Monday, SEPTEMBER 11, 1944

The Charlotte News

Monday, September 11, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U. S. First Army had penetrated into the dragon-toothed Siegfried Line and were within one to two miles of the German border as they hurled artillery fire into Aachen, two miles inside the border. The Third Army meanwhile was less than 10 miles from Germany, having captured Luxembourg.

The British Second Army entered Holland 14 miles north of the Albert Canal, along the road to Eindhoven, 50 miles northeast of Antwerp, about 35 miles from the German border. The move followed the crossing of the Schelde-Meuse Canal, two miles from the Dutch border, following a three-day engagement near Bourg-Leopold and Bechtel. Fully 12,000 Germans had been captured, with more Germans killed in a single day than at any time since the Normandy operations.

In the South of France, French forces had captured Dijon, placing them within 55 miles of the American forces to the north, while other troops of the Seventh Army pushed further north from captured Besancon to reach Vesoul, 75 miles south of Nancy, the point at which the Third Army was establishing a bridgehead across the Moselle River, and 30 miles west of the Belfort Gap leading into Germany.

A report from Southern France indicated that in the foothills of the Alps during the German occupation, the French underground had developed a six-engine seaplane, dubbed the Late 631. By the time of liberation, the workshop had the parts ready for assembly. There were other such underground operations as well during occupation. A transport built in one of these facilities had already flown a mission for the Allies, just four days after liberation.

Production in France was being reorganized on a cooperative model with factories controlled by a committee comprised of labor, management, and engineers.

The largest air battle ever fought by American fighter planes over Germany had occurred this date while escorting a thousand American bombers in an attack of oil facilities at Merseburg, Lutzkendorf, and Misburg near Hannover. Fully 130 enemy aircraft had been shot down in the raid, resulting in a total of 255 for the two-day period, a record for the war for Air Force fighter planes. A year earlier, a raid on Regensburg and Schweinfurt had resulted in 307 German planes being destroyed by both bombers and fighters. This day's raid was the fourth in four days and the first in which opposition had been encountered. (It should be noted that the latter contention of the report does not logically follow from the statement that 125 enemy planes had been shot down over Germany the previous day. It was not the first time, however, that confusing reports issued from the front.)

In Italy, against only slight German opposition, the Fifth Army reached Uselia, 17 miles northwest of Florence and 35 miles south of Bologna. To the west, other units of the Army moved into the outskirts of Pistola, occupying high ground dominating the town from the northeast, as part of the 92nd Infantry Division reached the Gothic Line at Zezzera, 6.5 miles northeast of Lucca. The operations took advantage of the concentration of German forces on the Adriatic Coast, defending Rimini against the Eighth Army, where German heavy artillery kept the Allied forces at a standstill.

On the Tyrrhenian coast, the Americans encountered strong defenses, consisting of minefields and mortar fire, as they made new crossings of the Serchio River to occupy Vecchiano, five miles north of Pisa. Fighting was said to be fierce, resulting in heavy casualties on both sides, along the five-mile coastal front between Coriano and Gemmano.

In Poland, the town of Krosno, within the Carpathian foothills, seventeen miles from the Czechoslovakian border, was reported evacuated by the Germans, clearing the way for the Russians to advance toward the Beskide Pass into Czech territory. Russian troops were within 35 miles of Krakow, 83 miles northwest of Krosno, apparently part of a large new offensive aimed at taking the city, key to entry to German Silesia.

The Second Ukrainian Army was within 30 miles of Cluj, capital of Transylvania, after eliminating all enemy opposition within the Transylvanian Alps, advancing toward Hungary.

The forces of General Feodor Tolbukhin were approaching the Yugoslav border from Rumania.

Ante Pavelic, Nazi puppet leader of Croatia, had been arrested and turned over to Marshal Tito's Partisans after the capture of Zajecar, five miles from the Bulgarian frontier, while other Partisan forces fought to within 50 miles of Zagreb, the seat of Pavelic's Government. Pavelic had been in exile in Italy under a death sentence for treason issued by King Alexander of Yugoslavia in 1934 when, in 1941, Hitler and Mussolini jointly assigned him to be ruler of Croatia.

