America at war! (1941–) – Part 3


Pegler: Refugee crisis

By Westbrook Pegler

New York –
President Roosevelt recently announced to Congress as an accomplished fact, his decision that “approximately” 1,000 continental European refugees who have reached southern Italy, “predominantly” women and children, would be brought here and given asylum in a vacant Army camp in the East. They would be returned to their homelands “upon the termination of the war.”

Any objection will be met instantly with a tragic story of the persecution of innocent children who cannot even understand why they and their humble parents are so horribly mistreated. Thus, it would seem as though only children and their inoffensive and helpless mothers would be admitted, although Mr. Roosevelt’s qualifying word “predominantly” would leave room for a number of men, as well.

In November 1942, Mr. Roosevelt proposed that our immigration laws be suspended entirely for the duration of the war. This request was denied by the House Ways and Means Committee.

Francis Biddle, the Attorney General, urged the Committee to agree on the ground that otherwise we would have to pay ourselves a head tax of $8 on every prisoner of war brought here for detention. It was even suggested that dignitaries of our Allies would be subjected to embarrassing formalities in clearing immigration stations.

Biddle’s concern unnecessary

There is no record of the exclusion of any prisoner of war for lack of the $8 head tax. Neither has there been any report of the detention of any accredited agent of any of our Allies. So, Mr. Biddle’s concern on these two points seems to have been entirely unnecessary.

Although the Committee did reject the President’s proposal, his recent announcement regarding the 1,000 refugees, delivered in the form of a message, cited no legal authority for his action. Mr. Roosevelt just said that “I determined that this government should intensify its efforts to combat the Nazi terror” and that, “accordingly I established the War Refugee Board, composed of the Secretaries of State, Treasury and War” to translate “this government’s humanitarian policy into prompt action.”

“Therefore,” he continued, “I wish to report to you today a step which I have just taken…” and so forth, announcing the importation of the 1,000 refugees. There was no intimation that 1,000 would be all. With equal authority, wherever derived, Mr. Roosevelt may admit 500,000 who need not be “predominantly” women and children and who if “predominantly” women, might be Communists or Fascists.

Many once supported Hitler

It seems to be forgotten, although it remains a fact, that many of those in Europe who were later persecuted for various reasons found Fascism and Hitlerism very agreeable at the beginning. It should be remembered that the Communists of Germany, who are now included among the pitiable victims of Hitler’s barbarity, had been fairly barbarous themselves and so greatly admired Hitler that all six million of them, under instructions from Moscow, voted for Hitler in his final rise to power. They put them over because they believed in totalitarian government.

Meanwhile, mainly in the great exodus immediately preceding the war, this country received a large but unknown number of refugees, including many women, as temporary visitors with a tacit understanding that we were winking at our own law. The understanding was that once they were in, they could stay; and although we can’t know their particular, individual political activities back home, we do know that they didn’t pass our tests.

All of them will presently be admitted to settle permanently by taking a little trip to Canada and reentering as immigrants. This is the plan now.

Maj. de Seversky: Morale

By Maj. Alexander P. de Seversky

Wolfert: Going slowly past fallen comrades, infantry trudges into jaws of death

Each of them knows somebody in crowd will get it, but not him
By Ira Wolfert

With the U.S. infantry west of Saint-Lô, France – (delayed)
The infantry they still say is Queen of Battles. When the infantry wants to cross a road here, it goes like this:

Airplanes and artillery take them by the hand, a big, dull upheaving thump of bombs gets in its way among the bat-like crack of shells, then the infantry grunts itself up onto its two legs and the fellows put their legs in front of them, one after the other and they walk, dragging behind them a train weightier than a train on a queen’s dress. Radio stud and telephone wires, wire layers and spreaders, lance poles, heavier guns, vehicles for all this and for ammunition, rations, ambulances, blood plasma, bulldozers, trucks full of crushed rocks and cots of officers and the typewriters of war correspondents.

The road the fellows went across today was the main road running east from Périers down to Saint-Lô, a hard surfaced country road, twisting and narrow, but first class all the same and the kind a country boy could really spank his auto along. There is a lump of high ground just north of it that the Germans held this morning and then a few miles southeast of it down in that part of the Cherbourg Peninsula they call French Switzerland, there is commanding ground that the Germans hold in force with plenty of howitzers there that can go into the deepest hole after a man and blow him out of there in pieces.

Gray morning at front

It was gray this morning at the front. The infantry and artillery had taken some of the murder out of their promenade and it didn’t look as if the airplanes could work today. Rain which had been dripping down greasily from the skies for days had stopped finally but the sky still hung low and wet-looking over the countryside.

Then the sky began to lift, very slowly, but all in one piece like the curtain of a show and the infantry watched it go up and watched the sun wear at it with its light and heat and wear it thinner and thinner until at last the gray was the color of threadbare cloth and they could see the pale-yellow overlay of the sun through it.

There were miles of people watching in silence the slow inch by inch lift of their ceiling of sky, from 6 o’clock in the morning on. At 6 o’clock, the sky’s ceiling seemed to lay on your face, then at 7 o’clock your face was clear of it and was clinging like with gray fingers to trees and so on and on, lifting higher and higher until at 11:40 the first airplanes came over and the infantry knew for sure that its legs were going to get a workout.

Artillery gets answer

The artillery was pounding good by this time and there was some answer from the Germans. The Nazis were searching the roads and back areas. Searching is a word artillery people like to use but it’s more like clawing. Four of five shells come down on you like a paw and rake you. Then a swift clawing paw rakes alongside of you and in back. It’s a flurry of swift-clawing paws like an animal striking out because you’ve come too close and you hug where you are and stay still and then when its quiet crawl closer. You can’t see the animal and he can’t see you, but there is the feeling in you that you can hear his frightened, dangerous breathing as you crawl closer.

The bombers ran across the sky like girls and vapor blew behind them as if there were skirts blowing in the wind. Then they swooped down and the sound of their bombs dropping all in a packet drummed across the fields and drummed beating wildly up and down the silent country lanes.

