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

‘Damned Americans’ shoot all time, Nazis complain

Harassed Germans do virtually all the defensive fighting in Sicily; Italians turn on them
By Richard Mowrer

With the 7th Army in Sicily, Italy –

These damned Americans fight all day and all night, and shoot all the time.

This phrase, taken from a German letter that was never mailed, adequately sums up the German soldier’s estimate of what he is up against in Sicily; numerous and aggressive Americans and lots of artillery fire, not to mention that of automatic weapons.

The Germans are fighting practically alone. Italian opposition is virtually nonexistent on the U.S. 7th Army’s front in northern Sicily.

Our troops meet some Italians, but they are few in number. Most of them are Blackshirt troops, who, since the fall of Mussolini, have been ordered to discard their Fascist Blackshirts for the uniform of the regular Italian Army.

Nazis in bad hole

Some Italian artillery forces are still supporting the Germans. But in the actual fighting line, it’s the Germans who are doing the fighting, with determination, skill and mounting desperation.

The Germans here are in a bad situation. They have the powerful U.S. 7th and British 8th Armies opposite them and the Allied air forces over their heads, and they are fighting at the deep extremity of the country of their Italian allies, who are close to collapse and whose troops do not want to fight anymore.

The Italians are even beginning to turn on the Germans. The Germans have complained of Italians firing on them, and stories of anti-German sabotage by Italian soldiers are becoming common. The Italians never liked their Nazi allies much, and now they resent them because they feel that the Germans are prolonging the war. As long as the Germans fight, at least on Italian soil, they are an obstacle to the peace which most Italians want more than anything else.

Advantage in defense

The Germans have had one advantage of fighting defensive actions in very rugged terrain. Being on the defensive, they could fortify heights and survey terrain for their artillery which we have had to attack. But they are up against superior odds.

They have had several divisions in Sicily, but these were not all full strength. The ghost of the old 15th Panzers, which surrendered to the British 8th Army in Tunisia, has appeared on this front. It now consists partly of Slovenes, Poles and Frenchmen from annexed territories.

What the Germans call the 15th Panzers is really “the phony 15th,” as far as we are concerned. In the estimate of U.S. officers who fought in Tunisia, the Germans in Sicily are not as tough as those they were up against in Africa.

Few airfields left

The Germans are up against a superior air force. Their own has been forced off Sicily to the extent that they have only a few landing strips on it, and no permanent airfields. Since Sunday, their planes have been more active, but never on a large scale.

By day, the Nazis limit themselves to the use of fighters equipped to carry bombs. Their bombers operate mostly at night.

Our artillery has been and continues to be very effective. The Germans do not like it at all. They have lost heavily to our artillery, which has blasted them repeatedly out of good positions.

Matter of hours

The Germans tried hard to maintain a continuous front from the north to the eastern shores of Sicily. So far, they have had the advantage of being in possession of high points along Mt. Etna’s slopes, which give them command of the surrounding country. But it I snow only a matter of hours, high-ranking American officers believe, until the Germans will be forced back so far that their continuous line will be divided in two by Etna.

Meanwhile:

The damned Americans are fighting all day and all night, and shooting all the time.

121 jobs opened by OPA cleanup of professors

Galbraith’s successor slated for discard as Bowles shows his hand

Seared victim of Cocoanut Grove Fire holds hope for life after 8 months

Boston, Massachusetts (UP) –
One of medical history’s most amazing fights for life was revealed today by physicians who for eight months have worked tirelessly at the bedside of a young Coast Guardsman burned almost beyond recognition in the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub holocaust.

Third-degree burns covered 65% of Clifford Johnson’s body when the 21-year-old Sumner, Missouri, sailor was dragged last Nov. 28 from the nightclub fire that cost 492 lives.

In a third-degree burn, the skin and possibly some of the tissue beneath has been destroyed. No other person in that fire who suffered more than 20% burns survived.

