Monday, July 3, 1944

The Charlotte News

Monday, July 3, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the American First Army had pressed forward 2.5 miles along a 40-mile front on Cherbourg Peninsula, capturing St. Jores, the line stretching from St. Lo D'Ourville east to the vicinity of Carentan, then south to St. Lo.

In the worst Cherbourg weather for June and July in forty years, mud, rain, and thick clouds hampered both ground and air operations, as both the RAF and American bombers in support of the infantry were unable to fly full-scale operations during the previous night and through the day. Nevertheless, the speed of the operation had caught the Nazis off guard, as a heavy artillery barrage pounded the lines before the surge began, utilizing some of the biggest guns yet of the Normandy campaign.

The British widened their Odon River bridgehead by capturing Fontaine-Etoupefour, three miles west of Caen. The Nazis had, in the previous three days, made 25 attacks against the British Odon River line, but had each time been thrown back.

In mopping up operations at Cap De La Hague during the weekend, another 2,000 to 3,000 German prisoners were captured, bringing the total taken by the Americans to 40,000, 55,000 including those additional prisoners taken by the British.

In southern England, more V-1 attacks had killed several people, including First World War Major General Sir Arthur Scott, his wife, Amee Byng, a novelist, and Sir Peter Aiden, a principal writer exposing slum conditions. The attacks centered around Portsmouth and Plymouth.

In Russia, the Red Army had captured Minsk and moved to within 65 miles of Wilno, itself a hundred miles from East Prussia. Three Nazi generals were reported to have been killed during the battle in White Russia, bringing the total German generals killed during June to eleven with seven others captured.

To the east of Minsk, General Ivan Cherniaknovsky's Third Army Cavalry and tanks were pushing strongly down the road from Moscow to Warsaw along the same route of Napoleonís infamous retreat.

On all three fronts, the Germans had suffered in June their worst single month of the war, with an estimated 394,000 casualties, 219,000 in Russia, 80,000 to 100,000 in Italy, and 75,000 in Normandy.

Between 500 and 750 American bombers, flying from both England and Italy, struck oil storage facilities at Bucharest in Rumania, a Shell Oil plant outside Belgrade in Yugoslavia, and, for the second day running, an attack at Budapest in Hungary. Opposition was slight, and apparently there were few if any losses of planes, despite Berlin claiming 35 American planes shot down.

In Italy, French troops and American artillery occupied Siena, locus of the greatest store of art in Italy save for Florence. The people of Siena, numbering 50,000, turned out en masse to greet the liberating forces, celebrating for the first time in four years their traditional Palio Delle Contrade. Siena had escaped major war damage.

The Eighth Army made gains west of Lake Trasimeno, and along the Adriatic coast, captured Osimo, nine miles from the key port of Ancona.

On the Tyrrhenian coast, Cecina was captured by the American forces of the Fifth Army after a particularly fierce battle which saw house to house fighting and wading through mines and booby traps.

On Saipan, the American forces had taken ridge positions above Garapan and Tanapag Harbor while in the northern sector gains of 500 yards to a mile were registered along the entire front on Saturday, enabling possession of 60% of the island. Some American units had moved to within 5.5 miles of the northern tip of the island.

Reported Japanese dead on Saipan had increased from 4,951 reported Saturday to 6,015, based on graves dug for recovered corpses. Eighty tanks had been destroyed.

Thomas Dewey, announcing that he would attend a Republican Governorís Conference during the ensuing month, indicated his desire to remain at his farm in Pawling, N.Y., for the following two months. In answer to questions posed by the press on various topics, he provided no firm answers, not atypical of his non-campaign thus far.

And, a photograph appears of a young captured German prisoner at Cherbourg mocking his Fuehrer. Things had changed.

Note well, neo-Nazi skinhead: by the last year of the war, even the brainwashed Nazi troops had sense enough to realize that Hitler was a lunatic.

On the editorial page, "Appraisal" comments on a statement made by an economic analyst in Sales Management that North Carolina, economically and socially, was at the top of the statistics in the South, but near the bottom when posed against the rest of the nation. The analyst had concluded that a well-paid labor force was lacking to enable the state to compete with northern industry. Risk capital was unavailable. The "bourbons of the feudal school" inhibited progress, maintaining low wages, low taxes, and placing no stress on education. The progressive school recognized the need for reversing these trends.

"Broughton" reports that Governor Melville Broughton of North Carolina had gone to Chicago to set up shop for his campaign to garner the Democratic nomination for vice-president at the convention set to begin in two weeks. The piece wishes him well and believes he would make an able vice-president, but also asserts that he stood little chance of obtaining the support of Roosevelt for the nomination. The President had not abandoned Henry Wallace and did not appear to wish in any event to bow to Southern pressure to place a Southerner on the ticket.

The editorial expresses instead the hope that Governor Broughton would await the retirement of Senator Josiah W. Bailey from the Senate and run for that seat, where he would better be suited to serve his home state than as vice-president. (Incidentally, we like to hyphenate "vice-president" even though the Constitution prints it as two words. Typically, "vice-president" is hyphenated and so we do not defer in this instance to English convention of the 18th century, even if the substance of the document, save for the quaint institution of the electoral college, is timeless in its principles. Call us peculiar. We don't care.)

Governor Broughton would eventually serve in the Senate, albeit for only three months before his death in March, 1948, after defeating future Governor William B. Umstead for the seat to which the latter had been appointed by Governor Cherry in late 1946 after the death of Senator Bailey. Governor Umstead would also die in office in late 1954, after less than two years as Governor.

