Leaflets ask Churchill’s stingers to meet foe in decisive fight
By Robert P. Martin, United Press staff writer
Leaflets ask Churchill’s stingers to meet foe in decisive fight
By Robert P. Martin, United Press staff writer
Producer has spent $50,000 extra for retakes
By Erskine Johnson
End of European conflict by Christmas now viewed possible
By Harrison Salisbury, United Press staff writer
London, England –
The Allies are believed revising their strategy in the light of the Italian situation for a spectacular drive to come to grips with Germany this fall and possibly end the European War by Christmas.
No Allied statesman allows himself to voice hopes for such a speedy conclusion of the war but it is obvious that military fundamentals call for fullest possible exploitation of the opening which Italy has presented.
Officials warn against use of the 1918 parallel for comparison with the present situation, but a careful examination of that argument shows that it is not necessarily valid.
As late as July 1918, Germany was still capable of mounting dangerous offensives on the Western Front. The German position had been strengthened by elimination of the whole Eastern Front.
But in 1918, the Allies’ peripheral attacks – most similar to their present strategy – finally began to bite into the German satellites. The attacks finally exposed the fatal German weakness – inability to continue to supply the army and maintain its far-flung battle forces.
Enemy’s collapse begins
The British made headway against the Turks and the flimsy German outer structure began to collapse, starting with Bulgaria and running quickly through Turkey, Austria and Germany itself.
The German Army today may not have been beaten in Russia but it has suffered severe casualties and losses.
If the present Allied momentum can be kept up and increased – and shipping is probably the chief factor therein – chances for repetition of 1918 are certainly within the realm of possibility.
By Ernie Pyle
With the U.S. Navy in the Mediterranean – (by wireless, delayed)
In invasion parlance, the day you strike\ a new country is called D-Day, and the time you hit the beach is H-hour. In the invasion contingent for which I am a very biased rooter, H-hour was set for 2:45 a.m. on July 10.
That was when the first mass assault on the beach was to begin. Actually, the paratroopers and Rangers were there several hours before. The other two large American forces, which traveled from North Africa in separate units, hit the beaches far down to our right about the same time. You could tell when they landed by the shooting during the first hour or so of the assault.
It seemed to me out on our ship that all hell was breaking loose ashore, but now that I look back upon it from a firmer foundation, actually knowing what had happened, it didn’t seem so very dramatic.
As I’ve said before, most of our special section was fairly easy to take, and our naval guns didn’t send any fireworks ashore until after daylight. The assault troops did all the preliminary work with rifles, grenades and machine guns. Out on ship we could hear the bop, bop, bop of the machine guns, first short bursts, then long ones.
Tennis match in Sicily
I don’t know whether I heard any Italian ones or not. In Tunisia you could always tell the German machine guns because they fired so much faster than ours, but that night all the shooting seemed to be of one tempo, one quality.
Now and then we could see a red tracer bullet arching through the darkness. I remember one that must have ricocheted from a rock, for suddenly it turned and went straight up a long way into the sky. Now and then, there was the quick flash of a hand grenade.
There was no aerial combat during the night and only a few flares shot up from the beach. To be factual, our portion of the night assault on Sicily was far less spectacular than the practice landings I’d seen our troops do back in Algeria.
A more spectacular show was in the sector to our right, some 12 or 15 miles down the beach. There, the 1st Infantry Division was having stiff opposition and their naval escort stood off miles from shore and three steel at the enemy artillery in the hills.
It was the first time I’d ever seen tracer shells used at night and it was fascinating.
From where we sat it was like watching a tennis game played with red balls, except that all the balls went in one direction. You would see a golden flash way off in the darkness. Out of the flash would go shooting a tiny red dot. That was the big shell. It covered the first quarter of the total distance almost instantly. Then it would uncannily begin a much slower speed, as though it had put on a brake.
Shells seemed on wheels
There didn’t seem to be any tapering down between its high and low speeds. It went from high to low instantly. You’d think it would start arching downward in its the slower speed, but instead, it just kept on in an almost flat trajectory as though it were on wheels being propelled along a level road. Finally, after a flight so long you stood unbelieving that the thing could still be in the air, it would disappear in a little flash as it hit something on the shore. Long afterward you’d hear the heavy explosions come rolling across the water.
Our portion of the American assault went best of all. The 1st Division on our right had some bitter opposition and the 45th on beyond them had some rough seas and bad beaches. But with us, everything was just about perfect.
