America at war! (1941–) – Part 3


Showdown fight sought in Texas

By Dave Cheavens

Austin, Texas (AP) – (Aug. 6)
Texas’ militant pro-Roosevelt Democrats spouted fighting talk today, challenging anti-Roosevelt Democrats to a showdown battle for control based on a nose count of delegates at the September state convention.

Out of the clamor to flatten the opposition came an organization extending into every county of the state, the primary purpose of which will be to make sure that Texas’ 23 electors with the Democratic label also go down the line for Roosevelt and Truman.

The anti-compromise-minded caucus named Herman Jones of Austin chairman. It will seek to make sure every pro-Roosevelt delegate named at last week’s county conventions is on hand at Dallas Sept. 12, that those who are not will put their proxies in the right hands, and that the campaign be carried to every individual uninstructed delegate as well as to friendly delegates in counties got bound by the unit rule.

Purpose No. 2 of the pro-Roosevelt forces will be to talk over the party organization and thereby divest themselves of such terms as “rump” or “pro-Roosevelt Democrats.”

Woodville Rogers of San Antonio said that under his interpretation of the election laws, the September convention could refuse to certify the names of the 23 electors named at the so-called “regular” convention, declaring vacancies if they refused to take the pledge.

Then we could proceed to certify the right names to the Secretary of State. If he refuses to certify them for printing on the ballot, we would have another lawsuit.

Moscow hails U.S. triumph in Brittany

Moscow, USSR (AP) – (Aug. 6)
Moscow today hailed the U.S. breakthrough in Brittany as the best foreign news in weeks, with Soviet newspapers publishing a detailed account of the accomplishment together with maps.

The performance in the west, along with the same kind of operations by the Russian armies in the east, is the quickest way of bringing the war to a close, it was asserted here.


Biddle is asked to correct PAC political abuse

Washington (AP) – (Aug. 6)
Rep. Martin Dies (D-TX) today formally requested Attorney General Biddle to take immediate steps to “correct” political abuses which the Texan attributed to the CIO Political Action Committee.

Rep. Dies, chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, said his committee has evidence indicating that the PAC “has interfered” in primary elections and has spent “large sums of money… to influence” the outcome.

Information gathered by his committee, Dies said last week, will be made available to Biddle, and unless the Attorney General acts on it by Sept. 1, he threatened to start Congressional action. Stressing a need for prompt action, Dies wrote Biddle that the current political campaign “will be over in a few months,” adding that:

These unlawful acts are being committed now and the bills for these acts are being footed by the people of the country who pay the salaries of the men and women who are defying the law.

Specifically, Dies requested Biddle to investigate to determine whether government officials who, he claimed, have been active in PAC work, have violated the Hatch Act restricting political activity of federal employees and whether the PAC has violated election laws.

He continued:

The forces now marshaled under the banners of Sidney Hillman, and Earl Browder, using at different times different organization names to cloak their activities and skirt the edges of the law have just recently altered their course by setting up still another organization known as the National Citizens Political Action Committee.

Former Senator George W. Norris, last night accepted the honorary chairmanship of the new group.

Dies asked that “close scrutiny” be given the new organization which, he said, “intends to raise two funds of $3 million each” to support the Democratic presidential and vice-presidential nominees in the coming election.

Rennes welcomes U.S. Liberators

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

In Normandy, France – (by wireless)
The great attack, when we broke out of the Normandy beachhead, began in the bright light of midday, not at the zero hour of a bleak and mysterious dawn as attacks are supposed to start in books.

The attack had been delayed from day to day because of poor flying weather, and on the final day we hadn’t known for sure till after breakfast whether it was on or off again.

When the word came that it was on, the various battalion staffs of our regiment were called in from their command posts for a final review of the battle plan.

Each one was given a mimeographed sketch of the frontline area, showing exactly where and when each type bomber was to hammer the German lines ahead of them. Another mimeographed page was filled with specific orders for the grand attack to follow.

