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July 20, 1941 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1941-07-20

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Russian Bear
Digging In





Battle Rages
In Capital



I . -1


- - - - - Piercing The Stalin Line




- - -

Despite the inconsistent flow of
claims and counter-claims that con-
tinued to pour out of the Russian and
German propaganda front last week,
three conclusions could be drawn by
careful analysis of communiques from
both sides:
1) The Soviet Army is fighting a
losing war. The Nazi high command
has, of course, emphasized that since
the beginning of the war. The Rus-
sians have denied the German claim,
but even the official Moscow com-
muniques tacitly admit setback after
2) After a week of uncertainty, the
German offensive is again in high
gear. The terse, uninformative com-
muniques of the early weeks of the
war have turned to glowing claims of
specific victories. The campaign is,
however, no pushover, and Germany
is putting all her reserve power be-
hind the punch.
3) The present war is probably the
bloodiest carnage man has yet seen.
Claims of enemy casualties "by both
sides are tremendous and must be
taken with a shipload of salt, but
the tallies of admitted casualties
clearly indicate that the German of-
fensive would make World War I look
like a picnic.
Most interesting and most lively
sector of the war front this week
was the Road to Moscow. At the
beginning of last week, the German
communiques reported that the Stal-
in Line had been pierced' at "all im-
portant points" protecting Leningrad,
Moscow and Kiev. On the Moscow
Front, panzer divisions were reported
driving through Vitebsk and across
the Dvina toward Smolensk on the
road to Moscow.
Moscow countered With a claim
that there had been "no important
changes in the front," but admitted
heavy fighting in the Vitebsk sector.
The following day's communique re-
ported "wave after wave" 'of heavy
German attacks repulsed along the
Vitbsk-Oresha road.
The Nazi press, however, saw only
minor Russian resistance, gloated that
the Eastern campaign was virtually
won, pointed with pride to reports
that Kiev was ready to 'fall, Lenin-
grad was threatened and Smolensk
was almost within Hitler's grasp.
Berlin sources asserted that the
cream of Stalin's army had been an-
nihilated in the first week's skirm-
ish. Only the mass inertia of a dis-
integrating army stood in Hitler's
way, according to the German press.
First break to puzzled newsmen
came late Wednesday night when
Moscow admitted that German troops
had broken into the Smolensk sector.
90 miles east of a now smouldering
Vitebsk and 230 miles from the Soviet
capital. The admission by the Soviet
High Command that the important
rail and communications center of
Smolensk was under heavy Nazi
threat was the first instance of a
confirmation by either side of a major
From "authoritative sources" in
Washington came the report that the
Soviet government services were mov-
ing out of' Moscow to Khazan, 450
miles east of the present capital on
the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Mos-
cow neither affirmed nor denied the
repovt, emphasized only that the for-
eign office was still located in Mos-
cow. The Soviet government appar-
ently feared an encircling drive about
the capital from Leningrad in the
north and Smolensk in the south.
Other reports indicated that wo-
men and children were being evacu-
ated from the capital and food was
already beitg rationed.
By- week's end German troops
claimed Smolensk, were reportedly
knocking at Moscow's front gate. Nor
did Moscow counter with glowing re-
ports of Soviet successes: the Rus-
sian communique again became terse,
'reported heavy fighting and indicated
that the troops defending the capital
were digging in for a last ditch fight.
How effective that last ditch fight
would be was a matter of communi-

ques. Moscow reported that all re-
serves had been mustered to the cause,
that Red defenders - were ready to
wear down any assault. Berlin, how-
ever, was less confident of Russia's
chances, reported that communica-
tions were so badly disrupted that an
orderly retreat was impossible and the
Russians could hardly hope to set up
an effective line of resistance.
Russo-German Pledge
From London and Moscow early
this week came announcement of the
signing of an agreement by which Bri-
tain and Russia pledge to each other
full war assistance, and determine
not to sign a separate peace.
Reactions to the signing varied from.
capitol to capitol. Most enthusias-
tic were the Moscow editorialists who
saw in the agreement a direct link;
from Washington to the Kremlin, it
was, they said, a definite assurance
that U.S. aid would soon reach em-
battled Russia.
In London, Prime Minister Church-
ill assumed a near-apologetic atti-
tude, explained in no uncertain terms
that his position relative to Russiaa
had not chancepd sin ethe nnnerino

.I .

