Wednesday, April 28, 1943

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 28, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports of further inroads made by the Allies on the Axis lines before Tunis and Bizerte. General Pattonís Army II Corps had cleared out Djebel Dardyss, seven miles west of Lake Achkel, one of two lakes stretching to Bizerte. Another column had taken Bald Hill and Green Hill the day before, 28 miles southwest of Bizerte, with an immediate objective of Jefna Station.

Bald Hill was actually named Djebel Ajred; Green Hill, Djebel Azzag. Together they formed a double-humped barrier across the Mateur Road.

The British First Army "shock troops" attacked Djebel Bou Aoukaz, a key height twelve miles northeast of Medjez-El-Bab, 21 miles from Tunis, six miles from Tebourba, and commanding a view of the Medjerda Valley. Twelve miles east of Medjez-El-Bab, another column of the First Army attacked south of the key Axis position at Tebourba, along the Massicault Road, taking a prominent feature of the area, St. Abballah, in heavy fighting. Throughout this sector heavy counter-thrusts continued to be made by the Axis and the fighting was therefore particularly intense.

East of Goubellat, the British had moved to within four miles of the Pont Du Fahs Road, leading to Tunis.

Captain Al Edwards, former N. C. State star football player, lately with the Army commanding a light tank unit in North Africa, but home on leave to Charlotte, told The News that in the early days after the November 8 Operation Torch landings in Morocco and Algeria, American armored units had ventured out into Tunisia to reconnoiter enemy concentrations. For a short time, one armored unit actually had pierced the city limits of a then lightly defended Tunis, liberating a street sign to prove the authenticity of the brief visit--to be continued. The patrol had quickly, however, to abandon the position after determining its fortifications and capabilities for handling enemy strength.

As had been explained previously by General Eisenhower, himself, both Bizerte and Tunis were for the taking in those early days in November, but he simply did not have at his disposal in place the adequate means for establishing sufficiently long lines of supplies for large contingents of men to take and hold the positions. At the time, of course, most of the Americans under his command were still not battle-tested.

From London came news again of the rift between the Polish government-in-exile in London and the Russians, regarding the offense taken by the Russians to the accusation by the Poles that the Russians had executed 10,000 of their officers at Smolensk. The Russians accused the Nazis. The Russians now demanded that the British purge the government-in-exile and form a new Polish government, as the Soviets refused any longer to recognize the currently constituted government-in-exile.

Prime Minister Churchill and Foreign Minister Anthony Eden addressed Commons on the issue. It was believed that some reorganization of the Polish Cabinet would likely take place, in an effort to heal the diplomatic break.

More than 58,000 bituminous coal miners had already walked out of the mines of the country, in anticipation of a general strike to be called on Friday at midnight unless in the meantime their new contract demands were negotiated. The prospect of a strike in this industry was critical to continued war production apace as a failure of coal would, said the steel industry, shut it down within two to four weeks, the limit of the steel manufacturers' coal supply on hand.

Only one Confederate veteran showed up at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta to commemorate the dead of the Confederacy, 78 years from the final surrender of General Johnston to General Sherman near Duke Forest.

Sorry, but good riddance.

On the editorial page, "The Rift" explores the Soviet-Polish break in relations and finds it in need of quick salve in order to avoid potential pitfalls in the post-war world, even possibly, it suggests, leading to another war.

Poland, of course, would become one of the principal problematic areas, along with East Germany, which would nearly touch off another war, and likely would have, had it not been for the mutual deterrence of nuclear weapons aimed by East and West at each other, in death-defying madness for four and a half decades, all the result of just these sorts of polarizing issues which Hitler and his minions managed to perpetuate for the duration of the Cold War, keeping Hitler alive from the ashes, until finally all the little Nazis were either dead or too senile to do much more about it.

Samuel Grafton again examines obscurantism in American politics, this time focusing, as he had a few weeks earlier, on the proposed dissolution by Congress of the Farm Security Administration, while farmers were desperately in need of a labor base, as certain members of Congress were also proposing to take soldiers in training, backed up by shipping logjams, and draft them into the farm labor base. He again points out that while FSA-aided farms only comprised 7.6% of all farms in the nation, they yet had managed to produce fully 36% of the nationís increase in milk supply from the previous year, 27% of the increased production in dry beans, and 10% of the increased numbers of eggs laid and chickens raised.

He finds the whole matter daft. In the name of stopping a supposedly socialist-leaning government hand-out program, the Republicans and anti-New Deal Democrats had joined to promote a plan which favored large corporate farm interests over the small family farm.

He proposes, in solution to the farm labor dilemma, to begin accepting refugees from Europe as farm laborers, to supplement those being brought in from Mexico and the Bahamas. But first, he notes, the stubborn obscurantists would need set aside their ethnic prejudices to allow such a program to work.

The front page tells of the prediction by the New York Secretary of State and president of the National Republican Club that there would be a Republican "rout" in the 1944 presidential election. So, why need they be logical?

The "rout" instead would come in 1948, at least in Chicago.

A piece prepared by the editors shows that in the previous year, despite the President's efforts to hedge inflation with price ceilings and wage ceilings, the cost of living had nevertheless risen by 5.7%, the bulk of which was the result of a 14.5% increase in the cost of food.

A letter to the editor, going on at some great length about various historical attempts to eradicate the oldest profession, proposing application of some variant of these ancient tried and failed techniques to Charlotte's problem, through some system of "segregation" of prostitutes from the general population, labeling them in some manner as such (perhaps with a big "A" on their blouses), manages in the process to forget all about something called the Constitution which would prohibit any such notions as he proposes.

But, in 1943, segregation and labeling were familiar and easy concepts on which to formulate supposed panaceas for aspects of society which citizens did not like. Sweep it under the rug, wall it off, push it into a designated corner, the ghetto.

Life and humanity, however, refuse to be so treated.

Taking a knife to a situation in need of a delicate scalpel, or even no more than a needle and thread, solves nothing but to enable the resulting crimson flow to inflame the masses to revolt over the martyrdom thus.

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