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The Birmingham age-herald. [volume] (Birmingham, Ala.) 1902-1950, July 31, 1918, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038485/1918-07-31/ed-1/seq-1/

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United States Troops Carry Out Most Brilliant
Operation in Face Of Determined Hun Counter
Australians Capture
Village of Merris,
Southwest of Ypres
Germans Attempt to Retake Village of Steuph
raise, Near Rheims, and Mal<£ Slight Ad
vance to West of Village—Local
Fighting Reported
With the American Army on the Aisne-Marne front, July 30.
(By the Associated Press.)—Through a barrage as deadly as
any the Germans have laid down on any sector for months, the
American soldiers, comprising men from the middle west and
eastern states, pushed their line forward a little more today,
find tonight it forms the apex of the long allied front.
Their progress was considerable, though less than two miles,
but it is regarded as a brilliant operation in view of the deter
mined countering by the Germans.
On either side the French also moved forward, while steady pressure was
maintained against the east and west flanks.
Information early in the day indicated the withdrawal of the Fourth
guards, but it developed that that renowned organization and the Bavarians
were still on the front, and the strong opposition they offered justified their
reputation. But their sacrifice was in vain.
The Americans withstood two
heavy attacks during; the night,
and at daylight began their op
erations, which left them tonight
well to the north of Sergy on the
long slopes approaching the heavy
woods beyond Neales, a little town
directly east of Serlnges-klt-Nesles,
whose retention the Germans bit
terly opposed.
The east end of «the line swings
northeasterly opposite this point
and then drops off sharply in the
direction of Cierges and Roncheres.
The Onrcq river has been left far
behind, the line being pushed for
ward across the zone to the north
The Germans are holding posi
tions in I*esles forest, from which
their guns are shelling: ineffective
It was late in the day before the whole
of Seringos was wholly cleared. The
Germans clung to the northern part of
the town tenaciously and used their ma
chine guns murderously.
Neither side used artillery in this par
ticular battle. There was hand-to-hand
fighting in the streets, in which the
(Continued on Page Two)
Hj» A *»ocintrd preii
Paris, July 30.-—Northeast of Fere-En-Tardenois the allied troop* ia local
fighting Tuesday advanced their line and also retained the ground captured
in the region of Sergy, notwithstanding several German counter attacks,
according to the French official communication issued this evening.
Attempts by the Germans to retake the village'of Steuphraise, southwest
of Rheims, failed, although the enemy made a slight advance to the west
of the village.
The text of the communication
follow* t
‘On the right bank of the Onrcq
some local fighting enabled ns to
advance on the height to the north
east of Fere-En-Tardenols.
“In the region of Sergy we main
tained oar gains, In spite of sev
eral reactions by the enemy.
“Southwest of Rhelms the Ger
mans attacked on both sides of St
Bophraise. All their * attempts to
capture St. Eophralae failed, la
spite of a slight advance made by
them to the west of the village.
“There is nothing of importance
to report from the rest of the
“Bagtern theatre, July 20* Two
successful raids were carried out
against the Bulgarian positions,
one by the British troops west of
the Vardar, the other by Serbian
Berlin, July 30.—"After his defeat of yesterday, the enemy has remained
quiet,” says the German official communication this evening.
London, July 30.—Australian troops hare captured the Tillage of Merris,
southwest of Ypres, according to Field Marshal Haig’s report from British
headquarters tonight.
The statement says:
“During; the latter part of the
light patrols of the First Austra
lian division, who had entered Ger
man positions about Merris, suc
cessfully established themselves
east of the village, which they sur
rounded and captured. One hundred
and sixty-nine prisoners and a
number of trench mortars and ma
chine guns were taken by us in the
course of this enterprise. Our cas
ualties were light. A few addition
al prisoners were captured by our
patrols during the day In Nleppe
“Jtae hostile artillery has shown
great activity today against new
positions at Merris.”
With the American Army on ’he
Aisne-Marne front, July 30— After
daylight Tuesday two German avia
tors, with machine gunners aboard,
flying low, attacked an American sup
ply train south of Sergy. They were
driven off by anti-aircraft guns.
