Wednesday, July 26, 1944

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, July 26, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that American tanks and inafntry had, in the first American armored drive in Normandy, captured Marigny, seven miles from St. Lo, and St. Gilles, four miles from the captured town, in the area of the Periers to St. Lo road, moving to a depth of five miles along a 2.5-mile front. To the east, other units moved along a five-mile front to a depth of a mile and a half to capture La Chapelle-en-Juger, 2.5 miles northeast of Marigny. The American tanks met German Mark VI tanks with 88-mm guns and yet continued their advance through the German lines.

The German 353d Infantry Division and two regiments of the Third Parachute Division suffered substantial casualties in an attempted counter-attack.

Other American troops made limited advances below Carentan and Lessay.

American and RAF planes provided extensive air cover for the advances. Despite severe thunderstorms, a thousand RAF planes also attacked Stuttgart for the second successive night, Berlin, for the third, Bremen, Mannheim, and a synthetic oil facility at Wanne-Eickel.

A group of Germans on the Cherbourg Peninsula, forced to surrender under the hail of bombs and suffering from several days without food or water, described the carpet-bombing as inhumane and "criminal". When asked about the German bombing of Rotterdam, Warsaw, and London during the first year of the war, the group of young Nazis uniformly responded that they were defending themselves against a war started by the British.

In the fierce fighting below Caen, the Nazis had stopped the British-Canadian advance and regained some of the lost ground, counter-attacking at Verrieres during an all-night tank battle. The British had fallen back to the northern entrance of Tilly-La-Campagne. During the prior 24 hours, the Second Army troops had twice entered May-sur-Orne, only to be forced back by German counter-thrusts.

A British staff officer described the battle as one of attrition, back and forth, in which the British, with relatively few casualties, had been successful in wearing down Rommel's forces.

A map on the inside page provides relative mileage to Paris on arcs drawn across Normandy, about 125 airline miles from Caen, 160 miles from St. Lo.

In Italy, the Fifth Army continued to defend the southern part of Pisa below the Arno River, moving to within a few hundred yards of the Leaning Tower.

The Eighth Army reached the outskirts of San Casciano, eight miles south of Florence, pressing gains of up to three miles in other inland areas.

Italian based American bombers struck at an aircraft works in Linz, Austria, and on rail facilities in Northern Italy and Yugoslavia.

Cossack cavalry had reached the eastern banks of the Vistula River in Poland, 66 miles miles southeast of Warsaw. Crossing the Vistula would open an expansive plain affording rapid tank and cavalry movement toward Warsaw. The Russian forces advancing directly from the east on the Polish capital were now within 40 to 50 miles.

Forces moving toward East Prussia were within three miles of the Suwalki Triangle.

Other Russian forces threatened Stanislawow and Kolomia, both said by German sources to be surrounded.

Narva, to the north in the Baltic region, had been captured by the Red Army. Daugavpils in Latvia had also been surrounded, trapping some 30 Nazi divisions behind the severed rail line to Riga.

For the first time, U.S. planes provided support for Russian offensive efforts, flying from a secret base in Russia.

Herr Doktor Goebbels told Germany that the Eastern front was about to be reinforced by reserves sent by Herr Himmler, and thus it would be only a matter of time before the tide in the East would turn.

He expressed confidence that divine Providence had been at work in the sparing of the Fuehrer's life the previous Thursday. Said he: "The Lord's hands are saving him until he has finished his work—which will be finished."

Presumably, as both men took their own lives, the Lord to whom he was referring was Herr Hitler.

On Guam, it was reported by John R. Henry of the Associated Press that a "pall of smoke from bombs and shells hangs over the peninsula like a masterful piece of satanic art." All of the Japanese defenders on the beachheads had been eliminated and the Americans were now threatening the capital at Agana.

A Navy task force had struck at Sabang in the Pacific, last hit April 19. Another task force of carriers had launched bombers against Palau and Yap, first struck March 29. Palau contained the Japanese headquarters for the South Seas.

Governor John W. Bricker of Ohio, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, predicted victory for the Republican ticket in November and that they would take Missouri despite the presence on the Democratic ticket of Missouri Senator Harry Truman.

Missourians would, no doubt, have been heard to reply, "Show me." They would.

On the editorial page, "Morganton" urges the adoption by the Legislature of the State Hospital board's recommendation of appropriation of 3.6 million dollars for improvement to the mental institution's physical plant. Having been the focus of Tom Jimison's participant-observer expose in January, 1942, as published in The News and other newspapers across the state, the ills of the institution appeared to the public to have been remedied by the Governor's subsequent investigatory commission and its recommendations of change of personnel. They had not been; the remedial process had only just begun, says the piece, and the need for the improvements to be funded by the proposed appropriation were sorely needed to insure that the facility would be able to provide appropriate care, still woefully lacking.

"Truman" suggests that the Democrats had some explaining to do with regard to Senator Truman's connections to the Kansas City machine of Boss Tom Pendergast. The Senator had been presented in an unfavorable light in that regard more than once during his tenure in the Senate.

In 1938, when FDR renominated U.S. Attorney Maurice Milligan, responsible for having sent many of the machine operatives to jail and then gunning for Mr. Pendergast, had been opposed by Senator Truman. Though he subsequently withdrew his oppposition, he nevertheless attacked Mr. Milligan in debate on his renomination, suggesting that the determined prosecutor had conspired with two Federal judges to obtain convictions, that jury panels had been handpicked from Jackson County in an effort to obtain likely unsympathetic jurors to the machine, its home being in the county. Senator Truman also found Mr. Milligan to have had a conflict of interest by receiving bankruptcy appointments from the same Federal court in which he was acting as prosecutor.

