Wednesday, August 9, 1944

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, August 9, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Americans had secured Le Mans and moved beyond it on the beginning of the drive toward Paris.

French patriots of the underground were hampering efforts of the Germans to evacuate from southwestern France after being outflanked by the Allies to the north. The Germans had been forced to destroy most of their war supplies and machinery, unable to evacuate it.

The French were harassing the occupation forces in French cafes by discussing openly the news of Allied victories and singing the equivalent in French of the American song, "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal, You".

More than 2,000 American planes, from both England and Italy, had attacked targets at Stuttgart, in the vicinity of Paris, and railway yards in Yugoslavia, 750 heavy bombers having flown from England. Forces flying over the battle front in the area of Le Mans had destroyed 51 German tanks the previous day.

RAF medium bombers during the afternoon had bombed an ammunition dump in the Lyons forest, ten miles east of Rouen, causing a huge forest fire from the explosion.

Three divisions of the Red Army had moved from the west, south, and east toward the Latvian capital of Riga. Another force had moved six miles northward on the Vistula River bridgehead south of Warsaw. Forces in the south moved to within 33 miles of the Czech border, taking Boryslaw and Sambour. German reserves had been piled up on the East Prussian border to prevent the threatened encroachment there.

A map on the page shows the Russian advance all along the 400-mile front.

In Italy, the Eighth Army had taken Monte Grillo, north and northwest of Arezzo. The situation was unchanged in Florence, with the Germans no longer shelling the occupied southern portion of the city across the Arno River. There were conflicting reports on the status of the northern sector of the city: one from a British newspaper claimed life was ongoing as usual save for the fact of scarce drinking water; another from a Canadian newspaper indicated that Italians swimming across the Arno had intimated that the Germans were looting the city.

The remaining Japanese alive on Guam had been confined to the northeastern tip of the island and their fall was considered imminent.

On the editorial page, "Mutiny" discusses the civilian complaint that the War Department was sugar-coating the news for the public, treating them as children, and the like complaint from soldiers that the people back home were treating them as children.

Yank had sought to debunk the myth of the hero in the war by describing the not so glamorous routine of latrine duty to which Commando Kelly, the war's Sergeant York, had been assigned just before returning stateside. Kelly himself rejected the hero and "commando" labels, saying that his comrades simply called him Kelly or Chuck. He didn't like the press plaudits of his feat because it tended to make him sound as if he was tooting his own horn.

The soldiers also wanted an end to commercial exploitation. One dog food company had co-opted a letter from a soldier mailed home to celebrate his having been told that old Bess, the family dog, had delivered pups again. The column reprints a parody of the letter which another soldier had written. His old Bess had been less than monogamous.

"Chaos" finds victory coming surprisingly closer by the day in France, after the long period after D-Day spent slugging it out among the hedgerows of Normandy. The Allies were now rolling toward Paris and, predicts the piece, it would not be surprising if Paris itself were in Allied hands within days. The crumbling German defenders could either try to stand and fight and be surely vanquished or retreat in ignominy from France completely.

The removal of German troops from Southern France opened the way for attack from the Mediterranean, complicating that much more the German position.

The Battle for France, it suggested, might be completed within the not too distant future.

"The Library" suggests a list of goals for the Charlotte Library in light of its recently announced poor rating given by the American Library Association, finding it deficient in many respects, given the size of the community. The phone company was making plans for Charlotte's expansion to 200,000 population within 20 years, and so the library needed likewise to look to that long-term benchmark by which to chart its levels of increased service.

"The Battle" sets forth the high stakes at work in the Congressional determination of war demobilization and the payment of higher bonus payments to veterans and higher unemployment compensation to discharged war workers. There was argument on the relative levels of payment, whether the workers should receive higher unemployment compensation, comparable to the soldiers' bonus payments. States' rights advocates wanted the determination of benefits left to the states.

How these arguments were resolved would determine the ease with which the economy would readjust after the war.

Drew Pearson describes the ongoing battle between big business and small business in the competition for demobilization. Small businesses, deprived of the big war contracts, were being given by War Production Board Director Donald Nelson limited permission to resume civilian production. The large companies which had received the lion's share of the contracts were opposed to this early return to civilian production because it afforded, they contended, the smaller businesses an unfair advantage in the marketplace, delayed entry to which for the larger companies until after the war could mean loss of large segments of their business.

