Saturday, June 17, 1944

The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 17, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a U.S. fighter pilot, Captain James Barnhardt of Rutherford College, N.C., had spotted signs of retreat from Cherbourg by the Nazis as American forces punched forward two to three miles further, northwest of Sauveur Le Vicomte, to cut off all avenues of enemy escape. The capture of Sauveur Le Vicomte had cut the last rail route to Cherbourg and placed U.S. troops astride the Douve River, leading west of the port town.

At a later press conference, General Omar Bradley indicated, however, to the contrary, that there were no signs yet of German retreat from Cherbourg. He predicted that the enemy would fight for the port to the last and seek escape via small boats at night to the Channel Islands and then to Brittany.

Forces further south moved to within four miles of La Haye du Puits. Once again, Montebourg had been captured by American troops, after exchanging hands with the enemy.

British troops moved north of Troarn at the eastern edge of the 100-mile front.

In what was described as the largest engagement since D-Day, other British forces threw back a five-pronged Nazi counter-attack east of the Orne River, in an effort to protect their position at Caen, and were repulsed by the British. The attack had been launched in pre-dawn darkness the previous day, sought to drive the British from the high ground in front of Caen. The German perimeter around Caen varied from 2.5 to 3.7 miles.

About 1,000 American heavy bombers struck six Nazi airbases in Southern Normandy, near Paris, and near Boulogne. The weather had improved from the previous day, but heavy cloud cover still hampered operations.

The RAF again struck the V-1 installations at Pas-de-Calais the night before, as the U.S. forces had the day before. The British reported that they caused several of the V-1ís to crash shortly after being launched.

Further V-1 strikes hit Southern England through heavy cloud cover during the night and morning hours, inflicting numerous deaths and injuries as one struck a nursing care facility. The people of the region flocked to air raid shelters for the night.

Allied armament experts described the new pilotless bomb of the Reich as a nuisance weapon, incapable of being guided once launched. High winds or air currents could throw it miles off its originally intended course. A fighter plane could overtake and shoot down the rocket-bomb. The Allies could have the same effect, said one observer, if they sent a couple of medium bombers out to drop bombs indiscriminately over Germany. The new weapon was likened to "Big Bertha" of World War I, a large howitzer.

General Bradley, holding his first press conference since D-Day, in a tent under a large beech tree, reported that 3,283 Americans had been killed and 12,600 wounded from the time of D-Day through the previous midnight. British and Canadian losses, expected to be much lower, had not yet been released. He stated that casualties on the central beachhead, the one codenamed Omaha, were higher than anticipated, but that those on Utah, to the west, had been lower than expected.

He described the battle thus far as having had two critical periods, the first as the First Division and part of the supporting 29th Division fought their way onto Omaha Beach to establish the beachhead. The second critical period was the attempt to join the Seventh Corps on Cherbourg Peninsula and the Fifth Corps on Omaha, in the area north of Carentan, a vulnerable spot at the time. Both objectives had been accomplished.

General Bradley gave unrestrained high praise for the bravery of the landing forces, as well as the airborne troops who had parachuted behind enemy lines on Cherbourg Peninsula during the night before the landings.

On Saipan, the Marines fought street by street through Charan-Kanoa, in bitter fighting likened to that on Tarawa in November and Guadalcanal during late summer and through the fall of 1942. The airstrip at Charan-Kanoa had been captured but was still under Japanese mortar fire. The Marines were operating from a two-mile wide beachhead.

An American Naval Task Force, under the command of Admiral Jack Fletcher, struck Tagan Point on Matsuwa Island in the Kuriles. The bombardment lasted 30 minutes and penetrated a heavy fog layer using new technology enabling sighting through fog.

The Japanese, having bypassed Changsha in Hunan Province in China, were now threatening Lukow, 30 miles south of Changsha. The fall of Lukow would open the way for the Japanese to push toward Hengyang, the fall of which would open the way in turn to the southern provinces of Kwangsi and Kwangtung.

