Thursday, May 20, 1943

The Charlotte News

Thursday, May 20, 1943


Site Ed. Note: On Attu, reports the front page, the Japanese had been surrounded by the American invaders and were now compressed against the sea in the vicinity of Chichagof Harbor, reminiscent of what had just happened to the Axis troops of Jurgen von Arnim on the Cap Bon Peninsula in Tunisia.

The chicks had hatched again from the shell casings, going boom.

The American infantry, supported by the Navy, had cleared the pass, to the west of Sarana Pass leading to Chichagof, between the infantry's point of initial landing at Massacre Bay and Holtz Bay.

Maj.-General Eugene Landrum led the American ground forces on Attu. Colonel Frank L. Cullen, Jr. had immediate command of the troops at Holtz Bay.

In the first large-scale air attack of Italy since the fall of Tunisia two weeks earlier, Flying Fortresses pursued further air raids on Sardinia, Sicily, and Italy, this time striking targets at Trapani on Sicily and Monserrato, Elmas air field, and Cagliari in southern Sardinia, and at Milas air field in central Sardinia. The Fortresses encountered fierce Axis resistance and engaged in numerous dogfights, shooting down 29 of 80 enemy fighters which took off to engage the American fliers over the two islands. At least 44 other Axis planes were destroyed on the ground. Four Fortresses failed to return from the raid.

The RAF had raided with plywood Mosquitoes Berlin the previous night, the fourth attack on the capital during the previous week, and returned unscathed. It was the first "cascade" raid of heavy bombers on Berlin since March 29.

A few hours earlier American Flying Fortresses had attacked by daylight submarine and shipbuilding facilities at Kiel and Flensburg.

Other RAF bombers and Mosquitoes had attacked targets in France.

Post-speech analysts, meanwhile, observed that Prime Minister Churchill's words to Congress the previous day had appeared to signal an effort to defeat Germany and Italy solely through air power, short of immediate invasion. There were mixed opinions as to the ultimate efficacy of such a campaign, the conventional wisdom having been that air power alone could only do so much to conquer an enemy, that finally always and always had to be spilled the blood and guts of invasionary ground troops, the young green soldier fit to die and the more war-savvy warrior alongside him eager to die for what he had already experienced and seen with his war-weary eyes.

Regardless of expert opinions inveighing against the likely success of bombing as an exclusive method by which to achieve unconditional surrender, the Prime Minister had insisted that the experiment was a worthy coup d'essai should it avoid the cost of crimson flowing unabated for the time to bring the coup de grâce.

Positive reaction from Congress to the speech continued to echo through the hallowed halls as spectral evidence of things yet to be.

FDR asked Congress for an allotment for the Army of 72 billion dollars, 13 of which was left over from the 1942-43 fiscal budget, to support, house, feed, clothe, train, and equip nine million servicemen, including an increase over the previous year of a hundred and eighteen thousand tons of planes for the Army Air Force.

On the editorial page, "The Lippards" chronicles the Mecklenburg bootlegging kingpin clan's fall from grace finally, as Carl was sentenced to prison for eighteen months and his uncle, Paul, to six months in jail, ending their run of years of good fortune, escaping the clutches of justice time and again through the efforts of some of the best legal talent in the area for which they had the ready means to hire from their illicit traffic in white lightning.

The State Supreme Court had rejected an argument that the Lippards did not receive a fair trial in Charlotte because of bias aroused against them by articles and editorials through time appearing in The News. The Court had held that the inditements did not interfere with justice.

Well, would they have, if the articles and editorials were published before and during the trial, before final sentence? We haven't looked at the North Carolina decision and so to what degree it relied on Bridges v. State of California, 314 U.S. 25 (1941), we don't know, but would gather, given the result, that it weighed heavily on the Court in reaching its result.

In any event, The News was permitted its free license to editorialize against the coddling of moonshiners in Mecklenburg and surrounding parts of the judicial district while the moonshiners finally were permitted to stare from a cage into the light of the silvery June moon shining streaks of starlight into the day-counting etched surfaces of the cold gray walls binding their otherwise iron-bound cells as they howled from within their hell for more copper tubing from the radiators of their burnt-out rods to enable the possible greasing of the wheels to get them out a little early onto the roads again.

"Last Request" rhetorically addresses Italian Fascist stooge editor Virginio Gayda and finds him, in the aftermath of the German-Italian debacle in North Africa, no longer laughing trippingly at the world with blood dripping from his salivating jowls. Now, he knew that unconditional surrender, as enunciated at Casablanca in January by FDR and Churchill, would be the rule of the day for Italy, as well as Germany. Italy would have one choice, surrender or face utter destruction by the Allied bombers now free to rain havoc on the country at will and by the invasionary forces soon to come to the shores from across Mare Nostrum.

Dorothy Thompson examines the European Revolution of the Underground, finds it gaining strength by the day and arising out of the true vox populi, not led by the cognoscenti but rather joined by it arm-in-arm, together with the Church, both Catholic and Protestant, and the university students. The only strongly supportive element of the Fascists and Nazis in Europe remaining were the industrialists and landowning classes. But even among some of the nobility, the Nazis had lost favor.

