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        #193: World War Two Continues with the D-Day Invasion in Normandy

        作者:David Jarmul 發布日期:8-23-2013

        Some of the first assault troops to hit the Normandy, France beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944
        Some of the first assault troops to hit the Normandy, France beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944

        STEVE EMBER: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.

        (MUSIC)

        On June fifth, nineteen forty-four, a huge Allied force waited for the order to invade German-occupied France. The invasion had been planned for the day before. But a storm forced a delay.

        At three-thirty in the morning, the Allied commander, General Dwight Eisenhower, was meeting with his aides. The storm still blew outside the building.

        General Eisenhower and the other generals were discussing whether they should attack the next day.

        A weatherman entered the room. He reported that the weather would soon improve. All eyes turned toward Eisenhower. The decision was his. His face was serious. And for a long time he was silent. Finally he spoke. "Okay," he said. "We will go."

        And so the largest military invasion ever known, D-Day, took place on June sixth, nineteen-forty-four.

        (MUSIC)

        The German leader, Adolph Hitler, had known the invasion was coming. But he did not know where the Allied force would strike.

        Most Germans expected the Allies would attack at Calais. But they were wrong. Eisenhower planned to strike along the French coast of Normandy, across the English Channel.

        The Second World War was then almost five years old. The Germans had won the early battles and gained control of most of Europe. But in nineteen forty-two and forty-three, the Allies slowly began to gain back land from the Germans in North Africa, Italy and Russia. And now, finally, the British, American, Canadian and other Allied forces felt strong enough to attack across the English Channel.

        General. Dwight D. Eisenhower in March of 1944
        General. Dwight D. Eisenhower in March of 1944

        Eisenhower had one hundred fifty thousand men and twelve thousand planes for the attack. But most importantly, he had surprise on his side. Even after the invasion began, General Erwin Rommel and other German military leaders could not believe that the Allies had really attacked at Normandy.

        But attack they did. On the night of June fifth, thousands of Allied soldiers parachuted behind German lines. Then Allied planes began dropping bombs on German defenses. And in the morning, thousands of ships approached the beaches, carrying men and supplies.

        The battle quickly became fierce and bloody. The Germans had strong defenses. They were better protected than the Allied troops on the beaches. But the Allied soldiers had greater numbers. Slowly they moved forward on one part of the coast, then another.

        (MUSIC)

        DWIGHT EISENHOWER: "People of Western Europe: a landing was made this morning on the coast of France by troops of the Allied Expeditionary Force."

        STEVE EMBER: General Dwight Eisenhower

        DWIGHT EISENHOWER: "This landing is part of a concerted United Nations plan for the liberation of Europe. I have this message for all of you: Although the initial assault may not have been made in your own country, the hour of your liberation is approaching. All patriots -- men and women, young and old -- have a part to play in the achievement of final victory.

        "To members of resistance movements, whether led by nationals or by outside leaders, I say: Follow the instructions you have received. To patriots who are not members of organized resistance groups, I say: Continue your passive resistance, but do not needlessly endanger your lives. Wait until I give you the signal to rise and strike the enemy."

        STEVE EMBER: The Allies continued to build up their forces in France. Within one week they brought nearly ninety thousand vehicles and six hundred-thousand men into France. And they pushed ahead.

        Hitler was furious. He screamed at his generals for not blocking the invasion. And he ordered his troops from nearby areas to join the fight and stop the Allied force. But the Allies would not be stopped.

        (MUSIC)

        In late August, the Allied forces liberated Paris from the Germans. People cheered wildly as General Charles de Gaulle and Free French troops marched into the center of the city.

        Soldiers of Pennsylvania's Twenty-eighth Infantry Division march along the Champs-Elysees in Paris after the city's liberation
        Soldiers of Pennsylvania's Twenty-eighth Infantry Division march along the Champs-Elysees in Paris after the city's liberation

        The Allies then moved east into Belgium. They captured the port of Antwerp. This made it easier for them to send supplies and fuel to their troops.

        Only when Allied troops tried to move into the Netherlands did the Germans succeed in stopping them. American forces won battles at Eindhoven and Nijmegen. But German forces defeated British "Red Devil" troops in a terrible fight at Arnhem.

