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The Wilmington morning star. [volume] (Wilmington, N.C.) 1909-1990, March 27, 1945, Image 2

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Allies Prepare To Cross Rhine In ‘End - The - War Offensive
AT ___ I—■■ || IK 11—r——nnT^— ..
British medium batteries are ready to hurl deat h and destruction at the Germans to cover the huge
Allied offensive across the Rhine.
In a thickly wooded area, mechanics inspect their “ducks” before moving across the river. A smoke
screen shielded them from the foe.
■ Navy and Army commanders confer on details of the ~.,rmhiv
plan before jumping off. amphibiom
Disillusioned GI’s
---- f
Folks At Home Unaware
Of Doughboys’ Efforts
By DON WHITEHEAD
WITH THE U. S. FIRST IN
_ FANTRY DIVISION ACROSS THE
RHINE, March 26.— (A>)—If a lot of
.people at home could see them
selves as they appear to batth
■veterans after two and 9 half year;
of combat they would not be prouc
of the picture.
But that's how it is. The men
told their stories today as they
waited in a little room near the
front for an officer to escort them
back to the 26th Regiment, which
they left January 12 for home
leave.
There were 19 of them. Their
leave was ended and they were
going back into battle.
■i All had been overseas with the
iSFirst Division from the time it
Janded in North Africa. Most wore
Jhe Purple Heart and many had
^decorations for bravery. They
Were going back into the line with
tvivid memories of home, but not
«11 of them were happy.
~ Sure, it was good to be home
again and just sit around and do
nothing but listen to the radio and
eat home cooking, they agreed.
The girls were wonderful and
more sympathetic than most of
■the boys thought they would be.
Home was just like it always was,
but still:
Things have changed, said
Staff Sgt. Howard Ashby, Martins
burg, W. Va. ‘'sometimes I didn’t
think the people thought much of
a soldier or the way we acted.
Maybe it was just me.
“There were not many of my
friends left at home. Most of them
are in the Army and there were
just a few guys left. Somehow you
were disappointed in seeing you
didn’t really mean anything to a
lot of people, even if you had been
fighting for more than two years.
Your family’s not that w'ay of
course, but other people are.’’
“Yeah,’’ said Sgt. Michael Hal
ko of Stockton, Pa., “some people
feel the war, but others don’t give
a damn. They are making a lot of
money and doing all right.
“Why there was one woman who
is making a lot of money in war
work who said she hoped the war
lasted 10 more years. Can you fi
gure that one out? I had a no
tion to slap her face, but I didn’t.
“Then some people who had
sons overseas seemed to resent the
fact that I was at home and their
boys were not. They would ask
• me why was I allowed to come
home v hen their boys weren’t." All
I could say was that I didn’t have
anything to do about anybody get
ting home. It wasn't my fault.”
Staff Sgt. John Duda, Adah, Pa.,
said:
“When you tell ’em a story they
: won’t believe it. They say it
. couldn’t be that bad and then
most people start talking about
; their own troubles and how tough
: it is at home with rationing.
“Old veterans knew what we
: were talking about. They under
stand what the score is and don’1
. ask too many questions.”
Capt. Linwood Billings, Dover,
N. H., said that was the way mosi
of the men felt.
“Most people don’t know whal
is going on,” he said. “I woulc
say 75 per cent of the people ai
home are behind the war effori
and the other 25 don’t give *
damn.
“It is different in smaller towns
because they feel closer to th<
war. In Dover, people know
just about all the boys who art
overseas and they are glad to set
them when they get home. Mosi
everybody there is doing wai
work too, or trying to do some
thing to help.”
Lt. Steve Phillips, Jr., of Green
vill'e, S. C., said:
“I felt lost at times with mosi
of my old friends gone. All I want
ed to do was stay at home with
my wife. I told her I guess sht
thought I was crazy just sitting
and listening to the radio and
reading the papers, but she said
she was happy and that was all
that mattered. That was enough
for me.”
\T
FOE FEARS SPOT
IN WESTERN LINE
(Continued from Page One)
about the present serious situa
tion,” said the DNB home service.
“In the East and West our ene
mies besiege and storm against
fortress Germany hoping to crush
our resistance by grandstyle. syn
chronised offensives. Eisenhower
and Montgomery are out to force
a decision at all costs.
“But '.ve must show them that it
can't be a Sunday afternoon walk
into the central Reich. Our slogan
must and will be ‘kill the enemy
wherever you meet him. Don't wa
ver or give way. Drown the enemy
in his own blood. If Germany is
destined to become a graveyard
let us make it the graveyard of
our enemies.’”
