Saturday, December 4, 1943

The Charlotte News

Saturday, December 4, 1943


Site Ed. Note: It was officially confirmed, reports the front page, that Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill had met in conference at Tehran. A declaration from the conference was expected to be released soon. The report suggested that the conference had concluded several days earlier.

The meeting in fact had taken place between November 28 and December 1.

News of the meeting was greeted with welcome arms by the Russian people.

France was reported to be once again alive with the buzz of anticipation for an Allied invasionary force landing on its shores.

In Italy, in the wake of the heaviest Allied aerial bombardment of the German front yet during the campaign, the Fifth Army advanced two more miles along the Via Casilina toward Rome, after taking Calabritto. The forces drove the Germans from the Maggiore and Camino heights west of Mignano, aiming for Cassino.

The Eighth Army moved north to within sixteen miles of Pescara on the Adriatic coast, entering the back door to San Vito, after taking Lanciano, Treglio Orsogna, and Casoli.

On the Russian front, the Red Army was closing in from two directions on the key White Russian communication center and rail connection at Zhlobin, fighting their way through mud and snow. Sverjen and Dovsk were key points captured in the northern drive for Zhlobin, while Soltannovka and Staraya Rudnaya, the latter only nine miles from Zhlobin, had been captured as key to the drive from the southwest.

Meanwhile, General Constantine Rokossovsky's troops continued to pound forward northwest of Gomel, taking another hundred populated areas just on Friday.

The Soviet troops killed another 1,500 Nazis in Friday's fighting in the area, while liberating 10,000 Soviet citizens who had been tagged by the Nazis for transport to work details inside Germany.

Making a feint toward Berlin, the RAF the night before turned instead their attentions to Leipzig, point of food supply for struggling Berlin, and dropped 1,500 tons of bombs on the city, both from heavy bombers and Mosquitos. Twenty-four British bombers did not return from the mission.

The RAF raid the previous night on Berlin, the fifth during the previous two weeks, had also dropped 1,500 tons of bombs, but cost 41 bombers.

In the Pacific, Australian troops under General MacArthur took the village of Kuanko, moving to within half a mile of the objective at Wareo, strategic junction for jungle trails, on the Huon Peninsula of New Guinea.

On Bougainville, American Avengers dive-bombed two airstrips southeast of Empress Augusta Bay, which Japanese engineers had been able to renew after earlier attacks had put them out of commission.

In Yugoslavia, a provisional government was formed to rule in areas taken from the Nazis by the Partisans under the command of Tito. Chosen to lead the government was Dr. Ivan Ribar, leader of the new Yugoslavian parliament after World War I. Dr. Ribar immediately promoted Tito to the rank of Marshal. A new Yugoslavian constitution was said to be in the works.

Irving Fisher, economics professor emeritus from Yale, testified before the Senate Finance Committee that the sure path to stem inflationary trends in the economy was via greater taxation on dollars spent on consumer goods while ceasing to tax dollars saved and invested, plus a program, as needed, requiring compulsory investment in war bonds by both private individuals and corporations, giving the latter the alternative of investment in war industry.

And Hal Boyle reports of the WABOC club for girls brushed-off by their soldier boyfriends, perhaps finding better pickings abroad. It was the female counterpart to the Brush-Off Club formed by Army officers who had been made a cuckold by the girl back home.

The founder of the Women's Auxiliary club, a lady from Santa Monica, wrote to the founder of the men's version, Captain Hammersley, indicating that after the war they might all meet and burn their former sweethearts in effigy.

The ladies' proposed sigil was a broken heart splashed by a teardrop.

Captain Hammersley had invited the ladies to send photographs of their wayward beaus to be posted in the "mourners' corner" under the peppery slogan, "Here lie our departed loves." He also suggested that the ladies send along their own photographs, for good measure.

Sgt. John Huth, unofficial executive secretary of the BOC's and former reporter for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, (now near enough the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame), had suggested the name WABOC for the ladies' version. Sgt. Huth, however, issued the caveat that he was not a member of the club, himself, because he was neither married nor brushed-off, nor even a catch.

A Ms. Elder of Overbrook, Pa. had written indicating that she was not dating any 4-F'er despite having not seen her own boyfriend in fourteen months. She was busy at night partaking of cooking and sewing lessons and other such wholesome pastimes, just as were all the women she knew.