Since that night, Johnson, the only victim still hospitalized, has lain on his stomach. Three things have apparently kept him alive during those pain-wracked months – nutritional treatment, blood plasma and about $20,000 worth of the finest medical case obtainable.

Perhaps the first was the most important. Dr. Charles C. Lund of Brookline said that the nutritional treatment was a more important factor than sulfa drugs and the triple dye treatments.

From 168 pounds, Johnson dropped to 112 as the protein in his body drained from a normal of 6.5.% to 3.2%. to combat this, he was intravenously fed 6,500 calories daily as compared with the 3,500 calories required each day by a laborer. His daily caloric intake equaled about three pounds of meat.

The Navy and the Coast Guard gave nearly 100 transfusions from their blood banks into the youthful seaman’s veins – perhaps more than ever has been used by any one person in such a concentrated period.

Three physicians. Including Dr. Newton C. Browder, and six nurses have been in almost constant attendance at City Hospital. It was Dr. Browder who persuaded the Coast guard that Johnson should remain in that institution until his recovery was complete.

The American Red Cross donated almost $5,000 for nursing care. Burn specialists throughout the United States visited him to study this very rare case in medical history.

The National Research Council at Washington and the City Hospital’s Thorndike Memorial Laboratory have gathered information from his case that may revolutionize burn treatment.

Skin grafts on Johnson’s back are healing. He has passed through the most painful period and now wants to live. Doctors believe he will.

But these same physicians say it will be several months before he walks again and that by the time he is well, his medical care will have cost more than $50,000.

Editorial: Figure it out

Editorial: When soldiers come home

Editorial: Words are easy

Background of news –
Roosevelt’s reversal on bonus

By Jay G. Hayden, North American Newspaper Alliance

15 rail unions ready to order vote on strike

Officials hold conference to discuss plans for enforcing demands

Wallace longs for hot fight

Corporations blamed for idea of scarcity economics

Millett: Mrs. America can be nicer person after war

But she’ll have to remember to continue doing the little considerate things she’s doing now
By Ruth Millett

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Somewhere in Sicily, Italy – (by wireless)
Fewer than a third of the sailors on our ship were Regular Navy. And most of that third hadn’t been in the Navy many years. Most of our crew were young peacetime landlubbers who became sailors only because of the war and who were longing to get back to civil life.

These “amateurs” made a crew somewhat less efficient than you would have found before the war. They just haven’t had tome to become thoroughly adept. But their officers say they are all terribly willing.

Here are a few sketches of some of the men who made the wheels go ‘round on the ship I was on:

Joe Raymer: He’s an electrician’s mate first class. His home is at 51 South Burgess Ave., Columbus, Ohio. He is married, and has a daughter four years old. Joe was in the Navy from 1924 to 1928, so he knows his way around ships.

He is medium height, a pleasant fellow with a little silver in his hair and a cigar in his mouth. I don’t know why, but sailors smoking cigars have always seemed incongruous to me.

Before the war, Joe was a traveling salesman, and that’s what he intends to go back to. He worked for the Pillsbury flour people – had central-southern Ohio. He was a hot shot and no fooling. The year before he came back to the Navy, he sold more pancake flour than anybody else in America, and won himself a $500 bonus.

Warren Ream: His home is at Paradise, California, and he has worked for several years in the advertising departments of big Los Angeles stores – Bullock’s, Barker Brothers, Robinson’s. He arrived over here just in time to get aboard ship for the invasion. Actually, he thinks he wasn’t supposed to be aboard ship at all, but he was glad he didn’t miss it.

Ream is a storekeeper third class, but that doesn’t mean he keeps store. In fact, he does a little bit of everything from sweeping up to passing shells.

His life is a great contrast with what it used to be. Ream is the kind of fellow you would think would be tortured by the rough life of the Navy. But we were standing at the rail one day and he said:

I wonder what’s happened to the old Navy we used to read about. I remember hearing of skippers who could cuss for forty-five minutes without repeating themselves. But from what I’ve seen, skippers today can’t cuss any better than I can. I’m disappointed.

