By Ernie Pyle
With the U.S. Navy in the Mediterranean – (by wireless, delayed)
Our first day at sea on the way to invade Sicily was truly like a peacetime Mediterranean cruise. The weather was something you read about in travel folders, gently warm and sunny, and the sea as smooth as velvet.
We were kept at a sharp alert, for at any moment we could be attacked by a submarine, surface ship or airplane and yet, any kind of attack – even the fact that anybody would want to attack anybody else – was so utterly out of keeping with the benignity of the sea that it was hard to take the possibility of danger seriously.
I had thought I might be afraid at sea, sailing in this great fleet that by its very presence was justification for attack, and yet I found it impossible to be afraid. As we sailed along, I couldn’t help but think of a paragraph of one of Joseph Conrad’s sea stories which I had read just a few days before. It so perfectly expressed our feeling about the changeless sea that I’m going to quote it here.
Conrad sets the scene for Pyle
It was in a story called “The Tale,” written about the last war. In it, Conrad said:
What at first used to amaze the Commanding Officer was the unchanged face of the waters, with its familiar expression, neither more friendly nor more hostile. On fine days the sun strikes sparks upon the blue; here and there a peaceful smudge of smoke hangs in the distance, and it is impossible to believe that the familiar clear horizon traces the limit of one great circular ambush. One envies the soldiers at the end of the day, wiping the sweat and blood from their faces, counting the dead fallen to their hands, looking at the devastated fields, the torn earth that seems to suffer and bleed with them. One does, really. The final brutality of it – the taste of primitive passion – the ferocious frankness of the blow struck with one’s hand – the direct call and the straight response. Well, the sea gave you nothing of that, and seemed to pretend that there was nothing the matter with the world.
And that’s how it was with us; it had never occurred to me before that this might be the way in enemy waters during wartime. Why it remained that way we shall never know, but throughout our long voyage and right up to the final dropping anchor, we never had one single attack from above, from below, nor from over the horizon.
Excitement in the dark
Dusk brought a change. Not feeling of fear at all but somehow an acute sense of the drama we were playing at that moment on the face of the sea that has known such a major share of the world’s great warfare. In the faint light of the dusk, forms became indistinguishable. Ships nearby were only heavier spots against the heavy background of the night. Now you thought you saw something and now there was nothing. The gigantic armada was on all sides of us, there only in knowledge.
Then out of nowhere, a rolling little subchaser took on a dim shape alongside us and with its motors held itself steady about 30 yards away. You could not see the speaker but a megaphoned voice came loudly across the water telling us of a motor breakdown of one of the troop-carrying barges farther back.
We megaphoned advice back to him. His response came back. Out in the darkness the voice was young. You could picture a boyish skipper over there in his blown hair and his lifejacket and binoculars, rolling to the sea in the Mediterranean dusk. Some young man who had so recently been so normally unaware of any sea at all – the bookkeeper in your bank, perhaps – and now here he was, a strange new man in command of a ship, suddenly transformed into a person with awful responsibilities, carrying out with great intentness his special, small part of the enormous aggregate that is our war on all the lands and seas of the globe.
All for one – one for all
In his unnatural presence there in the rolling darkness of the Mediterranean, you realized vividly how everybody in America has changed, how every life suddenly stopped and suddenly began again on a different course. Everything in this world has stopped except war and we are all men of new professions out in some strange night caring for each other.
That’s the way you felt as you heard this kid, this pleasant kid, bawling across the dark waters strange nautical words with a disciplined deliberation that carried in them the very strength of the sea itself, the strong, mature words of the captain on his own ship, saying:
Aye, aye, sir. If there is any change, I will use my own judgment and report to you again at dawn. Good night, sir.
Then the whole darkness enveloped the American armada. Not a pinpoint of light showed from those hundreds of ships as they surged on through the night toward their destiny, carrying across this ageless and indifferent sea tens of thousands of young men of new professions, fighting for… for… well, at least for each other.
Völkischer Beobachter (July 28, 1943)
Alle Durchbruchsversuche im Orelbogen abgewiesen –
Deutsch-italienische Stellung gegen alle Angriffe gehalten
Bei Terrorangriffen auf Hamburg und Hannover 30 viermotorige Bomber abgeschossen
dnb. Aus dem Führer-Hauptquartier, 27. Juli –
Das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht gibt bekannt:
Der Schwerpunkt der Kämpfe im Osten lag auch gestern im Raum von Orel. Unsere Truppen, von starken Verbänden der Luftwaffe unterstützt, wiesen mehrere südlich, östlich und nördlich von Orel geführte feindliche Durchbruchsversuche nach wechselvollen Kämpfen blutig ab und vernichteten zahlreiche Panzer. An der übrigen Ostfront kam es am Kubanbrückenkopf, an der Miusfront und südlich des Ladogasees zu harten Abwehrkämpfen, während am Donez und im Raum von Bjelgorod nur örtliche Kampftätigkeit herrschte.
