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-HH- Beebop
01-03-2005, 07:23 PM
A (hopefully) ongoing thread of historical events/tidbits that happened during WW II. Feel free to add to this thread.

03/01/44 (January 3rd, 1944)

Greg "Pappy" Boyington is shot down by a Zero piloted by Captain Masajiro Kawato.

-HH- Beebop
01-03-2005, 07:23 PM
A (hopefully) ongoing thread of historical events/tidbits that happened during WW II. Feel free to add to this thread.

03/01/44 (January 3rd, 1944)

Greg "Pappy" Boyington is shot down by a Zero piloted by Captain Masajiro Kawato.

01-03-2005, 07:26 PM
OOoh, I like this thread. It's like one of those WWII calendars minus the price!

01-03-2005, 08:10 PM

01-03-2005, 08:17 PM
03/01/41 (January 3rd, 1941)

Italian Air Force operations against the UK cease.


01-03-2005, 08:22 PM
Jan 3, 1945

On this day, in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and mainland Japan, Gen. Douglas MacArthur is placed in command of all U.S. ground forces and Adm. Chester Nimitz is placed in command of all U.S. naval forces.

01-03-2005, 09:17 PM
Well being this thread just started I'll say that on 1 Janurary 1945, Gerhard Barkhorn scored his 300th victory during Operation Bodenplatte.

01-03-2005, 09:37 PM
On this date in 1945 my father was in Germany with the rest of the US 95th Division. They had crossed the Saar River several weeks before, pushing the Germans out of France.

Salute to all the brave men of the Allied Expeditionary Force.


01-04-2005, 12:24 AM
January 3rd, 1940, 41, 42, 43, 44, and 45:

Many combatant, non-combatant, army, navy, air force and civilian personnel from every involved nation, including some from nations not directly involved, die.

Boy o boy, have we come a long way from then! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

-HH- Beebop
01-04-2005, 06:00 PM
4/1/44 (January 4th, 1944)
"Operation Carpetbagger"-American and RAF aircraft drop arms and supplies to French, Belgian and Italian partisans.

01-04-2005, 11:21 PM

01-04-2005, 11:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WTE_Dukayn:
Jan 3, 1945

On this day, in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and mainland Japan, Gen. Douglas MacArthur is placed in command of all U.S. ground forces and Adm. Chester Nimitz is placed in command of all U.S. naval forces. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Really???!!! I Never heard that before... You mean that MacArthur was in overall command of the U.S, Marines at Iwo Jima in Feb-Mar 1945????!! That is absolutely Amazing!!!...and I thought I knew a LOT about US in WWII...

What I knew was that Commanders for the Iwo Jima operation, code named detachment were as follows:
Admiral Raymond A. Spruance was the operation's overall commander.
Joint Expeditionary Force commander was Vice Admiral Richmond Kelly
Turner. Second in command of the Joint Expeditionary Force was Rear
Admiral Harry W. Hill. Lieutenant General Holland M. "Howlin' Mad-
Smith was assigned as the commanding general of expeditionary troops.
The 5th Amphibious Corps was commanded by Major General Harry Schmidt. Under his command fell the 3d Marine Division commander, Major General Graves B. Erskine; the 4th Marine Division commander, Major General Clifton B. Cates; and the 5th Marine Division commander, Major General Keller E. Rockey.

I didn't know that MacArthur was placed in charge over Spruance and all the naval and Marine forces involved...that really surprised me. I had thought MacArthur had under his command the line of advance(theater of operations) of New guinea advancing up through the Phillipines and(potentially) over and up through Formosa towards Japan itself. Okinawa was the next/last island, and was primarily an Army operation, over which it Could be logical that MacArthur would retain control.

I had thought that Nimitz was in command of the Central Pacific Naval and Marine island hopping operations through Marianas etc and finally up to/including Iwo Jima in Feb 1945...

So I researched it a bit further:
In Fact, Nimitz retained command of the Iwo Jima operation....while true that MacArthur in January 1945 was given control of all American "land forces" in the Pacific, that did NOT include US Marine "Land forces" on places such as Iwo Jima in Feb 45.