Harvey Heredeen: He is now a warrant officer, which means he eats in the wardroom and is called “mister.” But a man’s a man by any other name, and Mr. Heredeen looked exactly like what he has always been – a regular old-time chief petty officer. He got orders to return to the States just before we sailed, but you wouldn’t get an old-timer to miss a show like that. He got permission to postpone the homeward trip until after we had made the invasion.

Mr. Heredeen retired from the Navy in 1935 after 17 years of it, 12 of them in submarines. He had met a Memphis schoolteacher so he got married and settled down there in a job at the Linde Air Products Company, making oxygen. He came back two and a half years ago. He is 45 now.

Before long, he will be back in America instructing at submarine school. His nickname is “Spike,” and his home is at 1200 Tanglewood St., Memphis. Back home he was a deacon in the London Avenue Christian Church. He says not to make any wisecracks about his cussing and tobacco-chewing when I write him up. Okay, Deacon.

Harlem rules eased; Klan clue is traced

New York (UP) –
Police today eased restrictions imposed in Harlem after rioting Sunday night in which five Negroes were killed. Most of the stores wrecked by hoodlums reopened, although thousands of dollars’ worth of stock had been stolen.

Harlem residents were permitted to drive in and out of the district yesterday and Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia predicted all traffic would be resumed today. The ban on sales of liquor continued.

Police Commissioner Lewis J. Valentine said police were investigating reports that Ku Klux Klan agents or other agitators had been sent into Harlem from the South to create disturbances.

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Pegler: On the Harlem situation

By Westbrook Pegler

New York –
There is a disposition to give Mayor La Guardia much more credit than he deserves for the handling of the riot of a criminal element of Negroes in Harlem and to withhold from the New York policemen who faced the mobs and won the victory with a minimum of bloodshed and damage just that proportion of the credit which is due them. A correct proportion would be about 0.01% for the mayor and 99.09% for the cops, who are the best in the United States and probably the best in the world, their virtues and the problems considered.

In the first place, one reason why the looters and badmen and women could get out of hand was that the authority of the police has been undermined systematically in Harlem during La Guardia’s time in office. If, during all these years, the bad actors among the population of that Negro neighborhood had been held to the same standard of conduct and law observance that is required of Negro and white citizens alike in other sections of the city, rioters would have been no more likely to break loose there than in, say, Mulberry Bend or Murray Hill.

If, in one of these other regions, an individual or a group of three or four step out of line or refuse to break it up at the cop’s command, he simply picks his man and locks him up and that is that. In Harlem, on the contrary, the policemen have been victims of a special policy which has coddled the loafer and fancy-dan to the peril and embarrassment of the decent Negroes.

Harlem attracts bums, thieves

The decent Negro citizens know that the name of Harlem has attracted there an element of bums and thieves who were no good in their own hometowns and are no better here, and it was no compliment to the decent element when La Guardia put handcuffs on the policemen to hamper them in dealing with offenders who would be slapped down fast and locked up as a matter of routine if the law were faithfully and impartially enforced in Harlem. La Guardia has seemed to believe that the law-abiding, industrious Negro citizen would thank him for special lenience to the element of no-goods, of both sexes, who are neither an asset nor a credit to any community.

A couple of years ago, I made the mistake of criticizing a large number of New York policemen, many of them relatively young fellows, who, having served their 20 years on the force, were putting in for retirement on pension, according to their legal right. To my regret, I went so far as to suggest that their retirement was then comparable to desertion in the face of an emergency presented by a foreign enemy, without first consulting a few harness cops and others of the rank and file to get their side.

I got it, however, a few days later, in a large batch of letters from policemen, many of whom gave their names, in which the man complained bitterly of humiliations put upon them by La Guardia in public disparagements of individual policemen and in the discredit of their authority as cops in Harlem and in troubles with union pickets. If they stayed on, as many of them said they would have been willing to under any mayor whose fairness they could count upon, they had to take the risk of departmental charges and dismissal with consequent loss of all their earned pension rights.

