Tuesday, June 1, 1943

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, June 1, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports of General Hsueh Yueh's victory over five divisions of Japanese in the area in front of Ichang, China, where fighting in recent days had been particularly fierce, in the area of Tungting Lake. It was deemed the greatest victory thus far in six long years of frustrating war with Japan. Allied air cover had greatly assisted the do-or-die mission into which "The Little Tiger", as General Hsueh was known, had cast his generals to ensnare the Japanese on both sides of the Yangtze in an encircling movement which had thrown 75,000 enemy troops back to Ichang.

A map on the inside page shows the area of the fighting.

Also on the inside page, Drew Pearson discusses recently deceased Admiral Yamamoto's intense hatred for the United States which had started out as friendship during the years of World War I while he served as aide to Admiral Togo, hero of the 1904-'05 Russo-Japanese War. Mr. Pearson offers no explanation, however, for the shift in stance except that the Admiral eventually, like so many in Japan, fell victim of the brainwashing with hatred for anything Western, to induce obedience to quest for empire.

The Navy announced that the final futile thrust on Saturday of the remaining Japanese in the Chichagof Valley on Attu had cost the enemy 400 troops, fully 14% of the entire original complement of about 2,900.

With the expiration of the second period of thirty-day extension of the old UMW contract with mine owners without a new contract in place, the front page reports of a half million miners either having walked off the job or failed to report to work in the government-run mines. John L. Lewis had simply stood back and let the chips fall where they may, having already instructed miners not to "trespass" on mine property failing the achievement of a new contract by midnight, May 31. The primary problem still to be resolved was the issue of portal-to-portal pay, the UMW demanding that every miner be paid the maximum time for portal-to-portal transport into and out of the mine, that being two hours each day roundtrip. Thus, the demand was for eight hours of pay for six hours of actual mining, six days per week, with time and a half for the extra eight hours, 52 hours of pay for 36 hours of actual work. No resolution was being touted as immediately in the winds.

More Allied raids took place on Pantellaria, Sardinia, and on the Adriatic side of Italy's mainland, the airdrome at Foggia. Meanwhile, Italian radio, citing the example of the British two and a half years earlier, appealed to the citizens to withstand the bombing raids without succumbing to thoughts of surrender.

It was announced that the Allies had shot down 337 Axis planes in the Mediterranean theater during May, against a loss of 108 planes.

Deputy Prime Minister, (and future Prime Minister to succeed Churchill), Clement Atlee revealed to Commons that 514,993 soldiers of the Empire had been killed, wounded, or were captured during the first three years of war in all theaters. Of these 92,069 were killed, 88,294 were wounded, and the rest were prisoners. The greatest portion, 275,000, came from the United Kingdom, while another 101,000 were from India, with 53,000 from Australia.

A reporter who accompanied inspectors of the abandoned airfield on Attu, started by the Japanese, wondered at first why the field was not completed, then realized that no modern equipment, such as bulldozers, had been used to aid the operation. The military engineers at the scene indicated their belief that the 1,000-yard strip could be finished in five days with the right equipment.

It was reported from Berlin that Germany would not be able during the summer to effect an offensive as planned earlier in Russia, that the imminent invasion of the Continent by the Allies was too absorbing of forces in defense to risk moving enough men and machinery back to the Russian front. An expected offensive south of Moscow three weeks earlier was now likely kaput.

Military observers in London, however, cautioned against too much reliance on Berlin radio, intended at times to delude the Allies.

On the editorial page, "No Cheers" predictably decries the selfish strike of the coal miners in the face of the sacrifices in blood being expended daily overseas by American soldiers, sailors, and pilots. It offers speculation that the troops would likely be disillusioned by such news from home, and proceeds to offer two letters from servicemen to prove the point.

"The Shy One" reacts critically to the continued reticence of the United States with respect to opening lines of press communication and establishing firm treaty commitments with Russia, reminds that the British had a year earlier established a twenty-year mutual non-aggression and mutual cooperation pact with Russia and also had established an active press office in Moscow. The piece cautions that America had better get on the bandwagon forthwith in like manner or be left sorely behind in the rush to have the Soviets' friendship post-war and the consequent share of the airspace.

Yet, with the advent of the atomic bomb, how quickly the world and the stakes of warfare would change in a mere 26 months hence.

Of course, ironically, (without pun), it was Winston Churchill, no longer Prime Minister, who came to the United States in March, 1946 and coined the phrase in warning, "Iron Curtain", in reference to the encroachment of the Soviets on Eastern European countries in building buffer territories through the establishment of satellites, bringing those countries under the totalitarian yoke of Soviet Communism, creating, he believed, a dangerous imbalance of power between East and West, as well as fundamentally repudiating the tenets of the Atlantic Charter of August, 1941, confirmed in the twenty-year treaty signed in May, 1942.

The initially bold one had warned the shy one, post-war, to remain shy.

Meanwhile, John Foster Dulles stood in the wings cheering.

"Log of War" recommends They Call It Pacific, the new serialized book being provided in abstract daily by The News beginning the day before. The editorial suggests that the book is one of the more probing accounts of the Pacific War produced to date, in detailing how unprepared initially American forces were to meet the Japanese head-on. While times had changed, the piece warns that understanding this initial state of affairs in which America was found could prove fruitful in the future to avoid similar sleepy states of which advantage might be taken by a calculating enemy.

Perhaps, it could have proved fruitful in 1964 and saved a lot of American lives.

Samuel Grafton discusses the "inspired ingenuity" of the underground in Europe, such tactics as doctors turning in their licenses to practice medicine in protest of a quisling being appointed to a medical organizationís board in Norway, the Nazis being forced to allow the doctors to resign the organization while, to save face, keeping the quisling on the board, winding up finally with an organization sans members, just a board.

Raymond Clapper discusses the reaction in Sweden to the dissolution of the Comintern by Stalin, finds it mixed. One group found it equally conducive to suspicion as with the Comintern still extant, the thought being that it signaled a return to Pan-Slavic Czarist Russia, equally inimical to Sweden, its historic fear of Russia being based on geography, not, as with the United States, on ideology. The threat producing the fear was that Russia could squeeze Sweden on one side while Germany squeezed on the other.

Another group had it that the Comintern's demise was likely only temporary, to draw the approbation of the Western Allies, even if thereby probably beneficial, at least in the short-run, to Sweden.

Dorothy Thompson again examines the impact systemically of the Comintern's departure from the stage, suggests that because the Twentieth Century thus far itself had been a period of great revolutionary upheavals in all developed countries, as underscored by the fact of two world wars interspersed by a worldwide depression, searching for a method by which societies could cope with emergent problems such as sickness and old age while trying to restore some semblance of the fading middle class as an economic refuge for the masses between the proletariat and the industrial monopolists out to exploit them at every opportunity, as they sought to attenuate in the process the ever-increasing hardship of the farmer, the Comintern's absence would likely not stultify that revolutionary inertia in countries once possessed of active Communist organizations. Indeed, she concludes that its absence might actually open the gates for more revolution, as one of the tasks of the Comintern had been to tamp down revolt which might threaten Russia, which might threaten Communism. So, the report was still out, she believes, on the ultimate garden its removal from the landscape would seed.

And, Tom Jimison, again writing from Rockingham, this time extols the virtues of the laconic over those possessed of the gift of gab, whose hot air cannot be suffused, his laconic friend opines, with truth for long. For truth comes at a premium and being overly verbose in a given day could not possibly accommodate but so much of the scarce commodity.

Well, we agree; and so we shall stop.

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