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As it Happened -

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(generated from captions) I've got to somehow turn around here hand jam it right inside the crack, and I've only got a rather a bad and I've got to swing right out. by the look of it. It's quite a hairy looking move is just as demanding Climbing the Old Man of Hoy today and no less dangerous. Yeah, yeah. Rather nice. Nice finish. Very good, that's stunning. Is it? That's all moving, isn't it? I'll come up in a bit. Yeah. Stop there, to find a route to the summit. It took the original team two days taken our guys around five hours. Climbing in their footsteps, it's Awesome. Nice one. Excellent. I'm absolutely stunned. I can't believe you did it, started out this morning. given how miserable it was when you Well, we're pretty surprised too. Yeah, I know. really is. It's a privilege to be up here. It for Chris Bonnington and Co. We have to show respect has enabled us to reach this point. who made the first ascent, which

but really there's not many places We've climbed all over the world

that's for sure. that's as cool as this, Captions (c) SBS Australia 2011 Hundreds more troops to help clean up efforts for the worst. The death toll from floods and MELANCHOLY PIANO MUSIC

not far from the border with Germany, A French school in the Ardennes, on the ninth of May, 1940. for eight months. The Western Front has been quiet neatly as usual, The children line their clogs up and their teacher says to bring back peace." "Today we'll learn a nice song

"Round and round go the puppets..." This will be their last class. On May 10th 1940, at 5:35 a.m., their offensive. the Germans unleashed land in the Netherlands. German paratroops the first of three million invaders. They were the vanguard - into neutral Belgium - The Wehrmacht advanced

the offensive was a repeat of 1914. a ploy to make the Allies believe the Allied Commander-in-Chief, General Gamelin, that he had everything covered. was sure

during the Phoney War. He'd fine-tuned his strategy motorised divisions, Gamelin moved his best into Belgium, the elite of the French army, British Expeditionary Force. along with the entire These were first-rate troops, in Belgium. determined to stop the Germans was gloating. But Hitler, in his headquarters, His ploy had worked. He said "I could weep for joy." head of the Luftwaffe, He instructed Goering, not to attack the French columns - deep inside Belgium. to let them proceed Then he attacked them from the rear. came through the Ardennes. His real offensive The French high command had declared are impenetrable to tanks." "Those rugged forest hills Nothing stopped them...

except their own traffic jams. Belgium and Luxembourg, In the Netherlands, car owners were the first to flee. of "fifth columnists" - There was widespread fear for the Nazis. spies said to be working the German pressure on Belgium. Airborne troops kept up GERMAN MILITARY SONG from the Polish campaign: They belted out a song comrades! It's time to go!" "The girls will have to wait, SONG CONTINUES, GUNFIRE they were dropped into Belgium. At daybreak on the 11th of May, Their mission: of the Belgian defences, to neutralise the strongest point Fort Eben-Emael on the Albert Canal - said to be impregnable. hoists himself and a set of charges A daring German soldier onto a pillbox roof. After the assault, the ruins of the key to Belgium. the conquerors stride through

made the Wehrmacht seem invincible. Pictures like these After the fall of Fort Eben-Emael, the last trains to Paris. Belgians scrambled to catch MOURNFUL MUSIC at the Gare du Nord was swamped. In Paris, the Red Cross to cattle cars heading south. Belgian refugees were transferred as the Germans entered Liege. Panic mounted Faced with overwhelming force, or flee. the only choice was to obey - CANNONADE

SAD PIANO MUSIC CHILD CRIES they're country people. These aren't refugees from the city - always been the last to flee, All through history, farmers have to abandon their animals. In the words of Emile Verhaeren, of the 19th century: the great Flemish poet have nothing at all. "The people around here but the endlessness of the open road. "Nothing before them The people around here, "The people who work the fields, "Have only endless misfortune." CANNONADE

ahead of the advancing troops. The Luftwaffe swept in airfields, It destroyed key crossroads, and eastern France were bombed. The cities of northern BOMB FALLS the reality of modern warfare. The French now confronted

the port of Rotterdam was ablaze In the Netherlands, like the one that devastated Warsaw. after a terror-bombing after the city had surrendered. But Rotterdam was hit This bombing too horrified the world. along with the Dutch government, Queen Wilhelmina left for London Juliana, her daughter the future Queen, two-year-old daughter Beatrix, Prince Bernhard, and their also a future queen.

