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Abilene Reporter News (Newspaper) - August 15, 1944, Abilene, Texas t    _MMB Wat Abilene ReporterEVE,™BWITHOUT OR WITH    OFFENSE TO FRIENDS OR FOES WE SKETCH VO! R WORLD EXACTLY AS r GOES.’-Byron OL. LXIV, NO. 59 A TEXAS    NEWSPAPER ABILENE, TEXAS, TUESDAY EVENING, AUGUST 15, 1944-TWELVE PAGES Associated Pre* (AP) United Peens (U P.J PRICE FIVE CENTSFOURTH FRONT OPENS OU th F All Nazi Escape Routes Closed SUPREME HEADQUARTERS, Allied Expeditionary Force, Aug. 15-(AP)-The Americans clinched control of the German escape (bads to the south today by capturing Le Ferte Mace between Domfront and Ranes. ___ SUPREME HEADQUARTERS I ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY France on Eve Of Liberation ranee By WES GALLAGHER SUPREME HEADQUARTERS ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. Aug. 15—tA»h-France stood 4 ay on the eve of complete freedom from die.harsh gAp of Hitler as the Allies launched a new blow from the Mediterranean to wrench German army fingers loose from territory it has held since 1940. #/hat freedom of France is a matter of no more than weeks is the only conclusion to be gained from a tour of the battle front in Normandy and Brittany where the German 7th Army now faces destruct-4c*. Early report* Indicated that the invasion of southern France wa* meeting only slight opposition. That was expectable, because Marshal Von Kluge has been steadily drawing divisions |-om the Mediterranean area of France in an effort to stop the offensive in the west which is . tearing him to bits. It Is estimated that the Germans now have fewer than five ^ull divisions ready to deal with \ny invasion from the south. Judging from the experience the Americans had in racing over Brittany, these are scarcely enough to deal with the French underground which undoubtedly is now springing tAirms along the Riviera to Spain Landings were made west of Toulon—a hotbed of French resistance since the French fleet scuttled itself in the harbor. That the French alone were striking with plenty of power was (■Wa in a report in Algiers that the French navy now has 178 ships and SO OOO men. It is no secret that Britain and the United States have been rearming the French army in Africa since early last year. Lt. Gen. Ira Eaker, Air commander in the Mediterranean, has. been turning American air power loose on the French coast for weeks and it is likely that the French and their Allies are FORCE, Aug. 15—(AV-Allied armor and infantry narrowed the German escape hatch to a little over IO miles today in the Falaise-Argentan gap and slashed relentlessly at the remnants of Von Kluges trapped forces in Normandy while other Allied troops invaded southern France, doubling the scale of the western European assault. Bombs and artillery shells have sealed off the gap trapping the German Seventh Army estimated to number now from 100,000 to 200,000 men. The new landings put occupied France in a 400-mile vise whose jaws were tightening as inexorably as the Normandy trap. The Allied invaders of southern France have the avowed purpose of linking up with the Normandy victors. As the American, British and French troops poured onto the French Mediterranean coast reportedly against little resistance, the same combination — plus Canadians—g$' dually was . arrowed to about half its size the “coffin salient in Normandy containing the remains of the Germans’ main defensive effort. Little movement was observed in the escape gap overnight and it appeared that Von Kluge was assembling the remaining trapped forces France Joins Newest Offensive ALLIES HIT NAZIS "COMING AND GOING'’ IN FRANCE—Beginning 7(19 miles from Berlin, the Allies this morning launched an invasion from the aouthern coast.of France between Nice and Marseille. This is at Hie mouth of the narrow, easily defended Rhone valley between the rugged Cevennes mountains on the west and the lofty Alps to the east. The route leads 250 miles to the north before turning eastward toward Berlin.. At the eastward turn of the Rhone the invaders from the south could logically join the force from the north somewhere between Lyon and Paris. Such a route as the Rhone would have to contend with the one-time French Maginot line which mas- have been converted into a German defense wall. Another valley leads to the Bay of Biscay, that of Ihe Garonne which rises oft miles from the Mediterranean and empties into the Atlantic near Bordeaux. Meanwhile, the northern French invasion blasted away east, northeast and nortli of Pairs.   _ By EDWARD KENNEDY ROME, Aug. 14-(AP)-The Army of France and a great force of battle-hardened Americans and British, struck Hitler on a fourth major front today, invading southern France and successfully completing all their landings along a broad section of Mediterranean beach around Toulon. (A broadcast from one of the beachheads showed Allied troops had penetrated several miles inland. (London dispatches said 14,0(1(1 troops were landed in the first two hours. Allied bombing operations indicated the landings were centered in the 30-mile Raphael-C ap Camarat area between Toulon and C annes.) A special communique a few hours after the blow’ was struck said beaches along a considerable length of the Riviera had been seized by mid-niorning according to schedule with scarcely any ground opposition and no air opposition. One of the greatest air-borne combat forces ever assembled paved the way for the assault and likewise carried out operations successfully far inland. The great stab into the “underbelly of Europe,” bringing the battle for France to full fury, was backed by more than 800 ships—one of the biggest fleets ever to churn the waters of the Mediterranean, which Mussolini once called his own, and by great air power. The troops swarmed ashore with the avowed purpose of linking their Mediterranean theater with their front west of Paris where the Greene is New Chief of 12th FORT SMITH, Ark. Aug 15— ( Pi-Major Gen Douglass T. Greene, commander of the Sixteenth Armored division at Camp Chaffee, has been transferred to Camp Barkery, Tex, where he w ill assume command of the Twelfth Armored division, the Public Relations office announced today. The transfer will become effective immediately. The Sixteenth will be temporarily in command of Brig. ............... Gen. John L. Pierce, who has head- Allies apparently were on the point of scoring a great victory which might cd the division’s combat command speedily result in the liberation of most of all of France.    j "A “The Arm4 of France is in being again, fighting on lls own soli Also transferred to Camp Barks* SUPREME HEADQUARTERS, AEF, Aug. 15.—(UP) —The German Seventh army lashed out in a desperate attempt to break the Allied trap in Normandy today but was turned back by a heavy crossfire of Allied bombs and Russians Hit Nazi Positions Three Miles From Prussia German By DANIEL DE LUCE jsected by numerous creeks | night by desperate MOSCOW, Aug. 15.—(AP) now separates the Red army    resistance    near the    East    Prus- —Russian forces started at- from Lyck, East Prussian com-,    Sia-Lithuania    border    farther tacking freshly dug German munications center, but the j    nQrth entrenchments today in front Biebrza was the last majoi . ii ca men    Graiewo, two miles south natural obstacle. shells alter a number: oftank ^ ^ prussian border,, The crossing of the Biebrza units succeeded    cracking the steel and came while Moscow s victor;' concrete forts around Oso- guns, sounding for the first wiec and winning a bridge- time in nearly a week, were head across the Biebrza river, marking the fall of the for- and infantry in escaping to the east. finding the shore batteries pulverized, as in Normandy. The Germans have reported for some time the presence of British and American warships in that region. The German high command, largely through Hitler's Insistence that the Army never retreat but stand and die, now appears to be in an impossible situation. Facing the Allies in the south, the enamy has the remnants of an army tiding desperately to cope with new and overpowering landings. In middle France, the French underground is running wild and impossible for the enemy to maintain communications or more d'Sjion* from one place to another at any speed. In the west, Gen. Eisenhower’s forces are in the progress of defraying the only powerful German army In France—the Seventh— wWh has been kept strong by rob-bi* divisfons from forces in Belgium, Holland and northern France. It is difficult to see how the German high command can do anything but give up France and retreat with what it can save into Barium and Germany. II the Germans hold to Hitler’s order of “no retreat,” they will be destroyed tetany by faster and more mobile Allied forces which ran surround and deal with army Regrows at leisure. —possibly in the slim hope that he could fight an effective battle but more likely because further withdrawal was impossible. A half-dozen more towns fell as the drawstring tightened all around the Normandy pocket. The