Tuesday, August 29, 1944

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, August 29, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page and inside page report that American troops of the Third Army had swept east of Paris to within 55 miles of Belgium, taking Chateau-Thierry, site of the Second Battle of the Marne fought in July-August, 1918. The Army also had moved northeast of Paris 25 miles to take Soissons. Other forces had reached Fismes, 50 miles from Lorraine, and German broadcasts indicated penetration into Chalons.

Northwest of Paris, two of the established five bridgeheads were joined to form a 25 to 30-mile wide front between Mantes and Vernon. The front had been pressed eleven miles north of the Seine, nearly to the Rouen-Paris highway. The Canadians, (or, as the piece on the inside page lovingly calls them, "Canucks"), had advanced to within 4.5 miles of Rouen, where Joan of Arc was set afire.

The British made forward progress of eight miles north of the Seine near Louviers. At least fourteen V-1 launch installations had been liquidated south of the Seine. But German resistance continued to be strong north of the Lower Seine where the British were in pursuit, as the Germans sought to protect the rocket coast installations of Pas-de-Calais.

The British Second Army reported capture of 122,000 Germans, virtually eliminating the remaining forces of Marshal Von Kluge's Seventh Army. The captured included those troops in each of the two traps, that of the Argentan-Falaise area, which had ended in the "shambles at Chambois", and the second south of the Seine.

In Paris, the American Fifth Corps seized Le Bourget airfield, site of Charles Lindbergh's historic landing in 1927, and cleared the Montmoreney suburb of German troops.

American troops of the Seventh Army had driven into Montelimar, had eliminated all Nazi opposition, with the exception of isolated pockets of resistance, from the Rhone Valley south of Montelimar. The Americans were engaged in mopping-up operations four miles northeast in Sauzet.

Both Marseille and Toulon were now fully held by the Allies. The Germans had surrendered the forts on the St. Mandrier Peninsula, bringing an end to the fighting in that area. The Allies were now transporting into Southern France medicinal and food supplies for the native population, the first to arrive being flour, followed by meat and sugar. Just when pepper was going to get into port was not reported, but hopefully soon.

American and British fighter bombers based in France attacked German positions, with the RAF hitting rail and road transport from the mouth of the Seine at Le Havre to the German border. American heavy bombers out of Italy struck targets in Czechoslovakia, German Silesia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Northern Italy. P-38 Lightnings struck the Latisana Bridge over the Tagliamento River on the Trieste-Vienna line in Northern Italy, the first high-level bombing attempted by this aircraft in the Mediterranean.

French and Italian Resistance fighters combined to occupy the Little St. Bernard Pass between France and Italy.

The Russians were swiftly moving toward Bucharest and Ploesti in Rumania. The Second Ukraine Army of General Rodion Malinovsky had moved 15 miles inside Transylvania. The Germans reported that the Russians had captured Buzau, rail and road junction 60 miles west of Braila, captured the previous night by the Third Ukraine Army. The Russians announced the capture of Bretchu. German resistance was heavy in the area as they sought to block the approach to Ploesti. The Russians captured 11,000 Germans the day before. It was estimated that they would reach Bucharest the following day. Soviet troops had all of the Danube delta in their possession and were pushing toward the Black Sea port of Constanta.

On the northern front, the Russians had captured 50 towns in the Masurian Lakes region, south of East Prussia, in resumption of major movement on that front.

The Germans were reported to be withdrawing their occupation troops from Bulgaria, suggesting that the terms of surrender had already been delivered to the Bulgars.

The Dumbarton Oaks Big Three conferees released a statement after one week of conference indicating that "general agreement" had been reached on the structure of the international security organization to be founded, including a security council formed of the "principal states" plus rotating membership among the smaller nations. They had also agreed to a world court to adjudicate justiciable questions. Membership would be for all "peace-loving nations", albeit a term yet to be defined. "Principal states" was sought by Russia to be limited to the Big Four, but the Soviets remained open to additional membership. The Americans and British had proposed that France be added as a permanent member of the security council.

In Washington, speculation arose that Donald Nelson would be transferred from head of the War Production Board to head of the Office of War Mobilization, to replace James Byrnes who was rumored to wish to return to the private sector.

Bob Hope reports that for five weeks he had been island-hopping in the Central South Pacific. He was trying to determine which islands Dorothy Lamour was selling.

His first stop, in July, was on Christmas Island, 2,000 miles from nowhere, Devil's Island with cocoanuts--26 miles across the sea from San Bernardo. (He didn't impart that last Clause; we did.) Its main attractions were landcrabs and blisterbugs. The import of twenty-two cows by the Army was an event to be remembered during the previous two years.

The cows were greeted as movie stars, says Mr. Hope, though not imparting how the movie stars were received, the soldiers applauding when "Elsie and chorus stepped off the boat". (You see now how it all glues and fuses together somehow. You may be aware, for instance, that the Asheville hotels listed Saturday as convalescent centers sometimes played host to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda, frequent visitors with the Vanderbilts. But we are not aware of any lepers among the guests.)

Francis Langford and Patty Thomas were the first women ever to set foot on Christmas Island.

On the editorial page, "It's Here" reports on an upcoming conference for manufacturers engaged in war contracts throughout the Carolinas, wherein the Army and Navy would provide methods for the adjustment process back to peacetime economy. Charlotte was not going to be affected very much as it had not been a war boom town, but many other areas which had enjoyed great prosperity during the previous two years were going to be hit hard with a sudden downturn in wages and available jobs.