The Germans later attacked a dress
ing station. Word of this having been
sent to the aerial commander, a^i
American aviator soon arrived and,
single-handed, attacked the boches
from above. In trying to get away the
Germans collided. The wings of their
machines locked and the- planes fell,
both aviators and gunners being
Italian Army Headquarters in North
ern Italy, July 29.—American troops
continue to arrive here. They are in
excellent condition and splendid spirits
and are enthusiastic over the welcome
accorded them.
Nothing has been left undone by the
Italians to show the Americans how
much their presence in Italy is appre
ciated. The commanding general and
his staff tjirned out to greet the men
from overseas, while airplanes flew
over them dropping colored papers on
which was printed, “Viva Wilson,”
The American Red Cross has estab
lished a small hospital at the Amer
ican base.
London, July 30.—The official statement
on aerial operations tonight says:
"On July 29 ground mist and low visi
bility Interfered with artillery observa
tion, but our bombing and fighting ma
chines carried out their usual work.
Eleven tons of bombs were dropped on
enemy dumps and billets and 14 hostile
airplanes were destroyed with thejoas of
two of our machines.
“During the.night, tn spite of unfavor
able weather condition bombs were
dropped by us on Bray and Bapaume. AU
machines returned."
Rome, July 30.—The war office com
munication issued today follows:
"On the whole of the front there has
been reciprocal artillery fighting-. In the
Giudicaria and Vai Arsa hostile parties
were repulsed. Along- the Piave our
reconnoitering patrols brought back en
emy arms and material. Thirteen hos
tile aircraft have been brought down.
“In Albania the systematization of our
lines of resistance has been completed,
and our troops on the SemenI and west
of the Osum and Devoli have lessened
their pressure against the enemy.”
With the American Army in France,
July 30.—Lieut. A. R. Brooks of Fram
ingham, Mass., and Lieut. David E.
Putnam of Newton, Mass., of the
American aerial forces, report that
they probably brought down an ene
my airplane last night behind the Ger
man lines at Montsec, the same moun
tain which obscured Putnam's recent
victory from observation, and conse
quently official credit.
The aviators saw their opponent
plunge earthward, but the fog and
clouds prevented them from observing
the crash.
The fight was the first in the Toul
sector for several days owing to the
unfavorable father which is now im
proving, giving .promise of renewed
aerial activity.
Ix>ndon. July 30—The following com
munication was issued this evening by
the air ministry:
“On the night of the July 2$-29 our
machines attacked the railway stations
at Offenburg. Rastatt and Raden£ Sutt
eart and Sollingen also were attacked.
Three hostile airdromes and numerous
ground targets were bombed and sub
jected to machine gun fire. All our
machines returned.
“On the morning of the 30th instant
our squadrons successfully bombarded
the railway station at Offenburg. Good
results were obtained. In the course of
combats, three enemy machines were I
shot down and another was driven
down out of control.
“One of our machines is missing. ’
i Million Tons of Steel
for Ships Needed
Washington, July 30.—Steel requirements
of the shipping board for the next three
months call for 1,000,000 tons, an increase
of 250,000 tons over the regular monthly
schedule for that period. This increase
is desired so as to provide a reserve of
1.330. '''*
Heavy Attacks by Allied
Troops Everywhere Re
pulsed, Says War Of
fice Statement
Berll^, July 28,—(Via London.)
The German official communica
tion of toddy dealing with the
fighting north of the Ourcg and
■onthweat of Rhelma Monday, says
the allied force*. Including French,
Brttlah and Americana, attacked la
■trength, hat were thrown back
with the heaviest of loaaea over
the entire battle line.
The communication aaya the
heavleat of attack* were launched
against the Hartennes-Fere-Kn
Tardenola front, but that the as
saulting waves broke down at or
before the German linea and some
times nnder counter attacks. From
Fere-Ea-Tardenois eastward the
allied thrusts likewise were unsuc
cessful, while repeated attacks
southwest of Rheims were every
where repulsed with heavy losses.
The text of the communication fol
“There have been lively *econ
nolterlng activity during the night.
Partial attaeks by the British In
the region of Merits and on both
side* of the Ayette were repulsed.