Our Navy can’t be given too much credit for putting the troops ashore the way they did. You can’t realize what a nearly impossible task it is to arrive in the dead of night at exactly the right spot with your convoy, feel your way in through the darkness, pick out the very pinpoint of an utterly strange shoreline which you’d been told long beforehand to hit, and then put your boat safely ashore right there. In our sector every ship hit every beach just right.
He found the white house
They tell me it is the first time in history that it has ever been accomplished. The finest tribute to the Navy’s marksmanship came from one soldier who later told Maj. Gen. Lucian Truscott, his division commander:
Sir, I took my little black dog with me in my arms and I sure was scared standing in that assault boat. Finally, we hit the beach and as we piled out into the water, we were worse scared than ever. Then we waded ashore and looked around. Right ahead of me was a white house just where you said it would be. After that I wasn’t scared.
By Thomas L. Stokes, Scripps-Howard staff writer
Völkischer Beobachter (July 31, 1943)
Hartnäckige Durchbruchsversuche abgewiesen
vb. Wien, 30. Juli –
Auf Sizilien schlugen deutsche Truppen im Mittelabschnitt der Abwehrfront feindliche Durchbruchs versuche unter Verlusten für den Gegner ab.
Dieser Satz des Wehrmachtberichtes kennzeichnet die seit Tagen unternommenen Versuche der Engländer und Amerikaner, in der Mitte der sizilischen Front einen Erfolg zu erringen. Sie haben gewiß mit keinen allzu großen Schwierigkeiten bei diesem Unternehmen gerechnet – und haben sich verrechnet. Die Durchbruchsversuche, die die anglo-amerikanischen Streitkräfte auch mit dem Einsatz starker Fliegerkräfte zu erzwingen suchten, sind im Mittelabschnitt auf Sizilien ebenso gescheitert wie alle Bemühungen der Briten, vor Catania zu einem Erfolg zu kommen.
Englische Militärsachverständige sahen diesen Erfolg, wie man noch vor wenigen Tagen lesen konnte, „schon greifbar nahe,“ aber sie waren nicht imstande, ihn zu ergreifen, weder in der „Mondlandschaft“ des Mittelabschnittes, im Gebiet der Kalkkegel und Lavaströme, noch in der sonnendurchglühten Ebene vor Catania, obwohl sie, wie aus dem Wehrmachtbericht hervorgeht, mit gewaltigem Material angetreten sind. Die Taktik des Trommelfeuers aus dem Weltkrieg, mit der ja auch die Bolschewisten im Orelbogen den Durchbruch und damit weitgesteckte strategische Ziele zu erreichen hofften, ist auch in Sizilien angewandt worden. Im Raume von Orel aber wurden wie während der letzten Tage und Wochen die heftigen Infanterie- und Panzerangriffe der Bolschewisten wiederum abgewiesen, im Mittelabschnitt auf Sizilien scheiterten aufs neue die feindlichen Durchbruchsversuche, und vor Catania sind die Engländer trotz eines ungeheuren Aufwandes von Kriegsmaterial nicht vorwärts gekommen.
Über die Kämpfe, die in der Ebene von Catania stattgefunden haben, als im mittleren Abschnitt die deutschen und italienischen Truppen die neuen Verteidigungsstellungen bezogen, die der Gegner nun seit Tagen vergeblich berennt, schreibt der Kriegsberichter Lutz Koch:
Wie sehr General Montgomery daran gelegen ist, seinen Angriff auf Catania voranzutreiben und diese Stadt, die für ihn greifbar nahe liegt, endlich in seinen Besitz zu bekommen, zeigt das Beispiel eines einzigen, zweistündigen Feuerüberfalls auf einen nur fünfhundert Meter Breite betragenden Abschnitt der mittleren Front vor Catania. Hier hat er, nachdem ihm alle Versuche, am linken Flügel, dicht unter dem Meer und unter stärkster Einwirkung vor allem auch seiner Schiffsgeschütze den Durchbruch zu erzwingen, nur blutigste Verluste und zahlreiche Panzerabschüsse eingetragen haben, den Schwerpunkt mehr in die Ebene hineinverlegt. Für einen einzigen, eng begrenzten Angriffsstreifen schießt er in knapp zwei Stunden 16.000 Schuß auf ein Gebiet, das auch in der Tiefe nicht sehr weit hinauskommt. Muß der Tommy bei einem so verschwenderischen Munitionsaufwand aller Kaliber nicht glauben, daß ihm bei dieser Umpflügung der Erde kein nennenswerter Widerstand mehr entgegentritt?
