(E. T. presented the following, one of the last articles contributed by Ernie Pyle. His tribute to the Marines and Army, fighting units, in and out of foxholes, was important to all armed services.)
PAGE FOUR THE PORT ARTHUR NEWS EDITORIAL PAGE TUESDAY, APRIL 17. 1945.
Marines Hate War
Just Like Soldiers
By Ernie Pyle
OKINAWA, (By Navy Radio).—The bulk of the battle of Okinawa
is being fought by the Army—my old friends, the doughfoots.
This time the Marines had it easy, and by the turn of circumstance the Army is the one that has the job to do.
But my self-assignment on the Okinawa blitz was to write about the Marines and that's what I continue to do. I landed with the Marines, cross the Island with them, and have been living with them amidst fleas, mosquitoes, goats and a few Japs, hiding under bushes. So naturally I want to tell you about them.
Marine corps blitzes out here have all been so bitter and the Marines have performed so magnificently that I had conjured up a mental picture of a Marine that bore a close resemblance to a man from Mars. I was almost afraid of them myself.
I did find the Marines confident, but neither cocky nor smart-alecky. I found they have fears, and qualms, and hatred for war the same as anybody else. They
want, to go home just as badly as any soldiers I've ever met. I found them good, human Americano.
They are proud to be Marines. They wouldn't be in any other branch of the service. Yet they are not arrogant about it. And I found they_ have a healthy respect for the infantry.
Join In Praising Army Division
One day we were sitting on a hillside talking about the infantry. One Marine spoke of a certain Army division—a division they had fought beside—and was singing its praises. "It's as good as any Marine division," he said. "What was that you said" a listener cut in. The Marine repeated it and emphasized it a little. Another Marine stood up and called out, loudly:
"Did you hear what he said? This guy says there's an
Army division an good as any Marine, division. ' He must be
crazy. Haw haw, haw!"
And yet other boys chimed in, arguing very soberly, and sided with the one who had praised the Army division.
An Outfit of Ordinary People
Before I came into the field , several Marine officers asked me to try to sense just what the Marine spirit is, just what caused it, and keeps it alive.
In peacetime when the Marine corps was a small outfit, with its campaigns highlighted, and everybody was a volunteer you could understand why Marines felt so superior.
Bat since the war the Marine corps has grown into hundreds of thousands of men. It has been diluted, so to speak. Today it is an outfit of ordinary people—some big, some little, some even draftees. It has changed, in fact, until Marines look exactly like a company of soldiers in Europe.
Yet that Marine corps spirit still remains. I never did find out what perpetuates it. They're not necessarily better trained. They're no better equipped and often not as well supplied as other troops. But a Marine still considers himself a better soldier than anybody else, even though nine-tenths of them don't want to be soldiers at all.
Envisioned Corps End at Okinawa
The Marines are very cognizant of the terrible casualties they've taken in this Pacific war. They're even proud of that too, in a way. Any argument among Marine units is settled by which has had the greatest casualties. .
Many of them even envisioned the end of the Marine corps at Okinawa. If the Marine divisions had been beaten up here as they were on Iwo Jima, the boys felt it would have been difficult to find enough men of Marine corps caliber to reconstitute all the divisions.
They even had a sadly sardonic song about their approach to Okinawa, the theme of which was, "Goodby, Marines!"
Marines Don't Thirst for Battles
The boys of my regiment were continuously apologizing too : because this started out as a mild campaign. They felt I might think less of them because they didn't show me a blood bath.
Nothing could have been farther from my mind. I was probably the happiest American over here when things turned out for us as they did. I told them that kind of campaign suited me. And without exception they came back with the answer that it suited them, too.
I heard it said so many times that it almost became a chant-It they could all be like this, we wouldn't mind war so much."
So you see, Marines don't thirst for battles. I've read and heard enough about Marines to have no doubt whatever about the things they can do when they have to. No Marine need ever apologizes for anything.
The Marines are O. K. for my money. In battle or out.
Battle Is Increasing
Hourly, Nazi High
By Robert Musel
LONDON, April 17 (UP).
Nazi military sources said today that a big Russian offensive gained up to five miles on the Berlin front Monday and violent fighting now raged 17 miles from the imperiled capital near Hberswalde.
Use Tremendous Forces
The German high command said the Russians attacked "with a tremendous
deployment of men and material" all day Monday before Berlin. The "brave attitude of German troops and their flexible leadership" prevented a breakthrough,
it said, and "gaps which -were torn in the German positions were closed by spirited counterattacks."
Another Soviet onslaught 75 miles southeast of Berlin, crashed through the Neisse river defense line for gains of two and a half miles in the Muskau-Korst sector,
43 miles northeast of Dresden, toward -which the U. S. Army was driving.
WASHINGTON, April 17 UP).—
President Truman signed the lend-lease extension bill today. He declared the measure is a "mighty instrument for victory" and one of the "growing monuments to the boldness, imagination and effective statesmanship of Franklin Roosevelt."
"Lend-lease," he said, "will be can-led on until the unconditional surrender or complete defeat of Germany and Japan."
The signing produced a historical novelty—Truman's name appeared on the bill twice. He signed it originally as presiding officer of the Senate, then again today as