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AMERICANS TAKE CEFALU

60-Mile Drive East From Palermo CANADIANS ADVANCE SLOWLY

(N.Z. Press Association—Copyright) (Rec. 11 p.m.) LONDON, July 27. American forces advancing to the east along the north coast of Sicily, have occupied Cefalu, and are approaching ban Stefano, on which the right flank of the German defence line m the north-eastern corner is said to be based. The occupation of Cefalu represents an advance of 60 miles from Palermo. The Berlin radio says that British warships off the north coast of Sicily are shelling Axis positions in support of the American advance. Between the Americans and the Bth Army, Canadian forces are fighting forward yard by yard against bitter and sustained counter-attacks by the 15th Panzer Division. South of Catania, the Bth Army is still faced by strong German forces, which are being built up by reinforcements from Italy. The rapid swing by the American and Canadian spearheads in the direction of the northern sector of the enemy defence line projecting from the Messina bridgehead threatens the whole of the Axis dispositions with a vast encircling movement.

Reuter’s correspondent at Allied Headquarters says that a drive to Messina would isolate the Germans and cut them off completely from their line of retreat. There are three and a half German divisions and the equivalent of three Italian- divisions, totalling 80.000 men, defending the Messina bridgehead. The Berlin radio reports that General Montgomery has switched part of his troops outside Catania to the American column. Reuter comments that this movement is similar to that in the last stages of the fighting in Tunisia, when Bth Army detachments were rushed overland to the Ist Army and the Americans for the final thrust against Tunis. , , , .. The Algiers correspondent of the “Daily Mail,” cabling last night, said: “There is every indication to-night of a complete lull in the battle for Catania. it may be a normal pause forced on both sides after days of furious fighting; but it must not be ruled out that both the German and British commands are waiting to discover how the battlefield will be affected by Mussolini’s removal.” German reinforcements are still coming into Sicily. The Germans are digging in and laying extensive minefields and road blocks on the Mount Etna defence line. * . Drew Middleton, the correspondent of the “New York Times” in North Africa, says that the Mount Etna line linking San Stefano with Catania, will have both flanks anchored to the sea. which is not so fortunate for the enemy. “The British Fleet has demonstrated' the ease with which it can operate on the Axis flank, and the indications are that the flank can be turned,” he adds. “However, there are prospects of a check to the Allied advance if the enemy can fortify the northern sector of the line as strongly as Catania.. The country is exceedingly rough and the enemy would have the advantage of superior artillery-ob-servation and emplacement. The battle might develop into a series~x»f pi'o-' hj BOMBING OF SHIP IN SOLOMONS WAR CORRESPONDENT WOUNDED ACCOUNT OF FIGHTING ON NEW GEORGIA (Special Australian Corresp., N.Z.P.A.) (Rec. 8 p.m.) SYDNEY, July 27. Casualties among war correspondents in all theatres of war have reached 20 per cent. In the south-west Pacific four correspondents have been killed and four others wounded. The latest casualty iff a New Zealander, Mr Osmar White, correspondent of the Sydney “Daily Telegraph," whose dispatches from both New Guinea and the Solomons have been among the finest of the Pacific war. Mr White had both legs fractured in a Japanese divebomber attack on Rendova harbour, in the central Solomons, last Wednesday. A 5001b bomb scored a direct hit on his ship, landing only 12 feet away from him. Several members of the crew were killed. Mr White had just conducted a tour of front line positions on New Georgia. He was returning to Guadalcanal v, here he is now in a naval hospital. Mr White dictated to a fellow correspondent a story of the attack on his ship. “It was a vessel v of heroes," he said. “Our gunners, most, of them wounded, stayed at their posts during the bombing, handing out point-blank fire. The ship’s surgeon crawled round the deck, giving morphine injections to the wounded, while bombs were bursting round us.” One of Mr White’s latest dispatches was a report of a 13 hours' Japanese siege of an American forward post near Munda. Mr White had to lie among the defenders in a shallow foxhole, while the Japanese a few yards away raked the area with automatic fire and grenades. A box barrage of American shells landing within yards saved the post. Earlier Mr White had been bombed as he travelled along the coast in a small boat. “Miserable. Night” Describing the siege of the forward post, he wrote: .. “The night was the most miserable I had ever spent—jammed against stones, half smothered, listening to the monotonous scream of shelling, and watching the intermittent eerie moonlight in the tree-tops. Every now and then large land crabs crawled over my face and hands, and I could feel the wriggling and kicking of the ever-present millipedes and occasional centipedes .“Not for 13 hours after we had first gone to earth was it possible to crawl out and look at the bullet-riddled tents of our post. During the night I cou'd hear the Japanese climbing in the trees, and I saw one m?n 12 yards from my foxhole, trying to draw our fire while his companion stood back with a grenade. “Only when a worthwhile target offered itself did our machine-gunners fire. Grenades every now and then thumped on to the parapet, detonating deafeningly. One little brute stood 50 yards off. simulating the death cry of a stabbed’man. Time and time again the clamorous bursts of our machinegun fire drove closing enemy parties howling and yelling back into the bush.” Mr White reporte.. the Japanese offensive in New Guinea last year. He walked over the famous Kokoda trail and was the first corresnondent to give an eye-witness story of islmd junglewarfare. He is in his early thirties. His wife another New Zealand journalist, was Mis.; Molly Allen, a grand-niece of I Sir Truby King.