Und doch täuscht er sich. Nicht umsonst hat die deutsche Führung befohlen, daß sich jeder tief in das Erdreich einzugraben hat. Das muß schon ein Volltreffer sein, der mitten in ein Geschützloch geht, um einen Verteidiger aus dem Rennen zu werfen. Bei dem Trommelfeuer der 16.000 Schuß haben wir durch Volltreffer zwei Tote und zwei Verwundete. Und als der Tommy dann angreift, verspürt er die Wirkung der in hervorragender Feuerdisziplin bis auf nächste Entfernung gestoppten Waffen. Wie von einer Sense hingemäht fallen die englischen Infanteristen, und was in einigen Einbrüchen in unsere Stellungen hineinkommt, wird im Nahkampf mit der blanken Waffe bereinigt. Nur an ganz wenigen Stellen ist es dem Engländer gelungen, wichtige Streifen im Vorgelände der Hauptkampflinie an sich zu bringen, und das auch nur deshalb, weil die deutsche Kampfführung darauf verzichten konnte, diese Punkte zu besitzen.
Seit drei Tagen nun hat sich an der gewundenen Verteidigungslinie, die durch die Ebene von Catania geht, nichts Wesentliches geändert. Auf unserer Seite ist sie durch den Einsatz allmählich herankommender schwerer Waffen nur stärker geworden. Trotzdem der Feind seine Angriffe pausenlos fortsetzt und die Feuerüberfälle immer wieder die Luft erzittern lassen, hat man den Eindruck, daß auch der Gegner neue Kräfte herankarrt, weil er einsehen mußte, daß ihm unter den jetzigen Umständen jeder Versuch, sich in den Besitz von Catania zu setzen, hohe Verluste kostet.
Stoßtrupps und Aufklärungsflugzeuge haben ergeben, daß er. seine gepanzerten Kolosse, die in erheblicher Zahl am Südrand der Ebene bereitstehen, gut getarnt unter Stroh oder in Orangenhainen abgestellt hat. Zu hoch sind ihm gerade auf diesem Waffensektor die Verluste gewesen. Die Zahl der abgeschossenen Panzer, auch des schwersten Typs, der Panzerspähwagen und der gepanzerten Schützentransportwagen hat sich im Abschnitt einer Brigade allein auf über 150 erhöht.
Bei der Nähe der Kampflinie gibt es im harten Alltag der Schlacht oft auch kuriose Szenen. Einmal fahren zwei englische Kräder an einem deutschen Gefechtsvorposten auf der asphaltierten Straße vorbei und werden auf die Frage nach der Front mit einer passenden Antwort noch tiefer in unsere Linie zurückgeschickt, wo sie kurz, zur riesigen Überraschung der Fahrer, vereinnahmt werden. Das andere Mal sind es zwei Lastkraftwagen, die im Umdrehen auf der Anmarschstraße, als sie den Braten gerochen hatten, durch schnelles Feuer in Brand geschossen werden. Auch hier wanderten die Besatzungen in die Gefangenschaft. Den größten Erfolg aber erzielten in diesem Wirrwarr der Linien Grenadiere und Jäger, die beim Morgengrauen plötzlich sechs englische Pak dicht vor den eigenen Linien aufgefahren, aber verlassen finden. Der Gefechtsvorposten hatte in der Nacht auf verdächtige Geräusche geschossen. Daraufhin sind die Tommies, die sich verfahren hatten, unter Zurücklassung ihrer schweren Waffen abgehauen. Robbend und kriechend werden zwei Pak langsam unter dem wütenden Beschuß des Feindes in die eigene Linie gebracht, wo sie bald ihre Stimme gegen die früheren Besitzer ertönen lassen, während die vier restlichen Geschütze gesprengt werden und damit dem Gegner verloren sind.
So hält hinter Trommelfeuer und Bombenhagel, unter Beschuß der schweren Schiffsartillerie und den Qualen einer sengenden südlichen Sonne die Front vor Catania und erweist täglich in den kleinen Szenen des Kampfes die moralische Überlegenheit des hier auf zäher Abwehr stehenden deutschen Soldaten.
dnb. Aus dem Führer-Hauptquartier, 30. Juli –
Das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht gibt bekannt:
Im Kampfabschnitt von Orel wurden wiederum heftige Infanterie- und Panzerangriffe abgewiesen. Südlich des Ladogasees ließ die feindliche Angriffstätigkeit weiter nach. Wiederholte örtlich begrenzte Angriffe der Bolschewisten mit starker Panzer- und Schlachtfliegerunterstützung wurden blutig abgeschlagen.
