Veteran Stories:
Peter Stursburg

Army

  • War correspondent Peter Stursberg of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation recording a radio broadcast, Potenza, Italy, 22 September 1943.

    Capt. Frank Royal / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-145343 Restrictions on use: Nil Copyright: Expired
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"I suppose the first war that had been actually covered by war correspondents. And, I think that it's the first time in any war that we recorded the sound of battle."

Transcript

Peter Stursburg, war correspondent.

I think that the big difference is that we didn't really have tape. We had to make recordings on discs and this meant that we had to be careful because the needle jumps on the disc and, and there's your recording gone. So we had to be very careful where we set up. If we were wanting to record guns we had to set up fairly close to them, but not too close that there would be, that the needle would be disturbed.

And that was the only real thing about recording on a disc. It was much easier to record on a tape machine. You could really walk around with a tape machine and still record.

We were censored pretty well everywhere. And I remember the time, when we really knew about it, was when we entered Rome [in September 1943]. And I remember the war correspondents – there were quite a number of them – got together and a lot of them wanted to be the first into Rome. But they said, “No, we're going as one body into Rome.” So that's what they did and it worked out well.

I went down into Hitler's bunker and it was very close to the Chancellery,* which was in Berlin, of course. And I have Hitler's spoon and fork. There were a lot of spoons and forks, which I thought were kitchenware because they were practically black. And when I got back, I cleaned them, and they turned out to be silver, with “AH” on one side.

I suppose the first war that had been actually covered by war correspondents. And, I think that it's the first time in any war that we recorded the sound of battle.

*Residence and headquarters of the Reich’s Chancellor

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