October 20, 2016

1943. The Fall of Benito Mussolini

Mussolini's Downfall
Benito Mussolini reviews the 5th Alpine Mobile Black Brigade (Enrico Quagliata) in Brescia, 1945 (source)

From Newsweek, August 2, 1943, pp. 19-21:


Duce Out, Italy Becomes Prey of Nazis as Well as Allies

His Downfall Also Poses Test of the Allied Principle of Unconditional Surrender
Since the crisis in Italy overshadows all other news, Newsweek this week devotes the entire abroad department to the Fall of the Duce.

At 11 o'clock on the night of July 25, 1943, the last stage of the second world war began for Italy. At exactly that hour Benito Mussolini had been relieved of his post as Premier. Wracked by Allied bombing, invaded by an overwhelmingly superior Anglo-American army, and refused large-scale aid by the Germans, Italy faced the most terrible problem in its history—how to end the struggle with the Allies without at the same time provoking violent retribution from its erstwhile Nazi Allies. The life of the Italian nation hung in the balance.

Proclamation: The fall of the Duce was made public in three proclamations. The first was by King Victor Emmanuel. That wizened and deflated little monarch announced that he had accepted the "resignation" of Mussolini and appointed as Premier Marshal Pietro Badoglio, former Chief of Staff and Italy's most respected soldier.

The second proclamation was also issued by the King. In it he assumed personal command of all the armed forces, called on each Italian to "take up again his post of duty and of fighting," and expressed confidence that Italy would "find again a way of recovery." The third came from Marshal Badoglio, who proclaimed that he was taking over complete power and that "the war continues." After these announcements the Royal March was played. But for the first time in 21 years the Fascist anthem, "Giovinezza," was omitted.

The next act in the drama was another proclamation ordering martial law throughout Italy, imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew, barring all meetings of more than three persons, and establishing other stringent security regulations. Telephones and communications with other capitals were cut off. A few dispatches filtering into Switzerland told of an angry crowd attacking German anti-aircraft gun crews in Milan. On the Swiss border black-shirted Fascist militia guards were replaced with Carabinieri. Late Monday Badoglio announced the formation of a new Cabinet. There was no authentic news of the Duce.

The swiftly unfolding crisis in Rome echoed in every capital throughout the world. Berlin at first maintained a strained silence. Then radio announcers went on the air with ambiguous explanations that explained nothing. And they referred to the poor state of Mussolini's health. In Spain the Cabinet was called into emergency session. Throughout France thousands defied police and listened to Allied radio stations.

In Washington the news seemed almost too good to be true, and Secretary of State Cordell Hull told reporters that the unconditional-surrender policy still stood. How other Allied centers received the news was told in cables from Newsweek's correspondents. The London bureau wirelessed: "The strongest note apparent in informed circles is one of extreme caution. But the oft-quoted man-in-the-street has greeted the news with the greatest jubilation and the general belief that Italy is already virtually out of the war."

Bill Downs, Newsweek and CBS correspondent, sent this message from Moscow: "Russians first heard the news of Mussolini's resignation at 6 a.m. Monday morning when the radio gave it the preferred position just after the reading of the Soviet communiqué. The Russians are not people who dance in the streets, but there'll be many factory meetings for discussion and interpretation in the next few days. At these meetings the general satisfaction about this first complete victory over dictatorship will be expressed."

From Algiers, Merrill Mueller, Newsweek and NBC correspondent, wirelessed: "Mussolini's resignation can only be construed as a great blow against the Axis, designed materially to shorten the war. Allied propaganda insisted that the Italians throw out the Fascists and set up a government with which the Allies could deal. It begins to appear that they've done exactly that.

The events leading up to the Duce's downfall had been in the making ever since that June day three years ago when he took an unprepared Italy into the war. But the immediate sequence of events that brought about his downfall came with the speed of modern war.

After the collapse of Axis resistance in North Africa in May it was obvious that political developments of great importance were in the making in Rome. To a people as realistic as the Italians the fate in store for Italy was perfectly evident. The exact interplay of political forces at the time was clouded, but the strange result was the emergence of the most radical wing of the Fascist party in an apparent dominant position.

Then came the invasion of Sicily. The tone of the Italian press and public spokesmen changed. Their defiance of the Allies had a hollow ring. Their protests against insufficient aid from the Germans had the sound of heartfelt truth.

The fateful day of crisis most likely occurred during the conference last week between Mussolini and Hitler somewhere in Northern Italy. The Führer came on the Duce's urgent summons, and the communiqué issued after the meeting was as cold as the monocle of the German officer who probably drafted it.

What happened at the meeting was the direct prelude to Mussolini's downfall. According to most versions, the Duce had asked the Führer for large-scale aid—some twenty divisions—to hold Italy. Hitler replied with a proposal that instead the Italians abandon Sicily and fight a rearguard action up most of the Peninsula, finally establishing a line north of Rome with German aid. When the Duce was forced to present this scheme to the King and the army, the game was up.

Significance: What happened in Italy was a political event comparable in importance to the fall of France, only this time it was the Allies and not the Germans who were the gainers. It was something that doesn't happen unless a nation is in the first stages of dissolution, because in himself the Duce was as much the government of Italy as the parliamentary regime was the government of France.

The King's words that Italy would "find again a war of recovery" almost certainly meant that Fascism was to be liquidated as a system of government. Likewise Badoglio's first actions were in conformity with his record of opposition to Fascism. Thus the political structure of Italy had in effect been destroyed.

That did not mean that the new government was committed to an immediate peace. Its first concern probably was to arrive at some arrangement with Germany. The 1939 military alliance is still in effect despite the change of regime. Furthermore, the Italian Government does not have the power to force the German units on Sicily, for example, to lay down their arms. In the Balkans also there are about fifteen German and fifteen Italian divisions under mixed command.