Americans invested Ger, eight miles east of Mortain, and Domfront, 15 miles southeast. Mortain formerly was the western tip of the German salient. The Canadians, topping their 6,-000-yard assault yesterday with a new surge on a two-mile front, captured Epaney and Hill 184 and advanced within 2 1-2 miles of Falaise, sweeping up at least 1,000 prisoners. A front dispatch said the value of LONDON, Aug. 15—(UP) — Gen. Dwight Eisenhower has gone into the field to take personal command of his Allied armies in the final stage of the battle of Normandy, a BEC broadcast said tonight. Although the capture of Osowiec was the major news announced in the daily Soviet communique, Gen. Ivan Maslennikov’s Third Baltic army, smashing through southern A Gorman fortified zone tress city of Osowiec near the Estonia captured Ant* and | three to six miles in depth lay stream in northern Poland. IOO other commumtic s fur littered with fire-blackened Zakharov's new menace to ther shattering lines of two Nazi tanks and wrecked field the Nazi province appeared. German armies cut oh: horn ouns behind the vanguard of likely to ease the pressure on [their homeland by the Kid Gen'. G. F. Zakharov's Second Gen.' Ivan Chemiakhovsky’s Army corrtdor hat was dnv^ White Russian army.    , Third White Russian army, en to the Baltic sea bi low Flat boggy country inter-1 which has been stalled a fort-1 Biga.______________ PATTON'S PROMOTION VOTED BY SENATE for the liberation of its country with all its traditions of victory behind it. “Remember 1918.** was the ringing declaration of the commander-in-chief of the invasion force. Gen. Sir Henry Maitland Wilson.    ,    JIL. Striking after sunrise, seven w’aves of infantry splashed ashore in the first two hours and seized their initial objective! with great raj Mtl.v at many places along a 125-mile stretch bl the Riviera between the great port of Marseille and Nice. They encountered only the weakest opposition, for enemy defenses had been pulverized by five straight days of a powerful air offensive. An air force spokesman said the landing area had been virtually Isolated by the destruction of every rail bridge In the Rhone valley from Valence to Marseille a distance of 120 miles—while the Riviera rail line into Italy had been blocked for several days. This afternoon Liberators and fortresses bombed five highway bridges crossing the Khone between Valence and Aignon and the road leading from the beach to Frejus. near the mouth of the Argans river west of Cannes.    .    . Enemy airfields in the Marseille area appeared to have been knocked out or abandoned. Tile Germans apparently had pulled a large part of their effectives in southern France northward to meet the threat to Mal shul von Kluge’s Seventh army. Shortlv before dawn a large air borne combat force descended Into the rugged hills which rise from the coastline and went into a grapple with Hie German defenders for possession of key communication points and commanding vantage points. The invasion was accompanied by the signal from the French Na-; tional committee and Allied commanders to all Frenchmen to rise up against their German oppressors and indications were that the well of southern France had responded. as the big transport planes and gliders ley was Col. Richard A. Gordon, chief of staff. Greene had been commander Of th# Sixteenth ainee its activation at Camp Chaffee, July 15, 194,1. 2,000 Heavies Join in Raids LONDON. Aug. 15—(Ah—At least 2,000 American and British heavy bombers were hurled today against Germany, Holland and Belgium while other hundreds of planes from Italy and England laid explosive carpets on the Nazis in the pa tits of invasions of northern and southern France. At least 19 German Air force bases and ncn-operational stations were deluged with around 8.000 tons of bombs. The widespread attacks were designed to knock out what is left of Hitler's air units before the enemy can marshal his remaining strength for all-out support of the desperate German ground forces. More than 1,100 British Lancaster and Halifax heavy bomber* attacked nine German fighter gases in Belgium and Holland, and caught 20 or 30 planes parked en each field. American fighters flew side by side with RAF pursuit squadrons in escorting the bombers. field announcement was influential in expediting the committee and senate action. Japs Fall Back Falaise was all but lost to the Germans since the Canadians from positions on high ground north of the city dominated escape routes eastward to Lisueux and Paris. Patton’s American