Skip to comments.GERMANS CLAIM GAINS ON WIDE FRONT, REPORTED 200 MILES FROM MOSCOW (7/20/41)
Posted on 07/20/2011 5:07:52 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
The News of the Week in Review
Twenty News Questions 13
The Arena of the Greatest Battle in History (map) 14
Hitler is Slowed Up by Russian Resistance (by Hanson W. Baldwin) 15
Merchant Marine Losses-British, Allied and Neutral (chart) 16
The New York Times Book Review
American in Arms: The Experience of the United States with Military Organization, by Brig. Gen. John McAuley Palmer, U.S.A. (Retired). Reviewed by Hanson W. Baldwin 18-19
*A.C. Sedgwick, last heard from April 13 in Athens, reports today from Beirut, Syria. (Syria?)
Stalin now Commissar for Defense
Sunday, July 20, 1941 www.onwar.com
In Moscow... Stalin takes the title of People’s Commissar for Defense.
July 20th, 1941
UNITED KINGDOM: London: Tighter centralised control of British news and propaganda services was announced today when Brendan Bracken, the swashbuckling Tory MP who has been Churchill’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, took over as Minister of Information (MOI). It is expected that there will be a more systematic and rigorous censorship in future. This follows calls from politicians in all parties for greater and more ruthless use of propaganda as a main war weapon. That goes particularly for the BBC’s overseas services.
Lord Moyne, the Colonial Secretary, said in the House of Lords last week: “We must remember that we alone in the Old World have a free press, and that no other country now enjoys our advantage of quick information and well-informed comment which the British press provides.” In Fleet Street, journalists smiled. What they print is already vetted by the MOI.
A “V for Victory” campaign was launched by the BBC at midnight last night. It began with a message from Churchill for occupied EUROPE: “The V sign is the symbol of the unconquerable will of the people of the occupied territories and a portent of the fate awaiting Nazi tyranny.”
The broadcaster in charge of the campaign, “Colonel Britton”, said: “Tomorrow the V army, Europe’s invisible army of many millions, will come into being. You are asked to do two things. Take a vow to continue this fight for your country’s independence. Second, to demonstrate to the Germans by putting V’s on the wall, and everywhere you can out them, and beating out the V sound whenever you get the chance.” The “V”-sign began to appear in Europe last January after a BBC broadcast to Belgium in which Victor de Lavelaye suggested that Belgians who were chalking up the letters RAF should add a V for ‘vrijheid’ (Flemish for freedom). V also stands for victoire, the French for victory.
“Colonel Britton” (a pseudonym for Douglas Ritchie of the BBC European Service) suggested an audible V, using the morse code rhythm - three dots and a dash. This is the rhythm of the opening bars of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, which is now used as a station call-sign by the BBC in its broadcasts to Europe.
RAF Bomber Command: 2 Group: ‘Channel Stop’ aircraft of 18 and 139 Sqns. sink a 7,000-ton ship between Le Touquet and Berck. Two aircraft lost and one Bf109 shot down.
Destroyer HMS Lively commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
FINLAND: Lt. Fred Luther and of the 2nd Rannikkoiskukompania (Coastal Shock Company) are landed as reinforcements on the strategically important Finnish island of Bengtskär, whose 52m lighthouse provides a commanding view of the entry to the Gulf of Finland and thus the approach to Leningrad. (Cris Wetton)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Submarine HMS Union is sunk by depth charges dropped by the Italian torpedo boat Circe SSW of Pantellaria at 36 26N 11 50E. (Alex Gordon)(108)
U.S.S.R.: Moscow: Stalin, the “man of steel” has taken over the position of commissar of defence from Marshal Timoshenko and is now in supreme command of the Soviet Union’s armed forces, a post traditionally occupied by a soldier. Stalin has thus gathered all military and civilian power into his own hands. It will be a heavy burden, but there is no doubt that the ruthless Georgian leader will bear it with his customary resilience.
Soviet Northern Fleet destroyer Stremitel’ny bombed and sunk by Stukas in Kolafjord. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: At 0100, U-126 sighted the unescorted Canadian Star and followed her until 0242, when two torpedoes were fired at the ship in 49°15N/21°W (grid BE 1932). Both missed and Bauer decided to attack with the gun. The U-boat shelled her victim for about 10 minutes but hit only a few times. Then the gunners on the ship fought back with a great accuracy and forced Bauer to cease the attack.
