Saturday, October 28, 1944

The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 28, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the British and Canadian troops in Southwestern Holland had converged on the last two bridges affording escape for 40,000 German troops below the Meuse River, seizing without opposition Bergen op Zoom, the western anchor of the Nazis, and advancing within a mile of Roosendaal. The British had moved to within five miles of Breda following the capture of Tilburg in the middle of the so-called Breda Box.

The Germans were abandoning their positions from Schelde to Tilburg. Use of Antwerp was prevented now by only one remaining German battery, at Vlissingen on Walcheren Island.

RAF Mosquitos struck Berlin in two waves the previous night, the sixth time the city had been hit during October. Other RAF bombers struck German positions guarding the Schelde Estuary on Walcheren Island.

American heavy bombers, albeit numbering only 350 with 200 fighter escorts, one of the lightest of raids since D-Day, struck Hamm and Munster in Germany.

In Italy, continuing rain kept the Fifth Army pinned down eight miles below Bologna, and the Eighth Army on the Adriatic front stuck two miles east of Forli.

The Russians continued their advance in Czechoslovakia after the capture of Umgvar and taking of Ruthenia, now moving into Slovakia. Twenty-five miles north of Umgvar, General Ivan Petrov's Army moved six miles into the region, capturing Starina in the Ciroka Valley, nine miles northwest of Ulic. They were driving toward the isolated Czech patriot forces at Banska Bystrica, 140 miles to the west.

Bulgaria had accepted Allied armistice terms, not yet specified.

The Russians and Yugoslav Partisans of Marshal Tito had captured Ruma, 45 miles northwest of Belgrade.

In the Far East India-Burma-China theater, General Joseph Stilwell had been relieved of his command. It was not yet reported, but it had come at his own request from frustration at not receiving in his estimate enough men and equipment to wage the battle properly. He had complained previously to British General Sir Henry Maitland Wilson, Allied commander of the Mediterranean forces.

The report indicated that General Stilwell would be provided a new assignment by the War Department stateside. The War Department gave as only explanation the decision to cut the theater into two smaller commands. Maj. General A. C. Wedemeyer and Lt. General Daniel Sultan would succeed General Stilwell in his three previous command positions.

Observers speculated that the recall was to punish Chiang Kai-shek for not shaping the Chinese Army into a formidable fighting force. He was being urged to use the Chinese Communists in the North, but had thus far refused.

General Stilwell had accomplished his role of clearing Japanese forces from northeastern India and taking Northern Burma to permit re-establishment of the connection between the Indian supply route along the Ledo Road to the northern Burma Road into China, the road to be opened in late December.

In China, the Japanese launched an offensive against Kweilin in the northern Kwangsi Province. The enemy also advanced six miles west of Pingnam, 115 miles south of Kweilin.

To the southwest, another Japanese offensive was underway against the American base at Liuchow, 95 miles from Kweilin, while a second column drove toward the base from the southeast.

In Fukien Province, Japanese forces on the China East Coast had advanced six miles west of the Japanese captured seaport of Foochow.

In the Pacific, the number of Japanese ships either sunk or crippled in the engagement at Leyte Gulf and during their escape had been estimated now by Rear Admiral Forrest Sherman, chief of staff of the Pacific Fleet, to be as many as 40, as American planes continued in hot pursuit from the South China Sea to the Sulu Sea. This number added 13 ships to the previously announced total of 27.

Meanwhile, the Japanese contended that fully 34 American carriers of the 60 to 70 at sea in the Pacific had been lost off Formosa and the Philippines. Stay tuned for more dramatic revelations.

General MacArthur announced that American forces now had complete control of Samar Island, fifteen miles from Luzon. All airdromes on Leyte were also in American possession. The Japanese had suffered 14,000 killed or wounded thus far in the action on Leyte.

Associated Press correspondent Russell Brines reports that Rear Admiral Jesse Oldendorf stated that Navy forces under his command operating in the Surigao Straits, connecting the Bohol Sea with Leyte Gulf, had "crossed the T" of the Japanese Fleet, meaning that they had crossed the enemy approach at right angles, enabling elimination of the lead ships and concentration on ships along the stem of the T while the approaching enemy Fleet had only access to American ships from its lead ships, the ships further down the line being too far out of range to fire upon the American ships.

The maneuver had been invented by the British in the eighteenth century and had been used twice successfully by Admiral John R. Jellicoe in the Battle of Jutland in World War I. Japanese Admiral Togo had successfully used the maneuver against the Russians in the Straits of Tsushima in 1905 in the Russo-Japanese War.

On the editorial page, "Parallel" finds more than slight hyperbole in the suggestion by the CIO PAC that the Republicans and Nazis were both campaigning together against the re-election of the President for the fact of similar rhetoric being used by the Nazis from 1942 when compared to statements of Thomas Dewey, Herbert Hoover, and others in the current Republican campaign.

"Miscellany" examines the cotton industry of the South through some labor statistics, comparing Southern textile workers unfavorably in wages and hours to textile industry workers of the North. In April, 1944, the differential in take-home pay was $22.65 per week for the Southern worker versus $31.03 for the Northern worker. There was a higher wage generally being paid throughout the industry than two years earlier but there was more overtime being worked in the North than the South. This latter difference was the principal factor responsible for the differential in rates of pay.

