Saturday, June 26, 1943

The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 26, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that, no sooner than the President the day before had vetoed the anti-strike legislation, the Congress promptly overrode the veto in fast order. The anti-strike legislation, imposing severe criminal penalties on those who organized and cooperated in strikes in war industries, as well as broadening the powers of the War Labor Board, and authorizing strike votes among workers in plants involved in war work, was now law.

The President suffered a double hit when oversight and authority for implementation of the Administration-favored price roll-back subsidies were denied the Office of Price Administration and handed instead to the Food Administrator, Chester Davis, as part of a Senate bill, now headed to the House.

Republicans were quick to leap on the reversals, proclaiming them to constitute a serious setback for the Administration.

Labor threatened new walkouts in response to the veto override to add to the 250,000 workers who had so far failed to return to work in response to John Lewis’s call to do so earlier in the week. About 20,000 more workers had already walked off the job at the news.

The override had occurred so quickly and unexpectedly that the War Labor Board remained uncertain of the bill's impact on its powers to compel the UMW to sign the contract provisions it had approved, to which assent had been provided by the mine owners.

As another British raid was reported as having attacked Bolchum and Gelsenkirchen the night before in the Ruhr Valley of Germany, an unidentified military observer indicated that 30,000 tons of bombs had been deposited on the Ruhr during the previous three and a half months and that, consequently, the region was severely depleted in its industrial might. More than 500 Allied bombers had been lost along with 3,000 airmen.

In the largest air raid yet launched by American forces from North Africa on Italy, a hundred Flying Fortresses attacked Messina, inflicting significant damage. Only three Fortresses failed to return despite encountering unusually concentrated enemy anti-aircraft fire and fighter resistance both on the inbound flight and on the return.

In Norway, it was reported that the crews of six German U-boats had mutinied and refused to put to sea. They were arrested and imprisoned.

In Trondheim, an unidentified German admiral predicted that the Allies would soon land in Norway.

Meanwhile, the Nazi satraps in the Balkans prepared for invasion, while most Italian sources believed the attack would center on Sicily, Sardinia, and Southern Italy.

In Detroit, a midnight curfew remained in effect as the death toll from the three-day riot starting the previous Saturday evening surpassed thirty. Bars were closed at 10:00 p.m. and places of amusement an hour later.

In Chapter 24 of They Call It Pacific, Clark Lee tells of the fact that by, mid-February, 1942, he and his fellow journalists in the Philippines were seeking transportation out of the islands to Australia. The handwriting was on the wall: there was no aid coming to the embattled Bataan and Corregidor; the Philippines had been written off by the command structure as expendable.

An American radio announcer, Don Bell, had been reportedly tortured and killed by the Japanese at the fall of Manila. They did not want to wind up the same way. Their rationale as journalists was that, by escaping, they might return to the United States and make the case for prompt aid to be dispatched to save the brave fighters on Bataan.

As an apparent concession to the supposedly libelous story carried in The News May 28 on the alleged vagaries of the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company out of Wilmington, as written up in a piece appearing in the New York publication The Hour, alleging that the company had created an anti-union organization which provided funding to a pro-Nazi newspaper in Wilmington, The Post, all retracted by The News in an apology published June 17, News writer Tim Pridgen was reported to have been assigned to do a six-part story on the company, which had been responsible for sending a hundred merchant ships down the ways to sea. The series would start Monday.

Whether the story informs of the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company owners' pronunciation of the company's name, for instance as "Nawth Ca'lina", "No'th Ca'lina", or perhaps "Nurt Car-lina", we shall have to wait and see.

On the editorial page, a piece by James Marlow and George Zielke asks many questions anent the new anti-strike legislation, as to how it would operate effectively to stop a walkout. Could its reach of criminal penalties be exerted on the ordinary worker who cooperated in the strike without leading it? Could it reach labor leaders who not only did not lead the strike, but, as in the case of John L. Lewis that week, had ordered the workers to return to work? Was it not really simply a piece of thunder which could be easily avoided by the shelter of circumvention, rendering it impotently ineffectual in the end?