had taken over. In London, Winston Churchill the vital role of France He had long emphasised in the prosecution of the war. I will say without a doubt that the fate of Holland and Belgium Czechoslovakia and Austria like that of Poland, the victory of the British Empire will be decided by and the French Republic. the situation was now grave. But in France, had swept through the Ardennes In just three days, the Germans on the River Meuse. to threaten the French defensive line They were closing the net, the Allied troops massed in Belgium. beginning to encircle

swept the French aside The German infantry like invaders from another world. With their hand grenades... and their sleeves rolled up, machine guns, they took the town in one day. Sedan, the key to the Ardennes, was already the scene of the French defeat in 1870. The real obstacle for the Germans was the River Meuse. brought up beams to build bridges. On the night of May 13th, they The French shelled the engineers. But the Germans neutralised the French artillery, and the next morning their sappers finished the bridge with their general urging them on. Heinz Guderian, a 42-year-old Prussian, was a pioneer of the blitzkrieg: the use of tanks to strike with force, daring and speed, giving the enemy no time to react. First the tanks, followed by infantry, and backed by aircraft, especially by the Stuka dive bomber. Ignoring the intense pressures of the dive, their pilots released their bombs at the last minute, with lethal precision. The French premier, Paul Reynaud, telephoned Churchill: "The front is broken, the road to Paris is open." The French generals were at a loss, unable to react. With the Allied armies committed in Belgium, what could they do to stop the German advance? In Paris, the authorities were swamped by the ever-increasing number of refugees from Belgium and northern France. Schools, hospitals and barracks were full to overflowing. For them, a life in exile had begun. Since the northern railways were cut off, most of these people had come on foot. To leave again, they had to have a new pair of shoes. With information scarce, rumours abounded. Some said that General Gamelin had committed suicide. That wasn't true. But it was true that the Germans were heading, not for Paris, but for the coast. Charles de Gaulle distinguished himself at the head of a French armoured division. The French army had more tanks than the Germans. But the French armour wasn't massed, and it lacked air support. for the Stukas. The tank crews put up a good fight, but they all kept asking: "Why isn't the air force protecting us?" Outnumbered three to one, and poorly led, French pilots nonetheless fought courageously. 1000 German aircrew were shot down and taken prisoner. The British government repeatedly asked its French ally to allow these crews to be sent to POW camps in Canada. But the French government refused - a terrible mistake, for after the fall of France, they had to be returned to Germany, where they rejoined the war. OMINOUS MUSIC The German tanks moved swiftly through the towns and villages of northern France. The French tried valiantly to slow the German advance. The Germans crushed any pockets of resistance. French commanders had lost track of where the Germans were. A staff officer, Captain Beaufre, recalled: "We kept receiving more and more bad news. "The mood was unbelievable. "We were worn down by eight days in a row of catastrophic reports. that I saw a man cry." "That was also the first time reached the English Channel. On the 20th of May, the Germans Von Manstein's "cut of the sickle" had worked. The British Expeditionary Force, the Belgian army and the French army were trapped. The King of Belgium surrendered, along with his army. Without warning, the British Expeditionary Force withdrew to the coast, leading to the final collapse of the Allied coalition. In Paris, the French premier, Paul Reynaud, dismissed Gamelin and turned to a new saviour: General Weygand, 72, one of the architects of the Allied victory in 1918. Reynaud named another World War I hero as vice-premier: 84-year-old Marshal Petain, who would soon turn his back on Reynaud's policy. Weygand had no choice. He too was forced to order a full retreat towards Dunkirk.

Hitler let them go. Still hoping for a separate peace with Britain, he was willing to spare the British army.

And Goering had assured him that the Luftwaffe was capable of preventing any evacuation. The 400,000 men crammed on the beach had one last hope: to escape by sea. Churchill called for any vessel that could float to cross the Channel and pick them up. Destroyers, minesweepers, trawlers, tugboats, barges, yachts, even the Thames fire boat: all of them set off across the Channel