Nevertheless the direct reason for the fall of Mussolini was the hopelessness of resistance to Allied attacks. Despite Badoglio's great reputation there is no reason to think that the Italian troops will fight better for him than for Mussolini. The logic of the military situation thus dictates that the Italian Government make peace offers eventually—and there may even be a chance of an immediate snap offer to take effect before the Germans have time to react.

Whatever the intentions of the new Italian Government, its formation was the first real challenge to the Roosevelt-Churchill doctrine of unconditional surrender. It posed the question of whether the Allies should treat with a King whom they have always considered to be deeply involved in Fascism—and whether that ruled out negotiating with Badoglio, a man noted for opposition to everything that Mussolini stood for.
"Mussolini and the Quadrumviri during the March on Rome in 1922" (source)

He Came In Like a Lion—and Left Like a Quitter
It was a fitting irony that the man who tried to make the people of a nation "live like lions" ended his career by simply quitting. But in a way that was how it started, too. The March on Rome in 1922 was made by Mussolini in a train when all possible danger had passed. And Victor Emmanuel, weak in chin and will, consented to appoint the former Socialist firebrand as Premier despite Marshal Badoglio's promise to drive the Fascists into the sea with two companies of troops.

Once in power, Mussolini showed all the organizing ability and ruthlessness of a self-made big businessman—and also enjoyed the cynicism and brutality of a highwayman. The Italy he took over was rotten with war-born chaos, political decay, and rising Communism. He gave short shrift to politicians and sent Parliament packing in favor of a rubber-stamp National Assembly setting up his novel "corporate state" with its syndicates of workers and employers.

For the first time, Europe witnessed the spectacle of a modern one-man dictatorship running a country with the efficiency of a big department store. Trains got in on time, factories buzzed, strikes were abolished. It was a regime of dynamism if not tolerance—yet Mussolini cagily stayed on good terms with King and church and had no truck with the racialism and anti-Semitism that was already being touted by another aspirant to Dictatorship across the Alps.

The Duce then was as independent and hard-handed in his foreign as in his home policy. In 1933, he quickly recognized the danger in the Nazi movement and the following year balked at a Hitler coup in Austria by massing troops in the Brenner Pass. But, by that time, Mussolini had already begun to dream up new empires of his own. In 1935 he contemptuously bucked Britain and the entire League of Nations when he invaded Ethiopia.

When sanctions failed and the League all but died, Mussolini made the most fateful decision of his lifetime. Out of vindictiveness against Britain and a mistaken estimate of German power, he joined with Hitler in evil alliance. The first Axis step was the joint intervention in Spain. The next and fatal move was the acquiescence to Hitler's annexation of Austria.

Then came the era of Axis enthrallment of Europe by means of threats and boasts. Mussolini was riding high, wide, and handsome. On the Eternal City's walls he plastered maps showing the ancient Roman empire. In the National Assembly, his stooges baited France with cries of "Tunis! Corsica! Nice!" He boasted of "8,000,000 bayonets" and a mighty Fascist fleet. And in 1939 he launched the cynical Good Friday invasion that trampled little Albania.

But if Mussolini fooled his enemies for a time, he also fooled his people and himself. For when the Fascist fighting machine was put to the test, it failed ignominiously. In campaign after campaign—in Greece, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and the Mediterranean—Mussolini's boasts blew up in the smoke of real battle. Time and again, Hitler had to send troops to the rescue.

As the defeats increased, the would-be Caesar drew more and more into his shell. He seldom spoke and almost never made an appearance. But though growing bald and thinner with worry and age—he quit just four days before his 60th birthday—he still clung to his dreams and bluff, and even after the loss of his empire declared that the "last word" had not yet been spoken.

It was all over last week, for this was the way the Duce's world ended—not with a bang but a whimper.
Marshal of Italy Pietro Badoglio
Right after Marshal Pietro Badoglio resigned on Dec. 6, 1940, as chief of staff of an Italian army just routed by the Greeks, posters and stickers appeared on walls and windows all over Italy: "Italian people, stand fast! The King and Badoglio will be your deliverers." This week, the fate of Italy at last was in the hands of the deliverers.

In his choice of Badoglio as Chief of Government, Premier, and Secretary of State, Victor Emmanuel got a seasoned campaigner—at 71 still erect, square-shouldered, and keen-eyed—whose professional soldiering had shown up brilliantly on the blazing desert sands of North Africa as well as the icy Alpine battlefields of the last war.

Further, he got a man who two decades before might well have stamped out Fascism in its infancy. Ever a royalist professing allegiance to the House of Savoy, Badoglio—so the story goes—after watching the Fascist march into Rome in 1922 pleaded for a chance to rout them. He told the king: "Sire, with just two companies of Carabinieri I could sweep those Blackshirt upstarts into the sea."

The man who on Sunday took the helm of the foundering Italian ship sprang from Piedmont soil which has been a battleground since Caesar's legions first marched into what was then Cis-Alpine Gaul. The military history of the farming country around Grazzano Monferrato near Milan interested young Pietro Badoglio much more than did his father's small farm there, and he was soon off to the Military Academy at Turin.

Badoglio served in the Ethiopian campaign of 1896-97 and fifteen years later saw action in Libya. He was only a lieutenant colonel at the start of the last war, but his outstanding exploits—such as the capture of Mount Sabotino from the Austrians in 1916—made his rise meteoric: Six promotions soon elevated him to Assistant Chief of the General Staff.

Mussolini shunted Badoglio off to Brazil as Ambassador in 1924. For almost two years he was out of the picture. Then he was recalled as Chief of the General Staff and created a marshal, Italy's highest military rank. In 1929 Mussolini again "exiled" him, this time sending him to Libya as Governor. Thus he was in the background when the Battle for Ethiopia began. But when that campaign bogged down, he was again called into action, and because of his victory over Haile Selassie he returned to Italy to receive a welcome unheard of since the days of the ancient Roman conquerors and the King created him Duke of Addis Ababa.

