Eighth Army News No 143 Vol 3 March 11th 1944

EIGHTH ARMY NEWS 3 POST-WAR CREDITS URGED Parliamentary Discussions On Forces Pay Next Week From a Special Correspondent London, Friday. FORCES’ pay was again discussed in the House of Commons, yesterday. ALa­ bour Member suggested that if pay was in­creased it might be put aside as post-war cre­dits for fighting men. Proposals for deferred pay and an increase in the existing British Army deferred rate of eixpence a day, were among those made dur­ing the full-dress pay debate last week. Defer­red pay is one of the questions the Govern­ment has undertaken. It is disclosed that the committee of MPs who are urging more pay and al­lowances for the Services will meet for informal talks next week. Anthony Eden will repre­sent the Government with Clement Attlee and Sir John Anderson. In the Commons, Alfred EdwaMs (Lab., Liddlesborough) asked the Prime Minister if he would con­sider revision of Pay rates on condition that such increases Should accrue as a post-war credit, «As the main reason for not conceding the increase was that it would create wide inflation, and there is not the slightest justifica­tion for such a statement,» de­clared Mr Edwards, «will the Prime Minister not realise that m witholding this increased payment, which is due to these men, ilia rest of the community is merely- picking the pockets, of Servicemen? »Mr Churchill: *Of course, it is always easy to get popularity by the use of expressions like picking pockets, but when we consider the gravity of the times in which we live I think it is a pity that these matters should be discussed other than with a grave sense of re­sponsibility.« I have nothing to add, because Question Time is not the time when these important matters, about which there is very legiti­mate and keen interest in the House, should be discussed. »Captain Anstruther Gray (Con., Lanard North): «Will the Prime Minister bear In mind that as things now stand, most servicemen would have afar smaller nest egg of savings at the end of the war: than most clvilians?» Mr Churchill:« I am naturally deeply concerned with the posi­tion of our armed forces and the statement made by the Foreign Secretery shows that within certain limits and subject to re­servations which he most pruden­tly affirmed, certain reconsidera­tion is now being given to these matters. »Minister for Pensions was asked whether he was aware that some disabled Servicemen had so small a pension that they had not enough to keep their families on and were having to apply for public assistance. The Minister's reply was: «No, this is not. really happening. »In a comment on Forces’ pay, the London Evening Standard says few fighting men are concerned about an increase in pay for themselves. Their concern is for •heir wives and children. Wounded Have 100 p. c. Better Chance Less than four percent of all American soldiers woun­ded in this war have died, despite more destructive weapons and more hazar­dous conditions. Nearly twice that proportion died in the last war, says a Wash­ington report. U.S. Army hospitals provide 63 beds for every thousand men as against eleven per thousand in ci­vilian hospitals. Over sixty thousand doctors have been trained infields not encountered in ordinary general practice. U-boats’ Falls Again Tonnage of Allied shipping sunk by U-boats, during February was less than in any month since the U-S. entered the war, it was revealed yesterday in a joint state­ment by Mr. Churchill and President Roosevelt. This was in spite of an Increase of U.S. shipping traffic in the Atlantic. More U-boats were sunk than merchant vessels. The number of U-boats accounted for is not given, but it was more than in January. Germans Fear “Goon Gun” Details were released today by the U.S. Army of the 4.2 inch mortar which has been successfully used in the South-west Pacific and in Italy. Dubbed the «goon gun »by the troops, it was first develloped 20 years ago and is new only in res­pect of modifications and refi­nements. It can lob a score of twenty- four pound projectiles two and a half miles in sixty seconds. It is being used for H.E. and white phosphorus shells, and soldiers have told the U.S. War Department that the Ger­mans fear these latter more than any weapon used by the Allies. One «goon gun» company in Italy engaged a German 88 mm. battery and silenced it with 12 rounds. From Monty’s Mother Lady Montgomery, Monty’s mo­ther, has sent L100 worth of chocolate from the Comforts Fund she has collected for the men of Eighth Army. Acknowledging the gift with the thanks of the Army, General Leese promised to see that it was di­stributed to men in forward areas. BRIGADIER DUG HIS WAY OUT O F PRISON (From A Special Correspondent) TAKEN PRISONER at Sidi Azeiz in "the November 1941 Libyan campaign, aNew Zealander, Brigadier J. Hargest, eventually escaped to England where re­cently he received the CBE and two Bars to his DSO from his Majesty the King at Buckingham Palace investiture. Later, the New Zealander met both the King and Queen who were keenly interested in his experiences. In a speech to the Royal Empire Soci­ety, Brigadier Hargest, who is a member of the New Zealand Parliament, gave details of his escape which was made from north­ern Italy and then through Switzerland, France and Spain. After a stay at Salerno, Brigadier Hargest was imprisoned in a castle at Florence with 13 other officers and 15 men. For five months they collected what money and food they could and they cutup army blankets for clothes. The New Zealander dyed his trousers with a bottle of ink fend a tin of blacking. Five of the prisoners dug down 10 feet through the castle chapel, which was used for stores. With a kitchen knife and bars of iron, they cut through ground which was almost rock and worked their underway the room, under the battlements, under an enclosed space, and then up again. On a stormy night