Battle of the Java Sea

Lead: Melancholy gripped the Allies in December, 1941. Japanese forces were everywhere victorious in Southeast Asia. It was time to take a stand.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Thailand, Malaya, Wake Island, Hong Kong, Manila, each were attacked by the Japanese and each fell just as quickly. On the 3rd of January, Churchill and Roosevelt formed a joint command with the Dutch and Australians, the purpose of which was to slow down the Japanese assault. The aim was to stop the enemy at the so-called Malay Barrier, an imaginary line stretching from Singapore at the base of the Malayan Peninsula down along the archipelago that is today known as Indonesia to the west coast of New Guinea.

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Count Folke Bernadotte WW II Negotiator II

Lead: Having negotiated the release of thousands of concentration camp inmates in the closing days of the Third Reich, Folke Bernadotte attempted to mediate the land settlement in Palestine and paid for it with his life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Count Folke Bernadotte, head of the Swedish Red Cross, earned his reputation as a mediator, when he treated with Heinrich Himmler for the early release and transportation of internees at Buchenwald, Ravensbruck, and Theresienstadt concentration camps. While some historians dispute the importance of his intervention, his role was a vital one. Despite the moral implications of negotiating with someone like Himmler, many lives were saved in the chaotic collapse of Hitler’s regime. Bernadotte’s reputation as an intermediary in 1945 led to his appointment as United Nations mediator in Palestine after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. Both sides rejected his plan. He advocated contiguous borders for Israel, giving the new state Galilee, but turning over the Negev to Arab control, putting Jerusalem under U.N administration and allowing Arab refugees to return to their homes in Israel. Arab negotiators, who rejected the legitimacy of Israel in the first place, turned their back on Bernadotte’s efforts and according to essayist Cary Stanger, Israeli “confidence in the mediator was eroding.” Some in Israel began to plot his removal.

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Count Folke Bernadotte WW II Negotiator I

Lead: In the closing days of World War II, Count Folke Bernadotte, head of the Swedish Red Cross, was instrumental in the release of thousands of concentration camp inmates. For millions it was too little too late.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As the decades pass it is difficult to recall the dilemma facing many Europeans in the early 1940s. From the fall of France to the fall of Stalingrad, nearly everywhere Adolf Hitler was triumphant. National Socialism, driven by the German military machine, seemed to many to be the wave of the future. Attitudes toward Hitler ranged across the moral spectrum from enthusiastic collaborationists such as Vidkun Quisling in Norway to implacable foes, the latter being a very small group that got smaller before Stalingrad signaled to perspective observers that Hitler might not succeed after all.

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Armed Forces Radio II

Lead: During World War II the British Broadcasting Corporation and the American Forces Radio (AFN) had to be forced to work together in support of the Normandy invasion.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Required to give up its monopoly on radio broadcasting in Britain during World War II, the BBC welcomed the fledgling GI network with surprising grace considering its previous opposition. BBC helped AFN with studios, engineering assistance and expertise, but it was not easy. The Brits strove for scrupulous accuracy in their broadcasts and were offended at the informal American broadcast style and occasional willingness to use questionable sources and interpretation in news reporting. They considered AFN to have accomplished a great deal, but that it was really little more than a small town operation, with announcers that were illiterate, unresourceful, and couldn't even read scripts very well.

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Armed Forces Radio I

Lead: During World War II, to the lonely GI, Armed Forces Radio was a welcome reminder of home. It is a part of the war that continues to this day.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1942 Allied forces began to assemble for the Normandy invasion in bases throughout the English countryside. For many, this was the first time away from home and they missed it. To pass the time they listened to the radio, and for that the only choice was the British Broadcasting Company. This was the heyday of the BBC. All over Europe, indeed, all over the world, those who could listen were dependent on the BBC for news that was largely free from bias, very accurate, and absent the hopeless propaganda that poured out of Berlin, Rome and Tokyo. To the American ear, however, the BBC was deadly dull. The music was boring, the humor dry and out of context, the announcers starchy and pretentious.

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Narvik – II

Lead:  In the Spring of 1940 the town of Narvik on the northwest coast of Norway was the scene of one of the first naval battles of World War II.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The combination of geography and strategic importance conspired to prevent Norway from maintaining its neutrality in the early months of World War II. Germany needed the Swedish iron ore that was shipped through Narvik during the winter months. When it became apparent that Britain was going to intervene, Hitler ordered the invasion of Norway.

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Narvik – Part I

Lead:  High on the shoulders of the Scandinavian land mass is the small sub-arctic town of Narvik, Norway. In the early days of World War II, Narvik was a strategic target of the British and the Germans.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Until the spring of 1940, Norway had hoped to preserve its neutrality, but it was soon apparent that geography would bring that dream to grief. The coast of Norway was too important for the Germans to let it fall into allied hands. Much of German iron ore came from mines in northern Sweden. During most of the year the ore was shipped through the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea, but in winter the Gulf froze and the ore was sent overland to the port of Narvik on the Atlantic coast of Norway and from there through the Leads, a narrow waterway between the mainland and a series of barrier island just off the coast.

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Surplus Wars II

Lead: Faced with mountains of surplus war matériel after World War II, the U.S. government had to figure a way to get rid of the stuff.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Everything from toothpaste to fully-equipped Sherman tanks lay in storage depots from Germany to remote islands in the South Pacific. Of first concern to the American public was to get the boys home. Politicians and leaders were under constant pressure to demobilize the troops, and at first little thought was given to the millions of tons of supplies with which the war had been won. In the rush to feed, house, clothe, and arm 15 million active duty personnel, few plans had been laid dispose of the matériel they had used in the fight.

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