. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS Radio: The World Today – January 28, 1945 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Four inches of fresh snow may not seem like much, but on January 28th, 1945 it was one more element in a cold, relentless drive East by the Allies in Europe. A storm blanketed much of the European fighting front in fresh snow, making air support impossible and slowing advances down. But advances were still being made, with Allied armies heading towards the Siegfried Line. And Allied heavy bombers were still able to carry out attacks on German industrial targets. In the area of Belgium, Allied troops were now at the point they were six weeks prior to the infamous Battle of The Bulge, retaking ground lost during the December offensive. German prisoners were now estimated upwards of 50,000 taken in the Ardennes since December 16th.
On the Eastern front, The Red Army was heading westward, capturing the Polish coal producing center of Katowice. The capture of the town was significant, because it was the first town the Germans had captured in Poland in September of 1939. The story was slowly coming full-circle. Reports were also coming in that the Russians were coming close to taking the Hungarian capital of Budapest.
And rumors of peace-feelers were surfacing via neutral sources. One such rumor indicated the Russians were considering creating a free-German city, governed by captured German officers as a provisional German government in Königsberg, once it was occupied by the Russians. And that Hitler would make an announcement to that effect in a speech to be delivered later in the week. Nothing substantiated, and the rumors kept coming in.
In the Pacific – Allied troops were some 40 miles from the Philippine capital of Manila. Further reports disclosed the 3rd fleet had launched successful attacks off the coast of Formosa and the Ryuku Islands, sinking some 65,000 tons of Japanese shipping and destroying some 300 Japanese planes.
News of the day for a world at war, this January 28th, 1945. It should also be noted, even though the reports weren’t broadcast initially, that the news Red Army forces came upon the first of what would be many horrifying discoveries – a concentration camp located outside the German-annexed Polish town of Oswiecim, or Auschwitz as it came to be known.