July 22, 2014

1967. Israel's Military Superiority in the Six Day War

The "State of the Art"
From Wikipedia: "Israeli Air Force officers next to a destroyed Egyptian MiG-21 at Bir Gifgafa."

TO John Lynch (ABC News memo)

CC Mssrs Sheehan et al

FROM Bill Downs

14 June 1967

Reports that the Israeli air force had a new and secret air-to-ground weapon which enabled them to shatter the bulk of Egyptian and Arab air power in the opening hours of the Mid-East war is strongly discounted by the Pentagon's air force experts.

Instead the officials are full of praise for what they call "the expert and efficient Israeli application of the state of the art as it exists today." This echoes Secretary McNamara's high praise for what he called the Israeli "executive and management techniques" which enabled Tel Aviv to mobilize the nation in less than 10 days and to win a major war in half that time."

US Air Force experts explain that the "state of the art" of destroying an enemy's planes and bombers by surprise and mostly on the ground involves a number of elements. The Israeli planes were equipped to employ optical, infra-red, radar and heat-seeking sighting devices. Depending on the conditions and timing over the target, they would use one or a combination of these elements to find their targets and attack.

For example, Israel's tracking radar scanners could spot the take-off of Egyptian planes from their bases at 6 a.m. and know for sure that they would have to return to their bases by 8:20 a.m. or crash because of a lack of fuel. Thus the Israeli air command could time the counter-attack for the landing time, and when they swept in their heat-seeking rockets would home in on the returned planes waiting to be fueled or during re-fueling. (This presumably happened in some of the Israeli attacks and accounts for the fact that the missiles hit the operation Migs while ignoring the dummy mockup of the next revetment.)

Pentagon officials point out that Israel's strategy in the war was mandatory and should have been obvious to the Arabs. The beach-head nation did not possess enough territory for large-scale maneuvers within her own borders. She HAD to carry the war outside that territory -- and to do that, she must attain early air superiority over the combat areas and also to forestall a possibly serious internal morale problem had the Arabs been able to bomb centers of Israeli population containing large numbers of the elderly. They stress the difficulty of effective camouflage in the desert and say that Israeli photo-reconnaissance over permanent Arab air force installations around Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad and Amman must have had those bases gridded down to the last foot of ground. The dummy Migs were screened out in advance and the Israeli jet attacks could virtually have been plotted and directed by radar from Tel Aviv.

This is what the USAF means by maximum employment of "the state of the art." And this is exactly what the Israelis did. The weapons they carried in their jet fighters were mostly British made. We have worked closely with the British in the research and development of these weapons. To answer the obvious question: yes, we have similar or better weapons. We are using them in Vietnam with notable success when allowed. And because of the Vietnam experience, we have developed "the state of the art" to a higher level even than the Israelis.

Then there is the remaining element which contributed so much to the Israeli success and which differentiates so much the US aerial effort in Viet Nam. The Egyptian and Arab anti-aircraft defenses, if they really existed operationally, completely collapsed. This lack of opposition from the air or the ground greatly aids a pilot's accuracy and increases the efficiency of his technology and weapons.

Without in any sense denigrating the fantastic achievement of Israeli arms in last week's Middle East conflict, it still must be said, as General Dayan pointed out, that Israel was most fortunate in the choice of her enemies.

July 18, 2014

1942. The American Red Cross' "Glamour Battalion"

"Glamour Battalion" Overworked as Doughboys in Britain Go All Out to Make Girls Feel at Home
"Newly-arrived American Red Cross workers say 'hello' to soldiers at one of the Red Cross clubs in London."

By WILLIAM R. DOWNS

United Press Staff Correspondent (printed in the Kansas City Dispatch and elsewhere).

London. September 8, 1942. -- (UP)

The American Red Cross' "glamour battalion" came from the United States to make the doughboys feel at home, but it didn't work out that way. The doughboys are trying to make the "glamour battalion" feel at home.

"We find they are more interested in making us feel at home and won't let us worry about them," said pretty Ann Douglas, daughter of Judge Walter Douglas of Savannah, Ga.

She is typical of the girls in the battalion -- all in their 20's, pretty and shapely. Miss Douglas, blonde and blue-eyed, was sitting amid piles of newspapers, ping pong paddles, checker boards and playing cards. She organizes entertainment for American soldiers in one Red Cross club with accommodations for more than 1,000 men.

"I often wondered what I'd do if I had 1,000 men on my hands," she said. "Look at me now. It's not all fun."

Anne Ellis of New York and Faye Smith of Marks, Miss., said they were a little hoarse from a singing session the night before at the Washington club.

"We had a few Rangers and other soldiers on leave who wanted to sing -- which every one within three blocks can tell you we did, but loud." Miss Ellis said.

Miss Ellis studied voice before she joined the Red Cross. Miss Smith was director of physical recreation in Dallas, Tex., high schools.

From 7 a. m. to Midnight

They get up at 7 a. m. and sometimes work past midnight. Occasionally they have an afternoon free and get one day off a week in which to keep personal dates.

Perhaps the homiest touch to the entire Red Cross setup in Britain is provided by Mrs. Mary Mumford of Stamford, Conn., middle-aged and white haired, who served with the Red Cross during the army's southern maneuvers and who has two sons in the navy.

She is "Mom" to every man who comes into the Washington club.

"I write letters to their mothers telling them their boys are all right, and if they lose all their money or their railroad tickets, they can get some money from me," she said.

Every Loan Repaid

An American resident of Britain gave her $60 to "mess around with," and she unofficially lends from it to men on leave. They can get up to $8, and so far every loan has been repaid.

"The boys here know they feel free to do anything they want," she said. If a man comes here on leave, wants relaxation and gets too much to drink, we don't teach him manners or give him lectures. If that happens, and it is bound to, it is our job to take care of him and let him know there's a place he can come to find his friends."

So far, American soldiers have been using Red Cross facilities to the utmost, keeping its billets full, and taking advantage of its sight-seeing tours, free theater tickets, and free dances.

Mrs. Mumford's biggest problem concerns boys who ask her to find out why they don't get mail. One soldier had been receiving cables of condolences and knew something had happened to his family. But he couldn't hear from his family. Mrs. Mumford found out by cable that his mother had died.

1942. Air Raid Advice Should the War Come to America

Advice by 'Veteran' on Bombs
United Press Writer From Kansas City, Kansas Tells Americans What London Has Learned About Raids.
Source: "People offered help to neighbours. This sign says 'Shelter', and adds that if 'caught out in a raid' there was room in the family shelter for two more people."
By WILLIAM DOWNS

United Press Staff Correspondent (printed in the Kansas City Dispatch)

London. -- (UP)

America is in the war, and its citizens may find it helpful to know what British civilians have learned about aerial bombardment in the event that New York, or Chicago, or Los Angeles has to "take it" as did London.

Here -- as compiled by correspondents of the United Press bureau -- are some of the guiding rules and principles demonstrating that it's good to be careful but that the actual danger -- if you cooperate with authorities -- is much less than one would imagine.

1. You can expect to be frightened. However, you get consolation from the fact that you've got lots of company, for there are few people who do not feel a sinking sensation in the stomach when a drone of bombers comes from the night sky. But you'll also find yourself trying not to act scared -- which is just about the best thing you can do for the morale of the people around you.

Odds 300,000 to 1

2. Americans here have figured out that if you live in Portland, Ore., or Birmingham, Ala., both of which have about 300,000 population, your chances of getting hit in an air raid are about one in 300,000 -- assuming that every bomb which drops kills at least one person. And that doesn't always happen. If you live in a target area -- near steel mills for example -- your chances of getting hit are greater.

3. United Press men in London have developed two philosophies toward bombings. Brydon Taves, now in South Africa, adopted a "what the hell theory," asserting that if a bomb has your name on it, there's nothing you can do about it. The other is the "no use asking for it" theory whereby you take up residence in reinforced concrete buildings and stay away from glass as much as possible when raids are on. Flying fragments of glass are probably the most dangerous results of bombing. Blasts from the biggest bombs rarely are felt more than 300 years away.

Safest Spot Disputed

4. After two years of war here, there are two schools of thought as to the safest place during a raid. One school contends that the only safe place is close to the top of a building -- you won't be buried under wreckage. The other school says that the basement is safer. Few bombs travel more than four or five stories before exploding and people in the basement usually are safe.

A good compromise would be the middle floors of a good, strong building, while if you live in a residential district your basement is fairly good protection. Britain's uncomfortable backyard Anderson air raid shelters saved thousands of lives, but the trend now is for each home to have a strongly reinforced room. One shelter -- a good one -- consists of a heavy wooden table with wire netting around the sides.

5. Above all, keep cool.

July 17, 2014

1944. Bill Downs and Walter Cronkite Trapped in the Low Countries

"The Good Old Days"



The story told by Walter Cronkite in the video above is perhaps the most often repeated anecdote about Bill Downs, and it appears across many publications. The actual quote—usually something similar to "these are the good old days!"—varies among sources.

Just days prior to this, Downs and Cronkite were trapped and separated near the front lines in Belgium during a Luftwaffe air raid as they covered Operation Market Garden in late September 1944.

There are a number of versions of this particular story, and Cronkite himself wrote his own recollection in 1963. Each retelling appears to vary slightly, with new details in each.

