Monday, July 10, 1944

The Charlotte News

Monday, July 10, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the British Second Army, having taken Caen at last the day before, were moving against the Germans in the southern suburbs of the city, across the Orne River. With the objective of freeing Caen's docks from German artillery fire, the British captured during the drive Bretteville-sur Odon, a mile southwest of Caen, along with Eterville, three miles southwest, Maltot, four miles southwest, and Hill 112, further southwest. The front extended three miles, as other British units attacked from the north and east of Caen against the last German hold-outs.

Citizens of Caen rejoiced at the raising in their town of the French Tri-color flag for the first time in four years.

A Normandy-based RAF Spitfire wing had performed particularly well on Sunday in smashing a German tank column in the area of Caen, destroying 85 tanks, trucks, and armored vehicles. Eleven Allied planes were lost in the 3,500 sorties, which included strikes deeper into France, and along the Seine River from Le Havre to the north.

Along the Vire River bridgehead, the Americans gained more than a mile along a seven-mile front, capturing Sainteney, six miles south of Carentan. La Haye Du Puits had been captured during the weekend, as American forces moved quickly southeast from the town.

A soldier from Chattanooga, Tenn., had hoisted over La Haye the Confederate flag which his grandfather had carried during the Civil War and which his father had carried in France during World War I.

General Eisenhower issued a statement warning the American and British public against the over-optimism that Germany would soon fall. He assured that the Gestapo had full control over Germany and that the hope of internal collapse therefore was fanciful. A long and bitter fight lay ahead for every foot of ground, he cautioned, with high casualties to come.

Saipan now was fully under American control, as Japanese resistance ended at dusk on Saturday with the Marines reaching the northern tip of the island. The fight there had commenced June 14. Some 20,000 Japanese had fought to the last to defend the bastion within the middle ring of Japanese defenses. At the end, some of the terrified enemy troops were swimming to nowhere in the sea off the northern tip, to avoid the strafing runs of the American planes overhead.

The island now presented itself as a prime base for air operations against the Philippines, 1,500 miles to the west, and the mainland of Japan to the northwest, with Tokyo lying but 1,450 miles away, well within the range of the new B-29. Saipan was also only 150 miles north of the Japanese base at Guam.

Further south, off northern New Guinea, Noemfoor Island had also been taken by the Americans on Friday, after five days of fighting.

In Italy, the Fifth Army captured Volterra, last of the western anchors of the Gothic Line of the Germans, and drove forward four miles, heading for the Arno River, leading to Florence and Pisa.

Some progress was also made in the offensive along the west coast toward Leghorn.

The Eighth Army was bogged down in fighting strong enemy resistance as they tried to take the communications center at Arezzo. East of the Apennines, the Eighth Army captured Pietralunga and gained five miles in the upper Tiber Valley, taking Montone and Carpini.

The Red Army had moved to within 60 miles of East Prussia, continuing to gain ground apace, faster than any army in the history of warfare, faster than the Germans at the height of their blitzkrieg against Poland at the start of the war, faster than their move into Russia three years earlier. Wilno was now encircled and fighting was taking place for the second straight day within its streets.

Some Soviet forces had penetrated Lithuania, heading toward Memel--the first annexed territory by the Nazis, along with the Saar, in 1935, accomplished via rigged plebiscites. The area subject to being cut off from supplies, should Memel be captured, comprised 60,000 square miles and was held by an estimated forty German divisions. The Russians were also only 50 miles from Kaunas in Lithuania. The forces had also taken Druja, a mile from the Latvian border, and Braslov, southwest of Druja.

To the south, the Red Army continued its advance toward Brest-Litovsk and Rialvstok.

The editorial page reports in a news piece that the Chinese had begun a large offensive in Southern Hupeh Province, making substantial progress against particular objectives. The apparent design of the operation was diversionary, to stave off reinforcements to the Japanese in the Hunan Province fighting to the south for Hengyang, still ongoing.