“The enemy launched attacks
with strong forces against our new
lines north of the Ourcq and on
the wooded heights southwest of
Rheims. The French, British and
Americans were thrown back on
the whole of their attacking front
with the heaviest of losses.
“The main weight of the enemy**
attack whs directed against
the Hartennese-Fere-Ka-Tardenols
front, where during the morning
nnd afternoon the enemy stormed
again and again la dense waves.
Hi* assault* broke down before
and at our lines, sometimes un
der our counter attacks.
“la the afternoon the enemy ex
tended his attack beyond Fere
Ka-Tardenols eastward. They
were Just as unspcpessful a* par
tial attaeks he launched In the
morning at the Bols Meunlere.
Southwest of Rheims the enemy
renewed hi* attaek as many as five
times at Isolated points between j
Chambrecy and , Vrlgny, keeping
them up in violent partial attacks
until late In the evening. He wa* j
re pinned everywhere with san- j
gu Inary losses.
“In Champagne south of Mont j
Ficstel we drove the enemy out of
trenches which he had occupied !
sfhce his throat of Saturday and j
captured an enemy point of sup
port northeast of Perthes.
Summary of the News
1—Amrrltau nih deadly Kirn**.
Tea per ceat tai oa *tom aalen ;
many artlelra asreed apaa.
3— Increaaed fury la deadly conflict
la now reported.
S—Thonaaada will be affected by
draft treatlea.
4— Kdltorlal aad comment. -
5— -\ew coke orea battery here will
coat aeprly *3,000,0««.
d—Society aewa.
Enemy Expected To
Halt Retreat and
Offer Resistance
Violent Counter Offensive Measures By Germans
Already in Progress Over Most of British
Front and Allied Advance Is Ap
parently Halted
By Associated Press
American troops fighting north of the Ourcq river, in the
American troops fighting north of the Ourcq river, in the
Soissons-Rheims salient, have enlarged their brilliant victory of
Monday at Sergy, where they cut to pieces divisions of Ger
many’s picked troops and took and held the village against
counter attacks. I ’ “
Notwithstanding continued opposi
tion by heavy suns, machine guns and
large numbers of the enemy, soldiers
from the middle western and eastern
states drove their line northward from
Sergy Tuesday for a distance of about
two miles, and v^ere resting at night
on the slopes approaching the woedsf
beyond the town of Nesles. Where
they stood at last accounts the Amer
icans formed the apex of the long line
running across the salient.
While the bitter fighting was in
progress between the Americans and
Germans the French troops on both
sides of the fighting front also moved
forward for goodly gains northeast of
Ferc-Kn-Tardenois and cast of Sergy.
in the Nesles forest the Germans arc
holding strong positions, from which
they are shelling, but thus far inef
fectively, the menacing allied line be
fore them.
Prussian guards and Bavarians were
in the thick of the fighting through
out Tuesday, but again they were out
maneuvered and outfought by the
Americans and again suffered heavy
The Germane apparently are on
the eve Of altemptii«( to end their
retreat from the SolMone-Hhelma
valient and turning and offering
frontal battle la force to the en
•eate allied armies.
The day of rear guard actions seem*
drawing to o close. Violent counter of
fensive measures against their antago
nists already are in progres by the Ger
mans over most of the British front, and
seemingly, for the present at least, the'
allied advance has been materially slowed
down. ' •
Further gains have been made by the
allies, including the Amertcaifti, but only
after the bitterest kind of fighting. AnJ
these gains have been considerably less,
in extent thar those of previous days, be-'
fore the Germans stiffened their retreat
ing armies by rushing numerous fresh
divisions to their aid and adding greatly
to the aggregate strength of their fight
ing force within the fast disappearing
pocket between Soigsons and Rheims.
As a result of violent counter attacks,
delivered with huge effectives, the Ger
mans have been able to force the falling
hack by the Americans and French on
several positions, but nowhere were they
able to find a spot weak enough through
which they cduld penetrate the allied line.
Standing tirmly, and giving ground only
under absolute necessity, the allied
troops everywhereflfave exacted a huge
toll in men killed, wounded or made
prisoner from :he iermnns In their
every effort partly to retrieve their losses
of ground.