        Germany's brief victory stopped the Allied invasion for the moment. But in less than four months, General Eisenhower and the Allied forces had regained almost all of France.

        At the same time, in nineteen forty-four, the Soviets were attacking Germany from the east. Earlier, Soviet forces had succeeded in breaking German attacks at Stalingrad, Moscow and Leningrad. Soviet forces recaptured Russian cities and farms one by one. They entered Finland, Poland, and Romania. By the end of July, Soviet soldiers were just fifteen kilometers from the Polish capital, Warsaw.

        What happened next was one of the most terrible events of the war. Moscow radio called on the people of Poland to rise up against the German occupation forces. Nearly forty thousand men in the Polish underground army listened to the call. And they attacked the Germans. The citizens of Warsaw probably could have defeated the German occupation forces if the Soviet army had helped them.

        Soldiers from the Polish Home Army carrying their wounded comrade, during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis
        Soldiers from the Polish Home Army carrying their wounded comrade, during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis

        But Soviet leader Josef Stalin betrayed the Poles. He knew that many members of the Polish underground forces opposed Communism as much as they opposed the Germans. He feared they would block his efforts to establish a new Polish government that was friendly to Moscow.

        For this reason, Stalin held his forces outside Warsaw. He waited while the Germans and Poles killed each other in great numbers. The Germans finally forced the citizens of Warsaw to surrender.

        The real winner of the battle, however, was the Soviet Union. Both the Germans and the Poles suffered heavy losses during the fighting. The Soviet Army had little trouble taking over the city with the help of Polish Communists. And after the war, the free Polish forces were too weak to oppose a Communist government loyal to Moscow.

        (SOUND: Adolf Hitler)

        Adolf Hitler was in serious trouble. Allied forces were attacking from the west. Soviet troops were passing through Poland and moving in from the east. And at home, several German military officials tried to assassinate him. The German leader narrowly escaped death when a bomb exploded in a meeting room.

        But Hitler refused to surrender. Instead, he planned a surprise attack in December nineteen-forty-four. He ordered his forces to move quietly through the Ardennes Forest and attack the center of the Allied line. He hoped to break through the line, separate the Allied forces, and regain control of the war.

        The Germans attacked American troops tired from recent fighting in another battle. It was winter. The weather was so bad that Allied planes could not drop bombs on the German forces. The Germans quickly broke through the American line.

        But the German success did not last long. Allied forces from nearby areas raced to the battle front to help. And good weather allowed Allied planes to begin attacking the Germans.

        The battle ended by the middle of the following month in a great defeat for Hitler and the Germans. The German army lost more than one hundred thousand men and great amounts of supplies.

        The end of the war in Europe was now in sight. By late February, nineteen forty-five, the Germans were forced to retreat across the Rhine River.

        American forces led by General Patton drove deep into the German heartland.

        To the east, Soviet forces also were marching into Germany. It did not take long for the American and Soviet forces to meet in victory. The war in Europe was ending.

        Adolf Hitler waited until Russian troops were destroying Berlin. Bombs and shells were falling everywhere. In his underground bunker, Hitler took his own life by shooting himself in the head. Several of his closest aides also chose to die in the "Fuhrerbunker."

        (MUSIC)

        One week later, the German army surrendered to Eisenhower and the Allies.

        WINSTON CHURCHILL: "Yesterday morning at two forty-one a.m. at General Eisenhower's headquarters, General Jodl, the representative of the German High Command and of Grand Admiral Doenitz, the designated head of the German state, signed the act of unconditional surrender of all German land, sea and air forces in Europe to the Allied Expeditionary Forces, and simultaneously to the Soviet High Command."

        STEVE EMBER: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

        WINSTON CHURCHILL: "Hostilities will end officially at one minute after midnight tonight, Tuesday, the eighth of May. We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing. Today is Victory in Europe Day. Long live the cause of freedom."

        STEVE EMBER: The defeat of Germany was cause for great celebration in Britain, the United States and other Allied nations. But two facts made the celebrations less joyful than they might have been.

