Monday, October 30, 1944

The Charlotte News

Monday, October 30, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Nazis were withdrawing across the Meuse River and Hollandsch Diep to Rotterdam as Allied forces entered Roosendaal and sought to cut off the German avenues of escape. American armored units advanced to within six miles of the Moerdijk Bridge, as other forces were within three miles of the Meuse and five miles of Geertruidenberg, capturing Oosterhout, northeast of Breda, also captured during the weekend.

There were now four isolated pockets of Germans in southwestern Holland and northern Belgium: one below the Meuse in what had been the now shrunk Breda Box; one on Beveland Island; one on Walcheren Island; and one six miles by four miles within Belgium south of the Schelde Estuary. The pocket on Walcheren was concentrated in the towns of Vlissingen and Middleburg, which had withstood the earlier flooding from the breached dikes. On Beveland, Canadians and British had taken Goes and pushed through Heinkensrand to within 3,000 yards of the causeway to Walcheren, having captured over a third of the Germans defending Beveland and Walcheren.

North of Tilburg, a British column struck from Loon op Zand to capture the village of Kaatsheuvel, three miles south of the Meuse.

The German High Command contended that Canadian units had launched a concerted attack on Dunkerque, achieving a temporary penetration.

More than 800 American heavy bombers escorted by 950 fighters had once again bombed Hamm and Muenster, as well as oil facilities at Hamburg and Harburg. (Shut up, Donny.)

RAF Mosquitos hit Cologne the previous night.

In Greece, the British caught up with the retreating Nazis in Kozane, a town liberated by the Allies, 58 miles southwest of Salonika. Greek patriots captured Piatamon in the area of Mt. Olympus in northern Greece.

According to German reports, Russians of the Fourth Ukrainian Army had cut the last German rail escape route from Hungary by capturing Csap on the upper Tisza River, in the southwestern portion of Ruthenia. The Second and Fourth Ukrainian Armies had linked up to wage the fight for Nyiregyhaza, 38 miles southwest of Csap.

To the north in Latvia, Russian troops had reached Priekule, twenty miles southeast of the Baltic port of Liepaja, capturing Auce 70 miles to the east.

The Germans once again, reported Moscow, appeared unprepared for the coming of winter on the Eastern front, even though now they were fighting for the first time in familiar territory, in East Prussia on their home turf.

The Soviets honored four women fliers in the Red Air Force.

Hampered by weather for several days, the Fifth Army had advanced a mile north of Marano, reaching Casalecchio, two miles from the Rimini-Bologna Highway and three miles southwest of Castel San Pietro, in the mountains 13 miles southeast of Bologna, but mud still impeded progress.

Eighth Army British troops advanced up Highway 67 to Forli, 37 miles southeast of Bologna. Polish troops were moving supplies by their shoulders across the Rabbi River, impassable to vehicles, south of Forli.

General MacArthur announced that, ten days after the landing on Leyte, the American troops controlled two-thirds of the island and most of nearby Samar, liberating 1.5 million Filipinos. The capture of Carigara in Carigara Bay had eliminated the only source of supply for the Japanese troops defending the Leyte Valley. Last ditch stands in the valley the previous night, at Cavite Bridge and the Dagami Road junction, having failed, all enemy resistance in the valley now appeared to have been arrested.

The bag of warships in the previous week's Navy Second Battle of the Philippine Sea was increased to 58, either sunk, crippled, or damaged. The total equated to half a million tons, more loss to the Japanese Fleet than in all of the four previous major naval engagements of the war combined. The battle included all three actions fought between October 23 and 25, that fought south of Formosa, off the east coast of Samar, and in Surigao Strait off southeastern Leyte. As few as two of the Japanese ships deployed may have completely escaped damage in the battle. The losses were roughly equivalent to that of the Battle of Jutland against Germany in World War I.

American forces were estimated to be 200 or more ships. They included several ships which had been seriously damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Maryland, the West Virginia, the Tennessee, the California, and the Pennsylvania.

Tokyo radio reported that 200 carrier-borne American planes had struck Manila and Clark Field on Saturday, but the report was not yet confirmed by Admiral Nimitz.

