- If Peter Arnett & Geraldo Were Reporting D-Day 1944
Among the many "what ifs" that cross my feeble brain after watching the evening "news", this one came to mind. I think you'll get my point.
It is June 11th 1944, five days into the landing at Normandy. Peter Arnett is broadcasting events from behind enemy lines and Geraldo Rivera is an "embedded" reporter covering the story. Dan Rather is about to get the latest live updates. Lets Listen....
D - Hello Peter...Peter can you hear me?
P - Yes Dan I'm here.
D - Peter, where are you now? Are you safe?
P - Yes Dan, the Nazi Information Ministry has been kind enough to allow me to broadcast from one of the many artillery emplacements near what the Allies have arrogantly coined "Omaha Beach". I'm relatively safe although the concrete walls of this hardened bunker do bring a chill to the air. To make matters worse, my cameraman and I have been denied any access to the French wine the German soldiers greedily hoard for themselves, and the cheese is a bit runny today.
D - It sounds like it's been difficult for you Peter. Our hearts and prayers go out to you. So what can you tell us? Is the invasion progressing as scheduled?
P - No Dan, It was originally set to start one day earlier, June 5th, but was delayed 24 hours and woefully this was an omen of things to come. It seems the Allied commanders did not anticipate the tenacity of the German defense forces nor the abysmal weather conditions here in France. The beaches were strung with hundreds of miles of barbed wire and thousands of mines and concrete blocks were set in place on the beach making it nearly impossible for Allied forces to safely get ashore.
D - Peter…back here in the States we're all wondering, have there been many American casualties...have mothers and fathers, wives, sisters and brothers, lost their loved ones due to a dreadful miscalculation by General Eisenhower and the Joint Chiefs?
P - Yes Dan, sadly it does appear that way. Many men never made it to the beach, their landing craft being struck by shore batteries before reaching their destination. For those that survived the initial attack, the packs and equipment they carried were so heavy they sank in the rough coastal waters and drown. Enemy machine gun fire, mortars and artillery frequently cut down soldiers that managed to make it the beach. In my estimation, thousands men have died in the first five days of this misguided campaign.
D - Peter, I've just been told we've made contact with Geraldo but before we let you go I must ask...do you believe now, there is any hope at all, that the invasion could be successful or has this terrible miscalculation on the part of Allied commanders, doomed to failure, this risky attempt to free the oppressed people of France?
P - Dan I wish I had better news but I must report, there can be no hope at this point for the wayward American and British troops. It would take a miracle to overcome the insurmountable opposition they face and I now believe it is only a matter of time before the Allies are forced back to the sea to meet whatever fate awaits them.
D - Thank you Peter, we wish you safe journey. That was Peter Arnett reporting live from a German stronghold near Omaha beach in Normandy. We now take you to a live report from Geraldo Rivera who is embedded with the 101st Army Airborne Division somewhere in France. Hello Geraldo, Where are you and what can you tell us?
G - Hello Dan, well I've been told that for security reasons I can't give you any specific information that could compromise the success of the invasion. I can tell you we are part of a much larger operation secretly code named "Operation Overlord" that includes 3,000 landing craft set to go ashore along five beaches along the coast of Normandy. These are supported by 2,500 ships and 500 naval escort vessels that began to leave English ports on June 4th. Five nights ago 822 aircraft, carrying airborne troops or towing gliders, departed to landing zones in Normandy. In total over 13,000 aircraft will support Operation Overlord. In addition, the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions I'm embedded with have parachuted and begun incursions at the base of the Cotentin peninsula 43 kilometer inland. Many drown in the marshes and bogs while others where lost, missing their drop zone by many kilometers. Meanwhile, the British 6th Airborne Division has seized its objectives just 58 kilometers east of our position. Its special task force also captured key bridges over the Caen Canal and Orne River but they are desperately undermanned and could easily be overrun if the Germans and their French Allies reposition themselves for an attack in the next 12 hours.
D - Geraldo, that's a most disappointing report. Can't you give us any details?
G - No Dan I'm sorry, not at this time.
D - I understand...Thank you Geraldo. Well folks, there you have it. After five long days of this engagement it has become clear that the Normandy invasion has been a total catastrophe, sealing with certainty the fate of Europe, and perhaps the United States. It is this reporter’s opinion that we now have no other option but to sue for peace with Adolph Hitler while we still can. That's it for this segment, stay tune for our new reality show, "Who wants to marry a Fascist" followed by "Amos and Adolph". This is Dan Rather, Good night.
Submitted by Mitch