Nordwestlich Krymskaja und nordwestlich Kuibyschewo trat der Feind mit starken, von Panzern, Schlachtfliegern und Artillerie unterstützten Kräften zu neuen Angriffen an. Sie wurden in harten Kämpfen, zum Teil in erfolgreichen Gegenstößen, abgeschlagen. Auch südlich des Ladogasees führte der Feind neue Kräfte zum Angriff vor, die mit starker Schlachtfliegerunterstützung gegen die deutschen Stellungen anrannten. Die Sowjets wurden In erbitterten Nahkämpfen und wiederholten sofortigen Gegenstößen unter schweren Verlusten zurückgeschlagen.
An der gesamten Ostfront verlor der Feind am gestrigen Tage 213 Panzer.
In den monatelangen schweren Abwehrkämpfen am Kubanbrückenkopf zeichnete sich die bayrische 97. Jägerdivision besonders aus.
Auf Sizilien wurden auch gestern alle feindlichen Angriffe gegen die deutsch-italienischen Stellungen abgewiesen. Tiefangriffe deutscher Nahkampffliegerverbände fügten dem Feinde erhebliche Verluste zu. In den Gewässern nördlich der Insel erzielten Kampfflugzeuge zwei Bombenvolltreffer auf einem schweren feindlichen Kreuzer und trafen weitere sechs Einheiten. Das Hafengebiet von La Valetta auf Malta wurde in der Nacht von einem starken deutschen Kampffliegerverband erfolgreich bombardiert und dabei fünf Schiffe getroffen.
Im Mittelmeer wurde ein deutsches Geleit von sieben britischen Torpedoflugzeugen angegriffen. Sicherungsfahrzeuge schossen vier der angreifenden Flugzeuge ab. Das Geleit blieb unbeschädigt.
Nordamerikanische Bomberverbände griffen am gestrigen Tage die Städte Hannover und Hamburg sowie einige Orte im nordwestdeutschen Küstengebiet an. Die Bevölkerung, besonders in Hannover, hatte Verluste. Durch Jagd- und Flakabwehr wurden über den angegriffenen Städten und auf dem An- und Abflug nach vorläufigen Feststellungen 30 schwere viermotorige Bomber abgeschossen. Über den besetzten Westgebieten wurden weitere vier Flugzeuge vernichtet. In der vergangenen Nacht flog der Feind nur mit wenigen Flugzeugen in das Reichsgebiet ein, von denen eines abgeschossen wurde. Schnelle deutsche Flugzeuge griffen in der Nacht zum 27. Juli Einzelziele im Raum von London an.
Im Atlantik versenkte die Luftwaffe aus einem stark gesicherten feindlichen Geleitzug ein Frachtschiff von mindestens 8.000 BRT. und beschädigte ein zweites großes Schiff schwer. Aufklärungsflugzeuge schossen in diesem Seegebiet einen britischen Bomber ab.
vb. Wien, 27. Juli –
Daß durch den Rücktritt Mussolinis Italien in eine neue Phase seiner Entwicklung eingetreten ist, darüber ist sich die Welt einig, so verschieden auch diese Entwicklung heute gedeutet werden mag. So wenig die deutsche Presse Prognosen irgend welcher Art über kommende militärische Ereignisse zu geben pflegt, so wenig ist es bei uns üblich, politischen Ereignissen vorzugreifen und die Früchte neuer Entwicklungen vorwegzunehmen.
Wir sind in diesem Krieg harte Realisten geworden und halten uns daher nüchtern an die vorliegenden Tatsachen. In dem Aufruf des Königs von Italien sowohl wie in der Proklamation des neuen Regierungschefs Badoglio heißt es, daß der Krieg fortgesetzt werde, daß Italien zu seinem gegebenen Wort stehe und ihm die Treue halte. Die römische Zeitung Tribuna erklärt deshalb auch:
Während italienische Provinzen vom Feinde besetzt sind und die italienischen Städte unter dem Bombenhagel des Feindes liegen, kann der Wille der Nation nur der sein, entschlossen zu kämpfen und sich der ruhmreichen Vergangenheit würdig zu erweisen.
Damit ist der deutschen Öffentlichkeit ein Anhaltspunkt für die neue Entwicklung gegeben, den wir zur Kenntnis nehmen, über weitere Folgen aus dem Regierungswechsel in diesem Augenblick Voraussagen machen zu wollen, dazu liegt keine Veranlassung vor.
Die Tatsachen allein geben die Grundlage für die Beurteilung dessen, was kommen wird. Es verdienen die gegnerischen Stimmen zum Regierungswechsel in Italien, insbesondere die vom amerikanischen Staatssekretär nachdrücklich wiederholte Forderung bedingungsloser Kapitulation, einige Beachtung, vor allem deshalb, weil dadurch auch für die neue italienische Regierung die harte Notwendigkeit des Krieges in den Vordergrund gerückt und der Erklärung „Der Krieg geht weiter“ die eindeutige Begründung gegeben wird.