__________________________________________________________


As recounted by Cronkite himself in 1963:
January 8, 1963

ARNHEM REVISITED

By Walter Cronkite,
CBS News Correspondent
Walter Cronkite, a United Press correspondent during World War II, revisited the scene where he had dropped with the U.S. Airborne Division, for the "Twentieth Century" documentary "Air Drop at Arnhem," a report on the largest airborne operation in military history, which ended in disaster. The report will be broadcast on the CBS Television Network Sunday, Jan. 20 from 6:00 to 6:30 PM, EST, with Cronkite as the narrator.

I was either one of the luckiest or among the unluckiest correspondents in World War II, depending on one's point of view. I was picked as pool correspondent to drop into Holland with the 101st U.S. Airborne Division, under the command of Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor. The objective of the Allied Airborne Army (82nd U.S. Airborne Division, 101st Division and the 1st Airborne Division) was to end the war in 1944 by making an end-run around the Siegfried Line at Arnhem and sweeping down into the Ruhr, the industrial heart of Germany.

Prior to the air drop at Arnhem, the Allied Airborne Army had been scheduled to go into action on 16 different occasions. Each time the correspondents would draw to see who would be pool man. I was winner 13 of the 16 times. From July until September I was constantly on alert. Awakened at night (it always happened at 3:00 in the morning), I would be driven out to some secret base in England, there to wait...Sometimes my drop-mates were Poles and Czechs, desperate men, blackened faces and all. One time we actually were in the planes, propellers spinning, when a soldier in a jeep came tearing across the field to tell us the drop had been called off. The reason the airborne operations were called off was Gen. Patton's swift advance across France, securing the areas before the airborne troops could drop into them.

On Sept. 17, 1944, we finally made it—20,000 men in 1,544 planes, 478 gliders.

My fellow correspondents advised me not to go by glider. It was much more dangerous than dropping by parachute, they told me. But, on this drop I was assigned to glide, and glide I did. Unfortunately, no one had told me the technique used in glider landings. I later learned that the pilot, after being cut loose from the tow-plane, puts the nose down and dives, thus making a fast-moving, hard-to-hit target. In short, the glider drops like a stone. Then after leveling out and touching down, the pilot slams the nose into the ground, bringing the craft to an abrupt halt—usually with the shattered tail waving in the air. In this correspondent's opinion, glider pilots were among the war's most courageous men.

When I landed with the 101st near Eindhoven, our pilots proved to be a classicist. Men, helmets and gear flew like shrapnel around the interior of our deliberately crashed glider. I grabbed a helmet from the debris and ran across the field to where I saw others heading. Stopped by enemy fire, an officer pounding along next to me, shouted, "Major, are you sure that is the rendezvous point?" I told him I wasn't sure at all, and, in addition, wasn't a major. "Then why are you wearing that helmet?" he yelled indignantly. I had picked the wrong one.

After staying with the 101st for two days, I joined up with Bill Downs, CBS News correspondent attached to the British Second Army, the ground troops which were driving up the Eindhoven-Nijmegen-Arnhem road in an effort to link with the three airborne divisions.

We set out to find brigade headquarters at Eindhoven, on the outskirts of which the Germans still fought. At dusk, we were driving down a road next to a park when the Germans started bombing. We pulled our jeep under some trees and Downs unlimbered his recorder. But the first string of bombs fell in perfect pattern across the park, straddling us. Bill and I vaulted the fence into the park. How, I'll never know. Afterwards, as I prepared a more leisurely departure from the park, that spiked fence loomed six feet.

In addition, the Germans sowed the woods with small anti-personnel mines. After the raid, I went looking through those mine-infested woods for Downs, shouting his name over and over. He was gone, vanished. Finally, I found the jeep and recorded a tribute to my gallant colleague. I found out later the recorder hadn't been working—probably fortunately, considering the nature of that particular corn!

A few days later, the loss of Downs still weighing heavily, I walked into the Hotel Metropole in Brussels. There was Downs at the bar, friendly and unharmed.

I was indignant. I told him I had walked for hours seeking him or his body through that potentially German-infested, certainly mined woods shouting his name until I was hoarse. Had he done the same for me?

"Are you nuts?" said Downs. "Going through those words shouting 'Cronkite, Cronkite' I'd have ended up in a Berlin hospital."

Downs' point was well taken. "Cronkite" is Dutch and after 280 years of Americanization doesn't mean much of anything, but a German word that sounds very much like it means, clearly and understandably, "sickness."
_________________________________________________________

Downs' receipt from the Hotel Métropole in Brussels

This account is from Cronkite (2012) by Douglas Brinkley, pages 120-121:
A number of Cronkite's great war stories came from Market Garden. His sidekick in the flat Dutch countryside was frequently Bill Downs of CBS, a former Unipresser and Cronkite's closest friend among the Murrow Boys. With Downs as his constant companion, Cronkite maneuvered around the shifting battlefields of rural Belgium and the Netherlands that month. Downs, who had been attached to the British Second Army, and Cronkite were in rural Belgium when a merciless Luftwaffe strafing occurred. They sprinted together to the nearby forest for cover. Soon they were separated. Cronkite called out to Downs, but to no avail.  He feared for his friend's life. For hours Cronkite shouted for Downs until his voice was hoarse. Once back in Brussels, he told friends that poor Downs was missing in action. Then one evening, Cronkite headed over to the Hotel Metropole for a cocktail. To his astonishment, there was Downs, sitting at the bar with friends, having a gay old time. A wave of anger swept over Cronkite as he headed to Downs's table.

"I thought you'd been killed," he said. "I went through the woods calling your name."

An embarrassed Downs had an alibi. "I couldn't go around calling your name," he said. "They'd think I was shouting in German."
__________________________________________________________


As told in Assignment to Hell: The War Against Nazi Germany with Correspondents Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, A.J. Liebling, Homer Bigart, and Hal Boyle (2012) by Timothy M. Gay:
                                             
As the dive-bombers struck, Cronkite was in a jeep with his old UP pal from Kansas City, bespectacled CBS Radio correspondent Bill Downs, the reporter that Murrow had wanted Cronkite to replace in Russia. Cronkite and Downs were driving near the Philips Electric works complex when bombs began falling. They jumped out of the jeep and vaulted over a tall fence into a park. There they huddled behind chopped-down trees as bombs pounded all around. Neither knew how, but they became separated.
With incendiary fires raging, Eindhoven looked sickeningly familiar to Cronkite: London during the Little Blitz. Cronkite knew about the Luftwaffe's dastardly "butterfly" bombs that tended to lodge in trees and bushes before detonating. So as he went looking for Downs, he had one eye peeled on the limbs overhead and the other scoping the ground for mines.

Cronkite decided to get out of the woods and go back to the jeep. When he retraced his steps, he was astounded to find that the fence over which he and Downs had scrambled was more than seven feet tall. Without an adrenaline surge like the one he’d had earlier, Cronkite couldn't possibly climb it. He had to find a downed tree whose trunk was close enough to the fence to use as a makeshift stepladder.

Downs was nowhere to be found. Cronkite even checked Eindhoven's bomb shelters; no one had seen him. In one shelter a Dutch family with sobbing children spotted Cronkite's uniform and began pressing him about when the bombing would stop—which, of course, he couldn't answer. He went back to the jeep, found Downs' tape machine, and recorded a heartfelt tribute, praying someone would find it -- and, eventually, Downs' body, too.

Then Cronkite hitched a ride to Brussels, where he hoped to find a warm bath, better wire facilities, and more malleable censors than the 101st's tight asses, which barely let reporters acknowledge that the division was in Holland and cramped their time on transmitters.

Cronkite found a room at Brussels' Hôtel Métropole and, still dirty head to toe, decided to toast his departed friend with a quick drink at the bar. "There stood Downs," Cronkite recalled, "immaculate in a clean dress uniform."

"Damn, Bill, I spent all that time at risk of life and limb from those mines yelling for you, looking for you, and you just up and left me there."

Downs' excuse was that, after a few minutes of rasping "Cronkite! Cronkite!" it occurred to him that his friend’s name sounded disconcertedly like the German word for "sickness." If any enemy soldiers encountered Downs, "They would have figured I was sick and hustled me off to a hospital in Berlin." Cronkite couldn't help but laugh.

A few days later Downs and Cronkite were back in Holland with the 101st, which was fighting off another German attempt to regain control of the highway north of Eindhoven. In the midst of lethal mortar fire, Downs and Cronkite leapt into a ditch.

"We had been there a while when Downs, lying behind me, began tugging at my pants leg. I figured he had some scheme for getting us out of there, and I twisted my neck around to look back at him," Cronkite recalled.

"Just think!" Downs hollered. "If we survive them, these will be the good old days!"

July 16, 2014

1985. World War II Correspondents Reminisce

The Fortieth Anniversary of the End of the War in Europe


On May 6, 1985, just before the 40th anniversary of V-E Day, CBS Morning News hosted some of the most prominent surviving American World War II correspondents to discuss their careers. The group included many of the surviving Murrow Boys. Downs had died seven years earlier.

The broadcast is hosted by Dan Rather, and features: Walter Cronkite (UP), William L. Shirer (CBS News), Winston Burdett (CBS News), Eric Sevareid (CBS News), Richard C. Hottelet (CBS News), Andy Rooney (Stars and Stripes), Ernest Leiser (Stars and Stripes), Charles Collingwood (CBS News), and Douglas Edwards (CBS News).

