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

Editorial: Normandie’s sleepover

Background of news –
Voting in 1944

By Harold Kellock, editorial research reports

The presidential election of 1944 promises to be held under conditions without precedent in American history.

Upwards of 9 million citizens of voting age will be scattered over the earth, among the 11,300,000 American men and women who will then be serving in the Armed Forces. Another 7 million or more will have migrated from their home districts to work at war industry centers. The total number affected by this scrambling of the American population – 16 million potential voters – is equal to nearly one-fourth of the total vote cast in the Roosevelt-Willkie election of 1940.

Under these circumstances, the job of “getting out the vote” will present intricate and difficult problems. Even if the war should have come to an end before November 1944 in the Pacific as well as in Europe, a large part of the electorate would still be in a state of unsettlement.

Immediately after Congress gets back to Washington in September, it will take up the problem of getting ballots to the men and women of the Armed Forces.

Voting proposals outlined

Plans under consideration provide two procedures:

  1. In the case of men and women at home stations, the War and Navy Departments are to provide postcard applications to vote, to be distributed by commanding officers three weeks before the first primary. These are returnable to the Secretary of State of the voter’s home state, who is to have special war ballots printed and forwarded to the applicants.

  2. In the case of voters overseas, the postcards are to be omitted. War ballots are to be shipped by V-mail to commanding officers immediately after the last primary elections in the states, and a field election day will be held in each outfit within a week after the ballots are received. Ballots must be returned at once to each state, for transmission to appropriate local election boards.

The procedure is necessarily involved; the sorting job alone to identify the residences of 9 million scattered voters – getting them the proper ballots and shuttling these back to appropriate local election boards – will be an enormous labor. In New York State, for example, the ballots will have to be distributed among 9,327 election districts.

Late voting a handicap

Late primary elections in some of the states may also prove a handicap. Presidential primaries are held through the spring (the first thus far scheduled is for March 14, in New Hampshire), and the candidates will be nominated in the national conventions by early July. Congressional and state ticket nominations, however, are strung along through the summer and 14 states commonly make such nominations in September. Some states are planning to schedule their primaries earlier next year.

The great migrations to war industry centers raise another uncertain factor in polling the vote next year. Up to March 1, 1943, according to studies based on registrations for War Ration Book No. 2, while the country showed a decline of 3,100,000 in civilian population since the census of 1940, 84 war manufacturing areas increased their civilian population by 4,400,000, in spite of losing some 3 million civilians to the Armed Forces.

The total, less the 900,000 natural increase of population, gives a net migration of about 6,500,000 to these centers. This migration has now passed its peak, but changes in residence between elections add to the formalities for qualifying as a voter, and these are likely to reduce the vote cast in 1944 among the millions of persons involved in the war migrations.

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Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Somewhere in Sicily, Italy – (by wireless)
Before closing this series about the Navy, I want to tell you of one member of our ship’s crew who didn’t make the invasion trip with us. She was the ship’s dog, and this is the story of her and her master.

He is a Regular Navy man, a chief petty officer of many years’ service. He is tattooed, wind-burned, a bachelor, and quietly profane. His officers say he is an excellent worker. I’m not giving his name because the story concerns his getting drunk.

It seems that several months ago, some sailors from our ship had picked up a German shepherd puppy. She belonged to the whole crew, but the puppy took to our friend and he took to it, and sort of by acclamation she became recognized as his dog.

The puppy grew into a beautiful dog, smart, alert and sweet. But when hot weather came along, she got the mange. Our friend doctored it with everything he could find, and other sailors helped him with the doctoring, but still the mange got worse. They finally clipped her hair close, so they could get medicine on her skin more thoroughly, but nothing did any good.

When they hit the last port before leaving Africa, my friend told me he went ashore and searched the country for a French or American Army veterinary, but couldn’t find any.