Bombs take long time to fall

Flying Fortresses came after them, they sailed with the silvery, gleaming like ships in line each formation of 12 shooting a white smoke flare that dropped the rough skies of foaming yarn. Their bombs took a long time to fall. They came from very high up and the sound of them took a long time to reach us. When it came it was like drumming again, a very wild, drunken, unmusical drumming with an upheaving effect to it like a buried multitude beating up against the surface of the earth. The blasts were ironed out by the two or three miles between us and the bombs so that all they did was to fill our ears a little bit and flap out trousers against our legs.

The infantry now stepped off against the German hedges. They walked erect and they went about a hundred yards every three minutes. There were some fellows killed, a few more wounded but not many.

Pulled our when planes came

Most of the Germans had pulled out when the airplanes came over. They knew we meant business and that arithmetic was against them. They knew that if they stayed, they must inevitably be killed and that was the arithmetic of it. The only thing they could gain by dying was time.

The German command had to decide whether that time was worth buying with the lives of their men there or wherever it would be more useful to pull them out and open a little hole in the line, then ring the hole with big guns and blow men down who ventured into it.

Decide to open hole

The German command decided to open the hole. They made it like a giant maw there and the infantry, knowing exactly what it was, walked steadily into it, going at about 100 yards every three minutes, standing erect and pausing to fire only when fired upon by small arms, not stopping for howitzer shells or mortars but going through the dust and pelting dirt of that opening with white faces and eyes running from side to side as though gripped in their sockets and bodies standing straight up. That part of it at least was the way men would walk.

The queen of battles pulled its train along through the muddy, dirty country lands. You couldn’t see anything of it before the battle, it was hidden in all the fields.

Slowly comes out

Then slowly it began coming out into the lanes, big snorting trucks, spewing squelches of mud from their massive wheels and skittering little jeeps, motorcycles and columns of men stopped under the loads of radios and bundles of wire and heavy mortars and bazookas all covered with green flowering twigs, filling the lanes, coming like a ghost army out of their invisible hiding and going slowly past the dead, looking slowly at the silent wounded coming back, wrinkling their noses over the stink of killed cattle rotting in the fields, watching a wounded cow limp past a herd that had fallen in a row, followed in his limping by a calf that nuzzled her mutely and going along, going along all this time past the broken teeth of the mouth the Germans had opened for them.

Weren’t firing much

Everybody knew he was going into the German mouth. The Germans weren’t firing much today, they were afraid to give away their positions to our artillery planes circling as slowly as falling leaves overhead. But planes come down at night and then the German guns rimming the mouth like jaws will try to clamp down.

The job is to break off those jaws from inside the mouth. The infantry filled the mouth by late this afternoon. They crossed the road and got in beyond in it, then they waited for the jaws to clamp down so that they could break them off there. In the outpost line beyond the infantry those fellows knew that tonight, while the German artillery was firing, German patrols would come out and try to capture some of them so that their intelligence could find out just what kind of an attack this was.

Some will wind up dead

In the moonless darkness tonight, the attempt will surely have some success, some of those fellows out there tonight are going to wind up dead and some are going to become prisoners. There will be German dead too. The outpost sit very quietly in their holes. Each of them knows someone or two or a half dozen of them are not going to be there by the time you read this. Each thinks it’s the other fellow who is going to get it and the Germans assembling for their patrol now somewhere behind the hedges think the same thing. Somebody in the crowd is going to get it but not him.


Hillman’s propaganda mill geared for 4th term grind

New version of Political Action Committee will spend large slice of CIO’s money
By Henry J. Taylor, Scripps-Howard staff writer

New York –
With the curtain down on the Democratic Convention, the enlarged fourth-term propaganda section of Sidney Hillman’s Political Action Committee now comes to the center of the stage.

Its slice of the CIO’s $3-million fourth-term campaign fund has been appropriated. It will be spent over local signatures and in the name of the National Citizens’ Political Action Committee.

On June 13, testifying before the Senate Campaign Investigating Committee, Mr. Hillman conceded that unions are prohibited from contributing to the campaign funds of candidates for federal office. The impression grew that the CIO-PAC, with its 100,000 shop stewards as organizers, was put on ice and that a National Citizens’ PAC would replace it.

The CIO-PAC, however, continued under full steam. Mr. Hillman formed the new group as an umbrella over the original committee. “Broadening the interest,” Mr. Hillman called it. In this way he avoided legal limitations on further CIO-PAC fourth-term expenditures as soon as Mr. Roosevelt was officially up for federal office as a result of his nomination.

So direct fourth-term campaign expenditures of the CIO-PAC now stop and the NCPAC gets an appropriation. Two million copies of an organizational handbook, Political Primer for All Americans, are being distributed through organized labor circles from 14 regional offices. It’s a folksy treatment on how to get out the vote. The slogan is “Love thy neighbor – and organize him.”

More than 100,000 PAC posters featuring “FDR – Our Friend” are ready for war-plant bulletin boards, PAC precinct clubs and meeting places of foreign-language groups. Print orders are already reported to call for 10,000 pounds of newsprint and 22,000 pounds of broadside and pamphlet paper.

With the collaboration of five members of Mr. Hillman’s official family – Orson Welles, Paul Robeson, Edward G. Robinson, Marc Connelly and Ben Hecht – the PAC has produced an indoctrination movie in multiple prints for local distribution. It’s entitled Hell-Bent for Election, and Mr. Hillman’s associates say it will reach and instruct 15 million people.

The heavy end of the propaganda brain-trust consists of Max Lerner of the newspaper PM, editor Bruce Bevin of The New Republic, publisher Freda Kirchwey of The Nation, radio commentator Dr. Frank Kingdon and Roscoe Dunjee, publisher of the Black Dispatch. Foreign-language writers and specialists on race matters in the South fill out the group which is still expanding.