July 14, 2014

1943. Harvest of Death: Behind the Lines in Russia's Reconquered Villages

Harvest of Death: Behind the Lines in Russia's Reconquered Villages
Newsweek cover from September 20, 1943.
From Newsweek, September 20, 1943, p. 35-38:
HARVEST OF DEATH: BEHIND THE LINES IN RUSSIA'S RECONQUERED VILLAGES
The almost incredible grimness of the war in Russia was never better illustrated than in this notable dispatch from Bill Downs, Newsweek and CBS correspondent in Moscow, telling of his second trip to the front.

The big twin-engined Douglas transport took off from the Moscow airdrome with thirteen British and American correspondents and four escorting Russian officials. We were flying back into the summer toward the Ukraine—welcome enough after the first chilly fall breezes now turning the leaves of Moscow's trees. We stopped for a brief landing in the ruined city of Voronezh, where Russian and German troops had sat and looked at each other for more than a year until the Nazis were finally kicked out last January. Then we picked up four Yaks as an escort for the rest of the journey. These four fighters, piloted by Russian women, didn't make the men in the party feel any more masculine.
Jeeps

While we were sitting in the hot sun waiting for our transportation, there was an ominous roar. Eight jeeps stormed over a hill, running in line like baby partridges. Bringing up the rear was a ¾-ton Dodge ammunition carrier that followed us thereafter.

In the late afternoon we headed into the setting sun. Each jeep had a driver with a Tommy gun at his side. Dave Nichol of The Chicago Daily News shared my car. We called our driver Junior because when we pronounced his real name, it didn't come out so good. We soon found out that Junior was a frustrated fighter pilot. That would have been all right if only he hadn't tried to loop the damn thing.

Driving along a dusty Ukrainian road over the rolling steppe past white-washed, thatch-roofed Ukrainian villages was one of the most beautifully peaceful experiences I have ever had. The war was a million miles away as we went through mile after mile of wheat and rye plantings and fields of sunflowers as yellow as butter. We stopped and picked the ripened heads of these flowers and for the rest of the trip everyone ate sunflower seeds in the best Ukrainian manner.

But as we drove into the sun, we also drove back into the war. By nightfall the villages had become more and more damaged, with army traffic heavier and army control points more frequent. As night fell, we turned on the convoy lights—dull slits visible only a dozen feet away. We had been warned we were driving through mined fields—that the roads had been de-mined but that the fields had not. Once in a while Junior, wandering off the road, would turn on the driving lights. Twice when this happened sentries fired warning shots into the air.

At a farm near a crossroads where the railroad cut the highway, the cars stopped for butter and eggs. Mikhail Vasseff, assistant chief of the foreign-press department, walked down the line and warned the drivers of danger. Meanwhile, there was a roar of German bombers overhead, but they couldn't be seen against the starry sky.
Death

The jeeps started out again. Vasseff was in the second jeep, and the United Press correspondent Henry Shapiro was in the third accompanied by two British correspondents. Nichol and I were in the fourth. Just as the cars went over the railroad right-of-way, there was a muffled explosion. On the road ahead a deep orange and red flash bloomed like a giant poppy and shot about 20 feet into the air. The concussion flattened the brim of my hat. The cars stopped, and everything was silent for a few seconds while parts of a jeep began falling to the ground.

Then there were a few groans—deep shuddering ones. Vasseff's jeep somehow had run over an anti-tank mine. The groans came from Maj. A. A. Volkoff, the representative of the Soviet General Staff, and Viktor Kozhemiako, the chief censor of the press department. Volkoff's legs had been blown off, and Kozhemiako's legs and back were lacerated. Vasseff's body was not found until the next morning because it had been blown 60 feet away. The major and the censor died shortly after being taken to a nearby base hospital.

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.

The next day at dawn there was some question as to whether or not to continue to the front—the explosions and deaths had shaken us all. Our surviving escort, Lt. Col. Studyonoff of Moscow, got in touch with headquarters in the capital, and it was decided that since the Steppe Front headquarters were expecting us, we would continue. All night long we tried to wrap ourselves around the jeeps in such a way as to get a few hours' sleep, but our efforts were mostly a failure because of the German and Russian planes flying overhead.
Harvest

On the approaches to Belgorod we came to a village in the region where the Red Army made its initial break-through. Every house in these villages was burned or blown up. The trees were shattered and blasted. In the fields and alongside the road were the hulks of tanks—both Russian and German—which were burned, blown up, and filled with holes.

The battlefield had been pretty well cleaned up, and the people were beginning to come back. Every peasant stove had a small group of women around it digging in the ruins for salvage. In some places there had been attempts at reconstruction, but for the most part the people were now sleeping in haystacks, dugouts, or on top of the ground.

Right now there was a big rush to get in as much of the crops as possible. The lack of labor, machinery, and sometimes even scythes made this a primitive job. The method mostly used was that of the old scythe and cradle, dating back to the times when women flailed the grain and gathered the wheat by winnowing the chaff in the wind, although some of the women were even picking the wheat by hand. This scene, with the kerchiefed and barefooted women using these ancient methods of harvest, made this part of the Ukraine appear almost biblical—except for those ruined villages and the blasted tanks of the new Philistines.

Belgorod, which had changed hands four times, looked much as could be expected. Not a single major building was intact. I have seen so much damage in so many ruined cities, towns, and villages here in Russia that only the strongest adjectives could be used to describe this ruin.

We drove to the town of Liptzy, 15 miles north of Kharkov, where Gen. Ivan Konneff's staff had established our headquarters in the peasant cottages. The first thing the army did was to take us to a portable shower tent in a field near a small stream. It was the army version of the famous Russian baths. The tent was about 50 feet square, and inside there were a dozen shower taps of steaming, running water, which was heated in a portable boiler on a truck. That hot shower was worth all the bumps I had suffered in the jeep.

Then we were taken to breakfast which included steak, vodka, tomatoes, sardines, potatoes, rice, and more vodka. There was not a single reference throughout the trip to the tragedy that befell the second jeep. It was strictly the army attitude toward death at the front. That evening Col. Ivan Vorobieff came to our headquarters and outlined the situation at the front.

The following day I still felt dead even after a night's sleep on a comfortable mattress stuffed with straw. However, no one can remain sleepy after a breakfast of sardines and tomatoes washed down with vodka followed by a hamburger steak and potatoes.
"Extremity: Here is what German propaganda has come to. This ghastly line-up is supposed to show the bodies of women killed in an Allied air raid on Cologne. It probably is not faked, but it demonstrates the lengths to which the Nazis have gone in building up the horror aspects of the Allied bombing offensive against the Reich." From p. 38
Mines

A colonel from an engineers corps who had fought in the battle for Kharkov took us for a tour of the city's circular defenses. Their basis was a huge anti-tank ditch extending 30 kilometers around the vital sectors of the city. However, the Germans depended mostly on a system of trenches emanating like ganglions from deep pillboxes and shelters. Over them timber was laid and then the wood was covered with earth.

There was bitter fighting on the northern approaches to the city, where you could see that Russian mortars had covered every foot of the ground. As in the last war, mortars are still the best weapon against trench defenses. On the southern defense sector the Germans had built their defenses through a canning factory by barricading the basement windows.

Our colonel also turned out to be an expert on German mines. He said there were some ten different types of German anti-personnel mines and about five different anti-tank types. He showed us the newest type of each category.

The new German anti-personnel mine looks like an oversized potato masher and is made of concrete. Painted green and stuck upright in clumps of bushes or high grass, it is hard to detect. It is discharged by a trip wire.

The Nazi anti-tank mine must have been devised by someone with a personality as nasty as Hitler's. It is made of steel about a foot in diameter and 4 inches thick. Besides an ordinary detonator on top, it also includes one on the side and bottom. Thus the detecting sapper must handle it like a cracked egg; he can't shift it or lift it without having it go to pieces in his hands.

Next, we loaded up the jeeps again and headed southwest over the muddiest road in Russia. Ukrainian gumbo is a special kind of mud which looks like tar and glue. This was in the Udi River valley with low rolling hills on each side. It was typical of the Russian collective-farm country, but it was nearly all uncultivated.

There was a definite change in the atmosphere. We saw more soldiers, more transport, and greater alertness. The village ruins looked fresher, and we passed an occasional loaded ambulance. We drove between mine and bomb craters for 10 miles on this road, which was remarkably solid considering its condition.

Then we began to see an occasional wrecked tank. Alongside an orchard we could see dozens of them off to the left among the young apple trees. They looked like broken toys. But a gust of wind put reality into the scene. It was putrid with the smell of death, and from then on we breathed through our mouths. This tank battle had been fought three days before. Not all the bodies had been buried.
Garden

We turned off the road directly southward and came to what had once been a collective farm in the village of Korotich. There were only a dozen houses with fifteen or twenty outbuildings, but it was completely dead. The sole inhabitants were two women, two chickens, and one German who had died after crawling some 25 feet from his tank.

Korotich was surrounded by a large truck garden with several acres of fully grown cabbages, tomatoes, beets, and potatoes. Most of this garden had been ruined by a battle between more than 100 Russian tanks and a similar number of German ones. The Russians knocked out 60 Nazi machines in this engagement, and forced the Germans, who were concentrated for a large-scale assault aimed at recapturing Kharkov, into retreating.

