Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 21, 1944;French at Rhine; Metz Falls:


Daily Newspaper of U.S. Armed Forces
in the European Theater of Operations
TUESDAY Nov. 21, 1944

All organized resistance in Metz has ended, a Reuter dis-
patch from the U.S. Third Army revealed last night.
In one of the swiftest drives since the Normandy breakthrough, tanks and troops of the First French Army yesterday captured three villages near the junction of the French-Swiss-German boarder after vanguard units had stabbed to the Rhine River at dusk on Sunday night Getting back their own in payment for the 1940 Nazi blitzkrieg, the French blasted through the Belfort Gap, covering 30 miles in two days, and took the fortress city of Belfort, beating down enemy troops at Fort le Sulbert and the town of Essert.

Blood and Guts Open Mets
While GI 'Kids' Take Mines
By Earl Mazo :
Stars and Stripes Staff Writer
METZ, Nov. 20—
This .fortress city, which men of many nations for many centuries have attempted to take, is about to fall to the blood and guts bf doughboys of the 5th and 95th Divisions.
Since the city boundary is not clear, the question of whether the 5th or 95i:h Divisions entered Metz first will have to be settled over bars in New York, Chicago, or Nashville, ten years from now. Patrols from both divisions entered the city Friday and Saturday.
Four men of a unit of the 95th crossed a bridge into the fortress city Saturday. They were lost. One of the top stories of this war is how their platoon leader, a lieutenant, went over, despite severe mortar and machine-gun fire, to rescue these four men. He crossed the Moselle river outside the city safely and led his
four men back.
Germans fighting'in this area are a combination of the old-school Nazi, officer candidates hastily taken from classes and thrown into the line, and representatives of the Volkssturm, newly-organized German "People’s Army."
Among the prisoners taken by the 5th Division were 40 old civilians, decked out in ,brand new Army uniforms, who said they had been yanked off the streets,
given eight hours training and rushed to the front to defend the Vaterland. One German officer, 53, wearing a "People's Army" armband, said he had been a
civilian the day before, when he was picked up. The next day he was made a lieutenant

Butt Ban On to Ease
Shortage for Fighters
Cigarette sales in all United Kingdom PXs were halted last night to all U.S. Army personnel except combat soldiers, replacements and hospital patients.
The ban on cigarette sales was ordered for an indefinite period by Lt. Gen. John C. H. Lee, Communications Zone commander, because of an acute shortage of smokes for combat soldiers.
Beginning this morning, cigarettes will be sold only to combat airmen, hospital patients, troops in Ground Force replacement centers and line soldiers recuperating in rest areas. These men will get five packs a week.
The order banning cigarette sales did not specify whether cigars and pipe tobacco were also excluded from the weekly ration. However,-when Com Z

An Editorial
As the voice of the American serviceman in the United Kingdom, The Stars and Stripes hereby directs this question, which is in the minds . of every GI smoker, to Washington
"Where are the cigarettes?"
This question, which in view of the earlier cut in the ration and last, night's announcement  that the ,entire sale of cigarettes was being banned to non-combatants, we believe to be a reasonable one and necessary. Certainly nobody begrudges the fighting men in the air or on the ground what smokes are available.
They deserve them; But looking coldly at the fact of the shortage itself, and equally-coldly at the innumerous and confused reports and unofficial explanations from the home front as " to what the situation is there and here regarding cigarettes, we believe it is time the soldier's voice was heard.
Where are the cigarettes?

personnel in France took a similar bust one week ago. the order there clearly barred cigars and tobacco, as well as cigarettes.
"The only explanation of the order was the shortage of smokes for-combat troops.
No reason was given for the existence of this shortage. As a result of the ban on American cigarette purchases, American consumption of British cigarettes was expected to rise sharply. However, no shortage of British smokes was anticipated last night.
A spokesman for the British Board of Trade in London told The Stars and Stripes: ''Increased American purchases of our cigarettes will bring no hardship
to British smokers. We have plenty to supply any demands." United Kingdom 'soldiers first began to feel the pinch of the cigarette crisis a week ago, when PXs reduced the weekly ration from seven to five packs. As in the U.K., PXs in France reduced the ration by two packs one week before suspending sales

Reds Battling
For Rail Hub
. MOSCOW, Nov. 20 (AP)—
Russian troops were reported today to be fighting on three sides of Hatvan, hub in northeastern Hungary of four rail lines leading northward into central Slovakia and westward to Vienna.
Capture of Hatvan, 13 miles southwest of Gyoengyoes, which the Red Army took last night, would give the Russians control of one of the main passes through the Matra Mountains into central Slovakia and might enable them .o. cut off German forces in eastern Slovakia.
(The Budapest sector was comparatively quiet, and it appeared that Marshal Rodion Malinpvsky, Red Anny commander on this front, was working to
neutralize the enemy forces in northeastern Hungary before striking to capture the Hungarian capital. Reports from Berlin said the Red Army had begun an offensive southeast of the Baltic naval base of Libau. In Latvia, where a force of 300,000 Germans had been cut off in the drive that liberated Riga, the capital.)

Must Shatter
Japan for Good'
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Nov. 20—
Warning that destruction of Japanese power "may prove to be a harder task than we now think," Navy Secretary James V. Forrestal told War Bond salesmen
here yesterday that "if we fail to shatter that power now, I very much fear that . . . the job will have to be done all over again within 20 years—and at many times even the present cost."
Forrestal reviewed what the Navy had achieved with 69 billion dollars since July. 1940: Sent to sea 10,300,000 tons of ships; built and equipped 300 advance bases; convoyed 61;000 ships in the Atlantic and Pacific; and landed 1,200,000 troops in assault waves on enemy beaches.


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