Tag Archives: World War II

BBC broadcasts original D-Day news scripts

Photo: Chief Photographer's Mate (CPHoM) Robert F. Sargent

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day: the WWII Normandy invasion.

In honor, the BBC has been broadcasting the original radio news scripts throughout the day, at the same time of day they would have been originally broadcast. The news scripts are being read by Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Stewart and Toby Jones; the complete set of recordings is available online. You can follow along by reading scans of the original scripts.

Click here to view the list of recordings. It appears that they are available to anyone, regardless of geographic location. There doesn’t appear to be a time limit.

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Remembering BBC Ottringham on Memorial Day

The BBC Ottringham complex (Source: BBC Humberside History)

The BBC Ottringham complex (Source: BBC Humberside History)

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Jonathan Marks, who shares this amazing story of the BBC Ottringham (a.k.a. OSE5) broadcast site.

Since Ottringham was an active transmitting site during in World War II, it makes for a fitting tribute here on Memorial Day.

On his blog, Critical Distance, Jonathan writes:

“Few people know that Ottringham, a village near Hull in the UK was the home of many of the BBC’s broadcasts during the Second World War, and that its transmissions were received well into the heart of occupied Europe. The site was intended to broadcast both medium and long wave services to counteract propaganda coming from Nazi occupied Europe. Today the site of the old transmitter site is an engineering works and the fields where the antennas stood reveal little of their radio past.”

I have embedded the BBC documentary of Ottringham below, but ask that you visit Critical Distance for two others Jonathan has posted (including one from his days at Radio Netherlands). Thanks again, Jonathan!

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WWII shortwave messages found on cardboard discs

Photographer: Nigel Mykura. (Creative Commons)

(Source: The Globe and Mail)

The voices of Canadian servicemen fade in and out, at times clear and booming, at others distant and muffled. But for their families, these scratchy, static-laden messages were the sound of hope.

The men were prisoners captured during the Second World War by the Japanese army, which broadcast their messages home over Radio Tokyo. Short-wave radio enthusiasts on the west coast of the United States listened in, making a hobby of recording the messages onto cardboard discs and sending them to the soldiers’ families.

Complete with audio from the original discs, this is an article you should view in full at The Globe and Mail.


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