There is not much use in trying to describe a tank battle unless one sees it personally, but this one must have been terrific. The Germans used Tigers as well as medium types. They also employed oversized Ferdinand mobile guns. Down in the cabbage patch there was on wrecked Ferdinand and one Tiger almost side by side. Their crews were buried among the cabbages. The smell of rotting bodies turned a few of us pale, but no one lost his breakfast—although there were a few bad moments when we had to chase away two chickens pecking at a German's body.
Kharkov

Until I started to examine details, Kharkov looked about the same as when I saw it five months ago. Last March sometimes at least one floor remained in some buildings, while there was occasionally even a building intact. When the Germans worked over it the second time, they missed nothing. The entire city will have to be rebuilt. Sixty per cent of the residences have been destroyed. There is an atrocity commission now investigating the Nazi war crimes of the second occupation. The civilians told us the usual stories: 300 wounded of the Red Army were burned to death in the local hospital and another 400 by the occupying SS troops.

That is what history looks like when you are shown it firsthand here in Russia. This war and this front will cover many chapters. Every paragraph will reflect the skill and courage of this 1943 Red Army and people who are defeating the 1939 Nazi Germans.

July 7, 2014

1941. A Letter Home After the Attack on Pearl Harbor

The United States Enters World War II

December 19, 1941

Dear Folks,
I have been holding off writing this letter for a number of reasons—mostly because America's declaration of war kept us so busy that there really hasn't been much time to do any letter writing. But I also have been so mixed up that I don't know exactly what to do about it all. We all, of course, were delighted to know that the Japs made it legal. The hypocrisy of the last year or so was beginning to get on everyone's nerves. Still there was a certain amount of sadness over the development—even the British to whom the declaration meant the most weren't half as joyous as Congress sounded over the radio. They know the sacrifices that war means.

My current problem is what am I personally going to do about it all. Like anyone who understands the issues at stake. I want to get into it—but I'm damned if I want to be what the British call a "Whitehall warrior." That is, a one-pip soldier who fights the wars behind a desk or in the cafes. On the other hand I don't suppose I could get much of an assignment because of my eyes—so I'm up a creek. I've talked with the military men here about it and their general opinion is that American newspapermen are doing as good a job here as they could ever do at home. But you still get the feeling of being a slacker. So I don't know what to do. I also got an offer of a good job that is now hanging fire—if the thing hasn't already fallen through. You should keep this in strictest confidence so don't spread it around where any of the Kansas City newspaper crowd will get hold of it.

Anyway, it seems that the Newspaper Enterprise Association—which has a vague financial connection with United Press, offered me a job which pays about $15 more weekly and almost full expenses. In all it would mean about twice as much as I presently am making. I would write a column—about five of them weekly for about 500 newspapers. The job has a future because they build you up as a columnist and keep your name going. It would be a good setup if it came through—but I don't think the UP will let me go—and I'm not sure I want to abandon spot news reporting at just this period in history. In the long run it might not pay out.

Anyway, I can't tell just what is in the air but it looks sort of like the thing won't go through now. I don't suppose I'd recognize the old home town now that we are in it. I want you to write me giving me a picture of the setup—just what the middle-westerners thought of the declaration—are they really mad—do they think it is only a war against Japan or do they recognize the world-wide scope of the fight? What do they think about their sons joining the fighting forces etc. etc. The British have been very decent and now everyone seems settled down to the job of kicking the hell out of the Axis. I want to help all I can. I'm still covering the American embassy and doing feature stories.

Incidentally, we're expecting one of the biggest stories of the war to break within the next week or two. You probably will have heard of it by the time you get this—I can't even hint what it is and we're supposed to shut our eyes when we even think of it.

I think I told you that Bill Dickinson and John Parris have moved into the flat with me. We are having a fine time and get along swell. John is from North Carolina and speaks like a Georgia cracker. All of us work such screwy hours that no one interferes with the other and we hardly see each other except at the office. I think our neighbors think we're nuts. I also want to thank you for the swell jacket. I already have worn it for walks in the country and am the envy of all the local yokels for miles around. It was damn nice of you all and makes me feel ashamed of myself. Incidentally, with the establishment of American censorship, our letters will be upheld somewhat longer than usual since there will be the usual ironing out to do in the censorship system. I told you I got a letter from John Malone who it seems is with the Army in Dutch Guiana guarding bauxite mines. Dave Hamlin is working in Logan Utah for a radio station, I understand. That's about all the news I know. I'm remaining in good health and am hoping for some sort of an X-mas although I'm still making book on my working during the holidays.

There shouldn't be a hell of a lot going on, though—but you never can tell. I'll keep you informed of my movements and what goes on. Meanwhile, let me hear from you. Your letters sound mighty good.

Love,

Bill

July 5, 2014

1940. The Republican and Democratic Party Platforms Compared

The Platforms Compared
"The Platforms Compared," New York Times, July 21, 1940, E7
"On June 26, at Philadelphia, the Republicans adopted their platform for the Presidential campaign. Last Wednesday, July 17, at Chicago, the Democrats adopted their platform. In the columns below the most important planks are compared."

FOREIGN POLICY
REPUBLICAN: The Republican party is firmly opposed to involving this nation in foreign war.
Our sympathies have been profoundly disturbed by invasion of unoffending countries and of disaster to nations whose ideals most closely resemble our own. We favor the extension to all peoples fighting for liberty, or whose liberty is threatened, of such aid as shall not be in violation of international law or inconsistent with the requirements of our own national defense.

DEMOCRATIC: The American people are determined that war, raging in Europe, Asia and Africa, shall not come to America.

We will not participate in foreign wars, and we will not send our Army, naval or air forces to fight in foreign lands outside of the Americas, except in case of attack. We favor and shall rigorously enforce and defend the Monroe Doctrine.

The direction and aim of our foreign policy has been, and will continue to be, the security and defense of our own land and the maintenance of its peace.

In self-defense and in good conscience, the world's greatest democracy cannot afford heartlessly or in a spirit of appeasement to ignore the peace-loving and liberty-loving peoples wantonly attacked by ruthless aggressors.

We pledge to extend to these peoples all the material aid at our command, consistent with law and not inconsistent with the interests of our own national self defense, all to the end that peace and international good faith may yet emerge triumphant.

NATIONAL DEFENSE
REPUBLICAN: The Republican party stands for Americanism, preparedness and peace. We accordingly fasten upon the New Deal full responsibility for our unpreparedness and for the consequent danger of involvement in war.

We declare for the prompt, orderly and realistic building of our national defense to the point at which we shall be able not only to defend the United States, its possessions and essential outposts from foreign attack, but also efficiently to uphold in war the Monroe Doctrine. To this task the Republican party pledges itself when entrusted with national authority.

In the meantime, we shall support all necessary and proper defense measures proposed by the Administration in its belated effort to make up for lost time; but we deplore explosive utterances by the President directed at other governments, which serve to imperil our peace, and we condemn all Executive acts and proceedings which might lead to war without the authorization of the Congress of the United States.

DEMOCRATIC: It is a tribute to the President's foresight and action that our defense forces are today at their peak of their peacetime effectiveness.

Weakness and unpreparedness invite aggression. We must be so strong that no possible combination of powers would dare to attack us. We propose to provide America with an invincible Air Force, a Navy strong enough to protect all our seacoasts and our national interests and a fully equipped and mechanized Army.

We shall continue to coordinate these implements of defense with the necessary expansion of industrial productive capacity and with the training of appropriate personnel.

LABOR RELATIONS
REPUBLICAN: We shall maintain labor's right of free organization and collective bargaining.
We believe that peace and prosperity at home require harmony, teamwork and understanding in all relations between worker and employer. When differences arise they should be settled directly and voluntarily across the table.

Recent disclosures respecting the administration of the National Labor Relations Act require that this act be amended in fairness to employers and all groups of employes [sic] so as to provide true freedom for, and orderliness in, self-organization and collective bargaining.

DEMOCRATIC: We pledge to continue to enforce fair labor standards; to maintain the principles of the National Labor Relations Act; to expand employment training and opportunity for our youth, older workers and workers displaced by technological changes; to strengthen the orderly processes of collective bargaining and peaceful settlement of labor disputes, and to work always for a just distribution of our national income among those who labor.

UNEMPLOYMENT
REPUBLICAN: The New Deal's failure to solve the problem of unemployment and revive opportunity for our youth presents a major challenge to representative government and free enterprise. We propose to re-create opportunity for the youth of America and put our idle millions back to work in private industry, business and agriculture. We propose to eliminate needless administrative restrictions, thus restoring lost motion to the wheels of individual enterprise.

DEMOCRATIC: The Democratic party wages war on unemployment, one of the gravest problems of our times, inherited at its worst from the last Republican administration. Since we assumed office 9,000,000 additional persons have gained regular employment in normal private enterprise. All our policies—financial, industrial and agricultural—will continue to accelerate the rate of this program.

RELIEF
REPUBLICAN: We shall remove waste, discrimination and politics from relief through administration by the States with Federal grants-in-aid on a fair and nonpolitical basis, thus giving the man and woman on relief a larger share of the funds appropriated.