A German underground report
said Field Marshal Walther von
Model, commander of the German
northern armies, had been wound
ed March 16 by a bomb, necessi
tating the summons of Field Mar
shal Albert Kesserling from Italy
to take charge of the Western Front
after Field Marshal von Rundstedt
was removed.
Another report said two generals
and an air force marshal had been
removed as the result of sharp dif
ferences between various air force
chiefs and the Nazi High Command
Those reported removed were Field
Marshal Baron Wolfram von Pich
thofen, cousin of the famous World
War ace, who had been in charge
of the German air force armament;
Maj. Gen. Deichmann, air force
'chi,ef in Italy, and Lt. Gen. Fiedig,
air force chief in the Balkans and
Hungary.
Rumors that Reichmarshal Her
mann Goering, chief of the air
force, had been arrested also vere
heard in foreign capitals.
The Moscow radio broadcast a
statement by the Free German
Committee declaring that “the en
tire officer corps of the Wehrmacht
has been eliminated and replaced
by Himmler’s SS” through “intri
gues, dismissals,* wholesale ar
rests, suicide and war casualties.’’
-V
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Huge British gliders and towing planes await the signal for the start of airborne operations. They
are lined up at an RAF airdrome.
Navy men inspect their anti-aircraft weapons aboard a landing I
craft somewhere on the Rhine.
; i
Seventh Army Crosses Rhine,
Third 80 Miles Beyond River
(Continued from Page One)
With German resistance fading
before Hodges’ crushing drive
down the Cologne - Frankfurt su
perhighway, it was expected that
Frankfurt would fall swiftly. The
city was menaced from all sides
and front line correspondents pre
dicted its capture in a matter of
hours. There had been reports
that the Germans would not defend
the city.
Front dispatches said the Ger
man defenses east of the Rhine
were cracked wide open and that
the enemy was staggered by the
First and Third Army's crushing
blows.
“The Germans are running
around in circles and they w’ake
up at night with nightmares of
Patton’s tanks peeking through
their bedroom window’s,’’ an Ar
gentine citizen who had lived in
Darmstadt for many years told
United Press Correspondent Rob
ert Richards.
West of Frankfurt, other Patton
forces smashed up to the Main
and some reports indicated they
had already crossed the river and
reached the outskirs of Wiesbad
en, resort watering place of 86,
000 on the Rhine immediately
north of Mainz.
The breakthrough tactics of the
First and Third Armies were more
sensational than gains in the north,
but the American Ninth and Brit
ish Second Armies were doing
equally as well as they rolled the
Germans back with piledriver
blows.
The 30th Divison at last reports
was more than 12 miles east of
the Rhine and smashing forward
on the approaches to Dorsten, 17
miles east of the Rhine. In this
drive they smashed a German
tank attack in the Huenxe forest
with the help of dive bombers.
North of the Ninth Army, Demp
sey's British advanced both east
and north as reinforcements
swarmed across the Rhine day and
night.
One front report said the Brit
ish bridgehead was a full 15 miles
east of the Rhine at one point. Its
base to the west was expanded as
troops of the 51st Scottish Divi
sion captured Millingen, three
miles southwest of Ijselburg, in
an area where the Third Canadi
an Division was identified in action.
Front dispatches said that the
First Army was backed by hun
dreds of tanks comprising the
greatest armored force Hodges ev
er had hurled into action. Scores
of towns and cities were being
swept up against little or no re
sistance as the men of the First
attack north, east and south on a
38-mile front, sweeping to points
20 miles beyond the Rhine and
within eight miles of a junction
with Patton’s army across the his
toric river.
Warplanes ranging ahead of the
swift-moving columns were ham
mering the retreating Germans ef
fectively.
One armored task force took off
in the morning from Hoehr-Grenz
hausen, five miles northeast of
Coblenz, and reeled oil the 2
mile gain which crashed unoppos
ed to Limburg.
It struck overland to reach the
Autobahn of Montabauer, 11 miles
northeast of Coblenz, and then
powered unopposed along the six
lane road into Limburg, which lies
20 miles beyond the Rhine. Mean
while, 99th Division Doughboys
riding with the tanks mopped up
by-passed towns.
United Press Correspondent
John B. McDermott reported that
the tanks charged forward in twin
columns. A staff officer described
the drive as “like the First's head
long sweep across France.’’
