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May 08, 1945 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1945-05-08

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~SDAy, MAY 8, 1945 THE MIC HIGAN DAILY

PAGE SEVEN

fnv S- '
Started
German Territory in Europe Shrinks
To Nothing in Less Than Two Years
(Continued from Page 6)-

Gen. Eisenhower's British and Amer-I
ican forces on July 10, 1943. Fifteen
days later Mussolini was ousted in
Rome-the first serious break in the
axis structure.
Striking swiftly on Sept. 3, after
completion of a 38-day campaign in
Sicily, Gen. Montgomery's troops in-
vaded the toe of Italy. The fifth

Army of Gen. Mark W. Clark landed
at Salerno below Naples and after a
blood battle with the Germans, estab-
lished a beachhead six days later,
almost simultaneously with an-
nouncement of the surrender of the
government of Marshal Pietro Badog-
lio which had succeeded Mussolini.
The first of the big three in the Axis
had been knocked out of the war.

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T HE MOTHER
W HO WA ITS..
This war will not end til her

Through a bitter winter campaign,
the Americans and their allies made
but slow progress from Naples, fought
the bloody battle of Cassino, estab-
lished the beachhead at Anzio below
Rome and finally on May 11 launched
the offensive which carried them to
Rome on June 4. The Palazzo Venezia
where Mussolini's balcony stands was
turned into a museum.
Invasion . ..
Two days after the first fall of an
axis capital, the greatest amphibious
invasion force of all time touched
land in Normandy. The D-Day for
which American factories had been
turning out weapons since Dec. 7,
1941, had dawned.
Untried American divisions quickly
proved they could beat Hitler's best
veterans. Despite the strength of the
Germans' -Atlantic wall, the invasion
stuck. The results were not long
showing in Berlin.
Second Battle of France
The first 49 days after Gen. Eisen-
hower's forces landed in Normandy
were spent in securing, enlarging and
building up the beachhead. Extreme-
ly bloody battles were fought in beat-
ing the Germans back from one
hedgerow and sunken road to the
next. Cherbourg, the Allies' first
major port in France, was taken by
American troops on June 27 just three
weeks after D-Day after a bitter fight.
Then, American, Canadian and
Allied troops liberated France in
one of the swiftest campaigns on
record. They did it from a beach-
head-one of the most unusual of
military feats.
While still depending on beach in-
stallations for a flow of supplies, Lt.
Gen. Omar N. Bradley struck out on
July 25 for the great objectives of the
invasion. Bradley's U.S. First Army
broke through at St. Lo and began
throwing armored hooks westward
toward the Normandy coast which
repeatedly trapped large numbers of
German troops.
Taking command of a new U.S.
Third Army, Lt. Gen. George S. Pat-
ton began a. sensational sprint south-
ward through Avranches into Brit-
tany, sent roaming columns speeding
westward and southward to Brest at
the tip of Brittany, St. Nazaire, Lor-
Sent, Nantes and across the Loire,
then turned his main forces eastward
in a stabbing offensive which seemed
aimed straight at Paris.

boy comes home. Let us
rest on our labors.
719 North University

Mortain area he had mounted his
fiercest armored counterattack to-
ward Avranches in the mistaken be-
lief that he could split the Allied
armies and bring them to disaster.
Suddenly all these German forces
were threatened with entrapment.
The attacks by Montgomery and
the newly created First Canadian
Army under Lt. Gen. D.D.G. Crerar
became an anvil upon which Patton
and Lt. Gen. Courtney H. Hodges
of the U.S. First.-Army beat the
German 7th Army to pieces.

Metz first. In quick succession the
U. S. Seventh and First French ar-
mies to the south, and the U. S.
First and Ninth armies went on the
offensive, with some help from the
British Second army at the extreme
northern end.
The French pushed through the
Bclfort Gap near the Swiss border,
the Seventh army broke through to
Strasbourg at Saverne and Patton
made sensational gains and captured
Metz, an old Roman fortified city
which never before in modern times

probably was the greatest of them all
in power and effectiveness.
Marshal Ivan Konev led off with
a smash from his Vistula bridgehead
toward Krakow, toppled that strong-
hold of ancient Polish kings and con-
tinued at a 13-mile-a-day clip into
Germany's industrial Silesia to break
across the Oder River, most import-
ant natural defense line in the east-
ern Reich.
Marshal Gregory Zhukov hit with
similar power, toppled Warsaw, the
blackened and ruined Polish capital