Captain Richard I. Bong, holder of the air record for most kills during the war, had returned to fighter duty in the Philippines and had scored his 31st through 33rd bags October 26-29. He had shot down his 31st victim less than three hours after landing. He accomplished his 32nd without firing a shot on the morning of October 29 and the 33rd three hours later, all in the vicinity of Leyte Field.

Two American soldiers fighting in France had been convicted of assault and hanged as a result of military court martials. One was from South Carolina, the other from Indiana. Their convictions and sentences were reviewed and confirmed by General Eisenhower.

The punishment in these cases appears, on the scant basis of the stated charge, scarcely at all to fit the crime, especially in time of war.

In Louellan, Ky., in Harlan County, a hundred coal miners returned to the job, having struck Saturday because six of their number had refused initially to contribute to the war loan drive. The six, having been thusly coerced, had agreed to contribute and all in consequence had returned to work.

So, we have a hundred workers not mining coal for a day or so, thus by that measure, hampering the production of steel for the war, all so that six workers out of their number would contribute to the war loan drive.

On the editorial page, "Newest Deal" reports of President Roosevelt's Saturday night domestic policy speech in which he had laid forth several proposals for a renewed New Deal once the war was won.

They looked to be expensive. New jobs to accommodate returning veterans would be stimulated by private industry through lower taxes and interest rates. Any slack in employment would be taken up by public sector jobs, employed in the building of highways, airports, hospitals, and the like, in the vain of the Public Works Admnistration of the 1930's.

There would also be a large Merchant Marine to accommodate increased world trade, even if the President did not explain how increased world trade would be accomplished.

Collective bargaining between unions and management would insure high wages and good working conditions. Continuance of the Fair Employment Practices Committee, as also promised by Governor Dewey, would insure equal pay and opportunity for employment to African-Americans.

Concludes the editorial, the post-war New Deal would be much like that of the pre-war scheme. But it also would be as costly and, while conditions would be more favorable in the post-war prosperity, it would still tax the treasury. "We're going to have prosperity if we go broke attaining it."

It sounds as if the editorial would almost have preferred the good old days of the Depression—when you felt so damned secure just knowing which were which.

9-9—heh-heh-heh. Just say--9.

"Extension" finds Herr Doktor Goebbels's recent pronouncement indicating the intention of the German people to fight on to the bitter end of the war to be another attempt at seeking a softer peace from the Allies, an attempt which would prove futile. Continued resistance would only intensify the will of the Allies to break the Nazi war machine.

Goebbels had appeared to change his favorite role as a belligerent to that of an impartial, even beneficent, war analyst, observing that the Allies were not seeking a single war aim which would benefit "suffering humanity".

His insistence that the German people had nothing to lose and everything to gain by continuing the fight suggested a predicate for a longer lasting war, one which might not have a decisive end even upon reaching Berlin.

And, of course, it did not, even if, ostensibly, the Nazis were defeated in April, 1945. The war continued, nevertheless, in one degree or another, through 1989.

It being Halloween, we can hardly resist revisiting Herr Doktor Goebbels's prime literary inspiration. And so we shall, just as reminder.

"Rebuttal" asserts that Argentina, in seeking a Pan-American conference of nations was doing more than trying to air its case in court with respect to its alleged continued ties to Nazi Germany and its Fascist leanings. It was instead seeking to challenge American leadership in South America, seeking wide recognition for the new government.

Such an appeal might be attractive to other South American countries, but for the fact of the prospect of trade sanctions as recently imposed on Argentina, contrasting with the favorable treatment by the U.S. toward friendly Brazil in helping to forge its military.

Thus, in light of the Good Neighbor Policy, it was likely that the other South American nations would, viewing the matter through the lens of their own self-interests, turn askance from Argentina's entreaties to bind together against U.S. leadership in the region.

Drew Pearson wonders whether, should Governor Dewey be elected President, he would choose to prosecute recently exposed violators of the Corrupt Practices Act regarding certain prohibitions on election contributions and expenditures. The anti-FDR American Democratic National Committee had been shown to have received illegal contributions from several corporations, banned under the Act. The American Democratic Committee had also kept secret some illegal donations from corporate heads, such as General Robert Wood, head of Sears.