DEMOCRATIC: By public action, where necessary to supplement private re-employment, we have rescued millions from idleness that breeds weakness and given them a real stake in their country's well-being. We shall continue to recognize the obligation of government to provide work for deserving workers who cannot be absorbed by private industry. 
We are opposed to vesting in the States and local authorities the control of Federally financed work relief. We believe that this Republican proposal is a thinly disguised plan to put the unemployed back on the dole.

SOCIAL SECURITY
REPUBLICAN: We favor the extension of necessary old-age benefits on an earmarked pay-as-you-go basis to the extent that the revenue raised for this purpose will permit. We favor the extension of the unemployment compensation provisions of the Social Security Act, wherever practicable, to those groups and classes not now included.

For such groups as may thus be covered we favor a system of unemployment compensation with experience rating provisions, aimed at protecting the worker in the regularity of his employment and providing adequate compensation for reasonable periods when that regularity of employment is interrupted. The administration should be left with the States with a minimum of Federal control.
DEMOCRATIC: The Democratic party, which established social security for the nation, is dedicated to its extension. We pledge to make the Social Security Act increasingly effective by strengthening our unemployment insurance system and establishing more adequate and uniform benefits, through the Federal equalization fund principle, by progressively extending and increasing the benefits of the old age and survivors' insurance system, including protection of the permanently disabled, and by the early realization of a minimum pension for all who have reached the age of retirement and are not gainfully employed.

BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT
REPUBLICAN: We shall encourage a healthy, confident and growing private enterprise, confine government activity to essential public services, and regulate business only so as to protect consumer, employe [sic] and investor, and without restricting the production of more and better goods at low prices.

We promise to reduce to the minimum Federal competition with business.

The New Deal policy of interference and arbitrary regulation has injured all business, but especially small business. We promise to encourage the small business man by removing unnecessary bureaucratic regulations and interference.

DEMOCRATIC: We have defended and will continue to defend all legitimate business.

We have attacked and will continue to attack unbridled concentration of economic power and the exploitation of the consumer and the investor.

We recognize the importance of small business concerns and new enterprises in our national economy, and favor the enactment of constructive legislation to safeguard the welfare of small business.

THE OTHER NOMINEE
REPUBLICAN: To insure against the overthrow of our American system of government, we favor an amendment to the Constitution providing that no person shall be President of the United States for more than two terms.

DEMOCRATIC: The nomination of a utility executive by the Republican party as its Presidential candidate raises squarely the issue, whether the nation's water power shall be used for all the people or the selfish interests of a few. We accept that issue.

July 4, 2014

1942. Downs Walks Into a London Pub on Washington's Birthday

Washington's Birthday
BY WILLIAM DOWNS

UNITED PRESS STAFF CORRESPONDENT

London, Feb. 22—(UP)—The American colony wasn't celebrating Washington's birthday officially, so I went to the clachan bar today to do a little celebrating by myself.

I ran into a half dozen British newspaper men and reminded them:

"It's Washington's birthday."

"Really," one of them said. "Interesting."

"Have a drink with me," I suggested, "to celebrate the birth of the man who kicked the hell out of the English army 150 years ago."

A general movement toward the bar was well under way before anybody thought to challenge me. It was just like a "double take" in the movies.

Sub-editor Bill Taggart of The Star spoke up.

"Before drinking," he said, "I want to point out that Washington did not lick any Englishmen. He just whipped some hired Hessians we sent there."

"The fact remains," I said, "That the Americans still kicked hell out of the English in the Revolutionary War."

Taggart capitulated.

"Yes," he said. "Your obscure general won the war and established the United States of America, for which the English now thank God."

"Gentleman, let's drink to the late George Washington. May there be more like him."

Everybody drank.

July 2, 2014

1950. The CBS News Mid-Century Roundup

The Future of the Twentieth Century

The CBS News Mid-Century Roundup

On January 1, 1950, from 5:00-5:45 PM, CBS foreign correspondents gathered to discuss "where we've been in this half-century, where we are, where we may be going." The round table report, led by Edward R. Murrow, featured Eric Sevareid, Howard K. Smith, Larry LeSueur, David Schoenbrun, Winston Burdett, Bill Costello, and Bill Downs.

The reporters discussed the international political trajectory based on their own experiences and observations. Topics covered included the United States and its new role as a global superpower, the international perception of American influence, Europe's decline, the United Nations, and more.  The full transcript below is from a promotional booklet issued by CBS after the broadcast.
____________________________


FOREWORD:
It is 5 o'clock, eastern standard time, Sunday afternoon, January 1, 1950. Folks slept later than usual this morning. But now most of them are wide awake, eager to know what's cooking.

What is cooking, anyway, this brand new day of the year? (And not so brand new either already it's 31 hours old in Chungking, 25 hours old in Moscow, 22 in Berlin and Rome, 21 in London). What's cooking in all those places and elsewhere, now that both the century and the world are cut in half? Where has everybody been all these years. Where are they going? We'd like to know.

Well, at least we know how to find out. We do what comes naturallyturn on the radio. We've been doing it for a long time, and we've always found out...we may have found out lots of things we didn't want to hear about what's going on in the worldbut at least we found out.

That's the good thing about radio around these parts. There's no keeping anything secret...anything that might hurt us, or anything that might help us. It's all right there in that box anytime anybody wants it. Nobody can keep it out of the box (although some may have wanted to); nobody can take the box away from us (although some may have wanted to). And nobody can stop us from turning it on.

So now let's do it.

CUE: COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM . . . 30 seconds . . .
____________________________


ANNOUNCER: For the next 45 minutes you will hear the chief news correspondents of the Columbia Broadcasting System, all gathered here in New York to talk over their business and yourswhere we've been in this half-century, where we are, where we may be going. For this event, Columbia has brought home its correspondents from Tokyo to Berlin and the major world capitals in between. Each of these men has come home by airplane to sit down now together, to talk with each other and with you. As editor of this survey, we have chosen Edward R. Murrow, distinguished reporter and analyst, who served as their chief during the war years. Mr. Murrow!

MURROW: I should like some friends of mine to introduce themselves to you.

SMITH: I am Howard K. Smith, born and reared in New Orleans, La., but in Europe for the past decade, covering all points between Manchester, England, and Moscow, U.S.S.R., from Bergen, Norway, down to Belgrade in Yugoslavia. Present address: 84 Hallam Street, London, England.

SEVAREID: My name is Eric Sevareid. I grew up in North Dakota and Minnesota, worked in France, England, various war fronts, South America and the Orient, and now make home and headquarters in Washington on the Potomac.

DOWNS: Bill Downshometown, Kansas City, Kansas. Assignments: London Blitz, Moscow, D-Day to Berlin, Japanese surrender, Tokyo, and Far East, Bikini, Akron Soap-Box Derby, Detroit, Washington. Present address: 29 Lindenthaler Allee, American Sector, Berlin.

SCHOENBRUN: I'm David Schoenbrun. That's an Austrian name, but I'm a native New Yorker and I'm stationed in Paris. These past six years I've been overseas, reporting from Casablanca to Warsaw. It's good to be back home today.

BURDETT: I'm Winston Burdett. My home is Brattleboro, Vermont. Present assignment and address: Rome, Italy, by way of the Balkans and the Middle East, India, Cairo, the Desert Campaign, North Africa, Anzio, the Fifth Army and Washington, D.C.

COSTELLO: I'm Bill Costello. St. Paul is what Asiatics call my native place, but it's hard now to say just where my hometown is. I started newspapering in Minneapolis, while still at the University of Minnesota. And since then my stops in newspaper and radio reporting have included Honolulu, Omaha, Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles. While I'm roving through Asia, my mailing address is APO 500, Tokyo, Japan.

LESUEUR: I'm Larry LeSueur, the CBS United Nations correspondent. Born in New York, reared in the Midwest, the son and grandson of newspapermen. My first assignment was the Lindbergh Case, reported the war from Dunkerque to Stalingrad, landed with the American troops on D-Day. Since then it's been my duty and pleasure to cover the United Nations.
Edward R. Murrow
MURROW: This afternoon, it is our purpose to examine briefly without benefit of statistics, without nominating any men-of-the-year or men-of-the-half-century, to examine briefly where we've been, in an effort to see where we're going. No man around this table was alive when the century began. All are reporters, historians for the moment. Let's first look at a few of the great pivots on which history has turned in the past fifty years. What are the big footprints in our own history, Sevareid?

SEVAREID: Well, Ed, for Americans 1900 ended the age of the great barbecue and 1950 begins the great age of anxiety. We conquered our continent, we saw absolute physical security and, therefore, our political isolation disappear. We flirted with imperialism, gave it up because we really didn't care for it. We fought two World Wars, took the initiative for world government with the League, gave it up, took the initiative a second time, and now find ourselves, rather unwillingly, one of only two great powers in a bisected world. And upon our shoulders is the terrible responsibility of preserving free civilization that the Western man has developed through laborious centuries. We may not succeed at that, but no one else can. In these fifty years we evolved the policy toward the Orient, restored a reasonable relationship with Latin America, and, finally, understood Europe as our indispensable bastion and partner, instead of a cunning competitor.