Officers stood or squatted in a circle in a little apple orchard behind a ramshackle stone farmhouse of a poor French family who had left before us. The stonewall in the front yard had been knocked down by shelling, and through the orchards there were shell craters and tree limbs knocked off and trunks sliced by bullets. Some enlisted men sleeping the night before in the attic of the house get the shock of their lives when the thin floor collapsed and they fell down into the cowshed below.

Chickens and tame rabbits still scampered around the farmyard. Dead cows lay all around in the fields.

The regimental colonel stood in the center of the officers and went over the orders in detail. Battalion commanders took down notes in little books.

The colonel said, “Ernie Pyle is with the regiment for this attack and will be with one of the battalions, so you’ll be seeing him.” The officers looked at me and smiled and I felt embarrassed.

Then Maj. Gen. Raymond O. Barton, 4th Division commander, arrived. The colonel called, “Attention-” and everybody stood rigid until the general gave them, “Carry on.”

An enlisted man ran to the mess truck and got a folding canvas stool for the general to sit on. He sat listening intently while the colonel wound up his instructions.

Then the general stepped into the center of the circle. He stood at a slouch on one foot with the other leg far up like a brace. He looked all around him as he talked. He didn’t talk long. He said something like this:

This is one of the finest regiments in the American Army. It was the last regiment out of France in the last war. It was the first regiment into France in this war. It has spearheaded every one of the division’s attacks in Normandy. It will spearhead this one. For many years this was my regiment and I feel very close to you, and very proud.

The general’s lined face was a study in emotion. Sincerity and deep sentiment were in every contour and they shone from his eyes. Gen. Barton is a man of deep affections. The tragedy of war, both personal and impersonal, hurts him. At the end, his voice almost broke, and I for one had a lump in my throat. He ended: “That’s all. God bless you and good luck.”

Then we broke up and I went with one of the battalion commanders. Word was passed down by field phone, radio and liaison men to the very smallest unit of troops that the attack was on.

There was still an hour before the bombers, and three houses before the infantry were to move. There was nothing for the infantry to do but dig a little deeper and wait. A cessation of motion seemed to come over the countryside and all its brown-clad inhabitants sense of last-minute sitting in silence before the holocaust.

The first planes of the mass onslaught came over a little before 10:00 a.m. They were the fighters and dive bombers. The main road running crosswise in front of us was their bomb line. They were to bomb only on the far side of that road.

Our kickoff infantry had been pulled back a few hundred yards this side of the road. Everyone in the area had been given the strictest orders to be in foxholes, for high-level bombers can, and do quite excusably, make mistakes.

We were still in country so level and with hedgerows so tall there simply was no high spot – either hill or building – from where you could get a grandstand view of the bombing as we used to in Sicily and Italy. So, one place was as good as another unless you went right up and sat on the bomb line.

Having been caught too close to these things before, I compromised and picked a farmyard about 800 yards back of the kickoff line.

And before the next two hours had passed, I would have given every penny, every desire, every hope I’ve ever had to have been just another 800 yards further back.



Pegler: Nepotism

By Westbrook Pegler

New York –
The wife of one of the Republican governors at Tom Dewey’s St. Louis seminar ran loose at the lip with a suggestion that any statesman’s loving little treasure who wouldn’t help her old man with his letters, without public pay, ought to get a divorce. She was talking about Mrs. Harry Truman, who has been drawing $4,000 a year from the government for such work.

Deplorable as it is for its nastiness, this remark might do some good, nevertheless. For one thing, it should embolden other husbands in the campaign, on both sides, to call up their manhood and issue orders as to who is to do the talking and who is to keep quiet.

Not all husbands face this problem of marital discipline and none could hope to carry the burden of political blame for meddlesome statements that President Roosevelt has borne so lightly for twelve years. But Mrs. Roosevelt is a unique and special case. She has advertised and endorsed shows and books and Communist persons and projects, called her husband the “ruler” of the American people, given aid and comfort to rackets and racketeers and journeyed far at public expense in the hitherto non-political and almost holy habit of the Red Cross.