Badoglio, in private life is a quiet, mild, steady-going man of culture and refinement, speaking several languages but ready and eager, on visits to his native village, to shed his coat and indulge in a game of Bocce with the local peasantry. Besides the Italian game of bowls—at which he excels—he is a skillful hand at the bridge table, and here he shows the same respect for detailed, methodical planning that he does on the battlefield.

Cheers and Jeers: As Il Duce vanished from the stage, these jeers came from the wings:
¶  In New York Arturo Toscanini clasped his head in his hands and looked thankfully heavanward when he heard the news.

¶  In Pittsburgh Babe Pinelli, umpiring the Pittsburgh Pirates-Brooklyn Dodgers baseball game, waved his right arm to call Mussolini "out" when the news came in over the loudspeaker. More than 30,000 fans howled their approval.

¶  Radio Rome announced immediate discontinuation of its daily morning lesson in the German language.

¶  A Nazi radio commentator recited Badoglio's proclamation correctly except for one word. When he got to the part where Badoglio said he would "see to it that my orders are carried out scrupulously," the Nazi made it "unscrupulously."

¶  Malta bars ran out of drinks for those toasting the Duce's end; newspapers were sold out completely.

October 19, 2016

1944. Downs Arrives in the U.S. with the "Stalingrad Symphony"

Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8 to Debut in the United States
Red Armies converge during the Battle of Stalingrad, December 1942. Dmitri Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony was subtitled the "Stalingrad Symphony" by the Soviet government (source)

From CBS News ad in The New Yorker, February 5, 1944, p. 39:

LISTEN: February 5, 1944
A plane landing at New York on January 21 set down Mr. Bill Downs, CBS correspondent for 13 months in Moscow. Gripped in Mr. D's hand was The Paper, the paper being, of course, the first and authentic an true copy of Dmitri Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony, which CBS had obtained from Mr. S for a handsome package of rubles and its first performance in the Western Hemisphere.

Downs, who likes his music schmaltzy, was a little vexed about his job as escort for the symphony: the composer and the copyists caused him to miss two planes out of Moscow, and he was then grounded by weather for two weeks...
The Eighth is nicknamed for "the Attack music," as the Seventh was called "the Retreat music;" the Ninth, now going into production, is to be "the Victory music."

Downs (though he is no kin to Olin Downes of the New York Times) believes that the piece will be highly controversial. So far neither Pravda, Izvestia, nor Red Star (the big three of Moscow papers) has reviewed its premiere, and the musicians over yonder are brawling about it pro and con.

So the American people are cordially invited by CBS to wade into the controversy just as soon as (1) Am-Russ can have the necessary playing copies made here; (2) Dr. Artur Rodziński can size it up and (3) the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra can play it on the United States Rubber Company program some springtime Sunday afternoon.
By that time it is CBS' devout hope that the indomitable Red Army and the undeniable British and Red-White-and-Blue armies will be reaching, reaching toward their final handclasp across a shrinking strip of the so-called Axis. Somehow that would make the music even better.

October 18, 2016

1943. U.S. Ambassador Harriman Takes Charge in Moscow

U.S. Ambassador W. Averell Harriman Arrives in the Soviet Union
"President Truman talks with Ambassador W. Averell Harriman at the Gatow airport in Berlin, Germany, before boarding his plane to fly to England at the conclusion of the Potsdam Conference," August 2, 1945 (source)
From Newsweek, November 15, 1943, pp. 24-25:

Harriman's Broom
Bill Downs, Moscow correspondent for Newsweek and CBS, wirelessed this account of developments in the Soviet capital following the conference.

The American Embassy is getting that new-broom treatment extending from the lowliest clerk in the code room through the new military mission up to the Ambassador's office. The embassy staff had grown into a happy-go-lucky crowd, which more or less adopted a "nichevo" philosophy. The long time that Spaso House had been without an official hostess had turned the Ambassador's official residence into what was almost a super-luxurious fraternity house. The Mokhovaya House across the street from the Kremlin with embassy offices and apartments for military, naval, and Lend-Lease staffs was almost the same. No one had enough to do. Consequently the embassy military and naval staffs spent a lot of time chasing ballet and theater tickets.

However, in the two weeks of the Moscow conference them days has gone forever. Ambassador W. Averell Harriman is already piling into the embassy organization. Desks, chairs, and whole offices have been moved. Kathleen Harriman, the American Ambassador's daughter, who will act as his official hostess, already has taken a college atmosphere out of Spaso. Maj. Gen. John Deane, new head of the military mission, has already got the parade ground back into his wing in Mokhovaya. This diplomatic spring cleaning in the American diplomatic military organization simply means that representatives are going to have more work to do, and they are clearing the decks for action.

The new Ambassador held his first press conference in his office on Thursday. After expressing his gratification at the outcome of the talks, he said: "The conference opened up a number of subjects whereon it has been agreed that discussion should be continued between ourselves, the British, and the Soviet Union. This means I will be working closely on these matters with Molotoff and Sir Archibald Clark Kerr."

Harriman revealed one significant fact which indicated how the conferees were thinking when he said: "One matter I think deserves the greatest possible consideration at this time is the assistance the United States can give to the Soviet Union in the rehabilitation of devastated areas and the repairing of other dislocations caused by war. Here again war must have first priority in our use of American productive capacity and available shipping, but there is one thing we can do now without interfering with war production. We can work on the development of programs, plans, and detailed designs which will materially shorten the time when equipment needed from the United States can be made available. The American people have the greatest sympathy for the Russian people, who have suffered so much, and it is in their hearts to attempt to be of the greatest assistance. We will have plants to produce machinery and equipment needed by the Soviet Union and in so doing we will help our own people to convert from war to peace production."

Harriman also announced that Charles E. Bohlen who accompanied Hull and was formerly assistant chief of the European division of the State Department would remain as first secretary. Bohlen served former Ambassador Steinhardt and is extremely well liked by the Russians. He has perfect command of the language and served as Hull's interpreter during the conference.