She was buried at sea

When I came aboard ship, this beautiful dog was frisky and alert, but the sailors had given up all hope of curing her. Something had to be done. The others left it up to our friend. Whatever he chose to do had their approval. He told me later that you couldn’t just put her ashore, for she had grown up aboard ship and wouldn’t know how to take care of herself on land.

So, our friend solved it in his own way, the morning after I came aboard. He didn’t ask anybody to help him or tell anybody what he was going to do. He just tied a weight around her neck and let her down into the water. That was her end – in the tradition of the sea.

I heard about it a few hours later, and stopped by the rail to tell our friend I was sorry. He couldn’t talk about it. He just said:

Let’s go below and have a cup of coffee.

A few hours after that, I saw that he had started having something else.

In the midafternoon, I saw one of the ship’s officers talking to him very seriously. It didn’t look too good. Drinking aboard ship just doesn’t go. The next day our friend was called before the mast and given a light suspension of privileges.

At lunch the boys were kidding him about it and he said, well, hell, he wasn’t sore about it, for obviously they had to do something to him.

That evening I happened to be sitting with the officer who had sentenced our friend, and just to make conversation I mentioned that it was sad about the dog being gone. He sat up and said, “What!”

Ernie off to new adventures

I said yes, the dog was gone.

He said, “My God!” And then he said:

He’s one of the best men on the ship, and I knew something was wrong, but I tried for half an hour to get it out of him and he wouldn’t tell me.

The officer sat there looking as though he was sick, and again he said:

So that was it! My God!

By the end of the first week after the Sicilian invasion, there was almost no indication of warfare along our beachfront. Every night the German radio told us we were getting bombed, but actually a stultifying peace had settled over us.

Hour by hour we could feel the ship slide back into her normal ways. The watches were dropped down to “Condition Three,” which is almost the peacetime regime. The ship’s laundry reopened for the first time in weeks. Movies were borrowed and shown after supper. The wearing of white hats became optional once more. The men went swimming over the side, and fished with rod and reel from the forecastle head. The captain had time on his hands and played gin rummy with me when I got worn out with writing. Finally, liberty parties were let ashore for sightseeing.

I knew then that the war, for our little family in this special phase, was over. So, I shouldered my barracks bags and trundled myself ashore in Sicily for good.

These few weeks with the Navy were grand, and I hated to part from the friends I had made. Too, this taste of civilized living had been a strange delight, and yet for some perverse reason I seemed to look forward to going back to the old soldier’s way of sleeping on the ground and not washing before breakfast, and fighting off fleas. Man is a funny creature.

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Völkischer Beobachter (August 10, 1943)

Roosevelts Marineminister proklamiert:
Jüdische Weltherrschaft auf den Spitzen der USA.-Bajonette

England wird dabei praktisch ausgeschaltet

352 Sowjetpanzer in zwei Tagen abgeschossen –
Zahlreiche Feindangriffe abgeschlagen

dnb. Aus dem Führer-Hauptquartier, 9. August –
Das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht gibt bekannt:

Am Kubanbrückenkopf setzten die Sowjets ihre von zahlreichen Schlachtfliegern unterstützten Angriffe erfolglos fort. Vom Mius Kämpfe örtlicher Bedeutung gemeldet.

Im Raum von Bjelgorod und im Orel abschnitt brachen zahlreiche Angriffe stärkerer Infanterie- und Panzerverbände der Sowjets zusammen. Die Luftwaffe griff besonders in diesen beiden Kampfabschnitten in die Erdkämpfe ein und vernichtete neben einer großen Zahl von Panzern und Geschützen über 300 motorisierte, mit Mannschaften besetzte Fahrzeuge des Feindes.

Auch südwestlich Wjasma griff der Feind mit zahlreichen Panzern an. Alle Durchbruchsversuche wurden in schweren Kämpfen abgewiesen. Die Verluste des Feindes sind hoch.

Südlich des Ladogasees herrschte nur geringe örtliche Kampftätigkeit.

In den beiden letzten Tagen wurden an der Ostfront 352 Panzer abgeschossen.