"How Long?" discusses the Government's plans for readjusting to peacetime and the reduction of the military forces. It suggests that head of Selective Service General Hershey had better start thinking of the country as a civilian nation, not one arranged on a military model. Treatment of the people as mere masses to be shoved about at government whimsy was not for long going to be tolerated.

"Chevalier" finds that the report of the death of Maurice Chevalier was evidence of a trend among the Resistance in France to deal harshly and swiftly with collaborators, far more strictly than had been the case in Italy. It hearkened back to the assassination of Admiral Darlan on Christmas Eve, 1942. There would be no trials or wasted time. Collaborators would die. It sheds no tears over the loss of Mr. Chevalier.

The piece expresses hope that this Gallic spirit of retribution would be transported into Germany to exact such a toll on the Nazis.

Of course, as we have indicated, the only problem with the report on which this editorial hinges its opinion was that M. Chevalier was not actually executed. He was simply arrested, tried for treason and acquitted.

That is, of course, unless the post-war Chevalier was merely a Knight-errant imposter impostumaceously impressing himself on the world in the stead of the pre-war Chevalier--a kind of Comedy of Errors.

Zenruot el iom, emmoh trom.

"Presto!" examines the incongruity of having Rumania's cabinet now on the side of the Allies in light of the fact that one of its number was labeled a war criminal by the Soviets for being responsible for the deaths of 200,000 Russians, while three others had been decorated by the Nazis for their part in the war against Russia. It was unlikely that Russia would treat with them as had the United States and Great Britain with French and Italian Axis sympathizers.

Drew Pearson provides some background to the ousting of Undersecretary Sumner Welles from his post one year earlier. It had begun at the Latin American Conference of February, 1942 held in Rio de Janeiro. Mr. Welles had the task of lining up all of the Latin American nations with the Allies. Every country except Chile and Argentina agreed. But he was unable to convince Brazil to refuse recognition of Argentina unless it broke with the Axis. The Army in Brazil was considered too pro-Fascist to allow such a move. But when Secretary Hull found out that Undersecretary Welles was returning with only most of the loaf and not all of it, he hit the ceiling. For the failure to garner the acquiescence of Argentina, Mr. Welles received a round country-boy tongue-lashing, full of invective. Mr. Welles then called the President to complain, got sympathy. From that point forward, says Mr. Pearson, Mr. Hull placed a target on the back of Mr. Welles for both not lining up Argentina with the Allies and for going over his head to the President.

Regardless, Mr. Hull had been no more successful at attracting Argentina to the fold. And now the best friend of the United States in Latin America, Oswaldo Aranha, the Brazilian Ambassador to the U.S., had been called home by the government in Brazil, now essentially controlled by the Fascist Army.

Mr. Pearson next turns to the history of Senator John Overton of Louisiana, facing a tough fight in the September primary. He had been a friend to the late Huey Long and his defender when he was impeached by one house of the Louisiana Legislature in 1929. For saving Huey's hide, he had expressed as quid pro quo the desire that a series of toll bridges be built throughout the state. Huey convinced him instead to run for high office, that he would be elected. Mr. Overton wanted to be governor, as Huey had by then become Senator. Huey wanted Oscar Allen, sought to talk Mr. Overton into running for Congress, then Senator. After Mr. Overton refused, insisted on running for governor, Huey appealed to his sense of aristocracy, convinced him that he and his family would find Washington society more palatable and uplifting than that of Baton Rouge. Finally, Mr. Overton agreed and eventually became Senator.

And, his family had enjoyed Washington. Two of his daughters were on the Government payroll as part of his staff.

Dorothy Thompson writes of Joan of Arc being the archetypal European nationalist, leading a people's revolt, with fervent religious faith being the ultimate impelling force. This reliance on faith to motivate the people to fight was, opines Ms. Thompson, Joan's greatest contribution to France. Her second greatest contribution had been the determination that the extant method of warfare being practiced by the French military was outmoded.

Ms. Thompson was motivated to provide this history in brief after sitting on her Vermont farm tuning the radio to various shortwave stations across Europe and Africa, finding a uniform response to the liberation of Paris. There was an outpouring of pride for France, from London, from the Belgian Congo, Cuba, and Brazil, an empathy for the people's defiance of a despotic authority held over them in that evil spell for over four years.

Now, if we can get the United States to recognize the evil spell which has been placed on the country for the last decade, then... You who think that Fascism will win out here, get ready to be shocked.

Marquis Childs contrasts the problems following World War I in obtaining international agreements on the various economic, political, and social issues to be orchestrated to avoid a repeat of world war, with the agreements which were currently being ironed out by the United Nations for the aftermath of World War II. Thus far agreements had been reached on food distribution, monetary policy, transportation, and, most recently, oil, even if issues remained in the latter area as to what quotas were to be imposed.

Hal Boyle, again in the white album today, tells of a rare case of anti-tank artillery units destroying Luftwaffe planes on the ground, caught completely by surprise in the area of Orleans during fighting earlier in the month. We shall await another day for more detail—as with all good white albums, which are sometimes best left to the imagination.

A quote of the day, the author of which we unfortunately cannot see for its being excised: "Will the person who stole my alarm clock the evening of July 24 either return it, or awaken me every morning at...?"

Dorman Smith has something to say to the Pierre Lavals of the world who capitulate to Fascists. Comes a time...

Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.