For foreign correspondents the most important addition to the embassy staff which Harriman brought along is Sam Spewack, one of the nation's top playwrights now serving with the Office of War Information. Spewack, whom correspondents are already calling "Mister Secretary," has succeeded in starting a news-digest service for the embassy which was also made available to newsmen. He will investigate all fields of cultural exchange—news, photos, newsreels, feature films, the exchange of music, art, drama. He plans to set up an organization to match the excellent British cultural-relations section which publishes the only Russian-language weekly in the Soviet not owned or controlled by the government.

October 17, 2016

1943. Stalin Previews the Hollywood Film "Mission to Moscow"

A Film Screening for the Soviet Premier
Joseph Stalin (Manart Kippen) as Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin speaks with ambassador Joseph E. Davies (Walter Huston) in a scene from the Warner Bros. film "Mission to Moscow" (1943)
From Newsweek, June 14, 1943, p. 88:

Giggles in Moscow
Since its release early last month, Warner Brothers and Joseph E. Davies's "Mission to Moscow" has thrived on controversy (Newsweek, May 10). Vociferously attacked on the one side as a whitewash of the Soviet regime, and just as staunchly defended on the other as a worthy tribute to a gallant ally, the film has currently split Hollywood leaders into two sharply divided camps on the advisability of making films with political implications. The following dispatch from Bill Downs, Newsweek correspondent in Moscow, survived a three-day delay at the censor's desk to add an international huff and a puff to the storm in a samovar.

The Russian premier of "Mission" was staged at the Kremlin, following a banquet for an international audience of diplomatic elect. Flanked on one side by a translator, and on the other by a beaming Joe Davies (then on his return engagement as missionary to Moscow), Stalin sat poker-faced throughout the two-hour tribute to his people and regime. The next night the print was loaned to the United States Embassy and run off for the staff and a group of newspaper correspondents.

In each case the audience reaction is best summed up in one word—squirm. And alternating with the squirming was the self-conscious tittering of those who had to sit in the Presence while an onscreen Joe Davies held forth on the subject of Joe Davies.

On occasion there were cinematic touches that provoked outright laughter. A bevy of Russian girls tricked out in ski-and-skating costumes looked just like what they were—Hollywood extras. Frieda Inescort, playing Madame Molotoff, attempted a spot of Russian dialogue that gave the Moscow natives a bad moment. And when the camera faded in on a Muscovite restaurant featuring the soulful strumming of a gypsy orchestra, several young army officers at the preview enthusiastically volunteered to withdraw on the off-chance of finding the place.

Stalin's poker face may have derived from the fact that the film's portrayal of the Soviet Premier was judged the least adequate in a roster of generally excellent characterizations. Playing Stalin for sweetness and light, Manart Kippen missed the strength and power and twinkling humor with which Stalin invariably impresses foreign visitors.

There was less of the dead-pan among members of the British diplomatic legation, with some officials pointedly hinting that the film's unfriendly, inept, and undiplomatic conception of His Majesty's representatives to Russia was ill-advised.

No one doubts that "Mission to Moscow" will be a sensational success in Russia, if only because the Soviets are anxious to see how they look to a foreign, though friendly, observer. At the same time, it was unanimously agreed that the Warner film was excellent propaganda for fostering better relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, although a number of changes are indicated if the film is to obviate a tendency of the realistic Russians to laugh out loud at the wrong places.

October 13, 2016

1943. The Moscow Reports

Bill Downs Reporting from the Soviet Union
A still from the documentary The Battle of Russia (1943), part of the American series "Why We Fight"


Bill Downs wrote stacks of articles and broadcast transcripts while serving as CBS News' Moscow correspondent in 1943. These reports, featured below, provided updates and analyses of the war on the Eastern Front as it happened. They tell the dramatic stories of civilians and Red Army soldiers on the front lines in Russia and Ukraine, from Leningrad to Stalingrad to Kiev.

Parentheses indicate text that was censored by Soviet officials for military or propaganda reasons. Western reporters relied heavily on state-run newspapers (particularly Pravda, Izvestia, and Red Star) and government communiqués, and some of their military news updates reflected this. One example is Downs' report on the Katyn massacre, which he described as "the latest gory German propaganda" based off available information at the time from Pravda and the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other reports, such as those on Kharkov, Stalingrad, and Kiev, are firsthand accounts of what Downs witnessed in those cities.

Part of this discrepancy was due to the heavy restrictions placed on war correspondents by government officials. Downs recalled in 1951:
"Within the scope of Soviet censorship, the resident correspondent can report accurately on government policy as announced by the Kremlin. However, the resident correspondent is not allowed to report such details as the living standards of the people he sees or the state of the national economy . . . He is not allowed to report on conversations, say, overheard on the subway or on the buses and streetcars. His isolation from the Russian people is manifoldfirst by the language barrier, second by the fact that he is restricted for the most part to Moscow, thirdly by government orders against association with foreigners, and fourthly by the atmosphere of fear and suspicion, which is part of the daily life of the people.

"Outside of a few officials, it is doubtful that even the Russians themselves know what transpires in their country . . . Only occasionally does rumor or a leak in the press break through these barriers which the government has inflicted on the people."
Reviewing the scripts was only part of the process, as Downs wrote:
"The correspondent could not find out what had been cut from his copy until he was advised by his home office . . . radio scripts were submitted and had to be returned to us for reading on the air. Thus we could see what the censors had cut, and we were able to assess the government's attitude on subjects of a sensitive nature. The government obviously felt that its censorship was not complete. There was a fear that the correspondent could, by intonation, change the meaning of his report . . . When reading your dispatch on the air, there was always an English-speaking Communist broadcaster sitting alongside with his hand on the cut-out switch. If you unintentionally changed the grammar of the sentence, as sometimes happens, down would go the switch and you'd be off the air."
Regarding the role of the press, he wrote:
"The Soviet government sees the press only as an arm of the government whose chief duty is to forward the Communist cause. They do not understand—or at least pretend not to understand—the role of the free press outside their country. The Soviet concept of news is that all information about Russia, no matter how trivial, comes under the heading of intelligence in the espionage meaning of the word. Consequently the foreign correspondent is tolerated as a kind of second-rate spy."
The links to Bill Downs' full reports are featured below with the censored text restored.


