Tuesday, September 26, 1944

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 26, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a veil of secrecy had been pulled over the fate of the "Red Devils", the British First Airborne Division troops trapped on the north side of the Neder Rhine near Arnhem in Holland. Supreme Allied Headquarters indicated the situation was "fluid", while the British press dubbed it critical. The Germans contended that the troops, numbering 8,000 to 9000, had all surrendered. The last Allied report was over a day old, declaring that the troops were holding on to their positions but with supplies running low.

The Germans had launched three successively more intense attacks on the British attempting to reach the "Red Devils", the latest such counter-offensive trying to cut the Allies off at the Zuid Willems Canal, the Germans moving with tanks up and down the road between Veghel and St. Odenrode, blowing up British transports caught in between. The Germans then mounted 88-mm. guns at each end of the road to hold it. On two previous occasions, the Germans had cut the road to Arnhem, only to have it reopened, suffering heavy losses in the process.

Other British troops advanced northeast of Eindhoven through Deurne and Helmond, 15 miles north to Oplos and Mill in Holland.

The American and British double-pronged offensive toward Kleve in Germany continued.

Berlin radio reported that, to the south, Americans had initiated a drive toward the Epinal-Remiremont sector of France, in the direction of Belfort, leading into Southern Germany.

The Germans were reported to have lost a million troops since D-Day, including at least a hundred thousand killed, 200,000 critically wounded, more than half a million captured, the remainder sealed off in the Channel Islands and along the French coast. Of the 520,000 captured, 385,000 had surrendered to American armies, the First Army leading the way with 183,327 captives, followed by the Third Army, operational only since August 1, with 92,600, and 90,000 more by the Seventh Army and the French operating in the South of France. The British Second Army had captured 75,000 and the Canadian First Army, 60,000.

About 1,100 American and British heavy bombers dropped 3,500 tons of bombs on Osnabruck, a supply depot for Holland, as well as on Hamm and Bremen, the latter cities supplying the enemy forces along the nearby Siegfried Line. The RAF attacked the French Channel coast with 600 heavy bombers.

In Italy, the Eighth Army had crossed the Rubicon, just north and west of captured Rimini, after taking the coastal town of Bordonchia, six miles north of Rimini.

The Fifth Army, operating below Bologna, were advancing through several valleys in a northeasterly direction following their breakthrough of the Gothic Line. Northeast of Firenzuola, Americans resisted three German counter-attacks near Monte La Fine while fighting the Germans within Moraduccio, 22 miles southwest of the Po Valley road center of Imola.

The Russians were preparing for an assault on two islands, Ristna and Osel, guarding the entrances to the Gulf of Riga and the Gulf of Finland, off the coast of Estonia, now nearly cleared of all Germans save for rearguard remnants. The Red Fleet had moved in strength into the Baltic in support of the attack on the islands.

After the fall of Haapsalu, 63 miles southwest of Tallinn, only Virtsu remained in German possession on the west coast of Estonia. Parnu, on the southwest coast was also in Soviet possession.

In the Pacific, B-29's struck Anshan in Manchuria for the second time, as follow-up to the attack of September 8. Anshan was a manufacturing center, specializing in steel and chemicals, supplying the Japanese forces operating in China and was expected to be knocked out of the war for months following the pair of successful raids.

A report out of Spain told that German factory workers had been reduced to 15 minutes for lunch because of too much idling during lunch hour. A "table fuehrer" was appointed for each table to insure that his co-workers did not take 16 minutes to down their food.

What the heck? They didn't have much food to down in the first place, just some dark bread and ersatz this or that.

Prime Minister Churchill was warmly greeted by crowds upon his return to London from the Quebec Conference with President Roosevelt.

In response to repeated questioning by G.I.'s as to the number of steps inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Corporal Earl Bishop of Nepton, Ky., (sounding as a Lord in need of a "Right Honourable" before his name) gave personal account that there were 200, having climbed and counted them himself.

On the editorial page, "The Tracks" sets forth elegantly the diabolical trail left in train by the Nazis in every area of Europe and Africa in which they had been occupiers during the war, leaving behind, as the most visible reminder of their one-time presence, the land mine.

It points out, in fairness, that the Allies had also set land mines and those, too, would be left behind at the end of hostilities, posing equally a peril to civilians who might suffer the untoward fate of happening unexpectedly upon one and losing life or limb. Even the child yet unborn, predicts the piece, might, in his or her mature years, stumble upon a surplus mine of World War II, undetonated and unremoved.

Farmers feared to plow their fields in areas mined by the Nazis. And reports of people being killed far from the madding crowd by such mines were numerous.

The editorial proposes that the Germans be made, as part of the peace terms, to remove the mines which they had planted.

"Hayseeds" questions whether Germany's swords might be beaten to plowshares by the plan of Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau who recommended dismantling all of Germany's industry and turning the people to the rural life, while the industrial Ruhr Valley would be managed jointly by the Allies to control Germany's prospect of further manufacture of armaments.

The piece finds the idea of control of the Ruhr likely to be sound, but questions whether heavily industrialized Germany could be turned into a rural economy without impacting dramatically the economy of all of Europe, creating then the seeds for another war.

It concludes that the Russians understood best the German situation and how to deal with it post-war and should thus be consulted before any such plans for de-industrialization of Germany would be implemented.

