Friday, September 29, 1944

The Charlotte News

Friday, September 29, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that infantry troops of both the U.S Third and Seventh Armies had advanced three to five miles each, to within sight of the Belfort Gap at the southern end of the Allied front, and were within 20 to 25 miles of the four main passes through the Vosges Mountains. The Third Army dispatched 32 enemy tanks the previous day and moved to within eleven miles of the town of Belfort.

A major battle was forming for the highway junction at Rambervillers, 30 miles southeast of Nancy and 50 miles north of Belfort.

Twenty miles north of Aachen, the U.S. First Army gained a mile at Echterbosch on the German-Dutch border, fending off fierce German resistance six miles northeast of Sittard.

South of Kleve, the British Second Army moved along a twenty-mile front two to three miles from the German border at the Meuse River. A series of counter-attacks by the Nazis in the Nijmejen sector were repelled.

All along the front German activity swelled, apparently buoyed by the success of the forced evacuation of the British First Airborne Division "Red Devils", previously entrapped for eight days below Arnhem on the north bank of the Neder Rhine. The Germans sent out aggressive patrols west of Arnhem, across the Leopold Canal and sent forth raiding parties from besieged Dunkerque.

American and British medium bombers hit various points along the Siegfried Line, at Saarbrucken and Goldern.

Correspondent Henry Jameson reported of the continuing plague of weather on the Allied Armies in France since D-Day. Mud and storms had delayed operations considerably for the First and Third Armies more recently. June and July had been the worst summer weather in France in 40 years, with rain occurring on occasion four or five days in succession.

The Third Army had accumulated intelligence, presumably from captured German prisoners, on Germany's next secret weapon, the V-3, a 14-ton bomb capable of explosive impact across a radius of two miles from its point of detonation. The new terror weapon had not yet been used on England or the Allied armies. The V-3 was said to be shot into the air vertically as a rocket and controlled by radio, was 60 feet in length and five feet in diameter.

The report mentions the V-2 as a long-range rocket fired from a carrier plane, but does not mention its capability of being fired from land-based mobile launchers as was the case. Nor does it mention its use against England and the Allies in France and Belgium during the prior three weeks. The V-2 had first been identified in reports in latter August.

The Russians had completely liberated Estonia from German occupation, with the exception of two small islands. Fully 45,745 Germans were reported to have been killed or captured in ten days of fighting in the Baltic State.

A three-way offensive from Yugoslavia and Rumania toward Hungary was progressing apace along a 100-mile front, amid rumors that Hungary was seeking to exit the war, as had Rumania a few weeks earlier. The move down the southern slopes of the East Beskid Mountains to the Hungarian plain had effected near joinder between the Fourth Ukrainian Army and the Slovak Patriots. The Russians were within fifteen miles of Szeged and 102 miles from Budapest.

The Russians had moved into Lupkow Pass, leading from Poland into Czechoslovakia, capturing Vydran, three miles inside the Czech frontier.

The Partisans of Marshal Tito were reported to be on the outskirts of Belgrade.

Admiral William Halsey declared that the Third Fleet on the previous Saturday had attacked the Philippines for the seventh time during September, to bring the total destruction wreaked on the Japanese air and naval forces to 1,014 planes and 160 ships, 22 sunk on Saturday, of which four had been war ships. Another 200 ships had probably been sunk or were damaged, including 43 on Saturday.

President Roosevelt, in a letter to Leo Crowley, head of the Foreign Economic Administration, favored maintrenance of Germany's industrialization after the war but subject to stringent controls by the Allies. The advice of the Presdient implicitly rejected the proposal of Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau that Germany be converted to an agrarian economy following the war. The President called for an acceleration of the study by FEA regarding the control of Germany's war-making potential. Secretary Hull was to direct this effort.

The British Government asserted that there was credibility in the rumors that, with the Germans realizing the war to be lost, plans were being laid for preparation for World War III. Prime Minister Churchill had informed Commons the day before that the Nazis were prepared to wage guerrilla warfare in the forests and mountains even after surrender. Foreign Minister Sir Anthony Eden told Commons that Heinrich Himmler was reported to be training young boys for post-occupation resistance.