January 1943: Why do the Russians fight the way they do?
"The ability of Russia's John Q. Public to fight has endowed the people of Russia with almost legendary character—in the eyes of the world, and particularly Hitler."

January 1943: Drinks with Red Army men back from Stalingrad
"An army captain approached me without smiling and asked, 'Sprechen sie Deutsch?' I didn't know whether to say yes or no, since I am able to speak a sort of pidgin German from my college days. I looked around the room, which had sort of frozen up when it heard German, and I was the only foreigner around. I decided to chance it and replied, 'Ja, aber ich bin Amerikanischer korrespondent.' The room roared in laughter and I was immediately offered a flask."

January 6, 1943: Folks at home write to Red Army soldiers on the front lines
"[W]hole regiments will get letters addressed to the 'Liberators of Boguchar' from people they have never heard of before. Russian girls will write individual soldiers asking Private Ivanovich to 'kill just one German more today.'"

January 20, 1943: The women doing the labor in Moscow
"By closely observing this daily battle against the snow, you can pretty well tell how all of Moscow feels about things. When the Red Army isn't doing so well, this army of women prod viciously at the ice. They glare at pedestrians and at each other. They don't do much talking, even when they stop for a breather."

January 22, 1943: Life in Leningrad
"No one knows what Leningrad is suffering tonight. It is not likely that the German command is letting Russia's greatest seaport city sleep while the Red Army continues its dirty job of throwing German soldiers out of pillbox after pillbox."

January 23 to May 13: The turning point of the war in Europe
"It is a cheering sign that there are no such foolish arguments or discussions going on in Moscow tonight such as those which arose in America after the last war—you know the old argument that 'we won the war for the Allies.' Russians simply don't think that way. After what the Soviet Union has suffered, the people of Russia don't care to waste time talking about who won what. It has become pretty clear over here that unless everyone puts ever ounce of fight and energy into this war, no one is going to be able to talk about winning anything for a long, long time."

January 24, 1943: The Red Army pushes back against the encirclement of Leningrad
"During their sixteen month encirclement of Leningrad, the Germans built a three-to-five mile zone of concentrated Siegfried Line. It was a military nightmare. First there was row after row of coiled barbed wire. Then came the minefields."

January 26 to February 23, 1943: Decimating the Axis forces
"Hitler calls his great Russian winter retreat an 'elastic defense.' It is fairly certain he is going to try to put some snap into it this spring. But he's working with synthetic material that he can only stretch so far. Hitler's ersatz allies have already been badly broken under the strain."

January 1943: Comparing wartime Moscow and London
"You see in the people of Moscow the same determined, grim look that you could see in the brave citizens of London during their heaviest bombings. And when a Muscovite looks grim, I mean he really looks grim."

February 8 to February 9, 1943: The aftermath in Stalingrad
"There are sights and sounds and smells in and around Stalingrad that make you want to weep, and make you want to shout and make you just plain sick to your stomach."

February 8, 1943: "War Surgery for Sex"
"'Young soldiers brought here on the verge of suicide are as much mental cases as surgical. However, when they see other men undergoing plastic treatment and when they have talked with similarly wounded comrades, one can notice a psychological change within as little as one hour.'"

February 9, 1943: German Field Marshal Paulus in custody after Stalingrad
"Typical of the daring, devil-may-care spirit of these new Red Army forces was the almost comic capture of Field Marshal Von Paulus. Von Paulus, the only German field marshal ever to be made a prisoner of war, was taken after initial negotiations conducted by a 21-year-old Red Army first lieutenant."

February 9 to April 28, 1943: Stories from the Eastern Front
"At one point in the Stalingrad line, the German and Russian soldiers used to amuse themselves by shouting insults back and forth to each other. My Russian friend said that one German soldier shouted across the lines and offered to exchange his automatic rifle for a Red Army fur cap."

February 19 to 20, 1943: Moscow schoolkids make predictions about a second front
"So I decided I would beat them to the draw. I asked the class just how and where they thought a second front should be started."

February 20, 1943: The Soviet government spreads warning of Nazi spy tactics on the Eastern Front
"The Germans used local children, usually ages twelve to sixteen, and brought them before their trussed-up parents. They made them watch as their parents were severely beaten. The Germans then promised to stop the beatings if the children agreed to go to the Soviet rear and obtain the desired information. These kids were assured that if the information was not forthcoming, or if they failed to return, their parents would be shot. It is notable that Germans always keep these kinds of promises."

February 22, 1943: The 25th anniversary of Red Army Day
"The letters that the Russian kids write to the soldiers usually congratulate the men on the 25th anniversary and urge them to continue the stuffing out of the Germans. And often the letters end up with a promise that, as a token of appreciation, the schoolchildren will see that they make better grades and stop whispering in classrooms."

February 27 to March 16: The Nazi occupation of Kharkov and the colonization of Ukraine
"During the first days of the occupation about 18,000 people were executed. Bodies hanging from balconies were a common sight. Among these 18,000 executed were about 10,000 Jews—men, women, and children—who were taken nine miles out of the city, shot and buried in a big ditch."

March 2, 1943: The Soviet Union's winter offensive after Stalingrad
"The Germans didn't leave Rzhev voluntarily. This is shown by the great amount of equipment they left behind. They were kicked out of Rzhev in a blow that eliminated the main Axis threat to Moscow."

March 5, 1943: The Red Army's "tank desant" tactics
"This is the formation of groups of "hitchhike troops" specially trained to operate mobile tank forces which have acted as spearheads for the Russian drive westward."