We saw our broken South start to mend; we began to conserve our wasted natural resources; we saw the rise and decline of organized crime, the rise of organized labor; we saw government teach that pre-eminent rugged individualist, the farmer, to expect guarantees against failure. We built mammoth corporations protected by property laws that the Founding Fathers had intended for individuals and then tried, rather vainly, to break them up. We learned to produce goods magnificently, to share them out rather badly and thus failed to quiet our fears of unemployment. We saw the businessman decline as the idol of society and the power in politics and the partial decline, at least, of riches as our personal Holy Grail. Our art forms and literary language became American and not pseudo-European. We felt what the American way of life is, but found ourselves unable to really express it to others.

We believed in the eternity of our social ideals, but at the first warm breath of an alien philosophy many of us panicked, accused people without proof, hunted witches, and became political peeping Toms, until our native good sense rallied again.

All in all, Ed, I think we have used our new world power with uncertainty but with a gentleness which is without precedent in history.

MURROW: Howard Smith, could you sketch the big turnings-in-the-road for Europe in the first half of the century?

SMITH: Well, the story of Europe these fifty years can be quickly told. Europe declined. After ruling the world with no competition for about four hundred years and giving us our still-prevalent world culture, inventing modern industrialism and spreading it through the world, Europe's situation began to change radically around the year 1900. What caused the change, I believe, was two things: First, the social problems of industrial economy, like maldistribution of wealth, unemployment and so on, caused the nations to divide within themselves. Second, the advance of science made Europe to small a space for thirty-odd nation states to exist side-by-side, with no international order above them. In 1914 the frictions exploded in the first modern total war. The war, World War I, decided very little. It left the people disillusioned and defeatist in attitude, and it created the first Communist state, in Russia. Adolf Hitler was able to exploit both of these factorsthe people's defeatism and their fear of Communismand he won his positions to launch World War II. By the skin of our teeth, we of the democracies won both world wars, but the cost was terrific to Europe. Once the seat of all the world powers, there is not a single big power left in Western Europe. Communism has advanced to the verge of the West, Fascism lies not very far at all below the surface.

The explosive problems that started it all are still therethe internal social problems, the international problem of some kind of world government. At mid-century, this is Europe's third and probably last chance to solve them.

Howard K. Smith
MURROW: Most of us have ignored Asia in the past and most of us know that we can't do so in the future. Bill Costello knows more about that part of the world than any of the rest of us.

COSTELLO: Well, Ed, in these last fifty years, Asia has roused itself like a sleeping giant, and rubbed from its eyes the crusted traditions of centuries. In the long view of history, the transformation has been so swift as to be magical. The first major turning-point came in 1905, when Japan emerged as victor in the Russo-Japanese War. That victory had three vital consequences. First, it challenged the 19th century myth of white supremacy and paved the way for the decline and fall of Western imperialism. For it demonstrated that Asiatic guns were as good as, or better than, Western guns. Second, it planted the dream of Japanese imperialism as a bargain-counter substitute for European domination. Third, it set fire to the tinderbox of native nationalism, to the struggle for self-respect, political independence and freedom from economic exploitation. In the years that followed, we have seen the progressive evolution of these three trends.

The Manchu Dynasty of China collapsed in 1911, because it was too enfeebled, too morally bankrupt to fight for anything. The first World War weakened the economic power of the West and gave impetus to Japan's imperialist ambitions. In one long difficult step Asia then began the transition from the Iron Age to the Machine Age. Imperialism suffered a mortal blow, when, in 1936, the United States Congress approved an act promising freedom to the Philippine Islands in 1946. That action raised the nationalist hopes of millions in Asia. It focused the issue, and the Japanese answer was, first, the invasion of China, and, finally, the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the war that followed, the imperialist cycle came to an end, both for Japan and for the European nations. There were quick grants of independence to the Philippines, India, Burma and Indonesia. The unequal treaties were abolished in China. By coincidence, Communism won acceptance in China as the only visible means of achieving order and stability. The immediate accent now is on freedom and self-government, and the ultimate target of every starving peasant is a better standard of living.

At the end of the last half-century, Asia has come of age politically, has made a powerful assertion of national feeling. Now it embarks on the vastly more difficult task of preserving its personal liberties while economic security is being advanced.

David Schoenbrun
MURROW: Perhaps one of the best ways of measuring our good fortune at this half-century is to examine what people in foreign lands regard as luxuries.

SMITH: In Britain, nearly everything British-made is a luxury. Hats, textiles and, alas, Scotch whisky are all for export only.

DOWNS: In Germany, it's doorknobs with houses on the other end.

SCHOENBRUN: And in France, hot tap water or a cake of fat soap.

BURDETT: In Italy, an orange or a clean, unfrayed shirt. In the countryside, a luxury is an electric light, a telephone, a paved road.

COSTELLO: Don't think this is exaggeration, but for a billion people in Asiathat's half the world's populationanything more than a pound of rice a day borders on luxury.

LESUEUR: At the UN, I guess, the only luxury is just one kind word.

MURROW: Now there's a list of luxuries, which we in this country regard and accept as ordinary essentials. In a world with such vast economic and social inequalities, debate, decision and joint action is difficult, if not impossible. The major instrument through which nation speaks to a nation was born with high hope and much publicity in San Francisco. The future of the United Nations is uncertain, but we may perhaps measure what it can do, by what it has done. Larry LeSueur has reported its doings from the beginning.

LESUEUR: Like the UN headquarters going up on New York's East River, peace can't be built in a day. Some of the sensational political squabbles at the United Nations have obscured its real achievements. We've heard a lot about the atomic energy control deadlock, the misuse of the veto, the disarmament impasse. It's too easy to remember the failures of the UN and to forget its successes. But remember, that when the Big Four couldn't decide what to do about the Italian colonies, they tossed it to the UN and that when the Big Powers were up a tree over Iran three years ago, the moral force of the UN, focused by the Security Council, culminated in a Russian withdrawal from Persia. It's true that the men of Israel forged their own state, but it was the United Nations that originally created it, and the war in the Middle East was kept from spreading.

The mediation of the UN helped contain the conflicts in the Balkans and Indonesia. The war is over now in Greece, and 75 million people in Indonesia get their freedom this very week. I think it was the debates of the United Nations that unmasked the true nature of Russian propaganda. These debates certainly helped to consolidate the world public opinion. And while these discussions go on before the people of the world, in the background are the continuing efforts of the UN's specialized agencies. They're trying to get after the roots of the war by making this a better world to live in. The World Health Organization is attacking scourges more deadly even than war: malaria, tuberculosis, V.D. The International Refugee Organization has already settled a million displaced persons. And the International Trade Organization is reducing trade barriers between nations. I think there's a common desire among the UN delegates not to disappoint the hopes of the ordinary men and women of the world. Of course, the UN can't settle problems like the division of Germany. That, the Big Powers have reserved for themselves.

Larry LeSueur
MURROW: Or, Larry, it may be that the Germans themselves will decide which way they're going. How does it look from your post in Berlin, Downs?

DOWNS: I feel there's a distinct here-we-go-again atmosphere on this first day of the second half of the 20th century. Many new things have been added politically and economically, but the problem that made Europe a battlefield shortly after the beginning of the century still exists. It is Germany and the 67 million people who populate the heart of Europe. The German power potential that turned the Continent into a battlefield the year I was born still exists. The revival of German power today once again is under considerationnot so much by the Germans this time, as by the super-nation groups now engaged in a cold war. The reason no democratic internationalism, such as the United Nations, can solve the problem of their unlamented enemy is that each of the two most powerful nation-states in the world is wooing Germany like a lovesick swain. Both Russia and the United states want to assure themselves that if Germany does not become an outright ally, at least the German economic and military power will not become a future enemy. This is the essence of the cold war in Germany. As you know, there are two Germanys, the West German Republic, based on Bonn and sponsored by the United Nations, Britain and France; the East German State consists of the Soviet Zone and is a Soviet satellite.

The Bonn Government was chosen in free elections. The East German Government is the product of a Communist coup. But the Germans are Germans before they're anything else. They are not Communists because the Kremlin says so; neither are they democratswith a small "d"just because we direct them to be democratic. The question of what happens in the world during the next fifty years will, to a large extent, hinge on what the German people will do when they eventually are unitedas united they will be. Their spiritual home, their culture and tradition are connected with the West, but their markets and economy and their military opportunity will best serve them by joining with the East. Basically, the problem is: will Germany finally follow the Red Star of the Kremlin or the freedom and promise of democracy? There are no answers apparent in Germany to these questions right now.

Bill Downs
MURROW: Well, of course, it's not only Germany where two philosophies, two ways of life are in conflict. In all nations, it seems to me, the fear of war, of the inevitability of conflict between these two great powers darkens men's minds. Do you think our policy of containment will work? Or, to put it another way, do you think war is inevitable? Smith?

SMITH: I can't believe that war is inevitable. The cold war is a peculiar kind of conflict. Material interests are not directly involved. The Russians haven't got anything we want, and we haven't got anything the Russians can't do without. The conflict seems to me to be psychological, a matter of suspicions and ideologies. It seems to me that if there could be a period of mutual sufferance, on however vile terms, the world could recover somewhat, ideologies might be confounded and suspicions could be dissolved. We can have a very long period of peacefor nothing breeds peace like peace.

MURROW: Sevareid?

SEVAREID: Well, nothing is inevitable, Ed. But I think war is likely as long as Russia remains a tight dictatorship. Russia's been a tyranny of sorts for centuries, but not always an aggressively expanding one and never before a mechanized one. I just don't see how you can teach people, teach generations of very tough people that destiny has called them to remake the world in their image, and then not expect them to try to act according to their religion.

