Saturday, August 14, 1943

The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 14, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that, with Randazzo now taken by the Allies and all of Mt. Etna in Allied hands, the Nazis were completely in retreat, evacuating as much personnel and materiel as they could through Messina to the Italian mainland.

Both the British and the Americans had moved to within less than 35 miles of Messina.

A report from Switzerland indicated that there had been heavy damage to populated areas of Rome in the previous day's bombing, the second on the city during the war. Citizens of Rome were reported leaving their homes in droves and fleeing to the countryside.

Italian authorities were moving to declare Rome an open city, free from military involvement, to try to spare it from further Allied bombing.

American Liberators struck Austria, the first bombing of the country since a raid in September had hit Vienna. This time, the bombs fell on Wiener Neustadt, 27 miles south of Vienna, targeting an aircraft production facility. The origin of the raid was believed to be either Cap Bon in Tunisia or Cirenaica in Libya.

From the Pacific, it was reported that the Japanese base of Salamaua on New Guinea lay in shattered ruins after an intense bombing raid the previous day. The piece speculates that it probably forecasted the last major push by the infantry to take Salamaua, five miles from the last reported Allied lines. A similar concentrated attack on July 7 had preceded such a move by the infantry on Mubo, twelve miles south of Salamaua, the last position of consequence taken during the offensive.

On the Russian front, the Red Army had penetrated the streets of Kharkov and appeared poised to take the key steel city back from the Nazis.

In the north, the Soviets had taken Spas Demensk, midway between Smolensk and Bryansk, after penetrating substantial German fixed fortifications erected during the Nazisí retreat from Moscow in fall, 1941 and improved during the summer of 1942.

Henry Cassidy reported from the Russian front that, relying heavily on American-built trucks, the Red Army had mounted a huge offensive in July, with firepower greater than that heaved at Verdun in World War I. The drive, now slugging through heavy rains and swampy terrain, had pushed the Nazis to defending positions along two brittle salients, from Karachev, now heavily threatened by the Russians, to the Desna River near Bryansk, and along the Dneiper River.

His continuing saga set forth in the abstracted Moscow Dateline, describing the first summer of invasion of Russia in 1941, provides a candid account of his lack of memory after a certain point, induced by a cocktail party held at the front, within earshot of the big guns. Sitting across the table from Erskine Caldwell and surrounded by Russian officers and other war correspondents, the happy contingent were engaged in a game of drinking at a single quaff glasses of vodka. The rest was history.

On the editorial page, "Quite Nallie" speaks for itself, in double-talk or not. You may look up the words for yourself. Our Oxford is in dispose for the nonce, its conveyance jitney being a bit in the ruts, necessitating our need to explore underneath its bonnet when first weather permits.

"Churchill Says:" reminds of the Prime Ministerís prescience when in 1941 he stated that first there would be hardship for the Allies as they learned the cruel art of war, but then would come the offensive, to occur during 1943.

In May, he had said during his visit to Washington that the worst enemy for the Allies was a war which dragged on to the point of producing in the people of the Allied nations loss of interest in its outcome. The hope in Germany and Japan, he continued, was that such a mentality would creep upon the Allied cause, to deliver it in such temptation to destruction. Such hope had to be crushed, he had concluded.

Now, he was in North America again, for the fourth time, and the central concerns appeared to be the opening of the Burma Road to supply China's war effort by land again to bolster the Chinese morale, while deliberating also on where next to strike on the Continent to take the onus off the war-weary Russians.

"FDR, A Symbol" implicitly predicts that, with the term of the popular desire for big government in aid of the common man appearing to be drawing to a close after ten years as new prosperity rolled over the land, President Roosevelt would have a difficult time being re-elected in 1944. For he had been elected as the protector of the common man and would have difficulty making himself over into the image of the protector of the status quo domestically. As the reason for the importance of the symbol had disappeared from the landscape, as the job of deliverance of the common man from his misery was deemed done in the minds of the people, historical trends did not bode well for a fourth term.

And thus, also, Dewey defeated Truman in 1948, to win his second consecutive term in office.

Raymond Clapper offers that the terror imposed on civilian populations by bombing campaigns, both Axis and Allied, presented the sharpest sword to deter future war. For too long through the centuries the civilian populations had been able to sit idly by as near spectators in warfare. Now that they were engaged in the thick of it, they must in the future insist on leaders who would steer them away from war, to avoid the personal destruction which now beset them.

Mr. Clapper finds that the attack from German radio against Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, contending he was a butcher of women and children, was the surest sign of the terrible effectiveness of the Allied bombing raids on Germany.

But it was alright. For, in the future, Germans would think twice before allowing another Hitler to come to power. No longer were wars to be fought by a class of professional soldier on remote battlefields along the countryside of Germany or in France or Poland or Russia. The battlefield was presently in their own yards, in the ruins of what was once their own living rooms, before the ill-fated dream of lebensraum permeated the German national consciousness as hallmark of the country's resistless destiny to rule the world.

Dorothy Thompson again discusses the divergence between the State Departmentís policy toward post-war Germany, as recently defended in a column by Walter Lippmann, and that of Russia.

Russia had issued its Manifesto which offered peace to Germany on condition that it overthrow the Nazi regime, recall all its military forces home, renounce further aggression, and re-establish a true democracy.

America, however, did not desire to treat with anyone in Germany, wanted to wait until the end of the war to decide which leadership would best suit Germany, all while a provisional Allied governing body presided over the country, probably to be dismembered into regions.

The policy of America was a good one, Mr. Lippmann had reasoned, and the Russian importuning to revolt from within without purpose. For the ability of the revolutionaries within Germany to govern would have been compromised by war's end by having been constrained to accept terms of unconditional surrender from the Allies. Thus, seeking to woo them would be a fruitless, even dangerous, task.

Ms. Thompson vehemently dissents from the point, asserts that the Russian policy set a definite standard for the new government of Germany and offered by it specific terms of peace in which any German who desired overthrow of the Hitler regime might find solace and encouragement to purpose it.

The Manifesto, she believes, left America with two choices: either defeat Germany before Russia; or immediately adopt the Manifesto as the cohering Allied position. But failure to do either, she predicts, would, of its own indecisiveness, seek dire consequence.

Did it not?

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