The two columns raced each
other to Limburg, with one driving
into the city and the other breaking
eastward at a point north of the
city. They found shattered bridges
and a few heavily-mined log bar
riers.
In Limburg, the Yanks met stiff
resistance and a close-quarter bat
tle raged into the night against
German rear guards fighting to
keep open an escape route for
their main forces.
Other First Army units were
within two miles of Coblenz at Val
lendar, and eight miles of a junc
tion with Patton’s bridgehead.
In the north, four armored task
forces were reported on the loose.
One drove 12 miles to within 1,500
yards southeast of the seven-way
road junction of Altenkirchen, 22
miles east of Bonn, on the Rhine’s
west bank. Another surging north
ward toward a junction with the
21st Army Group near the Ruhr
struck into the outskirts of Eitorf,
10 miles northwest of Altenkirchen.
Official reports said that Simp
son’s bridgehead into the Ruhr
measured 10 miles wide and 10
miles deep, but front line dis
patches said it was much deeper
and growing hourly.
It appeared that the Ninth Army
might fight its, first main battle in
the Ruhr on a series of heights
running north and south between
Dorsten and Gahlen, which was re
ported captured by the 30th Divi
sion.
Air reports indicated the Ger
mans were risking more than half
of their entire mobile reserve
forces on this one battle against
the 30th Division, whose staff offi
cers felt it might slow up their
drive but could not stop it.
Some Panzer Grenadiers captur
ed in the battle of Huenxe forest
complained that their trans
ports ran out of gasoline and that
they were forced to march into
action from Dorsten.
American artillery was'reported
across the Rhine in “surprising
strength” and was given much of
the credit for breaking up German
counterattack attempts.
Other 30th Division forces behind
the advanced spearheads captured
Huenxe on the Lippe canal and
moved on to a point southeast of
Gartrop-Buehl, 10 miles east of the
Rhine and the last officially re
ported point of penetration.
The Ninth Army’s 79th Division
meanwhile fought deeper into the
Ruhr factory area south of Dins
laken, where they encountered
German tank opposition in the area
of Wehoven, five miles north of
Duisburg.
A German column racing north
out of Duisburg to halt the Yanks
was hammered by planes of the
29th Tactical Air Command.
Radio Luxembourg said that
Simpson’s forces had fought to the
outskirts of Duisburg.
Among the towns swept up in
the Ninth Army’s bridgehead were
Bruckhausen, Hiersfeld and Leth
kampshof. Troops which took Let
kampshof gained three miles east
and reached the Ruhr-Hammen^eln
superhighway, where they met m "
jhine gun and rifle fire ma
Airborne troops in the
K?,«3??52£'£*r«S
i
more than 10 000 number
was pouring across the Rhine to
the British Second Army and that
some of the newly-constructed
bridges were made of structural
steel captured in the great Krupp
plants at Rheinshoven and Kre
feld.
The British were supported by
waves of warplanes which lashed
retreating Nazi columns. At one
point 200 enemy vehicle! were
caught in the 20 mile stretch be
tween Dorsten and Bocholt. All
were destroyed or damaged.
Two British columns were meet
ing stiff resistance. Airborne troops
striking eastward from Hammen
keln, north of Wesel, were nearing
Brunenwald, 13 miles northwest of
Dorsten, toward which the Ninth
Army was driving. The other
thrust moving northward from Mil
lingen also was meeting stiff op
position.
In the center of the front Brit
ish Commandos of the 17th Air
borne Division linked with the U.
S. Ninth Army beyond Wesel.
Far to the south, meanwhile,
Patton's Third Army was reported
officially to have made a third
crossing of the Rhine. The point
of the new bridgehead was not
specified, but the Germans said it
was at Speier.
The new crossing came as Al
lied Supreme Headquarters an
nounced officially that the last Ger
man resistance west of the Rhine
from Switzerland north to Holland
had been snuffed out with the cap
ture of the last German snipers
in the Karlsruhe area.
The German radio spoke of fight
ing in Karlsruhe, but it was not
clear if the report meant that the
Americans had made a new cross
ing there or were shelling the
town, from the west bank.
_ir _
WESTERN FRONT
IN LAST PHASE
(Continued from Pape One)
air force had been overwhelmed.
Though the count of spoils is
far from complete, the statement
said, 550 tanks and assault guns
have been captured or destroyed,
800 artillery pieces, including at
least 350 38-millimeter guns, have
been counted, and more than 300,
000 tons of ammunition have been
captured.