MURROW: Do you think war is inevitable, Downs?

DOWNS: Nations don't make twelve-inch guns to shoot quail. They don't drop bombs in mid-Pacific lagoons to kill fish. War is inevitable until the time comes when nations give up their sovereign right to make war and learn to settle their problems peacefully.

MURROW: What do you say, Schoenbrun?

SCHOENBRUN: I'd say that the only inevitability is hatred for the nation that starts the war or drops the first atom bomb. As for the war itself, the Communists say they'll never fight against the Soviet Union. The anti-Communists in Europe say they will fight, if war comes, but only if Americans are in the battle lines with them from the start. As for the French, they say, "no more liberations, thank you, or you'll be rescuing a corpse."

MURROW: What do you say about the inevitability of war, Burdett?

BURDETT: Ed, you asked if containment will work. I certainly don't think that war is inevitable, but I don't think that containment alone is going to prevent it. A straight military policy, designed to contain Russia, seems to me a negative thing. It can produce two armed camps, two civilizations arrayed against each other. It can never produce two worlds capable of living confidently and peacefully together.

Europeans know this. I think they will be made to feel much more secure and confident by a solid recovery of their economies than by any military alliance we can possibly give them.

MURROW: How does it look from Asia, Costello?

COSTELLO: In Asia the Cold War is on every tongue, but nowhere except perhaps Japan did I find any eagerness to fight aggressively against the expansion of Communism. For that reason, few Asiatics think war would be inevitable. On the other hand, Stalinism is not much better off than we are. In China and India especially, the Russians are regarded as uncouth upstarts. In the ethical and moral sphere, these people feel better qualified to be leaders than followers. If there is to be Titoism in Asia, it will be a moral rather than military defiance of Moscow.

MURROW: Well, this is a matter on which you might have something to say, LeSueur.

LESUEUR: That word "inevitable" has me stumped. If we cut it down to the foreseeable future I think that a final conflict between the United States and Russia doesn't take place. I think that Russia prefers political expansion and that the interests of the United States are certainly based on peace. But limited clashes between small allies are not only inevitable, they've already occurred. I think it's a question of hoping for the best while we keep our powder dry.

MURROW: Well, that is an area where there is obvious disagreement as you've heard. But we can at least agree that even if it isn't an enduring peace it has endured a great deal already and there is still room for reasonable men to hope. We are agreed that no one can predict with certainty what the Russians are going to do. So let's examine for a minute the direction in which the non-Communist world is moving; right, left, or down the middle, what do you say, Schoenbrun?

SCHOENBRUN: I think the right. The swing of socialism in Europe was sharply reversed last year. Socialists have been kicked out, sold out, bought out or they've bowed out of government throughout the west. In Belgium, they're out of the government for the first time since the liberation. In Italy, the Socialist party divided itself like an amoebasterile cells warring on each other. In Germany, a still strong Nazi undercurrent and an anti-Socialist majority.

And in my own territory, France, I've watched the so-called "Third Force"the democratic centerwhittled away on both sides. The first half of this century looked for a moment like the golden age of socialism. Now it looks like the age of conflictswirling tides running in all directions, and chances are that the undercurrents of the next 50 years will depend on how the tides run in America and Asia, not Europe.

MURROW: Which way is the political tide running in Italy, Burdett?

BURDETT: In Italy there's a special phenomenon worth noting. At no time in this past half-century has the Roman Catholic Church enjoyed such a florid period of prosperity and influence. This is not a religious phenomenon. It is not a spiritual revival. It is rather a sign of the remarkable political resurgence of Catholicism. I think it's mainly due to the fact that after the wreck of Fascism and the upheaval of war, the Church emerged as the one intact and uncompromised symbol of stability and order. Conservatives rallied around it. Anxious people throughout Western Europe turned toward Catholic leadership in their search for security. Right now in Italy the sharp political undercurrents are rightward. The left-running tide has ebbed. The floating mass of voters, the middle class, is again looking for security and right-wing leadership.

I think this is a deep trend, a long-term trend, and not a passing reaction.

Winston Burdett 
 MURROW: Costello, what would you say the general trend in politics is in Asia?

COSTELLO: Burdett's point raises an interesting contrast in Asia. People in the Orient are not drifting inexorably in any directioneither right or left. There's generally a sense of bewilderment and confusion. On the other hand Asia does have an asset which is conspicuously absent in Europe. There has been a kind of spiritual revival in this century. It's not in any sense a religious movement. It might be accurately compared with the humanist movement, which grew up in Europe during the latter Middle Ages. It consists mainly of a feeling of individual pride and self-respect. People no longer allow themselves to feel humiliated and degraded as the slavish property of some landlord or warlord or foreign overlord. The great symbol of their emancipation was Mahatma Gandhi, who emerged as the voice of Asia's conscience. Gandhi denounced the old moral law of fatalism and subservience, and, using nationalist feeling as a foundation, he created a new sense of personal worth and dignity, which today infuses the whole of Asia.

MURROW: Well, you fellows from overseas must remember that we have politics in this country too. Sevareid, what would you say the informed opinion is in Washington as to the direction we're going?

SEVAREID: My opinion, Edand I represent Washington todayis that there are some basic differences. Europe had an old encrusted class society and we did not. We are not trying to level out our inequities, not by the Socialist means of state proprietorship, as in Europe. Developing a so-called welfare state and distributing benefits is not really socialism. It's hardly leftism or rightism. But we certainly have changed the function of our government and our society. First, our government was to stay aloof from the economic forces and preserve only civil freedoms, then it was to be a balance wheel preventing any economic forces from overwhelming others, now it's to provide benefits, not for classes, but for groups: farmers, labor, veterans, the aged and so on. America's original motto was "equality for allspecial privilege for none." And now to try to preserve a rough kind of equality it is "special privilege for all."

Eric Sevareid
MURROW: I suppose it is true that the only people who complain about special privileges are those who haven't got them: and viewed from the outside, it seems to me that we in this country have more of them than anyone else.

How does this country look from the outside anyway? All of you fellows have spent years abroad. Tell us how we are, as others see us. Smith?

SMITH: Well, the British have been the world's money lender long enough to know that nobody loves a money lender and they should be sympathetic with us. But even the British can't suppress a natural resentment of accepting charity. It has been said, and, I think, truthfully, that if either of the British political parties campaigned in the British elections on a policy of twisting Uncle Sam's coattails that party would probably win the elections. It's just human nature, I fear, and the resentment won't end until Europe recovers and can play the role of equal trade with us, rather than that of a poor relation, with his hand outstretched.

MURROW: How do we appear to the Germans, Downs?

DOWNS: How we look to the Germans depends on which side of the dividing line your particular German lives. In the West, we have the position of a stern and wealthy grandfather, meting out punishment and rewards at the same time. Some Western Germans say behind our backs we're a little foolish for being so good to them. While in Communist Germany, the flood of anti-Western propaganda is beginning to have its effect. With little to counter the party line we're coming more and more to be the capitalistic, monopolistic, war-mongering villains.

MURROW: How do we appear to the French, Schoenbrun?

SCHOENBRUN: Depends on which Frenchman is doing the looking. A French automobile manufacturer sees us as giants. But a Paris fashion magazine editor thinks we're a little flashy. Tens of thousands of French war orphans think that an American is Santa Claus. But to many a nervous French mother you're a trigger-tempered kid brother who may get the family into a brawl. We're stern uncles to French government officials; we pay their debts but try to run their lives. We're loved and hated in France; feared and admired, sneered at, flattered, envied but we're not ignored.

MURROW: And the Italians, Burdett, what do they think of us?

BURDETT: Italy and Europe, looking at America, not Americans mind you, but America, is like a proud man who has suddenly developed an inferiority complex late in life. Psychologically, it is not easy at Europe's age to have to be grateful for charity, to see your position at the center of the world suddenly eclipsed and taken over by a newcomer. Europeans are painfully conscious that they cannot get along without us and that there's very little they can do to help us even though we call them our allies. So, they are irritated by this unpleasant sense of dependence. I think there's only one solution to the dilemma. There'll be a healthy mental balance again when Europe feels she's once more carrying her own weight in the world, even though she cannot hope again to lead it.

MURROW: What view do the Asiatics take of us, Costello?

COSTELLO: Well, Murrow, it's my impression that Asiatics treat Americans sometimes with exaggerated courtesy because we have both money and military power. That doesn't mean they like us as a nation or that they respect our leadership and our morality. Many of them are frankly suspicious even when they ask our help. They think of us as being potentially the authors of a new 20th century imperialism. They resent our ignorance about Far Eastern history and culture and civilization. They don't like our brusque and sometimes patronizing attitude. We need to send Asia a lot of students as well as money if we want to build a permanent resevoir of good will.

MURROW: Of course, there are a number of foreigners in this country who are getting a rather closer look at us, those who are stationed at the United Nations. What do they think of us, LeSueur?

LESUEUR: Well, as you say, the United Nations has 59 members. Some of them look upon us as imperialists, others as their protectors. None of them likes to be pushed around. But all of them regard us with respect. And no one will deny that the United States is the strongest influence in the UN, and that influence is constantly increasing.

