Monday, Tuesday, August 2-3, 1943

The Charlotte News

Monday, August 2, 1943


Site Ed. Note: Catching you up with Monday's and Tuesday's prints, which we could not obtain at the time for our computer mishap, (which involved twice tripping over a cable, causing the hard drive to stop driving), and now substituting temporally for our Friday edition missing from the microfilm, we start first with the front page and editorial page of Monday, August 2, 1943, and then will combine them below with the front page and editorial page of August 3.

The Seventh Army under General Patton continued its drive east, seizing San Stefano, the northern end of the Mt. Etna line controlled by the Axis. Simultaneously, the British Eighth Army began its final push to take Catania, to be achieved on Thursday.

Along the way, the Americans took 10,000 more prisoners, most of whom, for a change, were Germans, as they captured Mistretta.

The U.S. Ninth Air Force clobbered the Rumanian oil fields at Ploesti, 35 miles north of Bucharest, a vital resource for Nazi oil. The attack was made at low level, just above the smokestacks, and was the largest such raid in history, numbering 175 Liberators. Fully twenty of them were shot down and others had not yet returned from the mission, indicating the heavy ground fire encountered by the raiders.

One might have dubbed the mission, "Smokestack Lightning".

Berliners were reported fleeing the city in droves, fearful that Allied bombers would soon visit their destruction on the capital in like fashion to that which had set ablaze virtually all of Hamburg during the previous fortnight.

Eighteen German divisions were reported to be encamped in Northern Italy, leaving any possibility of surrender of Italy by the Badoglio Government to encompass only that part below the Po Valley. The Germans had heavily occupied the Upper Adige River Valley, scene of heavy fighting in the First World War, above and below Trento.

In Madrid, the morale of German soldiers was said to be gaining measurably from its nadir a week before at the news of the fall of Mussolini and the imminent collapse of Italy. Now, they were discussing the difference between Italian soldiers and German soldiers.

--Die italienischen Soldaten haben nur Stock pretzelsn zusammen lassen binden, mit dem, während die deutschen Jungen zu kämpfen, haben große Fleischfrikadellen und viele Nudeln, zu den Alliierten zu bringen, die haben, haben nur kleine Hotdogs und kein Sauerkraut. Sie lächeln, als wir als Wölfe in der Nacht zurück an ihnen heulen, und sie werden wegrennen.

In Harlem, six were killed and 201 injured, including 40 policemen, as riots erupted in the sub-borough on Sunday night. A committee of 1,500 persons, mostly black, formed to patrol the areas with nightsticks to prevent further disturbances and looting.

On the editorial page of August 2, "Right, Henry" gives praise to the recent Detroit speech of Vice-President Henry Wallace as he set the course for the future, away from the past, away from corporate greed and monopoly and unequal opportunity, economic and social, and toward a world which shared its wealth among nations, concerned more with “welfare politics” than with “power politics”.

"MacArthur?" looks at the Republican attempt to woo General MacArthur to become the Republican candidate for the presidency in 1944. The piece expresses no opinion on the matter as to its wisdom or likelihood, though on February 15 a piece had appeared in the column disfavoring the notion, reminding those in favor of it that military prowess did not always equate with executive ability in the White House.

Instead, this time, it looks at the attractive demographic prospects for a MacArthur candidacy, that he would likely obtain the vote of soldiers, both of the present war and the veterans of the World War, and then examines briefly the history of the presidency and the fact that until World War I, all prior wars in U.S. history had produced at least one President.

Douglas MacArthur, given his autocratic tendencies and clashes with President Truman in 1951 in Korea, we suggest, would have been an unmitigated disaster as president. His crossing swords with President Truman forever barred him from the test in any event. Had it been otherwise, he might well have garnered the nomination in 1952 instead of Dwight Eisenhower, a reluctant candidate.

Drew Pearson examines FDR's comments on the potential competition for the Republican nomination in 1944, the President having found Wendell Willkie to be an able man with breadth of vision, General MacArthur to be a man well-traveled, having been as far as Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York City.

Finally, the President fixed his attention on young Tom Dewey, saying little, but measuring the New York Governor's caliber and character by drawing his hands from a yard apart slowly down to about three inches, concluding, "That is Dewey."

When told of the gesture and remark, Mr. Dewey was said to have laughed without comment.

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, August 3, 1943


The front page of August 3 tells of the Canadian capture of Regalbuto along the Mt. Etna line as the Americans captured Cerami and Capizzi. The Seventh Army was reported to have pushed on beyond those points to take Troina, twenty miles southeast of San Stefano, the town captured the previous day.

The Eighth Army established a bridgehead on the Dittaino River and entered the western end of the Catania plain.

Reports from Madrid had it that Italians might assist the Allies during an invasion of Italy's mainland, that a "peace march" was forming to proceed to Rome, the antithesis of the Fascists' March on Rome October 30, 1922 which had brought Mussolini to power. Hatred among Italians was widespread against the Nazis but scarcely any negative feeling toward the Allies was being detected.

