Monday, October 23, 1944

The Charlotte News

Monday, October 23, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that all six Allied Armies sought a combined, if not quite coordinated, push against the Nazi defenses from Holland to Switzerland. The British Second Army struck in three columns on a twelve-mile front, advancing five miles, capturing four key towns, Schijndel, Middelrode, Olland, and Bruggen, moving from the western side of Holland, on the south side of the Zuid Willemsvaart Canal, to within three to five miles of 'S Hertogenbosch, cutting the Schijndel-Boxtel road.

The Canadian First Army advanced from Esschen on the Dutch-Belgian border, 16 miles north of Antwerp, after advancing eleven miles in two days, hitting Roosendaal, four miles ahead.

The Germans had been compressed into a box near Breda, the "Breda Box", 40 by 20 miles in area, below the Meuse. West of Antwerp, the Canadians captured Schoondijke, compressing the Germans into a five by eight mile box, albeit without clever name. So let's dub it the Schoon-box. German control of the Schelde Canal was slipping away with the Canadian capture in the previous three days of Breskens and Fort Frederik-Hendrik. Only one German battery remained operative, that at Vilssingen.

It was reported that the Germans had abandoned plans to evacuate some ten million Rhinelanders for the fact of inadequate housing for them further east in Germany.

In and around Aachen, the First Army continued its mopping up operations in the area of Wurselen, northeast of the city. A new offensive by the First Army, between Geilenkirchen and Stolberg, appeared imminent.

The Third Army continued its pressure on Metz.

To the south, new gains had been made northeast and east of Luneville, and a tap northeast of Spinal.

Fully 2,500 American and British planes had attacked on Sunday German targets, the Americans in three daylight waves hitting Hamm, Munster, Hannover, and Brunswick, (bowling for sandwiches), the RAF, in nighttime operations hitting Neuss and Dusseldorf. RAF Mosquitos also struck at Hamburg. Notably, it was the first combined operation of its size which suffered no losses, having met no enemy opposition in the air save for one fighter, and enduring only moderate ground fire.

The British and Americans recognized the De Gaulle Government as the provisional government of France until such time as elections could be held. Russia, Australia, and Canada had also recognized the Government.

The son of Lt. General Alexander Patch, commander of the Seventh Army in Southern France, had been killed in action while fighting in France. He was a captain.

The Russians had captured the East Prussian highway center at Goldap, 18 miles inside Germany. The front now extended from Memel 150 miles to Augustow in the Suwalki Triangle in the southeast sector of East Prussia. The troops were threatening Tilsit from two sides and were within artillery range of that East Prussian city.

To the north, the Russians were within striking distance of the Norwegian border, near the port of Kirkenes.

In the south, the Russians were 130 miles from Austria, another fifty from Vienna.

In Yugoslavia, Sombor was captured, 95 miles northwest of Belgrade, as was Nyiregyhaza in Hungary.

In Italy, the Eighth Army had captured Cervia, twelve miles below Ravenna along the Adriatic coast.

In Greece, the Allies had captured the Aegean island of Evvola, just off the Greek mainland.

The Japanese, through a naval commentator, admitted that they were on the defensive in the Pacific.

On Leyte, between Mindanao and Luzon, in the Philippines, the American landing forces were moving westward along the southern front, overrunning strong Japanese resistance, seeking to trap evacuating enemy troops in the 25 to 10-mile wide valley, northwest of Dulag, one of the landing points.

Captured Tacloban became the provisional capital for the re-established Philippine Government. A new base of military operations was being prepared at Tacloban around the captured airfields.

With only fifteen days remaining before the 1944 presidential election, Senator Joseph Ball, progressive Republican of Minnesota, had announced on Saturday his support for re-election of President Roosevelt. Senator Ball had been one of four Senators, along with Senators Hatch, Burton, and Hill, to sponsor initially, in March, 1943, a resolution to establish a multilateral international peace organization after the war, the resolution known as "B2H2".

Senator Ball based his support on what he asserted was the better foreign policy enunciated by the President, compared to that of Governor Dewey. He urged that the United Nations organization be formed without delay, prior to the end of hostilities, and also that the organization be given the authority to use military force against an aggressor nation without having to obtain in advance the imprimatur of each individual member nation on the Security Council. He found Governor Dewey to have been remiss on support for the latter notion. Furthermore, the Governor had tempered his support of the U.N. with rhetoric which appealed to the isolationists. FDR's mandate from the American people, continued Senator Ball, would be clear, while any Dewey mandate would be confused from his vacillation during the campaign on foreign policy.

In Duanesburg, N.Y., a pheasant in the bush turned out to be worth a scratch on the nose of a bird dog which went to fetch it, after the bird had ostensibly been shot and fallen into a thicket. The bird was down but not out and proceeded to strike the dog with its beak and claws. The dog was recovering at the veterinarian.

On the editorial page, "Let's Look" finds that the Republicans had made substantial challenge to the President's labor policies, charging paradoxically that he had given to labor virtual free reign while also contending that he had killed collective bargaining.

The new charge against the Administration was in sharp contrast to the earlier howls by the opponents that the President was a war-monger.

The supporters of the President marshaled the same evidence to show that he had anticipated labor's early demands and diverted from those demands only when they became excessive.

It then recites the Administration's labor policy through its twelve years in office, the National Recovery Act prohibiting child labor and establishing minimum wages and maximum hours, the establishment of employment exchanges at the Federal level, the Social Security Act of 1935, the Wagner Act creating the National Labor Relations Board and the Walsh-Healey Act of 1936, establishing the 40-hour work week.

It then chronicles the remainder of the record to the time of 1944.

