Tuesday, May 30, 1944

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, May 30, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that General Mark Clark predicted in a Memorial Day address at Anzio that the fall of Rome was imminent, within a few days. He spoke before a field dotted with thousands of white crosses, interspersed by Stars of David, twelve graves to the square, mostly American. Freshly dug holes awaited their coffins, being delivered during the ceremonies. General Clark urged that the graves be an inspiration to the troops and not a maudlin reminder to cause sadness. Major General Lucian Truscott also spoke at the ceremony.

Meanwhile, the Fifth Army repulsed German counter-attacks sixteen miles from Rome. The Germans had managed to hold off American infantry troops in the meadows below the hilltop town of Lanuvio. In an effort to save Valmontone, part of the Hermann Goering Division was attacking the previous night American lines around Artena, in the vicinity of Highway 6, but were repulsed. The Eighth Army was moving swiftly through the Sacco Valley along Highway 6, taking Arce and threatening Frosinone from three sides.

Surrounded German parachutists had been mowed down by the British while trying to effect retreat during the night, resulting in the hills around Arce being dotted with dead Nazis. The Liri Valley between Arce and Ceprano held numerous burned out German tanks and transport vehicles. A British officer observed, "It's a shocking war: we can't get going at all."

Britons returning from Whitsunday, the beginning of summer in Europe, heaped praise on General Sir Harold Alexander for his leadership of the forces in Italy and looked forward to the fall of Rome within the week.

At least 3,200 American planes from both England and Italy struck targets in Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, France, and the Low Countries. A thousand planes from Italy hit Wiener Neustadt in Austria and Zagreb in Croatia. A force of 2,200 planes struck from England against Hansdorf, Oschersleben, Hamburg, and Halberstadt in Germany, Brussels, and Reims and Troyes in France.

RAF Mosquitos had attacked the night before Hannover in Germany and Nantes on the French coast without loss.

The Stockholm newspaper Aftonbladet reported that five American airmen who had parachuted into Germany Sunday in the area of Leipzig after their plane had been shot down during bombing operations, had been killed by “agitated people” before the German police could rescue them.

General MacArthur's forces on Biak Island in the Schoutens continued their assault on Mokmer airfield and two others, Sorido and Borokoe, against fierce Japanese opposition, the strongest yet encountered in the northern New Guinea operations.

Secretary of State Hull issued invitations to United States Ambassadors, from Britain, Lord Halifax, from Russia, Andrei Gromyko, from China, Wei Tao-ming, to meet at their earliest opportunity to discuss creation of a post-war security organization in accordance with the foreign ministers' agreement reached at Moscow in October.

In Long Island, 5,500 workers stayed beside idle machines at the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation plant, in protest of the termination of Navy contracts resulting in the layoff of employees. It was the first massive layoff resultant of a cancellation of a war contract.

Hal Boyle reports that he was hungry enough to eat a horse but wasn't, as he found thousands of Londoners patronizing Chips, that is to say horse steaks, costing 20 cents per pound, half the price of beef, and free of rationing. Three restaurants had Mr. Ed as their main delicacy.

Mr. Boyle went to one of them in Soho with A.P. reporter Don Whitehead of Kentucky, a horse fancier. They were accompanied by experienced patrons of the haute cuisine, two sisters, Anita and Elizabeth Kahlerova, the latter of whom claimed to enjoy horse smothered in gravy more than pork.

Whether hors d'oeuvres of sweet breads were ordered up to prepare the palate, nobody told.

Anita ate only spaghetti. The other three had "plater on a platter".

Elizabeth immediately began consuming National Velvet, ordered rare and juicy on the hoof, whether perhaps with a Chianti and a side order of wheat toast not being related.

Don had a piece, chewed it a little, swallowed, proclaimed it "wonderful, just wonderful".

Then came Mr. Boyle's turn. He took a bit into his mouth, found it to taste as ordinary steak, but then, as he swallowed, suddenly saw all the beautiful horses he had ever seen galloping before him, including Old Dan Patch, Traveler, and Tom Mix's Tony. The hoof beats resounding in his head negated any further desire of consumption of the house speciality. Don and Elizabeth finished his portion, Don explaining that he was simply exacting perfect triactor revenge for his losses at the Derby windows in past years.

As they left the restaurant, a low bass voice was heard to say, sonorously, "Thanks, Hal; I'll see you back at the stall."

On the editorial page, "Conflict" reports of contrary views being held among Senators populating the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as it heard proposals from Secretary of State Hull for the joinder by the United States with a post-war international peace organization. Some Senators believed that the intent should be forthwith made manifest, prior to the end of the war, so that the United States could stake its claim on the terms of peace; others favored a more cautious approach, waiting to the end of the war to see the contours of the peace before committing to join Russia, Britain, and China in forming such an organization. To obviate the deadlock, some Senators advocated that Mr. Hull should simply bypass trying to convince the Senate of the wisdom of the move and propose the aims of the United States directly to the other three nations.

The problem with that approach, however, would be that an agreement reached without full disclosure to the Senate in the process could lead to the same trap encountered by President Wilson, rejection of the terms by more than one-third of the Senate.

"Holdout" observes that Thomas Dewey was remaining coy to the press in stating his willingness to be drafted as the Republican candidate, still not running a formal campaign. The image being created was that of the reluctant statesman who would be acclaimed as the party nominee. But, it was nearing the time, suggests the piece, when this charade had to come to closure and Mr. Dewey would have to begin to enunciate clearly his views on matters to the American people.