Leichte deutsche Seestreitkräfte versenkten im Seegebiet von Noworossijsk zwei mit Munition beladene sowjetische Küstendampfer mit zusammen 1.400 BRT.

Im Nordabschnitt der Sizilienfront erneuerte der Feind mit überlegenen Kräften seine Angriffe entlang der Küstenstraße. Die Kämpfe sind noch im Gange.

Schnelle deutsche Kampfflugzeuge trafen vor der Nordküste Siziliens einen Zerstörer und vom mittleren Donez werden und ein Handelsschiff von 7.000 BRT. vernichtend.

Bei Tagesvorstößen weniger feindlicher Flugzeuge auf die besetzten Westgebiete wurden zwei britische Bomber, über dem Atlantik ein viermotoriges nordamerikanisches Flugzeug abgeschossen.

SS~ und Polizeiverbände haben zusammen mit Einheiten des Heeres im rückwärtigen Gebiet der Ostfront wieder ein größeres Unternehmen mit der Vernichtung zahlreicher Banden im Raume westlich Minsk abgeschlossen.

Es wurden bei geringen eigenen Verlusten 4.200 Banditen getötet, über 6.000 gefangen oder festgenommen. 134 Bandenlager und 151 Bunker wurden zerstört und neben 60 Geschützen eine große Beute an Handwaffen, Munition und sonstigem Kriegsgerät eingebracht.

Neue japanische Erfolge –
1 Zerstörer und 4 Transporter versenkt

Durch Bomben oder Lufttorpedos in vier Wochen –
325 Transporter mit 1,2 Mill. BRT. getroffen

dnb. Berlin, 9. August –
In vier Wochen schwerster Kämpfe gegen die britisch-nordamerikanische Landungsflotte im Seegebiet von Sizilien setzte die deutsche Luftwaffe einen großen Teil des dem Feinde im Mittelmeer verfügbaren Schiffsraumes ganz oder zumindest für längere Zeit außer Gefecht. 325 Transportschiffe mit einer Gesamttonnage von mehr als 1,2 Millionen BRT. wurden durch deutsche Bomben und Lufttorpedos getroffen.

Die Versenkung von 33 Frachtern mit einer Tonnage von 154.000 BRT., 2 Zerstörern, 3 Schnellbooten, 2 Korvetten, einem Geleitboot und einer großen Zahl von Landungsbooten konnte einwandfrei festgestellt werden. Mit der totalen Vernichtung weiterer 58 Handelsschiffe mit einer Gesamttonnage von 278.750 BRT. kann gerechnet werden.

Unter den von unseren Kampfflugzeugen angegriffenen und beschädigten Kriegsschiffseinheiten befinden sich 1 Schlachtschiff, 1 Flugzeugträger, 19 Kreuzer, 14 Zerstörer und eine beträchtliche Anzahl kleinerer Kriegsfahrzeuge.

Auch die italienische Luftwaffe errang im Kampf gegen die feindliche Transportflotte gute Erfolge. Sie versenkte 24 Handelsschiffe mit einer Gesamttonnage von über 170.000 BRT., ferner einen Kreuzer, 6 Zerstörer, 3 Unterseeboote und mehrere kleinere Kriegsschiffseinheiten.

Die Angriffe der deutschen und italienischen Luftwaffe begannen in dem Augenblick, als sich die feindlichen Schiffsverbände in der Nacht zum 10. Juli der Südostspitze Siziliens näherten. Das Schwergewicht ihrer Angriffe verlagerte sich sodann auf die Häfen Augusta, Syrakus und die im Seegebiet vor Catania liegenden Transporter. Schwere Angriffe führten unsere Bomberverbände ferner gegen Malta und Biserta, von wo aus der Feind im wesentlichen seine Truppen auf Sizilien versorgt.

Neben den schweren Kampfverbänden bombardierten Zerstörer- und Schlachtfliegerstaffeln zu allen Stunden des Tages feindliche Schiffsansammlungen und fügten dem Feind in unerschrocken durchgeführten Tiefangriffen weitere empfindliche Verluste an Schiffsraum zu.