Dabei besteht kein Zweifel darüber, daß sich das deutsche Volk heute seiner Kraft so sicher bewußt ist wie nur je in diesem Krieg. Auch die Engländer und Amerikaner täuschen sich darüber nicht, daß die Entscheidung bestimmt wird von Kräften, die sie in ihrer vollen Auswirkung noch nicht kennengelernt haben. Diese Erkenntnis ergibt sich für die Times gerade in diesem Augenblick aus dem Kampf um Orel, in dem es auch nach der Meinung des britischen offiziösen Blattes der deutschen Führung gelungen ist, alle Berechnungen der Gegner über den Haufen zu werfen. Dabei dürfe man, so betont das Blatt, nicht übersehen, daß die Menschen- und Materialverluste der Sowjets „geradezu grausam hoch“ seien und die Sowjets viel fruchtbaren, zur Ernährung notwendigen Boden verloren hätten.
Wenn man weiß, welche weitgesteckten Ziele mit der bolschewistischen Offensive verfolgt und welche verwegenen Hoffnungen daran geknüpft wurden, so bekommt man einen Begriff vom Abstand der feindlichen Wünsche und den von uns geschaffenen Tatsachen. Diesen Abstand werden die Gegner nie überwinden können, am allerwenigsten durch ihren Nervenkrieg. Auf dem Schlachtfeld fällt die Entscheidung, und sonst nirgends. Im Bewußtsein seiner militärischen Stärke und seiner inneren Kraft wird das deutsche Volk den Kampf fortsetzen bis zum siegreichen Ende.
dnb. Rom, 27. Juli –
Marschall Badoglio hat eine Reihe von Anordnungen erlassen, um die Ruhe und Ordnung in Italien sicherzustellen.
In diesen Anordnungen wird unter anderem bestimmt, daß Kundgebungen, die die öffentliche Ruhe stören, nicht geduldet werden. Alle bewaffneten Streitkräfte des Staates und die Polizeitruppen in den Provinzen, die verschiedenen Milizen, die bewaffneten Zivilkorps und die Wachtrappen werden dem Befehl des Marschalls Badoglio unterstellt. Von der Abend- bis zur Morgendämmerung wird ein Ausgehverbot eingeführt. Kein Zivilist darf während dieser Zeit außerhalb seiner Wohnung sein.
Öffentliche Ämter aller Art, Varietes, Theater, Kinos und Sporthallen müssen während der Stunden des Ausgehverbots geschlossen bleiben. Unter allen Umständen ist es dauernd verboten, daß mehr als drei Personen sich in der Öffentlichkeit oder in geschlossenen Räumen versammeln oder miteinander reden. Das Anschlägen von gedruckten Zetteln, Manuskripten oder Propagandamaterial jeder Art auf öffentlichen Plätzen ist verboten.
Das Tragen von Waffen wird der Bevölkerung untersagt. Alle Italiener, die ihre Wohnung verlassen, müssen Ausweispapiere mit einem Lichtbild bei sich tragen. Auf Ersuchen der Angehörigen der Militär- und Amtsbehörden müssen sie ihre Kennkarten vorweisen.
Die Anordnungen des Marschalls Badoglio schließen mit der Feststellung, daß die Durchführung der öffentlichen Ordnung und der von den Militärbehörden verfügten Maßnahmen gegebenenfalls mit Waffengewalt durchgesetzt wird.
dnb. Rom, 27. Juli –
Die Agentur Stefani meldet:
Seine Majestät der König und Kaiser hat auf Vorschlag des Regierungschefs und Ministerpräsidenten folgende Minister ernannt:
AUSSENMINISTER: Botschafter Raffaele Guariglia;
INNENMINISTER: Präfekt Runo Fornaciari;
MINISTER FÜR ITALIENISCH-AFRIKA: General Senator Melchiade Gabba;
JUSTIZMINISTER: Generaldirektor des Justizministeriums Dr. Gaetano Azzariti;
FINANZMINISTER: Generaldirektor Domenico Bartolini;
KRIEGSMINISTER: Staatsrat General Antonio Sorice;
MARINEMINISTER: Vizeadmiral Raffaele de Courten;
LUFTFAHRTMINISTER: General der Flieger Renato Sandalli;
ERZIEHÜNGSMINISTER: Staatsrat Dr. Leonardo Severi;
MINISTER FÜR ÖFFENTLICHE ARBEITEN: Generaldirektor im Ministerium für öffentliche Arbeiten Dr. Domenico Romano;
LANDWIRTSCHAFTS- UND FORSTMINISTER: Senator Professor Alessandro Brizzi;
VERKEHRSMINISTER: General Frederico Amoroso;
KORPORATIONSMINISTER: Staatsrat Dr. Leopoldo Piccardi;
VOLKSKULTURMINISTER: Botschafter Guido Rocco, bisheriger Generaldirektor der Auslandspresseabteilung;
AUSSENHANDELSMINISTER: Generaldirektor der Banca d’Italia Dr. Giovanni Acanfora;
MINISTER FÜR RÜSTUNGSINDUSTRIE: General Carlo Favagrossa;
UNTERSTAATSSEKRETÄR IM MINISTERPRÄSIDIUM: Dr. Pietro Baratone.