tionship is friendly now only by vir-
tue of a common enemy, and there is
no altruistic motive on either side.
The treaty, is a typical New Order
treaty: a mere scrap of paper; an
excuse for pomp and ceremony and
speeches, but no more binding than
a Mexican wedding.
Cabinet Reshuffle
In a surprise move !ate last week,
Premier Prince Fuminaro Konoye and
the entire Japanese cabinet'resigned.
The sudden, development in, the
Tokyo Government caused no little
speculation by "usually reliable
sources." Japan was still at least
ostensibly hitched to the Axis band-
wagon, and at the same time has a
non-aggression pact with Soviet Rus-
sia. The change in government, it
was believed, would clear that issue.
The change in government, how-
ever, turned out to be no change; the
change in policy but an intensifica-
tion. Emperor Hirohito, in confer-
ence with former Premier Admiral
Mitsumasa Yonai, instructed Konoye
to form a new government.
The new cabinet, composed in part
of three admirals and four generals,
presented, a unified front, The only
change in foreign policy announced
was a firm intent to carry on a more
forceful campaign in China.
Hints of future action, however,
came from Indo-China, where the
Japanese were reported preparing to
build large airfields: intended prob-
ably to force complete subjugation of
the French colony, with the possible
further aim of launching a campaign
into southern China to cut off the
Burma Road or of cutting southward

into the Dutch colonies in search of
rich oil lands.
Of relations with Russia and the
Axis, there was no hint. In her pres-
ent position, Japan probably prefers
not to pick a fight with either until
the outcome of the Russian war is
definitely decided.
Levant Pact Signed
French, Free-French and British
military chiefs met at Acres, Palestine
early last week to officially conclude
the war in "Syria and Lebannon.
Vichy France protested to the Bri-
tish terms to the end; but she was in
no position to force a better peace.
British troops controlled the scene,
and further resistance would have
been suicide. Significant was the Pe-
tam plea to defeated soldiers to re-
main as true after defeat as they
had been before. Vichy hoped, at
least outwardly, that the defenders
would not join in with deGaul.
The peace, Vichy warned, was mili-
tary, not political, but observers knew
that control of the Levant states was
.now in the hands of pro-British de-
RAF, Aerial Circus
In the aerial duel between the RAF
and the Luftwaffe, the British last
week again appeared to be holding the
upper hand.
Few Nazi raiders succeeded in
reaching vital points in England,
whereas a continuous stream of RAF
raiders shuttled across the Channel
to wreak havoc on German industrial
On Monday. Britain struck heavily

at Bremen and new Nazi fortifications
on the Channel coast. On Tuesday,
several Dutch ports were added to
the RAF repertoire. Reported sunk
were five ships totalling 22,500 tons.
Subsequent raids on the Dutch coast
yielded 18 more ships.
The southern arm of the RAF,
meanwhile, took vicious cuts at the
Axis supply line in Lybia, at convoys
along the Tripolian coast, at airports
in Crete and Greece.
V For Victory
Britain, long on the defensive end
of fifth column work, last week de-
cided to launch a little undermining
for her own cause in the occupied
countries of Europe: the "V for Vic-
tory" drive.
Originally started in a humorous
vein by BBC's Colonel Britain, the.
campaign yesterday became a major
propaganda offensive when Churchill
urged the conquered peoples of Eur-
ope to smear "millions of new V's on
walls and doors and pavements all
over Europe as a symbol of resistance
to Naziism."
Far from being a gag, the driveJ
is becoming a major British bid for
the Axis fpes to unite in a large secret
organizations ready to strike from
within once England has a foothold
on the continent.
"Wait for the word," Colonel Bri-
tain urged his listeners, and promised
that "when the moment comes" the
action would be such that the Ger-
mans would be powerless to stop it.
-Karl Kessler

Present and future draftees, na-
tional guardsmen, reservists and the '
country in general watched with in-
terest last week the battle raging in
Washington between Army-Adminis-
tration forces and Congressional re-
The President, the early part of the
week gave up in the interest of har-
mony the idea of obtaining permis-
sion to send troops beyond the limits
of the Western Hemisphere, but made
it plain he was shelving, not aband-
oning the plan.
The President and General Mar-
shall, however, both sought to impress
Congress with the idea that exten-
sion of the service of men now under
arms for the duration of the emer-
gency is imperative. Marshall asked
Congress to proclaim by its own vote
a state of 'national emergency thus
bringing into force the authority of
the President to extend the period
of service.
At week's end the President, who
said that the Army faced serious dis-
integration by the dismissal of men
whose service time expires in the fall
and winter, told newsmen that he
would deliver a special message on the
subject to Congress this week.
Meanwhile on Thursday numbers
were again drawn from the famous
goldfish bowl to determine the order
numbers of 750,000 additional pros-
pective draftees turned 21 since the
October draft. No. 196 turned up
first in this drawing.
Price Predictions
Leon Henderson, Administrator of
the Office of Price Administration