4th-term team strong in left field

CIO-Democrat players trained by New Deal
By Daniel M. Kidney, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Washington –
President Roosevelt’s CIO-Democrat fourth-term team will go into the finals this fall with plenty of New Deal-trained political ballplayers in left field with the farm and labor groups.

Chief among them is Calvin B. Baldwin, known as “Beany,” who is now assistant director of Sidney Hillman’s Political Action Committee. His offices are with Director Hillman of New York.

Former FSA chief

Mr. Baldwin was head of the Farm Security Administration during its most trying times. His administration was under constant criticism in Congress. He resigned to become a civilian administrator in Italy, but before leaving for abroad, he switched to his present position.

When Mr. Baldwin started work for the PAC, he took some of the Farm Security staff with him. Chief among them was Dr. George Mitchell, who had been assistant administrator. He is now in charge of PAC organization in the South.

When the PAC was expanded to include other than CIO unionists, one of the new directors named was President James G. Parton of the National Farmers Union. This organization also has a prominent New Deal-trained organizer in Aubrey Williams, who headed the now-defunct National Youth Administration.

Other New Dealers join

Another New Deal-trained Farmer Unionist is Russell Smith, the organization’s “legislative agent” (lobbyist) here. A one-time newspaperman, Mr. Smith was with the Bureau of Agricultural Economics and later the Bureau of Economic Warfare of which Vice President Henry A. Wallace was the head.

Pioneer among the New Dealers to enter the labor organization field was Donald Montgomery, now consumers counsel with the United Auto Workers, the largest CIO union.

He resigned his consumers counsel post with the Agriculture Department to become active with the CIO group.


Stokes: South Carolina vote quiets tumult of ‘Southern revolt’

‘Cotton Ed’ Smith’s defeat indicates politicians do not speak for people
By Thomas L. Stokes, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Washington –
The tumult of the so-called “Southern revolt” at the Chicago Democratic Convention by Texans and some others fades away into more true perspective when the people go to the polls, as they did in South Carolina Tuesday.

It is no minor political incident when the people of South Carolina, after 36 years, deposed “Cotton Ed” Smith, dean of the Senate. For no man is so much a symbol of anti-New Dealism, none so unforgiving of the Roosevelt regime, as the blunt and uncompromising man with the bristly mustache.

This would appear to indicate that perhaps the politicians who speak for the dominant business and economic interests and who serve in handpicked delegations at national conventions, do not truly represent the people of the South.

South Carolina good index

South Carolina is a good index, but it is not isolated.

This mild revolution among the people, which has gone along while the political leaders were plotting their little plots, has been showing itself for some months. In happened in Alabama and Florida in early May when New Deal Senators Lister Hill and Claude Pepper won against aggregations of finance in noisome campaigns in which the Negro issue was exploited against them.

It happened when Rep. Joe Starnes (D-AL), a member of the Dies Committee, was defeated with the help of the CIO. It was sensed by Rep. Martin Dies (D-TX) when he withdrew in the face of threats embodied in war workers who had moved into his district and were organized by the CIO. It happened to Texas last Saturday when Rep. Richard M. Kleberg, a bitter-end anti-New Dealer, was defeated.

Mrs. Caraway loses out

On Tuesday, Mrs. Hattie Caraway, the only woman Senator, was defeated in Arkansas, and a fresh young political figure, Rep. J. W. Fulbright (author of the international collaboration resolution passed by the House some months ago), emerged as top contestant for her place, with a runoff necessary, however.

Also, Negroes voted in the Arkansas primary, in keeping with the Supreme Court decision which other Southern states have tried to flout. This may prove a significant precedent.

The Texas revolt, of course, has not been whisked away by a New Deal victory in South Carolina – far from it. The anti-Roosevelt electors who are bound by their state convention to cast their votes for someone other than President Roosevelt are determined men. That dilemma for the New Deal still exists.

But the South Carolina result yields evidence that a majority of Southern people are not in sympathy with rampant anti-New Deal leaders, which undoubtedly applies to Texas and probably will reveal itself in the November convention – if those who are for President Roosevelt get a chance.

South Caroline Governor Olin Johnston, who defeated “Cotton Ed,” has been generally sympathetic with New Deal aims, and has had the support of labor, though on the “white supremacy” issue, he stands alongside “Cotton Ed” and can bawl just as loudly.

NAM head says –
War profits low despite high output

Industry doing good job ‘at fair price’

Benefit games draw largest night crowds

Men reentering Army to get former rank

‘Wired music’ keeps wartime workers happy

Bing and Frankie are lifesavers
By Si Steinhauser


Dewey lists 15 issues for governors

Candidate seeks end of ‘chaos’

Albany, New York (UP) –
Governor Thomas E. Dewey, Republican presidential nominee, said today he would place a sweeping program before the St. Louis GOP Governors’ Conference next week in an effort to “bring agreement out of chaos which has existed between the federal government and the states for 12 years.”

Mr. Dewey’s program, which was approved by his running mate, Ohio Governor John W. Bricker, includes 15 major issues:

  • Public expenditures.

  • Public health.

  • Administration of unemployment insurance.

  • Administration of employment services.

  • Relationship between unemployment insurance and employment services.

  • Labor, the sphere of influence of the national government as contrasted to local government.

  • Public works, the extent to be financed and supervised by the various units of government.

  • Highways.

  • Regulation of insurance.

  • Ownership of national lands.

  • Water and flood control and the conservation of national resources.

  • The National Guard, whether it shall be returned to the states in the post-war era or remain federalized.

  • The whole problem of federal and state tax coordination.

  • Agriculture, the extent to which agriculture, soil conservation and controls, if any, should be administered by the national government or the states regionally.

  • Veterans affairs.

Mr. Dewey and Mr. Bricker conferred until late last night on the issues and organization of the Republican drive for the Presidency and Vice Presidency and resumed their talks at the breakfast table.

Mr. Dewey and Mr. Bricker, it was said, believe they must make a definite bid for support from organized labor. Mr. Bricker said the swing to the Republican ticket was already underway in labor ranks and that he believed the “extreme activities” of labor leader Sidney Hillman would drive many Democrats to the GOP column.

