Thursday, July 6, 1944

The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 6, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Americans troops on the west coast of the Cherbourg Peninsula took Glatigny, four miles southwest of La Haye, and nearby Scorman. Six miles east of La Haye, they captured La Butte, advancing the lines to the edge of Marais de Gorges. The frontal attack on La Haye, however, had been for the moment abandoned as the troops who had taken the railway station had to withdraw to wait for further progress along the flank.

On the Carentan-Periers road, a 2,000-yard advance, hedge by hedge, took Culot, 4.5 miles southwest of Carentan, albeit a fourth of the gain having been retaken by the Germans by late in the day.

On the Caen front, little progress had been made by the Canadians and British, clinging tenaciously to Carpiquet, fighting against Nazi troop concentration of one division every three miles or less of the front, twice that on Cherbourg, albeit the latter made more complex for its rocky and hilly terrain. The strategically important Carpiquet airfield was now reported to be a no-man's land for both sides.

Berlin, meanwhile, announced that Marshal Karl von Rundstedt had been removed from his command in Normandy for ill health and replaced by Marshal von Kluge.

Prime Minister Churchill, remaining defiant of the Nazi will, announced to Commons that in the previous three weeks V-1's had killed 2,752 persons in England, including an unstated number of American soldiers, and injured another 8,000. A total of 2,754 of the buzz bombs had been thus far launched on England, at the rate of 100 to 150 per day. Many of those, however, had been destroyed before touching down on British soil. Meanwhile, London's children were being evacuated, as in 1940, to the English countryside.

The French Partisans had successfully liberated six departments from the Germans and Vichy. They were Gers, Doubs, Ardeche, Ain, and the heavily forested vercors in Drome and L'Isere.

Nearly a thousand American heavy bombers attacked targets in northwest Germany, and both airfields and the V-1 installations in France. Medium and light bombers provided support on Cherbourg. German radio also reported Allied bombers attacking from Italy against southern German and Austrian targets.

In Russia, the Red Army began a new drive toward Pinsk and Brest-Litovsk, as the Third White Russian Army moved forward to within 45 miles of Wilno. A map on an inside page shows the new Russian line, with Polotsk and Miory taken in the drive on Latvia, while further south, the capture of Konstantinov opened increasingly the way to Wilno. Other units were fighting in Molodeczno, while to the south, Kletsk had been captured.

Also on the inside page, correspondent Morrie Landsberg describes the pitched battle for the northern tip of Saipan, a thousand Japanese having been killed in a battle for Nafutan Ridge, which had afforded the enemy a network of caves. A nearby height, Mt. Tapotchau, hid an underground storage area of about an acre, stacked to 40-foot ceilings with foodstuffs and supplies.

William Worden describes the scene now extant in fully captured Garapan.

A table shows the breakdown thus far of American Army casualties by theater of war, the North African campaign of the previous year thus far resulting in more than half the deaths, 16,224 of 30,675, and 80,336 of the 173,571 total casualties.

The costs of war to the country had been $2,837 per second, $170,235.65 per minute, over 245 million dollars per day, during the prior fiscal year ending June 30, or a total of nearly 90 billion dollars.

Meanwhile, in Germany, to save bottles, liquid ink had been discontinued in favor of dry tablets to be dissolved in water.

The inside page also relates a story of Governor Olin Johnston of South Carolina being taken aback at the photographs appearing in the July 3 issue of Life, showing Republican presidential nominee Thomas Dewey daring to share a drink and conviviality at a party with African-American publishers. Aghast, Governor Johnston stated this disgraceful public show of affinity for blacks to be another reason why the Democrats must vote to re-elect FDR.

Why, the first thing you know, them Deweys would be having them some nigras over to dinner at the White House.

Whether that meant that South Carolina, unless the Democrats gave recognition to states' rights in the platform, would abandon its previous threat to divert its electoral votes from FDR to another person, presumably Senator Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia, so that the election would be thrown into the House, was left therefore a bit murky.

In May, Governor Johnston had joined former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Eugene Blease in advocating a move to bar black voters from the Democratic primary by making the primary privately sponsored by the party in lieu of the State, to avoid the mandate imposed by the Supreme Court's Allwright decision, requiring that the states allow blacks to participate in state-sponsored primaries.

Now, Arkansas, as a report on the front page indicates, was as well considering implementing the restriction on black participation in the Democratic primary.

On the editorial page, "Rankin" deplores the fact that race-baiter, anti-Semite Congressman John Rankin of Mississippi had been re-elected in the stateís primary.

And, while Senator Worth Clark of Idaho, an old line isolationist, had been defeated, equally repugnant Senator Gerald Nye of North Dakota had been re-nominated. Anti-New Dealer Senator Walter George of Georgia was restored for another term, as was Representative Eugene Cox of the Peach State, notorious for placing numerous members of his extended family on the government payroll.

