Friday, November 10, 1944

The Charlotte News

Friday, November 10, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Third Army's winter offensive had surpassed the Armistice Line of 1918 as its 95th Infantry Division, commanded by Major General Perry Twaddle, moved to within 4.5 miles north of Metz from Maizieres-Les-Metz, capturing several towns and villages, including the important hub of Chateau-Salins. To the southeast of Metz, meanwhile, the Sixth Armored Division, commanded by Major General Robert Grow, leapfrogged infantry units to move to within 8.5 miles of Metz from Pont-a-Mousson, to advance beyond Buchy, in a five-mile push from Cheminot and Louvigny. Total gains in three days had reached up to ten miles along a 55-mile arc.

To the north, near the border with Luxembourg, the 90th Infantry Division widened and deepened its bridgehead over the Moselle to a length of 6.5 miles and a depth of three miles.

The offensive had moved three miles beyond Delme, eighteen miles southeast of Metz, and had captured the four-mile long Delme Ridge.

The operation was fashioned as a barn door on a hinge, positioned nine miles south of Fortress Metz, moving northeasterly across forests, hills, and valleys toward the Saar region, 25 miles distant.

General Patton stated that the Nazis were investing large forces in the counter-attack. Huge tank battles were taking place along the front, with as many as 200 American tanks engaged in a battle at one unnamed position. The Third Army was engaging parts of six infantry and two armored divisions in this new winter offensive.

To the north, the First Army made small gains southeast of Aachen.

In Holland, the Second Army was exchanging fire with the Germans across the Meuse River.

American artist Paul Ullman, age 38, was reported to have been killed in France on August 25 while fighting with a French resistance unit which he had formed.

Some 750 American heavy bombers supported by 600 fighters struck again in the Cologne and Frankfurt areas.

Prime Minister Churchill informed Commons that V-2 rockets had been striking England from 70-mile high arcs at 700 miles per hour for several weeks, albeit with little damage. The fact that they drove so deeply into the ground on impact before the one-ton warhead exploded minimized considerably their effectiveness both in inflicting damage and casualties. They had also been launched against Paris and Antwerp. But the port of Antwerp was still intact and the inefficient rockets would not curtail its utility.

The point of launch of the "flying telephone poles", as the rockets had been dubbed, was unclear. The Germans proclaimed that they were camouflaged and could not be discovered by the Allies. In fact, they were moving about on mobile launchers parked usually within forested areas. The Prime Minister said that some of the rockets and launchers were captured on Walcheren Island in front of Antwerp.

German propaganda broadcasts stated that the range of the rockets might be increased soon and that the United States would then feel the impact. But military observers assured that the elongated shape of the contraption and its 15-ton weight to deliver a one-ton warhead made it highly inefficient, that its current range did not exceed 250 miles.

The Russians, utilizing a large contingent of infantry and armored personnel, moved westward beyond Mezokereszies, about 70 miles east-northeast of Budapest. The main Budapest-Miskolez rail line had been severed by the Russians. General Rodion Malinovsky's Second Ukrainian Army, only a third of which was committed to the action, was moving along a wide front across the middle Tisza River, capturing 30 towns and villages. The new force of the Second Army enabled the possibility of bypassing Budapest and moving on to Vienna and Bratislava. Four important towns along the 140-mile route to Vienna from Budapest had already been captured.

Since October 6, the Second Ukrainian Army had killed or captured 142,000 German and Hungarian troops.

Though no news had come from the East Prussian front in several days, a map on the inside page shows the area.

The Yugoslav anti-Fascist Assembly of National Liberation met for the first time in liberated Belgrade and was addressed by Marshal Tito.

In Italy, British troops of the Eighth Army captured Forli, 38 miles southeast of Bologna in the Po Valley. The operation had consisted of pincers, one approaching along the Rimini-Bologna Highway, the other from the southeast, penetrating to the main bridge over the Montone River, the west bank of which was still held by the Nazis. German snipers were still active inside Forli.

The village of Sadurano in the hills between the Montone and Rabbi Rivers was also captured, as the Eighth Army pushed on to Castrocaro, six miles below Forli along the highway from Ravenna.

African-American troops of the Fifth Army on the west coast took three villages within the mountain peaks east of Massa.

On Leyte, 35,000 veteran Japanese reinforcements were reported to have landed at Ormoc on the west coast, despite being harassed by air power and PT-boats. This troop replenishment replaced the Japanese losses suffered over a period of 22 days and dampened hopes of a relatively quick victory on the island. There were enough American troops to meet the contingency but the advantage of surprise gained in the initial landings, General MacArthur asserted, had been nearly exhausted.

American troops broke a four-day stalemate before Ormoc and made substantial gains along a wide front. Ormoc was said to be ablaze from artillery and aerial bombardment and its usefulness as a supply depot thereby "greatly reduced".

American planes supplying air cover, grounded by the typhoon packing hundred mile per hour winds, were once again flying.

The 96th Infantry Division moving east in the foothills east of Ormoc advanced to capture enemy strongpoints.

