January 6, 1945 – Word From Bastogne
January 6, 1945 – News from the fighting fronts of World War 2. The big news was the sudden German offensive in Belgium, and the infamous Battle of The Bulge. Word of German advances, pushing the allied armies in some areas back 1,000 yards. While other areas were reporting a collapse of German armies and an advance of the Allies, regaining lost ground from days before.
As part of this broadcast of War Telescope, a weekly synopsis of news from the fighting fronts, an exclusive interview with Fred MacKenzie, who was the only correspondent attached to the 101st Airborne division, who were engaged in the defense of Bastogne and who were surrounded by the German Army but refused to surrender. During the ten day siege of Bastogne, MacKenzie took notes and made observations of the fighting going on around him. Unsure if he would ever be alive when it was over, he nonetheless kept a meticulous record of what transpired, and his vivid account of the heroic actions of the soldiers of the 101st Airborne made for riveting listening in what was described as the last German offensive of the war.
But in addition to news of Bastogne came news of President Roosevelt’s State of The Union Message, which was read to Congress. In it, he called for total mobilization of all human resources of the United States to smash Nazi Germany in 1945 and to speed the defeat of Japan. Again, President Roosevelt called for unconditional surrender, he renewed his demand for a national military service law during the war and universal military training after it. He also called for the drafting of Nurses and expanded Social Security programs and modification of taxes after victory.
And that’s some of what went on this January 6th 1945, as presented by NBC Radio’s War Telescope.