The infantry on Munda had advanced another 500 to 1,200 yards to close in on the western edge of the airfield objective.

Fires continued to rage from the oil fields of Ploesti in Rumania, struck by the American Liberator force the day before.

The rioting in Harlem continued on Monday, with looting occurring in broad daylight. The total injured had been increased to 545, while the number of reported dead had decreased from six to five.

On the editorial page of August 3, "New York Riot" suggests that the Detroit and Harlem riots proved that the festering problem of race did not exist solely within the South, but was pervasive in the society, that addressing it required a broader outlook by all white people, "assuming the white man's part of the burden".

"Guessing Game" wonders whether Virginio Gayda, former puppet editor of Mussolini's mouthpiece, had in fact been killed, was a suicide, or was imprisoned for treason. It expressly declines to care whether he lived or died for his unmitigated, unremorseful support of Fascism throughout its reign.

"The Ravens" finds the departure of Mussolini from the stage premonitive of Hitler's coming exit likewise--by the rapping and tapping on his chamber door, perhaps beneath his bust of Pallas, on some midnight dreary in bleak December, a flaming ingle at the fore, as he heard the Raven say its dirge, in lost Plutonium's riven lore.

Samuel Grafton, after the day before defending his remarks on the OWI broadcast regarding the "little moronic King" and the "Fascist" Badoglio, now finds humor in the attack upon him by the Hearst newspapers and by Arthur Krock of The New York Times as an alleged Communist for the remarks. He finds the reasoning circuitous and illogical, that because Communists supposedly wanted to take over in Italy, the best way to do so was by sowing the seeds of distrust between the Allies and the King and Badoglio, that those who did so therefore supported the Communists. Mr. Grafton says that, instead, it was the Communist line, citing The Daily Worker's recent print, that the Allies should cozy up to the King and Badoglio, the very notion being put forward by Mr. Krock and the Hearst syndicate.

Moreover, he finds it humoring that he was now also accused by Red hunter Martin Dies of being a member of the League of American Writers, a communist front organization. He pleads mea culpa, but explains that in 1940 he led a walkout from the League by its non-Communist members because the League was isolationist.

He concludes that the actual reason for such attacks was to stultify liberalism and to attack liberal social policies, by branding anyone who advocated them as Communist.

He finds it all a bit absurd, that this attack on him had begun for his having called the King of Italy a little moron.

Drew Pearson mentions, inter alia, one George Harrison, head of the railway clerks, who went to the White House to seek its intervention and overruling of Judge, and future Chief Justice, Fred Vinson in his having overruled the special panel appointed by the President which had allowed a wage increase for the non-operating railway personnel. Mr. Harrison came away convinced that the President was on the union's side. But, in fact, the President had only asked Judge Vinson, who had overruled the panel because of the inflationary tendency of the wage increase and its being contrary to the "little steel" formula, to review the situation and was not apparently prepared to overrule him. The prospects were that a railway strike might be in the offing. The White House, however, had voiced the belief that the railway workers would be more patriotic than the coal miners and John L. Lewis.

Dorothy Thompson returns to the page after a month vacation and honeymoon. She addresses the problems of settling the question of peace with Italy, suggests that the war had two essential fronts, one a spiritual-political front, the other a material front. The material front had to have material to fight. The political front was sustained by ideas.

She counsels that while America and Great Britain seemed to hem and haw on the sidelines, an opportunity to further a democratic revolution, already afoot in the streets of Italy, was being lost, that the best way to win over Italians was to adopt the manifesto presented by "the Mob", in reality simply the people hungry for democracy, their demands being to have an honorable peace, to evacuate German troops from Italy, to establish democracy, to imprison Fascists, and release political prisoners. She finds the five goals identical to those of the Allies and so reasonable to adopt.

But the Allies continued stubbornly to cling to the phrase "unconditional surrender", thus inhibiting rapprochement with the sentiment expressed by the great masses of Italians. The strictures of the phrase, she opines, contained meaning only in the "military world", but not in the "political world". For men could surrender arms, but not their minds.

She recommends that Badoglio, never sympathetic to Fascism, only a pragmatic adherent, be instructed simply to accept the demands of his people, simpatico with the Allied terms of peace. For then Badoglio was placed in a position in which he either had to resist the peace and, concomitantly, the desires of his people, showing his political black hand, or accept them.

Two undesirable things might occur out of this brewing tempest, she suggests: either Hitler or Badoglio would suppress the demonstrations and the revolution, leaving Italians bitter toward both sides, the Allies for not coming soon enough to their aid; or, the revolution could turn of its own accord against the entire world, cynical of its imperialistic warring tendencies.

She concludes: "It is necessary to think, and think logically and morally. It is necessary to act, in the political world, not keep on mouthing Unconditional Surrender, because we cannot think of anything better to say."

Well, whether living in the material world or the political world, or inevitably both at once, inextricably intertwined in corporeal existence, it is indeed necessary to think, and to think logically and morally.

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