The Chinese 22nd Division was reported to have captured Kamaing, an important Japanese base 40 miles northwest of Myitkyina in Northern Burma, following a seven-day siege.

The Chinese forces driving into Burma from Yunnan Province had captured Lauhkuan, 60 miles northeast of Myitkyina, the first link between China and Burma established since the Japanese had first occupied Burma in early 1942.

In the Kohima sector in northeast India, the British and Indian forces had pushed out the Japanese from key positions southeast of Kohima and had cleared positions on the Kohima-Imphal road.

In Finland, on the Karelian Isthmus, the Finns were said to be blowing up the bridges leading to Viipuri, object of the Russian attack. The fight had become increasingly violent and all efforts by the Finns to stop the advance of the Red Army were failing. Helsinki dispatches reported the order of mandatory evacuation of Viipuri by all civilians.

French forces were reported to have taken the island of Elba, the locus of Napoleon's exile.

In Italy, the Eighth Army captured Foligno, 27 miles north of Terni, taken the day before. Spoleto and Trevi were also captured. It left the British twenty miles from Perugia, itself about 72 miles from Florence.

With General De Gaulle back in Algiers, it was reported that he would honor Jacques Medeno, one of France's "Shadow men" of the Resistance, who had taken poison when captured by the Germans rather than risk disclosing information under torture.

On the editorial page, "Heresy" quotes from an editorial appearing in the Tulsa Tribune, taking issue with Governor Broughton's speech on Memorial Day at Gettysburg, giving praise to Robert E. Lee. After chastising the Governor for undue retrograde defensiveness and exhorting the Southerners to disabuse themselves of the heroic conceptualization of the Confederacy, the editorial had concluded, "Take Lee out of uniform and you have no Lee left."

The piece suggests those to be fightin' words.

"Our Burden" counsels rapprochement among all Americans on the plan put forth by the President to establish an international peace organization after the war.

It takes note of Republican opposition in the Congress, consisting primarily of three points: that establishing the Big Four as repository of primary decision-making power on use of military force, with any one of the four nations able to veto the action, was undesirable; that, as voiced by Senator Styles Bridges, Republican of New Hampshire, there should be a statement on whether the smaller nations would have a representative voice on the executive committee or be subordinate to the Big Four; and that, as put forward by Republican Senator Joseph Ball of Minnesota, one of the early advocates of a multilateral peace organization, co-sponsor of the Ball-Burton-Hatch-Hill Resolution, "B2H2", of March, 1943, the President should not have acceded to the desires of isolationists by incorporating the language in the proposal that the United States was opposed to "a superstate with its own police forces and other paraphernalia of coercive powers."

The operative word for implementation of the plan put forth by the President, urges the piece, was cooperation and not critique of this type at this critical juncture, when a unified front needed to be exhibited to the other nations. Details of organization could be hashed out later.

"Patience" discusses public opinion, arising in the wake of there being no immediate vanquishing of the German Army in France, that the American and British forces were not the equal of the Germans by comparison to their rapid movement in May and June of 1940 through Belgium, the Low Countries, and France.

But, admonishes the piece, the comparison devolved to absurdity as the Germans had faced an Army ill-equipped and badly led, ultimately sold out by its leaders, and encountering no great wall of defenses, such as the Americans, Canadians, and British now faced on Normandy. The Germans had been shoring up their defensive wall for four years, had well-trained and experienced soldiers in place to defend it. The object was not to gain territory but to destroy the enemy's forces. By depleting as many of those forces as could be accomplished in and around the Normandy beachhead and on the Cherbourg Peninsula would cause the drive eastward and northward through France and Belgium into Germany to be that much less difficult.

Moreover, the destruction of the German Army in Italy was now taking place and, the piece predicts, at some time in the not too distant future, it could be expected that the Fifth and Eighth Armies would join forces with the men fighting in France, finally thereby to bring Germany to surrender.

