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

Luncheon, 1:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom Canada
Admiral Leahy Mrs. Churchill Lieutenant General Stuart
General Brooke
Lieutenant General Ismay

The Pittsburgh Press (August 14, 1943)

Austria bombed by Yanks

Vienna airplane factory blasted in 2,600-mile raid
By Joseph W. Grigg, United Press staff writer

Screenshot 2022-08-14 033014
Liberators over Austria, in a 2,600-mile roundtrip raid from Middle East bases, bombed a German plane plant south of Vienna.

London, England –
A large force of U.S. Liberator bombers from the Middle East Command smashed at one of Germany’s biggest aircraft plants south of Vienna in a record 2,600-mile daylight raid yesterday, a communiqué revealed today.

Demonstrating to a bomb-jittery Germany that virtually no corner of its domain is now beyond the range of Allied aircraft, the giant four-engined planes dropped tons of explosive and firebombs on the Wiener Neustadt Messerschmitt works. The raid was within hours of bombing attacks in the Axis capitals – Berlin and Rome.

U.S. pilots dropped more than 350,000 pounds of explosives on the aircraft plant at Wiener Neustadt and on their return to their bases said they left it “a shambles.”

A communiqué broadcast by the Berlin radio acknowledged that the attack caused damage to buildings in “southeastern Germany” and casualties in “one place.”

The raid, the first by planes of the Western Allies on Austria, coincided with the daylight attack by Northwest Africa-based U.S. Flying Fortresses and medium bombers on Rome.

The Liberators were drawn from the U.S. 9th Air Force with headquarters in Cairo, the same force which sent a formation sweeping across Southern Europe to blast the Ploești oil fields in Romania two weeks ago. The Vienna flight was 150 miles longer than that to Ploești.

Crossing the Mediterranean and the heart of the Balkans, U.S. pilots were believed to have dealt a shattering blow to Germany’s already-faltering aircraft industry.

The Wiener Neustadt works, situated about 30 miles south of Vienna, employs several thousand workers in four or five big assembly plants which, when a member of the former United Press staff in Berlin visited them about two years ago, were turning out about 30 planes a week.

Wiener Neustadt also has one of the largest advanced air-training schools in Germany. Both plant and schools are situated on flat, open country easily identifiable from the air. The Germans had always considered the area “safe” because it was beyond the range of British-based aircraft.

The plant was opened in 1940 as one of the first steps in Adolf Hitler’s program of industrial dispersal.

The Cairo communiqué said all planes participating in the raid had been “accounted for,” an indication that casualties were comparatively small. A Zürich dispatch reported that a Liberator crash-landed in northeastern Switzerland yesterday. Apparently, it took part in the Austrian raid.

One intercepting Me 109 was shot down, the communiqué said.

The Swiss radio said that British planes flew over Sofia, dropping leaflets on the Bulgarian capital.

Hungarian radio broadcasts told of great waves of Allied planes crossing Hungary in a northwestern direction yesterday and the raid obviously lent weight to recent Allied warnings to Hungarian workers to leave factories since they soon might feel the impact of Anglo-American bombs.

It also emphasized the futility of German efforts to move their war industries and government departments out of the range of Allied bombers. Reports had reached London that the German Foreign Ministry had already been evacuated to Vienna and thousands of refugees from the bomb-pocked Ruhr and Rhineland had also been sent to the Austrian city.

Though no British or American planes ever raided Austria previously, Russian bombers have attacked Vienna on several occasions.

The Germans were so confident that Allied bombers would never attack the Wiener Neustadt factories that they did not bother even to camouflage them. Two years ago, there were no anti-aircraft guns in the vicinity. Vienna and neighboring cities have only dim-outs, not blackouts.

All individual parts used in the latest-type Messerschmitt fighters and bombers were manufactured in the sprawling plants. The planes were then assembled on moving belts in American massed-production style.

Once completed, the planes were moved out onto the plant’s own airfield for testing.

In one large building, aluminum was poured to make special light airplane alloy material.

More than half the workers in the factory were known to be women.

British Wellington bombers from the Middle East scored a torpedo hit on an enemy merchant vessel in the Aegean Thursday night, the Cairo communiqué said. When last seen, the vessel was settling by the stern.

Anglo-U.S. army racing to clamp trap around foe

Allied troops cut off many soldiers in Sicily mountains; planes batter ships evacuating Germans, Italians
By Reynolds Packard, United Press staff writer

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Nearing the end of the trail in Sicily, Axis forces today were streaming across the narrow Strait of Messina as British and U.S. troops closed in. U.S. forces seized Piraino on the north coast. Americans also occupied Floresta in the drive from captured Randazzo, while the British 8th Army thrust around Mt. Etna after capturing Giarre on the east coast. Axis troops were fleeing toward Barcellona and Taormina from the center of the front.