Deutsche Seestreitkräfte beschossen erneut feindliche Stellungen an der Miusfront und beschädigten durch Artillerietreffer einen Panzerzug.
Im Finnischen Meerbusen wurde durch leichte Seestreitkräfte ein leichtes sowjetisches Kriegsfahrzeug versenkt.
Auf Sizilien schlugen deutsche Truppen im Mittelabschnitt der Abwehrfront feindliche Durchbruchsversuche unter Verlusten für den Gegner ab.
Vor der Südküste der Insel erhielt ein feindlicher Transporter von 8000 BRT. so schwere Bombentreffer, daß mit seiner Vernichtung gerechnet werden kann.
Im Atlantik versenkte die Luftwaffe ein Handelsschiff von 10.000 BRT. Zwei weitere große Schiffe wurden schwer getroffen.
Feindliche Bomberverbände griffen am gestrigen Tage Helgoland sowie einige Orte im norddeutschen Küstengebiet, darunter Kiel, an und führten in der vergangenen Nacht erneut einen schweren Terrorangriff auf Hamburg, durch den weitere Verwüstungen in der Stadt hervorgerufen wurden. Die Bevölkerung erlitt hohe Verluste. Luftverteidigungskräfte schossen 54 feindliche Flugzeuge ab.
Deutsche Kampfflugzeuge warfen in der Nacht zum 30. Juli Bomben auf Ziele in Südengland.
Küstensicherungsstreitkräfte der Kriegsmarine versenkten in der vergangenen Nacht nördlich Terschelling ein britisches Schnellboot.
dnb. Rom, 30. Juli –
Der italienische Wehrmachtbericht vom Freitag lautet:
In Sizilien sind die Truppen nach wie vor immer erneuten heftigen Angriffen des Gegners in harten Kämpfen ausgesetzt.
In den Gewässern östlich der Insel haben Italienische Schnellboote Angriffsvorstöße entsprechender gegnerischer Einheiten gegen unsere Geleite zurückgewiesen.
Fliegerangriffe auf einige Ortschaften Latiums und der Campagna verursachten leichte Verluste.
Unsere Jäger nahmen den Kampf mit einem Verband auf, der Neapel überflog, und schossen ein zweimotoriges Flugzeug ab.
tc. Lissabon, 30. Juli –
USA.-Kriegsminister Stimson ist in Nordafrika zu Besprechungen mit General Eisenhower eingetroffen, teilte sein Vertreter Robert Patterson am Donnerstag in Washington mit.
Zur Kriegslage auf Sizilien erklärte Patterson, sie gebe kein Anzeichen dafür, daß der Widerstand der Achsenstreitkräfte nachlasse.
U.S. State Department (July 31, 1943)
London, 31 July 1943. 394.
My position is that once Mussolini and the Fascists are gone, I will deal with any Italian authority which can deliver the goods. I am not in the least afraid for this purpose of seeming to recognize the House of Savoy or Badoglio, provided they are the ones who can make the Italians do what we need for our war purposes. Those purposes would certainly be hindered by chaos, bolshevisation or civil war. We have no right to lay undue burdens on our troops. It may well be that after the armistice terms have been accepted, both the King and Badoglio will sink under the odium of surrender and that the Crown Prince and a new Prime Minister may be chosen.
I should deprecate any pronouncement about self-determination at the present time, beyond what is implicit in the Atlantic Charter. I agree with you that we must be very careful not to throw everything into the melting pot.
U.S. Navy Department (July 31, 1943)
On July 29, a U.S. Army Flying Fortress (Boeing B‑17) heavy bomber attacked Japanese positions on Kiska. Due to overcast weather, results were unobserved.
On July 30, during the morning, U.S. light surface units bombarded Gertrude Cove and the main camp areas on Kiska. Enemy batteries did not reply.
The Pittsburgh Press (July 31, 1943)
Warships shell mainland; fliers attack only 11 miles from Rome
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer
Surrender of three islands off the west coast of Sicily (circled on the map) was announced today and shelling by warships of the Italian mainland near Locri was also revealed. U.S. PT boats struck at Axis shipping in the Gulf of Eufemia. On land the Allies made more gains and threatened to push Axis forces (now holding the section lined on the map) into a death trap.