"Surprise" finds that the end of the fiscal year had shown that the U.S. Treasury had a billion dollars more in revenue from corporate and individual taxes, having underestimated the strength of war business, than the Treasury had predicted a year earlier. It was a drop in the bucket to the overall budget, and meant no lowering of taxes for the coming year, but it was nevertheless good news.

"Few Cheers" remarks on the polite smattering of applause received by Governor Dewey for his acceptance speech at the Republican convention on Wednesday night, a matter which Dorothy Thompson discusses in her column of the day. But differing from her take, that the speech was streamlined for modern ears and performed a service to the country by its foreign policy statement that only unconditional surrender would be acceptable from the Axis in a Dewey administration, the editorial finds him doing no service for his party and adopting positions which were simply safe politically. No one could have reasonably suggested a foreign policy which would accept something less than unconditional surrender.

The column finds the speech therefore, in its calm, monotonous delivery, to have been entitled to only the slight approbation from the convention delegates which it received. It was not, it suggests, as Ms. Thompson provided them the excuse, that they were merely green delegates, most having never before attended a convention. It was simply that the speech said little of import, stirred few waters, occasioned no outpouring of affection, reserved for Governor John Bricker, the vice-presidential nominee.

Drew Pearson discusses the reports of Father Stanislaus Orlemanski of Springfield, Mass., and Professor Oscar Lange of the University of Chicago on their meeting in Moscow with Premier Stalin during May, stressing the latter report for its not being subject to church control and thus more open and detailed. Professor Lange had disclosed that Stalin had reached an understanding with Poland and with President Roosevelt at Tehran, though Churchill remained skeptical, that Poland would be provided a modern, well-equipped army by Russia after the war and would be protected by the might of Russia. Stalin expressed his desire that Poland be strong internally and able to withstand force exerted on it from without. Border questions had largely also been agreed upon, with Poland to receive after the war East Prussia and Upper Silesia from Germany, and all the German territory up to the Oder, including Stettin. Breslau in Silesia remained a question mark. In the process of delivering these remarks, the Premier tacitly had indicated that there had been agreement at Tehran that Germany would be divided after the war.

The professor had been permitted to visit the Polish Army fighting alongside the Russians, finding them well treated and complimenting of their Russian hosts. He had, however, criticized to Stalin the appalling living conditions of the Polish civilians in Russia, to which Stalin expressed agreement. Professor Lange believed that the Poles would be bitter therefore toward Russia when they were finally able to return to their homeland after its liberation from the Nazis.

Dorothy Thompson again looks at the Republican convention, noting its unconventionality, nominating a candidate who nobody really wanted very much, while placing in the vice-presidential spot the preferred candidate. During their speeches, the delegates interrupted Thomas Dewey only irregularly, providing tepid applause, giving a far greater and longer ovation to Governor Bricker.

She praises Governor Dewey's acceptance speech, however, as being particularly modern, free of catch-phrases and idle rhetoric. "It was a speech made to a skeptical generation, allergic to oratory and cynical of politicians."

His succinct statement that America's war effort would not be altered in a Dewey administration, cut off any hope of the Axis that the election of Dewey would bring about a more favorable peace than would be obtained with Roosevelt still in office. It also served to dispel the possibility that he would play politics with the war, in the hope of prolonging it to obtain his political advantage. He urged the Axis to surrender, that every day they prolonged the war meant a harsher result at its eventual end.

Marquis Childs comments favorably on the same attitude of Governor Dewey re foreign policy. He also expresses the hope that the candidate would not campaign on removing price controls, that to do so before the end of the war or during the initial post-war period would prove disastrous for the nation's economy by producing runaway inflation.

Samuel Grafton reports of the forces favoring the candidacy of Harold Stassen having thrown in the white flag at the last and not waged a floor flight to obtain a stronger foreign policy plank, one favoring more specifically and forcefully a post-war international peace organization with armed forces to back it up.

The internationalists had wound up on the outside of the convention to a great degree, with Wendell Willkie missing. (Mr. Grafton comments that when he called the operator to obtain Mr. Willkie's reaction to the convention, he had to spell the 1940 Republican nominee's name.)

The internationalists had obtained one curious compromise on the foreign policy plank, that being to eliminate one of two mentions of opposition to a world state. The other, however, remained in the statement. Thus, the curious duality resulted that the Chicago Daily News featured the elimination of the remark omitted, while the Tribune praised the preservation of the other.

Hal Boyle tells of a French peasant, resident of the first liberated town in France, St. Honorine Des Partes, and his and his fellow villagers' guile practiced on the Nazis. They sold them their worst cattle, fetching $40 American per head. The animals were worth ten times that on the black market, but the ones sold the Germans were dying of starvation, barely able to stand by the time they reached the German stockyard.

The Americans had arrived just in time, as the Germans were about to send another million Frenchmen to work camps on July 1.

The villager found it humorous that Rommel had inspected the coastal defenses just a month before the landings at Normandy and had declared them insuperable.

He noted that some of the French girls who had lived with German soldiers had donned German uniforms and fought the Allies during the invasion. He thought that these collaborators should be rounded up and shot.

These, among other women who had collaborated, would have their heads shorn of hair as the mark of the traitor at the end of the war. It was better to suffer such humiliation than to be shot, which, in truth, per the villagerís recommendation, was probably the fitting punishment.

Dr. Herbert Spaugh tells of the conversion to Christianity of seven Navy fliers shot down and taken into protective shelter by native islanders on an unnamed Japanese-held island in the Pacific. The natives had been converted themselves by missionaries and had Bibles, sang songs the airmen knew, "Red River Valley" and "Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny", not particularly religious songs, but neverthelessÖ Related an aerial gunner from Toledo, recuperating at the Alameda Naval Air Station in California, the natives were learning "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" as the airmen were rescued.

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