Sitz der neuen Regierung Marschall Badoglios ist der Quirinal.
dnb. Bern, 27. Juli –
Aus Washington wird gemeldet: Der Regierungswechsel in Italien ist hier als große Überraschung gekommen. Die hohen Regierungsstellen lehnten zunächst jegliche amtliche Stellungnahme ab, da ihnen noch keine amtlichen Berichte zur Verfügung ständen.
Das USA.-Kriegsinformationsamt bemerkte zu den Nachrichten, daß der Rücktritt Mussolinis lediglich die Ersetzung eines faschistischen Regimes durch ein anderes bedeute. Wenn Italien Frieden wolle, so müsse es seine bedingungslose Kapitulation aussprechen.
New York Times und New York Herald-Tribune werfen die Frage auf: „Was jetzt?“ und kommen zu einer scharfen Ablehnung Badoglios. New York Herald-Tribune erklärte dabei, die Achsenfeinde müßten auf ihrer Forderung nach einer bedingungslosen Kapitulation bestehen. Staatssekretär Hull erklärte, es seien keine Änderungen in der USA.-Politik und mit Bezug auf die Forderung einer bedingungslosen Übergabe Italiens zu erwarten.
Der britische Nachrichtendienst Reuter bezeichnet als eine für die Diplomatie der Achsengegner typische Voraussage die Erklärung Wilson Broadbents in der Daily Mail, der die bedingungslose Kapitulation aller bewaffneten Streitkräfte Italiens und die Besetzung des gesamten italienischen Bodens durch die alliierten Streitkräfte fordert.
Der italienische Wehrmachtbericht vom Dienstag hat folgenden Wortlaut:
Auf Sizilien, wo sich die Kampftätigkeit hauptsächlich im nördlichen Sektor abspielt, ist die Lage unverändert. Deutsche Bomber griffen mit Erfolg zahlreiche Kriegs- und Handelsschiffe in den nördlichen und östlichen Gewässern der Insel an, wobei sie vier Transporter, zwei Kreuzer und einen Zerstörer schwer beschädigten. Fünf Handelsschiffe wurden im Hafen von La Valetta getroffen. Die feindliche Luftwaffe flog in den Raum von Neapel und im Gebiet der Meerenge von Messina ein. Die Schäden sind nicht schwer; die Zahl der Opfer wird noch festgestellt. Die Flak schoß sechs feindliche Flugzeuge ab.
Im Verlauf von Luftgefechten mit unseren Jägern über Sardinien stürzten zwei „Curtiss“-Maschinen und ein Torpedoflug zeug ins Meer ab.
U.S. Navy Department (July 28, 1943)
On July 27, Army Liberator (Consolidated B‑24) heavy bombers again attacked Japanese positions on Wake Island. Approximately 25 Zero fighters intercepted the Liberators. Seven Zeros were destroyed, five were probably destroyed and three others were damaged. In spite of heavy anti-aircraft fire, bombs were placed on designated targets. All U.S. planes returned safely There were no casualties to U.S. personnel.
On July 26, fights of Army Liberators, Lightning (Lockheed P‑38) and Warhawk (Curtiss P‑40) fighters, carried out 13 bombing attacks against Japanese installations on Kiska. As a result of these bombings, fires were started and explosions were observed on North and South Heads, the runway, the bivouac and submarine base sections, Gertrude Cove and Little Kiska. Individual targets in these areas were also subjected to strafing. One U.S. Warhawk fighter was forced into the sea but its pilot was rescued by a Navy Catalina (Consolidated PBY) patrol bomber.
On July 27, various formations of Army Liberators, Warhawks and Lightnings carried out six bombing attacks on Kiska. Hits were made in the bivouac area. Spotty weather conditions precluded full observation of the results of the attack.
For Immediate Release July 28, 1943
More than 1,500 vessels of the U.S. Navy, ranging in size from cruisers to small landing craft and manned by well over 40,000 officers and men, effected the landing of U.S. invasion forces on Sicily.
In addition to larger combat units, the fleet included a number of antisubmarine patrol craft and a swarm of motor torpedo boats.
Under the immediate command of VAdm. H. K. Hewitt, USN, commander of U.S. naval forces in North African waters, the vast invasion fleet successfully carried out, in conjunction with British amphibious forces, the largest amphibious operation in the history of warfare, landing and supplying U.S. Army troops on a hostile shore with minor loss of life and equipment. The U.S. forces were under the general operational control of Adm. Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham, Bart., GCB, DSO, who commands all naval forces under Gen. Eisenhower.