Admiral Nimitz , upon America's entry into World War II, had been made CinC Fleet/Ocean Area, putting him in control of both air and sea(including US marine) forces. He oversaw American forces at Midway and the Battle of the Coral Sea, and directed further victories at the Solomon Islands, the Gilbert Islands,etc, and finally, as commander of all naval forces in the Pacific, in Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Just a bit of clarification...

This could be a very interesting thread...glad it was started.

01-05-2005, 12:32 AM
On this date in Jan 4th 1944 may dad was in the USN stationed in San Diego, Coronado Island ,waiting for overseas deployment, protecting the US from a IJN invasion through Mexico.

01-05-2005, 01:03 AM
I think some of our Polish friends may know Jan. 5 was an important day in their history. Here's a link.


Russians retook Borovsk.


2d Marine Div arrives on Guadalcanal and battle-weary units begin to be replaced with fresh units.


Meanwhile, the USN carries on operations against IJN forces in the Solomons chain.

To all those men and women who had to fight and especially those who died. All because some idiots wanted to control the world. We didn't start it, be sure as hell finished it. And then we paid to rebuild it for them...unreal!

-HH- Beebop
01-05-2005, 06:54 AM
05/01/44 (Januayr 5th, 1944

Headquarters for the American Strategic Airforce moves to Britian: General Spattz appointed C in C (Commander in Chief) of US 8th Airforce and 15th Airforce.

01-05-2005, 05:28 PM
On this day (5th January) in 1941 in North Africa:

The British 8th Army (under Wavell) captures Bardia in Cyrenaica, taking 45,000 Italian prisoners of war.

01-06-2005, 02:38 AM
Waiting for Jan 06 news.......

01-06-2005, 05:07 AM
6th jan 1940 ltn Jorma Sarvanto (Finnish airforce) shot down 6 SB-2 bombers out of 9 just in 5 minutes (flying Fokker D21). Sarvanto was flying alone.

A true hero!

-HH- Beebop
01-06-2005, 06:04 AM

Opening of 4 days of air attacks on Japanese convoys off New Guinea.

01-06-2005, 03:00 PM
Thanks http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

01-06-2005, 03:50 PM
On this day (6th January) in 1941 in the Mediterranean:

The Luftwaffe launches its first attacks against British convoys bound for Malta in the Mediterranean.

01-06-2005, 04:01 PM
On this day in WWII History (January 6th, 1945), Hitler crapped his pants due to severe dysentery. His stool was bloody due to blunt force trauma suffered in an unrelated event. Fact.

01-06-2005, 05:47 PM
Cant u find this in a book somewhere at the library?!?!?!

01-07-2005, 01:15 AM
What's a book?

-HH- Beebop
01-07-2005, 06:12 AM
YOU BOYS IN THE BACK OF THE CLASS!, settle down now and pay attention please! Getting a little offtrack are we gentlemen?

Be that as it may, this was a busy day for the US flyboys in 1944:

Eighth AF
420 Heavy Bombers hit I.G. Farben Industrie plant at Ludwigshafen. 12 aircraft are lost on mission.

Fifteenth AF
B-17's, with P-38 escort, bomb an aircraft factory at Maribor and a torpedo factory at Fiume. The P-38's battle a superior number of enemy figthers over Maribor area. 3 P-38's are lost and several others are missing. 4 fighters are claimed destroyed, with 1 probably downed and 4 damaged, during the fierce half-hour fight.

Tenth AF
7 B-25's and 15 P-38's pound Lanywa area, hitting oil plant and storage tanks, causing several fires, and strafe several AA positions. 19 A-36's and P-51's bomb supply and troop concentrations at Nanyaseik.

Fourteenth AF
4 B-25's and 6 P-40's sink 2 large boats on the Yangtze South of Hukow and sink a large powerboat, a barge, and a small ore craft at Shihhweiyao. 11 P-38's claim between 30 and 40 sampans destroyed along the river from Hankow to Chiuchiang. 2 B-25's on sea sweep claim a 300-ft passenger vessel sunk South of Hong Kong.

01-07-2005, 05:16 PM
On this day (8th January) in 1943 on the Ostfront:

General Rokossovsky, Commander in Chief of the Don Front, issues a surrender ultimatum to the German troops of 6th Army (trapped in the Stalingrad pocket), guaranteeing, "their lives and safety, and after the end of the war return to Germany", and promising that, "...medical aid will be given to all wounded, sick and frost-bitten..."