The Japanese claimed to have captured Keilin and Liuchow in Kwangsi Province in Southeastern China. If in fact they had taken Liuchow, the site of the last major American airbase in Southeastern China, it would mean that the Japanese had established a line from the Great Wall in the North to the South China Sea. At last report, the Chinese indicated that the enemy was 15 miles from Liuchow, with three other columns also advancing on the city.

In Northern Burma, the Japanese were reported to be withdrawing to a shorter supply line. Chinese troops had crossed the Irrawaddy River the day before and occupied Shwegu, between Katha and Bhamo, extending their positions east and west along the river's south bank.

President Roosevelt, returning from Hyde Park after the election, greeted throngs of people in the rain at Union Station in Washington and motorcaded to the White House, where he told reporters that he expected that there would soon be a conference between himself, Prime Minister Churchill, and Premier Stalin. He also asserted that the size of his electoral victory had proved surprising, that he had only anticipated 335 electoral votes rather than the 432 obtained. He had no comment on the potential for changes in his Cabinet.

In Chicago, 600 transportation workers of the Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Electric Railroad and the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin Electric Railroad had gone on strike for not having been awarded a sufficient wage hike by the Mediation Board ordered by the President to convene to avert a strike on September 18. They had sought nine cents per hour, had been granted five cents. Motormen and conductors earned 92 cents per hour and collectors and brakemen, 80 cents per hour.

Company and union officials stated that the attempts to compromise the impasse had failed and it would be necessary for the Government to take over the railroads to resolve it.

The strike affected not only normal commuters in the Chicago area but also thousands of war workers and soldiers and sailors of Fort Sheridan and the Great Lakes Naval Training Station.

In a strange twist, in Dallas, Texas, a man who was suing his wife for divorce based on her having inflicted mental cruelty to the point that he had suffered several heart attacks, was testifying in response to his attorney inquiring how his heart had been affected by his wife's conduct. He stated: "I know I have a severe pain over my heart. It will race and throb and cause a pain over my temples and I turn blind." He then turned pale, rolled his head back in the chair, gasped for air, and, shortly thereafter, died.

The inside page reports that Bob Hope had suspended Paramount Studios, even though they had claimed they had suspended him for not fulfilling his contractual commitment to make a third picture during the year. He stated to reporters that his USO travel commitments had simply taken up all his time and energy and he had none left to give the studio, had politely asked them for an extension until after the first of the year. They had said that his suspension was indefinite and its term would be added to his contract. Whether legal action would follow by the studio was not yet determined. Mr. Hope said that he was giving the public a break from his kisser.

A filler explains that the oldest road in the United States, about 6,000 years old, following U.S. routes 62 and 80, runs near El Paso, Texas. The road, no doubt, was originally compacted by Crosby.

On the editorial page, "Post Mortem" reviews the election results, finds that Governor Dewey's assertion that the election left the Republican Party revitalized, ignored the fact that the election actually had continued to foster the notion that past failed policies of the Republicans held fast to any candidate running under its banner. Nor had Mr. Dewey done much to change the atmosphere.

One commentator on the radio had suggested that the failure of the First Army's Arnhem offensive in Germany had changed the tide of the election as assuring prolongation of the war, necessitating the retention of Roosevelt. The editorial says "phooey!' to that proposition, that the factors defeating Dewey had begun eight years earlier with the Republican isolationist policies in Congress which had undermined national security.

The piece proposes to the Republicans that, before 1948, they review several times William Cullen Bryant's "Thanatopsis", until they were able to recite it verbatim from memory, especially the line,

So live that when thy summons comes...

"Men Only?" finds overly literal the North Carolina Supreme Court's determination that women could not serve on North Carolina juries because of the language of Article I, Section 12 of the State Constitution, which read: "No person shall be convicted of any crime but by the unanimous verdict of a jury of good and lawful men in open court."

It suggests, by way of comparison, that since Article I, Section 1 read that "all men are created equal", endowed with certain inalienable rights, etc., that so strictly to interpret the State Constitution was to say that women should not enjoy any of the same rights as men.

There had been a dissent lodged by Justice W. A. Devin who took the view embraced by The News, that "men" meant mankind and thus included women.

Well, it would not be the last time that the sometimes archaically inclined and overly interpretive North Carolina Supreme Court, bent on a predetermined result regardless of the law and fairness screaming to the contrary, would make a thorough ass of itself and the law.

But the piece wonders aloud whether women really wanted to serve on juries anyway, and so...

The North Carolina Constitution, incidentally, has long since been amended. Article I, Section 1, since 1971, substitutes "persons" for "men".

"Big Hand" commends the Charlotte Junior Chamber of Commerce for establishing a downtown teenage club with the aim of combating juvenile delinquency.

There used to be one of those in Winston-Salem above the Woolworth's, until someone was stabbed outside and they had to shut it down.

Perhaps, the one in Charlotte fared better.