Mr. Dewey leaves Albany tomorrow for his farm in Pawling, New York. He will go to New York Sunday and then to Pittsburgh, where he will meet Pennsylvania Congressmen. He will reach St. Louis Tuesday or Wednesday.

Petrillo faces arrest in radio strike

Music czar charged with contempt
By the United Press

Völkischer Beobachter (July 28, 1944)

Seibert: Wir schaffen es!

Es hat keinen Deutschen, der diesen Namen verdient, in den letzten Wochen und Tagen gegeben, der nicht von schweren Sorgen erfüllt gewesen ist. Ernste Nachrichten von allen Seiten: In der Normandie die Landung der westlichen Invasionsmassen – die Landung als solche geglückt. In Italien ein verhältnismäßig rasches, wenn auch weit hinter den feindlichen Erwartungen bleibendes Zurückfallen. Im Osten ein titanisches, auch für uns verlustreiches Ringen mit umfangreichen Gebietsaufgaben. Und schließlich am 20. Juli jener heimtückische Schlag aus dem Dunkel, der uns um Haaresbreite des Führers beraubt hätte. Sprechen wir es offen und klar aus: Niemals seit Beginn dieses Krieges sind unsere Nerven und Herzen einer schwereren Belastungsprobe ausgesetzt gewesen wie in diesem Juli 1944.

Nichts zeugt stärker von der unverwüstlichen Lebenskraft, die der Nationalsozialismus in der geschichtlich so kurzen Ära seines Wirkens der Nation der Deutschen eingeimpft hat, als die heute schon weithin sichtbare Tatsache, daß der Stoß vom 20. Juli nicht zum „Gnadenstoß“ für unsere Sache geworden ist, sondern neue Kräfte aus uns geboren und neue Energien in uns wachgerüttelt hat. Erst in der größten Not zeigt sich, was wirklich in einem Menschen steckt. Mit Völkern, nationalen Bewegungen und Revolutionen ist es nicht anders. Der Feind selbst hat seine hohe, durch bittere Erfahrung gewonnene Meinung vom Reich und der Wehrmacht Adolf Hitlers unfreiwillig bekundet, als er am Tage nach dem Anschlag seine Völker davor warnte, nun auf einen raschen Zusammenbruch der deutschen Front und der deutschen Heimat zu rechnen.

Wir sind nie beliebt gewesen in der Welt, aber man hat uns immer Außerordentliches zugetraut, im Guten wie im Bösen. Seit das Reich nationalsozialistisch geworden ist, hat sich diese Einschätzung unserer Fähigkeiten so gesteigert, daß selbst die rosigsten Prophezeiungen der Gegenseite stets mit dem warnenden Nachsatz versehen wurden: „Aber hütet euch vor der Illusion, daß die Deutschen bereits am Ende ihres Lateins seien!“ Selbst die unbestreitbaren Erfolge des Sowjetfeindes im Osten und das lange Ausbleiben deutscher Gegenschläge auf den übrigen Fronten, einschließlich des Luftkriegsgebietes, haben Bolschewismus und Plutokratie bis auf den Tag nicht von dem Druck der Angst zu befreien vermocht, so laut aus durchsichtigen taktischen Gründen dann und wann auch die Siegesglocken geläutet wurden. „V1“ ist denn auch prompt und mit sichtlicher Verstörung als der erste neue Prankenschlag des deutschen Löwen gebucht worden.

In seiner inhaltsreichen, von kalt beherrschter Leidenschaft getragenen Rede hat der neue Reichsbevollmächtigte für den totalen Kriegseinsatz uns nüchtern die materielle Voraussetzung für den Sieg geschildert. Er hat den Vorsprung angedeutet, den unsere Waffentechnik durch gänzlich neuartige Gedanken in den letzten beiden Jahren hinter den verschwiegenen Mauern der Laboratorien und Werkstätten erarbeitet hat – in diesen beiden Jahren, in denen das Rüstungsvolumen des Feindes uns mehr und mehr zu erdrücken schien. Dr. Goebbels hat ausdrücklich hinzugefügt, daß nüchterne Tatsachen ihn zu einer solchen Sprache berechtigen.

Der Führer hat uns durch seinen Erlass vom 25. Juli aufgefordert, das Höchstmaß von Kräften für Wehrmacht und Rüstung freizumachen. Er hat uns, in die Sprache des praktischen Alltags übersetzt, aufgefordert, noch mehr zu leisten als bisher. Er hat aufs Neue eine totale Mobilmachung befohlen.

Kann man eine totale Mobilmachung zweimal durchführen? Ist es möglich, das Heldentum der Front, die Leistung des Arbeitenden und die Beharrung der Heimat noch mehr zu steigern? Wir sind uns ganz klar bewusst, lass viele dies im ersten Augenblick verneinen werden. Und doch: jeder, der sich in seinem eigenen Arbeits- und Kameradenkreis aufmerksam umsieht, wird ohne weiteres Punkte finden, an denen personell und materiell noch mehr eingespart werden kann. Jeder, der mit einem Funken Selbstkritik begabt ist, wird bei genauem Zusehen die überraschende Feststellung machen, daß auch er selbst dieses oder jenes noch zusätzlich zu leisten und auf das eine oder andere noch zu verzichten vermag. Opfer und Leistungen sind relative Begriffe: vieles, was uns 1939 als eine außerordentliche Zumutung erschienen wäre, empfanden wir 1942 als etwas beinahe Selbstverständliches, und mancher Verzicht, der uns 1942 noch beinahe das Herz gebrochen hatte, erscheint uns heute nach den Erfahrungen des Bombenterrors als eine durchaus erträgliche Sache. Wenn wir von diesen persönlichen Erfahrungen an uns selbst und unseren Beobachtungen an der eigenen Arbeitsstätte auf das große Gesamtgefüge der kämpfenden Nation schließen, so werden wir die Frage nach der Möglichkeit weiterer Mehrleistung, nach der Durchführbarkeit einer neuen totalen Mobilmachung ohne weiteres, ohne Phrase und Selbsttäuschung bejahen können und müssen.

