America at war! (1941--) -- Part 2

Stimson inspiziert

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)

The British Prime Minister to President Roosevelt

London, 31 July 1943.


Your 334.

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)

Communiqué No. 455

North Pacific.
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)

Ships, planes batter Italy; 3 isles seized

Warships shell mainland; fliers attack only 11 miles from Rome
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer

Screenshot 2022-07-31 085318
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.

Allied tightening

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.

Surrender deadline past, Allies inform Badoglio

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.

Peace deadline over for Italy

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.

Warn Italians

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.

Disorders rise

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.

Ciano resigns

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.

Program reported

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.

Plan outlined

An Exchange Telegraph dispatch from Zürich quoted an Italian diplomatic source as reporting that the plan called for:

  1. 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.

  2. An Italian guarantee of immediate withdrawal of German troops from Italy and demobilization of Italian forces.

  3. Concession of Sicily to the Allies for the duration of the war.

  4. A pledge from both sides that the Italian mainland will not be employed for military operations.

Rejection expected

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.

Nazi disarm Italian troops

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.

Disarm Italians

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.

Aged Sicilian finds his Yank grandson

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.

Yanks throw flames into Jap pillboxes

New weapon tried against stubborn defenses around Munda
By Brydon Taves, United Press staff writer

Mine owners take portal pay to court

‘Definite decision’ sought to straighten out long dispute

End of driving ban is delayed

Report awaited; ‘A’ cards to be equalized

Kiska ripped again from land and sea

Marine turns down $1,000 for chance to raid Wake

Sergeant, picked by lot to be substitute gunner, spurns captain’s cash and gets Zero

Reds’ post-war plans causing Allied concern

Russia’s attitude toward European reconstruction still a mystery
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Blue Network system sold

Head of Life Savers Corporation pays $8 million

U.S. is hopeful Axis fugitives will be barred

But efforts to trap war criminals may meet some opposition
By John A. Reichmann, United Press staff writer

Officials bare grave concern at production

Three months’ lag still continues, 30% increase needed

Knox attacks complacency

‘Terrific fight ahead’ of Allies, he warns

Shipworkers denied raise

WLB hands down decision in its biggest case

Two million men moved overseas

Three soldiers to die for criminal attack

Editorial: Publicity sense