Friday, October 15, 1943

The Charlotte News

Friday, October 15, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page discloses that British and American troops of the Fifth Army poured across the Volturno River after a British amphibious force landed on the north side of the river’s mouth. American troops secured the bridgehead northeast of Capua. The Eighth Army advanced five miles northwest of Bonefro to capture Cascalenda.

Costing sixty bombers to the Eighth Air Force, a raid the day before by American Flying Fortresses on Schweinfurt, home to the manufacture of about half of Germany's ball-bearings, met the strongest resistance of the war. At least 104 German fighters were shot down as the dogfights continued throughout the return course. Virtual total destruction of the manufacturing facilities at Schweinfurt was reported.

Brigadier General Curtis LeMay, commenting that the raid had put out of commission fifty percent of the German war effort with a loss of but 600 men, was quoted as saying that the relentless pounding of German targets would, by spring 1944, leave the Wehrmacht, including the Kriegsmarine, and Luftwaffe impotent to fight effectively any further. “The Winter holds no hope for Germany,” said the future Chief of Staff of the Air Force. He placed little stock in Germany’s investment of effort in fighter planes, indicating that when the planes ran out, they would be finished.

General Hap Arnold, Chief of Staff of the Air Forces, indicated that it was believed that at least half of the crewmen lost in the raid were still alive, taken as prisoners.

From the Russian front came the news that the Germans had blown up the Dneiper Dam, the largest dam in Europe, in their retreat from Zaporozhe. The dam had been blown by the Russians themselves in 1941 during their flight before the invading Wehrmacht. The Germans hoped to protect the flight of their troops into the Crimea. The taking of Zaporozhe by the Russians was hailed by some sources as being more important than the defense of Stalingrad in that it permitted a crossing of the Dneiper and a drive along the German inner lines south of the Dneiper and in the Crimea.

On the domestic front, Philip Murray stated that the CIO was categorically opposed to the proposed national sales tax of 10%, that labor would, if the tax were imposed, demand a wage hike to compensate for it.

On the editorial page, "150 Years" marks the October 12 sesquicentennial of the University of North Carolina. The piece lauds the commemorative speech by University president Frank Porter Graham who, while recognizing the anniversary of William R. Davie's founding of the first state university, remembered the many students of the institution who were fighting abroad in the war. He had also insisted that the United States must participate in a post-war organization of nations to insure the future peace.

"The Echoes", while recognizing that Italy's declaration of war on Germany would mean little in the immediate realm, stresses that it nevertheless could have far-reaching psychological effects in other parts of the world. In Brazil and Argentina, where large Italian populations had formerly been cooperating with the German nationals, there might now be chafing between the two groups which could help to topple weak pro-Fascist regimes and cause both countries, especially vacillating Argentina, to enter firmly on the side of the Allies. Following the example of Italy, neutral Turkey might also finally join the Allied cause.

"Of Decisions" remarks on the upcoming conference between representatives of the U.S., Britain, and the Soviet Union and the crucial issues the confreres would consider, issues which the piece predicts would impact not only the present generation but its children as well. The prospective issues included the questions of whether Russia would permit use of Siberian bases, use which FDR had just deemed impracticable, what territory the Russians would seek after the war, in Finland, Eastern Poland, the Baltic States, Yugoslavia, or the Balkans, how much Lend-Lease aid Russia might receive in the future, whether Russia would cooperate with the Allies or go it alone in reconstituting a defeated Germany at war's end, whether the United States would declare war on Russia's enemy Finland, whether the United States and Great Britain would declare war on Spain, fighting with a division alongside the Germans in Russia, whether the U.S. and Great Britain would seek to interfere with nations turning Communist after the war, whether they would cooperate more with labor and liberal forces in occupied nations.

Raymond Clapper examines the same spreading tide toward the Allies which "Echoes" observed, albeit through the lens of Portugal having granted the British use of the Azores. He sees the grant as a major military gain for the Allies, releasing carriers to other duty, formerly tied up protecting Atlantic and Mediterranean sea lanes. The Azores would be more of a base for air traffic than sea traffic. But it also was a major political coup as Portugal stood now as example for other fence-sitting nations such as Argentina and Spain.

Previously, Germany had used Portugal as both a spy base and economic tool. As a large supplier of tungsten, that is wolfram, Portugal had before forced the U.S. to pay 10 to 15 times the world rate because Germans had bid up the price. Now, with Portugal leaning apparently to the Allied cause, such German machinations might be stopped within Portuguese borders.

Drew Pearson points to an additional problem, one home-grown, regarding the failure of the British to tap Persian Gulf oil resources to supply the war effort, instead leaving the Allies reliant on U.S. reserves for three-quarters of the oil coming from one-quarter of the world supply: U.S. oil companies themselves wanted the supply to continue primarily American in order to bolster an argument for higher oil prices. At current levels, incentive was low to engage in exploration or to pump partially depleted wells. Thus far, however, Economic Stabilization chief Fred Vinson had refused to give the okay for higher prices despite House pressure to do so.

And, a piece suggests that man's life is rounded in the end by one commodity, milk.

Thus spake Zarathustra...

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