Saturday, August 7, 1943

The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 7, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The keystone mountain village of Troina, reports the front page, had been captured by the American First Division of Maj.-General Terry Allen, after some of the heaviest fighting of the Sicilian Campaign. A report Tuesday had indicated the town's capture, but in fact Allied troops had only at that point effected toeholds. The capture of the town, west of the Mt. Etna Axis line, had threatened to divide the retreat of the German Fifteenth Armored Division from that of the Hermann Goering Division, fleeing toward Messina.

The barrage of the town reported on Thursday was so heavy that some of the captured German prisoners, out of the 125,000, were observed vomiting from shell shock.

The British Eighth Army had captured Biancaville, fifteen miles northwest of Catania.

A Swiss newspaper reported that a traveler from Berlin had indicated that a schism had developed inside Germany between those wishing the war to end and those believing that Germany must fight to protect itself from being overrun and massacred by the Soviet Army and British and American planes. Rumors were abounding that by September, a military dictatorship would replace Hitler.

Amid these swirling reports, Hitler was reported to have met within the past week with his top brass as well as the Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Oshima, suggesting a top level military strategy meeting within the Reich, involving its only remaining Axis partner.

In Russia, the Nazis were reported to be clearing out of Smolensk, 220 miles to the west of Moscow, the most important remaining stronghold of the Nazis in Russia. The soldiers were taking everything with them, including any form of metal, even tin roofs, which might be used to produce weaponry. The reason for the evacuation was that the Soviet Army’s taking of Orel, along with control already of points north of Smolensk, threatened a pincer action against the city, similar to the operation which took Orel.

As well, the Soviet Army was now threatening to re-take Kharkov, after a swift drive through Belgorod to the south. Bryansk was also under threat.

In the Pacific, the day before, Munda had been captured finally, the objective since the landing on Rendova June 30. The American infantry troops were spreading out around the airstrip into mangrove swamps, chasing Japanese stragglers who had finally abandoned the airstrip. Some 1,600 Japanese were reported to have been killed.

Bombing raids took place on southern Bougainville and on Santa Isabel Island to the north of New Georgia.

The attack on Salamaua on New Guinea continued.

On the first anniversary of the beginning of the Guadalcanal Campaign, Admiral William Halsey told the press that the Battle for the Southwest Pacific would proceed until it became the Battle of Japan, that eventually the war would be taken to the streets of Tokyo.

The map on the page provides the salient dates on which operations by American forces had been initiated during the previous year.

On the editorial page, "GOP Split?" wonders whether the increasing schism emerging within the ranks of the Republicans would crystallize into a full-scale division, enabling the Democrats easily to sail to victory in 1944. Or, whether the Democrats, also showing signs of dissatisfaction within their ranks with New Deal domestic policies, might be the ones first to crack. It predicts the split would manifest itself most visibly within the GOP.

"Whom We War" reminds that, while Fascist Italy had taken down its signs and insignias, it still apparently remained a warring country against the Allies, bent on taking booty from smaller nations, just as it had since the beginning with the attack on Ethiopia in 1936. As long as the Italians continued to shoot alongside the Germans, they remained the enemy, regardless of the label under which they fought or who led them.

"World Payroll" addresses the thought pattern which had begun, worrying of the decline of the standard of living in the United States after the war, should other, smaller nations, such as Brazil or Poland, China or Turkey, become heavily industrialized in competition with the United States.

The National Association of Manufacturers had issued a statement, however, in agreement with the post-war vision promulgated by Vice-President Wallace in his recent Detroit speech, that all ships would rise together, that if smaller nations could not afford the products of the industrialized nations, then the industrialized nations would suffer economically. The editorial praises the point of view and believes that an international chamber of commerce should be the rallying cry for the post-war period.

All of that was a good idea, of course, until the greed merchants set about to foster anti-unionism in under-developed countries and then establish industries in those areas at dirt cheap wages, in competition with the unionized U.S. and its relatively high wages, draining off American industry, laboring under the balance-sheet formula, regardless of human and societal interests, siphoning away with it thousands upon thousand of jobs from Americans and providing them to cheaper labor overseas.

The concept remains, however, applicable domestically as well as internationally: if the people of this country cannot afford the products of American industry, products produced overseas, no matter how cheap, then the whole of it will ultimately collapse upon itself economically. Not such a hot idea.

Raymond Clapper reports of a memorable night spent recently following General Patton’s Seventh Army into Palermo. He was accompanied by Ernie Pyle and Chicago Tribune reporter Jack Thompson. They decided to bed down for the evening, finding a handy tree to which mosquito netting could be attached, filling their helmets with water, the only wash basin available.

They listened to an unnamed General talk of Kipling, his favorite writer, though at the time reading some unnamed work by Stephen Vincent Benet.

The talk turned to courage, the courage it took to jump out of an airplane as a paratrooper into the void. The unnamed Colonel had said that the last moment was the toughest, waiting to jump. But, now, the pause had been largely eliminated in favor of the fellow behind nearly pushing the one in front out of the plane.

Jack Thompson had parachuted in with the 82d Airborne Division and informed that his turn had been a little tougher, as he was the last man from the plane.

The Colonel said that group courage fostered courage in the less experienced troops, bringing the whole outfit’s courage up to a par over time. Such esprit de corps was the strongest force in soldiering, according to the Colonel.

Dorothy Thompson finds the criticism of the OWI broadcast by Samuel Grafton largely unwarranted, even if partly so, for the fact that political warfare against the Axis nations was being waged by the country’s writers and broadcasters in a vacuum, without publicly stated enunciation by the White House or the State Department as to the policy to be implemented in Italy and Germany once their defeat was accomplished.

Again she attacks the intractable policy of "unconditional surrender" when the particulars, as in Italy, had plainly manifested conditions calling for different treatment.

She urges, as she had for months, an expressed occupation policy, and also counsels that the policy should favor a position which would be in accord with the articulated goals of the people of the occupied country who favored establishment of a democracy.

And a letter writer follows up on the concerns recently expressed in Charlotte about dogs wandering the streets of the city, attacking people. She reports that at midnight recently, she and her family had been awakened by the mournful cry of a cat. Going to their screened-in porch, they found their Persian cat dead as three dogs, about the size of police dogs, ran from the scene back to the succor of their owners. The dogs had broken through the screen to get at the kitty and left six orphaned kittens behind.

She complains that at that hour it would have done no good to bother the police, for the dogs would have retreated to within their safe harbor by the time the police arrived.

Sounds more like wolves maybe in this instance. You sure they weren't wolves--or Nazis disguised as dogs?

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