"Assurance" indicates that the response of the British clergy to the French cardinals, who had asked that the Allied bombing of France be diminished to avoid civilian casualties, had been to reaffirm the necessity of striking at German supply and communications lines, albeit while taking all possible precautions to avoid hitting civilians.

"Ford Plan" finds unduly idealistic optimism in humanity being expressed by Henry Ford in his plan for achieving world peace: to end greed, unify religions into a brotherhood of man, and eradicate national boundaries to eliminate the reasons for war.

The piece counters that the plan blinked reality by refusing to accept that, without international law and a force to insure obedience of nations to it, there could not be, merely on trust in human nature, maintained for long any peace.

A truly free market inexorably leads to wild speculation and accumulation of wealth at the top, freeing those at the top, as Mr. Ford, to envision world peace premised on ideals they hold dearly born, those by which to retain stasis, those by which they believe, in their least perceptive vision of themselves, to have been the way they achieved their wealth.

But, let Mr. Ford have had to play out his earlier boyhood, without the Tin Lizzie, without the assembly line ghosts performing in rote at Rouge the tasks to make operate his moat by amobrage, without Fair Lane, throughout life, and perhaps a different world perspective might have obtained in his mind as he stood on, rather than observing, the Overpass.

He did not, we note, begin his campaign for world peace by offering to disintegrate his company and devise all its shares of common stock in per stirpital distribution to his workers. Instead, he maintained his coign of vantage high in the parapet, dispensing his advice, cast as seeds to the adoring children below.

Dorothy Thompson discusses the outlook for post-war Central Europe and its relationship to Britain, the United States, and Russia. Inevitably, she offers, the Big Three would seek to render Central Europe powerless to avoid future outbreaks of aggression which had precipitated the two world wars. The signs were already present that the Western Allies would put in power conservative monarchies wedded to the past, as in Italy, while the Russians would implement popular governments. The tension between the two rival forms would produce natural enmities which would keep the European nations at odds and in check.

Yet, she insists that, because the Europeans would ultimately want to determine their own governments, the more salutary form of organization, to prevent internal revolts and unstable political vacuums out of which another Hitler or Mussolini could arise, would be to have either one or several confederations.

The end result would be N.A.T.O. and the Warsaw Pact countries, at odds in the Cold War after the advent of nuclear weaponry in 1945 and the subsequent acquisition of it by the Soviet Union.

Samuel Grafton observes that the isolationist-nationalist press of Robert McCormick and William Randolph Hearst were busy reformulating their stock view of the President as a soft idealist providing quarts of milk to Hottentots, the charge deriving from the May speech of Vice-President Wallace two years earlier.

Now, they charged FDR with being too strict, being too concerned of the rights of the major powers and not enough concerned about the rights of the smaller nations such as Poland, while, alternately, suggesting that he was wedded to Russia only to induce its protection of the post-war rights of Poland.

The sum of these opposing views presented a somewhat odd portrait of the President, ready in their perception to return to Hyde Park at Krum Elbow, from whence he came.

Marquis Childs discusses the importance of the overseas trip to Russia and China by Vice-President Wallace, to be taken on a tour of Siberia to visit model industrial towns. The report upon his return would be important for its determination of the military-industrial potential of both countries.

It would also be important for the Vice-President's political future. Reports had it that National Democratic Chairman Robert Hannegan had stated to the President that Mr. Wallace would be a liability to the ticket in the fall, was perceived as too liberal by the Southern coalition, and might therefore spawn a revolt among the ruling oligarchy in that section, led by the threat of South Carolina and Texas to swing their electoral votes to some other candidate than FDR, presumably Senator Harry F. Byrd, regardless of the popular vote outcome in those states.

The pair who had been mentioned as replacements were Secretary of State Hull and Senator Harry Truman. Senator Truman, of Mr. Hannegan's state of Missouri, was proving a popular choice, had stepped up stump speeches in recent weeks, and enjoyed high popularity ratings with the public.

The column is noteworthy as it is the first time, with the convention less than two months from its start, anyone had mentioned Harry Truman and the vice-presidency in the same breath, even if since the previous summer, substantial discussion had transpired as to the possibility or even likelihood that Henry Wallace would not be renominated.

Despite the growing trend, FDR was standing by Mr. Wallace, as Mr. Childs confirms. It would finally be left to the convention to determine who would occupy the second spot on the ticket.

Drew Pearson was once again lost in the mail and so was not on the page this date.

A news piece reports that Lt. Col. Beirne Lay of Washington, D.C., was reported to have been shot down over Europe, but had parachuted from his plane and appeared to have a good opportunity at survival. He did survive and, in addition to his prior work as co-author of the screenplay for "I Wanted Wings", subsequently co-wrote the novel and screenplay for "Twelve O'Clock High".

Another piece explains that the Navy had published a booklet, titled "Shark Sense", setting forth the procedures for aviators, finding themselves adrift in the drink and charged by sharks, to evade consumption: they should swim out of the path, grab a pectoral fin, and ride the spirit as long as the unfortunate could hold his breath, hoping that by the end of the ride, the shark might lose its predatory instinct.

It omitted the one sure method of warding off a shark attack, however, that being to have at all times a sheaf of dry, sharp-edged 30-lb. stationery at one's disposal. We have always preferred Eaton's.

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