Ms. Elder should have visited Charlotte, where one in fifty women were out on the streets selling their bodies to lonely soldiers, a fourth of these women infecting them the while.

Mr. Boyle concludes that the American soldiers with whom he had come in contact missed three things about the States, American plumbing, American malted milk, and American women, not necessarily in that order.

On the editorial page, "Out, Blonde" wonders at the report of the Better Vision Institute that blue eyes were on the wane in the gene pool of the world at large. But, it wonders how, should it occur, you would ever tell, as with other changes of pigmentation artificially accomplished on everything from fingernails, to hair, to lips. Blue eyes would persist, it ventures, along with the gentleman's preference, despite the best efforts of Dame Nature to eradicate their occurrence naturally.

"Payday" reminds that the Great Message inevitably to come from the conferences in Cairo and Tehran would not simply consist of the glowing platitudes of prior conferences but would carry with them the promise of large responsibilities for the United Nations in the times ahead.

"Coming of Age" continues the theme, stating that the United States would now be entering a new phase of the war, one more onerous to it than before, one which would, by the weight of world leadership cast onto its shoulders, remain after the war, a mantle which would not easily be accepted or borne, but one necessary to insure a peaceful world into the future.

"Arrival" indicates the satisfaction of Americans in accepting the Chinese into the quartet of ruling powers, that the brotherhood and good will felt between Americans and Chinese surpassed any before between two nations with such disparate cultures and languages.

Samuel Grafton cavils at the critics of Count Sforza who branded him a radical for seeking King Vittorio Emanuele's abdication from the throne of Italy in favor of Prince Umberto. Such was not radicalism but conservatism, urged Mr. Grafton, being based on Victor's flirtation with Fascism during Mussolini's 20-year rule of Italy.

Raymond Clapper deduces from the Cairo Declaration, pledging to strip Japan of its empire possessions and to demand unconditional surrender, that Japan would fight a long and bitter struggle to avoid being so reduced.

He cites the fact that Admiral Nimitz had stated, after viewing the carnage left on Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands, that the American people were not yet aware of the price of such battles, the taking of Tarawa having appeared deceptively simple because its duration had only been three days.

So was Gettysburg.

Mr. Clapper warns that many people will think the war almost over when Germany would finally be forced to surrender. But with the vast distances involved in the Pacific and the many island outposts possessed by the Japanese to defend the home islands, it would yet be a long and costly fight.

No doubt, to the scientists now working feverishly out in the desert at Los Alamos, New Mexico, such predictions came freighted with a foreboding urgency to supply celerity to their task to split Old Man Atom and release its untold energy, countering inertia.

Dorothy Thompson examines the same theme, finding the Cairo Declaration to have finally defined with precision, insofar as Japan, the definition of "unconditional surrender", a term which had been bantered about incessantly, yet remaining amorphous, since the January Casablanca Conference when first Churchill and FDR stated it as the determined goal of the war on the Axis. Japan would lose all of its empire interests accumulated since 1894, including the return of Formosa and the Pescadores to China, along with Manchuria, and the restoration of independence to Korea. Likewise, the island mandates obtained from Germany after World War I would be stripped away, as they had been fortified by Japan during the thirties in violation of the mandate.

The result, therefore, of the war would be that China, after a long and heroic struggle against Japan, extending back fifty years, would obtain as a post-war modern power.

Drew Pearson reports that a likely outcome of the meetings in Cairo and Tehran would be that FDR would fulfill two of his primary objectives, determination of the composition of the United Nations Councils and the location where the body would ultimately meet. The President had advocated a larger role in the governing body for the smaller nations, many of whom, such as Brazil, with its indispensable airfields for ferrying planes to the Mediterranean front, were providing valuable service to the Allied effort. He had also favored having the body meet in Washington rather than in the old world capital of London, as designated in the Moscow Conference. While Secretary of State Hull had been unable to convince Stalin and, through Eden, Churchill to accept these two proposals, FDR likely could.

Oh, by the way, the correct answer is "I Got It". If you didn't, don't feel too badly, as it was a huther-muther. There are other possibilities, depending on your particular individual aptitude, experience, and depth perception. If you still don't, then you haven't been paying attention this week, you lazy bum. Go back and start over.

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