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June 30, 1943 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1943-06-30

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JUNE ail, 1943

HEMICTHIGAN DA[TN

PAGE

Air CampaignIs Prologue

To Anticipated Allied Invasion
* *. * * 4 ________-_______

* * *' * * *
British, Americani Planes Active
During Land and Sea Lull
All Sea and Air Initiative Wrest from
axis y Destruetive BOmbing Campaigns

By GLENN BABB
Associated Press War Interpreter
Summer's first week-end finds the'
world still waiting for the curtain
to rise on the main show, the antici-
pated titanic clashes of the armies
and navies in. the fateful campaign
of 1943. Meantime, however, its at-
tention was gripped by the blazing
prologue in the skies, where the soft-
ening up of the Axis was carried for-
ward at a new pitch of intensity and
destructiveness.
This pattern may continue for a
few more weeks. On the other hand
the setting of the stage is so near
completion that any morning may
see the Allied landing barges sweep-
ing toward the enemy's coasts, prob-
ably in the Mediterranean.
Lull Still Rules'
On land and sea the pre-invasion
lull still ruled but in the air the
British and American air fleets had
their most tremendous week of the
war. The "neutralization" of the
Ruhlr, heart of German war produc-
tion, was virtually completed and
the sapping of Italy's power and will
to resist mlade good progress.
The lull aground emphasized the
extent to which the initiative has
passed from the Axis. The Allies
rule the seas and the skies to such a
degree that an Axis stroke in either
element is out of the question. But
both Germany and Japan still have
the opportunity to launch great land
offensives if they care to take the
gamble.
But the bright June days, so fav-
orable for this porpose, slipped by
and both remained quiescent. The
anniversary of Hitler's attack of

Russia passed with his armies still
immobilized along the whole length
of the eastern front. The belief held
in some quarters that Japan might
strike a blow for both Germany and
herself by attacking Siberia received
no support. The Japanese contin-
ued to give ground in China. In the
south and southwest Pacific Japan
still was waiting for something,
meanwhile suffering heavy attrition
in the air.
Italy Has Jitters
Italy, with nothing left to do but
await the dread day of invasion, did
just that while the airfields, ports
and communications centers of her
islands and southern mainland
shuddered under the daily blows of
the -American and British air forces.
With June almost gone it seemed
the time was fast running out in
which an Axis offensive could be ex-
pected. Wider acceptance was found
for the suggestion that both in Eur-
ope and in° the Pacific the enemy,
realizing that his power to wage of-
fensive warfare was virtually gone,
was content to stand on the defen-
sive, hoping for some miracle, mili-
tar'y or political, which would give
him a stalemate.
Air War Is First
The war in the air therefore be-
came the first front. Into the bat-
tle over western Germany for the
moment the two great alliances were
pouring a greater proportion of their
military resources than into any oth-
er, with the Mediterranean a close
second. The Britain-based squad-
rons of the RAP and the U.S. Eighth
Air Force clashed grimly with the
most formidable array of air de-

Allied Commiianders in 1 i1o Theatres
3 O LHAOD ALEXANDER iGN I EN. DOUGLAS B. MACARTHUR
.i4
EN. BERNARD MONTGOMERY ADMIRAL WILLIAM S. HALSEY
...Their work in Nor th Africa and the South Pacific has made
PO sible the imminent invasion of Europe.
Gen. Sir Harold Alexander (unper left), commander of the British
First Army, and Gen. Bernard Montgomery (lower left) head of the
Umitish Eighth Army, cleared out of North Africa all Axis troops less
than two months ago and forced the surrender of the German coin-
inander Col. Gen. Jurgen Von Arnim.
In the South Pacific theatre Gen. JDouglas B. MacArthur's troops
have successfully resisted Japanese attacks. Admiral William S. Hal-
sey, who predicted on New Year's IDay that comnlete victory over Japan
is a possibility this year, has ousted the enemy from the lower Solomons

Rominel Is Reported T
Concentrating 350,000
BERN, Switzerland, June 29-t/P) himself wasr
--Axis nervousness increased today chateau at M
amid ever-growing reports of intense quently is sai
defensive preparations both in Italy oneelVds ur
and in France's central Rhone valley Frenchmen
where Nazi Field Marshal Rommel in that sector
was reported concentrating an esti- by "unending
mated 350,000 troops as a barrier tanks, giving
against Allied attempts to reach the among the p
German heart of Europe. campaign inF
Italy expected the start of the bat the dispatchs
tle at any hour, said the Gazette de
Lausanne, adding that the Italians acDor
believed an Allied fleet was ready to
attack the coasts of Sicily. Allied
Around Lyon, on the Rhone, River
in France, each morning German OTTAWA,
troops wearing diverse uniforms, in- lied assault o
eluding some of Rommel's Africa very near futi
Corps, are seen, said a Lyon dispatch by Malcolm
to the Tribune de Geneve. Rommel High Commis
Ii ___ ___