Allied HQ, North Africa –
A mounting air and sea offensive that struck faltering Italy within 11 miles of Rome and sent surface craft far up the mainland coast developed today as Allied forces scored steady gains driving Axis troops toward a deathtrap in Sicily.
Three small Italian islands off the Sicilian west coast surrendered unconditionally to U.S. troops.
Headquarters announcements revealed a new bombardment of the mainland near Locri under the toe of the Italian boot, a raid by Mitchell bombers on the Pratica di Mare Airdrome only 11 miles southeast of the capital and thrusts by U.S. PT boats that carried into the Gulf of Santa Eufemia more than 100 miles up the Italian coast above the Strait of Messina.
With surface vessels slipping within three and four miles of both the Sicilian and Italian mainlands and raiding straight through the strait, the Axis troops falling back in Sicily appeared likely to be caught in an unbreakable Allied net as they were in Tunisia.
Allied planes enjoying mastery of the skies met strong opposition only in sweeps over Sardinia, and there, 21 of the Friday toll of 28 enemy planes were shot down by Warhawks. Additional planes, including big transports, were destroyed on the airfield near Rome. One six-engined transport was sent down. Total Allied loss for the day was one plane, a communiqué said.
Additional progress by land forces in Sicily was revealed in the communiqué. The British 8th Army below Catania inflicted heavy casualties on the defending German forces and the Americans captured 941 additional prisoners, including 500 Germans, in new advances.
A Radio Algiers broadcast said the German and Italian troops in northern and central Sicily were retreating toward a second defense line based in the Caronia Mountains, east of the San Stefano-Nicosia Road.
Aegadian group of islands
The surrendered islands, comprising the Aegadian group, are Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo. They were the first to surrender since the fall of the stepping stones southward toward the North African shore before the invasion of Sicily.
A Navy communiqué said that a force of cruisers and destroyers shelled railroad bridges near Locri under the toe of the Italian boot about 20 miles above Capo-Spartivento, just opposite the Strait of Messina.
Light naval craft, including U.S. PT boats, struck at Axis communications lines to Sicily by sinking from one to seven enemy ships in the Strait of Messina.
PT boats in battle
The American PT boats ventured as far northward up the Italian mainland to the Gulf of Santa Eufemia, on the instep of the boot, to engage two armed lighters and four enemy “E”-boats, probably destroying one E-boat. Other small war vessels were attacked near Stromboli Island, 70 miles above Sicily.
The delayed reports of the naval action filtered in through front advices covering operations the last five days and included a penetration by British forces so close to Reggio Calabria, Italian ferry base across the strait, that shore batteries fired on the vessels but caused no damage.
No details of the surrender of the islands were given and no attacks had been reported on them. They lie off the end of Sicily now occupied by U.S. troops and the largest, Favignana, is only six miles long.
Second coast shelling
The warships attacked the mainland the night of July 28-29 about 75 miles southwest of the Crotone area which was shelled on July 29.
Eight units from British light coastal forces edged up the Sicilian east coast north of Mt. Etna to bombard railways near Giagargina feeding the German armies facing the British below Catania. The range was so close that machine guns were leveled against them. The shells set fires in stations, trains and stores. The allies ships suffered no damage.
The communiqué on land fighting said both the U.S. 7th Army and the British 8th Army made “good progress” in their operations leading up to a final assault on the enemy’s Mt. Etna line and the “coffin corner” of Sicily.
The prisoners fell to the Americans as they met increased enemy opposition during the push into Axis defense lines anchored on San Stefano, on the north coast, while Canadian troops drove out from the Agira area in the center to drive the Germans back toward Mt. Etna.
Invasion of northern Italy by Serb guerrillas reported
Because of Premier Badoglio’s delay in making peace with the Allies, during which the Nazis have strengthened their hold on Italy with all “force and vigor,” the Allies today warned Rome.
At the same time, reports in London said Yugoslavian guerrillas have broken through Italian lines and have invaded northern Italy, while Cairo heard that German troops were disarming Italians in Greece.
By William B. Dickinson, United Press staff writer
London, England –
The Allies dramatically warned Italy tonight that big-scale aerial attacks will be resumed at once because the government of Premier Marshal Pietro Badoglio temporized when called upon to surrender and permitted Hitler to strengthen his hold on Italy.
