Friday, September 17, 1943

The Charlotte News

Friday, September 17, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Fifth Army and Eighth Army had met by way of patrols in the southern sector of the Fifth Army's Salerno bridgehead, about eight miles below Agropoli, as the bulk of the Eighth Army was now within 16 miles of Agropoli, having captured Vallo Della Lucania. German forces were reported fleeing the approaching joinder of the full weight of the two armies.

Another part of the Eighth Army, moving along the Adriatic coast had also joined with the two forces to make a clean sweep of southern Italy.

The Fifth Army had moved further inland another mile or so to capture Albanella. Algiers radio reported the capture of Montecorvino, site of an airdrome, at the northern end of the Salerno bridgehead. If true, it would provide the Allies with the critical short-range bombing capacity which they needed for adequate protection of the infantry and armored units.

While warning that the war ahead still loomed long and large before the country, the President, in his war message to Congress, stated that plans had been laid for new offensives against Japan and Germany, including plans for specific attacks in Europe.

A map on the inside page shows the territory regained by the Russians since the winter, including the recapture of Bryansk, officially announced this date.

On the editorial page, "Missing Armies' speculates on the missions of the missing U.S. Seventh and British Ninth armies, whether slated for a western European invasion or for an invasion of the Balkans.

For the time being, General Patton, formerly in command of the Seventh Army in Sicily, was in the doghouse for the slapping of a soldier in early August in Sicily. The story, however, would not be released to the press until November.

"Still Complaints" tires of the continuing voice of dissatisfaction emanating from Moscow over the lack of a second front. The latest had come from Pravda, the official Communist Party news agency, by way of finding that 212 German divisions still populated the Russian front, meaning that the Italian invasion had not significantly reduced the number.

The Russian goal of a second front was the withdrawal of 50 to 60 German divisions to meet it.

The editorial allows for the fact that the entire matter could be a ruse cooked up by the Allies jointly to provide an appearance of dissatisfaction by the Russians, but the editorial opines that, if so, it was a poor playerís strutting wares, with little salutary effect and probably bolstering German morale.

Raymond Clapper hopes that the undue optimism in the country over the war would now be allayed by the news of the heavy losses being endured in and around Salerno. The war, he suggests, was going to continue for at least one and maybe two to three more years.

Meanwhile, Canada had announced demobilization of 20,000 soldiers at a time when Congress was about to begin the debate on drafting fathers. Mr. Clapper suggests that the need for increased production was greater than for fighting forces and that fathers should therefore be funneled into the production side.

Drew Pearson reports, among other things, that Wendell Willkie was originally invited to Australia for a goodwill mission, but, hearing about it, the President decided to send Mrs. Roosevelt instead. The move confirmed among high-ranking Republicans the Presidentís intent to run for a fourth term.

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