In Italy advancing allied troops repulsed the first German counterattack in force below Rome. Fifth army troops tightened the squeeze on 100,000 Germans in central Italy with local advances around bristling Cassino.
Gen. Leonid A. Govorov issued the Russian order of the day a striking departure from the custom usually followed by Premier Stalin hailing the troops of his army who achieved the complete liberation of Leningrad in 12 days of savage fighting.
The Russians, he said, "have broken through and overcome, on all fronts at Leningrad, the Germans' heavily fortified defenses echeloned far In depth and prepared a long time in advance, and have captured by storm the most important centers of resistance and enemy defense bases."
In northern Russia, red armies raced toward Estonia and surged far west of Novgorod In twin drives that threatened to trap up ward of 250,000 Germans in the enemy bulge below Leningrad.
On the northern flank of the enemy salient the of Gen. Leonid A. Meretskov poured through newly-captured Krasnogvardeisk, five-way rail hub 25 miles south of Leningrad and drove on to seize Medniko, within 42 miles of Estonia in pursuit of fleeing German units.
To the south, Russian troops swept 25 miles southwest of Novgorod to a point only three miles the important rail and highway junction of Shimsk.
ITALY DRIVE DECLARED AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
Driving steadily inland from their Mediterranean beachhead, allied units routed elements of the Herman Goerlng division after fierce clash southwest of Littorja and about 13 miles due east of the invasion port of Nettuno.
Despite the ferocity of the futile enemy counter-blow and the fact that it was launched by panzer forces withdrawn from the main front to the south, the allied command described the battle as of only local significance as the Invaders fanned out rapidly with troops, supply, and armament reinforcements "ahead of schedule."
On the north flank of the allied beachhead, a Swiss broadcast of a German report said, the Nazi forces have evacuated Aprilia, 22 miles south of Rome.
On the southern front, the fifth army was massing a vast concentration ot guns, Lt. Gen. Jacob L. Devers, deputy supreme commander in tha Mediterranean, reported. American troops were scoring local gains against stiff opposition In the Cassino area, but there still was no confirmation of reports that they had crossed the Rapldo rtrer in force or had entered that main bastion of the Gustav line..