The warning, which was broadcast repeatedly from North Africa to the Italian people., appeared to squash persistent rumors that Badoglio was attempting to open peace negotiations, including a report from France via Madrid that Italian emissaries had been sent by plane to meet with Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Italians were warned to keep away from all military targets because the Allies were resuming their aerial offensive with force and vigor after a breathing spell in which only communications or airfields were bombed following the ouster of Benito Mussolini and Gen. Eisenhower’s call for Italy’s capitulation.
The broadcast was apparently designed to impress on the Italian people that the Badoglio government had failed to kick out the Nazis and presumably to encourage popular uprisings – such as have been reported in northern Italy – against the new regime.
London sources said that tension and disorder were mounting in Italy and it was believed that it would be only a matter of days until popular reaction forced out the Badoglio government in favor of a regime that was prepared to accept unconditional surrender.
That expected movement was encouraged by the North African broadcast warning Italians to:
…keep away from factories, barracks, railroad stations, supply depots, airfields and other military targets.
Badoglio has apparently been hoping to make peace without accepting military occupation of Italy and he may have put out feelers or even proposals to that end, but these obviously have been unsuccessful and the Allies are now going to attempt to speed up unconditional surrender by resumption of bombing.
Meanwhile, Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian Ambassador to the Vatican, followed his father-in-law into retirement by resigning.
An Allied spokesman, in the warning to Italy, said:
The respite is over. The bombing of military objectives will resume. Keep away from factories, railway lines and German barracks.
Six days have passed since Mussolini’s fall. Instead of acting quickly, Badoglio’s government has played for time and thus helped the Germans. We give you a solemn warning.
A Swiss dispatch to the Exchange Telegraph Agency reported that Badoglio has drafted a four-point program to take Italy out of the war and return her to neutral status and will resign if – as even as he expects – it is rejected by either the Allies or Germany.
Strikes and peace formations, some of them led by communists, were reported continuing in Milan, Turin, Naples, Venice, Bologna and Genoa.
Some Fascists were executed in Milan, Bologna and Florence and more than 4,000 Fascist militiamen, as well as the chief of police and the president of the Fascist People’s Tribunal, were arrested in Naples, an Algiers broadcast asserted.
Holds post short time
Ciano’s disposal was disclosed in a Rome broadcast announcing that King Victor Emmanuel III had accepted his “resignation” as ambassador to the Vatican. He had been named to the post by Mussolini last Feb. 8 only a week after his removal as Italian Foreign Minister, a portfolio he held for six years.
European reports said Ciano and his wife Edda, Mussolini’s daughter, had taken refuge in Vatican City following Mussolini’s ouster last Sunday.
The report that Badoglio had drafted a peace proposal reached London as the British War Cabinet was placed on call for possible emergency weekend meetings in connection with the Italian crisis.
An Exchange Telegraph dispatch from Zürich quoted an Italian diplomatic source as reporting that the plan called for:
A request to the Allies and to Germany to consent to Italy’s return to neutral status, under control of military experts acceptable to both sides.
An Italian guarantee of immediate withdrawal of German troops from Italy and demobilization of Italian forces.
Concession of Sicily to the Allies for the duration of the war.
A pledge from both sides that the Italian mainland will not be employed for military operations.
The Italian diplomatic source who reported the proposals was quoted as saying that “it seems quite clear that Badoglio himself” did not expect the Allies to accept them and therefore probably intends to resign as chief of government.
The Stockholm Social-Demokraten said well-informed circles in Berne believed that King Victor Emmanuel would abdicate in favor of Crown Prince Umberto, and Badoglio would resign in favor of Marshal Rodolfo Graziani, the Marquis of Neghelli, former Chief of the Army Staff and Governor of Libya.
Badoglio was said to have committed himself to continuing the war to such an extent that his present would prejudice peace negotiations, while Graziani might better obtain for Italy as “peace with honor.”
Duce, Ciano reported held
Another Swiss report asserted that Mussolini, Fascist Secretary Carlo Scorza, Ciano and other Fascist leaders were being held incommunicado at Palazzo Venezia, Mussolini’s former office building in the center of Rome. Mussolini has not been permitted to receive Hitler’s birthday present to him, a set of books, it was said.
In Milan, scene of bloody anti-Fascist and peace demonstrations, a long procession, mostly of women, marched through the streets, Zürich said. Many of the women carried placards demanding peace and shouted:
We want peace! We want our sons back!
