Wednesday, September 1, 1943

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, September 1, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that on the first day of the fifth year of World War II, the RAF complemented its raids on Berlin of the previous week with yet another large raid. Forty-seven bombers and one fighter did not return from the mission, indicating a raid of approximately 600 to 700 planes, based on the 700-plane raid which lost 58 planes on August 23.

In the Pacific, the Navy had the day before launched a carrier task force against Marcus Island, on a straight line 1,200 miles southeast of Tokyo and 900 miles northwest of Wake Island, indicating the Guano Islandís strategic significance. It was the first attack on Marcus since March 4, 1942.

Tokyo radio broadcasts indicated worry that the attack was precursor to an attack on Japan.

American Flying Fortresses raided an aircraft manufacturing facility and railway operations at Pisa in Italy.

In Denmark, King Christian X spoke to Danes despite Nazi orders not to congregate in the streets. The King encouraged his subjects with the remark that he appreciated the fact that Danish was still being spoken in Denmark and urged that it continue.

Emblematic of the blind cruelty of Nazi martial law, three Danes were shot to death without warning for doing nothing more offensive than to laugh and joke as some German soldiers passed them on the street.

The Germans again made what they had come to call a strategic retreat in Russia, this time from Voroshilovgrad, 70 miles northeast of Stalino and 90 miles north of Taganrog, taken on Monday. A German communique implicitly admitted that the Soviets were on the offensive along a 600-mile front, from Smolensk to the Sea of Azov.

On the editorial page, "Four Years of War" contrasts the eviscerated Nazis at the present point in the war with their much stronger positions a year earlier, within reach of at least a stalemate with the Allies in June and July, 1942 as Rommel appeared poised to take the Suez Canal, potentially linking the Italians and Germans with the Japanese. Three years earlier had marked the beginning of the Battle of Britain following on the fall of France in June.

But now the Nazis were on the run in Russia, had been forced to surrender North Africa and Sicily, had demonstrated a weakened U-boat force in permitting the Allies to enter the Mediterranean to deliver tens of thousands of troops since November, 1942.

The editorial provides a chronology of the war and concludes, too optimistically, that September 1, 1943 would be the last anniversary of the start of the war in Europe while it still raged. Hitler appeared finished, the final invasion of Germany poised to begin within a few months or even weeks.

Raymond Clapper asks whether Hitler would recognize reality and surrender before Germany was destroyed from the air. He compares the situation to World War I when the German High Command determined that the war was unwinnable, followed about three months later by the Armistice. Surely, he offers, the German High Command now understood Germanyís hopeless predicament militarily and would force the raising of the white flag in short order. Hitlerís recent appointment of the iron handed Heinrich Himmler as Minister of the Interior signaled Hitlerís fear of revolt from within. But the rational thing to do was to surrender unconditionally, to allow Germans to have the economic aid and self-determination of government which the Sicilians now enjoyed.

Samuel Grafton finds the latest victim of anti-FDR sentiment in Congress to be Elmer Davis, Director of the Office of War information. As with Sumner Welles and Vice-President Wallace in recent weeks, Mr. Davis was out because he had ideas. And ideas were considered by the former isolationists to be overly disturbing, even dangerous.

Drew Pearson had run afoul of the President with his recent remarks that Cordell Hull was anti-Russian. The President, without naming Pearson, called it a lie. Mr. Pearson defended his statement and indicated that he was happy to join the cadre of journalists at whom the President had leveled attacks.

By far the worse lie, however, was the one he had told Monday, about the dogfood.

In his column of the day, Mr. Pearson cavils at the Windsor (Ontario) Star for preparing to print a 180-page retrospective on the war to commemorate the fourth anniversary, to be published September 3. Fully 64 pages of the section was to be in rotogravure. The problem was that U.S. papers had been compelled by the government to curtail volume for want of newsprint. Across the river from Detroit, it was obviously not a problem.

He next informs of a whole tire plant, one of the largest in the country, having been transferred from Detroit to an unknown locale in Russia. The rubber czar, William Jeffers, had opposed the move, but the President thought it wisely efficient to provide the means for the Soviets to manufacture their own tires instead of having to be primarily dependent on imports from the United States.

Mr. Jeffers had viewed the plant as important to the production of synthetic tires. The War Production Board, however, had just approved Mr. Jeffers's request to build several new tire plants to produce the thirty million tires demanded for civilian and military use.

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