Thursday, December 30, 1943

The Charlotte News

Thursday, December 30, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that another large raid by the RAF had hit Berlin the night before, dropping 2,240 tons of bombs. Twenty bombers were lost in that raid and other raids by Mosquito bombers on Germany and northern France. Five of the bombers lost were Canadian, as the Canadians had sent up their largest contingent ever of heavy bombers. American bombers, meanwhile, struck unspecified targets in southwest Germany.

In Italy, the Eighth Army was able to move a mile along a heavily mined road from Ortona toward Pescara. They took an important hill northwest of Villa Grande.

In the central sector, the Fifth Army advanced half a mile to take 3,000-foot Mt. Carsauola, overlooking the Colle-Atina highway.

The Yugoslav Partisans under Tito were reported to have moved into northern Italy, destroying a German transport column near the town of Gorizia. Also, new victories in Croatia completed weeks of fighting in which 41,000 square miles, about a third of Yugoslavia, had been swept clean of German occupation forces.

In Russia, the First Ukrainian Army had moved to within 48 miles of the old Polish border, after re-taking Korosten, key prize of the November offensive by the Germans under Fritz von Mannstein. Other units moved toward Zhitomir, the other key prize of the November offensive. The Russians moved torrentially against the German lines, and it appeared there would be no ability of the Nazis to stop them before reaching the Bug River in Poland. German tanks were being abandoned in the snow as disorganization reigned supreme among the Nazi field units, with garrisons out of communication with their command posts.

It was labeled by Eddie Gilmore of the Associated Press the darkest moment for the Germans since the invasion of Russia, June 22, 1941.

To the south, the Third Ukrainian Army of General Rodion Malinovsky moved westward across the Dneiper River from Zaporozhe, in a nine-mile advance which restored the Dneiper Dam to Russian possession. The drive was apparently aiming for Nikopol, chief manganese supplier for Germany.

Russian gains were also registered in the northern front by the Baltic Army in White Russia, as they continued to move closer to taking Vitebsk.

On the western flank of Borgen Bay on Cape Gloucester on New Britain, the Marines continued to advance, moving another half-mile to within a mile of the Japanese airdrome, as they were harassed by Allied flamethrowers launched on the position. Marines moving along the western flank of the Bay, however, were stalled in the face of strong Japanese resistance.

Commander-in-chief of the American Fleet, Admiral Ernest J. King, indicated his belief that the war against Japan would be increased in its intensity in 1944 and that the resources allotted to the European theater would soon begin to shift to the Pacific, as soon as defeat appeared imminent for Germany.

Reports reaching London indicated that General Eisenhower was likely to name either General Mark Clark, commander of the Fifth Army in Italy, or General Omar Bradley, as commander of American ground forces in the cross-channel invasion of the Continent. This position was the only one which remained unfilled among the top command posts.

From Cairo, was heard, inexplicably, a loud wailing voice which echoed among the pyramids, waking Egyptians for miles around: "Baa, baa."

Time had named General George C. Marshall Man of the Year for his having armed the country during the war and, consequently, having enabled the arming of the Allies, implementing, quietly and without political ambition, the strategy of the war planned by FDR and Churchill. As Time saw it, the war was being won more through General Marshall's efforts than those of any other single individual.

The Trainmen and Engineers unions signed a wage contract, negotiated by President Roosevelt, for nine-cents per hour wage increases plus a week of vacation time.

Hal Boyle tells of an Army captain who received a commendation from Pietro Badoglio of Italy for his demonstration of tact and goodwill in relocating Italian civilians to new places of residence during the initial landings in Italy in September.

He next turns to the story of "The Sophisticated Lady", a B-25 bomber which had flown 50 missions without mishap out of the Mediterranean.

Finally, he records some words written on war by a combat cameraman, Major John D. Craig:

"I have thought of many strange reasons why men fight. I still cannot believe it is all hatred. I think much of it must come from a desire to better things for all people--a real uplifting desire just badly executed.

"War has an exciting side. I have experienced many new fears. When man is on the brink of a great and dangerous adventure, memories surge forward and the past becomes vivid and alive. He wishes he had a better appreciation for the best that he has had, he is sorry for his harsh words; selfish wants, business, and money are all forgotten and only living, understanding, and love are important."

On the editorial page, "Slick One" examines the report of the President's previous day's press conference in which he had pronounced his intent to abandon the New Deal as having accomplished its priorities, premiering in its stead "Dr. Win-the-War"--to be distinguished from Dr. Winston O. Boogie, Churchill's alter-ego. Brushing aside a question as to whether he would pursue a fourth term, he had called the question "picayune". The editorial finds this maneuvering as "slick as an eel".