Italienischer Wehrmachtbericht –
Harte Kämpfe in Nordsizilien

dnb. Rom, 9. August –
Der italienische Wehrmachtbericht vom Montag meldet:

In Nordsizilien gehen die harten Kämpfe in den von italienischen und deutschen Truppen besetzten Stellungen weiter. Ziele im feindlichen Hinterland wurden von unseren Flugzeugen angegriffen. In den Gewässern Siziliens wurden zwei Zerstörer von deutschen Flugzeugen wirkungsvoll getroffen. Englische und amerikanische Marine- und Luftverbände haben gestern, ohne schweren Schaden anzurichten, Ortschaften an der Küste Siziliens und Kalabriens mit Bomben belegt.

Vom 10. Juli bis 5. August –
330 Feindpanzer vernichtet

dnb. Berlin, 9. August –
Wie schwer die Verluste der Briten und Nordamerikaner „auf Sizilien sind, zeigt sich daran, daß allein die Division „Hermann Göring“ in der Zeit vom 10. Juli bis 5. August 278 Panzer und Panzerspähwagen, 46 Panzerabwehrgeschütze und Granatwerfer, 22 Landungsboote sowie mehrere hundert Kraftfahrzeuge vernichtete. Außerdem schoß die Division 53 feindliche Flugzeuge und 7 Lastensegler ab.

Insgesamt verlor der Feind in diesem Zeitraum auf Sizilien 330 Panzer und Panzerspähwagen. Truppen des Heeres brachten 83 Flugzeuge zum Absturz, davon allein 32 in den ersten fünf Augusttagen. Zahlreiche weitere Flugzeuge und Schiffseinheiten wurden von der Luftwaffe vernichtet oder versenkt.

U.S. Navy Department (August 10, 1943)

Press Release

For Immediate Release
August 10, 1943

Japanese submarine, scanning U.S. convoy, sunk by patrol chaser

Viciously attacking a Japanese submarine by ramming, depth charges and gunfire, a U.S. Navy submarine chaser sank the underseas raider with all hands in the Pacific 15 minutes after lookouts detected her periscopes scan­ning the convoy which the chaser was protecting.

The attack, carried out by the USS PC‑487 under the command of Lt. W. Gordon Cornell, USNR, Port Richmond, Staten Island, New York, occurred recently as the chaser and other escort vessels guarded a convoy headed for a U.S. base.

The Pittsburgh Press (August 10, 1943)

Fleeing Nazis blow up roads, Allies smash ahead in Sicily

Americans, British merge near pass, trapping many of enemy
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer

Screenshot 2022-08-10 081512
Allies join forces in Sicily as U.S. and British columns (arrows) met near Randazzo Pass, trapping many German troops. The broken line shows the approximate battlefront, while the solid line denotes where the Axis forces are preparing a last stand.

Allied HQ, North Africa –
Retreating German troops have begun wholesale demolition of communications in northeast Sicily, impeding but failing to check a general Allied advance which effected a junction of the U.S. 7th and British 8th Armies between Randazzo Pass and the center of the line.

7th and 8th Army columns driving against Randazzo, key junction dominating the narrow defile between Mt. Etna and the Caronian Range, met west of the pass and plunged in today for a showdown battle expected to seal the fate of the cornered defenders of Sicily.

The junction of the American and British spearheads was believed to have cut off unknown numbers of German troops making a sacrificial stand before the mouth of the pass, one of the most vital Sicilian objectives remaining in Axis hands.

Blow up roads

The hard-pressed Germans, struggling to slow down the Allied advance in all sectors, started a campaign of blowing up roads on a scale never before witnessed in the Sicilian campaign, which went into its second month today.

Dynamite blasts in the wake of the Nazi withdrawal sent whole mountainsides crashing down on the roads. The Germans evidently realized that they were nearing the end of their fighting days and were embarking on an extravagant policy of demolition.

