Monday, June 28, 1943

The Charlotte News

Monday, June 28, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports of an Allied bombing raid on Axis airdromes in the vicinity of Athens. No planes were reported lost.

RAF raids hit the Channel coast of France.

The Aleutian Island still in Japanese possession, Kiska, was bombed heavily by American forces, suggesting to observers that Kiska would soon be invaded. They were correct: the invasion was but a month and a half away. But by then, the Japanese had already evacuated, the last of their troops escaping in the darkness on July 28.

Fifty German divisions were reported to have been transferred from Russia to the West, twenty-eight to various parts of France, twelve to the Balkans, and ten to strategic reserves. Before these transfers, the Wehrmacht deployments were an estimated 180 divisions in Russia, 40 in France and the Low Countries, ten to twenty in the Balkans, five to ten in Italy, eight to ten in Norway and Denmark, and forty on reserve.

The puppet press of Rome continued to assert that the Allies were about to attack Italy; the German press, however, believed that the Allies would only persist in the air offensive and would not launch any ground invasion in the near future--apparently having decided after their failed prediction of a June 22 invasion date, that the infallibility of their predictive mechanisms meant that no invasion was nigh.

General Eisenhower had warned General De Gaulle that he would not let the differences with General Giraud, and the demands of De Gaulle that former Vichy-aligned officers appointed by Giraud be purged, interfere in any manner with the offensive operations to be launched from French North Africa.

In Chapter 25 of They Call It Pacific, Clark Lee tells of his and his fellow journalists' trip by ship from Luzon to Cebu, in order to escape the Philippines before the fall of Bataan and Corregidor. When they initially arrived in Cebu, the mayor of Bamilli gave them a rousing welcome, greeting them as reinforcements at last to deliver the Philippines from the Japanese. He was as quickly crest-fallen when told that they were merely escaping Bataan.

Lieutenant-General Joseph McNarney told Congress that victory was rapidly approaching in the war against Japan. He immediately backed off his use of the word "rapidly", however, as being perhaps hyperbole.

On the editorial page, Samuel Grafton examines the various contradictory statements about progress in the war coming from American military and civilian authorities, as well as contradictory reports on war production. He finds it all of a piece with the Soviet issuance anew the previous week of their demand for the Western Allies to establish a second front, the combination indicative of a "situation".

Dorothy Thompson not dissimilarly looks askance at the nation's sudden turns toward domestic inconsistency in prosecuting the war effort, the Detroit riot, the coal mining crisis, a chaotic food rationing program, and the sudden turn of the new Congress toward seeking to embarrass the White House at every opportunity.

She equates the phenomena with immaturity abounding in the nation, the too self-assured view, with the victory in Tunisia still ringing in the country's ears, that the war was all but won and matters on the home front could begin a return to normalcy, beset with the usual conflict. She asserts that maintaining a community of values would be the only way to preserve freedom and win the war.

The editors offer a survey of the various executive appointments, with emphasis on those almost going awry or, in a few cases, being withdrawn, made by FDR during his ten years as President.

"The Pattern" opines that the veto of the anti-strike legislation by FDR, despite its having been overridden by the Congress, would not adversely affect his popularity or power. Organized labor, it predicts, would remember the President's stand in this regard and the fact offset any loss of prestige with the country large. The President had acted, it offers, out of a realization that the legislation, enacted for the emergent situation, would continue after the war and pose potentially an inimical threat to the strides made during the previous decade under the New Deal in the area of collective bargaining.

On the other side of the coin, however, the piece views the legislation as affording protection to the country's war effort from the antics of John L. Lewis and the UMW seeking profit by attempting to hold hostage the necessity to continue to forge the implements of war.

"The Light Touch" openly disagrees with a University of North Carolina education professor who asserted, similar to the point made by Samuel Grafton in his column on Saturday, that Germans should be left after the war to re-establish their own government and re-order their society, free of Allied interference in the process, that the latter would only hamper and inhibit, even embitter, efforts at establishing democracy.

The editorial champions instead stringent oversight to insure that Germans would not again establish a love affair with a tyrant bent on world domination, would not again transubstantiate megalomaniacal characteristics into deific traits to enable surrender of their individual responsibility as children to a father figure, permitting thereby the release of all the id impulses on the convenient justification that the Fuehrer had commanded it, and because the Fuehrer received his instructions mystically from the Norse gods, was always right.

"Bawdy Houses" recommends use of a law on the books for 28 years in North Carolina but seldom used, permitting the prosecution criminally of landlords who knowingly let their premises as houses of prostitution. A recent case of a realtor in Charlotte who had been so charged ended with Solicitor John Carpenter setting him free from the clutches of the law after a year under its grip because the Grand Jury had refused to indict.

"Casualties" looks at the 87,000 killed, wounded, or missing Americans in the war thus far and finds it roughly resemblant to the eight percent casualty rate experienced in World War I, that the 365,000 casualties of that war would very quickly be eclipsed as Americans now were shortly to be launched into the thick of battle.

Although estimates of World War II casualties for each country vary widely, the post-war figures adopted by General Marshall showed 296,000 Americans killed or missing and unlikely to return.

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