Fighting Through WW2 Podcast


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The stories connected to the story

Great unpublished history!


Bill Cheall fought at Dunkirk, North Africa and Sicily, was in the first wave on Gold Beach on D-Day, and finally went to Germany. Since Bill's WW2 memoirs were published, many former comrades and families have come forward with stories and diaries of their own, all forming part of the jigsaw of Bill's war. The aim of these podcasts is to bring the memories to life and honour the soldiers, airmen and seamen who were connected to Bill in some way.

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Listen to the podcast at www.fightingthroughpodcast.co.uk

Paul Cheall



Friday, 20 December 2019

49 Poetry and Christmas at War

Another helping of soldierly stories wrapped up in rhyme.

We’ve got a poignant verse written to a soldier by his tank comrades whilst he was laid up wounded in a military hospital.

A poem written by German soldier Heinrich to his girlfriend. He never came back from the front but his loving lines have been re-enacted for us by Kessie and Rolf.

And there’s a recce mission for us all to work together on! I’m going to be asking for listeners’ help in locating Nancy, the long lost wife of a soldier killed in action.

News from America where young Savannah has broken all history test records at her school

PS - A great load of heartwarming tales of Christmas at war around the globe.

Plus a bonus interview with Lancaster veteran Claude Reynolds who's just turned 98!

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More great unpublished history!
Second world war

 



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Monday, 11 November 2019

48 Captain H E Hovell - First World War

"We went up the line in the trenches at Vimy Ridge. We prepared our emplacement for a raid by the Canadians, to capture prisoners to gain information for the big attack that was to come. We were to fire gas shells during the early hours, followed by smoke, to give the Canadians cover.

"I was first in line but I had to stop for a few moments to feel for my boot in the mud, empty the mud out, and put it on again. I lost my place so then I was ninth in line. Then Jerry dropped a shell right in front of the line ...

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Sunday, 27 October 2019

47 Through German Eyes Part Two

D-Day Through German Eyes, How the Wehrmacht Lost France by J Trigg.

A reflection on how the war was lost by the Germans and won by the Allies from D-Day onwards.

Please note that some of the narrative in this episode is quite gory, more so than on previous episodes. If you don’t like imagery of blood, body parts and violent death scenes, I recommend you don’t listen on this occasion.

"There was a vast number of ships, absolutely vast. I can tell you that my throat went dry painfully dry, and my hands began to shake. I wasn't the only man to be affected that way, one of the very young lads began to retch as if he was going to be sick. It was the effect of pure fear."

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Richard Freiherr von Rosen's 57-ton Tiger 1 Panzer blown upside down by allied bombing at the start of the Goodwood offensive

 

A Tiger 1 of Schwere SS Panzer Abteilung101 knocked out by British infantrymen of 17 Queens Regiment in in Villers Bocage on 13 June 1944 



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Friday, 18 October 2019

46 Through German Eyes in the Second World War

Stories about the German side of the Second World War.

"There was a vast number of ships, absolutely vast. I can tell you that my throat went dry painfully dry, and my hands began to shake. I wasn't the only man to be affected that way, one of the very young lads began to retch as if he was going to be sick. It was the effect of pure fear."

"For a couple of days the two sides just existed on opposite sides of a meadow with a tense safety. The Germans could hear the Americans sing songs in the evening, and likely vice versa. Then, one morning the engines of the Sherman tanks came to life …"

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Normandy Memorial Trust Appeal - 75 veteran D-Day stories

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German Soldier on the Eastern front in the Second World War. Courtesy The Other Side Archive

German soldier WW2

 Best podcast for World War 2 history and the second world war

 



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Sunday, 1 September 2019

45 Gold Beach Normandy trip WW2

Accounts of my trip to Normandy - including Gold beach and Omaha.

An exclusive preview of the new British Normandy Memorial which is dedicated to the 22,000 British, French and other foreigners killed during the World War two Normandy campaign.

Some excellent D-Day passages from a book I’ve been reading about the D-Day landings, D-Day the Battle for Europe.

"There was little sleep that night. The first squadrons were off in the night."

"There was a pause in the bombing attacks about four in the morning and my son climbed onto the wall to see what was happening. He started shouting, “Mummy, mummy, the sea’s black with boats. I knew that the invasion had started."

"We reached a landing craft and I was in a different world. All the men were wearing campaign ribbons and they were so calm. They were real men, real soldiers and I felt elated to be amongst them."

"I reached the sea wall and leaned against it to regain my breath. Other soldiers were doing the same. That was when I realised that some of our men were missing."

 

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Victoria Second World War re-enactorCrepon Victoria Second World War WW2 re-enacto

 

Crepon statue - Normandy WWII soldier

Crepon statue - Normandy WWII soldier

Attacking the beaches in Normandy - British Normandy Memorial at Ver sur Mer, Gold Beach

Attacking the beaches in Normandy - British Normandy Memorial at Ver sur Mer, Gold Beach

Best podcast for World War 2 history and the second world war



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Sunday, 30 June 2019

44 Sidney Stevens Lancaster Pilot WW2 history

Flt Lt Sidney Stevens was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) during WWII raids bombing industrial Germany in 1943.

"This thing was bumping up and down and sometimes you could lose 600 feet and you'd just drop vertically ...

"I came out of the clouds and the German fighter was there waiting for me ...

DFC citation:
Pilot Officer Sidney George STEVENS (149614),
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 57 Squadron.
This officer has displayed great skill and determination throughout his tour of operations. One night in October, 1943, he piloted an aircraft detailed to attack Leipzig. On the outward flight violent electrical storms were encountered. Although the air speed indicator became useless and other equipment was rendered temporarily unserviceable, Pilot Officer Stevens went on to complete his mission. His persistence in the face of trying circumstances was most praiseworthy.

More great unpublished history - of the Second World War.

 

Links - Not supported by all podcast players:

Normandy Memorial Trust Appeal - 75 veteran D-Day stories

Full show notes and photos here

Legacy of Liberation podcast

Marine Tandy's story of Gold Beach


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Saturday, 1 June 2019

43 Canadian Seaman Ray Fitchett POW and HMS Exeter,

HMS Exeter was sunk in Pacific waters during the second world war. Ray Fitchett made a recording of his tale of survival in Japan – abandoning ship in shark infested waters followed by three years’ captivity as a POW. 

Hear the terrifying tale of how he survived.

"They decided to put some of us down the coal mine but I didn't fancy that. So I went to the tail end of the queue of guys and I thought I'd get a job at the top of the mine".

"If you got lucky you might pick up some orange peel - You couldn’t eat the whole lot but you could scrape the white part out and that was luxury".

More great unpublished history - of the Second World War.

Links - Not supported by all podcast players:

Normandy Memorial Trust Appeal - 75 veteran D-Day stories

Full show notes here

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Twitter page here

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