Bad practice

But this extra emphasis on the Trumans arrangement for the collection of some petty white graft may be salutary in another way, too. It calls attention to a snide and disreputable practice which the members of both houses of Congress have resorted to as a pathetic compromise between decent dignity and the necessities of their economic condition.

Although Congress is supposed to be the master of its problems, any proposal and every vote to raise their salaries to a fair level would be unfairly condemned as a self-serving act. Only a lame duck or a man determined to retire could take responsibility for such a bill and those who voted for it would be hammered in their home districts for unconscionable greed even though it were designed to take effect at a future session.

Congressman’s pay of $10,000 should be raised to $25,000 at once.

He runs for office every two years. The campaign expense varies but is, on the average, $1,000 a year. It may be more if he has to stand a primary contest and some rivals run in primaries with no hope of winning but only to cause the incumbent expense. In presidential years, some of them get help from their national organizations, but this is not necessarily generous and is never reliable.

The statesman gets 20 cents a mile to and from a session but many of them make four or five trips a year to their home districts and none of this political expense is deductible in their income tax returns. Neither is the expense of living in Washington for 200 or more days a year which, with unavoidable touches and the cost of entertaining, will be about $3,000, although salesmen, executives and the like may charge off such amounts. Meanwhile, he maintains a real home in his district where he must be a substantial citizen and, nowadays, the sessions are so long that his private law practice or other business wanes or dies of neglect.

In granting the raise, the people, in effect, would be subsidizing the political expenses of their servants. That sounds worse than it is, and anyway, the people are doing it now and, as for the hold-the-line order and the Little Steel formula, it should be remembered that practically all labor is receiving inflationary pay. Sidney Hillman recently got a raise of $3,000 a year from his clothing workers at a convention attended and addressed, of course, by Mrs. Roosevelt. The reason public opinion condones this nepotism is that we all know the expenses of the position and the price levels of the time call for. The people, in this case, are in no position to pull snoots at the Trumans.

Völkischer Beobachter (August 8, 1944)

Streit unter Abenteurern

Arbeitskräftemangel in USA und die Juden –
‚Ring von Menschenhändlern‘

Der Rücktrittsbrief Croces an Bonomi –
‚Fruchtbare‘ Waffenstillstandsbedingungen

‚Auf alle Bedingungen eingehen‘

Die Besprechungen, die in der kommenden Woche in Washington aufgenommen werden sollen und bei denen man sich, um Roosevelts Wiederwahl, an der auch die Sowjets ein starkes Interesse haben, zu fördern, zum soundso vielen Male über die „Organisierung des Friedens“ unterhalten soll, werfen in der Feindpresse ihren recht dünnen Schatten voraus. Bezeichnend an diesen Artikeln ist, daß auch hier die Bol­schewisten den Ton anschlagen und den Takt bestimmen. Wie fromme Talmud­schüler auf die Worte des Rabbiners – vielen amerikanischen Leitartiklern ist diese Schule ja auch nicht ganz fremd – so horchen die Neuyorker Blätter auf die Offenbarungen der sowjetischen Presse, um dann festzustellen, daß man sich im Grunde völlig einig sei.

Über das Wochenende war es ein Aufsatz in der Leningrader Monatsschrift Der Stern, der von der amerikanischen Presse, vor allem von der New York Times, als offiziöse Äußerung aufgegriffen und kommentiert wurde. Der Verfasser des Auf­satzes stellte die Grundforderung auf, daß der Frieden ausschließlich von den Groß­mächten organisiert werden müsste, da man die Verantwortung für ihn nicht zwischen 60 und mehr Regierungen teilen könne. Nicht irgendwelche unpersönliche Organisationen, wie zum Beispiel der Völkerbund, müßten ihn wahren, sondern starke Regie­rungen, die eine Verantwortung tragen könnten. Der Gedanke einer internationa­len Polizei wird zurückgewiesen und als utopisch bezeichnet. Dafür wird die Bildung eines internationalen Flugkorps vorgeschlagen, dem auch die kleineren Natio­nen Stützpunkte zur Verfügung stellen sollen.

