Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 17, 1939; GERMANS BLAST VILLAGES:

Germans Blast
Villages as
They Fall Back

Decisive Conflict Engages Foes;
Hundreds of Thousands
Take Part Along Forty-Mile Line

By  Taylor Henry
PARIS, Sept. 16 (AP)—The European war's first real grand scale battle on the western front appeared Saturday night to be developing by the hour, with hundreds of thousands of French and German troops engaged.

German troops were reported retreating and methodically destroying small villages as they abandoned them.

French observers reported back to the general staff that the Germans, as they doggedly gave ground, blasted entire villages out of existence in an effort to slow the French drive through the no-man's-land toward the Siegfried line.

The general staff announced the Germans were "constantly" throwing reinforcements into the battle, which was swinging into its decisive stage Saturday night after two weeks of preliminary skirmishing.
Fight 'Battle of the Saar'
This "Battle of the Saar*' was being waged along a 40-mi]5gr' front from the Moselle valley southeastward to Saarbruecken. Saturday night's official general staff communique acknowledged for the first time that French and German troops were' in contact along the entire front.

Small crossroads hamlets have been cleared of all civilians for days, and many of them already had been pounded almost beyond recognition by shells from both French and German guns in a ceaseless give and take warfare.

Premier Edouard Daladier, the "little dictator of France," who is his own minister of national defense .and foreign affairs, left Paris suddenly Saturday to make a surprise personal inspection of the Maginot fighting zone.

. He left for the front in a military automobile on what, so far as is known, was his first inspection of the battlefront. The premier, who entered the last war as a private soldier and fought the entire four years, winning promotion after promotion and three citations for valor under fire, started for the front without previous announcement.
Strike at Three Points


 The above map shows where the first great battle of the current war is
raging. (1) Spearhead of the French Moselle valley offensive.
(2) Near Nied river, reported scene of most important French advance.
3. The hotly contested Saarbruecken front. (4) Where most
stubborn German counter-attacks are reported on the basis of French communiques

Revision of Neutrality
Certain, Scribe Says
By Harry J. Brown
Tribune Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16—When congress assembles in special session next Thursday it will enact and send to the president substantially the kind of neutrality law he wants. That was assured before the call for the extra session was Issued

The present neutrality law will be cast in the discard, and a new law will take its place under which the most rigorous restraints upon American producers and American manufacturers will' be removed. More than likely the new law will embody the "cash and carry" principle, under which American firms may sell to any belligerent country, provided the purchaser will pay cash, take possession of his purchases on American soil, and provide his own means of transporting his American products to their home destination.

For two weeks President Roosevelt, by long-distance telephone, contacted members of 'the senate and the house of representatives, discussing neutrality legislation with them, and ascertaining to a certainty how many will go along with him. and how many will adhere to the stand they took last session.

At-a-Glance News of War
From European Centers
By the Associated Press
PARIS—French report Germans retreat in first grand scale battle on western front; Nazis reported destroying villages behind them, "constantly" throwing reinforcements in fighting all along 40-miIe front.
BERLIN—Germany army gives Warsaw citizens 12 hours to leave capital indicating bombardment might start any time after 3 a. m. Sunday (9 p. m. Saturday, E. S. T.).
BUDAPEST—Polish radio announces terrific land and air bombardment of Warsaw all day Saturday.
LONDON — Navy convoying merchant shipping; Germans have sunk 21 British ships in first two weeks of war.
BUCHAREST—Rumanian government faces problem because oil pledged to French, British and American companies is sought by Germany for war machine.
BERLIN—Prince Oskar, grandson of former kaiser, killed on Polish front.
MOSCOW—Russia feels strategic position improved as result of armistice with Tokyo.
TOKYO — Japanese interpret Moscow truce as giving freer hand in China.
ROME—Italians expect Italy to gain from war through additional export trade.

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