Particularly heavy has been the fight
ing in the center of the salient and on
the right and left anchor points of the
(.Can tinned an Page Twa)
Seventh Wage Raise Since
1916 Granted—300,000
Men Will Benefit
by Action
New York, July 30 —Wage increases ap
proximating 10 per cent and effective on
August 1 will be granted by the United
States Steel corporation to laborers at
Its manufacturing plants, it was an
nounced today b>* the corporation's fin
ance committee Other wage rates will
be equitably adjusted, except in cases
where recent advances have been made.
Coal mining companies are not included
in the new increase, as these employes
have already received similar advances.
This is the seventh raise in wages
which United States Steel operatives gen
erally have received since January of
1316. The seven increases aggregate 75
per cent.
Six of them were for 10 per cent each ;
and one granted last March was for 13 j
per cent.
The seven advances increase the cor- '
poration's pay roll by about 33.000,0*1 !
monthly, as compared with the latter
part of 1915, according to unofficial esti
mates. Approximately 300,000 men will
benefit. The requirements, it was learned
tonight were placed before the steel
manufacturers of the country by Direc
tor Genera! Schwab of the emergency
fleet corporation s' the meeting held
yesterday in New York.
The reserve stock is regarded by Mr.
Schwab as a stimulus to production an t
plans have been made to keep it intact.
Allocation of the present reserve of
1,080,000 tons is fairly, according to ship
ping board officials, although several
Pacific coast yards still are in need of!
The steel schedule of the shipping ;
hoard calls fo- delivery of 350,000' tons!
monthly, but it was said that request |
has been made by Mr. Schwab that de- |
liveries during August, September and |
October be increased approximately 80,
000 tons monthly. This increase, it i«
believed will provide a reserve for each
.shipbuilding yard that will act as an in
centive to workmen tuminr nut to*
Witness Struggle for Town
of Sergy From Near
by Hillside
With the American Forces
on the Aisne-Marne Front,
July 30.—By the Associated
Press.—Six war-tired Ameri
can congressmen are on their
way hack to Pans today after
having witnessed from a hill
side on Monday ttie tussle for
possession of the town of Sergy,
two and a half miles southeast!
of the former German base at
Fere-En-Tardenois in the Sois
sons-Jiheims pocket.
The congressmen saw American infan
trymen In action, witnessed the tiring ot
entente allied big guns and heard the
rattle of German machine guns and the
crashing of the heavy cannon of the
German crown prince. The congressmen
probably would have remained on the
eminence longer had not the German
heavy shells begun exploding overhead.
That ended the sight-seeing trip in that
vicinity, one congressman remarking
that the Germans could ouit that sort
of business right then so far as he was
The congressmen who had visited Lite
Austro-ltaiian front said their observa
tions Monday showed to them the first
actual fighting worth talking about. The
part}1 was conducted by Lieut. Freeman
Light of South Norwalk, Conn., and It
consisted of Representatives Thomas A.
Chandler of Oklahoma, M. Clyde Kelly of
Pennsylvania. Louis C. Cramton of Mich
igan, Thaddeus H. Caraway of Arkan
sas, John A. Klston of California and
Joseph Thompson of Oklahoma.
The congressmen had luncheon on the
hillside of Chateau Thierry amidst the
ruins of numerous tine 'homes, the lazy
Marne creeping along through a great
gap in what was Chateau Thierry's finest
bridge, and now destroyed by the Ger
While the congressmen were silting
down to a basket luncheon a fashion
ably attired woman from Paris came to
the ruins of her old home, where she
found a group of American soldiers in
possession. The woman explained her
mission in broken Knglisn. She renuest
ed the aid of the American soldiers, and
hadfi private dig a hole in the basement
at a point indicated by her. The soldier
soon uncovered a basket full of bonus,
securities and ofher valuables. Among
them were a lot of t> per cent gold jiuu
bonds of the defunct St. Louis, Oklahoma
and Gulf railroad. The woman gave the
soldier three bonds for his trouble.
The congressmen visited the shattered
houses in Chateau TJiierry and also the
hillside dugouts formerly occupied by the
Germans, gathering numerous souvenirs.
