Nachrichten fur die Truppe
Dropped from the air, 'Nachrichten fur die Truppe' (News for the Troops) was the first Allied daily newspaper aimed - literally - at the German forces. In anticipation of the Allied Invasion, it had been the inspiration of Sefton Delmer who superintended the editorial content, wrote much of the material and inspired the staff. As an Anglo American venture, the American editors and newswriters came under Delmers's control and they had been brought to England through the efforts of John Elliot. He 'raided' advertising agencies, newspaper, magazine and broadcast offices across America for suitable
talent and the combined team worked in pre-fab huts, speedily erected in the Milton Bryan compound. Every night they put the paper together from the news and talks of the radio programme 'Soldatensender', which they sub-edited and rewrote for print. Under the supervision of Harold Keeble (later the features editor of the Daily Mirror Group) the layout of Nachrichten was made at Marylands, near Woburn and with illustrations the paper brought updated news of the war to the German troops, who otherwise had only access to a carefully censored version, supplied by their own authorities. For added interest and appeal, Nachrichten also featured sports results and even
pin ups! The whole operation was begun in early March, 1944 and after many experiments a test issue was made for the Luton News (Home Counties Newspapers) to print in April. Consisting of two 13 inch by 9 inch pages, the first edition appeared on April 25th. and after being tied into convenient bales on the publishing bench, these were then transported the 2 or 3 miles to the associate firm of Gibbs and Bamforth, also based in Luton. There, having been 'knocked up' by female labour, the next stage involved two guillotines. The first cut off the fold and the second then divided the two copies. These were taken and loaded into leaflet bombs, awaiting transportation by men of the Night Leaflet Squadron to the relevant airfield, for dissemination that night. The initial run totalled 200,000 single sheet copies and very soon daily production would reach one million copies until the last issue, no. 381, rolled off the press on the day of the German surrender, May 7th., 1945. At a celebratory party given by Harold Keeble, in the Maryland's print shop, John Gibbs of the Luton News then entered the festivities clad in a suit printed with Nachrichten front pages! In total 159,898,973 copies of the newspaper were produced.
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