The mayor was aghast

They felt that La Guardia had treated them badly and were unwilling to serve longer under him and were standing on their rights. Their version of conditions in Harlem was later confirmed by two able men then on the District Attorney’s staff who also said the communists of La Guardia’s left wing in Harlem, where Congressman Vito Marcantonio is a power and the mayor’s political protégé. Enjoyed special privileges and contrived to keep affairs in a touchy condition all the time by turning into a case of Cossack persecution every altercation between a policeman, whether Negro or white, and any Negro mischief maker.

Having helped stack the crates and barrels by his anti-cop policy over a number of years, the mayor was then aghast when the pile was touched off by a fracas between a policeman and two Negroes whose little mishap should have been a routine entry. But it was the cops, operating under reduced prestige who had to do the dangerous work in the streets to save the peace of the rest of the city and protect the lives of the great majority of law-abiding Harlem Negroes.

La Guardia was technically correct in saying that this was no race riot but nevertheless, in the imagination of the rioters, it was just that and for this reason certain elements of the Negro press cannot escape responsibility. Even Mrs. Roosevelt has mildly deplored this editorial policy of these papers which, frankly, is one of race hatred and incitation and of ennoblement of every Negro in any jam with the law, even though the subject be known to his Negro neighbors as a worthless badman.

It was grievously unfair to the brave and conscientious New York policemen and to the decent Negroes of Harlem to handicap the law in Harlem and this riot was due in no small part of that policy.

Völkischer Beobachter (August 5, 1943)

Die Bedeutung der Schlucht um Mius –
Bolschewistischer Großangriff wurde zur schweren Niederlage

Neuer großer Abwehrerfolg auf Sizilien

dnb. Aus dem Führer-Hauptquartier, 4. August –
Das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht gibt bekannt:

In der Schlacht am Mius haben Infanterie- und Panzerverbände des Heeres und der Waffen-SS unter Führung des Generalfeldmarschalls von Manstein und des Generals der Infanterie Hollidt mit vorbildlicher Unterstützung der von General der Flieger Deßloch geführten Luftwaffenverbände wiederholte Durchbruchsversuche starker feindlicher Kräfte vereitelt und im schwungvollen Gegenangriff den nördlich Kuibyschewo eingebrochenen Feind geschlagen. Bis zum 2. August wurden in diesen Kämpfen 17.895 Gefangene eingebracht, 730 Panzer, 703 Geschütze und 398 Granatwerfer sowie zahlreiche andere Waffen und umfangreiches Kriegsmaterial erbeutet oder vernichtet. Die Verluste des Feindes an Toten betragen ein Vielfaches der Gefangenenzahl.

An der Donezfront und im Raum von Bjelgorod versuchte der Feind mit mehreren Infanteriedivisionen und Panzerverbänden bei starker Fliegerunterstützung die Front zu durchbrechen. Während der Durchbruchsversuch am Donez aufgefangen und die Sowjets im sofortigen Gegenangriff zurückgeworfen wurden, sind die harten Kämpfe bei Bjelgorod noch nicht abgeschlossen.

An der Orelfront setzten die Bolschewisten ihre heftigen Angriffe mit Schwerpunkt südwestwärts der Stadt fort. Sie wurden unter Vernichtung vieler Panzer überall blutig abgewehrt. Starke Verbände der Luftwaffe griffen zusammen mit ungarischen Kampffliegern in die Kämpfe des Heeres ein und bombardierten Tag und Nacht Eisenbahnziele sowie Ausladungen im rückwärtigen Gebiet des Feindes.

Auch südlich des Ladogasees brachen feindliche Angriffe mit Panzer- und Schlachtfliegerunterstützung vor unseren Stellungen zusammen.

