America at war! (1941– ) (Part 1)

Now comes showdown –
Invasion gives Allies chance to win in 1943

If African drive succeeds, Hitler could lose by next summer
By William Philip Simms Scripps-Howard staff writer

Washington –
The whole course of the war now hinges on the success or failure of the American Expeditionary Force in French North and West Africa.

If it succeeds, the Axis will be thrown out of Africa, Italy can be invaded, the simmering Balkans may rise, the Nazi effort in Russia will bog down and Hitler will face almost certain defeat, hardly later than the summer of 1943.

But the American job in North Africa is colossal. With gaps here and there, the Anglo-American battle line extends from south of Casablanca, on the Atlantic, along the coast to Cairo, a distance of 3,500 miles. That is farther than from New York to San Francisco.

Much depends on natives

Much, therefore, depends on the native populations, the French overlords and the extent of the collaboration between Vichy and Berlin.

Morocco is about the size of California. It has a population of 6,500,000. Algeria is much larger. It is about three times the size of Texas, with a population of 7,500,000. Tunisia, with 2,600,000 inhabitants, is a trifle smaller than Alabama. But French West Africa, of which Dakar is the principal port, has an area nearly two-thirds as large as the United States and a population of 15 million.

Here, then, is a total of approximately 30 million French colonials. They are excellent fighters. The Senegalese, Moroccans and Algerians were some of France’s toughest warriors in World War I. They were led, of course, by French officers.

Troops strength unknown

Just before the present war broke out, France kept about 90,000 troops in Algeria and Tunisia. These included the famous Foreign Legion, six regiments of Zouaves, six of Chasseurs d’Afrique, 12 of Algerian Tirailleurs, six of Spahis and six of artillery, engineers, airmen and so on. At Dakar and in Senegal, there were still more.

The armistice in June 1940 changed all this. At home, France was deprived of all but 100,000 troops for police purposes. She was allowed no military planes whatsoever. In the colonies, she was permitted to keep a few obsolescent “crates,” plus some troops, but the exact figures have not been divulged.

Hitler faces real problem

Now Hitler has a real problem. He must decide whether to trust Vichy or not. If he were certain they would not go over to the Allies, he would rearm France’s trained personnel, call up additional reserves and put them under the command of Marshal Rommel. Were he to do so, the Americans might not find the going so easy.

But there are reasons to believe Hitler will be afraid to rely too much on the French. They are reported to be anti-Axis and pro-American. Already Vichy has reported mutinies among its African troops, certain units of which refused to fight against the Allies.

Policy put to test

American policy toward Vichy was now to be put to the test. Ever since 1940, the President and State Department have consistently done everything they could to cultivate the friendship not only of the Metropolitan French but of the anti-Axis peoples of North Africa as well. We have sent fuel and foodstuffs to the natives and in return received a vast amount of information concerning Axis activities not only in Europe but in the French colonies.

Vichy’s policy, especially since the advent of Pierre Laval, has been to offset our diplomacy as much as possible. Vichy had allowed German “tourists” to infiltrate French Africa, especially around Dakar, Casablanca, Rabat, Oran, Algiers, Bizerte, Tunis and other key places. These “tourists” are known to have been Nazi officers and spies.

Now comes the showdown. We shall see whether Washington or Berlin has drawn the winning cards.

Invasion army set for drive into Tunisia

Roosevelt notifies ruler of U.S. intention to smash at Axis
By Merriman Smith, United Press staff writer

Washington –
The U.S. government formally announced the breaking off of diplomatic relations with Vichy France as American invasion troops in French North Africa prepared to drive across Tunisia and attack from the rear the remnants of Axis power in Libya.

White House disclosures and statements by Secretary of State Cordell Hull at a press conference left no doubt that the unprecedented American operations started Saturday night were a prelude to efforts to smash the Axis in Africa and then to invade Europe.

In announcing the breach with France, formally ending relations between the two countries dating back to the American Revolution, Mr. Hull revealed that he had not waited for French Ambassador Gaston Henry-Haye to call for his passport. The document was sent to the handsome, dapper representative of Vichy by messenger.

Declaration uncertain

The government, however, did not order the break first. It acted only after Vichy informed our representatives there that relations were at an end. Mr. Hull said the matter of a declaration of war was not presently involved.

Allied intentions to drive through Tunisia were confirmed by White House announcement that President Roosevelt had notified Tunisian authorities that U.S. forces would pass through Tunisia. This means they will drive eastward from beachheads in Algeria to catch Rommel’s forces in a nutcracker between the Americans and the British chasing him into Libya.

Vichy ships taken over

The sole Allied aim, Mr. Roosevelt’s messages said, is:

…the elimination of the forces of evil from North Africa.

Mr. Hull disclosed that the scope of the new operations is expected to assume even greater proportions. He said the present expedition is a preliminary step to an eventual campaign to come to the relief of all enslaved people on Europe.

Mr. Hull also revealed that the United States is taking into protective custody. Vichy merchant ships now in American ports. He said he thought the number was small. Earlier, the Treasury had formally classed Vichy France as “enemy territory" for all trade and financial purposes.