At 0505, U-95 fired two torpedoes at the unescorted Palma but missed. The U-boat then tried to stop the merchant with gunfire at 0528, but had to break off the gun duel after 11 minutes due to problems with the deck gun and gave up the chase because the ship was running zigzagging courses at high speeds. They reported one hit, but in fact three had been scored. (Dave Shirlaw)
The bigger they boast THE HARDER THEY FALL.
I see the Germans admit to segregating the Red Army’s political commissars from their units when the Germans capture them. Seems they forgot to mention killing them on the spot or turning them over to the SS for execution. Oops!
HITLER IS SLOWED UP BY RUSSIAN RESISTANCE
Why, then, did Hitler go into Russia?
2) By his attack upon Communist Russia physically and communism ideologically, Hitler hoped to spread ideological confusion and division in Britain and the United States. Lessen the likelihood of our intervention and perhaps pave the way for a negotiated peace....................
Our future is unknown right now.
Furniture of Morgan's Corsair to Be Sold to Aid Britain
Furnishings and fittings from J.P. Morgan's yacht Corsair have been presented to Bundles for Britain, Inc, for resale to swell the organization fund to aid war sufferers in the British Isles, it was announced yesterday.
The corsair was sold in May, 1940 and was transferred to British registry, with the approval of the United States Maritime Commission. She now is in the British war service. The furnishing were removed by Mr. Morgan at the time of the sale; they include furniture from the dining saloon, sets of deck furniture, and cushions, drapes, rugs and carpeting, bedding and incidental pieces.
All this material is to be turned over by Bundles for Britain to Gimbals Brothers, to be sold with other notable collections. A preview of the furnishings will be held on Aug 6 at the store and the sale will be opened to the public on Aug 11.
What was J.P Morgan's motivation in this? Would be interesting in knowing what men like him were thinking.
What would be the war service of a yacht? Sentry duty, U boat scouting?
What was the background negotiation in getting this done? something was given and something was gained, wonder what the gain was.
The Plot to Seize the White House
It was about this time that an incredible scheme concerning the presidency of the United States started taking shape. From July, 1932 through November, 1933, a well known and popular military general. Major General Smedley Butler of the U.S. Marine Corps “...was sought by wealthy plotters in the United States to lead a putsch (revolution) to overthrow the government and establish an American Fascist dictatorship.”10
Butler was tempted into the plot by “... the biggest bribe ever offered to any Americanthe opportunity to become the first dictator of the United States.” He was approached by three gentlemen: Grayson Mallet-Provost Murphy, a director of Guaranty Trust, a J.P. Morgan Bank; Robert S. Clark, a banker who had inherited a large fortune from a founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company; and John W. Davis, the 1924 Democratic candidate for President and the chief attorney for J.P. Morgan and Company. Their plan was to “... seize the White House with a private army [of 500,000 veterans], hold Franklin Roosevelt prisoner, and get rid of him if he refused to serve as their puppet in a dictatorship they planned to impose and control.11
The plotters revealed to Butler that they had $3 million in working funds and could get $300 million if it were needed.
Why the plotters selected General Butler is a mystery, as Butler truly understood his role as a general in the Marine Corps. He was on record as saying: “War was largely a matter of money. Bankers lend money to foreign countries and when they cannot repay, the President sends Marines to get it. I know - I've been in eleven of these expeditions.12
Butler's assertions that the military actually acted as a collection agency for the big bankers was confirmed in 1934 by the Senate Munitions Investigating Committee which “confirmed his (Butler's) suspicions that big business - Standard Oil, United Fruit, the sugar trust, the big banks had been behind most of the military interventions he had been ordered to lead.”13
In addition, Congress created the McCormack-Dickstein Committee to investigate Butler's charges. The conclusions of this group confirmed General Butler's charges by finding five significant facts that lent validity to Butler's testimony.
Jules Archer, the author of the book on Butler's charges, entitled The Plot to Seize the White House, interviewed John J. McCormack, the co-chairman of the Committee and asked for his views on the plot:
Archer- Then in your opinion, America could definitely have been a Fascist power had it not been for General Butler's patriotism in exposing the plot?