Naval units engaged in the landing operation were part of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet which, under the command of Adm. Royal E. Ingersoll, USN, has since the opening of the North African campaign eight months ago, transported several hundred thousand U.S. troops and vast quantities of supplies across the Atlantic.
The actual landing on the Sicilian shore was only the culmination of long months of extensive preparation, of intensive training in the complex maneuvers of amphibious warfare, of working out logistical problems, and of meticulous planning on a vast scale to insure that every vessel would be at the proper spot at the proper moment. The training of personnel was continued in North Africa until the last moment before shoving off.
Naval landing forces Included men specially trained in the unloading of supplies under conditions made hazardous by surf and enemy action. In beach landing operations, naval forces are responsible not only for the transportation of men and supplies across open water, but also for the safe disembarking of the troops and the unloading of supplies to points on shore.
Directing the operations under VAdm. Hewitt were RAdm. Alan G. Kirk, USN, RAdm. John L. Hall, USN, and RAdm. Richard L. Conolly, USN.
The story of the invasion is, from the naval standpoint, the story of the success of the many types of specialized landing craft, large and small, which have been developed to break down the coastal walls of the Axis’ European fortress.
Operating in numbers which dotted the surface of the Mediterranean black, the vessels of every size and shape, each with a specialized job to do and making up the largest amphibious operation in history, constituted by far the greatest number of craft in the invasion fleet.
One of the initial waves of invading U.S. troops was transported across the Mediterranean entirely by landing vessels. One group of hundreds proceeded to the first rendezvous accompanied only by small escorts. Against a 25‑knot wind the fleet of odd‑looking craft plunged and reared steadily and doggedly ahead. PCs and SCs escorting the group sometimes showed half their bottoms as they leaped, spray flying, over the seas. Experienced officers marveled at the seamanship of the crews – many of whom had never seen the ocean a year before – who drove their rearing, blunt‑nosed craft ahead at a steady pace.
As mechanical difficulties developed, special repair crews went into action until, once underway again, an additional knot or two was forced from protesting engines until the lost time was made up. The fleet arrived at the rendezvous on time and intact.
Part of the U.S. forces engaged in the landing had been transported across the Atlantic specifically for the job. Huge convoys took over the men and supplies, and so securely were they ringed by naval escort vessels, including cruisers, that neither convoy was once attacked.
The actual landing of American forces on Sicily began in the early morning. Since surprise was to be one of the elements of the attack, split‑second timing was demanded. Off every possible landing beach the enemy had sown mines. But due to the skillful work of naval minesweepers, not a single contact with an enemy mine was reported during the entire landing operation.
Apart from the actual landing of troops and supplies, naval combat units had three major duties: protection of landing forces from enemy surface and undersea forces; maintenance of anti-aircraft barrages; and gunfire support of advancing troops on shore. Every landing group had offshore a supporting force of destroyers or cruisers or both.
Naval gunfire continued during the next few days to play an important role in the movement of troops inland, blasting enemy positions even in the hills.
With the lessons of the invasion of North Africa eight months before well learned, operational losses of landing craft were extremely low. Special salvage and repair units had been set up afloat and ashore in the opening stages of the invasion, and damaged craft were speedily repaired and returned to service.
Within 48 hours, the entire fleet of landing vessels had made another round trip to Africa and returned loaded to the gunwales with men and supplies.
The Pittsburgh Press (July 28, 1943)
Fascists trapped on top of Milan building; party is dissolved
By William B. Dickinson, United Press staff writer
London, England –
Radio Rome said tonight that the new Italian government has only one goal – peace.
Madrid, Spain –
Travelers from Italy said today that the Germans had established a headquarters at Bolzano, near the Brenner Pass, for the defense of northern Italy.
London, England –
Reports that Italian Premier Marshal Pietro Badoglio had initiated a peace move through American and British representatives at Vatican City came from several sources today as violent anti-Fascist clashes increased in northern Italy and spread southward to the Naples area, and the new regime dissolved the Fascist Party.
There was still no official confirmation that negotiations had been started.
Dispatches from Madrid said church circles understood that on the suggestion of Marshal Badoglio, American and British representatives at Vatican City had asked their governments for instructions as to attitude regarding any peace move by Italy.
Talks reported begun
The Algiers newspaper Dernières Nouvelles reported in a dispatch from Berne that Badoglio had begun discussions regarding an armistice through the American and British envoys at the Vatican.
Fascists, defying the new regime that deposed Benito Mussolini, were reported in Swiss dispatches to have taken refuge on the top floor of the newspaper Popolo d’Italia at Milan, from where they threw bombs and fired on soldiers and a crowd of anti-Fascist demonstrators, causing many casualties.
The dispatches said that the soldiers, under Marshal Badoglio’s orders, brought armored cars and small tanks to the scene, but hesitated to train their cannon on the building because the Fascists were holding many hostages, including women and children.