One WPB member, Sydney Weinberg, a partner at Goldman-Sachs, had threatened to resign the board because of his determination to oppose Mr. Nelson on the issue. Vice-chairman Charles Wilson also disfavored the move and sided with the big companies.

Mr. Pearson next provides a series of anecdotes. The first is of an umimposing Brigadier General, Oscar Ray Cauldwell, who had led the "Fighting Third" Marines on the initial landing at Bougainville a year earlier and had served in the bloody campaign for the Gilbert Islands in late November, and who of late had been spotted, without his decorations and ribbons, entering a Washington drug store and asking for matches. He received paper matches, wanted long wooden ones. Despite his reputation for being one of the most tenacious fighting generals in the Marine Corps, he expressed fear that the paper matches might burn his fingers.

The column next tells of the Navy handing out "E" ratings for excellence in war production to companies convicted of fraud in producing materials. One such example was the Anaconda Wire and Cable Company which had received an E recently, after it had been convicted of sending faulty copper wire to the Russians, wire which might have caused numerous war casualties as it was designed for intercommunication on the front lines.

Among the other snippets is the report that Stanley Arnold, the boy from Cleveland who had determined that all important events of the war had occurred on either the 7th or 11th of the month, now reported that Thomas Dewey had eleven letters in his name and that election day was 11-7-44. So...

At least the number was not 666 or a divisor thereof.

Mr. Arnold, incidentally, by 1967 in his later maturity becoming a millionaire business tycoon, had invented the simple business aphorism, consisting, of course, of eleven words, not to mention 56 letters, evenly divisible by?: "Every problem contains within itself the seeds of its own solution."

By 1967, it would seem, indeed, while the impossible dream, to have been coming true for some, at least.

At the 1972 Democratic Convention, a Stanley Arnold received four delegate votes for vice-president--the nomination for which ultimately becoming quite controversial. In any event, Mr. Arnold, whether the same as our 7-11 prognosticator, we don't know, scored one vote less than Congressman Wilbur Mills, and one more than former North Carolina Governor and future Senator, Duke University president, Terry Sanford.

Marquis Childs discusses the Republican Governors' Conference, just concluded in St. Louis, with focus on the recommendation that Federal grants for the benefit of states and localities should come as funding without conditions so that the states or localities could administer the funds as they deemed appropriate.

Such an unfettered method of Federal funding would only stimulate rampant political patronage without proper restraint. In Missouri, for example, a Children's Bureau had been created under a program through the Department of Labor. It was found that appointments to administrative positions locally for the program were being provided to unqualified persons based solely on political favor. The program was investigated by Congress and its conditions imposed. Had their been no conditions, however, the unworthy appointments would have continued unabated. This recommendation was thus contrary to the overall ideal expressed by the Governors' fourteen points coming out of the convention.

There was also contradiction among the states and regions on various issues, such as freight rates. The Southern Democrats were obviously not present at the convention. Freight rates had been a favorite object of scorn for Southern States' Rightists, seeking parity with Northern rates. But the Northeastern states wished to maintain the current rate structure. Governor Dewey had appeared before the Interstate Commerce Commission two years earlier, before becoming Governor, to argue for retention of the higher rate for New York.

Dorothy Thompson expounds on the necessity for the United Nations to create a body of international law by which the combined four powers and all the other nations ultimately to be within the organization would govern in the post-war world. For without such a body of law, the Big Four would constitute a super-police state, operating without the consent of the governed, whether of the Allied nations or the vanquished. It would only lead to a nicer Master Folk, but one ultimately still contra the tenets of democracy and the principles of the American Constitution, the ideal to which the world ought be encouraged to aspire.

A news item on the page reports that in Harwich, Mass., on Cape Cod, the residents were perambulating about the town in such scant clothing that a friendly sign had been posted asking all persons over 16 to adorn conventional habit when out and about.

Hal Boyle tells of a cub reconnaissance pilot who performed some daring and fancifully elusive maneuvers while being pursued by eight Focke-Wulf fighters over the battle front in France and managed, despite the contrary odds, to get away with only four bullet holes in his fuselage, his dips and curls having led one of the German fliers, inattentive, to crash into the ground while pursuing him, and another to be shot down by friendly artillery fire into which he had deliberately led the squadron, artillery fire which also chased the other six away.

Mr. Boyle also reports of the new method of "spraying" the enemy, using the Army rifle poised on the hip and continually firing a whole clip at a time, in a sweeping manner rather than concentrating fire in one direction.

It was a spray job.

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