Yamamoto's plane in the South Pacific. In...

Duration:00:03:41

Episode 71: The Katyn Massacre

4/11/2018
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During the Spring of 1943, tensions between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies were easening. However, recent news about the disappearance of Polish soldiers in the USSR did not work to smooth this alliance. In what came to be known as the Katyn Massacre, the bodies of thousands of Polish soldiers who had been shot in the head were found in eight communal graves in the Katyn Forest. Medical evidence proved that the Poles had been killed in 1940 by the Soviets. However, the truth was...

Duration:00:03:45

Episode 70: Labor Strikes

4/5/2018
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The relationship between labor and business was key to the American war effort. Yet despite patriotic efforts to maintain work, strikes continued. By 1943, workers resorted to the picket line again. Coal Miners caused most of the labor troubles in 1943. In late April, 3,000 coal mines were closed across the country, and the government eventually seized the mines.

Duration:00:03:59