Allied HQ, North Africa –
Axis evacuation of Sicily is in full swing across the Strait of Messina, it was announced today, as the beaten German Army raced to the coast in an effort to escape a deathtrap closed tighter by the capture of five more towns in Allied advances of 2-7 miles.

German troops pulling out of the crumbling Messina bridgehead fled across the narrow three- to 10-mile-wide straits to the Italian mainland under battering attack by Allied planes despite heavy anti-aircraft fire.

Headquarters reports said the trickle of escaping enemy forces had grown to a tide. Every type of boat was pressed into service.

Allied planes sank six small enemy craft off the coast while British motor torpedo boats, slipping into Messina Harbor Wednesday night, torpedoed three merchantmen.

The Allied armies squeezing relentlessly on the faltering Axis lines now dominate all of the Mt. Etna area, it was announced, and may have cut off many enemy troops in the mountains holding rearguard positions.

The Allies speeded up their advance on all fronts, overrunning the Axis rearguard resistance at a pace limited largely by the rugged terrain, as the enemy write-off of the bridgehead became evident from the evacuation.

The wholesale withdrawal under the telling blows of Allied planes and warships collapsed the framework of the Axis defenses everywhere.

The Germans massed many ships and small boats from Italian fishing ports and bathing beaches after the fall of Randazzo, the key to the defense of the island tip, and scrambled for the mainland with every resource at their command.

A-20 Boston assault planes hammered the beaches and railways leading to the beaches. Waves of U.S. and British Warhawk and Kittyhawk fighter-bombers wrecked at least six craft and damaged 16 more.

Wellingtons of the Royal Air Force, taking advantage of the moonlight, went after the troops reaching debarkation points on the mainland beaches.

U.S. troops broke the backbone of Axis resistance yesterday when they charged into Randazzo, mountain town commanding the pass of the same name between Mt. Etna and the Caronian Mountains.

The Germans left the town a mass of flames. It was full of timebombs, which exploded intermittently throughout the day and night. Boobytraps of all kinds were left in and around the town.

Details revealed that Randazzo was taken by a hooking maneuver by which the U.S. Army’s 9th Division entered the town from the west and the British 78th Division from the south.

Allied advances in all sectors in the past 48 hours had won entire regions of the fast-shrinking Axis bridgehead, and the total number of prisoners had increased to between 140,000 and 150,000.

The great bulk of the Axis equipment was being left behind on the Sicilian shores, since the Germans were unable to use any big ships for the dangerous passage between legendary Scylla and Charybdis – the ramparts on either side of the Strait of Messina.

Seizes Floresta

One U.S. column, after consolidating positions in Randazzo, thrust seven miles up the road to Capo d’Orlando and seized Floresta.

The American north coast column advanced two miles from Brolo and captured Piraino, six miles east of Capo d’Orlando, while British forces pounding along the east coast advanced their line three miles along a five-mile front with the capture of Giarre, Riposto and Milo, all 16 miles north of Catania.

Axis line unhinged

Riposto lies on the coast and Giarre and Milo are on a line due west up the slopes of Mt. Etna.

The communiqué reported that the Allies were “steadily pushing” enemy rearguards east from Randazzo, whose capture by the Americans yesterday unhinged the Axis line and split the defenders into two columns racing desperately for Messina and a chance to escape to the Italian mainland.

The thrust through Randazzo left the Axis command in a situation paralleling that in Tunisia following the capture of Tunis and Bizerte, observers said.

Garrison flees

The bulk of the Randazzo garrison was believed fleeing over a tortuous, winding road toward the north coast town of Barcellona, 18 miles west of Messina, or eastward toward Taormina, 28 miles south of Messina.

Allied advances along both coastal roads may close these avenues of escape for the troops in the mountainous interior. The Americans at last reports were some 20 airmiles from Barcellona, while the British 8th Army was only a few miles from Fiumefreddo, some six miles below Taormina.

From Fiumefreddo, the British could slash westward around the northern slopes of Mt. Etna and attack the Germans from the rear.

Front reduced

The capture of Randazzo reduced the Axis front from the north to the east coasts to a mere 30 miles and gave the Allies control of three-quarters of the circumference of Mt. Etna.

The key highway junction fell after some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the Sicilian campaign. Deep minefields protected by machine guns and artillery slowed the advance. Sweating, woolen-clad U.S. troops finally entered the city at 9:35 a.m. yesterday.

Canadian soldiers withdrawn for rest

London, England (UP) –
Canadian military sources indicated today that Dominion troops in Sicily have been withdrawn from the frontlines for a badly-needed rest.

The Canadian units, these sources said, were relieved several days ago after fighting continuously since the initial Allied landing in Sicily, and are now being regrouped in rest areas.

While there has been no official announcement of the move, it was pointed out that the length of the fighting front has been reduced since the juncture of the U.S. 7th and the British 8th Armies in the Mt. Etna area, making it possible for the Canadians to be relieved.