Am bemerkenswertesten ist aber der Vorschlag, daß die Großmächte – gemeint sind natürlich die Sowjetunion, die USA und England – auch ein Abkommen zur „Verhinderung eines Überfalles im Innern,“ eines Bürgerkrieges also, schließen sollen.

Gerade dieser Vorschlag zeigt, wie wenig die Bolschewisten ihren heutigen Verbün­deten über den Weg trauen, wozu sie nach dem offenen Gerede von dem dritten Welt­krieg einigen Grund haben und umgekehrt. In keiner Phase des Krieges haben es aber die Westmächte nötiger als jetzt, jedes Misstrauen auf sowjetischer Seite zu zerstreuen. Sie bedürfen des restlosen Ein­satzes der Bolschewisten. Denn die neue Phase des Krieges – darin kann man der New York Times, die diese Feststellungtrifft, recht geben – wird für die Westmächte trotz allen Geschreis, das sie jetzt wegen des amerikanischen Panzereinbruchs in die Bretagne anheben, „die schwerste“ sein. Weil dem so ist, wird auch die Kon­zessionsbereitschaft gegenüber bolschewi­stischen Forderungen noch weiter steigen, und zwar auf Kosten der kleineren Nationen, für deren „unkränkbare Rechte“ die New York Times zwar scheinbar eine Lanze zu brechen sucht, deren Opferung aber in den Worten beschlossen liegt:

Die kleinen Nationen müssen einzusehen be­ginnen, daß sie auf alle Bedingungen der ihnen am nächsten liegenden Großmächte eingehen müssen. Eine wachsende Zahl von Staaten in der alliierten Welt betrachtet sich bereits als Vasallen der Großmacht, die in ihrer Interessensphäre herrscht.

Die New York Times wird kaum be­streiten wollen, welche Interessensphären den kleineren europäischen Nationen zudiktiert ist. Was die USA für Peru in An­spruch nehmen, werden sie den Sowjets in Europa – Beispiele werden von der New York Times herangezogen – nicht ver­weigern wollen.

Im Übrigen bedürfen die kleineren Na­tionen, von ein paar unbelehrbar scheinen­den Neutralen abgesehen, kaum noch einer Belehrung über das ihnen von der Sowjetunion und den Westmächten zugedachte Schicksal. Das Schicksal Polens ist ihnen Lehre genug.

Dr. Th. B.

Innsbrucker Nachrichten (August 8, 1944)

Erbitterte Kämpfe in der Normandie und Bretagne

Nordamerikaner östlich Avranches verlustreich abgewiesen – Deutsche Panzerdivisionen warfen der Feind beiderseits Mortain nach Westen – Schwere Kämpfe um Saint-Malo – Erneute sowjetische Durchbruchsversuche nördlich der Memel zerschlagen – 60 Panzer abgeschossen

dnb. Aus dem Führerhauptquartier, 8. August –
Das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht gibt bekannt:

Nach mehrstündigem Trommelfeuer trat der Feind in den heutigen Morgenstunden südlich und südöstlich Caen erneut zum Angriff an. Heftige Kämpfe sind entbrannt. Westlich der Orne führte der Gegner starke Einzelangriffe, die zerschlagen wurden. Süd­westlich Vire und östlich Avranches setzten die Nordamerikaner auf breiter Front ihre Durchbruchsangriffe unter stärkstem Material- und Luftwaffeneinsatz fort. In schweren Kämpfen, die bis in die Abendstunden andauerten, wurden sie vor unserer zweiten Stellung verlustreich abgewiesen. Weiter südlich warfen Panzerdivisionen des Heeres und der Waffen-SS den Feind beiderseits Mortain trotz verbissener Gegenwehr nach Westen zurück. Feindliche Gegen­angriffe scheiterten.

