In Metz Drive
By WILLIAM FRTE
The U. S. Third army's winter offensive, passing beyond the trenches of the 1918 armistice, closed to within 4 1/2 miles north and 8 1/2 miles southeast
of the Germans' French fortress city of Metz today. Gains netted up to five miles and toppled several towns and villages including the important hub of
Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., threw in additional armored forces i n t o t h e drive which, finding the Germans foot-tied, had registered up to 10 miles in a
three - d a y drive on a 55-mile arc on b o t h sides of the fortress city.
Leap – Frog Tank Division.
The Sixth armored division leap-frogged infantry elements which had spearheaded the push northeast from Pont-a-Mousson, and reached well beyond Buchy
in a five-mile advance from Cheminot and Louvigny. Buchy is 8 ½ miles southeast of Metz and only 10 miles from the Metz- Saarbrucken road to Germany, Metz' chief rearward communication route.
1,000-Mile-an-Hour V-2s Hit England
From 60 Miles
By ROBERT DOWSON
LONDON — (U.P.)—
Prime Minister Churchill confirmed today that t h e Germans have been bombarding E n g l a n d for several weeks with giant, comet-like V-2 rockets that plummet down faster than sound from 60 to 70 miles in the stratosphere, but he said casualties and damage "so far" have not been heavy.
A German broadcast said both V - l and V-2 robot bombs also have been directed against Paris and Antwerp for several weeks.
The u l t i m a t e range of the rockets still has not been reached, the broadcast said.
Rockets "Outstrip Sound."
The Wellsian missiles, estimated unofficially to attain as much as 1,000 miles an hour in their final dive to earth, have crashed in " widely scattered points" in England, Churchill told commons in t h e first official British statement on sensational German claims of vast destruction wrought in London by V-2 rockets.
Churchill said the enemy's "highly-colored accounts" were "a good reflection of what the German government would wish their people to believe and of their desperate need to afford them some encouragement." Churchill declined to give details of actual damage.
He acknowledged t h a t t h e rockets so "outstripped sound "that "no reliable or sufficient public warning in the present circumstances can be given."
Fired into Stratosphere.
Though rigid censorship previously had p r e v e n t e d announcement of the bombardment, Britons from the start have dubbed the rockets "flying gas mains" because of the tremendous explosion touched off when t h e y land.
The rockets, fired from launching platforms on t h e continent into the stratosphere, were the second terror weapons to be unleashed against Britain by the
Germans in t h e fury of their despair at facing certain defeat.
Presents New Problems.
" There is disposition to take t h e menace to London lightly," t h e Daily Express, owned by Cabinet Minister Lord Beaverbrook, said. "Germany has been
well served by her technicians in t h e past and the new weapon may present a big set of new problems."
German broadcasts have said, that the new V-2 rocket bombs, described by neutral sources' as 30 to 50 feet long and carrying a ton or more of explosives, had been fired only spasmodically so far, but added t h e y would be released in steadily increasing numbers.
Robot bombs which crashed in the London axes and southern England during the night and e a r l y morning wrecked an –industrial building, killing three
employes, and caused further damage to an already ruined castle. Other damage and casualties also were reported.
Stockholm reports published in London said V-2s were being fired across the North sea from bases on an arc stretching through the Netherlands and the
fringe of Germany itself.
"During" actual launching operations, " the Evening Standard said, "the ramp is constantly sprayed with jets of ice-cold water because, as the rocket shoots
into the air, heat develops which expands the steel frame of the ramp and bends it."
Colin Bednall, London Daily Mail aviation expert, said that trans-Atlantic rocket shells of up to 100 tons "must now be regarded as a distinct possibility within five years."
T h e U. S. war and navy departments earlier this week said t h e Germans at any time might attempt to launch robot bombs against the United States from submarines or planes.
In Leyte Battle
By WILLIAM B. DICKINSON
A L L I E D HEADQUARTERS,
Fierce fighting raged today in the n o r t h e r n stretches of the narrow Ormoc corridor where at least 35,000 fresh J a p a n e s e troops b a t t l e d
fanatically against h a r d - d r i v i n g 24th division infantrymen and dismounted troopers of t h e First Cavalry division.
Difficult terrain made worse by torrential rans slowed U. S. tank movements, but American forces a p p a r e n t l y still have the initiative
in ground fighting as well as a considerable degree of air superiority.
Face Heaviest Barrage.
Meanwhile, American artillery, heavier and in far greater quantity than anything the Japanese have yet been able to bring the island
in their do-or-die attempt to halt the American invasion of the Philippines, ceaselessly pounded the corridor and the port city.
There were no indications late today that the Japanese had ceased bringing in reinforcements, estimated at 35,000 in Gen. Douglas MacArthur's communique.