There was also pending a recommendation by the Justice Department to prosecute Georgia Congressman Eugene Cox for receiving $2,500 to obtain for a constituent a new wave length for a radio station. But, thus far, no further action toward initiating the prosecution had taken place. Mr. Pearson thus again wonders what a President Dewey would do about it.

He notes that the Justice Department did indict Congressman James Curley of Massachusetts who had helped manage the Roosevelt campaign in 1932.

Samuel Grafton decides to try to be objective in making the choice for the next President. He projects both candidates therefore onto France and looks at their relative merits through the eyes of an hypothetical Frenchman casting his ballot. Monsieur Dewey lacked foreign policy experience, embraced the London Polish Government-in-exile and accused the Soviets of abandoning the Polish Patriot forces who had previously been fighting the Nazis inside Warsaw. These stances might make it hard, suggests Monsieur Grafton, to convince the Soviets to fight against Japan at the conclusion of the European war. Monsieur Dewey also, while claiming an internationalist position, had befriended all manner of isolationists.

On the other side of the equation was Monsieur Roosevelt, who had plenty of foreign policy experience and was working to establish a United Nations organization.

It appeared to this Frenchman Grafton, who had found it fun to be thusly objective, that Monsieur Roosevelt was the man to lead France.

Marquis Childs, now in Oklahoma City, tells of the fiercely partisan stances taken by Oklahomans, positions possibly more tenaciously held than any other state in the country. The Republicans were claiming that they had the best chance of taking normally Democratic Oklahoma than at any time since 1928 when Herbert Hoover took the state against Al Smith, hampered by his Catholicism. This time, the Republicans were counting on disaffected farmers in the northern counties to swing the vote for Governor Dewey.

Oklahoma's largest oil field was being developed a few miles outside Oklahoma City. Wealthy oil man and Senator Ed Moore was campaigning hard to defeat President Roosevelt. He had provided $25,000 to Texas Democratic Senator Pappy Lee O'Daniel's campaign against the President. Senator Moore, says Mr. Childs, had a forelock which coursed down over his forehead to provide an air of one of the fanatics of the French Revolution, such as Robespierre. He was building the guillotine on which he hoped to behead the New Deal. If so, "Oh, what a beautiful morning it will be in Oklahoma..."

But, also if so, it would not necessarily be one looking over a four-leaf clover for President Dewey, for the fact that the oil men and farmers would be seeking a higher price for their products, and President Dewey thus would need squelch their efforts lest there be runaway post-war inflation.

A letter to the editor from a Greek-American who represented American firms in Athens between 1936 and 1939, responds to "Dissenters" of October 20, contending that General Metaxas had not, as the editorial stated, filled the jails and banned Plato. Instead, says the author, he had jailed only "bandits and criminals" and had banned nothing more than Communist teachings, was a great hero and road builder in Greece.

An editor's note cites the source of the matter on General Metaxas as an article in The American Mercury by experienced Boston Globe foreign editor James Powers, and bristles at the letter writer, asserting that he appeared more interested in the "Red spectre than in freedom for the Greek people".

Hal Boyle, with the American First Army in Germany on October 22, reports of the dramatic feat of Sgt. Thomas J. Gibbons of Elmhurst, N.Y., who had captured single-handedly 500 Germans in Sgt. York fashion. The Sergeant had accomplished the matter quite by accident, having taken a wrong turn while daydreaming in his commandeered Nazi Army car and suddenly finding himself eyeball to eyeball with a 50-ton Tiger tank and 15 Germans walking alongside it. He was promptly taken prisoner and marched to German headquarters where he refused to provide any information to his captors. They then began transporting him to the rear of their lines, only to realize that the rear had been encircled by American forces from the air and on land.


Sgt. Gibbons enlisted the help then of a German soldier to effect his escape, the soldier talking two guards into assisting them. These two guards then killed two other German guards and Sgt. Gibbons took command. He began racing across a field with first two, then 22 Germans accompanying him. Before he knew it, he looked back to find 500 Germans in train. At first he thought that they might be giving chase, but they, too, only wanted the comfort of surrender.

Mr. Boyle summed the vignette: "You go right all your life and nothing happens. One wrong turn and you're a hero—that's the battlefield."

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