SEAC, The Services Newspaper of South East Asia Command, August 15th 1944

THE SERVICES NEWSPAPER OF SOUTH EAST ASIA COMMAND No 219 One Anna TUESDAY, 15 AUGUST, 1944. Printed by Courtesy of THE STATESMAN in Calcutta. Good Morning... The following letter has been delivered, and the goods. Enlisted Mens Club. 490 Bom­ bard went Squadron (M)AAF. To Officer Commanding British Troops, Irnphal, India. Sir—Forwarded under separate cover are four cases of Ameri­ can cigarettes. It is desired that they be distributed among the enlisted personnel of your command. The enlisted men of this organi­ zation want ft to be publicly known that they are mighty proud of the tvork your “chaps" are doing. and trust that before long the “b—s” are completely wiped out. Good Luck and Good Smoking!!! Signed C. H. Connerly, M Sgt Air Corps. * These Yank airmen flew over the battle of Imphal, taking their fine part in it. while down on the ground the British troops of the Fourteenth slogged it out. This is what they thought of their comrades, and we hope it answers every blockhead all the way back to Britain or America who yaps that the troops of either country*" don’ t get along.” They " get along ” all right on the front. * American boys up there, I!ke ours, sometimes wonder why the rear can t have the same sense of common effort. They ask. for instance what the Chicago Tribune, which happens to be in the furthest-otf rear on this planet, is doing? The Tri- bunc has been suggesting to Its readers that ‘'virtually-' the only fighting in the world on the Allied side is done by Americans. Is this to praise Americans? No, 11 is to damn their Allies. There is a brief answer to the • Tribune's slander, and here it is. Each in its own historic time and place America's Allies. Britain, Russia and China were not only “virtu­ ally" but absolutely doing the only fighting. * Who won the war? We are talking about the last war, and that question so often asked, shouted, and jeered, sounds now (it always really did) like a catcall of Dead End Kids. DiO the British win the war?. . . They fought the main ocean battle for three years, mobilised six million men for the trenches, and left a million dead in them in order not to lose it. Did the French win it? They bore the fiercest of the land as­ sault, lost more of their sons even than we did. If France was frail in the present war. it was in part because she bled so terribly in the last one. * Did the Russians win it? At the fateful hour of the Battle of the Marne they invaded Prussia. Thus they drew off the two German corps who might have turned the fortunes of that day. Russia fell out of the war in 1917. Russians have claimed that she won it in 1914. Did the Americans win the war? They came fresh into the battle in 1917 as it entered its fourth year. The tremendous strength cf that ardent, valiant young giant finally cracked the Ger­ man power. Who won the war? While the victors cross-fircd the idiotic question the Germans answered it. * Are we going to have the same infantile argument all over again? The Enlisted Men of 490 Bombardment Squadron didn't seem to want it so. We don't know what these our comrades think of the Chicago Tribune's united war effort. We know what Tokyo does. It’s radio repeats, and it’s news­ papers re-print the Tribune’s muck. It saves Tokyo the trouble of manufacturing and Hinging it’s own. Who is winning this war? Chum, it ain't won yeU WEAKER JAP RESISTANCE KANDY, Mon—On both the Ticdim road and Kabaw Valley sectors, we have made further progress against light Japanese resistance, says today's SE Asia Command communique. South of Myitkyina Chinese units and Kachin levies consoli­ dated their position in Kazu and west of the village. In the Taungni area an Allied patrol pushed down the railway to Mingon, 5 miles south-west of Taungni. Despite widespread rain. RAF aircraft of Eastern Air Command attacked targets in the Araltan. Chindwin and Kabaw Valley areas. USAAF units successfully operated against the railway line from Taungni to Hopin and from Indaw to Mandalay. Long-range RAF fighters are ever Central Burma. A fighting patrol from Gen. Slim's 14th Army has reached the Burma frontier down the Tiddim road, striking successfully at tho Japanese border camp there, writes the API correspondent. ‘ CAN BEAT JAPS WITHOUT INVASION’ NEW YORK. Mon—A dis­ patch from Pearl Harbour states that Admiral Chester Nimitz, C-in-C of the Pacific, believes that there is a possibility of defeating Japan without invad­ ing the Japanese mainland. Admiral Nimitz added: “But I do believe that the occupation o£ Japan would be necessary to ensure winning the peace.” Nimitz disclosed that Japanese ground casualties in the entire Central Pacific campaign totall­ ed 52.323 killed and 2.022 prisoners plus 1.000 killed in aerial and surface bombardment. American losses were 5,903 killed.