McCormack: It certainly could have. The people were in a very confused state of mind, making the nation weak and ripe for some drastic kind of extremist reaction. Mass frustration could bring about anything.14
There are those, however, who believe that the intent of the plotters was not the imposition of Butler as the leader of the government, but was actually to use the incident as a means by which Roosevelt could impose a dictatorship down upon the American people after Butler led his army upon the White House. This action, after Roosevelt termed it to be a national emergency,” could have enabled him to take complete control of the government in the emergency, and the American people would probably have cheered the action. So Butler was, according to this theory, only the excuse to take complete control of the machinery of the government, and was never intended to be the new dictator.
The plan failed, after Butler revealed the existence of the plot, and Roosevelt had to be content, if the theory is correct, with just being the President and not the dictator of the United States. Roosevelt had other plans for a fascist United States, however. Frances Perkins, Roosevelt's Labor Secretary, reports that “At the first meeting of the cabinet after the President took office in 1933, the financier and advisor to Roosevelt, Bernard Baruch, and Baruch's friend, General Hugh Johnson, who was to become the head of the National Recovery Administration, came in with a copy of a book by Gentile, the Italian Fascist theoretician, for each member of the Cabinet, and we all read it with care.”15
So the plan was to move the American government into the area of Fascism or government control of the factors of production without a Butler-led revolution. It was decided that one of the main methods of achieving this goal was through a war, and the plans for a war involving the United States were being laid.
Most of us would define Major General Butler has a hero and patriot but yet there is an association with “ American League Against War and Fascism (which some considered communist-dominated).”
And what is “the non-Marxist, socialist” magazine, Common Sense?
What we are experiencing today is just a continuation of the 30’s. The matter is never settled.
More on Major General Butler. After seeing his service history and can understand his perceptions of war, industry and politics. I would have liked to have met him. I wonder what that squad of marines were thinking?:
Smedley Butler was, by 1930, a Socialist/Communist nut. His story is doubtless largely fanciful.
The world in the 30’s and 40’s was quite different. Trench warfare and depression were very vivid in their lives. Smedley Butler had seen the dark side of politics and big business in many military campaigns. Like many of us, he knew what he didn't want, but did not know clearly what he wanted. But it appears he stood up for what he believed the truth. We cannot create utopia on this world. AT that time big business had overplayed their hand and a correction was needed. That is the nature of Capitalism.
What exactly do you think is “doubtless largely fanciful?”
“What would be the war service of a yacht? Sentry duty, U boat scouting?”
IIRC the big, ocean capable yachts of the super rich were subject to being sized for naval use by the US gov’t in time of war. My grandfather and his brother served together on John Jacob Astor's yacht in WWI which was fitted with small guns (5”?) and depth charges and put on antisubmarine patrol in the Bay of Biscay.
All of the luxurious fittings would be removed to convert the yachts to military use.
I suspect that the Morgan family, unable to use their yacht since the start of WWII in 1939 for any European cruising or probably any safe cruising and likely inability to maintain insurance for such cruising and knowing that the US would ultimately impress the yacht decided to get ahead of things and make the yacht available to the Brits in 1940.
USS Noma (SP-131) was a yacht loaned to the U.S. Navy during World War I by Vincent Astor of New York City. Noma was outfitted by the Navy with military equipment, including heavy guns, and commissioned as a patrol craft assigned to protect shipping from German submarines. At wars end she performed various services for the American Relief Commission at Constantinople and in the Black Sea before returning to the U.S. for decommissioning and return to her owner.
Upon arriving at Brest 4 July, Noma immediately commenced operating in the submarine danger zone, convoying troop transports and cargo vessels. While patrolling off Cape Finisterre 20 July, she sighted a German U-boat running awash and boldly attacked it. On 25 July Noma escorted a large American convoy from Belle Isle to the Loire.
Noma next encountered a German submarine when she went to the aid of British Q-Ship Dunraven 8 August. At the time the vessel was being shelled and torpedoed by the enemy submarine. Dunravens commanding officer, Capt. Gordon Campbell, RN, credited Nomas arrival and prompt depth charge attack with saving his ship. Noma stood by Dunraven until two British destroyers arrived, and she took off several wounded sailors.
Noma came upon a large German U-boat recharging her batteries 16 August and engaged her in a vigorous gun duel until the U-boat submerged. She next sighted a medium-sized German submarine watching for convoys close in shore 17 September, and in a dawn attack, straddled it with many salvos.