America at war! (1941–) – Part 5

Peak day for Axis was October 5, 1942

By the United Press

The Germans are on their knees and the Allies are the victors. And it was only two years and seven months ago that the Nazis was on the brink of world conquest.

Peak day for the Axis was October 5, 1942. On that day:

  • The siege of Stalingrad was in its 45th day. The Russians, in vicious street fighting, were defending the city house by house. Adolf Hitler loudly boasted its fall was certain.

  • Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s North Afrika Korps, after a whirlwind drive below Tobruk, was preparing to launch a final assault against the British troops under Sir Bernard Montgomery guarding the Nile and the Suez at El Alamein.

  • German U-boat wolf packs were threatening the Allies’ sea lines.

  • Jap troops, with most of the Pacific under their control, sent in reinforcements to Guadalcanal. They also held a spot in this hemisphere – the Aleutian Islands.

  • The U.S. Fleet was licking the wounds it received at Pearl Harbor, and the Jap Navy admittedly was the ruler of the Pacific Ocean.

Victory lights ready in London

Sandbag barricades are torn down

Col. Palmer: Sudden end of Pacific War quite unlikely

Jap suicide planes show trend
By Col. Frederick Palmer, North American Newspaper Alliance

Philippine President’s sons charged with helping Japs

Osmena tells Army to treat two like any other suspects – they stayed in Manila

Australians seize Tarakan Airfield

Davao on Mindanao taken by Yanks

B-29s blast Japan 3 times in day

Big aircraft plant, ‘suicide’ bases hit

Freed Yanks cross Elbe, rejoin Army

Ex-captives sped to Paris, then home
By Clinton B. Conger, United Press staff writer

Army reduces aviation program

Simms: U.S. expected to control Jap mandates

Trustees may rule Italian colonies
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard foreign editor

Major powers seek support from others

Big Four recognizes special rights

‘I know you will succeed,’ Hull wires big leaders

House spurs inquiry into Red activities

Un-American probers outline broad scope

Grand-scale retribution –
Berlin almost a total wreck even before Reds got there

Writer who lived in capital four years returned as prisoner, saw bomb destruction
By Edward W. Beattie, United Press staff writer

Edward W. Beattie, United Press correspondent released yesterday from a German prison camp, has written the following description of Allied air raid damage to Berlin based on personal inspections of the German capital while he was in captivity. His dispatch is the first eyewitness account by a Western Allied correspondent of Berlin’s damage.

PARIS, France (UP) – Three months ago, before the last climactic air raids and before the Red Army’s tanks and self-propelled guns had battered their way into its heart, Berlin was the world’s number one example of retaliation.

It was grand-scale retribution, by Allied airpower, for what the Germans had loosed on the world.

I last walked the streets of Berlin January 25. At that time, it was at least 60 percent destroyed. I know it, because, over a space of three months I bribed my Nazi guards with cigarettes – two marks apiece on the black market – or with soap, and they allowed me to revisit every section of the town I had known well during four years’ pre-war residence.

Any damage that Red Army guns did during the final assault on the German capital was incidental. It was a question of finishing off the work by British and American bombers, which had paralyzed, to all effects, every vital function of the German capital.

Strike night and day

The bombing had reduced occupants to communal feeding, communal herding against danger, communal dread of every nightfall and every dawn. The night was sure to bring RAF Mosquito bombers; it might bring swarms of heavy Lancaster bombers.

Daybreak brought the threat of deadly Flying Fortresses and Liberators whose bombs struck like surgeons’ knives at the city’s vital organs. Even the Germans admitted the sight of the great silvery bombers in the skies was a beautiful one, although they spelled doom.

Prisoners cheer bombers

To Allied prisoners, the spectacle was one of sheer joy. I cheered the Mosquitos from the tip of a slit trench night after night for three months while I was kept at Camp Zehlendorf, west of the southwestern outskirts of Berlin.

I watched the “Forts” wipe out targets north and south of us in broad daylight while American Mustang, Lightning and Thunderbolt fighters traced a lazy challenge through the skies over the city. The German sentries had a grim joke; they would remark that Reich Marshal Hermann Goering’s Luftwaffe must be taking its 500th successive day off.

Heart of Reich laid open

The Berlin which I saw was the real heart of Germany, laid open. Both the Anhalter and Potsdamer stations, which I inspected, and the zoo and Friedrichstrasse stations which I saw from a few hundred yards away had been burned out, blasted, twisted by bombs. They operated only as whistlestops on the railroad, places where people could get off the trains and go their ways.

The Berlin cathedral, opposite the former Kaiser’s palace, was a gaunt skeleton.

Embassies destroyed

Unter den Linden was at least half gone, including the Bristol Hotel, the Soviet Embassy and the entire southern side, including the United Press offices at No. 43. On the other side of the street, the French Embassy was gutted and building after building had been scraped to the bone by Allied phosphorous bombs.

The Friedrichstrasse was practically dead. Great piles of rubbish, most of them months old, blocked the sidewalks. It was almost impossible to walk a block anywhere in the city without taking to the middle of the street, which were kept open for the few motorcars and streetcars still operating.

***Center of city a desert

The Potsdamerplatz, generally accepted as the center of Berlin, was a semi-desert. Everything around the intersection of the Friedrichstrasse and the Leipzigerstrasse was torn apart during the raid of last June 23 in which 800 Fortresses made central Berlin their target. The raid was an answer to the V-1 flying bomb then operating against London. In fashionable residential sections, two out of three buildings were scorched shells. Occasionally there would be a great gap of oblivion where one of the great blockbusters had landed.

In fashionable suburbs like Zehlendorf, one house in 10 was burned out and every sidewalk was piled with rooftiles, charred timbers and miscellaneous wreckage.

People ‘Queue happy’

Some houses had been repaired in a sort of jerry-built way by such humans as were forced to remain in Berlin.

These humans looked reasonably well-dressed. But their shoes had soles of wood. Their clothes scratched because they were made of wood fiber. They were tired and “Queue happy” from months of waiting in line for bread, meat, fish, coal, wood, or the soup which Nazis doled out as a sort of consolation after each new raid.

The only disappointment – then – was the government quarter around the Wilhelmstrasse. At that time, the Chancellery had only one small corner knocked off. At last reports, the Chancellery, which Hitler drafted to his plans, had been burned from end to end.

A facade still remained of the Foreign Office. It no longer is there, because American prisoners on a march through Germany saw it burning on February 3.

The Propaganda Ministry, also in the Wilhelmstrasse, was intact, and my first questioning by Nazi officials was there. It has now been knocked flat.

Dimout to end with V-E Day proclamation

Racing ban, curfew may also be lifted

Poll: Public wants Nazis forced to aid Russia

German atrocities bolster opinions
By George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion

Sole surviving sons policy of U.S. extended

Families losing two in service benefit

Ravaged Manila digs out of the ashes

Ruined capital starts the long road back
By Ernest Barcella, United Press staff writer

Reporter finds –
Horror camp defies telling in any story

Cleanup is started but stench remains
By Walker Stone, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Organized brutality deplored –
Editors probing tortures demand speedy justice

Nazis, general staff and Gestapo equally guilty, report says

Mine blows up crackers, but ammunition is safe

Nazi prisoner in halftrack hurled 30 feet in air by explosion on road
By Jack Bell

Editorial: Thank God!

Editorial: $100,000,000 ghost

Editorial: The eminent hound

Perkins: Veteran apprentices

By Fred W. Perkins, Press Washington correspondent