Wir sprachen unmittelbar nach dem 20. Juli hier von den unerquicklichen Zuständen, die da und dort in den Schreibstuben des Ersatzheeres eingerissen sind. Die Schuld daran trugen in starkem Maße jene Verbrecher an wichtigen Stellen des Ersatzheeres, die nun entlarvt und ausgemerzt worden sind. Aber vergessen wir nicht, daß das Nachlassen der kämpferischen Energie und des Einsatzwillens nicht nur durch Bösartigkeit einiger weniger verursacht wird: Jeder Mensch, von wenigen Ausnahmenaturen abgesehen, läßt mit der Zeit in seiner Leistung nach, wenn er ständig die gleiche Arbeit verrichtet und durch keine neuen Antriebe aufgerüttelt wird. Jedem Sportsmann ist diese Tatsache ebenso bekannt wie jedem Betriebsführer und jedem soldatischen Kommandeur. Der Stoß vom 20. Juli aber hat die ganze Nation erschüttert und jedem einzelnen die Größe der drohenden Gefahren, die er vorher nur halb bewusst um sich herum wachsen sah, enthüllt. Dieses grausame Erwachen hat unser Volk aber nicht gelähmt, sondern seinen beleidigten Stolz aufs Neue geweckt und es seiner Kraft wieder voll bewusstwerden lassen. Es fühlt das eiserne Muß, es erkennt mit festem Blick die großen Möglichkeiten und es antwortet deshalb auf den Anruf seines Führers mit dem Wort: Wir schaffen es!


Cherbourger Hafen macht Sorgen

Vico, 27. Juli –
Zu einem der schwierigsten Probleme der zuständigen Dienststellen gehört die Aufräumung des Hafens von Cherbourg, meldet der Marinefachmann der Sunday Times. Vor allem hätten die Deutschen in umfassendster Weise den Hafen von Cherbourg vermint.

In jedem nur denkbaren Teil der Gewässer einschließlich des äußeren und inneren Hafens sowie innerhalb der geschlossenen Hafenbecken fänden sich Minen, sei es in tiefem oder flachem Wasser, in toten Ecken oder auch auf den Hauptankerplätzen. Viele Minen standen irgendwie mit den Bojen in Verbindung, so daß jedes Schiff, das an einer solchen Boje festmache, in die Luft fliegen müsse. Minen seien auch im gesamten Strandgebiet verstreut. Die Säuberung des Hafens sei durch die vielen versenkten Schiffe noch erschwert worden. Besonders die toten Winkel der Molen und Wellenbrecher seien schwer von den Minen zu säubern.

Das Moskauer Polenkomitee –
Ausgesprochene Marionettenregierung

Die wachen Augen

SS-pk. Langsam neigen sich zwei Hügel zueinander, deren Hänge mit dichten, grünen Getreidefeldern bestanden sind. Das Tal ist von einem schmalen Pappelwäldchen durchzogen, in dessen Schatten ein Bach dem Talausgang klickernd und hell zufließt. Auf dem Hügel nach Norden haben die ersten Linien der SS-Grenadiere sich eingegraben. Ihre Schützenlöcher fügen sich ebenso unmerklich dem Gelände ein wie die des Gegners. Allein das Wrack eines englischen Panzers, das links ab am Rande einer zerschossenen Straße gegen den Horizont steht, bietet ein deutliches Mal, wo der Kampf in den vergangenen Tagen hin und her gewogt ist. Im Schatten des vordersten Höhenzuges ist ein eiliges Kommen und Gehen, denn dort werden Verwundete verladen, Bereitstellungen bezogen, und dorthin auch schafft der Nachschub das zur Front, was in den Kämpfen verbraucht werden wird.

Wenn Kampfpause ist, herrscht im Tal idyllische Ruhe und ein Frieden, den man ungestört glauben könnte, wenn nicht die zerborstenen Stämme am Bach eine allzu deutliche Warnung aussprächen. Die Granattrichter werden von den Getreidefeldern unsichtbar in den Schoss der Erde aufgenommen.

Das Tal und die beiden Hügel liegen ständig unter gezieltem Beschuss, der spüren läßt, daß der Gegner von irgendeinem Punkt aus Einblick in das Gelände hat. Seit 24 Stunden sind unsere Grenadiere dabei, den englischen Artilleriebeobachter ausfindig zu machen. Vergeblich!

Dem alten Rottenführer, der vom Feldzug in Polen bis in die Tiefen der östlichen Steppen alles erlebt hat, was dieser Krieg dem Soldaten an Aufgaben überhaupt stellen konnte, will das nicht in den Kopf. Sein „Eigensinn“ ist in der Kompanie nicht als die störrische Willkür eines Widerspenstigen bekannt, seine Sturheit gilt vielmehr als das Zeichen eines erfahrenen Soldaten, der bisher noch mit jeder auch noch so schwierigen Lage fertig zu werden verstand.

Er nimmt sein Gewehr, macht sich aus dem schmalen Bunker der vordersten Linie davon und springt gebückt längs eines Grabens, der die Höhe des ersten. Hügels erreicht bergan. Die Pausen des Artilleriebeschusses muß er schnell und geistesgegenwärtig nutzen, wenn er nicht in den Feuerschlägen untergehen will. Nun liegt er oben und vor ihm breiten sich die beiden Hänge und das Tal, deren Lieblichkeit für ihn vollkommen versunken ist in jener besonderen Landschaftsbetrachtung des Krieges, in der es nur nach rein militärischen Gesetzen zu sehen gilt. Er späht das Gelände hinauf und hinab, doch kann er nichts entdecken. Er gibt es später selbst zu, daß es nichts Bestimmtes war, was er gesucht hat, sondern daß er sich allein von seinem Instinkt führen ließ, der ihn nun schon durch fünf Kriegsjahre begleitet hat. Er zupft sich einen Getreidehalm ab und nimmt ihn zwischen die Lippen. Er liegt, kaut und schaut.