Raymond Clapper examines the division between Generals De Gaulle and Giraud, finds neither ideally suited to occupy the role of leader of liberated France when the occupation by the Nazis was kaput, both being insistent too much on playing the role of prima donna. He advocates a turn to more moderate leaders, such as Jean Monnet, to act as a stabilizing force among the French until a popular government could be established after the liberation.

The Christian Science Monitor takes a gander at Hitler's invasion of Russia in light of the Heartland Theory advanced by Sir Halford Mackinder in his geopolitical theory, adopted by Hitler through his adviser, Karl Haushofer, while in Landsberg Prison in 1924, and incorporated by whole cloth into Mein Kampf, becoming the foundation pins for Hitler's efforts to conquer Europe and Africa.

It was all falling to pieces, now. And central among the crumbling pillars was the Russian invasion, undertaken to insure oil and wheat sufficient to supply the Wehrmacht in its attempt to conquer and maintain its grip on the rest of the world.

But, laying aside the theory of geopolitics, no one yet understood why Hitler had been so foolhardy as to fall into the same trap Napoleon had in 1812-13 by invading Russia.

More of the prophetic 1918 poem, "Scythians", by Alexander Blok, of which the piece quotes only one verse, runs, within varied translations:

You are millions. We are hordes and hordes and hordes
Try and take us on!
Yes, we are Scythians! Yes, we are Asians--
With slanted and greedy eyes!

Yea, Russia is a Sphinx, exulting, grieving,
And sweating blood, she cannot sate,
Her eyes that gaze and gaze and gaze
At you with stone-lipped love for you, and hate.

Go all of you, to Ural fastnesses.
We clear the ground for the appalling scenes
Of war between the savage Mongol hordes
And pitiless science with its massed machines.

But we, we shall no longer be your shield.
But, careless of the battle-cries,
Will watch the deadly duel seethe,
Aloof, with indurate and narrow eyes.

We will not move when the ferocious Hun
Despoils the corpse and leaves it bare,
Burns towns, herds cattle in the church,
And smell of white flesh roasting fills the air.

Mr. Blok died in 1921 at age forty-one, no longer celebrating the Russian Revolution he had once embraced three and four years earlier.

In any event, Hitler, as Napoleon before him, met the Scythian wild.

"Air Cavalry" draws comparison between the exploits told and celebrated in the South for eighty years past of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Confederate General and eventual post-Civil War early leader of the Ku Klux Klan, which he later disavowed, and the reported loss of his great-grandson's Flying Fortress after a bombing raid on the submarine base at Kiel in Germany, June 13.

Burke Davis expected the namesake of the earlier General Forrest, by all rights of family tradition for derring-do and gasconade amid the flames of battle, yet to surface, leading his men onward to glorious victory, this time over the Nazis.

General Nathan Bedford Forrest III, however, had indeed perished at age 38 in the B-17 as it exploded after he continued to pilot the stricken craft long enough for his crew to bail out. His effects eventually washed ashore in Germany in late September, 1943. As the previous day's inside page indicated, he was the fifteenth general or admiral to be killed or listed as missing in the war and the first to be killed in the European theater.

Samuel Grafton begins a piece, in which he advocates leaving to the Germans the proper responsibility for the work of rebuilding their country and establishing its new government after the war, with an historically ironic statement: "The opinion of the average American or Englishman on how to treat the Germans after the war is approximately as important as his opinion on crop prospects in the year 1962."

Well, the opinions on crop prospects, and how they might be stored in the silos, in the year 1962, as it turned out, would have been of considerable interest to Americans and Britons in 1943 had they possessed the gift of prophecy and known what lay in store for them during the ensuing 19 years. That the statement related also to post-war treatment of Germany, being actively debated in the press and among the leaders and statesmen of the nations at this juncture in history, was integrally significant, indeed, to this future 1962 crop picture.

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