5 Little Known Facts About World War II
The history of World War II is well documented and much more is known about this conflict than any other in history due to the amount of surviving documents and, of course, living testimony. However with such a wealth of information, many of the interesting events and facts about the war are all but forgotten, here are a few examples.
The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) was the most listened to radio station in the world during the war. The news in particular had a reputation for its honesty about world events and millions of people throughout Nazi occupied Europe tuned in at great risk to themselves.
At the beginning of certain programs, the BBC would put in what were known as ‘message personnels’, which were coded messages to resistance groups throughout Europe. To most listeners, the messages meant nothing but to the informed few, they could mean anything from ‘blow up a section of railway line’ at a given point, to ‘a new SOE agent will arrive shortly’.
The most awaited secret message by the BBC came with the approach of D-Day and was from the first two lines of a Paul Verlaine couplet. “The long sobs of the violins of Autumn” was the first and told resistance groups to prepare, soon after, the second, “Soothes my heart with a monotonous languor”, told all resistance groups in France that the time to fight had come.