Im Raum östlich Laval verstärkte der Gegner seinen Druck. In der Bretagne zerschlugen un­sere Sicherungen feindliche Angriffsspitzen und setzten sich dann befehlsgemäß auf die Abschnitte Brest und Lorient ab. Um Saint-Malo toben erbitterte Kämpfe.

In der Nacht zum 7. August wurde ein feind­licher Zerstörer in der Seinebucht durch Luft­torpedotreffer schwer beschädigt.

Über der Normandie und über den besetzten Westgebieten wurden 19 Flugzeuge im Luft­kampf abgeschossen.

Im französischen Raum wurden 80 Terroristen im Kampf niedergemacht.

London und seine Außenbezirke liegenweiterhin unter dem schwe­ren Störungsfeuer der „V1.“

In Italien fanden gestern keine größeren Kampfhandlungen statt.

Im Osten scheiterten nordwestlich Mielec wiederholte Angriffe der Sowjets. Nordwest­lich Baranow brach der Feind mit starken Kräften in unsere Stellungen ein. Reserven traten sofort zum Gegenstoß an. Schwere Kämpfe sind im Gange.

In Litauen wurden nördlich der Memel erneute sowjetische Durchbruchsversuche unter Abschuß von 60 feindlichen Panzern zer­schlagen.

Nördlich Birsen und nördlich der Düna ist der Abwehrkampf unserer Truppen mit den eingebrochenen sowjetischen Kräften noch im Gange, während an der übrigen Front bis zum Pleskauer See alle Angriffe der Bolschewisten blutig zusammenbrachen.

Nordamerikanische Bomber griffen gestern einige Orte in Oberschlesien an. In der vergan­genen Nacht überflogen feindliche Störflugzeuge Südostdeutschland. Deutsche und ungarische Luftverteidigungskräfte schossen 28 feindliche Flugzeuge ab.

Supreme HQ Allied Expeditionary Force (August 8, 1944)

Communiqué No. 122

The largest attack against the western sector since D-Day was launched by the enemy Sunday night on a front extending from MORTAIN to SOURDEVAL. At least four German armored divisions are being employed in the drive. MORTAIN has changed hands for the third time and is now held by Allied troops.

The enemy penetrated some three miles in the area of CHÉRENCE COUSSEL where a tank battle is in progress. Armor of both sides is involved. Another enemy penetration has been made to SAINT-BARTHÉLEMY.

More than 100 tanks and 90 motor vehicles were destroyed in a series of attacks in the MORTAIN area by our fighter-bombers and rocket-firing aircraft. Other tanks and trucks were damaged.

In the BRITTANY Peninsula, Allied troops have freed CHÂTEAUNEUF, and fighting is in progress outside SAINT-MALO, which is now cut off. SAINT-BRIEUC has been taken and the advance is continuing beyond the town.

No changes are reported in the areas of BREST and LORIENT. AURAY has been reached by Allied forces. CHÂTEAUBRIANT has been freed. Sporadic fighting continues over the peninsula.

In NORMANDY, Allied troops have taken VIRE.

Across the river ORNE, a bridgehead was established yesterday in the neighborhood of GRIMBOSQ. Counterattacks against this bridgehead, and further west, were repulsed. In the MONT PINCON area, mopping-up of the ground won is nearly completed.

Allied troops are attacking south of CAEN.

Heavy bombers, in very great strength, attacked the hinge of the enemy’s defense line just south of CAEN before midnight last night. The attack was in clear weather, and a great weight of bombs was dropped on targets indicated by our ground forces.

Earlier in the day, strong forces of heavy bombers, operating in small units, attacked fuel storage points, bridges and rail targets in a wide arc northeast and east of PARIS and southeast of BORDEAUX.

Fighter-bombers, sweeping east and southeast of PARIS, destroyed 32 locomotives, 350 railway cars and 80 military vehicles.

