Saturday, September 30, 1944

The Charlotte News

Saturday, September 30, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that American and French troops had advanced up to three miles into the first two Vosges Mountain passes leading to the Rhine out of the South of France. The Third Army destroyed 113 German tanks in two days of action while the Seventh Army moved up the snow-covered slopes of the Vosges passes northeast of Epinal and Lure. Four miles east of Remiremont, 50 miles south of Nancy, American patrols moved through the forest in the St. Ame sector.

In the north, the First Army attacked Hurtgen within the Siegfried Line guarding Cologne, and moved through Nazi fortifications at Prum on the way to Coblenz.

In Holland, British infantry and American paratroops stopped German counter-attacks against the Waal bridge at Nijmejen, while fighting became more intense in the Allied wedge across the German border into the Reichswald Forest.

The Germans were reported to be digging in along the Meuse River in preparation for maintaining a winter defensive line.

Canadian and Polish troops continued operations in the area around Antwerp and west of Turnhout. In a two-mile advance, the Polish troops captured Merxplas.

The siege at Calais appeared coming to an end as Germans by the hundreds were surrendering.

Between 750 and 1,000 American heavy bombers attacked targets in the Ruhr and Rhine Valleys of Germany, the Eighth Air Force striking Munster, Hamm, and Bielsfeld.

The Ninth Air Force hit targets at Julich and Bingen along the Dutch border.

During the afternoon, the RAF joined the operations and hit synthetic oil plants at Bottrop and Sterkende in the Ruhr. Only one fighter escort was lost. The previous night, the RAF had bombed Karlsruhe.

In Italy, the Germans had pushed back a bridgehead won by the British Eighth Army over the Fiumeino River, eight miles northwest of Rimini.

Efforts, however, by the Germans to retake from the Fifth Army Monte Battaglia, eleven miles from Imola, had failed, while the Fifth Army gained some ground in the heights overlooking the Po Valley, capturing Giugnola, seven and a half miles northeast of Firenzuola. (Joe Garagiola was still at large.) Patrols advanced into Belvedere, 18 miles south-southeast of Bologna. Other units advanced in excess of three miles up Highway 65 toward Bologna from La Mazetta to Filigare. Also taken were the village of Montetredente, nine miles northwest of Firenzuola, and nearby Monte Balestra.

The Russians were urging Hungary to leave the war, as Russian troops tightened their grip on the last of the Balkans still in Hitler's hands. The offensive had moved against a 90-mile front of fortifications along the border between Poland and Czechoslovakia, sweeping west in northern Transylvania. At the corner in which Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Hungary join, the Russians were already a significant distance into Yugoslavia and probably in Hungarian territory as well. Through the Ruthenian passes General Ivan Petrov's Russian-Czech forces had driven a wedge, capturing pre-war Czech territory to the extent of 160 miles. Marshal Rodion Malinovsky's forces captured the Transylvanian city of Targu-Mures, crossing the Mures River line 50 miles east of Cluj.

It was announced that the defense of Estonia, now in Russian hands, had cost the Germans 30,000 killed and 15,745 captured between September 17 and 26.

In the Pacific, U.S. forces took control on Wednesday and Thursday of three more islands in the Palaus, including Kongaura and Negesebus, the latter with a 4,800-foot airstrip. By doing so, the Americans increased the utility of the captured Peleliu airstrip in its striking capacity at the Philippines.

Japanese losses on Peleliu now totaled 8,717 killed, on nearby Angaur, another 9,772 killed, all since September 15.

Donald Nelson, head of the War Production Board, resigned the post in favor of acting Director Julius Krug, who had been in the position since Mr. Nelson left on a special mission to China during August. The move had been anticipated for more than a month. The President indicated that he wished Mr. Nelson to remain in the Government in a high position.

In New York, Gerald L. K. Smith, Fascist and racist, ejected journalist John Roy Carlson from a press conference after Mr. Smith began attacking Mr. Carlson, author of Under Cover, as an agent provocateur and racketeer. Mr. Carlson, seated nearby, spoke up and identified himself, stating that what Mr. Smith was saying was "a pack of lies". The always genteel Mr. Smith then bodily pushed Mr. Carlson from the room.

Seven survivors of an ill-fated bombing mission over Germany aboard their Flying Fortress, "Heavenly Body", had found in the Book of Revelations an allegory for their rescue from the English Channel. So they named their new Fortress "Seven Angels". The verses had been marked by one of the crew with an English pound note prior to the mission. The passage seemed to describe the stages of their rescue.

Residents of Dover celebrated the announcement that their four-year ordeal was finally over as all the long-range German guns along the French coast which had targeted them since 1940 were now destroyed.

On the editorial page, "A Single" recounts some of the bizarre murders of the past in Charlotte and then turns to one of the previous week, unique in Charlotte's unique murder history. Two men had taken turns firing a pistol at a person, killing the victim. Both men had fired two shots each. The defense attorney challenged the prosecutor, however, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the fatal bullet was fired by one or the other of the men.

The jury found them both guilty of only manslaughter. They were sentenced to six to ten years each. They appealed.