General Charles De Gaulle, having engaged in talks in Washington with Cordell Hull and the President since July 7, concluded his stay, indicating that he and the President had a frank discussion and completed it with better understanding. General De Gaulle now would move his headquarters from Algiers to liberated France.

On the editorial page, "No. 2" comments on the second raid of the B-29's, three weeks since the June 15 raid on Yawata. This second raid, on Yawata and the naval base at Sasebo, had also been successful. The promise of subsequent raids was fulfilled, and proved that June 15 was no hit-and-run operation as with the mainly morale-building raid of April 18, 1942 by General Doolittle and his Hornet-based fliers of Shangri-La.

The capability of these huge new planes had increased exponentially the potential for progress in the war on Japan, even if, as General Hap Arnold had made clear, they would not alone win the war.

"Still Bob" reprints a piece from The Argonaut, a journal which maintained a watch on movements deemed threatening of democracy in the country. The piece had taken note of Senator Robert Rice Reynolds's talk of forming a Nationalist Party movement. It distinguishes patriotism from nationalism, finds nationalism to have been that which plagued Germany and Italy during the twenties and thirties, giving rise to Nazism and Fascism. Patriotism respected diversity of the population; nationalism was restrictive and discriminatory. Patriotism reached out to other nations; nationalism bred distrust and animosity for those of foreign origins.

The Argonaut thus warned of the charismatic Senator Reynolds and his rhetoric tending toward the inimical brand of nationalism, that which was tantamount to Nazism.

The column agrees with The Argonaut and so adds no further comment.

"Negro Vote" discusses the dilemma facing the Democrats at their convention set to begin the following week in Chicago with regard to attracting the black vote in November. The Republicans had adopted a plank which favored a Constitutional amendment to eliminate the poll tax, favored anti-lynching legislation, a Congressional inquiry into the adverse effects on morale of reported discrimination against blacks within the armed services, and the establishment of a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission.

The piece sets forth the voting base in 1940 of blacks within the four most populous states, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio, each with greater black populations than the margin of victory enjoyed in those states by FDR. Many were now in the armed forces, but, nevertheless, the Republican courtship of the black vote could prove significant if successful, with many blacks outraged by maltreatment in the society at large and especially within the South where recent movements were afoot insistent on depriving blacks of their vote in state primaries by seeking to privatize the primary to circumvent the Allwright Supreme Court decision of April, mandating black participation in state-sponsored primaries.

But to have such a plank in the Democratic platform could widen the already present rift between Northern and Southern Democrats, with the Texas revolt brewing throughout the South, with the fire-eaters threatening to bolt the party in the electoral college, to throw the election into the House, should the convention not adopt a states' rights plank in the platform and eschew any strong civil rights plank.

The piece reminds that the 1940 Republican convention had adopted a pro-civil rights plank, dubbed the "square deal", taking from Theodore Roosevelt's motto for his Administration. The 1940 Democrats had also put forth a pro-civil rights plank, albeit one in general rather than specific terms. The 1936 Republicans had done likewise.

Whether black disaffection from the Democrats would prove itself at the polling booths in November or whether as a group they would first remember their strides of progress economically and socially under FDR, remained to be seen.

It was FDR, for instance, who had established by Executive Order, the Fair Employment Practices Committee, which in December had caused a stir among Southern railroads by insisting that they treat the races equally in terms of promotion and hiring practices of engineers, conductors, and firemen.

That and the attempted integration of the armed services, the attempt to get the soldier vote absentee-ballot bill passed for Federal elections, to produce uniformity in the states in distributing absentee ballots, and other such moves by the Administration seen by Southerners as anti-states' rights and pro-civil rights, along with animosity held against progressive Henry Wallace in international relations, had formed the stimulus for the increasingly pandemic Texas revolt--perhaps coinciding, in some mystically allegorical sense, with the outbreak of poliomyelitis in Hickory.