01-07-2005, 05:20 PM
On this day (8th January) in 1942 on the Ostfront:

On the Northern front in Russia, the Red Army begins an offensive near Lake Ilmen.

01-08-2005, 05:49 AM
On 8th and 9th january 1940 finnish troops destroy another russian division in Suomussalmi. They had destroyed one earlier at Raate. On 9th finnish troops reach the original borderline between Soviet Union and Finland.

-HH- Beebop
01-08-2005, 09:57 AM
Hitler realizes that his Ardennes Offensive has failed and orders the withdrawl of troops from Bastonge.

01-08-2005, 01:58 PM
Hey Beebob... arent you like..... 6 months and some days out of synch? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

The 381st Bomb group flew amission to Heinbach Germany..

-HH- Beebop
01-08-2005, 06:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bearcat99:
Hey Beebob... arent you like..... 6 months and some days out of synch? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

08/01/45 = January 8th, 1945. I used military style date. I also doubt there was snow in the Ardennes in August. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

01-08-2005, 07:44 PM
On this day (9th January) in 1943 on the Ostfront:

The Soviet ultimatum to surrender to the troops of 6th Army at Stalingrad is ignored by order of Colonel-General von Paulus, and the battle continues with unabated ferocity.

-HH- Beebop
01-09-2005, 04:17 AM
09/01/41 (January 9th, 1941)
First flight of the Avro Lancaster prototype.

Most effective kamikaze attacks of the war occur during the invasion of Luzon and Lingayen Gulf.

01-09-2005, 10:35 PM
On this day (10th January) in 1943 on the Ostfront:

After a 55-minute bombardment by thousands of aritllery pieces and Katyusha rocket-launchers, and having amassed seven armies for the task, the Red Army begins Operation Ring, the final annihilation of the tattered remnants of 6th Army defending themselves desperately against all odds in the ruins of Stalingrad.

01-09-2005, 10:37 PM
On this day (10th January) in 1942:

Generaloberst Ernst Udet, head of Luftwaffe aircraft production and development, commits suicide for his failure to provide adequate replacements and new improved aircraft models in sufficient numbers.

Oh, and -HH- Beebop, please keep those events coming, I find them very interesting http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.

01-09-2005, 11:38 PM
Jan. 9, 1944 Neel Kearby scored two to tie Richard Bong again at 21 apiece.

-HH- Beebop
01-10-2005, 06:47 AM
10/01/41 (January 10th, 1941)
First action by German aircraft in the Mediterranean. Ju-87 and Ju-88 bombers are part of 10th Fliegerkorps, stationed in Sicily.

Kongo Otto
01-10-2005, 09:04 AM
10th January 1041

The Flak Kampfabzeichen was first issued.

10th January 1942

The Japanese Invasion of Java was started with
troop landings at Kalimantan,Sulawesi and Ambon.

01-10-2005, 10:00 AM
More about the Med theatre 10th January 1941

A joint Royal Navy and Royal Australian Naval task force, including the ships York, Orion, Ajax, Valiant, Perth, Warspite and Illustrious meet the Excess convoy coming from Gibraltar, they rendezvous south of Panatelleria before heading eastwards. Sixty miles west of Malta they come under heavy German dive bombing.

HMS Illustrious was heavily damaged by a concerted enemy air attack by German dive-bombers, when the armoured flight deck armour was penetrated by an 1100lb (500kg) bomb. That and six other bomb hits kept her out of action until the following December. She had temporary repaired at Malta 10-23 January 1941, and further repairs at Alexandria between February -March 1941

01-10-2005, 05:13 PM
On this day (11th January) in 1942 in the Atlantic:

The Kriegsmarine begins Operation Paukenschlag, the first coordinated attack carried out by five U-boats against US shipping along the East Coast of the United States. Their first victim is the British freighter Cyclops (displacement 9000 tons) which is sunk by U-123 of Kapit¤nleutnant Hardegen.

During the first 6 months of the German U-boat offensive along the east coast of the US some 397 ships totalling over 2 million tons will be sunk, costing roughly 5000 lives. In the process only 7 U-boats (U-85, U-352, U-157, U-158, U-701, U-153 and U-576) will be lost.

