Friday, November 5, 1943

The Charlotte News

Friday, November 5, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the fall of Venafro appeared imminent with penetration to its outskirts by American troops, as the Eighth and Fifth armies advanced behind the fallen Massico-Trigno defense line of the Germans. The fall of Venafro would cut off completely the German line from its supply bases as Venafro was the other Massico line highway hub along with Isernia, taken by the Eighth Army the previous day. The Fifth Army had penetrated to the vicinity of the Garigliano River, 80 miles south of Rome, deliberately flooded by the Nazis with the blowing of dams and breaching of irrigation sluices to delay its fording.

The Eighth Army finally completed the capture of San Salvo after days of fierce fighting there. Taking advantage of the severed supply lines to the Germans by the capture of Isernia, General Montgomery’s troops made several further crossings of the Trigno in the vicinity of Montemitro, where the heaviest fighting of the previous day was taking place.

Russian communiqués claimed that the Soviets now had reclaimed from the Nazis all of the territory east of the Dneiper, along its entire course from Gomel in the north to its mouth at Kherson. In the process of retaking it, the Russians claimed to have inflicted 2.7 million casualties on the Germans, including 900,000 killed and 1.7 million wounded. The total German casualties for the war was fixed at eleven million, of whom five million were said to have been killed.

"Swift sweeps over the Black Sea sands of the southern Ukraine brought the Cossacks to the river banks opposite Kherson, 65 miles northwest of the sealed off Crimea."

From the Pacific, a spokesman for Admiral Halsey indicated that many naval battles lay ahead in the area between Rabaul and Bougainville as the Japanese sought to continue to supply the garrisoned troops on Bougainville, numbering between thirty and forty thousand.

Further details were provided on the engagement in the area Tuesday, indicating that the American force intercepted the Japanese force moving southeast from Rabaul, headed for Empress Augusta Bay, where the Marines had landed Monday. The Japanese task force turned back when it spotted the pursuing American force, but the American ships were able to flank the Japanese positions on a perpendicular line enabling them to fire broadside of the enemy ships.

A vote appeared imminent in the Senate on the Connally Resolution, expected to pass. Senator Walsh of Massachusetts declared his support for the Resolution, with the reservation that it was an offer, not a commitment, to international cooperation and little more than a well-meaning generalization which, at the end of the day, accomplished little.

The Moscow agreement of the previous week between the U.S., Britain, Russia, and China appeared to hasten discussions within Turkey of abandoning its position of neutrality and committing to the Allies. A conference was about to begin in Cairo between British Foreign Minister Sir Anthony Eden and the Turkish foreign minister. Important to Turkey were the intentions of Russia with respect to the Black Sea and the Balkans. The Allies were seeking bases of operation within Turkey and use of the Dardanelles to facilitate shipping and naval operations from the Mediterranean into the Black Sea, the back door to the Balkans and to the fighting front in Russia.

Hal Boyle takes a gander at the fate of long-distance romance, imperiled in many cases by time spent on the front lines, especially where it had been initiated transitorily only in the closing days before the soldier had sailed away to battle.

One captain from Roanoke had formed the Brush-Off Club for officers suffering from rejection. Condition of membership was that the cuckold had to describe the coxcomb who cony-catched his honey-stung divotchka, that, no doubt, to stem the possibility of ultra-violence when again the ship docked in home port.

Descriptions by Dear Johnny Doughboys of their rivals ranged from a "4-F-er" to "a b-d".

Just exactly what "b-d" meant, we don't know. But we can pretty well guess that in many cases three of the F's stood for "fat, flat-footed…"

In some cases, however, the troops found the wilting flower of love a blessing in disguise as they had decided that the girl they had left behind, in retrospect, had a face "like a pailful of worms".

In other words, she was a pailful girl.

Of whatever elixir that particular soldier was parting from its bottle when that particular imagery struck his mind, he had better not repeat. Or, maybe it was the girl who was imbibing something she oughtn't to establish the perception in the first instance.

Regardless, there's only one solution to such a dilemma, Yank. Just say "no".

On the editorial page, "War Shock" finds observers predicting in the wake of the Moscow Conference that the war in Europe might end by the conclusion of the year, no later than in the aftermath of a new spring offensive.

The piece affirms the feeling of optimism, finds it underwritten by the behavior of the neutrals, Portugal, Turkey, and Spain, each showing signs of new conviviality toward the Allies.

It recognizes that, in the end, the conclusion of the war could only be determined by internal revolt of the military in Germany in the face of declining home front morale. But, even if Germany decided to gut it out to the bitter end, the piece predicts, the final shot of the war would be but a few months away.

"Third War?" asks rhetorically whether Germany was already preparing for the next war, having realized its fate in the present one, whether it would come forth after the fall of Nazism proclaiming that it had learned its lesson, only secretly to be preparing another war from within the framework of the old regime, escaping by taking off the swastikas and commingling again as average Germans.