Der Himmel in der Normandie ist in diesen Tagen wechselnd. Graue Wolken ziehen niedrig und zerfetzt über die Täler und Hügel des Landes. Jetzt braust von Norden her ein Windstoß das Tal hinauf und fährt in die Getreidefelder, daß die Halme wie die Wellen eines Meeres sich senken und wieder steigen. Gelb treten dabei die Granattrichter aus den grünen Wogen hervor, und dort – ein einziger Blick hat genügt – erspäht sein scharfes Auge zwischen dem Grün und Braun einen Fleck grauer Farbe, der nicht in die Landschaft zu gehören scheint. Langsam arbeitet er sich durch das Getreidefeld den Hang hinab. Immer wieder pfeifen, während er sich vorsichtig voranarbeitet, die Granaten des Feindes heran, um mit spitzem und bösem Knall vernichtend zu detonieren. Längst ist ihm wieder der graue Fleck im dichten Grün des Getreides entschwunden, aber er weiß, wo er ihn zu suchen und zu finden hat. Er durchläuft das Wäldchen und überspringt den Bach. Nun geht es wieder hügelan. Und plötzlich zeichnet sich vor ihm im Getreidefeld eine dunkle Stelle ab, die er lange beobachtet. Er hört leise Geräusche, die er nicht zu deuten vermag, deren Natur aber sein empfindliches Ohr als feindlich empfindet. Längst hat er das Gewehr zu sich herangezogen und den Sicherungsflügel herumgelegt.

Wieder nähert sich ein Windstoß dem Getreidefeld. Der Rottenführer geht langsam hoch, und jetzt, wo die große Woge des Sturmes die Halme beugt, erspäht er die Uniform eines Gegners. In der gleichen Sekunde bricht ein Schuss. Wieder hält die Erde den Soldaten in ihrem bergenden Arm, und er wartet, was nun geschieht. Doch das Getreidefeld bleibt still bis auf ein leises Stöhnen, das aus der Richtung des dunklen Fleckes zu ihm dringt. Mit wenigen Sätzen pirscht er sich heran. Der Feind hat seinen artilleristischen Beobachter mit einem kleinen Gerät in der Nacht vorgeschickt. Aus der Verborgenheit des Getreidefeldes hat der Beobachter das Feuer ins Ziel gelenkt. Fast in der gleichen Sekunde trommelt der Gegner ein wahlloses Störungsfeuer über das Tal und die beiden Hügel. Dann erlischt das Feuer, als wäre einer Lunge das Atmen vergangen.

Nach einer Stunde kehrt der Rottenführer aufrecht in seinen Bunker zu den Kameraden zurück.

SS-Kriegsberichter Dr. ROLF BONGS

Innsbrucker Nachrichten (July 28, 1944)

Steigende Heftigkeit der Abwehrschlacht im Osten

Erbitterte Kämpfe bei Saint-Lô – Im Zuge einer Frontbegradigung Lemberg, Brest-Litowsk, Bialystok und Dünaburg geräumt

dnb. Aus dem Führerhauptquartier, 28. Juli –
Das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht gibt bekannt:

Im Kampfraum beiderseits Saint-Lô setzten die Nordamerikaner ihren Großangriff den ganzen Tag über fort. Während ihnen östlich Saint-Lô einige unwesentliche Einbrüche gelangen, wurden unsere Truppen südwestlich der Stadt in erbitterten und beiderseits verlustreichen Kämpfen weiter nach Süden und Südwesten zurückgedrängt. Die Gegenangriffe zur Schließung der an einigen Stellen aufgerissenen Front sind im Gange. 75 Panzer wurden abgeschossen. Im Abschnitt von Caen führte der Gegner nur erfolglose Angriffe geringen Umfangs.

Jagd- und Schlachtfliegerverbände schossen in Luftkämpfen zehn feindliche Flugzeuge ab.

Torpedoflieger versenkten in der Nacht zum 27. Juli in der Seinebucht einen feindlichen Tanker von 4.000 BRT und beschädigten vier Transportschiffe mit 25.000 BRT und einen Zerstörer schwer.

Im Ostteil der Seinebucht erzielte eine Heeresküstenbatterie mehrere Treffer auf einem feindlichen Schlachtschiff.

Sicherungsfahrzeuge eines deutschen Geleits schossen vor der Loiremündung von acht angreifenden feindlichen Jagdbombern sechs ab.

Im französischen Raum wurden 42 Terroristen im Kampf niedergemacht.

Schweres „V1“-Vergeltungsfeuer liegt fast ununterbrochen auf dem Großraum von London.

In Italien tastete der Feind unsere gesamte Front durch zahlreiche örtliche Angriffe ab. Der Schwerpunkt der feindlichen Aufklärungsvorstöße lag im Abschnitt südlich Florenz und an der adriatischen Küste. Alle Angriffe wurden vor unseren Stellungen abgewiesen.

Seit den frühen Morgenstunden ist der Feind in breiter Front südlich Florenz erneut zum Großangriff angetreten. Heftige Kämpfe sind entbrannt.

An der Ostfront hat die große Abwehrschlacht zwischen den Karpaten und dem Finnischen Meerbusen an Heftigkeit noch zugenommen. Nachdem es dem Feind an verschiedenen Abschnitten gelungen war, zum Teil in unsere Front einzubrechen, wurden zur Kräfteeinsparung in einigen Abschnitten vorspringende Frontbogen zurückgenommen. Im Zuge dieser Frontbegradigung wurden nach Zerstörung aller militärisch wichtigen Anlagen die Städte Lemberg, Brest-Litowsk, Bialystok und Dünaburg geräumt.

In Galizien setzten sich unsere Truppen befehlsmäßig auf neue Stellungen im Karpatenvorland ab und schlugen dann alle Angriffe der scharf nachdrängenden Sowjets ab.