        (MUSIC)

        One was the discovery by Allied troops of the German death camps. Only at the end of the war did most of the world learn that the Nazis had murdered millions of innocent Jews and other people.

        The second fact was that the Pacific War had not ended. Japanese and American forces were still fighting bitterly. The war in the Pacific will be our story next week.

        Our program was written by David Jarmul. You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and pictures at www.squishedblueberries.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember, inviting you to join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

        ___

        This was program #193. For earlier programs, type "Making of a Nation" in quotation marks in the search box at the top of the page.

        1944年6月5日,大批英美盟軍整裝待發,準備對德國占領下的法國發動進攻。這次行動原定一天前進行,但是因為暴風雨天氣被迫推遲。

        6月5號凌晨3點半,盟軍總指揮官艾森豪威爾將軍召集部署開會。此時,屋外暴風雨還在繼續。艾森豪威爾將軍和其他將軍商量,次日是否要采取行動。

        就在這時,有人進來報告說,天氣馬上會出現好轉。大家都把目光轉向艾森豪威爾,聽他最后定奪。艾森豪威爾面色凝重,長時間一言不發,最后說,"好,明天行動!"這就是1944年6月6號的諾曼底登陸,歷史上最大規模的一次軍事進攻行動。

        德軍領導人希特勒知道英美盟軍要發動進攻,但是不知道進攻的準確地點。大多數德國人都以為盟軍會選擇加萊動手,但是他們錯了。艾森豪威爾將軍選擇了英吉利海峽對面的法國諾曼底沿岸發動進攻。

        1944年6月,第二次世界大戰已經打了將近五年。德軍在二戰初期打了很多勝仗,掌握了歐洲大部分地區的控制權。但是1942和1943年間,盟軍逐漸從德軍手中奪回了北非,意大利和俄羅斯的不少土地,由英國、美國、加拿大等國組成的盟軍最終做好了穿過英吉利海峽發動進攻的準備。

        艾森豪威爾將軍當時手下有15萬人和一萬兩千架戰斗機。但最關鍵的是,他打了德軍一個措手不及。進攻開始后,德國將領還是難以相信,英美盟軍真的會選擇諾曼底下手。

        但這確實是真的。6月5號夜晚,數以千計的盟軍士兵空降進入德軍防線之后,盟軍戰機隨后開始對德軍防線投擲炸彈,6月6號早上,數千艘船只帶著士兵和供給物資逼近諾曼底海岸。

        戰斗很快變得激烈血腥。德軍頑強抵抗,他們在地形上占據優勢,可以更好地保護自己,但是盟軍在兵力上占據優勢,逐漸在一片接著一片的海灘上向前推進。

        艾森豪威爾將軍發表講話說:"西歐的人民:今天早晨,盟軍遠征軍在法國的海岸登陸,這次登陸是世界各國為解放歐洲所采取行動的一部分,我要告訴你們,盡管盟軍遠征軍第一個解放的可能不是你的國家,但你們的解放就要來到。所有愛國者,不論男女老少,都能在取得最后勝利中發揮作用"。

        艾森豪威爾將軍還說:"對那些反抗力量,不論你是在本國還有在外國人的領導之下,我要告訴你們,按照你們接到的命令去做。對那些沒有參加有組織反抗的愛國者們,我要說,繼續你們的消極抵抗,但不要讓自己的安全受到威脅,等我們的消息,然后再奮起打擊敵人"。

        盟軍繼續在法國壯大力量。短短一周內,就有近九萬部軍車和60萬士兵抵達,繼續向前推進。希特勒氣急敗壞,對部下歇斯底里地吼叫,指責他們無能,擋不住盟軍的進攻,調遣附近的部隊加入跟盟軍的戰斗,但是都無濟于事。

        八月底,盟軍解放了巴黎。戴高樂將軍率領自由法國部隊進入巴黎市中心時,法國人民熱烈歡呼。盟軍隨后向東進入比利時,占領了安特衛普港口,并因此保證了為部隊輸送供給和燃料的通道暢通無阻。