The President met with the Labor Advisory Committee, headed by William Green of AFL and Phillip Murray of CIO, and heard their recommendation that the Little Steel formula, freezing wages at 15 percent above wages extant in January, 1941, should be scrapped as outmoded. There was no indication of the President's intention to accept or reject the committee's advice.

The President indicated that he had no further campign plans beyond a speech on October 5 to Democratic Party workers, thereby discounting a report by DNC chair Robert Hannegan that he would make two speeches in New York during October.

Thus, the President was keeping his word that there would be little campaigning for the November election.

An out of work machinist in Coshocton, Ohio, confessed to dropping two of his four sons from a bridge into the Mohican River, seeking to drown them. One of the boys, but one and a half years old, died, while the other, age seven, was able to escape the river, being picked up by a passing motorist after spending a night in a cold rain. The two other sons, twins, age eight, were left with a blanket under a tree near the bridge. The father, Warren Patterson, had contemplated drowning them as well, but couldn't bring himself to do it after dropping his other two sons from the bridge. It would turn out that he was distraught from being unable to provide for them after losing his job.

A man in Kansas City, incensed by the insinuation that he was a bum, announced to the stranger before him, "I am no bum. I've got money." Whereupon, the stranger relieved him of that money, all $80 of it, when, in response to the stranger's request to see the bankroll, the man imprudently produced it and the stranger promptly grabbed the money and fled the scene.

On the editorial page, "Sic Semper" comments on a momentary flare-up between Salisbury's rationing board and the Federal Office of Price Administration, the local board being frustrated by the glaring oversight of Federal regulations. Things appeared now to be returning to normal.

"Aimee" comments on the life of evangelist and showman Aimee Semple McPherson, found dead at age 53 in a hotel room with a bottle of sleeping pills beside her bed. She had led a tumultuous existence, says the piece, always in and out of the courts, criminal and civil, seeming to conflict with her self-anointed sainthood.

"How's That?" astutely takes to task the Office of War Information report predicting that the war with Japan would take two years to win after conclusion of the war in Germany. It was based on some wobbly reasoning, suggests the editorial, that winning the war in Europe would produce a mass psychology of apathy and over-confidence within the United States which would precipitate a reduction in production necessary to sustain the Pacific war effort, and, by equal measures, enable a steel-willed independence to be instilled in the Japanese when they saw the final fall of their Axis partners, leaving them to have to fight alone for their Empire quest and sanctified place in Nirvana.

The piece finds the forecast divorced from the reality of the battle front in the Pacific.

Yet, and yet, had it not been for the atomic bombs, who knows how long the war in the Pacific might have lasted. Predictions to President Truman by the ensuing June were that it would take at least another year to conquer the home islands utilizing conventional methods of warfare, air and sea bombardment followed by invasion by land troops. Estimated losses were at least 100,000 American men. And, of course, there would have been even more than that in losses to the Japanese, both civilian and military, through continued B-29 raids on the major cities of Japan.

"The Grab-Off" argues for combining of the Army and Navy into a Department of Defense, one good reason for it being underscored by a recent report which showed the Navy to be predatory in its taking men into service who were scarcely but boys, age 17, depleting by those numbers the available pool of draftable 18 and 19-year olds. In consequence, the Army was having to look to the bracket of older men, age 26 to 30, to fill the ranks of necessary manpower for the fight ahead in the Pacific. The lack of coordination between the services thus was creating the incongruity between available manpower and the continued needs of the war for young men fit for jungle fighting conditions.

"Fie, Fie!" discusses the cry from Southern editors that Thoams Dewey was not taking into account the South in his proposed program for a new and better country. He had stated that, in his administration, "the East, West, and Midwest would receive equal treatment in post-war reconversion". It did not take Southerners long to recognize the omission and proclaim that Mr. Dewey was planning to short-change them, that, as Governor, he had opposed discriminatory freight rate reform to cure disparate rates between regions, especially inimical to the South.