March 7, 1943: Joseph Stalin names himself Marshal of the Soviet Union
"Premier Stalin now holds the position of Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the USSR. He also is Chairman of the State Defense Committee, the People's Commissar of Defense, and Chairman of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party."

March 8, 1943: Lend-Lease to the USSR
"The Russian people also have no idea of the scope of such American and British organizations such as the Aid to Russia funds. They know virtually nothing of the tremendous personal interest the people of the United States and other Allied nations are taking in their problems."

March 8, 1943: Ambiguity in Russian-American relations
"As he said in his statement tonight, the American people realize and sympathize with the stupendous courage and effort with which the Russian people have met the Axis onslaught. But, he said, the Russian people have little idea of the American's feeling for them."

March 19, 1943: The Nazi offensive is bogged down by the weather in Ukraine
"They sent a group of tanks across to attack some Russian fortifications on the left bank. When the two loading tanks reached the middle of the stream, the ice suddenly gave way and they went through and were lost. The following tanks immediately retreated to safety."

March 21 to April 21, 1943: Soviet bombers fighting for air supremacy
"The Soviet bombers have proved just how impressive they are to the citizens of Königsberg and Danzig. And a lot of other German cities are going to find out this summer when flying weather gets better. The Russian bombing force is growing."

March 21 to May 23, 1943: The advent of spring in Russia—two censored reports
"We are told it is almost a certainty that Hitler will start the fighting this spring. But he is hesitating because this time he feels he must not fail. He must get this campaign rolling before he has to organize another to protect his 'European fortress' from a second front."

March 23, 1943: The State Stalin Prize
"The occasion for even hinting that these things exist was the first annual list of Stalin science awards. These awards range from $18,000 to $5,000, and are given to engineers, professors, and scientists who have distinguished themselves in Soviet science and industry for the past year."

March 24, 1943: The Red Army's death toll thus far
"[A]ccording to the comparative losses during the German counterattack, 2,936,000 Red Army men have died in defending their country during this fighting. But I must point out that this figure is based merely on one small fact from one small sector of the Russian front. But whether the figure is larger or smaller, 2,936,000 men lost in the cause of democracy gives the Allies of Russia something to think about—and throws new light on Russia's desire for a second front."

March 26, 1943: The Soviet Union waits for the Western Allies to open a second front in Europe
"When they learned that there was some Congressional opposition to extending the Lend-Lease agreement, they could not understand it. Their one question was always, 'If it helps to win the war, then why argue about it?'"

March 28, 1943: Soviet engineers work a miracle as the Nazis retreat
"And when the Germans were chased from the area, they did one of their most complete jobs of earth scorching along the Velikiye Luki-Moscow railroad. Every bridge was blown up. Switches and sidings were destroyed. In some places the Germans even burned the forest around some vital bridges so that the Russian engineers would have no material with which to reconstruct them."

April 1 to April 14, 1943: Censored broadcasts
"There was a fear that the correspondent could, by intonation, change the meaning of his report . . . When reading your dispatch on the air, there was always an English-speaking Communist broadcaster sitting alongside with his hand on the cut-out switch. If you unintentionally changed the grammar of the sentence, as sometimes happens, down would go the switch and you'd be off the air."

April 2, 1943: The Nazis leave behind horrific booby traps
"He opened up the door and one cat jumped out. The second cat just started to leave the stove when the lieutenant pushed it back inside. On investigation, he found that the second cat had a string attached to one of its rear paws. The other end of the string was attached to the fuse in 25 pounds of high explosive."

April 3, 1943: The Red Army's massive winter offensive comes to an end
"In just 141 days of some of the bloodiest fighting that the world has ever witnessed, the Germans lost over 1,193,000 men in killed and captured."

April 6 to May 12, 1943: The Soviet commission on Nazi war crimes
"The report ends with the statement, 'These men must bear full responsibility and merited punishment for all these unprecedented atrocities.' And this morning's Izvestia editorial adds 'The Russian people will not forget.'"

April 8, 1943: Heroic Czechoslovak soldiers hold the line
"The Germans launched a counterattack. It was a big show, and sixty tanks appeared on one narrow sector opposite the dug-in Czech troops. A young lieutenant named Yarosh was in command on this sector. His field telephone rang, and Colonel Svoboda said the unit would have to hold out alone. There were no reinforcements to help the lieutenant stop the sixty tanks. The colonel's orders were 'it is impossible to retreat.'"

April 9, 1943: The Free French squadron fighting in Russia
"Many of them are veterans of the Fighting French air force in Britain. Here they operate under Russian command and have a great respect for the fighting abilities of the Russian fliers. One of them told me he was learning how the Soviet pilots ram German planes in combat. He said the Russians had developed a technique in which a pilot could knock the tail or wing off an enemy plane and do very little damage to his own ship."

April 11, 1943 (by Quentin Reynolds): Revisiting Moscow, the city where Hitler's dream ended
"Every civilian in Moscow has made it his war. Perhaps New York can learn something from this city of courage."

April 14, 1943: The little news from Moscow
"All of us here, from the government leaders in the Kremlin down to the correspondents in the Metropol hotel, are waiting for developments from North Africa."

April 15, 1943: Soviet bombing campaign forces Nazis to change tactics
"The Germans have felt the damaging weight of the Russian bombs and have resorted to all kinds of trickery—it's an improved type of trickery which the Nazis started using during the early bombings of Germany by the Royal Air Force."

April 17 to May 28, 1943: The battle for the Kuban bridgehead
"It took forty minutes of inching forward through the mud on their stomachs before the Russian soldiers reached the first German lines. Then there was a period of furious and bitter hand-to-hand fighting before all the Germans were bayonetted out of their trenches."

April 19 to April 27, 1943: Soviet officials deny responsibility for the Katyn massacre
"The newspaper Pravda, organ of the Communist Party, this morning violently attacks the Polish government of General Sikorski for giving official cognizance to the German propaganda charges that the Soviet government allegedly murdered 10,000 Polish officers near Smolensk in 1940."