        直到盟軍試圖進入荷蘭時,才遭到德軍的阻擋。美軍部隊在埃因霍芬和內梅亨兩場戰役中獲得勝利,但是英國的"紅色魔鬼"部隊在阿納姆一戰中敗給了德軍,這場勝利暫時讓盟軍停下了進攻的步伐。但是在不到四個月的時間里,艾森豪威爾將軍和盟軍已經收復了法國的大部分地區。

        與此同時,蘇聯1944年也從東面對德國展開進攻。早些時候,蘇軍已經在斯大林格勒、莫斯科和列寧格勒打退了德軍的攻勢,不斷收復城市和村莊,并進入芬蘭、波蘭和羅馬尼亞。到七月底的時候,蘇軍距離波蘭首都華沙只有15公里了。

        接下來發生了二戰期間最可怕的事件之一。莫斯科電臺呼吁波蘭人奮起反抗德國侵略軍,將近四萬名波蘭地下武裝成員響應號召,對德軍發動襲擊。如果蘇軍出手相助的話,華沙人民原本是能夠戰勝德國侵略軍的,但蘇聯領導人斯大林背叛了波蘭人。他知道,波蘭地下武裝力量對共產主義跟對德國納粹一樣深惡痛絕,他擔心,波蘭地下武裝力量會阻礙自己在波蘭扶持一個親莫斯科的新政府。

        出于這種考慮,斯大林在華沙城外按兵不動,眼看著德國人和波蘭人互相撕殺,波蘭地下武裝最后被迫投降。這次戰斗的真正勝利者其實是蘇聯。德國和波蘭雙方均死傷慘重。蘇聯部隊在波蘭共產黨的幫助下,不費吹灰之力就占領了華沙,二戰結束后,波蘭自由武裝力量已經過于薄弱,無法跟親莫斯科的共產主義政府抗衡了。

        這下希特勒麻煩大了。西面有盟軍進攻,東面蘇軍正穿過波蘭,身邊又有好幾個德軍將領試圖刺殺他,有一次,一枚在會議廳里爆炸的炸彈,讓他險些喪命。

        但是希特勒不肯投降,準備1944年12月出其不意地發動進攻。寒冬臘月,盟軍部隊無法對德軍投擲炸彈,德軍迅速突破了美軍防線。但是好景不長。盟軍周邊部隊立即趕來增援,天氣轉好后,盟軍飛機重新對德軍發起打擊。這場戰役最終于次月中旬以希特勒和德軍戰敗告終。德軍傷亡十萬多人,還損失了不計其數的供給裝備。

        歐洲戰爭已經看到了勝利的曙光。1945年2月底,德軍被迫穿過萊茵河撤退,由巴頓將軍率領的美軍部隊直搗德國腹地。與此同時,蘇聯軍隊也從東面直逼德國,美軍和蘇軍沒用多久就勝利會師,歐洲的戰斗就要結束了。

        直到蘇聯部隊攻入柏林,外面炸彈呼嘯,彈片橫飛時,希特勒才在防空洞里對腦袋開槍,結束了自己的生命,他的好幾個最親密的助手也做出了同樣的選擇。一星期后,德軍向艾森豪威爾將軍和盟軍部隊投降。

        當時的英國首相丘吉爾說,"昨天凌晨兩點41分,在艾森豪威爾將軍的總指揮部,約德爾將軍,代表德國最高統帥部和被指派的德國政府首腦海軍元帥鄧尼茨,簽署了無條件投降書,宣布德國在歐洲大陸的所有陸、海、空部隊同時向盟軍遠征軍和蘇聯最高司令部投降"。

        丘吉爾還說,"一切敵對行動將于5月8號星期二午夜12點零一分正式結束。我們可以加以慶祝,今天是歐洲勝利日,自由萬歲!"

        打敗德國,對英國、美國和其他盟國來說,確實令人歡欣鼓舞,但是卻有兩件事,讓慶祝失去了原本應有的熱烈。一個是盟軍發現了德國的死亡營。直到戰爭結束前夕,國際社會才了解到,德國納粹殺害了數以百萬計的無辜的猶太人和其他人。另一個是,此時,太平洋上的戰爭還在繼續。日本和美國部隊還在激烈地戰斗。

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