"Rebellion" provides that unrest in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala had resulted in the resignations of the presidents of Guatemala and Honduras, while a movement had been spawned to unseat Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua--who finally would only be removed from office by assassination in 1956, albeit temporarily out between 1947 and 1950.

The question was whether the movements were originating from the people as democratic inertia or were simply the manifestations of internal struggles intending to replace one dictatorship with another.

"Ah, Gigli!" remarks on the failure of the Italian opera star Beniamino Gigli to find anything but contempt for his enemies in the rumor which had circulated recently that he had been killed in the war. He had called it "malicious slander" and sulked from his lonely villa of exile in Italy, not choosing to follow the example of Mark Twain and remark of himself as the last to know of the last black carriage ride into fate.

The editorial, because of his flirtation with Fascism during the thirties, even if denied by the tenor as political, counseled leaving Gigli among the war casualties, notwithstanding his impression of the Phoenix.

"The Big Job" finds sense in the caveat of General Vandergrift, returning from the Pacific theater, that a tremendously difficult road still lay ahead to defeat Japan, that the great successes of the previous seven months since the taking of the Gilbert Islands, followed by the Marshalls, now Saipan in the Marianas, represented gargantuan strides; but the progress henceforth would increasingly find resistance from the Japanese as the Allies came closer to the inner ring of defensive islands, such as the Bonins with Iwo Jima as their chief prize.

It was good advice, says the piece, for the overly optimistic home front to hear.

"Late Talker" looks at the continuing bluster of Adolf Hitler, even in the face of inevitable defeat clanking steadily down the roads of France toward his Berlin bunker, soon, even unto his impregnable Wolf's Lair.

Nevertheless, he still managed to take to the pulpit before the people whom he had led down the path to the depths of degradation, answering his own riddles about why it was so obvious that the Germans would win the war in due course despite temporary setbacks: Hitler had told them so, incessantly.

Drew Pearson discusses the delicate point of developing tension between FDR and Churchill regarding India's sovereign independence from Great Britain. Eighteen months earlier, as Gandhi was under house arrest, President Roosevelt had sent him a bolstering letter, affably seeking his cooperation with the Allies. The letter, however, was never permitted to be delivered by the British. Now that Gandhi had been released, the question of delivery had resurfaced.

FDR had urged Churchill to loosen the reigns on India, but Churchill had reportedly been chilly to the Presidentís entreaty and essentially told him to leave British business to Britain.

Mr. Pearson next examines the Republican platform fight at the previous week's convention, that the plank to favor establishment of Palestine as a Jewish refuge and homeland had been controversial, nearly removed, but finally allowed to remain.

Another struggle had erupted with respect to a plank favoring silver, promoted by the Western bloc of states with their silver mines. But, in the end, the Dewey forces prevailed on them to withdraw it and it was so.

Gold water would one day follow.

Samuel Grafton comments on the swift decay at work on the Wehrmacht, crumbling not only in Normandy, but by the actions of the Resistance, reverberating as far away as Copenhagen, where the Nazis were having to put the quietus on a general strike, diverting attention from the main theaters of the war.

They appeared on the ropes, awaiting the knock-out punch as internal strife begged mutiny at home. Army propagandists had broken with party propagandists, the former favoring shock therapy to place the people on the defensive, while the latter regaled them with dreams still of conquering England with the new rocket-bombs.

Indeed, the internal strife would boil over into the attempt on Hitler's life, just a fortnight hence.

Hal Boyle relates of the optimism among the American fighting men in France, asserting confidently that the war was going to be won in 1944. "Out of the trenches by Christmas," echoed the line of 1918, albeit transformed even more hopefully to "out of the foxholes by Thanksgiving." Many of them thought it would be over within three months, as the German morale had plummeted markedly after the invasion. Some of the captured enemy soldiers were but 17 years old and believed the war was lost. Home morale in Germany was also said to be on the wane. The quick victory on Cherbourg had buoyed American hopes.

Marquis Childs examines the personality of Thomas Dewey, finds him unusually introverted and scholarly for a politician, lacking in the natural trait of acting skills common to most of the breed. He was more nearly akin to Woodrow Wilson than most former Presidents or party nominees. He bore resemblance to the best sort of British public servant; the like was true of the men surrounding him in state government in New York.

And, while FDR's personal charm lay in stark contrast to that of Governor Dewey, the public had become fickle and unresponsive to the Roosevelt lilt and luft.

Dorothy Thompson looks at the role of the First Lady, as having been altered substantially by Eleanor Roosevelt. Mrs. Dewey, by contrast, promised a return to normalcy, that she did not intend to write or advocate causes.

Ms. Thompson comments that, though the Presidents had been as varied as the change of office, the First Ladies had largely been relegated to one traditional role, that of being hostess and playing house, with Mrs. Roosevelt having played the singular exception in modern times.

She finds this Victorian straitjacket to be anachronistic in an age when women were independent and worked at professions, served in Congress, wrote, were business executives, even farmers.

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