How Did Clickers Save Lives on D-Day?
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Lauren Vogel bomb here shortly after midnight in the early hours of June sixth, nineteen forty four nearly twenty thousand allied paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines to be the first soldiers on the ground on d day conditions were terrible that cloud, cover, and fog made it nearly impossible to spot their landing targets and the night sky was pierced with Nazi heavy anti aircraft rounds and Steiber fire for those paratroopers, who made it to the ground, many were separated from their units and unsure of their locations alone in enemy-held territory. They had to find their comrades in the fog, blanketed dark without tipping off the enemy good thing. They had their clicker. Hours earlier when boarding the transport aircraft back in England. Members of the United States one hundred and first division were each handed a small metal box that would serve as a low tech emergency communication device by pushing down on the list of the box with the thumb and releasing it made a sharp clicking sound their instructions were simple. If you're on the ground, and here's someone approaching click once two clicks reply means a friend. No, click could be in trouble. Twenty four hours after landing. The paratroopers were told to ditch or hide their clippers allied commanders were worried that the devices would fall into Nazi hands and be used trick allied soldiers into thinking that an approaching fo was friendly, the day clippers were only an action for twenty four hours, but who knows how many lives were saved by the simple, ingenuity. Inspired by the seventy fifth anniversary of the day invasion. This year, the British company that made those original day clicker is on a search and rescue mission of its own of the seven thousand clicker is manufactured by acme whistles during World War, Two less than a dozen have been recovered. Now. The company has launched a worldwide campaign to find the loss. Deta- clicker and learn the stories behind the brave troops, who carried them we spoke with Ben McFarland, the head of sales, and marketing at acme whistles, which still manufactures whistles in the same Birmingham England factory that took a direct hit from Nazi bombers during the war. He says that the few confirmed clippers in circulation are all held by museums and private collectors, acme whistles itself doesn't possess even one of the original clippers, although it sells an exact replica made with the original machine presses just because there have been so few recovered DJ clippers it doesn't mean that there are not more out there. Mcfarland, said it just means that people don't know that they've got them acme was those has been businesses. Eighteen seventy and is responsible for a number of important whistle. Firsts. It's founder Joseph Hudson. Invent? The first police whistle used by the London. Metropolitan police prior to that the Bobby on the beat used a wooden rattle. Hudson. Also invented the very first sports, whistle the original acme thunder before that football referees. That's soccer to Americans in the UK waved, a white handkerchief to get the players. Attention, not quite as effective. But back to the clippers since the clippers were exclusively supplied to the US, one hundred first airborne McFarland, expects that many reside in America either handed down as heirlooms from generation to generation, or in the hands of antiques collectors, who may not know the Geraldo providence of these humble looking boxes, the day, clicker, also known as the acne cricket was originally used by marching band leaders to click out the tempo of piece of music. They're made of brass and are half open rectangular boxes about the size of the top joint of thumb by half open. I mean that one short end in parts of two walls, are busy from the design the remaining short end is labeled with the acme made an England if you think you're in possession of an original day, clicker MacFarlane wants you to. Email him personally at Ben dot McFarland at acme whistles dot CO dot UK. He's already heard from at least one American woman who appears to have the real deal acne was those plans to invite all clicker owners to England take a tour of the factory receiving engraved, commemorative whistle and share the story of the brave paratrooper who carry the clicker into combat on the day. This episode was written by Dave rou and produced by Tyler Clegg, brainstorm is a production of iheartradio's, how stuff works for more in this most of other topics designed to make a very specific ruckus. Visit our home planet has stuff works dot com and for more podcasts from iheartradio. Visit the iheartradio app, apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Hi there. This is Josh Clark, and I am taking my show, the end of the world. With Josh Clark on the road. Live to Minneapolis in DC this June on June nineteenth, I'll be at the Parkway theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota and on the following night June twentieth. I'll be at the miracle theatre in Washington DC, if you've heard the end of the world ten times already, or if you've never heard a second of it, it matters, not because this show, explores themes, covered in the end of the world and also chases down, new avenues, like, how good could things be if we managed to survive the next century or two. So come see me this June nineteenth and twentieth in Minneapolis in DC.