They thgr proceeded toward the battle
field, eventually reaching the hill south
east of Cere-Kr.-Turtle no is
When the Germans began replying to
the allies' tire in Earnest, the congress
men decided that it was about time to
adjourn and did so, leaving behind the
souvenirs they had gathered at Chateau
Thierry. On their wav to the rear, how
ever, they passed through the Forest ot
Fere, visiting additional former German
dugouts and camps, and gathered up an
other assortment of rifles, helmets and
various articles, which they took back.
The congressmen also visited a held
hospital, having seen stretcher-bearers
bringing in wounded men from the field.
They were satisfied that everything pos
sible was being done for the men On
the front linoa and for those who fell in
Manufacturers of Autos,
Pianos, Sporting Goods
and Patent Medicines to
Pay Higher Rate
Ways and Means Committee,
in Drafting New $8,000,
000,000 Revenue Bill,
Slaps Taxes on Hard
Washington, Jnly 30.—A 10
per oent tax on gross sales of
mannfacturers, producers and
importers of automobiles, piano
players, gruphophones, sport
ing goods, cosmetics patent
medicines, cameras and similar
articles was tentatively agreed
upon today by the House ways
and means commitlee, which is
drafting the $8,000,000,000 rev-'
enue bill. The present excise
tax on most of these articles
ranges around 3 per cent and
the increased taxation will
produce an immensely greater
revenue from these sources, al
though no estimate was made
of the total yield. Motor trucks
will be taxed only half the in
creased rates, on the ground
that they are for business pur
poses and not in the same class
with passenger automobiles.
The automobile tax was discussed at
length. It was felt by some members
of the committee that a large proportion
of automobiles are used for business as
well an for other purposes, but it was
agreed that it would be impossible to dif
ferentiate. Some of the committee final
ly compromised on a tax of 5 per cent
on gross sales on original transactions.
There was no effort to put a tax on
gasoline, although such a tax has been
There was some discussion by the com
mittee today of the tobacco tax sched
ule. The treasury department has rec
ommended doubling the present rates on
tobacco. The committee wants more rev
enue than this would yield and will de
cide the increases later. Data laid be
fore the committee showed that con
sumption of cigars in thl«s country is de
creasing. while cigarette consumption is
mounting rapidly.
Chairman Kitchtn made this statement
tonight explanatory of the work of the
—-‘The committee has had under con
sideration today the excise tax. such
as automobiles, piano players, grapho
phones, sporting goods, cosmetic, and
proprietary medicines, cameras, etc., and
has tentatively decided to levy a tax of
W per cent on the gross sales of the man
ufacturer, producer oi importer, in lieu
of the present rates. \ distinction ta
made between motor trucks and other
classes of automobiles. In the ease of
motor trucks a tax of only 5 per cent was
agreed tn be levied.
It also had under consideration a tax
on admissions to theatres, operas, mov
ing Picture shows, etc. The committee
favored doubling the tax on admission?
and club dues, and also to impose a l
cent tax on all admissions where the
maximum charge does not exceed 7 cents.
Under existing law all moving picture
shows, theatres and other amusements,
• hose maximuni charge does not exceed
C* cents, are exempt from the tax.
“The committee proposes tomorrow to
take up the luxury tax suggestions of
the treasury department. The tobacco
tax schedule was postponed, awaiting
receipt of some data and statistics from
the treasury department, which the com
mittee has asked for."
Today’s committee action, it was said,
does not commit the committee to a
general gross sales or consumption tax.
although that may be resorted to at the
last moment if the revenue yield from
all other sources is not sufficient. It has
been estimated that a gross sales tax
on all articles and on transactions af
fecting all articles would produce up
v ards of $2,000,000,000 if only a 2 per cent
rate was adopted.
A war profits superimpose* tax has
not vet been even tentatively passed upon
by the ' ommittec, but it may be consid
ered this week.
The committee cut the treasury sug
gestions in half, so far as rates are con
cerned, on most of the articles affected
by today s tentative agreement on a 10
per cent tax on original sales of articles
included in the existing war excise tax

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