Serious dilemma cited
The London Daily Mirror bannered, “Italy May Be Out Tomorrow,” and other newspapers, though not so optimistic, reported that the situation was developing rapidly with indications that Italy’s future course would be clarified within the next few days.
One Rome broadcast acknowledged that Italy was in a serious dilemma and was considering Allied peace terms with “great understanding,” but other Italian broadcasts reiterated that the country intended to fight on, presumably on the side of the Axis.
A London broadcast heard by NBC quoted Badoglio as saying that Italy could quit the war “safely and honestly” only through the exercise of “great freedom and cunning,” which required time.
Earlier Swiss reports, some of them relayed by Stockholm, said that a general strike was continuing in Milan with pickets stationed around the important Breda, Pirelli, Marelli and Bianchi war factories.
Crowds attacked military patrols in Milan and military transports in the suburbs were riddled with machine-gun fire, the Nazi-controlled Scandinavian Telegraph Bureau reported from the Swiss border town of Chiasso.
Bloodshed was also reported by the STB to have occurred at Genoa, Italy’s second biggest port, where harbor workers struck and communist demonstrators waved red flags and sang the Internationale.
Duce’s birth town seized
The BBC said that Fascists seized the central Italian town of Forli, where Benito Mussolini was born, but surrendered when regular army troops arrived.
The Badoglio government, seeking to remove Fascists from any vestige of authority, ordered all federal secretaries and other local Fascist leaders into the Italian Armed Forces and took over former Fascist youth organizations.
Subsidies paid to families of Italian workmen in military service were increased in a move to bolster army morale.
Stays at desk
Prime Minister Churchill was known to be remaining at his desk over the weekend. Heads of the fighting services with outside engagements were told to keep in touch with him by telephone.
There was still no confirmation of numerous reports of German troop movements in Italy. The latest broadcast by an Italian underground station calling itself Livorno Chiama – Leghorn Calling – said that Nazi forces in the Foggia, Barletta and San Severo areas of southern Italy had begun moving northward.
By John A. Parris, United Press staff writer
London, England –
A Yugoslav spokesman reported today that guerrilla brigades have broken through Italian lines in a push into northern Italy and reached the Udine district.
According to the Yugoslav reports, the 5th and 6th Brigades of Slovene guerillas were operating in the Udine sector north of Trieste, where the Germans had been reported planning to make a last stand in northern Italy if the Rome regime capitulates.
The guerrillas in the Udine area, adjacent to the Yugoslav frontier, have been gaining strength rapidly as a result of the Italian crisis, it was stated.
A United Press dispatch from Cairo said that the German troops in Greece had begun disarming Italian occupation troops, which Rome was reported to have recalled to Italy.
Stockholm dispatches reported “endless columns” of Nazi tanks moving into the Balkans to meet an expected Allied invasion.
The reported German action in disarming Italian troops was interpreted as a sign the Germans are convinced Italy is already out of the war and a sign of open recognition of disaffection among the 30-40 Italian divisions occupying the Balkans.
The Germans had already wholly or largely replaced Italian garrisons in the Dodecanese, Cyclades, Rhodes, Karpathos and Euboea Islands in the Aegean. Crete has a German military governor.
Nazis man coasts
The Nazis have also been manning the western coasts of the Peloponnesus and the Grecian mainland.
Berlin radio today quoted a Romanian press dispatch on the arrival of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in Salonika as saying that the Allied intention to invade the Balkans will be frustrated because:
Axis troops together with Southeast European troops have taken all measures, political, military and economic… to be prepared for all eventualities.
The broadcast asserted that “endless numbers of soldiers experienced in the Balkans and the Eastern Front” have been moved to the Balkans.
Algiers, Algeria (UP) –
It was a million to one shot, but his grandfather, whom he had never seen, found Pvt. Tony Calato, of San Francisco, among the thousands of U.S. troops who poured through Palermo after its fall.
The Army newspaper, Stars and Stripes, told the story today.
The grandfather, who spoke no English, reasoned that one of the Americans in Palermo might be his grandson. So he seared himself on a prominent corner, and at intervals shouted Tony’s name. Finally, an Italian-speaking doughboy told the old man he knew a Tony Calato and gave him the name of his company and regiment. After several hours search, the grandfather located Tony sleeping in a cobblestone courtyard.
New weapon tried against stubborn defenses around Munda
By Brydon Taves, United Press staff writer