—Reuter. THEY WEREN’T HIS BUDDIES’ Second Lieut. Walter Steiner, an American Ninth Air Force Mustang pilot from California, got separated from his flight during an offensive sweep. He looked around for a bit then saw a flight of eight planes. "They're Mustangs, all right,” he assured himself. He flew on with them for a minute, or two, then casually glanced at his neighbour. They were German F.W. 190s. So Steiner waded into the enemy. He saw one Focke-Wulf blow up and crash. 6,000,000 YANKS SERVING OVERSEAS Almost 6,000,000 Americans are now serving in the Armed Forces overseas. The War Department reveals that more than 4.000,000 officers and men have left for the fighting fronts, while Navy Department figures show that over 1.500,000 men of the Navy. Marine Corps and Coastguard were afloat or on foreign duty on Jupe 1, with 90u.000 more in transit or in training. SHELTER GIRL WAS NOT MURDERED Scotland Yard officers investi­ gating the death of 22-years-old Joan Long, who was found in a Blackpool air-raid shelter, have decided that it is unlikely she was murdered. Home Office pathologists be­ lieve she died after a seizure. A soldier with whom she had visit­ ed a number of public-houses is believed to have been with her when she died. CHURCHILL’S TALKS WITH TITO LONDON. Mon.—Prime Minis­ ter Churchill has had meetings in Italy with the Yugoslav Prime Minister and Marshal Tito at which political and military ques­ tions were discussed in a spirit of entire frankness.—Reuter. ALLIES RACE TO SEAL 15-MILE ESCAPE CORRIDOR SHAEF, Mon.—The German retreat in the centre of the Normandy front is fast becoming a rout. American troops in strength have swung northwards to Argentan and are pushing foiward to link up with British and Canadian troops battling their way south in the Falaise area. As the escape gap narrows every road east is being battered savagely by the massed air power of the Allies. Tanks, armoured vehicles and men are being bombed and machine-gunned. Roads and road junctions well ahead of the retreating forces are being wrecked by a terrific weight of bombs. Von Kluge, it is estimated, has ICO.000 men in this chaotic scramble for escape. Behind the fleeing troops he has left screens of artillery and Panzer troops as a rearguard. The gap through which the Germans are trying to escape is now only 15-mile wide. "Everything now centres on ‘the bag’ formed by the Americans to the south and the British and Canadians to the north/' a Cana­ dian Army spokesman said. 12 Divs Trapped “It is estimated that there are at least 12 German divisions in this bag. The only main road now open to him runs through Falaise to Lisieux. ‘‘If we cut that he is left with only side roads and paths. I think he has left himself in the bag too long this time and his position is precarious. It is very significant that for the first time he used roads by day. We have had reports of vehicle density of 80 to the mile which is almost unheard of. He seems to be get­ ting desperate.” Allied air bombardment of the retreating forces is described as the most effective in military his­ tory While fighters and fighter- bombers cut up German trans­ port. heavy, medium and light bombers ranged over the German lines of retreat, hitting at rail- day choke-points and bridges both east and west of the Seine. All along the 18-mile head of the threatened German pocket between Vire and Mortain Allied troops are moving forward. Canadians’ Push the west bank of the river Laize to aid British troops in cleaning up German salient today fought their way to the east bank seve­ ral miles further down and are now fighting their way through the vital sector five miles north­ west of Falaise. A Canadian Army spokesman said the troops struck southward so swiftly from the area of the former German salient fhat they captured two bridges across the Laize river in­ tact. General Eisenhower's communi­ que today says that further pro­ gress was made east of the River Orne. where Allied troops enter­ ed Clair Tizon and Donnay. Gains at Brest South of St. Pierre la Vielle the advance continued along the high ground on each side of the road to Conde. South-east of Vire ground was gained in heavy fighting. Further south towards Mortain our forces following up the German withdrawal encount­ ered mines and long-range artil­ lery fire. In Brittany the Allied attack on Dinard continues to meet strong resistance and remnants of the German garrison of St. Malo hold out in the citadel. Slight advances have been made by units in the vicinity of Brest. There has been no change in the situation at Lorient, the com­ munique adds. NEW THREAT TO WARSAW MOSCOW. Mon-—The Soviet threat to East Prussia has entered a new and dangerous phase. The Russians now hold a solid 100- mile front facing the southern de­ fences of the German province. This has resulted from the ironing-out of the German salient east of Warsaw, following troops of Marshal Rokossovsy’s Army crossing the Bug north of Siedlco and joining the southern arm of General Zakharov's advance in the area beyond