No discussions can take place in a vacuum. The very physical presence of the United Nations in New York has made a tremendous impact on these representatives from all the corners of the earth. The one time everyone listens is when the delegate of the United States speaks. He reflects the power, the prestige and the money of the strongest nation on earth. I won't say that every decision goes in the direction that we want it to. Far from it. But when the chips are down there are mighty few things that the United States can't get done at the UN if it really wants them.

MURROW: Let's pursue this matter of the United Nations for a moment. Of course it wasn't set up to make the peace but rather to keep it. How's it doing, Smith?

SMITH: Contrary to most people, I have been greatly encouraged by the UN this last year and mainly by one incident. When it became a question of Yugoslavia getting a seat on the Security Council all the skepticism and cynicism about the uselessness of the UN suddenly dissolved and the powers fought tooth and nail over that seat. I believe that the UN can develop into something like the world's conscience if not the world's government.

MURROW: What do you say, Sevareid?

SEVAREID: Ed, as you said the United Nations was not designed to make the peace after this warit was designed to keep it once it was made.

So perhaps the UN hasn't really yet had its chance and won't until the powers do make the peace. But, anyway, I have doubts about the UN, unless by some magic it gets real enforcement powers. It's caught between the two great eras, the rise of the era of passionate nationalism in the East and the decline of that era in the West. This is one world all right but only in space; it's two worlds in time.

MURROW: What do the Germans think of the UN, Downs?

DOWNS: One might say, Murrow, that the Germans have a kind of cynical respect for the United Nations organization. They're interested in joining. But they remember Versailles and they see the East-West struggle outside the UN as the real fight and one that the UN seems powerless to settle. I stick to my original contention that the UN or any other international organization will have little real effectiveness until the nations' state are willing to give up those parts of their sovereignty to settle their problems by war.

MURROW: How do the French feel about the UN, Schoenbrun?

SCHOENBRUN: Two out of three Frenchmen always say "no" to anything. It's essentially a negative country. But on the UN France is positive; support is strong. There's also a big following for world government movements there and lots of friends of world citizen Garry Davis.

Frenchmen are often cynical and pessimistic. But the United Nations still looks like an ideal that even a cynic can buy.

MURROW: Burdett, how does it look to the Italians?

BURDETT: The Italians have centuries of power politics behind them. They take what I'd call a dispassionate and utterly disenchanted European view of the UN, namely, that the UN is a collection of sovereign nations that can do no more than mirror the world pattern of power politics. It can do the job if the nations which have the power are able, ready and willing to make it work. And Italians are only too acutely aware that the nations in question are just two.

MURROW: What's the view of the UN in Asia, Costello?

COSTELLO: Well, Murrow, it's a little ironic that the United Nations achieved one of its outstanding successes in settling the Indonesians' problems as Larry LeSueur pointed out a moment ago. It's ironic because most Asiatics appear to give the UN very little thought. Each country, each locality is too preoccupied with its own renaissance to concern itself with distant international maneuverings. There's a tendency to over-simplify all their foreign problems by looking primarily to the United States for help and guidance. One prominent Indian statesman admitted to me frankly that it is the United States which is preparing the world for eventual world government.

MURROW: Larry LeSueur, you spend most of your time out at the United Nations, do you want to add anything to what you said earlier on the subject?

LESUEUR: Well, I think your original question was "can the UN do the job." I wish I could answer that one with a simple "yes," but I can't. The United Nations can't accomplish more than the member states put into it. It can't provide military security for the world but it can and does provide moral authority. Its great strength lies in its ability to focus world public opinion. I can say this, that if the UN fails and the world goes up in flames, the first thing the survivors will do is form another United Nations. Men just can't live without hope.


MURROW: Certainly no one can deny to the UN its record of achievement in settling disputes of a minor nature, or its usefulness as a meeting ground for conversations between the major powers. But it's also true that the major powers are attempting to use it as they did the League of Nations for the promotion of their own national interests. The fact is that in a power world the United Nations itself is sadly lacking in power. But it remains the most massive achievement in international organization in the first half of this century.

Well, fellows, let's stop talking about nations and organizations and juggling hemispheres. I'd like to put a very simple question to all of you. You've flown here from a half dozen different capitals a total distance of about 22,000 miles, just for this program. Tomorrow you'll all be flying back. We have enough time left for each of you to take just half a minute to say just anything you feel like saying. Smith?

SMITH: One thing has struck me in my reporting in Europe since the war. Almost every time I start tracing some individual European problem to the possible source of remedy, the road leads almost every time not to some place in Europe but to the U.S.A.

It's clear to me that the fate of the world in the next half-century will be decided nowhere but here and with the American people and their wisdom orGod save ustheir lack of it.

MURROW: What do you want to say in 30 seconds, Sevareid?

SEVAREID: I agree with Howard Smith. It's up to America to demonstrate that men remain free and secure in a mechanized society. But, we can't prove it to others till we prove it first to ourselves. We tend to forget our own ideals. But the tough thing is that there is a basic conflict within those ideals, the conflict between our drive for equality and personal freedom on the one side, our drive for personal aggrandizement on the other. And I think, Ed, that half the world is waiting to see if we can fit them together.

MURROW: Now, Bill Downs.

DOWNS: Well, for the past 10 years that I've been a foreign correspondent, the events that stick in my mind are those that make me ashamed. I was ashamed for being fat when a hungry woman in Amsterdam was so overcome by a can of beans that I'd given her that she cried. In Moscow, I was ashamed at being powerless when one of my friends was shipped to Siberia by the secret police just because he was my friend. In America, I've been ashamed of the color of my white skin when encountering racial prejudice.

On D-Day when I saw the crumpled body of a young kid that could have been your brother, I was ashamed in a way to be still alive. During the next half-century, the part that I'll live through, I'd like to see this kind of shame abolished from the earth.

MURROW: Schoenbrun?

SCHOENBRUN: It struck me that we Americans have one characteristic that distinguishes us from all other nations. We want to be loved. We're not content just to have allies, they've also got to be pals, buddies, with a Presidential system just like ours and perhaps a dash of ketchup on their hamburgers. We seem to wear our hearts on our sleeves and we're easily hurt. Maybe the trouble is that our pocketbooks are as open as our hearts and we're secretly afraid that we're loved only for our money. I wish we'd grow a thicker skin in the next 50 years.

MURROW: Now 30 seconds for you, Burdett.

BURDETT: Well, I think, Murrow, that this problem of Western Europe, which is now ours, is the problem of an insecure civilization. It seems to me that one main reason why Russian pressure seems so formidable and threatening is that the old society of the West is so unsure of itself. If that is so, then our task is enormous.

We can never accomplish it by a purely negative policy dedicated to the idea that everything anti-Russian is good. We can only do it by helping to build a new society, by giving the West a new sense of independent strength, of help, or permanence. By helping Europe to create conditions, the moral and social conditions, for a stable democracy and so for an abiding faith in democracy.

MURROW: Now, a half a minute for you, Bill Costello.

COSTELLO: I'd say this, gentleman: Asia today is a keg of dynamite with a lighted fuse and most Americans just don't realize it. We've got to revise our thinking. The old legend of the white man's burden in Asia has been tossed into the limbo of history. The people of Asia today want partnership not patronage. They're willing to buy and sell. But they won't be bought and sold. They don't even want to be dominated by their own governments. They feel just as the Americans dothat people are more important than institutions. In this next half-century we've got to extend something more than just material aid. They'd like our money, yes, but they insist on having our respect.

MURROW: Now, a half-minute for Larry LeSueur.

LESUEUR: I guess, Ed Murrow, that my chief concern is that the question of war and peace must dominate the rest of our lives. There'll be some very dangerous periods ahead, especially after Stalin dies. A new and insecure Russian leader could plunge that country into war in an effort to preserve his power. On the other hand, the whole communist movement may break up within the next fifty years. Look at Tito! I think our best hope lies in patience and cultivation of allies and that one of our greatest problems will be to erase feelings of racial superiority between ourselves and those allies of another color.

MURROW: Gentleman, it occurs to me to suggest that a great deal of sense was talked in those thirty-second efforts you just made. And it seems to me, listening to this conversation, that there's been a theme running through this whole discussionand it is that the last fifty years is a record of unceasing conflict between the individual and the state. When dictators have risen to power, it has happened because the individual has abdicated his political and economic rights and assigned his responsibility as a citizen and as a human being to an individual or to a political party. When dictators have been overthrown, it has been the result of the determination of people to retain or to regain that freedom.

Wer seem to be agreed that the struggle will continue in all of its various forms. The search for security, both national security and individual security, will continue and it'll be intensified. It seems to me that this discussion has demonstrated beyond doubt that what we in this country dothat is, what our government doeswill determine as never before the fate of civilization. The time when we could separate domestic and foreign issues has passed. Whether we like it or not, the awesome responsibility of the leadership of the free world has been thrust upon us; we didn't seek it. We have come into our full inheritance at an early age, but youth has never been acceptable as an excuse for failure. We in this country are the fortunate few who live in a generous, bountiful and capacious land. We are, as you have heard, viewed abroad with a mixture of fear and admiration. But it seems to me that, having regard to our history, our heritage and our strength, we can afford to greet the unknown with a cheer. And now, there is ten seconds left, which gives me the opportunity of wishing all of you fellows much luck, good journey and good news!