Third army on the southern side of the trap now is only a little over eight miles from Falaise Units of this army were fighting in the by-passed town of Argentan, 13 miles south of Falaise. Oil Well Spacing Rules Are Revised AUSTIN, Aug. 15—(UP)—Revised oil well spacing regulations for North Texas, west Central Texas and the Panhandle fields were issued today by the Texas railroad commission. In district 9, North Texas, and in district 7B, West Texas, the spacing set out in the co omissions general rule No. 37 is now ordered to be inapplicable to wells of less than 3,-000 feet depth. Wells of less than 2,000 feet may be within 300 feet of another well and within 150 feet of a property line. Wells drilled- to be- WASHINGTON, Aug. 15.— 'UP* —The senate today confirmed the promotion of Lt. Gen. George S Patton to the permanent rank of    IAMES F. KING major general after nearly a year of    REME    "    HEADQUARTERS delay resulting from criticism of his    EXPEDITIONARY slapping three American soldiers. pORCE AuR 15 _<£>)—Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower h s taken personal charge of operations in the western invasion with establishment of an Senate approval came only a few hours after Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s announcement that Patton, as commander of the Third gan operations Rnd before Eisenhower arrived in France, Montgomery was the "coordinator” between the two army groups. With the Supreme Commander now on the continent the two army groups have assumed equal status both reporting to Eisenhower Hodges previously commanded a army group under Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley on an equal status with the British-Canadian comma d of Gen. Sir Bemar L. Montgomery. Bradley's group — the 12th — is composed of at least two armies, I he First and the Third, h «dley was succeeded by Lt. Gen. Courtney H. Hodges as commander of the first See Page ll for other news about the Second and Third Armies). SOUTHEAST ASIA COMMAND HEADQUARTERS, Randy, Ceylon, Aug. 15—UPI—Japanese rearguards ret# ating southward along the Tiadim road in the frontier region of northeastern India have fallen I tween 2,000 feet and 3,000 feet must back again under continued Allied be 660 feet fr>m another well and pressure and fighting Iblnow under 330 feet from a property line, way only five miles from the Bur- In the Panhandle field, a 660-330 ma border, headquarters announced feet rule was ordered for wells on tod§y,    the    same    tract. I e%A iu.v—d.ucii aav DelongJ Says Gen. Eisenhower American Army, was leading the motorized spearheads which swept around the German Seventh army in France in one of the outstanding American field jperations of the war Approval of Patton's promotion was voted unanimously at a morning meeting of the Senate Military affairs committee. Sen. A. B. Chandler, D., Ky., said it had been planned to consider the matter ai the committee meeting even before Eisenhower's annoui.cement was made, Army and command of the newly formed Third nt tr Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr. Bot Montgomery and Bradley report directly tj Eisenhower, who directs the operations of both groups from a command post in France. The change in the command sell took place ‘-unediately upon Eisenhower’s rrival in Franc' more thar a week ag Bradley’s force has been in operation for some time and he has been directing American strategy since the time of the “breakout offensive” along the Lessav-Periers-St. Lo line on July 25. Originally Montgomeiy was Eisenhower's chief deputy in the field and as such he commanded all the ground forces, American as well as British and Canadian, For a period of about a week when GEN. HODGES — Succeeds Grn. Bradley as First Army Chief but all indications were that the Bradley's 12th U. S. Army group be- U. S. Army corps In Fiance Patton was a field commander in the Tunisian and Sicilian campaigns. Gen. Eisenhower announced that Lt. Gen. George S. Patton. Jr., "old blood and guts” tank expert who put high voltage into lightning warfare, was leading the American Third Army which has overwhelmed the Germars in lower Normandy and Brittany, which put the air-borne troops down, and the first returning Pilnt* of the massive fighter plane screen which covered the invasion said not a single enemy plane opposed the early operations. Later, when Lightnings encountered the first German planes to be seen thre Messerschmitta were shot down without loss. An Allied spotter plane flew 60 miles inland without sighting a single enemy troop concentration. While Allied bombers struck incessantly at objectives Inland, tile huge invasion fleet of more than 800 battleships and other warships, hurled tons of steel into German coastal defenses.    _    . American, British, French. Canadian. Netherlands, Polish, Greek and Belgian warships covered the swarms of landing craft carryhig Amor- iran veterans of Italy, and French forces which had fought in l,a‘y||wO JlltlO Bombed and North Africa. Most of the air-borne troops were believed to be Bn Experiences gained In the Sicilian. Salerno. Anzio and Normandy landings and weeks of special amphibious exercise were employed as the Allies struck along the great military avenues leading northward The prodigious invasion effort, involving hundreds of thousands of i men and mountains of supplies and equipment, was not far from the mouth of the Rhone river leading northward across Fiance. Marseille a city of more than 800,000 population, is 23 miles eat-. of the Rhone mouth and at the edge of a large triangular coastal plain where tnanv important air bases are located. Nice is less than 20 miles from the Italian frontier. Coming down almost to the coast along most of this 500-mlle stretch are t h e mountains and hills of Provence, and between these two points are the great naval base of Toulon, burial ground of most of the French fleet; the resort of Cannes, and many other famous resorts. (German broadcasts were more specific on what they said was the Invasion sector than were Allied announcements. Ihe Germans narrowed the landing area to a 70-mlle stretch between Toulon, 30 miles east of Marseille, and Cannes.    4    ,    . 'Focal point of the strike, the Germans added, was the 16-mile stretch between St. Sraphaei and Cap Camarat, about midway between Toulon and Cannes.)    .    ,    .    „... The Riviera roast where the landings were made is rugged with hits rising abruptly from the coast and is rockbound in many places. But between these ledges are many beaches, some small, others ex- tensive. Back of these beaches    are the little resort towns nestling    against    the hills one of the world’s    best    known playgrounds. Tile striking force was composed largely of American and French troops whose path was prepared by thousands of planes which had pinpointed guns, coastal defenses, bridges and roads since Friday. These attacks already had sealed off the Germans in the area under attack from speedy help either from Italy or northern France. Bombers today alone    flew    more than 1.000 sorties    over    the    beachheads without opposition.    ,    „ 4    . . The air forces also dropped several million leaflets todaj some inviting German troops to surrender, others instructing French civilians to keep off the roads and away from military objectives and jet others advising the underground what to do. By United Press The Japanese Domei News agency reported today that 22 Liberator bombers raided Iw’o Jima in the Volcano islands. 650 miles south of Tokyo, yesterday. The dispatch, recorded by FCC monitors, claimed Japanese fighter planes shot down two Liberators but made no mention of any damage to the island. IWO Jima is almost midway between the Japanese mainland and the recently conquered islands in the Marianas. Meetings Scheduled Butane Gas Co. dealers will hold a meeting Wednesday in the Hilton hotel. Scheduled Friday in the hotel is a meeting of the Texas Oil company employes. Maj. Clyde Benbrook Dies in 90th Action The Weather EAST TEXAS Fair this sfternoon, tonight and Wednesday. WEST TEXAS Fair this afternoon tonight and Wednesday, except a few widely scattered thundershowers late this afternoon and tonght from Pecos valley westward U.S. IICPARTMI ST OF COMM! RC E W EATHER HI RI Al ABILENE AND VICINITY Fair this afternoon, tonight and Wednesdav Maximum temperature last 24 hours, IOO Minimum temperature last 12 hours 76. TKMPERATUBJ S Tue-Mon Mon-Sun A M Hour P M Maj. Clyde R. Benbrook of the 90lh division, was killed in action in France July 4. Mrs, Benbrook of 103 Birchwood, Hot Springs, Ark., has written Abilene friends. While in Abilene, the Benbrook** owned their home at 825 Edwards. Surviving are Mrs. Benbrook, their daughter, Mary Sue, his parents and a sister of Fayetteville, Ark, Sunrise thix morning 1 Sunset tonight ...... 1_ p,i os SA — 2—96    97 82 — 3— 96 IOO 81— 4— 98    97 74— 5— 97    99 78— 6- ■ 99 99 71— 7—96 M 7ft— ft— 92    94 82— 9— 89 90 aS—IO— 86 88 86—11— 86 86 92—12— 85    86 ............7 03 ............8.2S ;