Fliegende Verbände und Flakartillerie der Luftwaffe vernichteten gestern an der Ostfront eine große Anzahl sowjetischer Panzer und schossen 118 feindliche Flugzeuge ab. In den beiden letzten Tagen wurden an der Ostfront 261 Panzer allein durch Einheiten des Heeres und der Waffen-SS vernichtet.

Im Seegebiet von Murmansk versenkten schnelle deutsche Kampfflugzeuge zwei feindliche Küstenfrachter und ein sowjetisches Schnellboot.

Auf Sizilien haben deutsche und italienische Truppen erneut in tagelangen schweren Kämpfen gegen einen vielfach überlegenen Gegner und bei schwierigsten Gelände- und Klimaverhältnissen einen großen Abwehrerfolg errungen. Nordamerikanische Divisionen versuchten immer wieder den mittleren Abschnitt der Front zu durchbrechen. Alle Angriffe scheiterten jedoch unter schwersten Verlusten an Menschen und Material. In der Zeit vom 10. bis 31. Juli wurden durch unsere auf der Erde kämpfenden Truppen 309 britisch-nordamerikanische Panzer vernichtet. Fliegende Verbände, Flakartillerie der Luftwaffe und Verbände des Heeres schossen im gleichen Zeitraum im Mittelmeerraum 199 Flugzeuge ab, davon allein 132 über Sizilien.

Bei Tagesvorstößen schwächerer feindlicher Fliegerverbände in die besetzten Westgebiete wurden neun Flugzeuge zum Absturz gebracht.

Sicherungsstreitkräfte der Kriegsmarine versenkten in mehrstündigen Gefechten nördlich Terschelling ohne eigene Ausfälle drei britische Schnellboote und beschädigten ein weiteres so schwer, daß mit seinem Verlust zu rechnen ist. Ein fünftes Schnellboot wurde in Brand geschossen.

Rumäniens Presse zum Abwehrerfolg von Ploesti –
‚Unser Himmel ist gut verteidigt‘

dnb. Bukarest, 4. August –
Die Bukarester Morgenpresse steht stark im Zeichen des glänzenden Erfolges der verbündeten deutsch-rumänischen Abwehrkräfte im Erdölgebiet von Ploesti. In großer Aufmachung heben die Blätter auf der ersten Seite in ausführlichen Fassungen die Erfolgsmeldungen und Abschußziffern sowie deutsche Pressestimmen zu den Luftkämpfen über dem Boden Rumäniens hervor. In den Überschriften der Kommentare kommt der Wille des rumänischen Volkes zur Verteidigung seines Luftraumes zum Ausdruck. Gleichzeitig wird die Tatsache hervorgehoben, daß die hohen Abschußzahlen einen großartigen Beweis für das fliegerische Können und den Kampfgeist der eingesetzten deutsch-rumänischen Jäger darstellten.

„Unser Himmel ist gut verteidigt,“ schreibt Timpul und weist darauf hin, daß der Mißerfolg der Amerikaner am Sonntag über Ploesti selbst von den Feinden zugegeben werde. Die rumänische Öffentlichkeit habe den amerikanischen Großangriff mit Ruhe aufgenommen, die einen Beweis darstellen müsse, daß Rumäniens seelischer Panzer genau so stark sei wie der seiner Waffen.

Universul hebt hervor, daß das rumänische Volk fortfahren werde, sich mit jenem Mut zu verteidigen, den es aus den großen Beispielen seiner Geschichte gelernt habe.

Curentul schildert die großen Vorbereitungen, die dem amerikanischen Angriff auf Ploesti vorausgegangen seien. Das Ergebnis dieses Angriffes stehe jedoch in keinem Verhältnis weder zu diesen Vorbereitungen noch zu den eingesetzten Kräften und den erlittenen Verlusten.