"Old Story" reports that a two-week campaign against vice in Charlotte had eclipsed all previous records for arrests, with 91 women having been taken into custody on charges of prostitution. Venereal disease was more prevalent among the black arrestees, 36 of the 50 being infected, whereas only ten of the 41 white women were carriers of syphilis. Doctors tended to agree that the problem of venereal disease among Southern blacks had no ready solution, this on the cusp of a time before the widespread use of penicillin.

Watch what door you knock on there, sailor.

"New Peril" reports of a new post-war land boom on the horizon, similar to that in 1920-21 after World War I, which then led directly to record foreclosures in 1931-32.

International Harvester Company was undertaking an advertising campaign to remind the people of this danger. But the editorial resigns itself to the reality that such reminders were largely ineffective, that evidence of such a boom had been extant for several months.

The trend generally was spawned by having on hand disposable income which was then invested in land. As investments grew, so did the price of the land. Eventually, the bubble would burst leaving property values at or below their encumbered amount, creating the environment leading to wholesale foreclosure.

Of course, it also takes criminal banks and foreclosure companies playing ruthless games with borrowers, exploting that environment wholesale, seeking to pin the hapless borrowers' backs to the wall with no place to turn, then gunning them down in cold blood, not unlike the Valentine's Day Massacre, the type of fare which these uneducated little freaks from hell jive on, thinking that "art". And it takes also ample helpings from like-minded little bureaucrats thinking they have a right to a little "extra vacation pay" or a perque of a job or better interest rate for themselves, a family member or influential friend, all following Murphy's Law, forgetting that they are also inexorably the subjects to its royal custom once initiated into the stream as a reactivated poison. And crooked or scared jurists corroborating the little local schemes, hatched ultimately by some of their palsy-walsies in the Bar wanting more time on the links and also their cake to eat, sufficient pay for those expensive offices, cars, and college educations for the little brats at home who are too stupid and lazy to get a scholarship, all driving up college tuitions in the meantime by the hopeless spiral thus initiated from the dumbells worshipping the "art" of the Valentine's Day Massacre, to remain on the bench.

Dorothy Thompson examines the first enunciation by President Roosevelt in his speech on foreign relations a week earlier anent the terms of peace to be mandated of Germany. They included complete liquidation of the Nazi Party apparatus, complete disarmament, and punishment of those directly responsible for "this agony of mankind". The President also made clear that the Allies intended no enslavement or wholesale punishment of the German people.

The speech appeared to have had some positive impact on the German population as within three days following it, the blackout was lifted in Dusseldorf and Cologne, despite the approach of the Allied Armies to those cities.

Marquis Childs, in Des Moines, reports of the nearly unprecedented prosperity being enjoyed by Iowa farmers. Nevertheless, they intended to vote more heavily Republican than in 1940, having split about 50-50 in the earlier election. It was predicted that the proportion in 1944 would be 55-45 for the Republicans, the small towns heavily favoring Governor Dewey.

The farmers were not opposed to the New Deal Agricultural Adjustment Administration, had rejected a recent attack on it by Governor Bricker, the Republican vice-presidential nominee. But they did not like the fact that, by their perception, it had been utilized for political purposes or the general concept of having farm policy determined from Washington.

Samuel Grafton comments on telegrams sent to Governor Dewey by Republican House Minority Leader Joe Martin of Massachusetts and acting Senate Republican Leader Wallace White. They had expressed their intention of providing full support to the Governor and his plans for international cooperation in effecting world peace when he became President.

Mr. Grafton asserts that the Republican leaders in Congress should have sent duplicate notes to President Roosevelt. Not to do so created disunity in the country, that which the Governor had accused the President of fostering. Sent only to one side, they posed a form of blackmail, implicitly suggesting that the Republicans would not cooperate with President Roosevelt if he were to be re-elected. Such divisiveness, he opines, encouraged the enemy.

Drew Pearson provides some behind the scenes information from the recently concluded Moscow Conference between Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin, indicating that Stalin had been blunt in his demands for Russian territorial determination and security of its borders, that it should be surrounded by strong and friendly states. Generally, Churchill appears to have agreed to this principle. Both men were enthusiastic in their reception of one another with Stalin providing heavy praise to the diplomats who had worked at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference in Georgetown in August and September.

This amity between the two men stood in stark contrast to their prior two meetings. Churchill had gone to Moscow this time on his own initiative, without invitation from Stalin. The last time the Prime Minister had been in Moscow was in 1942 and the two then had not gotten along well. Stalin had not appreciated the informality of the Prime Minister in wearing, rather than formal attire, his zippered bomb shelter overalls to visit at the Kremlin.

Neither had the two men hit it off at the Tehran Conference the prior November, arguing then about the prospect of a second front in Western Europe to alleviate pressure on the Russian front, something Stalin had been seeking vigorously since 1942.

When they had departed Tehran in December, says Mr. Pearson, Mr. Churchill had reportedly said, "Well, goodbye Marshal. I'll see you in Berlin." Stalin had then responded, "Yes, I in a tank, you in a Pullman car."

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