"No Skimption" comments on the President's complimenting Labor with the statistic that only one-tenth of one percent of man-hours had been lost during the war from strikes. The editorial finds it laudatory on the one hand, but, examined from a different perspective, not anything about which to brag.

For the sum total of man-hours during the war had run into the billions, and, thus, in absolute numbers, the man-hours lost were significant, about 150 million just in 1943, or 6 million man-days of work. And all of it had occurred in the face of the February, 1942 pledge by Labor's leaders, save John L. Lewis, not to strike. Moreover, the most usual cause for strikes, low wages, had been eliminated by the highest wages ever paid in history during the war.

The overall record of Labor, was, therefore, erratic, resulting in a large amount of time lost from unnecessary strikes, harming thereby war production substantially, even if all strike activity had not been the fault of Labor.

"Is This Us?" finds dissociative the Republican circular being sent out which had suggested that the anti-New Deal fervor had grown so great in North Carolina that it might wind up in November in the Republican column. The editorial contradicts the unfounded optimism with the assertion that the pollsters had written off the entire South from the Dewey side of the ledger. And North Carolina typically, since the Civil War, had voted for the Democrat.

As indicated, North Carolina would vote two-thirds to one-third for Roosevelt over Dewey. The editorial knew whereof it wrote.

Drew Pearson once again devotes his entire column to Thomas Dewey's foreign policy adviser, John Foster Dulles, slated to be the new secretary of state in a Dewey cabinet, a position, of course, which Mr. Dulles would eventually hold instead between 1953 and 1959 under President Eisenhower. He would also play a leading role at the United Nations Conference in San Francisco in the spring.

Mr. Pearson relates that since publishing the quotes from Mr. Dulles from 1939, supportive of Hitler and the dictator nations as necessary balancing bulwarks to Communism, as being the "dynamic" forces for change in Europe in contraposition to the "static" forces represented by France and Great Britain, the column had received a plethora of response, some critical of taking the statements out of context, others finding the quotes useful to assess the Dewey candidacy, all wanting to know more about the man who might soon direct foreign policy.

So, Mr. Pearson relates several facts regarding Mr. Dulles's past legal career at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York, during which tenure he had rubbed shoulders several times with dictators, arguing personally for Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain, having "legal relations" with the nephew of Vichy Premier Pierre Laval. He offers several other questionable relations had in the context of Mr. Dulles's legal work, most sounding fairly innocuous, simply clients in the course of a law practice.

As before on Mr. Dulles, Mr. Pearson presents the facts, draws for the reader no conclusions.

Samuel Grafton writes of the dreaminess in America pervading the election fall of 1944. The American Legion had issued a statement recommending that the United States return all refugees at war's end to their native lands. The problem was that there was no significant number of refugees in the country. Only 960 had been admitted to the Oswego, N. Y., refugee camp established by agreement with the United Nations under the Grafton Plan, and those were already slated to be returned to their native countries at the end of the war. So, queries Mr. Grafton, who were these refugees?

In other quarters, the Republicans were chattering about the need to return lost civil liberties after the war. But no one seemed able to describe what rights had been lost during the war. As close as anyone got to it was some notion that the closed union shop was anti-American. But Governor Dewey was no more ready to endorse an open shop than he was nudism, concludes Mr. Grafton. So what was all the fuss about lost liberty?

Marquis Childs writes of the last phases of the Dumbarton Oaks Conference in Georgetown, meeting since August 21 to hammer out the basic formula for the United Nations organization, to be formally founded finally in the San Francisco Conference of the ensuing spring. The meeting with the Russians was about to conclude. Thereafter, the Chinese would join the conference and it was hoped that all discussions would end within 7 to 10 days, as in fact it would.

The conference had dragged on longer than anticipated at its start, haggling over questions of the amount of influence within the organization to be had by smaller nations as well as how the Security Council would handle aggression by one of the permanent members, the Big Four. There also remained the question of whether France would take a seat on the Security Council as a permanent member. The status of colonial possessions also continued to be a source of disagreement.

Questions regarding the territorial integrity of Poland had hung as a shadow over the conference.

The remainder of the editorial is lost for the time being, obliterated from the page. Fortunately, the United Nations has enjoyed a more tender fate in the 66 years since its founding.

Barbara Wace reports from Fourneuf in Brittany on September 6 of standing on a battlefield fourteen hours after a whole American platoon had been killed, save one, in its valiant fight to clear the enemy from high ground overlooking a road, holding up an American battalion. It would appear that the effort had been, albeit at great sacrifice, successful.

But the remainder of the story will have to await another day for full understanding as half the column is in the white-out.

A letter to the editor from a Roosevelt supporter, who had written in many times previously to The News, always erudite and sensible, provides here such a convincing statement representative of the ardent isolationist-nationalist line that the reader is hard-pressed to realize that the author is operating strictly within the bounds of Socratic irony. Or, maybe, having won the prize for best letter in support of Roosevelt in the letter-writing contest ending the previous Friday, Mr. Smith had decided he had better play the other side of the fence for a bit to avoid being beset, or even lynched, by the tenacious third of North Carolinians, staunchly Republican and anti-New Deal.

He sort of reminds of this fellow. Only problem is that, when they were children and adolescents, Ms. Palin and her Tea Partiers apparently took him quite seriously, then promptly forgot about it.

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