"No Change" finds in the close balloting being registered in Idaho in the Senate race between incumbent isolationist Worth Clark and the cowboy singer, Glen Taylor, that the citizens of Idaho had not yet abandoned the principle of isolationism thoroughly, events counseling it since the outset of the war notwithstanding. The piece recognizes that Mr. Taylor was not the most substantial opposition, but, nevertheless, given Senator Clark's extreme track record, anyone ought handily have beaten him.

With Idaho's far-flung pockets of voters, it was going to take a week to determine finally the winner.

In the end, it would be Mr. Taylor, who would serve one term, during which, in 1948, he would run as vice-presidential candidate with Henry Wallace on the Progressive Party ticket.

Senator Clark, however, would come back in 1950 to beat Senator Taylor in the Democratic primary, but would then lose the general election. Senator Taylor's last attempt to be elected to the Senate was in 1956 when he lost in a close race in the primary to Frank Church, who served four terms until being defeated in 1984 by a national coalition of conservatives, led by the likes of Jesse Helms, who had targeted Senator Church along with other Senators, beginning in 1978, those who were deemed by these Neanderthalic racist reactionaries to be too liberal--simply, in the last analysis, for the reason that the Neanderthals were incapable of comprehending what was being imparted for their inability well to understand the English language.

Drew Pearson tells of the two sides vying for policy implementation re the liquidation of Government assets purchased for the war. The one side, that represented by Bernard Baruch, General Electric, and Lehman Brothers, wanted to provide the bulk of the surplus, factories and product, to the large corporations who had made the great share of the money out of the war contracts. A group of Congressmen, Republicans and Democrats, wanted the surplus distributed equitably so as not to produce economic woes as had occurred in the aftermath of World War I when a large part of the surplus was dumped on the open market, enabling speculators to reap huge profits. And, now, the surplus was 75 billion dollars worth of assets, ten and a half times that at the end of World War I.

Congressmen Charles Halleck of Indiana and Wright Patman of Texas were co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation which would provide for equitable sale of the surplus war assets.

Thus far, however, the sales had been ad hoc and surplus items by the carload were being sold to individual companies who were thus blessed with lower priced merchandise than in the ordinary retail market, enabling unfair competition. Screws, portable phonographs, jute socks, cheap worsted suits for men, all were on the list of items thusly distributed so far.

He next turns to complaints being raised with regard to the availability of personal military aircraft to various Government functionaries when, for the most part, the planes sat on the tarmac, and often were being utilized for personal transportation to and from remote homes. Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau's plane had come under scrutiny and criticism, as well as those of Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Emory Land, head of the Maritime Commission.

Meanwhile, Douglas Aircraft was putting finishing touches on a new luxury plane for the President, costing $750,000.

Perhaps in poor taste, Mr. Pearson mentions, among the luxury items for the aircraft, an elevator. That elevator, obviously, was simply to afford easy access for the President in his wheelchair. Perhaps, instead, it conveys how easy it was to forget that the President was so confined throughout his term of office, as the lack of ability to use his legs rarely showed.

Both Samuel Grafton and Marquis Childs examine the policy statement made by Wendell Willkie in newspaper articles, in which he had sought to relegate to history's waste bins the outmoded concept of states' rights. Says Mr. Childs, he had quoted a report from 1933 of a committee chaired by no less a conservative personage than Herbert Hoover, voicing support for the notion that the states had been incapable of providing properly services in the areas of transportation, communication, merchandising, labor relations, "and other vital aspects of social and economic life", which, in consequence, had to be taken up by the Federal Government.

The second article of Mr. Willkie, touched on exegetically only by Mr. Childs, had to do with race relations. Mr. Willkie advocated that the Republicans endorse completely the anti-poll tax legislation and anti-lynching legislation. He also championed for African-Americans the right to work and to equal wages for the same work as performed by whites.

Mr. Childs indicates that should the Republicans adopt these policy stands, it would pit them squarely against the Southern Democratic forces, and would present a campaign issue for Thomas Dewey to press, that the Administration had waffled and compromised unduly in these areas to placate Southern Democrats. Governor Dewey had, in New York, attenuated the effort by a committee which he had originally appointed and assigned the task of establishing a program of equal employment opportunity for blacks. Would Governor Dewey adopt the Willkie stance which he, himself, had favored in the previous year at the state level, or would he follow states' rights doctrine on the issue, seeking to lead by his own example inchoate?