Die Reaktion des rumänischen Volkes angesichts der Gefahr – so schreibt Viatza – habe den mutigen Geist und den Kampfeswillen des gesamten Volkes zum Ausdruck gebracht. Die Haltung der Zivilbevölkerung in den vom Bombardement betroffenen Ortschaften sei hervorragend gewesen und habe die ganze Einsatzbereitschaft des Volkes bewiesen. Alle Abwehrmaßnahmen hätten sich auf das beste bewährt und die deutschen und rumänischen Jäger hätten im engsten Zusammenwirken ganze Arbeit geleistet. Der Feind habe seinen Versuch, das Erdölgebiet zu zerstören und die moralische Widerstandskraft des rumänischen Volkes zu brechen, teuer bezahlen müssen.

Gescheiterte Durchbruchsversuche

dnb. Rom, 4. August –
Der italienische Wehrmachtbericht vom Mittwoch lautet:

Die heftigen Kämpfe, die seit vier Tagen an der sizilianischen Front wüten, haben im Mittelabschnitt zwischen Regalbuto und Centuripe einen besonders erbitterten Charakter angenommen. In diesem Frontabschnitt sind durch den fest entschlossenen Widerstand der Truppen mehrere mit starken Kräften ausgeführte Durchbruchsversuche des Gegners erfolgreich zurückgeschlagen worden.

Die Luftwaffe hat an den Bodenkämpfen teilgenommen und feindliche Bodenziele und Schiffe angegriffen.

Im östlichen Ionischen Meer wurden von deutschen Jägern drei „Liberator“-Maschinen zerstört und von unseren Minenräumbooten zwei zweimotorige Flugzeuge vernichtet.

Italienische Feststellungen –
Kapitulation wäre Schande und Elend

Italienische Pressestimmen stellen heraus, daß die bedingungslose Kapitulation, die England und Amerika von Italien fordern, den gegenwärtigen und allen künftigen Geschlechtern Italiens den Stempel der Schande aufdrücken würde.

Tribuna schreibt, das italienische Volk sei nicht so, wie der Feind annimmt. An der Seite Deutschlands gehe der Krieg weiter. Italien halte sein gegebenes Wort. Lavoro Italiana erklärt, das ganze Volk stehe im Krieg und blicke auf Sizilien. Italien könne die Grenzen der Ehre nicht verlassen, ohne sich selbst für immer zu beflecken und ohne das Recht auf den Respekt der freien Völker zu verlieren.

Tapfere Flak auf Sizilien

dnb. Berlin, 4. August –
Flakbatterien der Luftwaffe haben sich auf Sizilien gemeinsam mit den Verbänden des Heeres mit besonderer Tapferkeit geschlagen. Eine bei Porte Empedocle eingesetzte schwere Flakbatterie schlug sechs Tage lang, bis zum Ausfall der letzten Kanone, sämtliche Landungsversuche der Briten und Nordamerikaner an dieser Stelle ab. Die Flakkanoniere wichen keinen Meter zurück, auch dann nicht, als der Feind mit schweren und schwersten Schiffsgeschützen auf die Stellung dieser einzigen Flakbatterie einhämmerte.

Auch der britisch-amerikanischen Luftwaffe fügten unsere Flakartilleristen empfindliche Verluste zu. So wurden in der Zeit vom 10. Juli bis zum 27 Juli 73 Flugzeuge und Lastensegler abgeschossen, während bei der Bekämpfung von Erdzielen 12 Panzer vernichtet und eine größere Anzahl schwer beschädigt wurden. Bei der Abwehr feindlicher Angriffe von See her versenkten die deutschen Flakbatterien zwei Schnellboote, eine Korvette und sieben Landungsfahrzeuge. Drei Kreuzer wurden durch mehrere Salven getroffen und zum Abdrehen gezwungen und ein Zerstörer in Brand geschossen.