Westlich des San sind wechselvolle Kämpfe mit vordringenden feindlichen Angriffsspitzen im Gange.

Zwischen dem oberen Bug und der Weichsel wurden von Panzern unterstützte Angriffe der Sowjets in erbittertem Ringen nach Abschuß zahlreicher feindlicher Panzer abgewiesen.

Im Abschnitt Bialystok und Kauen scheiterten örtliche Angriffe der Bolschewisten. Nördlich Kauen sind heftige Kämpfe mit feindlichen Panzer- und Aufklärungskräften im Gange.

An der Front zwischen Dünaburg und dem Finnischen Meerbusen brachen wiederum zahlreiche schwere Angriffe verlustreich für den Feind zusammen.

Starke Schlachtfliegerverbände unterstützten die Abwehrkämpfe des Heeres und vernichteten in Tiefangriffen 71 feindliche Panzer und über 400 Fahrzeuge. In der Nacht waren der Bahnhof von Wilna und sowjetische Truppenansammlungen westlich Lublin das Angriffsziel schwerer deutscher Kampfflugzeuge.

Nordamerikanische Bomber führten einen Terrorangriff gegen Budapest. Durch deutsche und ungarische Luftverteidigungskräfte wurden 29 feindliche Flugzeuge, darunter 26 viermotorige Bomber, zum Absturz gebracht.

In der vergangenen Nacht warfen feindliche Flugzeuge Bomben auf einige Orte in Westdeutschland und in Ostpreußen. In der Stadt Insterburg entstanden Schäden und Personenverluste. Drei Flugzeuge wurden abgeschossen.

Supreme HQ Allied Expeditionary Force (July 28, 1944)

Communiqué No. 105

In the western sector, Allied forces have maintained their rapid advances.

Our troops have pushed forward west of MARIGNY to the vicinity of CAMPROND and south-west to the vicinity of CERISY-LA-SALLE.

Other formations have advanced south of PÉRIERS.

Ground has also been gained west of CAUMONT.

South of CAEN, our positions remain firm.

A number of attempts by the enemy to develop counterattacks have been broken up by our artillery and supporting aircraft which were active throughout yesterday on both sectors.

In the western sector, fighter-bombers patrolled ahead of the advancing armored columns, attacking tank units, gun positions, defended hedgerows and observation posts as far as COUTANCES and southward to VILLEBAUDON.

In the eastern battle sector, rocket-firing aircraft scored hits on tanks and motorized infantry targets.

East and south of the battle area, fighter-bombers in strength attacked rail targets. In the AMIENS–SAINT-QUENTIN area in an ammunition train was blown up. Other rolling stock was attacked and rails cut in many places.

During yesterday, at least 23 enemy planes were destroyed in the air. Twenty-one of our aircraft are missing from all operations.

Communiqué No. 106

In the western sector, there has been some progress south of LESSAY where Allied troops have advanced down the LESSAY–COUTANCES road to the vicinity of MARGUERIN.

Further east, our forces have advanced up both banks of the river AY to the area of CORBUCHON.

On the PÉRIERS–COUTANCES road, a strong armored thrust has joined the westward drive from MARIGNY in the outskirts of COUTANCES. Our forces have passed through NOTRE-DAME-DE-CENILLY and are continuing down the road to the southwest. Another force has passed through MAUPERTUS, north of PERCY. Our forces have taken TESSY-SUR-VIRE and have continued along the road southwest of the town. We are eleven kilometers from GAVRAY.

South of SAINT-LÔ and CAUMONT, we have improved our positions.

Our aircraft continued their support of the ground forces, concentrating on road and rail targets, as weather permitted. Light and medium bombers cut rail lines radiating from PARIS to MONTARGIS, DIJON, MOULINS, TOURS, and ROUEN. Supply stores near BRÉCEY and CAILLOUET were hit. Fighter-bombers later destroyed rolling stock in railyards at BUEIL and near MAINTENON.

U.S. Navy Department (July 28, 1944)

CINCPAC Communiqué No. 93

There were no material changes on our lines on Guam Island during July 26 (West Longitude Date). On the Orate Peninsula, our forces are continuing their attack against more than 2,000 enemy troops entrenched in dugouts and pillboxes. The defenders are employing artillery, automatic weapons, and mortars in considerable quantities. In the southern sector our lines are unchanged. Delayed reports indicate that severe fighting took place before dawn on July 25 in the northern beach area. In places enemy infiltration tactics succeeded, but by early morning the attack was repulsed with an estimated loss of 2,000 enemy troops.

During July 26, carrier aircraft bombed the airfields near Agana Town on Guam and at Rota Island. Gunboats are being used in close support of our troops on Guam.

On the night of July 26, a single Liberator search plane of Fleet Air Wing Two made a low-level attack over Truk Lagoon, obtaining two direct hits on a cargo ship and bombing a group of small craft.

Ponape and Nauru Islands in the Carolines and remaining enemy positions in the Marshalls were attacked by aircraft of the Central Pacific shore‑based air force on July 26.

CINCPAC Communiqué No. 94

Our forces on Guam Island made substantial gains in all sectors on July 27 (West Longitude Date).

Northern forces extended their beachhead east to a point near the outskirts of Agana Town and advanced several hundred yards along the entire northern front.

In the central sector Marines drove inland more than two miles from Apra Harbor and occupied Mounts Tenjo, Alutam, and Chachao. In the south our troops advanced more than a mile in an easterly direction. The southern terminus of our beachhead remains at a point on the west coast opposite Anne Island.

Marines driving northwest on Orote Peninsula against stubborn enemy resistance secured an estimated 500 additional yards.

Conservative estimates indicate that our forces have killed 4,700 enemy troops on Guam.

On Tinian Island Marines, pivoting on our eastern anchor above Masalog Point, advanced more than three and a half miles along the west coast, capturing the airfield above Gurguan Point. Coastal batteries on Tinian were shelled by battleships on July 27.

On Saipan Island, our troops have now buried 21,036 enemy dead. Of our own troops previously listed as casualties, 5,434 have now returned to duty.