Mr. Milligan was nevertheless confirmed and later sent Mr. Pendergast to jail. Newspapers of the time, including the New York Times, had criticized Senator Truman for defending of his political patron.

The editorial concludes that the Senator from Missouri was perhaps too practical.

"The Climax" insists that the war must be prosecuted to complete conclusion, unconditional surrender, even should the Germans sue for peace soon. The lessons of 1918 could not be forgotten and a war which would end in similar fashion would only pave the way for another world war some two decades hence.

"The enemy is neither Nazi nor Junker. He is German."

The revisionist may not appreciate the import of that rhetoric of the time. But it must be borne in mind that were it not for the determined stance, the revisionist who seeks to deplore the bombing of Dresden, the bombing of Tokyo, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, beyond the idea of object lessons to deplore war generally, but actually to recriminate against the Allied war leaders of the time, would likely not be around to make such statements. Indeed, none of us would likely be here should Hitler have lived and should his scientists have been permitted to continue their work on the atomic bomb.

One cannot go back and undo the atomic bombs or the preceding incendiary attacks. The only thing Japan had to do to avoid the result was to surrender unconditionally. The only thing Germany had to do was to surrender unconditionally. Instead, the leadership of both countries insanely continued their hopeless fights to the bitter end, to their near annihilation. That innocent civilians were killed, civilians who had taken no part in the war, is lamentable, but an unavoidable reality of such a pervasive war.

It is the reason why every citizen of every country must work to prevent bellicose leaders in their countries from coming to power and from staying in power once there. The mortality rate is significantly increased in any country so allowing such miscreants to persist.

"Cotton Ed" finds without lament the defeat by Governor Olin Johnston of Senator Cotton Ed Smith of South Carolina, white supremacist and demagogue for 36 years in the Senate. Even though Governor Johnston, too, was a traditionalist in the Southern mold, he was one who would be an improvement on Senator Smith.

With the passing from the political scene also of North Carolina's Robert Rice Reynolds, remarks the piece, the Carolinas were undergoing a cleansing which should provide them better representation in the Senate.

Senator Smith, 80 years old, would die on November 17, seven weeks before completion of his term. He had been first elected to the Senate in 1908 when Theodore Roosevelt was leaving office and William Howard Taft had been elected President. His views had not changed with the times.

Senator Johnston would serve until his own death in April 1965. He proved a Southern moderate in office, supporting Labor and the Johnson social agenda of the Great Society, although pulling up short of support for the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Samuel Grafton studies the irony present in the selection of Senator Truman as the Democratic nominee for vice-president, indicating that the anti-Roosevelt forces had made a point of providing, instead of the liberal Vice-President Wallace, the liberal Senator Truman. The process made a profound statement with regard to the Democratic Party and the tremendous lock on it which President Roosevelt enjoyed, despite carping and criticism from the hinterlands, especially in the South.

He notes along the way that, had it not been for Mr. Wallace actively seeking the nomination, there would have likely been no nomination of Senator Truman. It took the determined effort by the Iowan to obtain a worthy opponent and one who was every bit as friendly to the New Deal and the President personally as was the Vice-President.

Marquis Childs largely recapitulates his previous day's offering, finding, as with the column's editorial of the prior day, "Watchdog", that Wendell Willkie had been to the Republicans in 1944 what Vice-President Wallace had been to the Democrats, too visionary to be accepted by the conservative elements of either respective party.

Mr. Wallace had been used as a lightning rod to discharge much of the animosity in the party directed at the CIO Political Action Committee and the more liberal aspects of the New Deal.

How the selection of Truman would play out in the fall was subject to two views. On the one hand, it could cause a depressing effect on Labor organizing at the grassroots and thus hurt voter turnout; on the other, it could motivate conservative independents who would not have voted for a ticket containing Mr. Wallace, to vote for the President.

The overall story of the Democratic convention, he offers, was that party regularity had once again prevailed, just as it had with the Republicans in latter June.

Drew Pearson devotes his entire column to the expression by United States Ambassador William Phillips to President Roosevelt anent the position of India vis-à-vis Great Britian, recommending to the President in a written report, reproduced in the column, that the U.S. become involved in the situation. America, he contended, had an interest in seeing to it that India was freed from the yoke of British imperialism.

When the Ambassador had made the suggestion to Prime Minister Churchill, the response had been dismissive, that there would be a bloodbath between the competing religious interests in the country should India be given immediate independence.

Mr. Phillips, however, insisted that, because the morale of the Indian fighting forces, essentially mercenary in nature, had been low, especially among officers fighting under General Joseph Stilwell in Burma and Northern India, it was within the sphere of interest of the United States to improve that morale and insuring post-war sovereignty for India would go a long way in so doing.

He stressed that the people of Asia, including India, viewed the war as one between Western imperialism and fascism. Eliminating from the equation British imperialism in India would ameliorate that view and give promise of post-war democracy to all of Asia, rather than simply the presently perceived Hobson's Choice. It would instill the notion that the war was not about power politics but truly to promote the principles of the Four Freedoms as stated in the Atlantic Charter of August, 1941.

Hal Boyle reports on the scout planes which directed artillery fire on enemy positions. One such plane, dubbed "El Diablo", was hated more by the Germans than a dozen fighter planes, for it meant sure death in the offing from directed artillery fire.

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