Davis sees Navy ‘double-cross’
OWI warns of peace tries to stave off defeat
By Ernie Pyle
Northern Tunisia – (by wireless)
I hope somebody in this war writes a book about the medics at the front. I don’t mean the hospitals so much as the units that are actually attached to troops and work on the battlefields under fire.
They are a noble breed. They and the telephone linemen deserve more praise than I have words for. Their job is deadly, and it never ends. Just in one battalion, several of the battlefield medics have been killed, and a number decorated.
But noble as it is, it seems to me – and to the doctors themselves – that our battlefield medical system isn’t all it should be. There aren’t enough stretcher-bearers in an emergency, and in a recent battle at which I was present, some of our wounded lay out as long as 20 hours before being brought in. The work of the medics comes in peaks. If they had enough stretcher-bearers for all emergencies, there would be thousands of men sitting around most of the time with nothing to do. Yet when an emergency does come and there are not enough, it’s an awful thing.
Stretcher-bearing difficult work
Wounded men had a rough time of it in this rocky, hilly country of northern Tunisia. It is hard enough to walk when you aren’t carrying anything, but when two or four men are lugging 200 pounds on a stretcher, it is almost impossible to keep on their feet. I have seen litter-bearers struggling down a rocky hillside with their heavy burden when one of them would slip or stumble on a rock and fall down, and the whole litter would go down, giving the wounded man a bad shaking up.
Litter-bearers sometimes had to carry wounded men five miles or more over this rugged country. A bearer is just about done in by the time he does that, yet in battle he has to start right back again. And somehow, although it gets to be just a miserably tough job, I’ve noticed that they manage to keep their sympathetic feeling for the wounded.
Few complaints on Nazi ethics
We heard stories about the Germans shooting up ambulances and bombing hospitals, and I personally know of instances where those stories were true. But there are also stories of just the opposite nature. Many of our officers tell me the Germans fought a pretty clean war in Tunisia. They did have scores of crafty, brutal little tricks that we didn’t have, but as for their observance of the broader ethics of war, our side has no complaint.
One battalion surgeon told me of running his ambulance out onto a battlefield under heavy artillery fire – whereupon the Germans stopped shelling and stayed stopped while he evacuated the dead and wounded for eight hours.
I’ve heard other stories where our ambulances got past German machine-gun nests without knowing it until the Germans came out and stopped them and, seeing they had wounded, waved them on. And so far as our doctors know, the German doctors give our captured wounded good medical care – as we do theirs also, of course.
Some ‘anxiety neurosis’ faked
In the last war, nerve cases were called “shell shock.” In this war, they’re called “anxiety neurosis.” About 50% of our neurosis cases are recoverable, and even return to fighting units. A large proportion of these cases are brought about by complete fatigue, by fighting day and night on end with little sleep and little to eat.
Surgeons sometimes spot neurosis cases that they suspect of being faked in order to get out of the frontlines. Their system is to put these men on stretcher-bearer duty – a hard, thankless, dangerous task. If they are faking, they get well quickly and ask to be returned to their regular outfits.
Constant noise gets one’s goat
In the frontlines, you get so used to the constant boom of artillery that you stop jumping every time a big gun went off. If you didn’t, you’d look like somebody with St. Vitus’ Dance. However, there’s another reaction – you get irritated. You get irritated in the same way you lose patience with a baby that cries all day or a dog that barks all night. The damn noise just never ends. There’s hardly a second of the day when the guns aren’t rolling or those ghostly shells rustling through the air.
Finally, you get so bored with its consistency that you feel like jumping up in a huff and yelling:
Oh, for God’s sake, stop it!
Expectation of businessmen will prove unfounded, Ayres says
Meaning that Julie Bishop has finally made the grade and will act in ‘A’ pictures
Völkischer Beobachter (May 16, 1943)
Die Wall-Street-Geier stürzen sich gierig auf das neue Geschäft
U.S. State Department (May 16, 1943)
Roosevelt and Churchill spent the weekend at Shangri La, the President’s mountain camp in Maryland. According to the Shangri La guest book, also present were Mrs. Roosevelt, Anna Roosevelt Boettiger, Thomas Rowan, Harry Hopkins, Cdr. Thompson, RAdm. Brown, Lord Beaverbrook, Brig. Gen. Smith, and Gen. Marshall.
The Pittsburgh Press (May 16, 1943)
Early ousting of enemy garrison from island assured
Yanks batter Europe for third straight day in mounting offensive
By James Roper, United Press staff writer
Fliers hammer islands and port near Rome
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer
Production decline hinted if Connally bill is passed
By Fred W. Perkins, Press Washington correspondent
‘Flower of young manhood’ should get sea duty, Congressmen say
OPA order reduces profit margins for retailer, wholesaler; new meat costs start tomorrow