One report said that the Fascists barricaded on the top floor attempted to placate the crowd by throwing from the roof a prominent Fascist named Oreste Bonomi, formerly a member of Mussolini’s Cabinet. The report said Bonomi was mauled to death by the crowd.
Strikes in war centers
Two soldiers were killed during last night’s disorders when they attempted to turn searchlights on the newspaper building. The Fascists, reportedly shielding themselves behind their hostages, opened fire with machine guns.
The newspaper Popolo d’Italia was formerly owned by Mussolini.
Strikes were reported spreading in Milan and other war industry centers, where some reports said the demonstrators waved red flags and shouted communist slogans.
Radio Rome, recorded by CBS, said Italy had no choice “under the circumstances” but to fight on against the Allies.
The Cabinet, with Badoglio presiding, ordered the dissolution of the Fascist Party, which had ruled Italy for 20 years, and also suppressed the Fascist Special Tribunal for the Defense of the State, the Italian Stefani News Agency said.
The case previously tried by the special court will henceforth be tried before military courts, the agency said.
Reliable diplomatic sources in London said a tense behind-the-scenes struggle was believed in progress between the German government and Badoglio, with the question of Italy’s continuance in the war at stake.
Plan line along Po
It was reported Badoglio was seeking to induce the Germans to evacuate all Italian territory, including northern Italy, in order to save Italy from becoming a battlefield, following its capitulation to the Allies.
The Germans, through diplomatic channels, were said to be applying the utmost pressure to keep Italy in the war, at least for the time being. This was believed to be part of a plan to establish a strong German line on the Po River in northern Italy and evacuate German troops in southern Italy to that line.
Dispatches from all neutral listening posts adjacent to Nazi-controlled Europe reported many peace feelers, but for the time being, the Badoglio government’s stability was being tested by the grave problem of maintaining order in the country.
German reaction was reported extremely nervous regarding Italy, but Hitler’s worries were also increased by indirect reports that Hungary was extending tentative peace feelers toward the Allies and by reports of precautions by the Spanish government against possible opposition to Gen. Francisco Franco’s regime.
The Nazi-controlled Scandinavian Telegraph Bureau reported that the Germans had rejected Italian requests to withdraw Nazi troops from Italy. Other Swedish rumors said Italian troops were marching to northern Italy, presumably to maintain order.
Usually-reliable sources in London reported that Hungary was putting out peace feelers through Turkey and that Romania and Bulgaria might follow suit. Yugoslav sources reported that Italian occupation troops had started moving out of the Balkans and that German replacements were moving in.
Bulgaria appeared about to pull out from under the Axis, the Swedish newspaper Allehanda said, after a controversy between King Boris and his Premier, Bogdan Filov. The King was reported to have accused his Prime Minister of allowing his country to drift toward revolution.
- Archbishop Francis J. Spellman of New York, who has sometimes been mentioned as a possible peace negotiator, cancelled engagements in South Africa and left by plane for the north. Madrid dispatches again reported that peace negotiations had been started through Vatican City, but in London, it was stated that no move has been made by Italy.
The New York churchman left the United States last winter after conferring with President Roosevelt, then saw Prime Minister Churchill in London and continued on to Vatican City by way of Spain.
He had several long conferences with Pope Pius XII at the Vatican and at the time, it was speculated that he may have discussed means by which the Allies would permit Italy to withdraw from the war, although this naturally was never confirmed.
Sees Turkish minister
The Turkish Anadolu News Agency said that Raffaele Guariglia, named Foreign Minister in Marshal Pietro Badoglio’s new Italian government, was still in Ankara yesterday despite a premature report of his departure and:
If he delays his departure after tonight, important events must be impending.
Guariglia, as Italian Ambassador to Turkey, has had an opportunity to contact British and American diplomats, but there was no indication that he has done so. He conferred yesterday with Turkish Foreign Minister Nuğman Menemencioğlu and it was considered noteworthy that President Gen. İsmet İnönü was due to return to Ankara last night.
A dispatch from Ankara said that Guariglia in recent months has openly asserted that Italy would do well to quit the war as best she can.
Fate of Duce unknown
Despite the flood of rumors pouring out of European capitals, however, there was still no authoritative word of what was actually occurring inside Italy, or of what has happened to the deposed Premier, Benito Mussolini.
London sources were inclined to believe that Badoglio has placed his predecessor in protective custody, probably to use him as a pawn in talking peace terms with the Allies, who want to try Mussolini as a “war criminal.”
Every report reaching London indicated that the Italians were striving to wipe out the last vestiges of the Fascism that had enslaved them for more than 20 years, but it was recognized that the Italian propaganda machine might be spreading these stories in an attempt to make a favorable impression on the Allies in advance of any peace negotiations.
The newspaper Corriere della Sera of Milan said Fascists barricaded themselves in their homes and in office buildings and fired on soldiers and crowds outside. Most of the Fascists were dislodged and arrested.