"Statler Quo" comments on the vote of Congress on whether to investigate the "Battle of the Statler", that which a letter writer on Saturday had mentioned, the fisticuffian confrontation taking place between the Teamsters and some Navy officers at the Statler Hotel, (now the Capital Hilton), after the President's September 23 "Fala" speech. The Congress had decided not to proceed with an investigation as being without jurisdiction.

The editorial finds it just as well, despite the feeling that the Teamsters brought discredit to themselves and their support of the New Deal in this tawdry episode. But, in the end, such a confrontation was typically in the American traditionójust as we said on Saturday.

The editorial sympathized with the Navy officers but states that they had given a good account of themselves, thus eliminating the need to make waves about it all and risk thereby exacerbating already tense feelings between soldiers on the fronts and labor back home, all of which festering, could ignite upon return.

"The Answer" states that the President had in his Saturday night speech, largely attended by members of the Foreign Policy Association, fended off the weak attempts of the Republicans to assail him on foreign policy, that FDR had failed to foresee the war and prepare the country for it.

The President had merely recited the record, explaining how the isolationists had frustrated his attempts from 1937 to 1941 to prepare the country for war and expand the military via the draft, fortify Guam, etc. He reminded that it would be these very leaders in Congress who would take over chairmanships of various committees were the Republicans to take control of one or both legislative chambers.

The FPA gave him enthusiastic response.

"New Tack" tells of the fact that the President, for the first time since Pearl Harbor, had cast aside his theretofore carefully maintained cloak of secrecy and invited reporters and photographers aboard his train. The piece comments that it was not the recent positive turns in the war which had caused this lifting of the veil but rather simply the time-honored press of politics during the last two weeks before election day.

Drew Pearson tells of the yawning attitude displayed by the committee headed by 77-year old Senator Green of Rhode Island investigating campaign law violations. Several had been revealed to the committee, including substantial, hidden contributions from corporate entities. But not one had incurred the ire of the committee members.

He next tells of General Eisenhower indicating that, should he ever write a book about the war, he would spend substantial volume of the work in explaining the free hand he had been provided by the Allied leaders in his capacity as Supreme Allied Commander. He was especially impressed by the fact that the President had not in any manner suggested that he say or do anything which would be favorable to the re-election campaign.

Mr. Pearson then tells of the fact that deceased Lt. General Leslie McNair, killed in action by friendly fire in France in July, had left an estate totaling less than $2,500. That was hardly surprising given the low pay to generals. Mr. Pearson advocates a higher pay scale to insure attracting the best military talent of the country to these centrally important military command positions.

Marquis Childs, still in Seattle, imparts the differing viewpoints within the State of Washington regarding the likely outcome of the election in that state. He believed it would be carried by the President, but by a margin less than the 140,000 of 1940.

A former Willkie supporter working for Governor Dewey had admitted that FDR presently held the lead, but believed that the Governor was closing the gap and would ultimately win the state by 10,000 votes. Others predicted likewise and also that if such were to happen, Dewey would almost assuredly win the national election.

A wildcard remained with respect to the newly registered voters, numbering 50,000 thus far, and likely to advance to 75,000. But some, such as Oregon Senate candidate for the Republicans, Wayne Morse, predicted that many of the industrial workers would not vote because they were well off financially and thus had no abiding issue as an impetus to go to the polls, needing to be absent from work for a half a day to do so.

Hal Boyle reports from an American armored unit in Germany on October 13 of the pathfinders for the Army as they moved through enemy territory in the dark. Sometimes it was too dark to see. One such scout, a lieutenant, complained of the engineers having removed a dead cow from the road such that he no longer could smell it and thereby gauge his position.

Another lieutenant complained of the Nazis switching about the road signs to confuse the Allied troops. The practice sometimes worked to delay operations. Once, the lieutenant had become lost, switched on his flashlight to examine the map, whereupon Germans snipers opened fire. He quickly extinguished the flashlight, got back into his jeep and departed the area for the American lines.

The same letter writer who had written on Saturday protesting the reasoning of Mrs. D. S. Beatty returns to the forum to protest again, terming the President's tenure as the "Raw Deal", contesting and belittling the notion that the President had foreseen the war by five years. He contends that the President's vocabulary in 1936 did not include the word "wah", only "labuh".

We can think of a couple of "-uh" words to apply to the author, but decorum restrains the flight of our type.

Samuel Grafton, for the fifth time, champions the chewing of betel nuts.

Example: "These nuts make mighty fine chewing, don't they? The big thing is that we have to have an end to all this quarreling. We don't quarrel in our party. Take the New York Herald Tribune and Bertie McCormick's Chicago Tribune. Do they quarrel? Are you kiddin'?

"Why, in our party, friend, all is peace. Even Wendell Willkie was for us. That's why we didn't let him come to the convention. Want another nut? Go on, take it, we've got lots of them."

Which inevitably brings to mind the story appearing today of the Mean Mr. Mustard down in Australia providing an unusual greeting to Queen Elizabeth. When first we saw the headline, we had to wonder what in the world Senator Richard Burr was doing in Brisbane. But it was someone else.


You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a
sweet-faced man; a proper man, as one shall see in a
summer's day; a most lovely gentleman-like man:
therefore you must needs play Pyramus.


Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best
to play it in?


Why, what you will.


I will discharge it in either your straw-colour
beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain
beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your
perfect yellow.


Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and
then you will play bare-faced. But, masters, here
are your parts: and I am to entreat you, request
you and desire you, to con them by to-morrow night;
and meet me in the palace wood, a mile without the
town, by moonlight; there will we rehearse, for if
we meet in the city, we shall be dogged with
company, and our devices known. In the meantime I
will draw a bill of properties, such as our play
wants. I pray you, fail me not.


We will meet; and there we may rehearse most
obscenely and courageously. Take pains; be perfect: adieu.


At the duke's oak we meet.

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