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Oral history interview with Norman Maynard Clark

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1285.4 | RG Number: RG-50.149.0004

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Norman Maynard Clark describes being a correspondent with the News Chronicle in North Africa from 1941 to 1943; being sent to North Africa in November 1941; being transferred to the front-line at Agedabia, Libya; his escape from the Afrika Korps attack at Benghazi, Libya in January 1942; his arrest by Brigadier John Crystall for mixing with New Zealand other ranks in a Cairo bar on December 24, 1941; his period of inactivity on the Gazala Line from January 1942 to May 1942; why German attack at Bir Hakheim should not have been a surprise; the nature of fighting at The Cauldron; his opinion of Free French stand at Bir Hakheim; his impressions of General Claude Auchinleck; the cooperation he received from army; the preparations for the Battle of El Alamein in 1942; patrolling with the South African armored car squadron in the Qattara Depression; the South African 1st Division; his reaction to the sight of destroyed German tanks at Alam Halfa in September 1942; a briefing received from General Harold Alexander; going west with Axis forces in November 1942; his attitude to life in the desert and the morale of 8th Army; meeting General Montgomery; being a correspondent with the News Chronicle in Italy in 1944; conditions at Monte Cassino in January 1944; covering the Anzio landings in January 1944; first German prisoners at Anzio and the nature of the fighting; Churchill’s attempt to blame war correspondents for rumors of withdrawal at Anzio in February 1944; the attempt of Wynford Vaughan Thomas to record nightingale at Anzio; being a correspondent with the News Chronicle in northwest Europe from 1944 to 1945; landing in Saint-Lô, France with Cornelius Ryan; being the first to enter Mont St Michel; encountering drunken Ernest Hemingway; covering the pursuit of Germans to Le Mans and Falaise Gap; General George Patton’s explanation for why Falaise Gap was not closed and Patton’s opinion of the French forces’ contribution to the pursuit of Germans; entering Paris, France August 1944; the war correspondent’s base at Hotel Scribes; the treatment of collaborators in Paris; Vichy Milice opening fire at Hotel Crion in August 1944; being with American forces on German territory in September 1944; the degree of threat from German forces during the Battle of Bulge in December 1944; the capture of a German senior officer in his staff car in spring 1945; the liberation Ohrdref, Buchenwald, and Edenwald concentration camps; the initial problems upon contact with Russians in May 1945 in Bohemia; meeting with Norman Baillie Stewart in his cell in Altausee, Austria in May 1945; how war correspondents operate; his narrow escape from being killed by a German soldier in Trier, Germany in 1945; his visit to Hitler’s bunker in Berlin, Germany in June 1945; being a correspondent at the Nuremberg War Trials in Nuremberg, Germany from 1945 to 1946; the key role of Maxwell Fyfe as cross examiner; the quality of judges; the impressions made by Albert Speer; the organization of executions; the suicide of Hermann Goering; and the demeanor of Rudolf Hess.

Interviewee
Norman M. Clarke
Date
1991 December 12  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 sound cassettes (90 min.).
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:39:32
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn510812