Riots have also broken out in Milan prison, according to a Corriere della Sera dispatch broadcast by the Swiss radio. At least one prisoner was killed and several injured.
A Moscow broadcast said that a huge crowd surrounded the German Embassy in Rome without being opposed by troops, but that the German representatives had fled. The London radio said that the Milan demonstrators carried red flags and that disorders extended through Rome, Bologna, Florence, Turin and other big cities, with some Fascist groups still resisting the regular army forces.
The Italian underground radio station Italia Avanti (Italy Forward) charged that the Germans have occupied the Albanian ports of Durazzo and Valona, after violent clashes with Italian troops, in a move to forestall Italian evacuation of the Balkans.
It asserted that German Marshal Albert Kesselring, German commander in Italy, had ordered the destruction of war stores and installations in localities likely to be abandoned in Italy as well as the kidnapping of Italian officers known to be anti-German.
Neutral sources in Madrid said that Pope Pius XII was straining to arrange peace between Italy and the Allies with Harold Tittmann, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires at the Vatican, taking an active part in negotiations.
The main obstacle to a quick agreement, Madrid said, was Badoglio’s hesitation to make peace until he is sure that Germany will be too weak to turn her army and air force against her ally.
The Daily Mail said Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Allied Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean, has been given full powers to deal with the new Italian government or any replacing it.
Americans take Cefalù; Canadians advance
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer
Allied advance of 15 miles in North Sicily today brings the invasion forces approximately to the positions shown by the black line on the map. Axis forces were digging in along a front (broken line) from San Stefano to below Catania.
Allied HQ, North Africa –
U.S. and Canadian troops have advanced the main Allied offensive line 15 miles eastward in Sicily, front reports said today.
The Canadians, the reports said, were driving forward against bitter opposition, trying to pierce the center of the German defenses.
Official announcements said that the Americans had occupied Cefalù, north coast harbor 35 miles east of Palermo, and with other troops from the center, had taken Petralia, Polizzi Generosa and Alimena.
Germans digging in
Front reports said that the Germans were digging in on a solid line beginning at San Stefano on the north coast, running south and east through Nicosia and Catenanuova and along the Dittaino River to the east coast.
The Germans massed for a pitched battle to hold their last one-eighth of the island. They were reported sandwiching Italian troops among their units, but only for labor rather than fighting.
The major Allied line now runs from below Catania on the east coast to Cefalù on the north coast, although advance U.S. units were considerably past the latter port. A German stand was expected along the Dittaino River against the British 8th Army.
Italian divisions escape
It was learned that two Italian field divisions, that were nearly trapped in the American drive that captured Palermo, had managed to withdraw eastward toward Messina. This made at least eight Axis divisions known to be still in the field on Sicily.
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s communiqué said activity on the eastern front where the British 8th Army faced German units before Catania had fallen off to patrol action and that the American front on the left flank was static.
Twenty-four hours earlier, units from the U.S. 7th Army had joined with the Canadians to break up an attempted German counterattack in the center.
While the 8th Army was held up temporarily by the stiffened German defenses south of Mt. Etna on the east coast, front reports said German losses in that area were running as high as 50% for some battalions.
Washington (UP) –
President Roosevelt will deliver a speech “of major importance” at 9:30 p.m. (EWT) tonight, over all broadcasting networks.
The baseball game tonight at Forbes Field will be halted at 9:30 and Mr. Roosevelt’s address will be broadcast to the fans over the park’s public address system.
Mr. Roosevelt told his press conference yesterday that the address would be about the war. Asked if he meant the home front or the battlefronts, he said there was only one front – and that includes all war efforts both at home and abroad.
By Florence Fisher Parry
One day he was there, strutting, filling the Palace with his noise and bombast. The next, he was gone, the Palace overrun by the people who were yesterday slaves, and now felt themselves to be free.
It comes like lightning. The page of history does not turn with a slow rustle. One comes to the bottom of one page, and lo, in an instant, it has turned as though a sword had turned it and what is written on the next page is anybody’s guess.
One day the Czar was safe – scared but safe. The next day he was dead, and his wife and children. So, it is with all those in high places that have become too high. Gentle or terrible, raised by fate or by their own maneuverings, when they sit too high, they fall.
One day Hitler will walk down the bristling aisle of raised hands in stiff salute. No one will look to be as safe, as guarded, as powerful as he. The next day, his carcass will crave, uneasily, a grave.
But always leaders will be raised and carried through the streets and set upon the seats of the mighty, and be invested with attributes no mortal man can have. Leaders and followers, leaders and followers. It is the course of mankind.
I was at Baden-Baden, and the Kaiser was borne down the avenue on his way to the castle. There was something terrible in the slavish cheers. The people seemed to turn to worms groveling. In a few frightful years he was a craven fugitive, a man without a country.
I was in New York when President Harding spoke reverently before the caskets of returned dead soldiers. Americans, loyal and trusting, remarked upon the man’s noble mien. In a few years, he was disgraced and dead.