French envoys get passport by messenger

Washington (UP) –
French Ambassador Gaston Henry-Haye was not permitted to go through the formality of asking for his passport today – it was sent to him by messenger.

The messenger was the State Department’s Chief of Protocol, George S. Summerlin, who delivered the passport at the French Embassy before Embassy officials had been formally notified by Vichy that their government had broken off diplomatic relations with the United States.

Henry-Haye arrived late at the Embassy, driving up after Mr. Summerlin had gone inside. The two met on the porch as the American emerged. They looked at each other a moment, spoke a few words inaudible to observers, and shook heads.

Officials at the Embassy were stunned by press reports of the break. One attaché cried:

Mon Dieu! After 150 years of unbroken relations! It is too bad!

Diplomatic observers predicted some Embassy members would resign rather than return to Vichy France. Some Embassy personnel has resigned previously.

Swiss represent U.S.

Bern, Switzerland –
Switzerland is taking over U.S. interests in France and is assuming protection of British interests there which were formerly entrusted to the United States, it was announced today.

Rioting in Paris reported by Berlin

London, England (UP) –
The German radio reported late today that rioting broke out in Paris this afternoon after the radical pro-Nazi Jacques Doriot called on France to declare war on the United States.

Doriot also called for immediate adhesion of France to the Anti-Comintern Pact.

Police and demonstrators were said to have clashed at several points in Paris.

The outbreaks occurred, it was said, when a procession tried to march to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


Washington –
Gen. Henri Giraud, who last spring escaped from a Nazi prison where had been jailed after his capture during the German drive through France in 1940, will be in command of all French forces in Africa who come over to the Allied side, it was learned today. Gen. Giraud yesterday broadcast to French forces in Africa urging them not to resist Allied landings.

Madrid, Spain –
Reports from La Línea said today that great activity was observed at Gibraltar all night and continuing into the day. Planes, warships and transports were seen arriving and departing by the hour. One report said a number of Allied wounded had been taken to Gibraltar, some by plane and some by boat.

London, England –
The Vichy radio claimed today that the French garrison at Port Lyautey, about 50 miles northeast of Rabat, Morocco, had pushed back U.S. troops from a nearby beach. The broadcast asserted that French soldiers taken prisoner by the Americans had been freed, and that control had been reestablished over transportation routes between Port Lyautey and Rabat.

London, England –
Two U-boats were sunk and several others were probably damaged by British naval ships in the five-day battle with enemy submarines in the North Atlantic recently, the Admiralty announced today.

Stockholm, Sweden –
The newspaper Allehanda reported the French Navy at the Toulon Naval Base, in southern France, is making feverish preparations for an attack on the British-American fleet in the Mediterranean.

Stockholm, Sweden –
A Swedish Telegraph Agency report from Vichy asserted that Algiers’ capitulation was due “to traitorous propaganda” and the refusal of French fliers to attack the American convoys.

Washington happy as AEF launches African offensive

11 months after Pearl Harbor, U.S. gets biggest ‘lift’ of war as Saturday night zero hour starts unfolding drama of historic weekend

Strategic Algiers important French port

City dominates fertile plains of North African colony
By the United Press

In teenage fight –
Year’s training loses in House

Move to force support of Senate plan fails

Americans on alert –
U.S. sinks two Jap warships

Cruiser and destroyer victims in Solomons
By Sandor S. Klein, United Press staff writer

Court upholds law on wheat

Another decision grants rights to enemy alien

Heckler breaks up Berlin broadcast

Allied pincers close on Jap base in Guinea

U.S. troops secretly flank Buna, aim at juncture with Aussies
By Brydon Taves, United Press staff writer


Draft or lose, Legion warns

Waring urges conscription of all resources

French Northwest Africa nearly as large as U.S.

Africa is ‘old stuff’ in Marine history

By the United Press

The Marines, sea-soldiers of the United States who celebrate their 167th birthday Nov. 10, are again in action in Africa now as they were in the last U.S. military operation against that continent in the early 1800s.

In 1803, U.S. Marines accompanied U.S. naval forces to Tripoli to enforce a blockade of the Regency, whose pirates were harassing American shipping in the Mediterranean. Again in 1815, they were in the squadron which Stephen Decatur led to Tripoli to eliminate attacks on our commerce.

“To the shores of Tripoli” is a phrase known throughout the world because of its inclusion in the Marines’ Hymn.

Memento of Maine donated for scrap

Long Beach, California (UP) –
An ounce of steel from the battleship USS Maine, sunk in the Spanish-American War, was on its way back to the foundry today – to be molded into new weapons.

The steel was contributed to the salvage drive by Miss Bertha Walsworth. It was contained in a gunmetal watch given her by her father when she was a child.

All France listed as enemy territory

MacArthur’s kin at Vichy

U.S. men stationed in French ports given

Use of old-time soup pot urged by government

Goddard and Lake portray Bataan nurses in picture

Hankies, shirts and songs of stars boost bond sales

Connie Bennett holds record by selling her handshake to Massachusetts gallant