Thursday, September 23, 1943

The Charlotte News

Thursday, September 23, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that an American force of troops had driven deep into the Eboli-Battipaglia line just south of Salerno and, after a hundred hours of continuous shelling, had bravely maintained their positions in trenches even as German tanks rolled over them. The men stayed in the trenches for five days, pinned down by enemy fire, before they were able to advance.

Meanwhile, Allied troops moved closer to Naples, as the Nazis continued to detonate bombs and set fires destroying facilities in apparent preparation for evacuating the city.

On Corsica, French and American troops trapped the remaining Germans as Allied air and sea forces blockaded the island to prevent escape. General Henri Giraud, fresh from a tour of the island, disclosed that preparations for the invasion had been afoot for six months during which 10,000 Corsicans had been armed with tommy-guns dropped by parachute while the 80,000 Italians on the island, taking orders from the French commanders, were put to work repairing bombed out roads and bridges. The Italians were not involved in the fighting.

A massive RAF air raid took place the night before on the German city of Hannover, costing 26 British bombers. American daylight raids struck targets in France.

On the Russian front, Poltava, the last major Nazi center above the Dneiper River bend, was captured by the Red Army. Poltava had been in German hands since September, 1941. There was also a breakthrough into White Russia at Gomel, midway between Kiev and Smolensk.

In an amphibious operation, Australian troops landed above Finschhaven, 60 miles northeast of Lae on New Guinea. Finschhafen was strategically significant as a potential staging platform for air and sea operations against Rabaul on New Britain, site of a key Japanese supply depot.

On Arundel Island in the Solomons, American troops wiped out the remnants of Japanese forces, putting American artillery within shelling distance of the Japanese airbase at Vila.

Counsel for the House Military Subcommittee reported that 300,000 single men were in government service, over half of whom had not received a draft deferment. The matter was under study in conjunction with the planned call-up of fathers to begin October 1.

In Manhattan, striking elevator operators in twelve skyscrapers forced workers and patrons to the staircases. Two operators at Rockefeller Center were arrested for disorderly conduct after threatening a scab who refused to walk off his job.

On the editorial page, "Church Progress" gives high praise to a decision by the North Carolina Council of Churches to allow black churches to be accorded full membership in the organization. The editorial considered the long delayed action to unify white and black churches in the state to be the only move consistent with Christian principles.

Of course, there was no mention of actual integration of the individual churches.

"Strange Message" questions the intent of General MacArthur's statement announced the day before regarding his "subordinate" position in the Pacific and intent nevertheless to continue to fight "manfully". It finds the remarks laced with an air of dissatisfaction and likely intended to suggest to a domestic audience that the general was being relegated to a secondary position in the Pacific chain of command since the appointment of Lord Mountbatten to head Southeast Asian ground operations.

"The Dissenters" praises the overwhelming vote of the House in favor of the Fulbright Resolution, approving United States membership in a post-war United Nations organization. Yet, it finds that in the 29 dissenting votes, representative of about ten million Americans, there was still the echo of misunderstanding anent the necessity of such an organization to maintain the peace and avoid a repeat of the mistakes of the aftermath of World War I.

Dorothy Thompson discusses, without fully realizing the future world to come, the prospects for the Cold War, that the inevitable post-war power vacuum in Europe had to be filled, that it would be filled either by having Europe in harmony with Britain and Russia, not appearing to be the American policy, or by division of Europe between Anglo-American influence and Russian influence, also apparently not the intention of America, or by Anglo-American control of Europe on the excuse that Russia could not afford to feed the conquered lands, apparently the policy to be followed. The notion appeared to be that a permanent policing action would be implemented to secure Europe against future Mussolinis and Hitlers, with a similar order to be established in Japan. She predicts that such a move, however, would be viewed in Russia as aggressive and could thereby place the underpinnings for another war.

Raymond Clapper again addresses the issue of General Marshall's rumored transfer to become commander of European operations and its likely harm to the Allied war effort should he lose his position as Chief of Staff of the Army.

The piece appears to have been written before the previous day's announcement of the general's appointment as Supreme Allied Commander of all forces worldwide.

Drew Pearson points out that Secretary of War Henry Stimson had assured that the rumored transfer of General Marshall was not a fait accompli and urged patience to those who were expressing consternation at the rumored change.

Mr. Pearson also reviews J. Edgar Hoover's cure for bureaucraticitis: getting the bureaucrat out from behind the desk and into the field to enjoy a better understanding of the country being governed, to stem the tendency aborning to think himself a "tin god". Mr. Hoover recommended getting out "under the Sierra Mountains" for fresh air, as he had done on his cross-country tour of various FBI regional offices.

Just how one gets under the Sierras, however, we would not be able to understand. Typically, one gets in or on the Sierras or above the Sierras, but not under them, save maybe in some hidden chambers carved deep inside the mountains to stow away the nation's secrets. Perhaps the Director might have elucidated.

In any event, we are certain that it must have worked, for J. Edgar Hoover was renowned in his later years as being nonesuch among the tin gods of the realm.

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