17 September: Invading the Netherlands

Murrow never met a bombing mission he couldn't fly, if allowed to. (Photo: CBS/Bettman Archive.)

Murrow never met a bombing mission he couldn’t fly, if allowed to. (Photo: CBS/Bettman Archive.)

The Dutch called 5 September Dolle dingstad, or Mad Tuesday—because the Allies had advanced so far toward their borders in the wake of D-Day that the Dutch believed they were thisclose to liberation. The campaign to liberate the Netherlands from the Nazi grip is in full swing, of course; Operation Market Garden—bidding to move from the Dutch-Belgian border over the Meuse, Waal, and Rhine rivers—proves only a partial success; the Allies can’t capture the Rhine bridge in the Battle of Arnhem.

But southern regions such as Nijmegen, Eindhoven, and a considerable portion of North Brabat are being liberated. Nevertheless, much of the northern Dutch homeland will remain in Nazi hands until the Rhine crossings of late March 1945—after the brutal winter known as the Dutch famine.

Tonight, however, there is the key Allied invasion of the Nazi-held Netherlands to launch. And there will be a CBS legend aboard one of the bombing runs.


Special Report: Announcing the Invasion (BBC, 1944)

The BBC discloses the news of “strong forces” landing this afternoon, such as those Edward R. Murrow will describe right aboard their aircraft, launching the Dutch invasion in earnest.


Edward R. Murrow: Counting the Parachutes (CBS, 1944)

His habitual flying aboard bombing runs married to his London Blitz rooftop reporting has prompted many at CBS to ponder whether their news champion has a death wish, and today is additional evidence: Murrow flies aboard such a run to report on the Allied invasion of the Netherlands. The surviving recording will last a mere minute; what he reported will endure—particularly for the Dutch.


Special Report: “Let us say to each other this was the Lord’s doing”: Montgomery Addresses His Troops (BBC, 1944)

Gen. Bernard Montgomery speaks to his charges via radio, celebrating enemy losses in D-Day and its aftermath and bracing them for the Dutch invasion about to begin.


Special Report: A Secret House of Commons Session (BBC, 1940)

At the height of the London Blitz’s destruction, knowing British troops fear government sessions might further endanger the effort against the Third Reich, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announces three measures in the House of Commons on behalf of keeping the body’s sessions secret from enemy ears, and toward protecting House members under pending Nazi attacks on their building.


Further Channel Surfing . . .

Information, Please: Otto Tallicious (quiz; NBC Blue, 1940)
Vic & Sade: Uncle Fletcher Cleans House (Comedy; NBC, 1941)
The Great Gildersleeve: McGee’s Invention (Comedy; NBC, 1944)
The Whistler: Sing a Song of Murder (Crime drama; CBS, 1945)
The Mel Blanc Show: Mel Bakes a Prize-Winning Putty Cake (Comedy; CBS, 1946)
My Favourite Husband: Liz and the General (Comedy; CBS; AFRS Rebroadcast, 1948)
Richard Diamond, Private Detective: The Jerome J. Jerome Case (Crime drama; NBC, 1949)
Our Miss Brooks: Elopement with Walter (Comedy; CBS, 1950)
Suspense: Doctor of Poison (CBS, 1951)
You Bet Your Life: The Secret Word is “Chair” (Quiz/game; NBC, 1952)
General Electric Theater: Cyrano de Bergerac (Dramatic anthology; NBC, 1953)
Gunsmoke: Thoroughbreds (Western; CBS, 1955)

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