October 17, 1943 – News on this day was almost completely taken over by news of the War and reports from the Fighting fronts. Allied forces were pushing ahead in Italy, scoring numerous victories in the process. On the Eastern Front – Soviet troops were re-taking vital objectives, forcing German radio to admit the Russian campaign wasn’t going as expected.
In early October 1943, Hitler was persuaded by his Army Group Commander in Southern Italy, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, that the defense of Italy should be conducted as far away from Germany as possible. This would make the most of the natural defensive geography of Central Italy, while denying the Allies the easy capture of a succession of airfields; each one being ever closer to Germany. Hitler was also convinced that yielding southern Italy would provide the Allies with a springboard for an invasion of the Balkans with its vital resources of oil, bauxite and copper
The Balkan campaign was spelling out decisive victories for rebel forces and there were reports that rebel uprisings were taking place throughout France.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, and the War in the Pacific – American forces, commanded by General MacArthur were within 40 miles of taking important Japanese Base in New Guinea.
Back home – the settling of a Coal Strike was still causing Washington to keep an anxious watch on whether or not Miners would return to the pits or not. Some 25,000 miners were ordered back to work – whether they would comply and go immediately back to work or refuse was of concern. If they complied, everything would return to normal. If not, many wondered if the anti-Strike Act or other means would be used to force the Miners to return. But there were other Union matters of concern. The Brotherhood of Railroad Operators rejected a 4 cent an hour wage increase, terming the offer “insulting”. They had asked for considerably more, and a Union meeting was being planned later on in the week to take a strike vote. Fingers were crossed.
And that’s just a slice of what went on, this October 16, 1943 as presented by CBS Radio’s World Today.