Saturday, June 5, 1943

The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 5, 1943


Site Ed. Note: Reports the front page, more daylight bombing raids by U.S. raiders under the command of Carl Spaatz struck Italy, at Brindisi in the southeast, Catanzaro, 90 miles from the Messina Strait between Italy and Sicily, Pangora, on Sicily at Syracuse, and again on Pantellaria. No bombers were lost in the raid despite a duel with enemy fighters.

To add to Italy's growing woes, uprisings of underground guerillas in Greece during the previous fortnight had forced, according to an unconfirmed report out of Morocco, the withdrawal of Italian troops by Mussolini.

Confirming the later story which would surface regarding the Nazis' attempt to shoot down Winston Churchill's plane over the Bay of Biscay--instead, on June 2, shooting down over the Bay of Biscay the plane carrying Leslie Howard and twelve other passengers on a regular commercial B.O.A.C. flight from Lisbon to London--the Prime Minister returned with Anthony Eden to London, flying over the Bay of Biscay at night. He had visited in Algiers with General Eisenhower, General Marshall, General Montgomery, and other Allied brass, to plan final strategy for invasion of Sicily and Italy, discussed during the previous two weeks in Washington with President Roosevelt.

After information had surfaced that the Prime Minister was in North Africa, the Luftwaffe, it was reported, was especially active over the Bay of Biscay during the previous week, obviously looking for the Prime Minister's plane.

In Pittsburgh, the Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corporation reported closure of eleven of its blast furnaces for lack of coke produced from coal.

Meanwhile, the back to work order to be issued by the President on Monday was going to be obeyed by the coal miners but only so far as June 20, the new extended deadline instituted by John L. Lewis for resolving contract negotiations with the mine owners short of further strike.

Ousted Argentine President Ramon Castillo was reported to have resigned and surrendered to the military junta responsible for the coup d'etat reported the previous day.

In Chapter 6 of They Call It Pacific, Associated Press reporter Clark Lee writes of the bombing of Clark Field by the Japanese, north of Manila, putting out of commission most of the air corps planes on hand. The planes, primarily aging P-40's, had been neatly lined up as if in a turkey shoot, the pilots not having been adequately trained to disperse them and no orders having been issued to take off prior to attack, not adequately foreseen despite coming ten hours after word of the attack at Pearl Harbor.

A map on the inside page shows the dramatic savings to the Allies in time and miles for shipping of troops and materiel to the war zones accessible from the Mediterranean and through the Suez Canal, to Russia via land to the Caspian Sea, and to the Near and Middle East, to India and thus to aid the offensive against Burma and southern China.

And, a record-setting temperature of 100° struck Charlotte, sending Charlotteans scrambling for shade and fountains. Miss McGarity, on Thursday, had already forecasted the problem of the incipient coup de soleil, thereby arresting its harsher consequences ahead of her fellow juntistas, showing the way to the inestimable tactile sensations resultant of los placeres mística de refrigeración de agua pura.

On the editorial page, "The Calendar" lays out the entire schedule of key turns in the coal mine crisis, ongoing since March, suggests that the entire picture places the finger of primary blame on John L. Lewis and his consistent insistence on demands to which the mine operators were unwilling to accede.

Reading it, however, in sum, we aren't so sure that the mine owners were not equally or more to blame by their own brand of indefatigable recalcitrance.

"Last Knock", recognizing that the coup in Argentina was not an apocalyptic event, nevertheless provides it with credit for establishing at last firm Allied solidarity in the Americas, Argentina and its "neutrality" maintained by Axis-aligned Raymon Castillo having registered the last exception to joinder with the United Nations.

"Guarantee" concludes that the imprimatur of the conservative Institute of London Underwriters to safe conduct to and fro across the Mediterranean was the final rite of passage assuring that ships and planes could pass untrammeled by either the air superiority once commanded in the area by the Luftwaffe or the pestering pursuit of the Regia Marina.

A piece appears describing the narrow escape of a United States cruiser taking part in the Operation Torch landings on Casablanca November 8, 1942, when attacked by ostensibly six torpedoes from a French submarine, part of the Vichy navy ordered to defend the position. Subsequently, after Admiral Darlan ordered the French naval forces in North Africa turned over to the Allies, the captain of the submarine exchanged memories of the attack with the cruiser's captain. It turned out that only five torpedoes actually had been fired, a sixth sticking in the tube. The five had missed striking the cruiser broadside only because of a serendipitous decision, moments before the torpedoes were unleashed, by the cruiser's navigator to turn 20 degrees from a course heading on which the ship had been consistently sailing without variation for some period of time.

Telepathy, Fate, Coincidence? You be the judge.

