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April 26, 1945 – NBC News Of The World – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
April 26, 1945 – news of the war and news that Berlin was capitulating fast. 3/4 of the city was now under Russian occupation, while sporadic fighting continued in some streets while cleanup was already starting in others. News from Italy of the German Army in retreat and that Italian Partisans were taking their toll on fleeting German troops and had re-captured the towns of Genoa, Milan and Turin. Also, news that Mussolini had been captured while trying to seek refuge at a Monastery in Como, Italy brought a sigh of relief to many.
German propaganda was still working overtime – the latest reports told of a “Hitler Lookalike” who had been brought to Berlin to appear in the final fighting and to die while the “real Hitler” had escaped to conduct the war in another location. The reports went on to name the unlucky imposter as August Wilhelm Bartholdy, former Grocer.
The Americans and British were scoring big gains too. In the north, the 2nd Army captured Bremen. In the South, General Patton‘s 3rd Army crossed the Danube at three points, almost encircling Regensburgh, while Munich was neariing capitulation. The French 1st Army completed the envelopment of the Black Forest by driving up to the Swiss front.
Former Hero of World War 1, the now-disgraced Marshall Petain surrendered to French officers on a charge of High Treason. The Marshall and his party were to be taken on a special train to Paris where he would be placed in custody to await trial. In Paris, it was announced by the Prosecution that Clemency would be asked for Petain on the grounds of humanity and his advanced age.
And that was a little of what was going on, this fast-paced news day of April 26, 1945 as reported by NBC News Of The World.