A Two-Front War

Saturday, Sept. 19, 1942

Nazis execute 155.  Nazi Troops Seize Streets in Stalingrad

With front page headlines like these in the Chicago Daily Tribune it would be hard to enjoy a leisurely Saturday.

Joseph C. Grew, Cover of Time Magazine

Joseph C. Grew, cover of Time Magazine

Also on the front page, an alarmed Joseph C. Grew, American ambassador in Vienna in 1917 when the Austro-Hungarian Empire broke its ties with the USA and to Japan at the time of Pearl Harbor, addressed a war rally in Syracuse, NY.  He was shocked, he said, to hear people predict that America would defeat the Germans and then “mop up the Japanese.” He agreed the Germans would crack, as they had in 1918, but added  “But the Japanese will not crack. They will not crack morally or psychologically or economically even when eventual defeat stares them in the face. Only by utter physical destruction or utter exhaustion of their men and material.”

Prescient words that still fell on mostly deaf ears. For, despite the headlines, Americans seemed more concerned about a possible rubber shortage than distant battles.

No mail today.



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