Vatican told of decision, radio claims

Announcement viewed as possible effort to propagandize

Roosevelt: Allies stand on threshold of big things

President lauds Atlantic Charter, asks more Social Security

Washington (UP) –
President Roosevelt said today that the onward-driving United Nations “stand upon the threshold of major developments in this war.”

He added:

We are determined that we shall gain total victory over our enemies.

In a statement simultaneously commemorating the second anniversary of the signing of the Atlantic Charter and the eighth anniversary of enactment of the U.S. Social Security Act, the President said the “forces of liberation” are already making “a living reality of one principle enunciated in the charter – self-determination of peoples.

To meet again

The charter was signed by Mr. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill two years ago in a warship off Newfoundland. That was the first of their historic meetings. Now they are about to hold a sixth conference, in Québec, for a full-dress military review of strategy for victory.

Since 1941, the Atlantic Charter has been embodied in a United Nations Declaration, signed by representatives of all the Allied nations.

The complete text follows:

Today, on the second anniversary of the signing of the Atlantic Charter, I would cite particularly two of its purposes and principles on which we base our “hopes for a better future for the world.”

First – respect for the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live. When the Atlantic Charter was first signed, there were those who said that this was impossible of achievement. And yet, today, as the forces of liberation march on, the right of self-determination is becoming once more a living reality.

Second – worldwide collaboration with the object of security, for all; of improved labor standards, economic adjustment, and social security.

‘Humanitarian law’

It happens that today is also the anniversary of the day, in 1935, when our own American Social Security Act became law.

That humanitarian law made a real beginning toward the abolition of want in this country. More than 60 million workers with their own contributions are building security for their old age and for their families in case of death. Several million are already enjoying benefits. However, in all fairness, and in all equity, we should extend these benefits to farmers, farm laborers, small businessmen, and others working for themselves or in occupations specifically excluded by law. We should extend social security to provide protection against the serious economic hazard of ill health.

‘Total victory’ goal

We are now fighting a great war. We fight on the side of the United Nations, each and every one of whom has subscribed to the purposes and principles of the Atlantic Charter.

Today, we stand upon the threshold of major developments in this war. We are determined that we shall gain total victory over our enemies, and we recognize the fact that our enemies are not only Germany, Italy, and Japan: they are all the forces of. oppression, intolerance, insecurity, and injustice which have impeded the forward march of civilization.

The six points of the charter not mentioned by Mr. Roosevelt included statements adjuring any desire for territorial aggrandizement, opposing any territorial changes “that do not accord with the freely-expressed wishes of the peoples concerned,” promising that raw materials will be available to all countries, expressing how for a peace guaranteeing security to all nations with “assurance that all men in all lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want,” declaring that all persons should be able to travel “without hindrance” on the high seas; and asserting that disarmament of aggressor nations is essential.

Errol Flynn cruising with new redhead

Actor denies he will marry 19-year-old bomber builder

Driving hopes postponed –
More gas due Eastern area Sept. 1 – maybe

A, B and C coupon cuts made for Midwest, Gulf, Southwest

There go the Marines

By Florence Fisher Parry

Congressmen visit park in line of duty

Bankhead hits those fighting U.S.-paid ads

Charges of threat to freedom of press are called ‘absurd’

FCC chairman raps methods of House group

Procedure has ‘sunk to lowest level,’ he says of probe

Yanks shatter Salamaua base

Much of New Guinea town pulverized by bombs
By Brydon Taves, United Press staff writer

Staff chiefs reach Québec

Roosevelt is expected to follow for conference
By John A. Reichmann, United Press staff writer

Québec, Canada –
The arrival here of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff was accepted today as indicating that President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill would soon follow for the sixth meeting.

Reliable sources in London said Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden was “likely” to come here to attend the Roosevelt-Churchill conferences. They thought the President and Prime Minister might take “special measures” to increase Anglo-American collaboration with Russia but were not certain whether Mr. Eden would later go to Moscow.

The time of arrival of the principals was a closely-guarded secret.

Leahy heads staff

Adm. William D. Leahy, who has officers in the White House and is in constant communication with Mr. Roosevelt on all military matters as chief of staff to the Commander-in-Chief, headed the U.S. military personages arriving for the conference.

The others were U.S. Army Gen. George C. Marshall (Chief of Staff), Adm. Ernest J. King (Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet), Gen. H. H. Arnold (commanding the Army Air Forces) and Gen. Brehon B. Somervell (Chief of Service of Supplies).

The announcement of their arrival said Brig. Gen. John F. Dean, Secretary to the U.S. Army Chiefs of Staff, and Capt. Forrest Royal (USN), Deputy Secretary, are also here.