Drew Pearson addresses what would come to be problematic in the post-war world, the divisions in China between the warlords and those represented by Madame Chiang’s pro-Western stance, the further division between the northern Chinese, speaking a different dialect from those in the south, and with the "so-called Communists", so-called, says Mr. Pearson, by Chiang because he disliked them. Actually, these fighting forces of a quarter million, he instructs, had fought well against the Japanese, until the weapons being sent to China from the U.S. were reported to be turned on the Communist forces, causing them to have to fend for themselves against Chiang.

Many thousands in China, he reports, had never heard the name Chiang, saw Madame Chiang as too pro-Western, an inimical force to be minimalized. Many hoped that Chiang would take a new wife. Madame Chiang was his third and reports had it that at times he had returned to his second, which was why Madame Chiang came to the U.S. in February, 1943. Her ability to charm money for munitions for the army meant that she was still tolerated by the warlords. But the warlords looked with ill favor on the encroachment by the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, potentially pushing the Japanese fully into China as their last refuge when the Navy would eventually push them from the home islands.

The foreign press was heavily censored in China. American journalists were never permitted to interview Chiang. Even the American Ambassador was never seen by Chiang, as the Generalissimo was always reported to be too busy.

The entire portrait presented by Mr. Pearson of this vast and disparate land and population, so long mysterious to the West, is one well worth reading, as it presents a picture quite distinct from that presented after 1949 when the Maoist Revolution in China came to power with the establishment of the Red Chinese Government, and Chiang and his Nationalists relegated henceforth to Taiwan, extending then the Cold War into Asia.

Dorothy Thompson engages in prophecy regarding the new V-1 being shot against England from Pas-de-Calais, that its impact, while negligible militarily, was having some positive effect on morale at home in Germany, but, moreover, unveiled the future of political ramifications for such high-powered weaponry following its being perfected from the present seeds of destructive power. The weapons a generation hence, she predicts, would make those of 1944 appear as firecrackers.

Imaginative people, with some scientific background, who have been clamoring that war must stop forever, and that the whole world must be policed, because otherwise the human race will blow itself off the planet, have been regarded as hysterical nuts. For the most remarkable thing about the human animal is that it can rarely imagine anything in advance. It has always to be shown--and by the most terrible demonstration.

Of course, with the man from the Show-Me State in the White House, to be nominated in ten days by the Democrats as vice-president, just such a terrible demonstration of the future world, one still very much with us 67 years on, if considerably tamed during the last twenty of those years, would be presented a mere thirteen months hence. The world would not have to wait a generation to see the terrible demonstration.

Ms. Thompson foresaw that if the rocket bomb, though not yet truly a rocket, could be launched a hundred miles, it could be launched 3,000 miles within a generation.

Within a mere 13 years, with the launches of the first Russian and American rockets into outer space, it would be so.

Science, she concludes, was far outpacing the advances in statecraft and political institutions. To avoid the calamity of world destruction, would require the establishment of an international police force, not just in the future, but immediately in the post-war period.

A Charlotte resident, in a letter to the editor, maybe some version of v-mail, warns of expanding bureaucracy, threatening to gobble up democracy, perhaps predictive of the Peter Principle in the past's prologue, offering as example the creation in 1943 by Executive Order, which he regards as fiat, the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, National Monument, adjacent to the Tetons, recommends considering carefully such impingements on American freedom, impregnating the otherwise placid waters with radioactive isotopes, before casting ballots in November.

Hey, pal, visit the Tetons sometime and then carp about it.

How quickly some had forgotten Hooverville.

And, undoubtedly, Betty, there on the tractor in the "Side Glances", was likely driving a Ford tractor. Get 'em up, Scout.

In any event, we bid adieu to Mrs. Ford, who passed away Friday. We believe that she was a progressive force for the good during her short tenure as First Lady, following a particularly divisive time in American politics. She brought a sense of openness and vivacity to the position, whereas her predecessor had always managed successfully to play only a statue, saying little, seeming to feel less. It probably wasn't her fault though.

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