In another age where DuPont supplied non-stick cookware, the press termed Ronald Reagan the "Teflon President".

We always thought, however, that the more apt description of the latter would have been the Borax President. But that's just our opinion.

And they used Bon Ami.

In any event, that which we were not told in 1980 was that both major-party candidates for the presidency had made prior appearances on "What's My Line?" Whether that might have thrown the election to John Anderson, we don't know.

Well, there we go again.

"The Threat" eschews any chilling effect on American and British willpower to continue to wage the fight, resulting from the Nazi threat to prosecute American and British soldiers and officers for war crimes in retaliation for the executions recently occurring in Russia at Kharkov of three Gestapo agents and a Russian collaborator for the massacre of civilians. It was just another typical Nazi tactic, says the editorial, similar to the terror tactic used at Lidice in June, 1942 when the Czech village was wiped out by the Nazis in retaliation for its alleged harboring of the killers of S.S. chieftain and implementer of the Final Solution, Reinhard Heydrich.

"Revenge?" finds unlikely the prediction of former Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles that Argentina would suffer after the war for its Axis leanings during the war. Says the piece, Argentina, for all its wartime vagaries, nevertheless had two vital commodities for the world market, beef and wheat. Citing the experience of post-war treatment of Germany after World War I, when its industrial fruits were welcome in the chain of commerce despite plentiful ill feeling toward the country, the piece believes that Argentina’s produce similarly would still be welcome in the United States as long as there was a demand for it.

Dorothy Thompson writes of the terrible sacrifice in blood ahead for the country’s young soldiers if victory were to be won in 1944 as General Eisenhower had declared unequivocally it would be.

Drew Pearson reports that one of the more important developments coming from the Tehran Conference would be the establishment of free ports in the Near and Middle East after the war. Istanbul and the Dardanelles were reported to have been discussed for such purposes with President Inonu at Cairo, to afford free flow of trade into the Black Sea and provide otherwise land-locked Russia a means of obtaining free passage into the Mediterranean. Basra at the head of the Persian Gulf, controlled by the British, was in for like treatment, also to the advantage of the Soviets to the south.

Raymond Clapper points out the bitter irony of Labor striking against its best friend in FDR, issuing essentially an ultimatum, either grant them their demanded increases in wages or have the war industries shut down. Mr. Clapper contrasts this unseemly activity with the plight of the soldiers on the warfront, unable to strike, unwilling to strike, ready to move forward, but reading of being hampered in that effort by workers demanding a few extra pennies per hour to continue work.

Samuel Grafton contrasts two worlds. In the one, there was a strange certainty, that Tehran was really about a conspiracy to aid Russia in devouring Poland, that FDR was keeping planes from General MacArthur in order to stultify aborning any intentions he might have of running for president in 1944, that allowing the soldiers to vote by absentee ballot was a conspiracy against the Constitution.

In the other, there was a less determined certainty, an humbler sense of the state of reality. In that world Tito, a machinist from Belgrade, had formed an alliance with Churchill, and with fliers out of Texas to try to win a war against a common oppressor. In this world, says Mr. Grafton, the people thusly united would rather “fight for their faiths than die for their prejudices”.

An Army Private stationed at a camp in North Carolina writes in general praise of The News but takes issue with its recent editorial stand in support of General Patton's continued presence in the military command structure--even if the editors had condemned his acts of slapping the soldiers in Sicily. The Private thought that General Patton should be removed from command for undermining the morale of soldiers.

Shortly after the letter appeared in print, the soldier was said to have been found several miles from the camp, his uniform in shreds, having been butted the distance by a goat. Baa, baa.

Sixth Day of Christmas--six peas assaying.

And, congratulations to our school which overcame great adversity during its football season to win the Music City Bowl in Nashville this evening against Tennessee in overtime, 30 to 27. Had they let the clock run completely out before spiking the ball at the end of regulation to set up a field goal to tie the game, as they nearly did, save for one precious second, determined only upon the replay, then we would have other things to say than congratulations--as we did before the overturning of the initial decision that the game was compleat. Instead, it was only over. But, pulling the fat from the fire is better by far than getting one's goose cooked, for it was almost six geese a-laying.

I pray you, commend me to Mistress Squash, your
mother, and to Master Peascod, your father. Good
Master Peaseblossom, I shall desire you of more
acquaintance too. Your name, I beseech you, sir?




Good Master Mustardseed, I know your patience well:
that same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath
devoured many a gentleman of your house: I promise
you your kindred had made my eyes water ere now. I
desire your more acquaintance, good Master


Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower.
The moon methinks looks with a watery eye;
And when she weeps, weeps every little flower,
Lamenting some enforced chastity.
Tie up my love's tongue bring him silently.

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