Bialystok. Hokossovsky's thrust opens up the possibility of a Soviet moVe to outflank Warsaw to the north. In the drive from Bialystok. Zakharov's men have covered hall the distance along the direct highway to the much-bombed towns of Prostken and Lyck, on the frontier of East Prussia. River Defences Broken German defences on the Biebrza river, running 17 miles from the East Prussian frontier, have been pierced with the Germans unable to close the breach. On the Baltic h ront the Soviet plan for isolation of German troops in Estonia from those in Latvia is moving rapidly towards fulfilment. Two Red Armies are moving on the Tallinn-Riga railway, spinal coid of the Germans’ communica­ tions system inside the Baltic <Jrap. The biggest threat to the Ger- ^ ing on unchecked and with a mas­ sive weight or armour and guns from Pskov. Thrust to Railway Their tanks and mobile units have less than 30 miles to go to sever the trunk railway at the Estonian-USSR border town and rail junction of Walga. To the south-west, General Yeremenko's troops are also threatening the railway in their push above the Dvina, which has brought them within 45 miles of it. Latest Soviet communique says that west of Pskov Russian troops captured Vyrub. the dis­ trict centre of the Estonian Re­ public. North-west of Rezekne. the town and railway junction of Maddona was taken. Troops of the Second Baltic Front in one month have killed more than I),636 Germans.— Reuter. ALLIED INVASION NAVAL LOSSES LONDON. M on—The Admir­ alty announce the following losses in Allied invasion operations: Destroyers Isis and Quorn, Minesweepers Magic. Cato and Pylades. Trawler Ganilly. and Auxiliary trawler Lord Wake­ field.—Reuter. i Eisenhower: This I MomentousWeek j L O N I) O N. Mon —Gen : Eisenhower, in an order of : the day issued in Normandy • yesterday, said: • • “ Allied soldiers, sailors : and airmen : Through your : combined skill, valour and ¦ fortitude you have created • in France a fleeting but de- : finite " opportunity for a • major allied victory. • 4 Because the victory we can now achieve is infinitely greater than any it has so far been possible to accom­ plish in the west and be­ cause this opportunity may he grasped only through ut­ most zeal, determination and speedy action I have made my present appeal to you more urgent than ever before. “I request every airman to make it his direct res­ ponsibility that the enemy is blasted unceasingly by day and by night and is denied safety either in fight or in flight. I request every sailor t'J make sure that no part of the hostile forces can either escape or be re­ inforced by sea and that our comrades on land want nothing that guns and ships and ships’ companies can bring to them. “ I request every soldier to go forward to his assigned objective with determination that the enemy can survive only through surrender; let no foot of ground, once gained, be relinquished nor a single Cierman escape through a line once estab­ lished. “ With all of us resolutely performing our special tasks we can make this week a momentous one in the his­ tory of this war btiflK+rt—f and fruitful week for us and a fateful one for the am ­ bitions of Nazi tyrants."*— Reuter. BOMBERS AGAIN OVER S. FRANCE HQ, ITALY, Mon.—In Florence sniping is decreasing and Amgot officials are already able to bring water and medical supplies to the civilian population, says today's communique. On the remainder of the front active patrols con­ tinue. Strong forces of escorted heavy bombers yesterday attacked bridges and military installations in Southern France and Western Italy. Other heavy bombers at-* tacked enemy troop concentrations at Pec in Yugoslavia while fighter- bombers attacked the airfield at Mjntelimar in the Rhone Valley. Tactical aircraft continued their attacks against military ob­ jectives in Southern France and Northern Italy. FALLING BACK TO GOTHIC LINE LONDON, Mon.'—Allied-con* trolled Italian radio today broad­ cast a call to Italian patriots from General Alexander's HQ which, stated: ‘‘German armies are now; forced to fall back to the Gothic Line. The King, during his visit to Italy, awards the title Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath to Lt.-Gen. Jacob L. Devers, U.S. Army, Deputy Supreme Commander, Mediterranean. “Allied armies are making pre­ parations for a great assault which will be launched with powerful forces. Carry out harassing acts to hamper thu enemy while he is trying to en­ trench himself in new positions." JAPS LOSE 8,064 AT AITAPE ADVANCED ALLIED HQ, NEW GUINEA. Mon—The sink­ ing by Allied bombers of a 3.000-ton Jap freighter in the Davao gulf in Philippine watezf and damage to two more Jap freighters near Halmahera Island are reported in today’s Mac- Arthur communique. A military spokesman sam that Allied losses in the Aitapy area total 1,307—285 dead. 23 missing. 999 wounded, against a Jap total of 8,064.—Reuter.
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