longed sieges for various hilltop positions.” . . The American 7th Army is still collecting unresisting Italian prisoners by the thousand. It is estimated that at least 70,000 Italians have been, taken, including 10 generals. The fate of the German troops In Sicily depends on two railway lines, says the Algiers radio. One leads to France through Genoa and Rome, and the other through Bologna to Austria. The Germans brought troops to Sicily across these lines and they will attempt to get them along the same two lines when the situation in Sicily becomes untenable. , Bad weather is hampering the Allied air offensive on the enemy’s Sicilian bridgehead, but lighter machines are maintaining their attacks. Six enemy aircraft were destroyed over Malta on Sunday night, when Axis machines attempted a heavy raid. The island’s anti-aircraft guns put up a heavy barrage arid drove many of the raiders away. However, some got through and dropped their bombs over ’S wide area.. ~ Y.W.C.A, WORK IN MIDDLE EAST NEW ZEALAND WOMAN , IN CHARGE MISS JEAN BEGG NOW IN LONDON (Special Correspondent N.ZP.A.) (Rec. 10 p.m.) LONDON, July 26. A New Zealand woman who has had 400 hours of flying in the Middle East has arrived in London for a short visit. She is Miss Jean Begg (Dunedin), director of the Y.W.C.A. in the Middle East and North Africa. For three years she has been directing residential clubs and desert recreation clubs for women serving in the forces. Her headquarters has been in Cairo. She has now a headquarters in Algiers as well, and is hoping_ to establish clubs in Malta and Sicily. It is for the extension of Y.W.C.A. services that she is now conferring with a committee in London. Miss Begg. who was for five year! in India before she went to the Middle East, gained her flying time in visiting various centres in North Africa, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, and Eritrea. ”We have 18 clubs throughout the Middle East, where we try to provide a homely. quiet atmosphere, entirely different from that of military camps,” she said. , “Our entire success has rested on the fact that girls may bring men friends of any rank into the clubs, and the girls are proud to bring their men friends, who have even spent the night, sleeping on hearthrugs. Recently a New Zealand sister asked if she could bring a guest. She arrived with nine New Zealand soldiers who were walking cases in her ward. They celebrated one boy’s birthday. We have also got married quarters where husband and wife can spend leave, and our club at Ismailia is nicknamed ‘Honeymoon Centre.’ ” She added that the clubs catered for nurses, A.T.S., W.A.A.F.’s, and W.A.A.C.’s—women of all countries-. Great assistance was given by Miss Jessie Wilkie, of Southland. Miss Muriel Wilson (Dunedin), Miss Betty Lorimer (Wellington), Miss Meg Saunders (Dunedin), and Miss Betty Thorpe (Auckland), who were excellent hostesses. Lieutenant-General Freyberg’s New Zealand W.A.A.C.’s had been of great assistance. Miss Begg has the distinction of being the only civilian woman rriember of the Middle East Welfare Council. It has been her responsibility to select and start various Y.W.C.A. clubs and organise their maintenance. “One of my greatest thrills was travelling by car over the battlefields to reach Algiers.” she said. “I saw many Italian notices altered. One particularly amused me. Instead of “Viva II Duce" if read "Viva Kiwis." leaving no doubt that our boys had been there.” Miss Begg flew to England. She will probably broadcast to New Zealand shortly. Cure for Sinus Tiouble.—A cure for sinus trouble has been discovered at 'he Passavant Hospital. Diming experiments for studying the effect of high altitude flying on the human body, it was found that artificial pressure equal to that at a height of 10.000 feet drained the m ms spaces and relieved headaches.—New York. July 23. Reprisals Against Chinese.— Nearly 100 Chinese families were slain by the Japanera in eastern Chekiang province alone, for assistance given ;n rescuing several A mc:ican flyers afscr (he bombing of Tokyo. Several thousand hones were destroyed in the same sector, but the Chinese communique giving thus ! info’mat’m docs not mention Javanese punitive ads in othar areas ! Chungking. July 26.

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Bibliographic details

AMERICANS TAKE CEFALU, Press, Volume LXXIX, Issue 24011, 28 July 1943

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AMERICANS TAKE CEFALU Press, Volume LXXIX, Issue 24011, 28 July 1943

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