The first part of the summary
reviewed operations from Febru
ary 23 to March 14. It told how
the Canadian and British armies
in the north had held the Germans
above the Ruhr, according to plan,
and that the First and Third Ar
mies thus were enabled to strike.
The second part reviewed the ov
erall campaign from February 8 to
March 22 when the battle of the
Rhine line was regarded as won.
The summary paid tribute to the
First Canadian Army including
British troops which struck on
February 8 and. it was said, “driv
ing the flower of the German for
ces, the first parachute army, be
fore them.”
On February 23, the American
Ninth Army and part of the First
ittacked, then the Third Army
joined.
The victory was won partly be
cause the German general staff
blundered repeatedly but mainly
aecause operations were well plan
ed and skillfully executed, it was
said.
-V
Mexico City dates from 1325,
when the Aztecs settled on an
sland in Lake Texcoco.
War At First Hand
Six Senators To Visit
European War Theaters
WASHINGTON, March 26.—(JP)
A half dozen Senators are goinj
to Europe next month for an in
tensive survey of military opera
tions and economic conditions, tc
give the Senate first hand infor
mation on war-end problems.
Chief objective of the group
members said today will be tc
find out what the Army intend;
to do with billions of dollars ir
equipment and supplies when Ger
man resistance collapses and the
full weight of the war is shiftec
against the Japanese.
Tentative arrangements have
ben made for Senators Russel'
(D-Ga), Hill (D-Ala), Chandler (D
Ky), M a y b a n k (D-SC) anc
Bridges (R-NH) to make the trip
Traveliing by Army transport, the
group will start in about two weeks
and be gone nearly a month. Sen
ator Revercomb (R-WVa) may be
added to the list or may replace
Eridges if the latter is unable to
go. Senator Pepper (D-Fla) also
wants to go.
Jointly the group will represent
the Senate Appropriations, Mili
tary Aifairs and Foreign Relations
Committees. Some of the criti
cisms of military operations and
decisions voiced at a recent closed
session of the latter committee
with General of the Army George
C. Marshall may come in for first
hand investigation.
Senator Hill told a reporter it
is his understanding the group will
interest itself primarily in what
the Army plans to do about trans
ferring men, equipment and sup
plies from the European to the
Pacific fronts when the Germans
are beaten.
The War Department has said
that as much equipment and as
many supplies as feasible will be
shipped to the Japanese fighting
zone. The shortage of shipping,
however, may force extensive re
equipment in this country of troops
in transit from one theater to an
other.
Hill said the group will attempt
to find out what equipment is suit
able for the Pacific. It will in
quire also, he said, into the rela
tive merits of American and Ger
man tanks, planes, guns and ma
teriel.
G. I. complaints that American
tanks are inferior to German ar
mor in firepower and in some oth
er respects have occupied the at
tention of the military committee
in the past. The War Department
has said that American tanks are
best. for the tactical purposes to
which they are put.
Hill said the group also will look
into the complains that this county
has lagged behind the Nazis in
the production and battle-use of
jet propulsion planes.
“We want to find out something
about the relative value of differ
ent types of aircraft and their
use,” he added.
In addition, the Alabama sena
tor said the group probable will
confer with British and French
government representatives about
post-war economic needs and
plans of those countries.
Later it will go into Germany
to survey conditions. Committee
members are hoping that by the
time they get there, Berlin itself
will be in Allied hands. They ex
pect to visit the Italian front but
have no plans to see the Russians
in action.
“We’re going to face some tre
mendous problems when the Ger
man war is over,” Hill declared,
“and we ought to be equipped
with first hand information about
military questions and the eco
nomic needs of those countries
that are likely to be coming to
us for help in getting themselves
on their feet.”
-y
ROTARY MEETING
The Holly Ridge Rotary club
will meet at 1 pr-"'m. today at
Snead’s Ferry to elect a chairman
and committee for service in the
United National Clothing Collec
tion Month in April, it was an
Eisenhower Meets Army
Commanders For Parley
(Continued from paj« One)
from atop the 1,086-foot hiEh
Petersberg mountain. From it.
windows Eisenhower could look
down on the valley where Hodges'
men had fought in from the river
built up a strong force and then
struck out eastward.
Eisenhower was accompanied by
his aide-de-camp, Lt. Col. Ernest
R Lee of San Antonio. Texas. The'
Supreme Commander had lunch a*
Seventh Corps Headquarters with
Maj. Gen. Joseph L. Collins, corps
commander.
nounced yesterday. Wives of mem
bers will be present.
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