o Be
Troops
reported stationed in a
Zontdore, where he fre-
id to set out down the
Tto inspect "vast avia-
ader construction"
going to work at dawn
were reported attracted
lines" of artillery and
rise to an opinion
opulation that a new
France was in prospect,
said,
* * *
'ld Predicts'
4ssa ult Soont
June 29.--(P)--An Al-
n Axis territory in the
ure was predicted today
MacDonald, Britain's
sioner to Canada, who

disclosed also that enemy U-boats
had been knocked out at the rate of
one a day for the last two weeks.
Preparations for the blow at Ger-
inany or German-held territory were
well advanced, he told a press con-
ference, and it was unlikely that "we
will have to wait very long" before
the effort to crush Hitler on land
is launched. He suggested that com-
paratively small assaults might serve
as a prelude to the opening of a full-
fledged second front.
The Allies "obviously are ap-
proaching another great crisis of the
war," he said.
The promising picture of anti-sub-
marine activity served to emphasize
recent Allied reports that the At-
lantic was becoming an increasingly
unhealthy field for U-boat opera-
tions. RecentdLondon reports said
submarines had been sunk at a rate,
of better than one a day for the
past two months and MacDonald de-
clared, "We have had a dead sub-
marine served up for breakfast every
day for the past fortnight."

I- - - _________ __________

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fenses ever concentrated, brought to
western Europe by Hitler in an ef-
fort to prevent the destruction of his
war potention and the will of his
people to continue the struggle. The
Allies scored tremendous successes,
the enemy's cries alone showed he
was badly hurt, but they also paid a
stiff price.
A week of attack cost the Allies
202 multi-engined bombers, many of
them carrying ten or more men. The
RAF, out every night, lost 165, the
Americans 37. To show for this
they had the crippling devastation
of Krefeld, Muelheim, Wuppertal,
Huls, Bochum and Gelsenkirchen in
the Ruhr, the great Schneider ar-
senal at Le Creusot in France, the
German "Radar" factory at Fried-
richshafen, the Italian naval base
of La Spezia. Reliable reports said
between 4,000,000 and 5,000,000 civil-
ians already had been evacuated
from the stricken Ruhr, above which
the accustomed industrial haze from
factory chimneys was reported many
degrees lighter.
('ermany Was Wounded
There was no doubt that Germany
was sorely wounded in a vital spot.
The reaction of Goebbels' propa-
ganda reinforced this conclusion. It
was a combined attempt to appeal to
the soft-hearted in Allied countries
by vivid accounts of civilian suffer-
ing and to the hatred in German
hearts by stories of alleged destruc-
tion wrought by the American bar-
barians to the cultural monuments
of the Old World.
In the Mediterranean the Allies,
ranged along. the north African
shore, obviously were well along with
the job of softening up Sicily, and
to a lesser extent Sardinia, for inva-
sion. Naples and its industrial en-
virons, on the nearby mainland, also
were heavily blasted. On Sicily the
week began and ended with shatter-
ing attacks on Messina, chief port
for communications with the main-
land. More than 100 Flying Fort-
resses blasted that city on Friday in
the largest operation yet by these
great planes in the Mediterranean
theatre, From end to end of Sicily
airfields and ports were shattered
and raked with gunfire. When the
airfields are put out of commission
the time for invasion is near. Sar-
dinia got it too, especially Olbia in
the northeast, raided twice, and a
long list of airfields.
Mediterranean Area Livened
One new figure in the pattern of
the Mediterranean war was a long-
range raid last week by more than
50 American Liberators on the Greek
port of Salonika, pointed reminder

that big events are brewing in that
area.,
In the words of 14 successive Mos-
cow communiques, there were no
significant changes on the long Rus-
sian battle line. But Moscow took
occasion of the second anniversary
of Hitler's attack on the Soviet Un-
ion to remind the western allies of
the imperative necessity of a second
front in Europe if Hitler Germany
is to be destroyed. The Allied an-
swer was to plough ahead with the
Casablanca - Washington program
which none doubted called for an
invasion of the continent as soon as
possible.
The aspect of the war in the south
and southwest Pacific saw little
change, although the Japanese air
force continued to lose heavily in its
few attempts to challenge Allied rule]
of the air. A feature of the week
was a raid by American Liberators
on Makassar on Celebes, involving a
2.000-mile roundtrip flight. Indica-
tions persisted that aggressive Allied
action somewhere in the south-
southwest Pacific was impending.
The trend toward Allied victory in
the battle of the Atlantic persisted.
There was nothing to dispute the
growing belief that the curve of Al-
lied ship losses, declining sharply
since March, would dip even lower
in June,

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