to rescue the men on the beaches,

including one major-general by the name of Montgomery. On the outskirts of Dunkirk, the French held the Germans back, at the price of heavy casualties. Goering sent the Luftwaffe to attack the ships. 215,000 British and 120,000 French troops were successfully brought off. The British army was saved. But it was in tatters. SAD MUSIC The French were sent back to Brittany in a final attempt to defend their country. The deliverance of the British army was hailed as the "Miracle of Dunkirk". But Churchill put it into perspective. He told the House of Commons "Wars are not won by evacuations." Even so, it was in those first days of June 1940 that the "Dunkirk spirit" was born. The ruthlessness and destructive power of the Nazi enemy were now clear to everyone. The whole nation had to be mobilised. On the fourth of June, Churchill, battling defeatists on his own side, made one of his most famous and defiant speeches: We shall fight on the beaches, on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. WOMAN: Switch computers and other equipment off when you're not using them at work and home to lower power bills and reduce carbon pollution. Visit: On very day of Churchill's speech, the Germans took Dunkirk. A propaganda bonanza awaited them. The British had left behind almost all of their equipment. DARK MUSIC The beach was strewn with wreckage: an RAF Spitfire and the skeleton of a French destroyer, L'Adroit, completely demolished, like her sister destroyers Jaguar and Sirocco. The German soldiers filmed themselves in high spirits. They found a French gramophone with a famous recording by Maurice Chevalier: SPIRITED SONG 'Ca fait d'excellents francais' D'excellents Francais, D'excellents soldats, Qui marchent au pas.

En pensant que la Republique, C'est encore le meilleur regime ici bas. Et tous ces gaillards, Qui pour la plupart,

N'etaient pas du meme avis en politique, Les v'la tous d'accord, Quel que soit leur sort, Ils desirent tous desormais, Qu'on nous foute une bonne fois la paix! Hitler proclaimed "Dunkirk has fallen, "and with it has ended the greatest battle of world history." ALL CHANT: Zig Heil! Zig Heil! Zig Heil! The Germans filmed their prisoners: 80,000 French soldiers who were left behind to defend Dunkirk. They would have preferred to be evacuated with the others. There would be bitter feelings for a long time. But Churchill wrote in his memoirs "These Frenchmen for four critical days "contained no less than seven German divisions. "This was a splendid contribution to the escape "of their more fortunate comrades and the BEF." Without their sacrifice, Britain could not have continued the war. Despite their success, the Germans also suffered many losses. Guderian let his soldiers take a break. They were proud of their general and marked their equipment with his initial, G. Most of them were drunk with fatigue. After fighting non-stop night and day, they hadn't really slept for four weeks. ENGINES ROAR The offensive continued. France was collapsing. But Reynaud and de Gaulle, now a general and undersecretary of state for war, wanted to go on fighting. In Rome, the Italian dictator Mussolini, "il Duce", had a big announcement. Mussolini was dreaming of his share of the spoils

Corsica, Nice, Savoy, Tunisia, Malta. "A stab in the back" the French called it. French Alpine troops soon halted Mussolini's offensive. In the north, General Rommel's troops stormed Normandy and took Rouen. Paris was declared an "open city". In order to be spared the fate of Warsaw and Rotterdam, it was turned over to the enemy without a fight.

As the Germans approached, the French government moved to Bordeaux. Rumours flew: "The Germans are killing, raping, like the Prussians in 1870."

Parisians fled the city. The whole region took to the roads in what was dubbed "the Exodus". Six million French men and women made for the River Loire, the last line of defence. But there was no defence against the Stukas. BOMBERS HOWL At daybreak on the 14th of June, the Germans entered Paris. DARK DRUMBEAT They raised the swastika over the Eiffel Tower. DRAMATIC MUSIC And they rushed to seize the records of the abandoned ministries. They compiled lists of spies, of Jews, of Freemasons, and even discovered the original copy of the Treaty of Versailles that had so humiliated Germany in 1919. It was sent off at once to Hitler.

The Exodus soon came to a halt. The bridges over the Loire had been destroyed. The only hope now was that the fighting would stop.