Ammunition dumps at LIVAROT, LA FOLLETIÈRE, LE LUDE and BAUCHES DU DÉSERT were attacked by medium and light bombers. Other formations bombed shipping in BREST Harbor and bridges at NOGENT-LE-ROI, NEUVY-SUR-LOIRE, and CORBIE, east of AMIENS.

At least 20 enemy planes were destroyed in the air during encounters throughout the day and last night.

From all operations, 22 of our aircraft are reported missing.

Early Sunday morning, a force of enemy R-boats was intercepted close to the port of LE HAVRE by light coastal forces and brought to action. The last R-boat in the enemy’s line received very heavy damage and many hits were observed on another.

U.S. Navy Department (August 8, 1944)

CINCPAC Communiqué No. 109

Rapid advances during August 7 (West Longitude Date) drove Japanese forces on Guam Island into the northeast corner of the island. On the west coast, our troops advanced nearly six and a half miles to Ritidian Point at the northern tip of the island. On the east coast, we advanced more than three miles almost to Anao Point. The center of our line running in a generally southeasterly direction from Ritidian Point to Anao Point curves sharply inward and is less than a mile from the shoreline at the point of deepest penetration. The Japanese defenders are thus threatened with being cut into two groups. Mount Santa Rosa, the highest elevation in northern Guam, was occupied by our forces in the day’s advances. Our troops have counted more than 10,000 enemy dead.

Navy carrier aircraft of a fast carrier task group on August 7 supported ground operations on Guam by bombing, strafing and firing rockets into enemy troop concentrations and installations.

Central Pacific land-based aircraft on August 5, 6, and 7 attacked enemy fields and installations from Nauru Island to Wake Island.

On August 5, Navy Liberators of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed Wake Island, scoring bits on the runways. Several small craft were strafed and one left sinking.

On the same day and also on August 6, 7th Army Air Force Mitchells and Ventura search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two attacked Nauru Island, bombing airfields and the phosphate plant.

Seventh Army Air Force Mitchells and Navy Liberators of Fleet Air Wing Two hit Ponape on August 6, encountering medium anti-aircraft fire.

Remaining Japanese positions in the Marshall Islands were attacked on August 6 and 7 by 7th Army Air Force Liberators, Catalinas of Fleet Air Wing Two, and by Corsair fighters and Dauntless dive bombers of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.

All our planes returned from these missions.

Ventura search planes of Fleet Air Wing Four attacked enemy objectives in the Northern Kuriles during daylight of August 4 (West Longitude Date). Airfields and adjacent installations were bombed. Anti-aircraft fire was moderate. Small craft near Paramushiru were bombed and strafed. Several of our aircraft were damaged by anti-aircraft fire from the vessels but all returned safely.

The Pittsburgh Press (August 8, 1944)

German flanks crumbling under U.S.-British drive

Yanks near Le Mans, 100 miles from Paris; Canadians advancing
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer

The 1940 blitz in reverse –
Heinzen: Germans won in 45 days – can Yanks?

Tanks lead both drives on Paris
By Ralph Heinzen, United Press staff writer

Two-way shuttle hits Poland, Romania

By Walter Cronkite, United Press staff writer

‘Unprecedented difficulties’ face Japan, Premier warns

Koiso cites U.S. drive in Marianas as attempt to get quick decision in war
By the United Press

Shanghai ripped by U.S. Liberators

President may act –
50,000 strike; trucks tied up

By the United Press

Invasion admiral commits suicide

Washington (UP) –
Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal announced today that RAdm. Don P. Moon, commander of a task force in the invasion of Normandy, committed suicide Saturday, “apparently as a result of combat fatigue.”

Adm. Moon, 50-year-old native of Kokomo, Indiana, commanded naval forces on the east face of the Cherbourg Peninsula in the invasion operation under RAdm. Alan G. Kirk. He carried out one of the most successful of the beachhead landings.

He is survived by his widow and two children.

The fabulous island

By Florence Fisher Parry