The editorial recommends, to avoid such a prospect, complete disarmament of Germany and war crimes trials for those responsible for the atrocities of the war, with firmly meted punishments, including swift executions, to deter future forays by German nationalists into imperialism. For the people of Germany, it recommends firm but humane treatment, imparting of the lessons not provided after World War I. Otherwise, it predicts, there would come World War III.

The disparate treatment of those responsible for the atrocities and the ordinary people of Germany would be so. But the scenario would be vastly complicated in the aftermath by the interjection of the device into the game not fully imagined at this juncture, the result of controlled nuclear fission.

"The Mystery" speculates again on the prospect of Bob Reynolds running for the Democratic nomination for the Senate against Clyde Hoey in 1944. An informed Washington source had related to The News that rumors speculating that he would not make the challenge appeared accurate, gauged by the Senator's failure to make movements suggestive of a campaign. Bob had not been in North Carolina but once since Pearl Harbor. He had not been recently to his mother-in-law's socialite gatherings in Washington. He hadn't even been kissing of late blonde actresses in public.

Yet, for all the talk and his apparent lack of financial means to make a run against a serious challenger this time around, the editorial believes that Bob nevertheless might find a way through his wiles to make the improbable run to his advantage.

It almost sounds as if The News was lamenting the possibility that it might not have Bob Reynolds to kick around anymore.

Samuel Grafton analyzes the collateral effects of the Moscow agreement on American politics, finds that it had at least three: the Connally Resolution no longer needed the Pepper amendment to provide more specificity, as its generalities were now informed by the specifics of the Moscow agreement; the expected candidacy of Wendell Willkie for the 1944 Republican nomination for the presidency, the prospect of which Mr. Grafton says he was fond, was no longer as attractive as it had been, the Moscow accord having taken the thunder from Mr. Willkie's stance as the nation's chief proponent for internationalism, FDR having eclipsed his 1940 opponent by adopting the platform on which Mr. Willkie had stood since his trip around the world a year earlier and subsequent publication of One World to great fanfare in the spring; and the last gasps of isolationism were now suspired, as even such a previously unreconstructed defender of the cause as Burton Wheeler had carped in the wake of the agreement only that it should have been more expansive to include specific mention of Poland, insuring to the Polish the Four Freedoms.

Raymond Clapper exhorts the Senate to scrap the Connally Resolution in its current form and instead adopt an amended version which would simply approve the Moscow agreement. Such a move, he suggests, would take the steam out of Axis propaganda attempts to divide the Allies by contending that the Senate, were it to adopt the Connally Resolution, was at best lukewarm in its approbation of the Moscow agreement, less specific and more generally worded--even if the operative paragraphs of the two statements were already identical.

Mr. Clapper also votes for such an altered measure on the basis that it would honor the work of the elder statesman, Cordell Hull, in achieving the accord. The signal of unity of both parties with both the executive branch of government and with the Allies would also be underscored by such a response, again taking the bite out of inevitable German and Japanese propaganda.

Wendell Willkie was to be congratulated for having brought the Republican Party aboard in agreement with the principles of internationalism and such a statement by the Senate would also validate his effort.

Drew Pearson suggests that the hard-boiled diplomats of the four signatory nations were less enthusiastic than the press and public about the outcome at Moscow, finding that the agreement's failure to mention the Baltic States meant that those would be gobbled up by Russia at war's end, and that Poland could only remain independent of Russia so long as it remained cooperative with Russian policy.

Notwithstanding these drawbacks, there was attributed by the diplomats great significance to the fact that the concepts were placed on the table by which the future world would be governed.

The diplomats had based their negative conclusions on the fact that the Soviets continued to insist on their rights to possess the Baltic States, just as the U.S. would insist on its rights versus Mexico to the states in the Southwest. Word was that Secretary Hull had tacitly agreed to relent on State Department objections posed in May, 1942 when the Soviets had obtained the promise of the British for return of the Baltics to Russia as well as cession of half of Poland--finally resulting in a twenty-year treaty without direct mention of these assurances--and instead opted to allow for the concession based on the April 6, 1922 U.S. declaration at Riga wherein the U.S. envoy deemed it "entirely possible" or even probable that in the future the Baltics might be returned to Russia.

The conclusion with respect to Poland had derived from the fact that Stalin had insisted that Britain and the U.S. accept a clause in the agreement which tacitly laid the blame on the Nazis for the killing of the 10,000 Polish officers, whose corpses were discovered earlier in the year by the Nazis and for which blame was laid, by both the Nazis and the Polish government-in exile, on the Russians, straining Russian-Polish relations. The implication of acceptance of Stalin's demand in this regard, agreeing to a paragraph which condemned atrocities and promised punishment for them, singling out the prospect of punishment for killing of Polish officers, was that Churchill and FDR, who along with Stalin signed this part of the Moscow agreement, were now officially on record as accepting that it was the Nazis who were responsible for the murders. That, plus the 1942 British assurances that Russian Poland could be ceded to Russia after the war, provided the basis for the diplomats' belief that Poland would be an independent sovereignty only at the pleasure of Russia, based on the extent to which it would cooperate economically and politically with the Soviets.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i>--</i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.