But the piece demands order, insists that the South had been and would be treated as a step-child of the nation under the rule of either party. The South simply had no substantial voice in national politics. By stubbornly maintaining its allegiance to the Democratic Party, Dixie had left itself with no bargaining power to obtain that which it wanted in policy from the Federal Government.

Rather than inveighing at the wind by punching Mr. Dewey in the stomach for doing the same thing the Democrats did to the region, ignoring it for the most part, the piece suggests that Southerners ought exert their notable characteristic of stubborn independence and determine to accomplish for themselves what the Federal Government, under the leadership of either party, would not do for them.

Hal Boyle explains of the increasing tendency of the average G.I. fighting along the Siegfried Line to hate his enemy, hatred kindled by the growing resignation to a long, bitter winter of fighting along the Rhine, as the Germans were digging in to protect home territory, something the Americans had hoped, with the three-month campaign to liberate France and Belgium behind them, would not be the case. They were not going to be home for Christmas.

Many had been in service on the fronts for two continuous years, since the North African invasion in November, 1942. In North Africa, in Sicily, in Italy, they had not come to hate their German enemy, but rather saw him as a recalcitrant not unlike themselves. Now, they had begun bitterly to resent the German resolve to fight on despite the obvious hopelessness of the war.

That bitterness would only deepen by Christmas as the Battle of the Bulge by then would rage.

To bring home a small brush with the concrete reality of war, an unusual photograph for the editorial page appears under a heading, "War's Small Type", showing a G.I. weeping on Hill 200 of Palau. It was not clear whether he wept from exhaustion of battle or for his fallen comrades. But the lengthy caption below the photograph suggests that he had the right to weep. He would rise again, so it suggests, to fight with grim death to reap.

Drew Pearson provides a third column of the week, the fourth in a month, on John Foster Dulles, chief foreign policy adviser to Thomas Dewey. He explains Mr. Dulles's being either counsel or director of several firms which had come under Government scrutiny and even indictment.

Union Electric of Missouri, from whose parent company Mr. Dulles had resigned in 1938, had been adjudged guilty of providing campaign funds to influence judges and politicians to provide favorable rulings to the utility so that it might sell profitable but unnecessary bond issues. The executive vice-president of Union Electric, Frank Boehm, had been indicted and convicted for influence peddling and was now suing Mr. Dulles and others, contending that they had set up Mr. Boehm as a scapegoat and that they had possessed complete knowledge of his influence peddling and encouraged it.

Mr. Dulles had ducked for months the process server, only recently to be caught outside his home while on his way to meet with Secretary Hull at Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown. The accompanying photographers had caught a surprised Mr. Dulles when the process server laid on him the summons, but the resulting photos, says Mr. Pearson, had never been published.

--If you publish those, junior, I'll have your legs sawed off.

Sullivan & Cromwell, of which Mr. Dulles was a prominent partner, had served as counsel to Central States Trust, a holding company which had become worth 350 million dollars by 1929, only to go bust in the Depression and wind up sticking investors with a 300 million dollar loss.

Mr. Dulles had also been counsel for McKesson & Robbins Drug Company when the scandal broke with its head, Donald Coster, in fact the swindler Frank Musica, who wound up shooting himself as the FBI closed in to arrest him when he was short on the books, following his earlier excelsior-for-hair swindle.

Although, Mr. Pearson again offers no conclusions from the facts related, it is rather plain that Mr. Dulles had some very sleazy Clients and was director of some very sleazy Companies.

A news piece reports that Frank Sinatra, having met personally with the President at the White House, to discuss girls, not politics, announced his intention to support the President for a fourth term.

After all, the President was nominated in Chic-a-go. And Mr. Sinatra had recently had his clothes torn off by screaming teenaged girls in Chic-a-go.

Of course, so was Mr. Dewey nominated in the Windy City.

And Bing Crosby, ho, ho, ho, was a member of the "Hollywood for Dewey Committee", was staunchly in the corner of the Governor.

"It takes all kinds," Mr. Hope was heard to whisper.

It doesn't really say the latter, but we imagine it to be true.

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