April 21, 1943: No time for fun in Moscow
"[T]here are no nightclubs or dance halls or anything like that in the capital of the Soviet Union. There is only one cocktail bar, and you have to stand in line to get into it. Occasionally some of the artist's clubs or other such organizations will throw a dance, but it's not very often."

April 21, 1943: Russians civilians train for air raids
"Moscow has not had a bombing for a year. Quite naturally the city is relaxed. People have forgotten where they put their gas masks. Fire watchers and shelter wardens have been more lax than they should be with Nazi bombers only a half hour's flight from the city."

April 21 to July 6, 1943: Film and theater in wartime Moscow
"In an exclusive Variety interview, Krapchenko said the wartime Moscow theatre is tending toward serious drama and tragedy."

April 23-24, 1943:  The air war in Crimea
"[T]he Germans more and more are putting Romanian troops into the vanguard of their local attacks. Thus the Romanians suffer the heaviest losses. The dispatch says that when the unlucky Romanians show a reluctance to attack, or when they appear on the verge of retreat, the German soldiers behind them liven their spirits with Tommy gun bullets. A good number of these Romanians have been killed by their own allies."

May 2, 1943: Stalin's cult of personality
"This week all over the Soviet Union, pictures of Josef Stalin are being displayed on every factory and office building in the country. It means that this week his picture is getting larger display and his name on more banners and posters and that he is getting more personal publicity than any man has ever received."

May 7, 1943: Soviet maskirovka
"No one is fooling down in the Caucasus tonight as the Red Army presses the Axis forces back to the Black Sea coast. But on the rest of the front there is a real war of nerves that, in plain deception, provides the greatest mystery show on earth. And strangest of all, these mystery tactics are good military practice."

May 7, 1943: Strained Polish-Soviet relations
"Vyshinsky is a white-haired, neat-looking lawyer, and he read his two thousand word summary of Soviet-Polish relations like a person adding up a column of figures. And that is the tone of the whole long list of Russian accusations against the Polish government."

May 13, 1943: The Russians react to the Allied victories in Tunisia
"The American and British and French troops in North Africa don't know it, but their heroism and sacrifices and courage have achieved something here in Russia that a thousand diplomats and a million words could never have done."

May 19, 1943: The American ambassador visits the ruins of Stalingrad
"Mr. Davies said he wished every American fighting man could have a look at the tragedy of Stalingrad before he went into battle against the Germans."

May 25, 1943: The Soviets throw a goodwill banquet for the British
"They represent an exchange of ideas—not between governments, but between peoples. Neither America, Britain, nor the Soviet Union is trying to impose ideas in this campaign for better cultural relations. That's what got Germany into trouble. If there is one thing that this war has proved, it is that it's much better to exchange ideas than it is to exchange bullets."

May 30, 1943: Western Allied bombing of Germany threatens morale on the Eastern Front
"The Anglo-American bombing of Germany is having a very real effect on the German soldier, who has been given the impossible job of defeating Russia. When a Fortress or a Liberator or a Lancaster drops a bomb on Berlin or Duisburg or Essen, this bomb not only smashes Nazi war production, it also smashes just one more grain of confidence and resistance in the morale of the Fritz on the Russian front who sooner or later hears that his hometown has taken it in the neck again."

June 1, 1943: Nazi rockets provide light for Soviet troop shows
"Recently one group performed for a tank unit assigned to crack a river fortification. The artists reached the front late in the evening. They were held up picking their way through narrow trails in minefields. When they arrived, the soldiers insisted on seeing the entire program. The troupe performed in the open air; the illumination was furnished free by German rockets. The concert really got a big windup with artillery barrage. Before the troupers had packed, the first tanks had crossed the river."

June 7, 1943: "Red Justice"
"With the German attack of 1941 a decree was promulgated reclassifying murder, attempted murder, highway robbery, resistance to representatives of the government, and refusal to join the labor front as crimes subject to martial law."

June 14, 1943: Stalin previews "Mission to Moscow"
"Stalin's poker face may have derived from the fact that the film's portrayal of the Soviet Premier was judged the least adequate in a roster of generally excellent characterizations. Playing Stalin for sweetness and light, Manart Kippen missed the strength and power and twinkling humor with which Stalin invariably impresses foreign visitors."

June 17, 1943: "Bogdan the Elusive" in Ukraine
"Once, the Germans thought they had Bogdan. They carefully threw a cordon around his camp. When they finally closed in on the camp they found warm campfires, empty tin cans—and a goat. Around the neck of the goat was a note saying 'A hurried good-bye—but I'll be back.'"

June 19, 1943: The Russian perspective on Japanese imperialism
"'In May 1943, a serious reverse befell Japan,' the Russian expert says. 'In the Northern Pacific, American troops drove the Japanese out of Attu Island which, incidentally, the Japanese militarists prematurely gave a Japanese name.'"

June 25, 1943: Summertime fashion in Moscow
"The most popular summer footwear are sandals. I've seen some made out of worn out automobile tires. The tire is simply cut into the shape of a show. Another thickness is nailed onto the heel—two straps are attached—and there you have a perfectly good pair of summer shoes."

June 27, 1943: The Wehrmacht's lice epidemic
"The German command is trying to combat the louse that infests the invincible, Aryan Nazi soldier. They are using all kinds of propaganda. Soap is scarce in the German army, and propaganda has not been a very good substitute."

July 11, 1943: What are Hitler's ultimate plans for the new offensive?
"The third theory is that this present attack is the beginning of an all-out attack on the Soviet Union, with Hitler ignoring the impending second front and setting out once and for all in an attempt to defeat the Red Army. In this event, he would depend on his European defenses to protect his rear."