The only conquest of a town reported today – the capture of Pedara, five miles inland from Acireale by British forces straightening out their lines along the eastern seaboard – was no barometer of the steady Allied gains promising final victory within a matter of days.

Near Cape

On the north coast, the left wing of Lt. Gen. George S. Patton’s 7th Army forged ahead and was estimated to have reached a point less than five miles west of Capo d’Orlando.

It was west of the Cape that the 7th Army with U.S. Navy assistance turned the German flank Sunday morning in a landing now revealed to have been on a much larger scale than first indicated.

The original number of 300 prisoners capitulated by the Americans in the amphibious foray was boosted to 1,500, most of whom were described as Italians.

Drive 120 miles

The 7th Army was estimated to have advanced more than 120 miles and the 8th Army more than 80 since they stormed the Sicilian beaches a month ago.

A communiqué from the headquarters of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower confirmed the capture of Bronte, only nine miles from Randazzo, by a British 8th Army spearhead closing in around the road encircling Mt. Etna.

Northward, the communiqué said, the U.S. 7th Army, aided by knife-wielding French Moroccan Goums, “have continued to oppress eastward.” U.S. units were past Cesarò, only 12 miles west of Randazzo.

Shell coastal road

The position of the German and Italian forces “becomes daily more difficult,” the communiqué said.

British warships bombarded the eastern coastal road twice last weekend, it was revealed, while Allied aircraft heavily pounded Messina, the main Axis escape port, and communications through southern Italy. Six small enemy vessels were sunk along the Sicilian coast by fighter-bombers.

The landing in the Torrenova area east of Sant’Agata was disclosed to have resulted in a frantic withdrawal by enemy forces along the North Sicilian coast.

The new Axis line was believed to anchor on Capo d’Orlando in the north and follow the 23-mile-long road southeastward to Randazzo on the northwestern slope of Mt. Etna.

From Randazzo eastward, the Axis holds a 15-mile stretch of road that joins the coastal route near Fiumefreddo, about 13 miles north of Acireale. Thus, capture of Randazzo in the center would wedge the routes linking the Messina triangle.

Support landing

The bombardments on the east took place Saturday and Sunday nights near Taormina, north of Fiumefreddo, and at Riposto and Acireale before that point was taken. It was disclosed that heavy U.S. warships supported the northern coast landing with a bombardment of enemy positions.

Heavy Allied bombers plastered the Messina road junctions yesterday while other Allied planes continued the sweeps and patrols designed to prevent an Axis escape. Three enemy planes were destroyed while three Allied planes were missing.

Vila is pounded by U.S. airmen

Japs ‘softened up’ for new drive in Pacific
By Brydon Taves, United Press staff writer

Axis rollback watched –
Trend studied by Roosevelt

Conference with Churchill still discussed

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Yanks get newscasts during Sicily attack

New York (UP) –
Every man on one of the ships participating in the Sicilian invasion knew what was happening every step of the way, Navy Lt. John Mason Brown, who was assigned to deliver a series of newscasts during the action over the ship’s public address system, said today.

Lt. Brown, former drama critic for the New York World-Telegram, said it was the idea of RAdm. Alan G. Kirk that all the men in this command were entitled to know what was happening.

The newscasts on Lt. Brown’s ship changed from background material and feature sketches, presented as the warships started across the Atlantic, to “spot news” descriptions as the armada approached the enemy shoreline. On the first night of the attack, Lt. Brown spent from 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. alternately observing the action and newscasting.

Scandal called ‘stench’ –
Army Air Forces are charged with aiding monopoly

House group says company using inferior airport fueling system bestowed favors on Air Force officers
By Thomas L. Stokes, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Dancer-economist blasts Dies as ‘pupil of Nazism’

Bounced bureaucrat says probe of un-Americanism is ‘an obstacle to winning the war’

U.S., Britain seek closer ties to Soviet Union

Opportunity to end war sooner than expected to be advanced
By Harrison Salisbury, United Press staff writer