Fletcher Pratt, military analyst, contributes a piece opining that Rommel's maneuvers in North Africa after the Second Battle of El Alamein, right up through the Kasserine Pass offensive, continuing with the breach finally by the British of the Mareth Line in the face of a stand behind it by Rommel's panzer divisions, suggested themselves as but delaying tactics to buy time for preparation of defenses of Southern Europe as well as to experiment with tactical maneuvers for deployment eventually in protection of the Continent.

No better proof, he asserts, for this conclusion existed than that of the maneuver through Kasserine with the apparent intent at the time to take Tebourba and thereby split in two, north and south, the Allied forces. The fact that Rommel withdrew as quickly as he had attacked along the 66-mile route gave credence to the notion and suggested the tactic as one which would likely be used as a method of defense when the assault by the Allies on the Continent came.

Call it the Chase through the Cheviot Hills.

Samuel Grafton finds that the appointment of Governor John Bricker of Ohio, eventual Republican vice-presidential candidate in 1944, and Senator Robert Taft, to a Republican advisory committee on post-war planning, to be emblematic of the Republican desire to have post-war "planning" instead consistent with non-planning. Governor Bricker was on record as favoring diffusion of central government power among the states and localities after the war; Senator Taft refused the concept that the war was being fought to establish President Roosevelt's Four Freedoms, enunciated as part of the Atlantic Charter of August, 1941. These policy stands of the two men, concludes Mr. Grafton, were indicative of the apparent determination by the leadership of the Republican Party to institute policy after the war based on the desires of individuals, contra the common weal. For the common weal, it was apparent from public opinion polls, stood solidly in favor of the Four Freedoms as a goal for the war, to establish worldwide democracy and to establish a United Nations policing organization to assure it.

Raymond Clapper reports of the German propaganda now on the defensive in the face of United Nations solidarity, manifested most visibly in the previous month by the dissolution of the Comintern, taking away the Nazi line that motivation for the war was to defeat Communism internationally. Now, the divide-and-conquer strategy, once sought to be effected by the Nazi press, could no longer be exacted against the Allies.

Instead, the conceptualization of the Big Lie had shifted: Voelkischer Beobachter, Nazi Party organ, now voiced the line that civilians were being harassed by the bombing campaign of the Allies against German cities, that the destruction would be avenged; provincial publications vowed retribution against Jews for the destruction--presumably on the old pre-war Nazi propaganda theory that cartels of "international bankers", i.e. Jews, were responsible for debilitation of Germany economically and emasculation of it militarily after World War I.

Instead of hiding the results of bombing raids--as once the Nazis did by reconstructing with alacrity empty facades of businesses and residential dwellings, then as quickly cleaning out the debris, sending press photographers to fuzzy-pop the apparently unscathed areas days after the raids, all to create the illusion of ineffective bombing--, now the Minister of Propaganda, Herr Doktor Goebbels, insisted that the bombing raids be trumpeted on the front pages as acts of terrorism and brutality brought to bear on the herrenvolk.

Engaging the morale of the German populace, oriented on the fulcrum of belief in retribution as a means to maintain coherence, was now the chosen means of maintaining order and preventing underground revolt to the intransigently stern Nazi martial mien.

Yet, the Nazi press continued to seek to sow the seeds of Allied disunity by stressing a Communist threat from Russia, issuing false statements claiming that former Ambassador to Russia, Joseph E. Davies, had gone to Moscow as special envoy to carry, not the message of solidarity which he did carry, that there would be established forthwith a Continental second front, an imminent invasion of Italy, followed later by an invasion of France, but rather that he pressed to the Premier an ultimatum that if Russia did not allow use by the American air forces of Siberian bases to attack Japan, the United States would cease Lend-Lease aid to Russia. The Nazi press, says Mr. Clapper, had also been focusing on the United Nations Food Conference in Hot Springs, suggesting that it was planning secretly, apart from press scrutiny, the reorientation of agriculture in Europe after the war to afford better foreign markets for U.S. crops, a part of an ongoing imperialistic plot by the U.S. to enslave Europe economically.

All of this shift in duster emphasis was consequent of the Allied bombing campaign and the increscent germination of discontent with the continued prosecution of the war among the German people by their fearless Leader.

Divide and conquer. Tell them what they want to hear. Echoing through the corridors of more recent history, do we not hear the lines which have, since being elevated to a form of art by Richard Nixon in 1968, practiced with such assiduity as to appear to the Booboisie inscrutably honest and moral, characterized the thrust of an undulatingly rising and receding faction of the Republicans in this country since the War, the "Wave of the Future" of which Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote in 1940, the Tea Party Movement of which we hear of late? Are they not, in their base metal, Nazis?

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