January 7, 1940: the BBC Forces Programme is launched

The BBC Forces Programme was a BBC radio station which operated from January 7, 1940 until February 26, 1944.

Upon the outbreak of World War II, the BBC closed the existing BBC National Programme and BBC Regional Programme, combining the two to form a single channel known as the BBC Home Service.

Domestically, the BBC’s medium-wave transmitters continued to broadcast only the Home Service until the start of 1940, when – the lack of choice and of lighter programming for people serving in the Armed Forces having been noted – some of the former regional frequencies (804 and 877 kHz) were given over to a new service known as the BBC Forces Programme.

The BBC Forces Programme was replaced when the influx of American soldiers, used to a different style of entertainment programming, had to be catered for in the run up to D-Day. The replacement service was named the BBC General Forces Programme and was also broadcast on the shortwave frequencies of the BBC Overseas Service (which itself had been known until 1939 as the BBC Empire Service and was relaunched again in 1965 as the BBC World Service).

After VE-Day, the frequencies of the former National Programme (200 and 1149 kHz) were taken over by the new BBC Light Programme.

[Wikipedia]

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