01-10-2005, 09:21 PM
Found this request on the Net:

Hello everyone. I was wondering if anyone had contact or knew my uncle Sgt. Robert E. Davis? He was killed in a mission over Germany. THe only information I could find about him was: Crew Position: TT Rank: Sgt Fate: KIA Date: 1/11/1944 A/C Serial: 42-37962 MACR: 1876 If anyone had any stories about that mission or knew of him, it would be great. Thanks, [signature]

01-10-2005, 09:27 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif Also the Movie The Life Boat came out... 1-11-1944.



-HH- Beebop
01-10-2005, 11:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by woofiedog:
Found this request on the Net:

Hello everyone. I was wondering if anyone had contact or knew my uncle Sgt. Robert E. Davis? He was killed in a mission over Germany. THe only information I could find about him was: Crew Position: TT Rank: Sgt Fate: KIA Date: 1/11/1944 A/C Serial: 42-37962 MACR: 1876 If anyone had any stories about that mission or knew of him, it would be great. Thanks, [signature] <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

At first I thought, hmmmm, not exactly what I had in mind but......GREAT post! Very thoughtful of you.
I hope that breebree gets some information.

Kongo Otto
01-10-2005, 11:38 PM
Night from 10th to 11th January 1941

German 4th Destroyer Flotilla laid Mines near Newcastle.

11th January 1941
ninth Air Raid by British Bomber Command against the City of Düren.Light Damage at the City and no Casualties.

11th January 1941

SD issued anti jewish Laws in the occupied Netherlands.
Jewish citizens of the Netherlands have to be registered.
Jewish Citizens are not allowed to visit cinemas
and public Parks anymore,they are not allowed to have radios anymore.They are also not allowed
to enter and buy in shops from not jewish citizens.

01-11-2005, 12:31 AM
-HH- Beebop... I was once looking for info about a relative that was KIA around Aachen Germany he was in the 1Div/Inf... I didn't recieve any info about my relative at the time... but a German that was Stationed and Fought in the area at the time sent me a very nice letter and he also had some info about the fight it the area which was very interesting.
So maybe someone can help here. You never know.

-HH- Beebop
01-11-2005, 06:38 AM
11/01/44 (11, January 1944)
US Naval aircraft based on Gilbert and Ellice Islands attack Japanese installations on Kwajalein Atoll prior to invasion.

01-11-2005, 09:34 AM
www.worldwar-2.net (http://www.worldwar-2.net/) do a great timeline.

11/01/1941 Hitler confirms in Directive No.22, his intentions to send military support to the Italians in Libya. The operation is to be named 'Sunflower'.

11/01/1941 The Cruisers HMS Southampton and HMS Gloucester are attacked by German aircraft in the Sicilian channel. HMS Gloucester receives damage, while HMS Southampton is sunk. British submarine's begin to make attacks German and Italian convoys crossing to Libya.

11/01/1942 The Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies begins with landings at Tarakan (Borneo) and Manado (Celebes

11/01/1942 The Japanese 5th Division enters Kuala Lumpur, which is the main supply base for the Indian 3rd Corps. By this time Japanese forward elements are coming in to contact with the 8th Australian Division, which puts up fierce resistance, although Japanese amphibious landings to their south force them to retreat and ends British hopes of a protracted defence of Johore.

11/01/1942 The Kriegsmarine begins Operation Drum Beat, the first coordinated attack carried out by five U-boats initially against US shipping along the East Coast of the United States. Their first victim is the 9,000 ton British steamer Cyclops which is sunk by U-123 (Kptlt. Hardegen), 300miles to the east of Cape Cod.

11/01/1943 President Roosevelt submits his budget to the U.S. Congress. $100 billion of the $109 billion budget is identified with the war effort.

11/01/1944 660 heavy bombers of the U.S. 8th Air Force carry out attacks against industrial targets at Braunschweig, Magdeburg and Ascherleben

11/01/1945 U.S. troops establish a firm hold on the Luzon beachhead.

11/01/1945 British troops capture Laroche, 20 miles Northwest of Bastogne.

