June 25, 1944 – Taking Cherbourg – Taking Vitebsk – Feeding Rome – A Foothold On Saipan.
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June 25, 1944 – busy day on all battlefronts. Starting with rumors that Cherbourg had fallen to the Allies. German radio reported the loss, while General Eisenhower’s staff were keeping mum until it was a 100% done deal. Up from the Normandy beachhead, allied troops were advancing slowly, but making gains. It was also the first official day of Summer, in that at least it was the first sunny and warm day along the Normandy coast.
Meanwhile, The Russian Army was pushing west, recapturing the town of Vitebsk and continuing its Summer offensive. Radio Moscow was reporting numerous gains along the Dnieper River. German radio reported the Russians had achieved a breakthrough near Mogilev, forcing the German lines back several miles and that it was believed Russia threw some 80 divisions into the attack. At last report, the Russians were only 69 miles from the Latvian border and 120 miles from the Lithuanian republic. The last German railway leading into Vitebsk was cut a few days earlier. Radio Moscow reported the Germans had lost some 5,500 troops in the area as of the previous day.
In Italy, the Allied 5th and 8th armies were still moving ahead, up the Italian peninsula. American armored units were heading up Highway 73, some 15 miles from Siena. American bombers were staging raids over oil fields in Southern France as well as destroying rail lines. In Rome, the issue was food, as shortages were prevalent and seemingly the only to get fresh fruit and vegetables were via the Black Market. Supplies were coming in, but not as fast as had been expected. Earlier in the day, some 100 tons of produce were distributed by the allies to the people of Rome. The issue of feeding the people of Rome was being made more complicated by the arrived of hoards of refugees, arriving from all over Italy, attempting to escape the fighting.
And that’s a little of what was going on, this June 25th 1944 as reported by The World Today from CBS Radio.