not

Dragged into the German disaster nad been taken by assault. which had stood up under so many
were a newly organized German 5th The Ninth army had broken the months of Soviet attack, and sped on
tank army and a substantial part of permanent works of the Siegfried through western Poland.
the 15th army charged with the de- Line above Aachen, and that city had While Berlin thus became directly
tense ofthe rocket coast and the re- fallen Oct. 20 after an 11-day at- menaced, two other Soviet armies
mainder of northern France. tack and siege. The First and closed on East Prussia and began an
Byn ug. 21 Gen. Montgomery was Ninth armies now began some of amazingly swift overruning of that
able to proclaim that the bulk of their bloodiest battling through the proud and rich old Junker strong-
German forces in northwestern pillboxes and "community diggings" hold.
Germa for~es n nothweomr- hurriedly thrown up behind the Sieg-
France had met with definite, com- hried Ln b t i On Feb. 4, 1945 the day Marshal
plete, decisive" defeat and that the fried Line.
end of the war was in sight. Every village was fortified and Stalin met President Roosevelt and
ould Pfte rw sg very osition tenaciously held.Prime Minister Churchill at Yalta in
The strategy, if successful, would e st ea y the Crimea Conference, the flash of
have paved the way for a possible The slaughter was heavy in the thCrmaonenchefshf
hanking ofe the norther end ofsthe urtgen Forest southeast of Aah- Soviet cannon could be seen in Ber-
flanking of the nothern end of th en, but at length the Allied battle in. Russian soldiers could see Amer-
Siegfried Line, but Field Marshal .neican planes banking for bomb runs
Sir Bernard L. Montgomery was un- line was drawn up to the Roer, 20O
abe odrvete 0miest A-miles west of Cologne, over the German capital.
able to drive the 50 miles to Arn-d.On Feb. 8, Marshal Montgomery
hem in time to exploit the position Patton found the going just as hard began an attack toward the Emmer-
gained by the British First Airborne as he drew up to the Saar River in ich crossing of the Rhine near the
division. After eight days of heavy Germany's Saarland and began at- Holland border, and on Feb. 23 the
fighting from their encircled position, tacking the Siegfried Line at Dillen- U.S. First and Ninth Armies along
the airborne "red devils" were forced mans out of Alsace along the Rhine. the Roer, which had been such a
to withdraw across the Noder Rhine. gen near Saarlautern. The French bloody obstacle, opened the long-
Already Patton's forces were plun- were not quite able to clear the Ger- awaited offensive for the Rhineland.
ging south of Paris and across the mans out. Events Move Swiftly
Seine northwest of Paris to carry out It had now become evident that a Spectacular events followed in
even more audacious plans. turning point inside Germany had spectacular order. The First Army
The underground in Paris rose in been reached in the July 20 attempt seized Cologner. March 6. The
battle. The city of light and symbol on Hitler's life. The purge of Ger- next day the Ninth Armored Division
of liberty in thz western world was man generals and others involved captured a bridge at Remagen before
liberated on Aug. 25, just a month in that unsuccessful plot had en- it could be destroyed, and seized a
after the break-through at St. Lo, abled the Nazi party to strengthen bridgehead on the east side of the
by French and American troops en- its hold more than ever in the deter- Rhine. The same day Patton's Third
tering the city. mination to fight on to the bitter end, Army made a 32-mile break-through
On Aug. 15 the army of France and the high hopes of July for an and reached the Rhine above Cob-
under Gen. Jean de Lattry de Tas- early end to the war faded. lenz, then with the U.S. Seventh
signy and the U.S. 7th Army under Even the August breakthrough of Army began a whirlwind drive to
Lt.-Gen. Alexander M. Patch invaded the Russians into the Calati Gap in capture the Saar and Palatinate
southern France from the Mediter- Romania and the falling away of German prisoners surrendered faster
ranean in a huge and skillfully co- Germany's satellites one by one did than they could be counted.
ordinated action which speedily won not affect German morale in the Five German armies had been de-
control of the whole coast. The Ger- disastrous way as in 1918. ' stroyed as fighting units and the
mans began a precipitate withdrawal The Russians entered Bucharest Reich robbed of its third most pro-
from all southern France, but by the on Aug. 31 after a revolution in i ductive industrial region, the Saar. As
first of September the German 19th Romania, entered Sofia Sept. 16 after the Allies closed up to the Rhine
Army was fighting for its life up the forcing Bulgaria to end the war, com- ;from Holland to Switzerland they
Rhone Valley where it had been in- pelled Finland to sign an armistice - discovered one reason for the Ger-
slicing across the French Alps. mns nd turn against the Germans Sept, man defeat. Photographic interpre-
ss9, tOO&. lielgradE Oct. 19 with the tation of the results of Allied air
WohileAlld forces in the -orth and ,id of Yuguzlav partisans and reached raids had, if anything, underestimat-
outh neared a junction, the Anmeri- the edge of Budapest in Hungary in ed the damage. Large cities were
an First and Third Armies began the first week of November. British -
aseries of amazing dashes toward and Greeks drove the Germans out
the Rhine. Old battlefields along
the Marne. the Aisne, the Oise, were of Greece in October and Albanians
reached and passed with bewildering reclaimed their capital of Tirana.
rapidity. The Americans hurtled inH t of e lep
n in l dt~ th TTm u -Ar onne bNat- ateo h ug

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* OUR HAPPINESS at one victory cannot
let us suffer a defeat. The war is hlf won;
we must win it com letly before we stop

working for that victory.
more than ever before.