the party escaped. After seven months in Switzerland, Brigadier Har gest made his way into Spam. In France he was helped by many people who knew only that he was a refugee. There were several emergencies and each time help was forth­coming. W AITIN GITS CHANCE I have oeeipirD 11 critical of the people of France since the occupation, especially after having heard that they had become apathetic and de­featist, but there is a stirring there today, which has occur­red in few countries at anytime,» said the Brigadier. «There are thousands and thousands of young men who have taken to the mountains rather than be forced to work in Germany. The main body of France is waiting for its chance. I am hoping that we British people will give them that chance and, once they get their freedom, will help them to their feet.» Garden Of England KENT, possibly because it is the nearest part of Britain to Occupied Europe, has suffered more than most other counties in England from German attacks. Despite this, Kent is still the garden of Eng­land. It keeps its apple and cherry trees, the ¦white cliffs of its coastline, its noble country houses and castles and cathedrals. This picture shows atypical apple orchard in Kent at\ ,blossom time. Nazis Intern 79,000 Frenchmen One in every 100 Frenchmen has been arrested and one in every thousand shot during the German occupation of France according to an official French estimate ava­ilable in London. 79,000 are interned in Germany, excluding deported workers and prisoners of war. NORTH ITALY STRIKERS IN STREET BATTLES LATEST new of the widespread labour strikes in northern Italy is that street fighting is taking place in Milan, Turin and Genoa. More than 200,000 Italian workers are Involved In demon­strations of resistance to German rule. Marah .rows chsrmpione Hitler’s thirty-two years old nephew, William Patrick Hitler, has joined the American Navy. Hitler was assigned to the Navy by his draftboard on Monday and will commence service a few weeks hence. At the beginning of street demonstrations occurred in Florence, Bologna, Genoa, Turin and Milan where the Germans used tanks and brought up SS Police reinforcements. The London Times comments: «The strike in northern Italy has been «disconcertingly formi­dable for the Germans and their Fascist tools, even on the admis­sion of German controlled Radio Rome. FACTORIES HALTED «It brought several important war factories to a halt, and in some places was maintained for four days. It was organized as a demonstration of solidarity with the British and American forces now engaged in freeing Italian soil from the alien' occupier, and there is reason to believe that at least some employers gave pract­ical support to the strike. It had therefore a significance' which cannot be underrated. «It has 6hown that the terro­rism which the Germans intro­duced into northern Italy, as into every occupied country, comple­tely failed to crush the movement of resistance. The spirit of the industrial north is ^robust and obstinate and ia now widely or­ganized and resolutely directed toward slowing down the ene­ my’s war production. «The recent strikes are a brave contribution to the Allies and to the Italian cause of liberation and an example to other more timo- Pilot Lost His Chute Warrant Officer Tom Bradshaw, of Edmonton, Alberta, one of many Canadian pilots In an RAF group of Wellingtons bombing the Anzio bridgehead, found his plane in a spiral dive and ordered his crewmates to bale out. He would have jumped himseif but In funioling with his parachute lethe it fall into the corridor. «It was difficult to getup the chute so I went back to the controls »he said.« I did not think much of the position but managed to get control at 500 feet and landed safely. »The Wellington had carried out its night bombing mission and wa‘ near its own airfield when one engine cut owing to icing and it went into the violent dive. Another member of the crew. WO Norman Reid, also of Edmon­ton, lost his boots in the parachute descent and limped five miles across country in stockinged feet till found by nurses of an Ameri­can Red Cross ambulance. Safe landing was also made by an English member of the crew, Sergt William Taylor, of Boston, Lincs. Finding he had to across river and the bridge was down, he curled himself in his parachute and slept peacefully till daybreak. of co-bellSge- rency. «German rule in the north is brutally efficient. Workers who partook jn the strike were even threatened with deportation to Poland, the grim consequences of which they showed themselves nevertheless willing to face. »Flashes CHICAGO. —Three Serbian Orthodox priests. Ma.ietich, Brenovao and Gofa living in U.S. declared Marshal Tito symbol of greal hope for re­surrection of Jugoslavia. LONDON. —Stockholm correspondent of «Dally Express» reports Germans offered Finns another ten divs and 300 planes if remain in war. ALGIERS. —Under agree­ment between Petain and German C-in-C France, all Vichy laws must be approved by Nazis before being issued. MOSCOW. —In liberated districts Russians rebuilt 122 railway stations in four months, provided 600.(t00 squa­re yards living accomodation for raiiwavmen. ALGIERS. •—General De Gaulle back from inspection of French troops in Italy de­clared they have material, morale and lack nothing. STOCKHOLM. —Norwegian workers conscripted for large German aerodrome south of Oslo fled from .lobs. Germans reacted by confiscating ra­tion cards. LONDON. —King. Peter of Yugoslavia arrived in En­gland. WASHINGTON. —Chair­man U.S. Maritime Commis­sion announced tonnage built between Jan 1st, 1943 and 1944 was 28,844,705. ALGIERS.— 90G.000 parcels of clothing and living essen­tial reached French prisoners in occupied Europe during February. WASHINGTON. —Kenneth S. Paton, U.S. eonsui general at Calcutta to be U.S. Minister to New Zealand.
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