The editorial analogizes the situation to bird hunters who fire simultaneously upon their prey, downing the bird. They then have to decide who got the bird and who simply notched his weapon for a symbolic kill. The difference with the instant case was that each of the defendants wanted the other to take both the bird and the notch.

Of course, in this case, the fault lay with the prosecution apparently not properly arguing the law of aiding and abetting. Both men were principals in the murder, regardless of who fired the fatal shot. Each aided and abetted the other. Each was therefore guilty of the crime of first degree murder. And so it was inconsequential as to who between the two actually fired the fatal shot.

The piece does not provide the specific evidence. But let us posit that three of the shots struck the victim in the leg, none of which was fatal, with one coup de gras to the head, unmistakably the fatal shot. The guns are exactly alike and the bullet to the head is so mangled that ballistics cannot discern from which gun it came; ditto for two of the bullets to the leg, both shattering upon impact to the bone. Let us posit further that both of the co-defendants testify that they agreed only to shoot the victim in the leg, to scare him from printing the compromising photos of Mr. Dulles. Both testify that they fired at the legs and neither aimed at the head. What is the result? Does Mr. Dulles also go to jail for life for conspiracy?

Don't try the stunt and think that 1944 Charlotte justice will again prevail to get you relieved of either a life sentence or the chair. A bird in hand may be worth two in the bush, but two birds in jail for life, one or the other having bushwhacked their mutually agreed quarry, is the only acceptable result in this seemingly puzzling firing-squad dilemma, marry!

"On the Job" tells of the stress on particular issues during the fall gubernatorial campaign by Democrat Gregg Cherry, the election a foregone conclusion in his favor. He emphasized the need for reorganizing the basis for teacher pay and grading, the present system being makeshift. He asserted that the condition of the county government budgets was generally good, with debts soon to be paid by almost all of the state's hundred counties. And the need existed for improved roads in the state.

"Road Back" comments on the fact that the Americans were closing in on a landing in the Philippines soon, with the Third Fleet sending planes to attack regularly Mindanao, and, within the prior week, Manila.

Landings, it suggested, would be a relatively easy task for the topography of the islands. But the jungle environs would pose a difficult time for weeding out the enemy once the landings were effected. Mindanao was 600 miles from Manila and another 600 miles from Japanese-occupied Formosa and China.

"Hurried Man" discusses the speech on Thursday night by Attorney General Francis Biddle anent race relations in the country and the use in recent times of Federal laws, long on the books but seldom used, to begin to eliminate discrimination. For the future, however, he instructed that improvement had to come from local communities perceiving that their own laws were being used to "vindicate their good name".

The piece suggests that recent reforms ought be allowed to settle before trying to add further reforms to them. The recent advances in African-American voting rights and equal pay and job opportunities were desirable, it says, and, given time to take hold in the society, they would become customary. But it finds the proposals of Mr. Biddle to continue such progress apace without stopping to allow acceptance of change to catch up with practice, to be putting the cart before the horse.

Hence, "all deliberate speed".

Dorothy Thompson, in a largely obliterated column, discusses the plan of Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau to neutralize Germany's future capability for industrial production with which to manufacture the machinery of war by turning the country to an agrarian economy. But precisely what take she has on the plan is not available.

The point was moot in any event, as the Morgenthau plan had already been nixed by President Roosevelt in favor of maintenance of the German industrial complex in the Ruhr and Rhine, but watched vigilantly and placed under stringent controls by the Allies.

Marquis Childs, also largely obliterated, discusses the field day for propaganda dissemination from Herr Doktor Goebbels as the last scenes of the last act of the play now were unfolding in the war in Europe. Goebbels could appeal to the Aryan Superman to resist the invaders to the Fatherland itself, Russians from the East and British, Canadians, French, Dutch, and Americans from the West.

We apologize again for the problems at times in the prints of August and September, which in due course we shall try to rectify. Henceforth, for the duration of the war, we can assure that there are no other such problematic variations in contrast.

Drew Pearson reports that the straw which broke the camel's back for Cordell Hull in treating with Argentina, causing a rupture of trade relations, was a film satire of the Secretary of State produced by the Argentinians on film stock provided them under State Department quotas, mocking the Secretary as milking the cow of Latin America or posing beside Donald Duck. Previously, the official State Department policy toward Argentina had simply been to snub it, but now, to attempt to disabuse the country of its continued Fascist ties, the effort was accelerated by severing trade relations, placing a virtual trade embargo on the country's goods.

He next relates of the consternation of the Free French regarding the article in the September 4 issue of Life, part of a series of articles, by former Ambassador to Russia, then France, William C. Bullitt, predicting, based on his interviews with Italians, a future war with Russia. Ambassador Bullitt had, since writing the article, acquired a commission in the French Army. Now, the French were considering revoking the commission because of the negative comments made with respect to a valued ally, Russia, suggesting that the Russians would, through taking over the Baltic States, Poland, and the Balkans, move to take over all of Europe as Britain would be too weakened economically by its war debt to stop them.

Finally, he reports that the House was investigating the matter of commercial firms buying advertising on radio and then slipping into the commercials political advertising for Governor Dewey and local Republican candidates.

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