In the Pacific, Tokyo reported a large American carrier task force had been at work since Saturday attacking Mindanao in the southern Philippines, the first time such a concerted carrier-based attack had occurred against the Philippines. There was not yet any confirmation of this action from Admiral Nimitz or General MacArthur.

President Roosevelt met with Prime Minister Churchill in Quebec, a little over a year after their late August meeting in the city in 1943. The primary focus was said to be on the war in the Pacific.

Premier Stalin had been invited to the conference but could not attend because Soviet armies were in the process of the offensive on the Eastern front. The same reason had been provided for his not attending the Casablanca Conference in January, 1943 to which he had also been invited, albeit, in that instance, citing the heavy fighting on Russian soil, the counter-offensive to the siege of Stalingrad, as his reason for absence.

It was announced that the President would likely issue an executive recommendation to the War Labor Board to depart from the Little Steel formula for wages which had effectively frozen wages since September, 1942.

Republican Congressman Forest Harness of Indiana delivered a speech on the House floor telling of new information having surfaced that three days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Australian Government had informed the United States Government that a large Japanese carrier task force had been spotted heading for Pearl Harbor and that the report was not relayed to General Walter Short, commander of the Army in Hawaii. Mr. Harness charged that the President had concealed this truth about the attack by denying Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Short public hearings.

The horse was out of the barn, less than two months before election day.

Bob Hope, too much in the darkened print to discern much of any meaning from it, says something about W. C. Fields and three cases of Scotch being tossed overboard to alleviate weight in the transport plane carrying the entertainers to a new island location in the Pacific.

Or, maybe Mr. Fields was along for the ride and they had to throw him overboard in lieu of the Scotch.

On the editorial page, "Red Scare" addresses a statement on the House floor made by Democrat John Lesinski of Michigan that, with the outcome of the war now a certainty, it was time to examine closely Soviet intentions with respect to Central Europe and China "as vassal states". The U.S.S.R., he stated, was building a powerful bloc of states in Eastern Europe for the post-war and it had to be determined what they intended to do with them.

The piece interprets the speech to be a warning of potential threat from the Soviet Union after the war.

"______" cannot be discerned, but appears to be in praise of the distinguished fighting record in the war of Japanese-American troops. Pith in battle was, in the last analysis, the true test of loyalty, and the fighting spirit of these troops had demonstrated their loyalty beyond question.

"An Error" comments on former Governor and Congressman O. Max Gardner's prediction that North Carolina would convert to peacetime production faster than any other state. He noted that there had been no huge war industry in the state which had to be converted and likewise therefore no great boom times from which the populace would need be weaned. Thus, the shortage of war industries in the state was proving a blessing in the end during the period of transition.

"New Yorkers" is too dim to comprehend fully, but appears to examine the fact that both President Roosevelt and Governor Dewey had New York as their home state, even if Mr. Dewey had grown up in Michigan, and how that fact would impact the election in the South.

Drew Pearson discusses Col. J. Monroe ("Rowboat") Johnson, director of the Office of Defense Transportation. Mr. Johnson had sought to thwart the Federal lawsuit brought by the Justice Department against the Western railroads on the charge of anti-trust violations for reaching an agreement among themselves without Federal approval required by law. Even after the lawsuit had been filed, Mr. Johnson continued to try to keep the matter from the public eye by insisting that both Attorney General Francis Biddle and one of his surrogates in the Justice Department first submit speeches on the matter to the Office of War Information for approval. The effort failed.

Mr. Pearson next turns to the battle for the presidency of the United Mine Workers union being waged against the continued reign of John L. Lewis. Running against him was Ray Edmondson, who stood little chance of winning, but waged the fight with an eye toward getting rid of Lewis two years hence. Mr. Edmondson had resigned his post in April as district president of the union because he was fed up with the one-man rule of Mr. Lewis.

Mr. Lewis had manipulated elections in the past to eliminate all opposition. His own brother, Denny Lewis, told of one election for district president in West Virginia in which there had been substantial opposition to his brother. To get around it, he printed ballots with only his own name on them and asked the miners to vote for or against him by either checking a box beside his name or crossing him off. They only counted the ballots checked and so Mr. Lewis won unanimously.