Mr. Grafton stresses the aspect of the Willkie doctrine which advocated a strong commitment to government delivery of social security and public welfare.

Mr. Grafton posits that the solution for the generation was to blend the old formulas of private enterprise and states' rights with the newer conceptualization of social security and central government. The problem with Governor Bricker and Governor Dewey, he finds, was that each had sought to reserve portions of the old regime while seeking to maintain piecemeal some of the new, winding up blending neither, instead posing impediments to the melding process.

"They have set up their stands and they sell pretty good neckties and socks, but nothing a man can cover himself with completely, and be secure against all wind and weather."

Now, we understand completely the message perhaps being conveyed by Mr. Weiner recently. It was simply a political statement, setting forth his adamant opposition to the Old Deal, the Dewey-Bricker doctrine of 1944. That is our interpretation. You of the dirty-minded may think as you wish.

We recommend as his campaign slogan, should he run in the special election for his old seat: "Repeal the Republican Olde Deal. Give this man some clothes so that he might provide likewise for you." You can imagine the picture beside the words for yourself.

Dorothy Thompson discusses an article by Walter Lippmann in which he put forth the notion that Woodrow Wilson could have achieved Senate approval of an individual treaty with Germany which called for policing of re-armament. The problem arose in the eyes of the Senators when President Wilson had demanded a treaty which embodied the broad mandate of the League of Nations to enforce disarmament multilaterally.

Thus, Mr. Lippmann had recommended treaties limited in time and scope to specific nations, the enemy nations of Germany and Japan. The Big Three would have ultimate power to deploy force with a veto provided each and no individual nation compelled to commit troops.

Ms. Thompson takes issue with the concept, though it apparently was the one headed for actual adoption. For its raison d'etre was based on the inimicality of Germany and Japan. That was fine for the present, but two and three decades, hence, she predicts, such a binding reason would no longer inhere.

The solution to the problem, she offers, was to adopt instead a world organization which could vote to implement force and had at its disposal a policing organization which could draw its personnel from member nations on a pro rata basis. The people were ready for such an organization, she opined, but the Big Three governments were not.

Prophetically, she states, "The greatest concern of the Anglo-American powers is already that Russia should be checked in Europe, and of Russia that the Anglo-Americans should not rule there."

It was not the case that Germany effected its rearmament during the thirties because of weakness of England, France, and Russia, but rather because each of those nations had hoped to establish a balance of power by using Germany as a fulcrum. Russia, in 1922, had entered into the Treaty of Rapallo with Germany and worked closely with the Republic until the coming to power of Hitler in 1933.

Dick Young, substituting for the vacationing Dr. Herbert Spaugh, appears on the editorial page for the first time since May 8, 1943, the first time on the pages we normally cover since April 14. He tells of the war bond drive in and around Mecklenburg, first commenting on the "Door Knockers" campaign, to sell them house-to-house and deliver the bonds directly to the doorstep of the purchaser. A female had sold one to a 75-year old man, but, fearing that he might die before receiving his bond, he promptly went downtown and picked it up at the bank, yet giving the "Door Knocker" her full credit for the sale.

Perhaps, she resembled Jane Russell, which was perhaps why he feared he might die before obtaining his bond.

Either her or Marley's ghost.

We do not know, incidentally, why the black monolith appears below the Dorman Smith of the day. Something was ripped away from the page very carefully before it made it to the microfilm. We may never know what was there. Maybe the missing link in the anthropological and historical evolutionary chain of man from the ape, or even the explanation beforehand for Roswell. Perchance, it obscures the reason why the elderly gentleman thought he would not live to obtain his bond. Or, is yet just a doorway to another dimension in time and space. Go inside only if you dare. But, remember to light first a candle, then curse the dark.

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