This apparently was the club which the young woman had urged in a letter to the President, who then forwarded it on through the maze of bureaucracy until it made it back to Charlotte Parks and Recreation, who informed her that such a club already existed.

"Well, Now" indicates its full support for the benefits of physical education. But the previous day at Central High School, the coach had overstated his case, it offers, in representing the benefits of such a program. He had used Germany and Russia as examples of what good could come from rigorous physical education.

The editorial cannily suggests that physical education should retain its American quality and not adopt the European methods.

Drew Pearson publishes the second letter to President Roosevelt by Ambassador William Phillips, the former representative of the United States in India. Ambassador Phillips had been recalled as adviser to General Eisenhower after the publication July 26 of the first letter he had written to President Roosevelt. The letter had so angered the British that they demanded that Ambassador Phillips leave England. In it, the Ambassador had advocated an aggressive United States role in seeking India's sovereignty from Great Britain because the role of Indian troops in Burma and their flagging will to fight for their lack of independence had made the issue the business of the United States Government, despite Churchill's insistence to Roosevelt that it was an internal matter and only the business of Great Britain.

The second letter advocated a conference be held between Roosevelt, King George, Stalin, Chiang Kai-shek, and Indian leaders to resolve the issue of Indian sovereignty. This letter had been written prior to early May when Gandhi had been released from his house arrest for health reasons. The letter suggests that objection to the meeting by the British might be made on the ground that the Indian Congressional leaders were in jail. Ambassador Phillips suggested their unconditional release so that they could attend such a conference.

Samuel Grafton comments on Stalin's statement that Hitler's master race theories had proven a debilitating handicap to Germany rather than a strength, that it was a "cannibal" policy which stimulated anti-cannibal action within the occupied lands, Yugoslavia, France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and others. The notion of the master race theory by its nature precluded having allies in any true sense, leaving Germany ultimately to fight the war alone.

Mr. Grafton finds Stalin's open denunciation of aggressive nationalism to provide greater assurance than a mere pledge against it that the Soviets would not engage in such activity in the future. It thus tended against the theory that many held, that Stalin intended to overrun Europe after the war.

Marquis Childs writes in the early morning hours of November 8, after the news of President Roosevelt's victory, commenting that the groundswell of support for the President had exceeded all expectations held just two weeks earlier. Defections of support from Governor Dewey, especially in upstate New York, had ended any slim hope he had for victory. So, too, was the case in the border states which Dewey had hoped to carry.

It would have been easier, suggests Mr. Childs, for the President to have assured his place in history by stepping aside at a time when the war appeared heading toward victory. But he elected to accept the burden of another term, one in which he would risk the loss of his achievements.

A heartening spectacle was the huge turnout at the polls in a year when voter apathy had most characterized the attitudes of the people for most of it. In so doing, the people gave the President a true mandate, not just an election via a minority of the electorate.

Hal Boyle, reporting from Germany on November 2, tells of a private who had lost the seat of his pants thrice to the Germans but had suffered not a scratch. His first missing seat had occurred at Brest while bending over to help dig a command post. The second incident had occurred as he took cover in a sunken road. The third was while he absent-mindedly watched a strafing plane. He was more attentive nowadays.

Another sergeant was buried twice in two different foxholes within a period of twelve hours.

A private, while digging a foxhole, was shot four times without more than a nick, decided, upon the fourth shot coursing through his overcoat, to find a less exposed position in which to dig.

A maintenance crew repairing a tank on the Siegfried Line found the turret and guns still working, decided to get some battle experience, opened fire on the German positions, knocked out one gun.

A deer, fleeing through the Second Infantry lines, escaped hungry GI fire only to be felled by a German booby trap, enabling venison to grace the GI table the following day.

A sergeant fired upon two German snipers flushed from a factory by artillery fire. At more than 600 yards, he fired twice, killed both Germans.

Mrs. D. S. Beatty writes another letter to the editor, this time in praise of the re-election of President Roosevelt, wishes Governor Dewey to put to rest the beliefs he had stimulated during the campaign that the country now would be turned over to the Communists and that the President had "'one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel'".

Such mesmeric voices, she says, as Clare Boothe Luce had convinced a segment of the public during the campaign that President Roosevelt had dragged the country into the war, breaking his 1940 campaign pledge not to send American boys to fight abroad. Ms. Beatty astutely clarifies that the charge dissembled, leaving out the key exception: unless United States territory were attacked.

O him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder and grow sick at heart;--
Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around--
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air--
Comes a still voice--Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourish'd thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix for ever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock,
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world--with kings,
The powerful of the earth--the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills
Rock-ribb'd and ancient as the sun,--the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods; rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, pour'd round all,
Old Ocean's grey and melancholy waste,--
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.--Take the wings
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon and hears no sound
Save his own dashings--yet the dead are there:
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep--the dead reign there alone.
So shalt thou rest: and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favourite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glides away, the sons of men,
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man--
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side
By those who in their turn shall follow them.

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged by his dungeon; but, sustain'd and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

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