Monday, October 18, 1943

The Charlotte News

Monday, October 18, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Fifth Army had driven well beyond the northern side of the Volturno River, taking the towns of Cancello, Ruviano, and Nerrone.

Fires in the rear of the German lines indicated the prospect of a general evacuation of the area by the Germans between the Allied lines and Rome.

The Eighth Army entered the town of Montecilfone, ten miles southwest of Termoli on the Adriatic coast, encountering strong German resistance.

General Hap Arnold, Chief of Staff of the Army Air Force, dismissed the loss of 60 bombers during the mission to bomb Schweinfurt, Germany the previous week as "incidental". While providing the caveat that the war was by no means won or soon would be, he stated that the Allies had obtained the "upper hand" in every theater of the war.

Senator Downey of California predicted from the Senate floor the collapse of the Nazi government by February 1, provided that American and British bombers could fly ten large missions per month over Germany in the meantime, resulting, he said, in the virtual elimination of the Luftwaffe and the supplies to the Wehrmacht. He urged therefore that the Army not induct the planned million additional men by April 1, that these men would be of no benefit for 15, 18, or 24 months. The nine billion dollars spent to train them would be better spent in building bombers and fighter planes.

For the first time since October 9, Allied aircraft attacked Berlin the previous night, this time, as on the previous occasion, by RAF Mosquitos. The raiders returned without a single loss.

On the Russian front, the Red Army had crossed the Dneiper River at two points, one in the Dneiper bend within the Kremenchug sector behind Dnepropetrovsk, the other to the north of Kiev in the Gomel sector after the capture of Loev. Both drives threatened Kiev. The two additional bridgeheads of the Soviets made four crossings in all of the Dneiper.

On the Pacific front, an air victory was reported from Friday over Oro Bay on New Guinea, in which as many as 57 Japanese planes out of 62 in the air were shot down without a loss by the Allied fliers.

Hal Boyle tells of the critical importance of maps to each Allied operation. In Tunisia, the early mapping was unreliable as it was based on often out of date French cartography, omitting many features of the landscape. The mapping of Italy, by contrast, had begun weeks or even months in advance and was performed by Army airplanes, utilizing sterio-comparagraphs and multiplex machines to provide three-dimensional imagery.

A report indicates that foreign workers within Germany were becoming an increasing worry to the Reich, prompting Heinrich Himmler to ask Hitler to get rid of the Italian and French laborers before they stirred up too much trouble from within. Foreign farm workers were being segregated from the farm after work hours as they had been infecting farmers with anti-Nazi ideas.

The troubling workers included not only the French and Italians, but also workers from the Balkans, Poland, and Russia. Sabotage, attributed to the workers, was dramatically on the rise in Germany.

On the domestic front, the National Association of Manufacturers stated its favor for a national sales tax rather than an increased withholding tax.

In other words, at a time when big business was making money hand over fist from the war, the tax burden should be borne by ordinary citizens buying goods, not wealthy corporations.

On the editorial page, "Super-Fortress" takes a peek at the new B-29 which had been slowly unveiled by the Army in duty over Germany. It had been dubbed the "Aerial Dragon" by the Germans and was reputed not to carry bombs but rather to be essentially a large fighter plane with a bomberís range.

In fact, it was a bomber capable of carrying 20,000 lb. payloads, with a range of 3,250 miles and a cruising speed of 220 mph at an altitude of 33,000 feet.

That compared to a cruising speed for a B-17 of 182 mph, flying at an altitude over 35,000 feet, with a range of 2,000 miles, carrying only up to 17,600 lbs. of bombs, typically carrying on long missions no more than 4,000 lbs.

It would be a B-29 on August 6, 1945 which would drop the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima.

"Uncle Sam" favors increased Federal supervision and support of the national school system. The editorial presents excerpts of a debate between Senator Taft from Ohio, suggesting that increased Federal supervision would lead inexorably to forced integration of schools in the South with all the complexities associated with it, and Senator Thomas of Utah, finding Senator Taft's objection specious, that he actually made the argument for the bill as it would leave entirely to the states the matter of how each legislated its school system. The object was to improve the quality of schools, not to dictate the way in which schools operated the several states.

The editorial finds the exchange emblematic of the states' rights debate popular with Southern governors who flailed against Federal oversight. The piece refuses to join them, recognizing the poor state of Southern education and its consequent need for Federal support, the sine qua non for improvement.

"No Bargain" expresses hope that the AFL would not absorb into its membership the recalcitrant UMW and its leader John L. Lewis and thereby taint its otherwise positive image with the public.

Raymond Clapper hopes that Wendell Willkie could lead Republicans away from their isolationist tendencies of the past. He also hopes that, on the domestic front, both Mr. Willkie and the President would begin to address an issue neither had yet broached, the question of the potential for high unemployment after the war as war industries shut down.

It was resolved eventually, by the armaments manufacture made necessary by the beginning of the Cold War.

Samuel Grafton finds that the people of Italy had directed matters to the exclusion of the King and Badoglio, that the two leaders of the country were only titularly so, that the real power was with the people, and so there should be no cry of Darlanism from Allied support for the Badoglio Government.

He remarks also of the error in attitude of the isolationist press in America toward the Italian people, just two months earlier accusing the demonstrators in Northern Italy of radicalism and in danger of bringing Italy under the Communist banner, that Badoglio and the King offered the best assurance of preventing such a revolution. Now, these same radicals were getting most of their demands met by the Badoglio Government: joinder with all of the Allies, including Russia, now having entered a pact of mutual recognition with the Badoglio government, a declaration of war on Germany, and slow recognition of democratic rights.

Drew Pearson indicates that those in the know in diplomatic circles were predicting that the upcoming Foreign Ministers Conference in Moscow between representatives of the U.S., Great Britain, and Russia would likely determine whether twenty years hence America might have to fight in another war against either Germany or both Germany and Russia combined.

Russia was demanding, as it had since early 1942, the three Baltic States, a part of Finland, the Eastern half of Poland, all of Bessarabia and half of Bukovina in the Balkans, and a mutual treaty between Turkey, Britain and Russia to enable each to guard the Bosphorous Strait. Britain had stood ready in early 1942 to grant these concessions, but the U.S. had balked.

Mr. Pearson foresaw that FDR would offer a tripartite mutual protection treaty between the Russians, the U.S., and Great Britain. He would argue that in the age of the fast airplane, a hundred-mile strip of Poland would offer no real protection for the U.S.S.R. and carry with it the considerable detriment of stirring anti-Soviet sentiment among Poles living in the United States, that greater security would derive from the mutual protection pact.

In 1942, such a pact was refused by FDR but times had changed. Then Russia had its back to the wall and was seeking direct military help from the U.S. to fight the Germans in Russia. Now, the situation was reversed. And Russia held the balance of power in Europe within its grip. It occupied the position once enjoyed by Britain, made secure from attack by the English Channel. But with the coming of air power, the Channel no longer presented the formidable obstacle it once did. The Russians, however, had proved that their vast steppes and the determination of their people could withstand the onslaught of the Wehrmacht, once the most powerful army ever assembled in the history of the world.

Russia had turned the captured German officers after the Battle of Stalingrad into a Russian-friendly "Officers' Corps", favoring the ouster of Hitler and a pro-Russian post-war government within Germany.

Mr. Pearson suggests that the United States, with its demonstrably protected shores, could also play the balance-of-power game but for the desire to maintain post-war alliance with Great Britain. Russia stood little to gain from a treaty with Great Britain. Yet, from a treaty with the powerful United States, Russia had much to gain. Thus, the tripartite pact might prove successful.

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