and Civilian Supply, had a busy first
part of last week.
Monday he announced in a speechi
that the "honeymoon months" of theI
defense boom were about over and
that a long' period of higher prices
and shortages of all kinds was at
Tuesday he moved from the second,
story to the penthouse of his apart-
ment building, "to get on top of'
prices" his secretary said.
Wednesday he participated in a
final conference over price fixing in
preparation for sending controlling
legislation to both houses of Congress
next week.
At week's end the draft of the, bill
was pretty well mapped out. Clauses
giving authority over wages had been
stricken out and /the bill will prob-
ably go to Congress early this week.
Relative Progress
How is our defense drive progress-
ing? Whatever the answer may be, it
must be relative. The War Depart-
ment is uncertain.
Early in the week the War Depart-
ment issued figures on strikes in de-
fense industries: loss of 2,458,150
man-days in, the first six months of
1941, Army contracts delayed by 187
strikes involving 213,900 workers with
each strike lasting an average of 11
days and involving an average of
1,144 men. Deplorable figures!
The very next day the War De-
partment announced that American
industry is producing weapons of
war at a rate that was not generally
achieved in 1917 until the United

. 4

FI1N LA N D = ..; :::
ha ewnt '*""""-""*"""'-""'""-'"'-'- ning thrusts by Nazis, tan-
gling Russian communications
LENINGRAD ural defenses. Nazi strategy and leaving Red armies in
HANGO TALLINN southwest, cutting off rail d -lmm
(.U.....R.).and water connections with r..a ..
armies intact. Or erl ep
MOSOWtreat- retreat s neces- o
sary-would prevn r-
+- mny fom utflnk nnd SAMARA
VINA ......
KONIG SBER .MINSK White 1l& ~,0
a Q - Ger-
RsinOREL Rssa armies in l SARATOV
has fewnia ion g and supplymlnne
~~~ a. can't keep pace with army, cam- ' SAIGA
IEV KHARKOV paign may extend into autumn~TANQ D
(Poland).when rains would aid Reds.
.. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . ............
... .::
f t.2. USINAMES i m i

States had been in the World War for
months, and in many categories is
even ahead of the rate reached when
the Armistice was signed.
No Monkey Wrenches
As defense work continued, there
were three indications last week that
strict vigilance is being kept so that
no monkey wrenches cah be thrown
into the works by foreign agents.
Thirty-three persons were indicted
in New York Tuesday on charges of
cooperating with the German gov-
ernment to violate the espionage laws
of this country. One pleaded guilty,
the rest were arraigned in federal
Court Friday and the trial was ten-
tatively set for September.
The following day New York's Dis-
trict Attorney Thomas E. Dewey re-
vealed a long-range investigation of
general racketeering which had been
hampering national defense efforts in
the port of New York, subpoenaing
201E longshoremen to obtain state-
ments under oath from victims and
suspected leaders of extortion rackets.
On Wednesday also the Navy trans-
port West Point, formerly the crack
liner America, left New York harbor
after a 24-hour delay with 450 Ger-
mans and Italians on board, the staffs
of the consular offices closed by order
of the State Department.
Simultaneously, Italian officials
held up a train-load of U.S. consular
officers banished from Italy, in a
reprisal move. Said the officials,
"You will be allowed to proceed as
soon as we receive definite word of
the West Point's sailing from New
York harbor." Passengers were not
even allowed to leave the train and
sleep in hotels.
Day By Day
Washington miscellany calendar:
Monday: The Senate Naval Affairs
Committee revealed that Secretary
Knox told it Friday that the United
States, had no agreement with the
British for joint naval action in the
Atlantic and that no American war-
ship had even entered the combat
zone as now defined by President
Roosevelt. This did not mean, Knox
added, that the United States would
not protect its ships going to Iceland,
just as it would protect them going
to South America. See below, Fri-
Tuesday: The President informed
newsmen that he believed a new tax
bill necessary each year during the
defense emergency to adjust revenues
to expenditures, and that a new tax
bill will have to be drafted next win-
ter to raise more revenue.
Wednesday: Leland Olds, chairman
of the Federal Power Commission,
announced a defense power expansion
program involving the expenditure of
up to $470,000,000 annually for the
duration of the emergency, to start
immediately. The plan provides for
immediate contracting for capacity
output of all generator-building com-
panies in the United States, an in-
vestment in steam stations, addition-