CINCPAC Press Release No. 487

For Immediate Release
July 28, 1944

The American flag was formally raised on Guam Island on the morning of July 26 (West Longitude Date) at the headquarters of Maj. Gen. Roy S. Geiger, USMC, Commanding General, Third Amphibious Corps.

The Pittsburgh Press (July 28, 1944)

Yanks race to trap Germans

Two U.S. columns drive into Coutances, another takes Tessy
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer

New sweeping advances were made by U.S. forces in Normandy, scoring gains in the following places: (1) a drive south of Lessay and across the Ay River; (2) an advance to the outskirts of Coutances, linking up with another column (3) driving down the road from Saint-Lô; (4) a smash south of Maupertus, and (5) the capture of Tessy-sur-Vire. In addition, other U.S. troops captured high ground south of Saint-Lô (6) and advanced between Saint-Lô and Caumont. On the eastern end of the front, around Caen, the stalemate continued.

SHAEF, London, England –
Two U.S. armored columns closed in today from the north and east on Coutances, Normandy transport hub commanding the escape corridor of seven German divisions, and drove into its outskirts after making a junction.

Capitalizing swiftly on the American armored breakthrough, which shattered the German defenses in western Normandy, 1st Army spearheads struck into the edge of Coutances and completed the encirclement of Nazi troops northeast of the imminently threatened town.

The other remnants of the seven Nazi divisions north of Coutances were falling back in disorderly retreat in a panicky effort to escape southward before the Americans captured the town and cut the last practical escape routes out of the fast-shrinking pocket.

United Press correspondent Henry T. Gorrell reported from 1st Army headquarters that the columns advancing southward from Périers and westward along the road from Saint-Lô joined at Coutances and struck into the outskirts.

Another takes Tessy

Still another column of U.S. armor plunged forward five miles to capture Tessy-sur-Vire, 10 miles due south of Saint-Lô, after a duel with retiring German tanks.

Slightly to the west, a spearhead was driven two miles south-southwest of Maupertus and within less than a mile of Percy, a road town 15 miles southeast of Coutances and seven miles southwest of Tessy.

Mr. Gorrell rode up with the armored forces extending the American breakthrough to a depth of 15 miles in the Coutances area, and reported while the main force was still a little over two miles from the town that its fall appeared imminent.

Another village falls

One U.S. column struck down Lessay Road, 2½ miles below the fallen western anchor of the crumpled German defenses and captured the village of Marguerite. Slightly to the east, another moved down the Ay Valley about four miles and seized Corbuchon, seven miles north of Coutances and five southeast of Lessay.

A headquarters spokesman said the Germans were withdrawing as fast as possible along the main road down the west coast, with various degrees of confusion in their ranks.

Stronghold is outflanked

Coutances was already outflanked on the southeast by armored units which captured the eight-way highway junction of Cerisy-la-Salle, 11 miles southwest of Saint-Lô, and Notre-Dame-de-Cenilly, two and three-quarter miles southeast of Cerisy.

On the east wing of the American front, Gen. Bradley’s forces advanced two miles south of Le Mesnil-Herman, cutting a lateral road, and struck out southeast and southwest down other roads leading inland to the heart of Normandy.

U.S. infantry moved forward to improve their positions west of Caumont at the extreme eastern end of the American line, while a new attack a little over a mile southeast of Saint-Lô overran Hill 101. This assault was apparently aimed at ironing out the hump in the line immediately east of Saint-Lô.

Although the weather held down air activity in support of the American breakthrough drive, fighter-bombers based in France blasted German tanks and horse-drawn artillery a mile ahead of the American armor. Pilots reported that the advanced ground elements were beyond Saint-Martin-de-Cenilly, a mile southeast of Notre-Dame-de-Cenilly.

Supreme Headquarters did not expect to know for several days how many Germans will be rounded up as a result of the breakthrough. The seven divisions in the pocket below Coutances had taken a bad beating and were far below normal strength.

British sector quiet

The British end of the Normandy front was quiet after guns and planes broke up another German attempt to form for an attack in the Verrières area late yesterday.

United Press correspondent James McGlincy reported that one U.S. armored column advanced 3½ miles to within 1½ miles of Tessy-sur-Vire, 10 miles south of Saint-Lô. Reconnaissance airmen said the town appeared to have been abandoned by the Germans.

The Germans appeared to be in panicky retreat all along the 40-mile western half of the Normandy front as the greatest tank offensive ever mounted in Western Europe went into its fourth day. Allied Supreme Headquarters said there was no longer “any question of a line on the U.S. front.”

Slashing forward at will under a mighty umbrella of dive bombers, fighter-bombers and fighters, Gen. Bradley’s tank columns engulfed dozens of roadside hamlets and villages and appeared well on the way toward breaking completely out of the Normandy bottleneck, paving the way for a drive on Paris.

The proportions of the German rout were mounting almost hourly. More than 3,000 prisoners were taken in the first three days of the offensive and Mr. Gorrell said he counted at least 700 more streaming back from the front in trucks this morning.

Tank units self-sufficient

Considerable amounts of enemy material have been destroyed, front dispatches said. The Germans were known to have gambled all available strength on containing the Allies in the Normandy Peninsula, and a breakthrough to the interior of France probably would result in an Allied advance to the west at a pace rivalling that of the German push to the French coast in 1940.

Mr. Gorrell said:

What happens next is likely to influence the entire course of the war. We have hundreds of armored vehicles operating within enemy country right now.

He also revealed that the tank columns were self-sufficient carrying their own gasoline, ammunition and food supplies.

The stalemate continued on the British part of the front southwest and south of Caen, with British and Canadian artillery fire and supporting fighters and fighter-bombers breaking up a number of German counterattacks before they could get fully underway.

The American command was ramming at least five main armored prongs through the retreating Germans west, southwest and south of Saint-Lô, with resistance slight along the whole line. German planes heavily bombed the American lines at 3:00 a.m. today, but the advance went ahead on schedule.