Marquis Childs examines the irascibility of the President at recent press conferences and suggests that it stemmed from his frustration in being hamstrung from answering Republican charges during the campaign, for instance the recent contention by Governor Dewey that he had used the trip to the Pacific and the speech from the Bremerton Navy Yard for campaign purposes. If, said White House press secretary Steve Early, the President responded to such attacks having to do with his role as Commander-in-Chief, he could wind up offending the men in service on the one hand or the Allies on the other. Thus, he had to remain mum.

Nevertheless, insists Mr. Childs, the President needed to address such issues as they impacted home morale.

A letter writer expresses her exasperation at the previous week's radio speech of Governor Dewey. She states that the President might not have to campaign at all, that Governor Dewey was hanging himself without any help.

Samuel Grafton expounds further on his thesis begun Saturday, that the war should continue as a non-shooting war after the fighting ended, to insure a peaceful Germany into the future without the necessity of signing a peace treaty and having a formal armistice. Given that Germany had for 15 of the previous 30 years been engaged in either active warfare or acts of aggression threatening war, it was the only track by which to prevent a repeat of the debacle following World War I. It would, he suggests, have the effect of causing the Germans to have to plan their society around the method of effecting the peace rather than the means by which they might circumvent the strictures of an existing peace agreement.

Charles Foltz, substituting for the injured Hal Boyle, reports on September 2 from Hendaye in France, indicating that the FFI for twelve days had ruled a territory twice the size of Belgium and with a greater population than pre-war Hungary. There were no Allied troops in the area, a part of Southern France.

The FFI had arisen out of the underground as a fighting force, comprised solely of volunteers, fueled by the hatred produced by the four-year German occupation of their country.

The German prediction that chaos would reign after their evacuation of France had not come true. The FFI was maintaining order in the evacuated towns of Bordeaux, Toulouse, and other cities south of the Loire River west of the Rhone. Mr. Foltz reported that all had been orderly within Hendaye where he had been staying for two days.

The FFI held several hundred prisoners in Hendaye but only 150 civilian collaborationists. FFI was principally concerned with food distribution.

The trains were operating smoothly throughout Southern France for the first time in four years. Trucks, abandoned by the Germans for want of parts, were now being used by the FFI to transport supplies. They were utilizing gasoline from large storage tanks near Toulouse which the FFI had prevented the Nazis from destroying.

But Cadmus was so enraged at the destruction of his friends that he cared neither for the size of the dragon's jaws nor for his hundreds of sharp teeth. Drawing his sword, he rushed at the monster, and flung himself right into his cavernous mouth. This bold method of attacking him took the dragon by surprise; for, in fact, Cadmus had leaped so far down into his throat, that the rows of terrible teeth could not close upon him, nor do him the least harm in the world. Thus, though the struggle was a tremendous one, and though the dragon shattered the tuft of trees into small splinters by the lashing of his tail, yet, as Cadmus was all the while slashing and stabbing at his very vitals, it was not long before the scaly wretch bethought himself of slipping away. He had not gone his length, however, when the brave Cadmus gave him a sword-thrust that finished the battle; and, creeping out of the gateway of the creature's jaws, there he beheld him still wriggling his vast bulk, although there was no longer life enough in him to harm a little child.

But do not you suppose that it made Cadmus sorrowful to think of the melancholy fate which had befallen those poor, friendly people, who had followed the cow along with him? It seemed as if he were doomed to lose everybody whom he loved, or to see them perish in one way or another. And here he was, after all his toils and troubles, in a solitary place, with not a single human being to help him build a hut.

"What shall I do?" cried he aloud. "It were better for me to have been devoured by the dragon, as my poor companions were."

"Cadmus," said a voice,—but whether it came from above or below him, or whether it spoke within his own breast, the young man could not tell,—"Cadmus, pluck out the dragon's teeth, and plant them in the earth."

--from "The Dragon's Teeth", Tanglewood Tales, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1853

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