Petain, in Bordeaux, also wanted to end the fighting. The Germans continued their relentless push to the south. The French army, considered the best in the world until the 10th of May, was now in a shambles. And yet it had put up more of a fight than appeared at the time. In one month, 100,000 French soldiers had been killed, more than in any month during World War I, the deadliest of all previous wars. 1,850,000 French soldiers were taken prisoner, along with 36,000 officers and 176 generals. Among the prisoners, there were many African soldiers from French colonies. Amateur filmmakers in the Wehrmacht took pleasure in portraying them as savages. For instance, these hungry soldiers slaughtering a goat. Official German propaganda preferred repeated close-ups of their faces. It aimed to portray the French as a degenerate race, forced to depend on their slaves to do their fighting for them. The original German narration is revealing. 3,000 African soldiers and officers were shot and killed after they were captured. Racism was rampant in the Wehrmacht of Nazi indoctrination. after seven years The fate of France was now determined by three decisive dates. On the 16th of June, the Council of Ministers in Bordeaux forced Paul Reynaud to resign. To succeed Reynaud, the French president appointed the hero of Verdun in the First World War, Philippe Petain. The Place de la Bastille, in the centre of Paris. Those who had remained in the city heard Marshal Petain's announcement that he was seeking an armistice. German radio translated Petain's speech: Some French homes were also able to pick up the BBC. General de Gaulle had arrived in London. On the 18th of June, he denounced the armistice. A few days later, he recorded a new speech. Hitler received a telegram of congratulations from Stalin. PULSATING DRUMBEAT On the 22nd of June, Hitler travelled to Compiegne, near Paris. for the armistice ceremony. To humiliate the French, he had arranged for the armistice to be signed in a special railway carriage: the very same carriage that had been used in 1918

for signing the Armistice that sealed Germany's defeat. His revenge was complete. ANTHEM PLAYED The French delegation was led by General Huntziger. The ceremony began with an interpreter reading out a diatribe that accused France of declaring war for no reason. Hitler didn't utter a single world. He stood up and left. The French delegates had been informed of the terms of the armistice. One of them was unacceptable: to hand over all the anti-Nazi Germans who'd taken refuge in France. Huntziger tried to negotiate. The Germans refused. Huntziger called the government in Bordeaux. German agents recorded his conversation with Weygand. Afterwards, Hitler had the carriage taken to Berlin. In the final days of the Third Reich, he had the SS blow it bits. Over the next six weeks, all the major symbols of France's victory in World War I were desecrated. In Verdun, 500,000 French soldiers had died, only for the town to come to this 20 years later. Hitler jeered as he visited his men who had just taken the Maginot Line.

He was more solemn when he visited Strasbourg and its cathedral.

Alsace and Lorraine were German once again,

as he had promised they would be in Mein Kampf. The spoils of the French campaign: 2000 tanks, 5000 cannon,

300,000 rifles, 4 million rounds of ammunition.

In a Paris warehouse, the Wehrmacht found a stock of longjohns meant for the French army... warm woollen garments that were stored away for future campaigns. The whole of France was booty: its factories, harbours, all its riches.

It was the French who had declared war: in consequence, they had to pay the equivalent of a 150 million dollars a day in compensation. General Huntziger went to Germany for the first meeting of the commission that would apply the terms of the armistice. To save on manpower, Hitler decided to allow France to retain partial sovereignty. It would have a limited army, with no heavy weapons, just to maintain order. France was split in two: the north and the Atlantic coast, with all its harbours, was occupied by Germany; Italy controlled the Mediterranean area and occupied a narrow ribbon along the Alps; and the rest was called the "free zone" with a new capital, Vichy. The spa town of Vichy had been chosen for its many hotels. In early July, along with the government ministries. The mood in the town was bleak. However, this Vichy government still controlled a vast colonial empire, and above all a still-powerful navy. Hitler had only required that its ships should be disarmed and remain in their home ports in case they defected to Britain. Churchill feared the opposite that the French fleet would fall into German hands. He ordered the Royal Navy to neutralise it. So a British squadron sailed to one of France's biggest naval bases, Mers-el-Kebir in Algeria. Churchill was taking no risks. He delivered an ultimatum "Join us, scuttle yourselves, or leave for the West Indies." The Vichy government was only informed of the first two points, and refused. The British squadron opened fire. Two French battleships, two cruisers and a destroyer were sunk. 1200 French sailors were killed. Seeking to prove his determination to his own people, to the world, and above all to the United States, Churchill had delivered a shattering blow to his former ally - whose fleet could have helped the Germans invade Britain. In Vichy, ministers wanted to reply by declaring war. Petain disagreed, saying "One defeat is enough." CHEERS All of Germany acclaimed Hitler.