Let us strive

Out-generaled, out-numbered and
overwhelmed by superior equip-
ment, fire power and air power, the
Germans seemed powerless in the
face of lightning moves such as
they themselves had employed so
successfully to conquer France in
1940.
Chartres, 55 miles southwest of
Paris, Patton suddenly unmasked his
real intent and wheeled northward
toward the Seine.
Field Marshal Gen. Guenther Von
Kluge, German commander in the
west, had stripped the defenses of
Brittany, and drained divisions from
the 15th Army north of the Seine to
Bolster his defenses in the rugged
territory below Caen on the Allied
left flank, where the ferocity and de-
termination of Marshal Sir Bernard
L. Montgomery's British Second Army
and Canadians had led him to believe
that the main attack would be deliv-
ered.
Here Von Kluge held on, despite
Patton's spectacular penetrations
toward Paris, in the apparent de-
lusion that as long as the Caen
anchor positions held the Allies would
riot venture far inland. From the

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126 EAST HURON STREET

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UNITED IN VICTORY
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A SALUTE TO OUR PARTNERS IN FREEDOM!
" a rrw rre r r l v f- \ If vl -_--.A- - -- A_ i. 7_.._'7 ..,..

a singie ay e e seiu~vtxg g uv
tleground where their fathers fought
for six bloody weeks in 1918. Belgium
was invaded Sept. 2.
Lt.-Gen. Sir Miles C. Dempsey's
British Second Army tanks made an
astounding march of more than 200
miles in four days. roaring through
the Belgian capital of Brussels, the
big fort of Antwerp, and into the
Netherlands.
On Sept. 6, just three months after
the invasion and on the 44th day of
the offensive which had begun at
St. Lo, and with more than 400,000
casualties inflicted upon the Ger-
mans who had lost 25 divisions and
suffered heavy casualties to at least
18 others. Gen. Eisenhower prcclaim-
ed the Battle of Germany about to
begin. His armies already had probed
German soil, the liberation of France
and Belgium was all but complete.
the freeing of the Netherlands not
far off.
Battle of Siegfried Line
The men around General Patton{
believed that, if they had received
enough gasoline to keep their spear-
heads in motion four more days,
they would have rolled completely
through the Siegfried Line and then
could have driven straight to Berlin.!
It proved impossible, however, to
move up sufficient supplies through
hub-deep and broken-down con mmu-
nication lines to keep pace with the
fast-moving spearheads.
Patrols penetrated the Siegfried
Line and entered Metz on the Mo-
selle, but had to retreat for lack of
support. When Patton's suppliesj
caught up with him. the GermansI
had re-entered Metz and spread a-j
long the Moselle. Progress thence-
forth was slow and costly.
Lt.-Gen. Courtney H. Hodges'
U.S. First Army, which had spread
swiftly across Belgium, trapping &
destroying a huge pocket of Ger-
mans at Mons, entered Germany
below Aachen Sept. 13 after pre-
liminary probings in the area of
Trier.
Hodges penetrated to the outskirts
of Aachen and drove a narrow hole
through the concrete and steel works
of the Siegfried Line in the first
7 days. and when he too lacked the
supplies and force to exploit his
gains, the Allies turned their atten-
tion to gaining a large supply port.
The First Canadian and British
Second Armies began the costly cam-
paign to root out the Nazis south of
the Waal in Holland and free the
mouth of the Schelde to permit sup-
ply convoys to enter the relatively
undamaged harbor of Antwerp. On
Sept. 17 there opened a huge ground
and air attack in which the First
'Allied Airborne Army went into ac-
tion and parachute troops were drop-
ped at Nijmagen and Arnhem in an
attemnt to seize the bridges across

Then, Dec. 16, Field Marshal
Karl von Rundstedt, the German
commander in the west, launched
his su-prise offensive into the
Ardenne along the path of the
1940 German breakthrough.
Von Rundstedt threw three armies
against a sector lightly held by Amer-
ican rest troops with the minimum
objective of throwing Eisenhower's
winter offensive off schedule and per-
haps with the maximum objective of
reaching Antwerp and trapping the
Allied armies in the north. He prob-
ably hoped to paralyze Eisenhower's
forces so that they would not be able
to strike in the winter when Marshal
Stalin's Russians were expected to
mount another offensive in Poland.
The blow involved American troops
in their greatest battle since Gettys-
burg in the Civil War. Thousands -
were trapped and overrun and Amer-
ican casualties mounted to more than
50,000.
But trapped American units fought
back valiantly, held off and delayed
the German offensive, and with the
aid of some British divisions prevent-
ed a bieakthrough across the Meuse
or at Sedan.
Especially valiant were the stands
at St. Vith and encircled Bastogne
wrere Brig. Gen. Anthony McAu-
liffs, commander of the 101st Air-
borne Division, made the short but
historic reply, "Nuts," when served
with a. demand to surrender his
surrounded forces.
Reacting promptly, Patton's Third
army moved up and attacked in force
on the south flank of the 50-mile deep
German salient six days after von
Rundstedt opened his drive. Field
Marshal Montgomery took charge on
the northern side of the salient.
At the end of a month the Allies
virtually had erased the salient and
large forces of Germans were in hur-
ried withdrawal, perhaps to meet
the dire peril posed by the Russian
offensive in the East.
Battle in the East ...
On Jan. 12, 1945, Stalin began his
fourth great winter offensive. It

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VICTORS IN
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