Saturday, November 5, 2011

Andy Rooney ... on World War II

The late Andy Rooney, the well-known journalist who was a nationally syndicated columnist and popular t.v. commentator, offered an excellent account of his experiences and observations as a young World War II correspondent in his book My War. For example:
  • Observing the French countryside in the Normandy region shortly after the Allied landing in June 1944 -- "Our bombers must have destroyed the towns [Montebourg and Valognes] in an effort to cut the German supply lines to Cherbourg and it was the first time it had occurred to me that the French people of Normandy must have felt some ambivalence about the Invasion. It was true that they were being freed but at the cost of the total destruction of everything they had. And there's no question that many of the people of Normandy were sullen in their attitude toward Americans."
  • Noting that correspondents were given guns to protect themselves from German snipers thought to be left behind as Allied forces moved into Germany:  "This made those correspondents liable to execution as spies if they'd been captured, and after a few days in Germany, during which time there was not a single incident of sniper fire from village windows, reporters turned in their guns. That's what was strange. There was no danger at all to an American in a German town once our troops had gone through it."

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