The Revolution was not akin to the Russian Revolution of 1917, she says, for it proceeded from this unified vox populi, the demos, not from the proletarian masses of workers in a class struggle against the rest of society. It was not a movement opposed to ownership of private property but rather one wholly supportive of the concept, just opposed to the monopolization of private property by the small elitist numbers at the top among the landowning classes, the very notion which had precipitated the Russian Revolution, toppling the tsars.

She concludes that America ought choose to support this Revolution against Nazi political and economic monopoly; otherwise, it would, post-war, become dependent upon Russia for support, attendant with all the possibilities that the Revolution could thereby be led to tend toward communism rather than democracy and free enterprise. If it received such support from America, it would instead become the flashpoint for fusion between East and West among the United Nations, the seeds by which the Communist world could conjoin with the Western democracies to form a strong, stable post-war world environment. If otherwise, it would become the flashpoint for something else entirely, she predicts, conceivably a third world war, out of the resulting division educed.

Ms. Thompson wrote prophetically of the shape of things before her eyes, the things to make up the brave new world ahead, which we called the Cold War for 45 years.

It was, indeed, Central Europe which very nearly became the flashpoint for nuclear conflagration, the instant hot war which would have left millions on millions dead and would have ended, sure enough, all warfare for a thousand years to come. For, no life on the planet would have been able to survive above ground for that thousand-year Reich.

Indeed, the results of the nuclear testing in the atmosphere and the storage of nuclear wastes in its wake to prevent that expected holocaust has sufficiently damaged our world to render it not as fit a place to inhabit for the human creature as that in which earlier generations, beset though they were by the terribly unforgiving hostilities of the physical world and by man's unforgiving nature astride his warhorse within it, lived and had to endure. Are our soaring cancer rates not so interconnected with that nuclear testing of the 1950's and early 1960's within the atmosphere?

Samuel Grafton again looks at international double-talk, cites as example the refusal to recognize the leadership of General De Gaulle in fostering the French Resistance, even though by refusing to recognize it, America implicitly provided comfort to Hitler and his French puppet, Laval, who likewise refused recognition to the Resistance. He counsels, instead of the double-talk, clear speaking, as only the Americans could afford to do in the war.

The war, he offers, was one between light and dark, and "[t]he forces of darkness are helped by anyone who turns down the lamp."

--And then the kerosene, is brought down by insurance menů

A couple of members of the Eighth U.S. Air Force Bomber Station are reported in Stars and Stripes to be onboard, though one a former coal miner himself and the other from a coalmining town and a coalmining family, with their former union boss, John L. Lewis--now reported on the front page as seeking to cuddle up again with the AFL--joining them on a bombing raid, to see what the war was all about and why it was treason to call a coal strike in its midst, potentially crippling the steel industry and consequently the war effort.

No word had arrived yet on whether Mr. Lewis intended to accept the invitation.

Raymond Clapper looks out his window from Stockholm toward Denmark and examines the Danish experience in the war thus far, managing to remain aloof from their Nazi occupiers who had so mistreated Norway, Finland, and the occupied lands of the Continent. The Jutlanders had not offered any resistance to German occupation and thus had been treated with fewer restraints than the other countries which the Nazis had overrun since Anschluss in Austria in March, 1938.

The recent election in Denmark in which 90 percent of the population had turned out at the polls and cast 3,000 fewer votes for the minority Nazis than they had in the previous election of 1939 told the tale, that even in an occupied country where the Nazis were treating with the native population with relative gentility, they were nevertheless held in disfavor.

And, from Hoskins, a disgruntled native lady writes The News complaining of the considerable misshapen identity provided her community by those insistent upon grouping it with neighboring Thomasboro, even being so profaning of the sole identity of the town as to hyphenate it along with its neighbor. She wants and insists that the soul and keep of Thomasboro reside within the town boundaries of Thomasboro, unto itself ingloriously to its profligate end, and not having any hyphenated, or otherwise, truck with her burg, Hoskins, a respectable community, not wishing to deign any admission of association with the riffraff of Thomasboro.

Mrs. Loy Beam flashed her lights on this critical issue of maintenance of community pride, separate identity, and segregation from neighbors apart from the eclat, to insure that there would never be a Hoskins-Thomasboro extant on any roadmap in the country.

Let, therefore, the word go forth from that time and place, that Hoskins was Hoskins, forever and ever more; and that Thomasboro, and all its ruffian inhabitants and native scoundrels of ill repute and less industry, would remain separate and apart from the good and noble folk inhabiting Hoskins.

Hoskins it was and Hoskins it would forevermore be.

They were, after all, Mrs. Beam instructs, separated from one another by the P. & N. Railroad and by a creek.

Whether the railroad ran through the creek or beside it or over it or just in it, Mrs. Loy Beam did not to us impart.

But they were separate and distinct communities.

And that, by the projecting rays of the solitary beam of the P & N locomotive rumbling on through the dark and eerie night, bisecting Hoskins and Thomasboro, right through their bounded lines, must be known far and wide, wide and far it must be understood, and, through the creek, up the hillside, thoroughly ingrained into every patriot's conscious and unconscious mind alike to understand and fully appreciate: Hoskins and Thomasboro were and are two separate places.

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