July 14, 1943: Axis espionage in Russia
"The business of spying is no longer a glamorous job of pumping a victim full of champagne and getting him to talk. Axis agents have been discovered disguised as beggars, as wounded Russian soldiers, as government officials, and a number of other things."

July 27, 1943: Russian play features heroic American war correspondent
"The correspondent is depicted as about 40, greyish, with an intense interest in getting the story but with little interest in taking a personal part in the war. He is constantly taking notes and snapping pictures and making what are, to the Russian mind, wisecracks. The author allows the correspondent to jibe the Russians about their love for tragedy, maintaining that Tolstoy should have ended 'War and Peace' with 'everyone loving everyone else.'"

August 2, 1943: The Orel sweepstakes
"The Orel sweepstakes is typical of the difficulties under which American and British reporters must compete for headlines and at the same time keep within reason in trying to interpret the progress of military movements in Russia. There is not one who had not been screaming at the press department for trips to the front or, second best, for conferences with reliable political and military authorities for guidance in covering this and other stories."

August 13, 1943: The Bryansk partisans
"I sat next to Romashin during a lunch the Orel city government gave the correspondents. He told me that, if I wanted to turn him over to the Germans, I would be a rich man. The Germans know his home. To the person who can produce him dead or alive they will give 15,000 rubles, thirty acres of land, a house, one horse, and two cows."

August 14, 1943: The Red Army's high spirits
"These campfires are a beautiful sight. I saw them from an army headquarters on a height overlooking the Oka river valley. These fires, spotting the ridges and slopes of the rolling steppe, make an unforgettable sight, particularly if you look to the horizon and see the reflection of the burning ruins of Nazi occupation. Those peaceful looking army campfires are flames of vengeance. The big light on the horizon is reflected fear."

August 16, 1943: "Revolution in Soviet School System Kills Coeducation for Youthful Reds"
"This statement represents a new conception of the Soviet woman and her place in family and national life. Sociologically it is a significant change from the early conceptions which simplified divorce processes, provided state contraceptive service, and put emphasis on the nursery instead of the family. In recent years the trend has been in the opposite direction; the Soviet Union is taking measures to increase the birth rate, which since the war has been declining because of the separation of families, improper feeding, and casualties. The new system is the first step in this direction."

August 26, 1943: Downs tells of the curfew in Moscow
"While walking from the foreign office to the radio studio, a young soldier packing a very business-like rifle and bayonet stopped me and asked to see my documents. I handed him my official press card, the pass which allows me on the street during air raids, and my precious night pass. Everything was in order except for the night pass. It had run out and had to be replaced."

September 4, 1943: Tragedy on the Steppe Front
"We came to a little farm railroad called Maslova Pristan. Our convoy of jeeps stopped. An air raid had started someplace on the horizon. The ack-ack and bomb flashes lit up the skyline so brightly that it didn't seem real. If you saw it in the movies you would say it was too Hollywood; too overdone."

September 6, 1943: Ukrainians persevere in the wake of Nazi destruction
"The damage is so extensive that the occasional house that was new—unburned, without shell holes and not charred by fire—such scattered houses seemed almost to be showplaces. They stood out like the pyramids in a desert of destitution."

September 9, 1943: Italy falls as Donetsk is liberated
 "A victory for one of the United Nations is a victory for all the United Nations."

September 12 to September 17, 1943: The Red Army approaches Bryansk
"The Red Army in the past ten months of its winter and summer offensive has almost completely wiped out the gains that the German army spent two years in achieving.As the Russians drive for Kiev and the Dnieper bend, they soon will be on the same lines where they fought the Nazis in September 1941."

September 14, 1943: The Young Guard in Ukraine
"These high school students played a lot of tricks on the Germans, such as taking empty mine cases and planting them like booby traps. The Germans would worry for days over such tricks. They wired officers' cars so that when they stepped on the starters, the car would blow up. They cut the telephone lines, and always they put out their daily bulletin, carefully written by hand and passed among the people."

September 20, 1943: "Harvest of Death: Behind the Lines in Russia's Reconquered Villages"
"The jeep was blown a dozen feet off the road, turned over, and was almost torn in two. The driver escaped miraculously with only a wound in the back of his head. It was a freak mine that somehow hadn't gone off although hundreds of cars had driven over the spot on the road throughout the day."

September 23, 1943: The Second Battle of Poltava
"The German base of Poltava was one of the most powerful in the Ukraine. It was taken with much greater casualties for both sides than either the Russians or the Swedes suffered two centuries ago."

September 26 to September 29, 1943: The massive Dnieper offensive continues
"An article in the Army journal, Red Star, today puts the question that is on everyone's lips here in Russia: "Where is Hitler's army going to stop?" This same question must be on the lips of the people of Germany."

November 1, 1943: The Third Moscow Conference
"The welcome accorded Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden on Oct. 18 set the tone for the meeting. At the very moment that Hull stepped down from his four-engined Douglas transport at the Moscow airport, a military band struck up 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' and quickly followed with the 'Internationale.'"

November 15, 1943: A new U.S. ambassador arrives in Russia
"The long time that Spaso House had been without an official hostess had turned the Ambassador's official residence into what was almost a super-luxurious fraternity house. The Mokhovaya House across the street from the Kremlin with embassy offices and apartments for military, naval, and Lend-Lease staffs was almost the same. No one had enough to do. Consequently the embassy military and naval staffs spent a lot of time chasing ballet and theater tickets."

December 6, 1943: The Babi Yar massacres
"The first foreign witnesses this week returned to Moscow from what are probably the most terrible two acres on earth—a series of desolate ravines in the Lukyanovka district three miles northwest of Kiev."

January 23, 1944: Retaking the Russian railways
"There are probably more American trucks and jeeps and weapon carriers in Russia than any other country outside the United States. Supplies for the Stalingrad victory were largely carried on American ten-wheelers which can negotiate the deep Russian snow. It was the same at Oryol and Belgorod last summer, and again at Kiev where these American trucks were able to cope with Ukrainian mud."