I was in Washington when Charles A. Lindbergh returned. Up from a window in the New Willard Hotel, we saw a demonstration the like of which had never been accorded any American. The boy was a god, millions went delirious with love and pride in him. I lived to see angry, disgusted citizens turn away from him as he walked, lonely, through Grand Central Station, a hated man.
I remember the first year of the first administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Has there ever been such a united support behind a President, I wonder? Washington did not have it, nor Jefferson nor Lincoln nor Wilson. A strange humility and united intention possessed the hearts of Americans. “There is nothing to fear but fear,” he had said, and we believed him, and so cast out fear and were born again.
I cannot remember how long it lasted, can you? The change was gradual, more gradual than most changes. But it did not start until long after our own attitude had been communicated to distant lands, and the population of the whole world had taken on, in imitation, our own trustfulness and love for this new President.
Now strangers, visiting our country, are struck with bitter amazement over our frank and growing coolness toward the administration now in power. To them, who for 10 years have sustained, unaltered, the image we first gave them of our President, our change of heart is near to sacrilege. What? Dare we criticize our President, upon whose benignity rests the salvation of the world?
Leader on the make
Yet here at home, deep forces are beginning to move against the bland bonanzas of the New Deal… Three years ago, they started, and we were witness again to that strange manifestation of revolt which unseats and topples the most illustrious idol…
For do you remember the visit of Wendell Willkie to Pittsburgh, and the crowds, the crowds, their faces marked with a strange new exaltation, as though some inner baptism had occurred?
I do. I remember this bronzed and shaggy man, being borne down Fifth Avenue, hatless, his face lifted to the sun. “What a man!” was muttered under the breath of thousands who, before sight of him, were unconvinced and sullen… For he was marked for leadership – but marked before his time.
No one quite knows what happened… He seemed to be lifted up into the sun on a bright, piercing spear of acclaim, millions of hopes a capsule in his palm.
And then – he was a man among men again, merely… Was it that his clock had struck too soon?
Allies will deal with duly constituted Italian authority
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard foreign editor
Preparations for the eventual surrender of Italy are already underway, official denials notwithstanding, is the opinion of many diplomats here.
This does not mean that London and Washington have offered Italy detailed peace terms. There are reports, however, that King Victor Emmanuel had put out feelers via Madrid and that London, after contact with Washington, has definitely made known the answer.
The essence of that answer has been made public. In his speech to the House of Commons yesterday, Prime Minister Churchill told Italy that unless she withdrew from the war at once, she would be “seared, scarred and blackened from one end to the other.” Unquestionably King Victor Emmanuel has the official text of that speech at hand now.
But that was not the significant part of what the British statesman had to say. He made it unmistakable that Great Britain and the United States were prepared to deal with the King, Marshal Pietro Badoglio or any other duly constituted authority.
Warns of mistake
When Italian affairs are in the present flexible, formative position, he said:
It would be a grave mistake for the rescuing powers – Britain and the United States – so to act as to break down the whole structure and expression of the Italian state.
On both sides of the Atlantic, there are certain ideological groups that strenuously object to having anything to do with King Victor Emmanuel, the House of Savoy, Marshal Badoglio or anybody else who, in the past 12 years, has had anything to do with the Italian scene. It is to these, apparently, that Mr. Churchill addressed his word of caution.
Similarly significant was President Roosevelt’s sharp rebuke yesterday to the Office of War Information. The OWI had broadcast by shortwave that:
There is no reason to believe that the essential nature of the Fascist regime of Italy has changed.
…and had quoted an American columnist as calling the Italian ruler a “moronic little king.”
That was on Sunday night. Yesterday, Prime Minister Churchill announced that:
Mussolini has gone and the Fascist power has certainly been irretrievably broken.
He went on to say that he and President Roosevelt were in daily contact and were in complete agreement on the course to pursue. And, speaking of the Badoglio government, he added that:
We would be foolish to deprive ourselves of any means of coming to a general conclusion with the Italian nation.
Mr. Churchill said:
We certainly do not seek to reduce Italian life to a condition of chaos and anarchy and find ourselves without an authority with which to deal.
Won’t start revolution
From the above, it would seem conclusive that Great Britain and the United States have no intention whatever of waiting for a revolution to break out in Italy – let alone stirring one up – before taking steps to “a general conclusion.”
Months ago, both Mr. Churchill and Mr. Roosevelt told the Italian people that if they would oust Mussolini and his Fascists, they could set up any kind of democratic government they wanted. Mr. Churchill said:
One man, and one man alone, has brought them to this pass.
And now, he says:
Mussolini has gone and the Fascist power has been irrevocably broken.
If, as he said, he and Mr. Roosevelt see eye to eye with regard to Italy, it would seem that the Italian surrender can proceed.
Nude, mutilating body of soldier’s wife found in Hollywood gold club flower bed
By M. J. Jenkins, United Press staff writer