Saturday, September 4, 1943

The Charlotte News

Saturday, September 4, 1943


Site Ed. Note: The British Eighth Army and the Canadian First Division were reported on the front page to have established a bridgehead onto the mainland of Italy between Reggio Calabria and San Giovanni, extending throughout the southern arc of Calabria. Axis artillery batteries which had menaced the Messina Strait were eliminated by the Allies, opening the way for unimpeded transport across the strait of troops and supplies.

The landing was greeted with near apathy by many Italians who had expected the attack but hoped that it might be averted by the Badoglio Government effecting peace with the Allies.

Speculation ran among observers in Washington as to expected additional landings, perhaps on the west coast of Italy, by the British First Army and American Seventh Army to supplement the Friday landing by the British Eighth Army at Reggio Calabria.

Another large RAF raid on Berlin occurred the previous night, depositing a thousand tons of bombs, smaller by far than the previous two raids, one reaching over two thousand tons. Fewer than half the respective 58 and 47 losses of RAF planes in the previous two assaults were reported.

On the Russian front, the Soviets advanced to within twelve miles of Stalino, Nazi headquarters in the south, held by the Nazis since October 21, 1941.

In the Pacific, more Allied bombs fell on Wewak harbor, destroying a seven ship Japanese supply convoy, totaling 21,000 tons.

After bombing in recent days, Rekata Bay, site of a former Japanese seaplane base on Santa Isabel Island, was reported to have been abandoned by the enemy.

On the editorial page, "The Rathole" explains the significance to Hitler of the Brenner Pass, maintaining the only land supply route to Italy except through neutral Switzerland. The Allied bombers had now nearly cut off the two hundred yard wide pass permanently from Germany. If maintained, Italy would become isolated.

"The Gossipers" asserts that the cavilers through time against Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, from Cornwallis, who called it a hornets' nest, to Washington, who accidentally left behind his snuffbox in the "trifling village of Charlotte", to sketch artist Joseph Pennell, who twenty years earlier had said that the place had "more churches and less art than any town I ever saw", were all seen by the locals as inspiring only sustained behavior according to tradition, that the remarks were received as compliments, not stabs in the back.

"The Dissenters" remarks on the current that the Quebec Conference on post-war planning was premature, that FDR might not be in the White House at the time the peace came. The soldier on the foreign field, according to recent surveys, was more concerned of whether he would find a good job upon his return from the war, not of how the post-war world might look.

Of course, whether the returning soldier could obtain a good job and whether the peace could be achieved and maintained in the post-war world were inextricably interconnected--as most visibly demonstrated by the decade following World War I.

Samuel Grafton lauds the speech by Churchill following the Quebec Conference as a model of clarity and responsibility, the discourse of a realist. The Prime Minister had urged a tripartite conference with Stalin, but recognized the while that there were major differences in approach to the post-war world to be worked out among the three powers. He had mentioned that he favored the restoration of the King and former government in Yugoslavia, despite his knowledge that the Soviets opposed the government-in-exile.

Now had come the time to reckon with the price which the Soviets were going to exact for their role as an ally in the war. And Churchill had delivered the tocsin to awaken the West to that reality.

"It is going to be hard; the long road is paved with broken glass," predicted Mr. Grafton.

Dorothy Thompson also praises the Churchill speech, his restraint in promising a second front but insuring that it would only occur when the necessary trained personnel and equipment were ready to support it properly.

In describing Churchill's fostering of good relations between the Soviets and the West while admitting that there were considerable differences to be assayed in a future conference involving the Russians, Ms. Thompson also strikes a glancing blow against Drew Pearson, calling it irresponsible for him to have indicated that the State Department under Cordell Hull wished that Russia would be bled white, that the worst critics of the State Department did not believe such a charge, that America had consistently provided aid to Russia when many of the military advisors to the President had counseled against it.

Drew Pearson points out the irony of former OPA Director Leon Henderson not being able to get a replacement tire for want of available supply after he suffered a blowout. It seems that his warning the previous year to rubber czar William Jeffers that failure to conserve new tires would lead to a shortfall by late 1943, before the synthetic versions hit the market, had come true, only to number among those of the public who couldn't get a tire the man who made the warning in the first instance.

He also contrasts the expectation versus reality of Washington for the many thousands of females who had come to the nationís capital for government work as stenographers. Promised $2,000 per year, they lost a quarter of this handsome salary in taxes. Expecting romance, they found too many women for the men and wound up dating file clerks. And that was during the precious spare time the 48-hour per week jobs afforded them. Housing was rude and crowded. Many now wanted a bus ticket home. The Government hoped that patriotism would win the day and that they would stay. Indeed, the Civil Service Commission was still beckoning more to come, had sent agents to the hinterlands to troll for recruits.

Raymond Clapper argues for a strong defense in the post-war world, that failure to have it would lead to another war. He cites the ease with which British and American bombers now made sorties over Germany, that only a strong defense could prevent the same from happening in the future to America as roundtrip plane travel across the oceans was fast becoming a reality.

Much of this discussion, of course, was eclipsed by the end of the war with the advent of nuclear weaponry and the jet fighter and bomber, and, fast on their heels, a remote intercontinental delivery device slowly perfected by the late 1950ís in both the United States and the Soviet Union.

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