From the Archive — From the June 2014 issue

Invasion Diary

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Tuesday, June 6. I turned on the radio for the eight a.m. news. The announcer spoke about special warnings which had been broadcast to our Allies in Western Europe. There was even a mention of German reports of Allied invasion barges off the French shore. But I was staying in a hotel in a quiet and comfortable little town between the wild country of Exmoor and the Bristol Channel, and most of the hotel guests were either elderly retired people whose days of struggle were over or people who had been bombed out of their homes and had taken refuge in this peaceful part of the world. Four years ago, night after night, one heard aircraft flying overhead to South Wales and one could see the fires blazing along the northern shore of these narrow waters that stretch up to the ancient port and city of Bristol. But four years is a long time. And escapism is a very contagious disease. So nobody at breakfast had much to say about the news.


From an account published in the August 1944 issue of Harper’s Magazine, several weeks after the Allied landing at Normandy. Bartlett was a British journalist and broadcaster elected to the House of Commons in 1938 on an anti-appeasement platform. His complete diary — along with the magazine’s entire 164-year archive — is available online at harpers.org/fromthearchive.

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