The Pittsburgh Press (August 5, 1943)

CATANIA FALLS TO BRITISH
Allies shatter southern flank of Axis defense

Drive threatens to trap elite German forces chased from eastern Sicilian port
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer

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Victory at Catania was scored by the Allies in the capture of the heavily-defended Sicilian city (1). Paternò to the west was also occupied. The two roads for escape of the Axis troops in the Catania area (2) were blocked, the western road by the capture of Paternò and the eastern highway by naval shelling. In the north, U.S. troops (3) drove toward Randazzo.

Allied HQ, North Africa –
The Allies crumpled the lower end of the Axis line across southeast Sicily today by capturing Catania and the nearby transport junctions of Paternò and Gerbini, and to the north beat back the enemy defenses with a shattering land, sea and air bombardment.

The British 8th Army swept across the Catania plain under cover of the intense artillery fire and seized the ancient city of Catania to blast out the southeastern anchor of the wilting Axis line.

Other forces swarmed around to the northwest and took Paternò, core of a highway network keying the communications around the western slopes of Mt. Etna. The thrust threatened to trap the elite German troops who were thrown out of Catanias.

The 8th Army also seized Gerbini, 12 miles west of Catania and center of a major cluster of Axis airfields.

With the liquidation of the Sicilian campaign described as “only a matter of time” after the British 8th Army entered Catania, the Americans and Canadians pounded forward through stiffened resistance and heavy minefields on the central and north coast fronts in their drive to push the Axis back toward heavily-bombed Messina, last port of exit from the island.

Ned Russell, United Press correspondent, said in a dispatch from Catania that the hungry inhabitants of the city gave the British troops a tumultuous welcome.

The fall of Catania was followed quickly by the seizure of Paternò, which is an important road junction about 12 miles to the northwest in a web formed by mountainous roads and a railroad looping around the west side of Mt. Etna.

The Allied gain cut one of the main roads by which the Germans and Italians could escape from the Catania trap and put British forces near or astride the only railroad on the western slopes of Mt. Etna. Allied warships and bombers hammered the other escape road on the east side of the peak.

The fall of Paternò and Catania appeared to doom the town of Misterbianco, midway between the two bigger towns and on the main escape road out of Catania (Misterbianco means Mr. White).

The Americans pushing from Troina toward Randazzo and the Canadians hammering toward Adrano, which guards the only road by which the enemy can circle west of Mt. Etna, were reported fighting in the most difficult terrain. The enemy had laid heavy minefields in their paths and moved up mobile guns, as well as elements of the 15th Panzer Division.

The Allied forces are compelled to attack uphill at almost every point against hidden gun emplacements, often dug deeply into the rocks.

The doom of Catania had been sealed by the capture of Centuripe which gave the Allies high ground from which to blast ahead.

Despite a desperate enemy rearguard action, the British broke through to Catania from the south while the 78th Division attacked from the northwest and Canadians smashed into the enemy western flank. Many prisoners were taken and many others appeared to be trapped as the Allied offensive neared the road and railroad bottleneck at Adrano, only eight miles north of Paternò.

The British 8th Army under Gen. Sir Bernard L. Montgomery crashed into Sicily’s second city at 8:30 a.m., after the sun-browned Northumbrians of the 50th Division (who crashed the Mareth Line in Tunisia), the 51st Highlanders, and the veterans of the 78th Division (who fought at Dunkirk) had slugged their way through the strongest enemy defenses on the island.

In London, observers suggested that all organized resistance in Sicily might be overwhelmed in three days. The German radio said Catania had been evacuated in “the most successful maneuvers” yet carried out in Sicily “to mislead the enemy.” The Nazi broadcast said the Germans had retired to a much stronger line behind Catania.

The best Axis troops, including remnants of the reformed 6th Army which was liquidated at Stalingrad, the armored Hermann Göring Division, the 15th Panzer Division, the 29th Motorized Division and units of paratroops who were sworn to fight to the death, vainly attempted to check the Allied advance.