His lightning conquests had his generals in thrall. No one had dared contradict Napoleon at the peak of his power, and now no one dared to contradict Hitler. The Germans occupied the Channel Islands Jersey and Guernsey. A stepping-stone to the invasion of Britain itself. But Hitler stayed his hand. He saw the British as "Anglo-Saxons", racial cousins of Germany. An alliance with them was conceivable. Europe would be German; the ocean could be British. He thought that only Churchill stood in the way. Painting over place-names and taking signs down might not seem much of a defence against invasion. But it was rumoured that road signs and Michelin maps had helped the Germans win the Battle of France. Thousands of city children were evacuated to the relative safety of the countryside. MELANCHOLY PIANO MUSIC Their elder sisters, mothers and grandmothers joined the Home Guard. The Home Guard, or Local Defence Volunteers, were pledged to defend their own home towns. Song: Land of Hope and Glory Many members of the Home Guard were veterans of the First World War or even of the Boer War. Anyone willing and able was mobilised while the British Army licked its wounds. All over the country, there were exercises against the day of invasion. On the 11th of June Churchill told the House of Commons What General Weygand has called the Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin. and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, this was their finest hour. Britain was not without resources. It had the world's most advanced fighter plane, the Spitfire, with its Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. It also had radar - a British invention. In RAF Operations Rooms, radar was used to detect enemy aircraft and guide fighter-pilots towards them. Britain could also count on volunteers from all over the British Empire, and a host of servicemen from German-occupied countries. Some - the Czechoslovaks, Belgians, Poles, Dutch - had governments-in-exile in London. And there were quite a few Americans. Their country may have been neutral, but they were not. And there were the first Free French Forces, along with de Gaulle. British pilots had often been at Oxford or Cambridge. One of them, Richard Hillary, wrote in his book The Last Enemy: "The press referred to us as the Lost Generation,

"and we were not displeased. "The war gave us the opportunity

"to prove to ourselves and to the world "that our effete veneer was not as deep "as our dislike of interference, "that undisciplined though we might be, "we were a match for Hitler's dogma-fed youth." These German airmen were trained in the Hitler Youth, and indoctrinated with the idea of revenge. They believed they were the elite. Their leader, Goering, was the regime's most popular figure. A man of luxurious tastes, Goering had set up his campaign headquarters in the Paris Ritz. He had promised Hitler that he needed only five days to obliterate the Royal Air Force and open the way for the Wehrmacht to invade Britain. The Luftwaffe had some big advantages. It had all the French airfields, with their installations and equipment. Its pilots were well-trained. Like Adolf Galland, with his trademark cigar, who had fought against the Republicans in Spain. Or Werner Molders, an ace from the Battle of France. He was one of the pilots who had been shot down, taken prisoner and then returned to the Germans. He led a Luftwaffe fighter wing in the Battle of Britain. Taking off from airfields in occupied France, the Germans attacked Channel convoys, harbours...

and airfields in southern England. They shot down over 1000 British aircraft but they lost almost 1600. The RAF pilots held out. They gave everything they had. Churchill said Never in the field of human conflict to so few. was so much owed by so many to postpone the invasion. Hitler decided This was his first real setback. He decided to change his tactics. He said their cities have been destroyed." "The British will surrender when from daylight raids on airfields German bombers switched to night raids on British cities. there was an air raid on London. Every night of the Blitz, Coventry was devastated. a fatal miscalculation by Hitler, But this change of targets was had been at breaking point. because the RAF The cities suffered, but the change of targets relieved the pressure on the RAF. SOMBRE MUSIC The British people endured it all. They dug shelters in their back gardens. They slept in the Underground and went to work the next day. They never lost their confidence or their sense of humour. Churchill broadcast to the French # Roll out the barrel, # we'll have a barrel of fun. # DARK MUSIC

Hitler was exasperated. Looking back in 1945, "a Jew-ridden, half-American drunkard". And it was on the Jews that he vented his spite. the day of Yom Kippur, On the 12th of October, 1940, was built to seal it off. A three-metre wall DARK DRAMATIC MUSIC would hold almost 500,000 Jews - By 1941, the Warsaw Ghetto men, women, children, and old people. hunger, and disease. They suffered terribly from poverty, his chalet in the Bavarian Alps, Hitler returned to the Berghof, for the Christmas of 1940. His mistress Eva Braun filmed him of Nazi dignitaries. surrounded by the children up his sleeve, another big gamble. Hitler had another plan fresh "living space" in the East. His mission now was to conquer He had allied himself with Stalin the better to attack him later on. compelled him to move quickly, His failure to take Britain on America to enter the war. before Churchill could prevail The greatest shock of the war was still to come. DRAMATIC MUSIC Captions (c) SBS Australia 2011

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