al hydro-electric projects, creation of
a Reconstruction Finance Corpora-
tion subsidiary to provide funds for
the purpose of all generator-building
capacity not booked by private or
municipal power companies and a
series of river-basin projects calling
for installation of approximately
1,000,000 kilowatts a year.
Thursday: The President issued a
proclamation making official a list
of 1,800 Latin-American firms and
individuals believed to be acting in
the interests of Germany or Italy.
The proclamation was regarded as
putting on an all-out basis the eco-
nomic efforts of the United States to
clear Latin-American republics of
American-financed Axis propaganda
and of Axis trade ties. The blacklist
was described as containing more
names of Axis-connected Latin-
American agents than the British

Statutory Blacklist for the same area.
Col. Charles A. Lindbergh made
public a letter to the President dis-
avowing any connection with any for-
eign government, asserting he had
no communication with anyone in
Germany or Italy since the spring of
1939 and asking for an apology from
Secretary Ickes for his repeated de-
nunciations. He offered to submit
to any investigation the President
might authorize.
Friday: The President told a press
conference that Lindbergh's letter had
been given to the newspapers before
it reached the White House and left
the matter at that. In answer to a
reporter's question as to what is be-
ing done to keep the sea lanes to
Iceland open, he referred to his mes-
sage to Congress announcing the
arrival of an American protective
force in Iceland and authorizing the
Navy to take all necessary steps to
keep the lanes open to the nation's
strategic outposts.
Arthur J. Altmeyer, Chairman of
the Social Security Board, recom-
mended an eight-point program for
liberalizing the Social Security Act.



W' "





(By The Associated Press)
German communique: "Operations
are proceeding according to plan."
* * *
T HE German master plan for the
Russian offensive, certain mili-
tary experts. in Washington believe,
is at once simple and yet the most
ambitious war blueprint ever\devised
-a double envelopment of Russia's
military forces.
As the technicians see it, the field
of operations embraces a million-odd
square miles-roughly the teritory
lying within the south and west bank
of the long dog-leg Volga river. The
limit of the objective runs from Len-

he's busy warding off the blow at the
center, you shoot him in the back.
* * *
JN the Russian campaign, 'the Von
Clausewitz strategy is applied this
(1) Separate from each other the
three great front line armies of Rus-
sia-the armies of Leningrad, Mos-
cow and the Ukraine.
(2) At the same time, use motor-
ized divisions and planes to smash
communications and transport sys-
tems between these armies, thus
depriving them all of reinforcements,
ammunition, food, and information
about each other.
(3) Then split each of the big

the experts credit Germany with
taking advantage of reported gross
weaknesses of the Russian general
staff - indecision and slow trans-
This means it is taken for granted
that Russia has put two plans on
paper, one calling for its armies to
stand and fight, the other for a slow,
orderly retreat.
But it is also taken for granted
that the Russians are organized to
carry out only one of these plans -
that calling for them to stand. In
other words, the experts believe Mos-
cow is all set to shoot out supplies,
reinforcements and information to
all the Russian armies along the
...:. ....,.1. rf ]. h~i n l- -

tracking eastward to the Volga with-
out getting caught in a traffic jam of
their own making - huge retreating
armies backpedaling pell mell into
supply trains heading for fronts that
no longer exist.
** *
LIKE all paper military plans, the
Washington technicians point out,
there is weakness in the German
scheme, too. There is some question
whether Nazi armies can keep sup-
plies flowing with never - ending
speed and force to all the spearhead
thrusts they make into the heart of
Russia. And unless they can provide
advanee without nause. they will give

has been obtained in the battles of
the west.
Some few believe, however, that the
Germans cannot advance fast enough
to trap sizable Russian armies before
fall, especially in the central artery
zone around Moscow.
*' * *
NATURALLY, Germany has not
failed to provide itself with al-
ternatives. The most likely detour is-
a plan within the master plan - the
southern thrust through the Ukraine.
Few military observers doubt that
Germany could take the Ukraine by
diverting all its striking power to
that task. That would also mean
giving up the heart of the master
-n - a hsC+h o.r+ f, rlc

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