Allied pilots returning from Catania said military targets there were pitted with bombs, especially in the railroad yards south of the town where tracks and sheds were directly hit. The Dacino di Ponente customs house was badly damaged and part of the central station destroyed. The northern part of the town was wrecked by fire, all airdromes were hard hit and the Fascist Party headquarters damaged, but much of the residential section was only slightly damaged.

The port of Catania was not damaged as badly as other ports in Sicily such a Palermo and Trapani, although several sunken ships were in the harbor.

In the air, U.S. Flying Fortresses rocked Naples, Italy’s biggest port, with its fourth blockbuster raid in four days, reminding Italians that they will see only destruction and death until they capitulate.

Allied fighters and fighter-bombers destroyed 60 enemy trucks and other vehicles in behind-the-lines attacks yesterday to facilitate the ground advance. Eighty other vehicles were damaged.

The submarine base and docks were the main targets at Naples and the communiqué said they were “well covered by bombs.” One merchant ship was left afire. Eleven intercepting aircraft were shot down as the Fortresses ran into the heaviest aerial opposition in some time.

British Wellington bombers also attacked the Italian mainland Tuesday night, hitting Paolo and Catanzaro on the east coast of the toe of the boot, and Marauder medium bombers followed through with daylight raids on the same targets yesterday. The two towns are situated on the railway running from Naples down to Reggio Calabria, opposite Sicily.

U.S. motor torpedo boats were revealed to have joined small British craft in sweeping the Strait of Messina of Axis shipping.

The Northwest African Air Forces, now largely operating from Sicilian bases, maintained heavy shuttle attacks on enemy supply dumps, road communications and motor transport throughout yesterday, leaving blazing supplies and trucks in their wake.

Other night bombers heavily attacked Messina and Battipaglia, another important junction on the Naples-Reggio Calabria railroad, last night.

Three Allied planes were lost in all operations in the 24 hours ended last midnight and further reports shows that six additional Allied planes were lost Tuesday.

Axis planes have put in a sudden reappearance, it was revealed, and have attacked Allied shipping in Palermo Harbor on the north coast of Sicily several times in the last five days. Minor damage was caused, the communiqué said, and U.S. warships drove off the raiders with anti-aircraft guns.

At least seven out of a formation of 30 Ju 88 dive bombers were shot down in a pre-dawn raid last night.

MUNDA SEIZED BY AMERICANS
Jap force being cut to pieces

First objective attained in Allied Pacific offensive
By Brydon Taves, United Press staff writer

U.S. Sicily toll is 501 dead, 2,370 missing up to July 22

About 100,000 Axis troops captured, Stimson says

Washington –
U.S. casualties in Sicily, up to July 22, numbered 501 killed, 3,870 wounded and 2,370 missing, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson announced today.

He said Italian and German prisoners taken by the Allies now number about 100,000. The number of enemy killed and wounded is also believed to be substantial.

Secretary Stimson said U.S. losses were moderate considering nature of the fighting and the terrain. British casualties were not a great deal higher than the American, he added.

While details of casualties since July 22 are not available, they are believed to be light.

Secretary Stimson said losses of U.S. B-24 Liberator bombers in the raid on the Ploești oil fields in Romania amounted to 20%, but a devastating blow was struck at vital oil resources, representing about one-third of the Axis oil production. A total of 177 Liberators participated in the raid. Eight were forced to land in Turkey.

More than 50 enemy fighters were destroyed in the raid, on which the Liberators flew 2,400 miles from the Middle East.

Secretary Stimson hailed Russian capture of Orel as a major victory. Likewise, he said, the capture of Catania by the British in Sicily will oblige the enemy to withdraw into northern Sicily to a narrow corridor highly vulnerable to attack by air and sea.

The Secretary, who returned only last Saturday from an inspection of U.S. troops in North Africa, England and Iceland, said he had seen evidence everywhere of America’s present military might. Not so long ago, he said, America’s military strength was merely a boast.

WPB rejects bedrock plan for civilians

No unnecessary sacrifices seen by Whiteside in OCR report