It was assumed that the chiefs of staff would at once settle down to working out the master military strategy with the British experts who arrived with Mr. Churchill which it is hoped, may knock the European Axis out of the war this year.

They were also expected to study plans whereby the war may be carried to Japan, while not relenting the offensive on the European front.

Won’t neglect politics

While the arrival of the officers brought home to many correspondents the fact that the Roosevelt-Churchill discussion will be primarily of a military nature – rather than on political subjects and post-war planning – it was also made clear that the latter factor will not be neglected entirely.

This is because political subjects may of themselves be of the utmost importance in winning the war. This has been made clear in the North African campaign, where lack of a clearly-defined political policy at times, at least, threatened the military venture. It also happened in Italy when the resignation of Benito Mussolini caught the Allies unprepared.

Editorial: Stumbling through

Editorial: War babies

Ferguson: Wanted – Faith

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Millett: Many soldiers won’t want to go back to old jobs

So war wives should be prepared to ‘start over’ with their husbands after the duration
By Ruth Millett

Contract records show –
Gas flotation combine costs ‘pretty penny’

How monopoly can be built up and keep stranglehold revealed
By Thomas L. Stokes, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Editorial: Racial blight

By the Religious News Service

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Somewhere in Sicily, Italy – (August 11, by wireless)
Probably it isn’t clear to you just how the Army’s setup for the care of the sick and wounded works on a battlefront. So, I’ll try to picture it for you.

Let’s take the medical structure for a whole division, such as the 45th, which I have been with recently. A division runs roughly 15,000 men. And almost 1,000 of that number are medical men.

To begin right at the front, three enlisted medical-aid men go along with every company. They give what first aid they can on the battlefield. Then litter-bearers carry the wounded back to a battalion aid station.

Sometimes a wounded man is taken back right away. Other times he may be pinned down by fire so that the aid men can’t get to him, and he will have to lie out there for hours before help comes. Right there in the beginning is the biggest obstacle, and the weakest feature of the Army’s medical setup.

Once a soldier is removed from the battlefield, his treatment is superb. The battalion aid station is his first of many stops as he is worked to the rear, and finally to a hospital. An aid station is merely where the battalion surgeon and his assistant happen to be. It isn’t a tent or anything like that – it’s just the surgeon’s medical chest and a few stretchers under a tree. Each station is staffed by two doctors and 36 enlisted men. They are very frequently under fire.

Clearing stations leapfrog

At an aid station a wounded man gets what is immediately necessary, depending on the severity of his wounds. The idea all along is to do as little actual surgical work as possible, but at each stop merely to keep a man in good enough condition to stand the trip on back to the hospital, where they have full facilities for any kind of work. Hence if a soldier’s stomach is ripped open, they do an emergency operation right at the front but leave further operating to be done at a hospital. If his leg is shattered by shrapnel, they bind it up in a metal rack, but the operating and setting isn’t done till he gets back to the hospital. They use morphine and blood plasma copiously at the forward stations to keep sinking men going.

From the battalion aid station, the wounded are taken by ambulance, jeep, truck or any other means back to a collecting station. This is a few tents run by five doctors and a hundred enlisted men, anywhere from a quarter of a mile to several miles behind the lines. There is one collecting station for each regiment, making three to a division.

Here they have facilities for doing things the aid station can’t do. If the need is urgent, they redress the wounds and give the men more morphine, and they perform quite a lot of operations. Then the men are sent by ambulance on back to a clearing station.

The 45th Division has two clearing stations. Only one works at a time. While one works, the other takes a few hours’ rest, then leapfrogs ahead of the other one, sets up its tents and begins taking the patients. In emergencies, both clearing stations work at once, temporarily abandoning their rest-and-leapfrog routine.

All these various crews – the company aid men, the battalion aid station, the collecting station, and the clearing station – are all part of the division. They move with it, fight when it does, and rest when it does.

Stations can move quickly

Then back to the clearing stations the hospitals begin. The first hospitals are usually 40 miles or more back of the fighting. The hospitals are separate things. They belong to no division, but take patients from everywhere.

They get bigger as you go back, and in the case of Sicily patients are evacuated from the hospitals right onto hospital ships and taken back to still bigger hospitals in Africa.

The main underlying motive of all frontline stations is to get patients evacuated quickly and keep the decks clear so they will always have room for any sudden catastrophic run of battle casualties.

A clearing station such as the one I was in is really a small hospital. It consists of five doctors, one dentist, one chaplain, and 60 enlisted men. It is contained in six big tents and a few little ones for the fluoroscope room, the office, and so forth. Everybody sleeps outdoors on the ground, including the commanding officer. The mess is outdoors under a tree.

The station can knock down, move, and set up again in an incredibly short time. They are as proficient as a circus. Once, during a rapid advance, my station moved three times in one day.

Pegler: Roosevelt indifferent to discrimination

By Westbrook Pegler