Kongo Otto
01-11-2005, 01:52 PM
10th January 1946

M/Sgt Vito R.Bertoldo
A Company 242nd InfRgt,42nd InfDiv.
was awarded with the
Medal of Honor for his combat actions
during 9th an 10th January 1945 at the Town of Hatten France.

01-11-2005, 05:50 PM
On this day (12th January) in 1943 on the Ostfront:

-The Red Army begins an offensive to restore land communications with the beseiged city of Leningrad.

-German Army Group A continues its withdrawal from the Caucasus to the the Kuban bridgehead.

On this day (12th January) in 1945:

-The Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front (under Koniev) launches a fresh offensive from its bridgehead across the Vistula river at Baranov.

Kongo Otto
01-12-2005, 12:51 AM
12th January 1943

Major(then Captain) Charles W.Davis 25th InfDiv was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Citation:For distinguishing himself conspicuousli by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy at Guadalcanal Island.

-HH- Beebop
01-12-2005, 06:09 AM
12 January, 1944
During "Operation Pointblank" 650 Allied bombers attack German aircraft plants in Halberstat, Brunswick and Ochersleben.

01-12-2005, 07:50 AM
On this day (12th January) in 1940 Winterwar:

Flygflottilj 19 (F19) went to action.

A combined strike against troops, columns and an airfield at M¤rk¤j¤rvi, 50km east, northeast of Kemij¤rvi, near the russian border. 2nd lieutenant Ian Iacobi achieved the first confirmed kill, which was a russian I15. Furthermore, 3 I15s parked on a frozen lake was destroyed by bombs and gunfire. The surprise attack was considered a success although it had its price. 3 B4 Harts were lost. two by air-to-air collision, and the third was shot down by 3 russian I16s

Salute to all F19 volunteers.

01-12-2005, 05:56 PM
On this day (13th January) in 1945 in the East:

-The Soviet 1st Belorussian Front (under Zhukov) begins an offenive toward Pillkallen in East Prussia.

-German troops of Army Group E complete their withdrawal from Greece and Albania.

01-13-2005, 12:30 AM
on 13th january 1940 Finnish troops circle a soviet infantrydivision north of lake Ladoka in Kitel¤. Soviet division will surrender in 3 weeks.

-HH- Beebop
01-13-2005, 07:16 AM
13 January, 1942
While flying an He280 jetfighter, a German test pilot becomes the first airman to use an ejection seat to escape a crash.


The first ejection seat was made by Heinkel, for the He 280. It was pneumatically powered, and accelerated the pilot upwards at between 7 and 9 gees.

The first use of an ejection seat was made by pilot Schenk, on 13-1-1943. He required it's use when the He 280, which was powered by two Argus pulse-jets that required a high forward speed to start up, refused to separate from the tow aircraft due to the cable release mechanism icing up. As a precaution, Schenk ejected and landed safely

01-13-2005, 07:40 AM

Very nice site at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/andrew.etherington/index.html

Day to day account of World War Two


August 25th, 1942

Great Britain:
London: The Duke of Kent, an RAF air commodore and the youngest brother of King George VI, has become the first member of the Royal Family to die on active service and perhaps the first to die in an air disaster. He was killed today when a Sunderland flying boat in which he was travelling crashed in the north of Scotland. An official announcement said that the Duke, attached to the staff of the inspector-general of the RAF, was on his way to Iceland, on duty.

A total of 14 people lost their lives when the big aircraft hit a hillside in misty conditions. Shepherds heard the engines cut and the sound of a crash, and saw a spurt of flame. The bodies were recovered at dawn today. One survivor was found wandering in the hills, burnt and shocked. He is Flight-Sergeant Andrew Jack, aged 21, of Grangemouth, the crew's rear gunner. The duke, who was born in 1902, served in the Royal Navy from 1916 to 1929 He left for medical reasons and started flying as a hobby a year later. He was married to Princess Marina of Greece. Their third child, Prince Michael, was born seven weeks ago.

USAAF 308th Fighter Squadron moves to Westhampnett, Sussex. (Jack McKillop)

Sloop HMS Whimbrel launched. Escort carrier HMS Trumpeter laid down.
Destroyer HMS Penylan commissioned. Destroyer HMCS Haida launched Newcastle-on-Tyne. (Dave Shirlaw)

France: German military service is made compulsory in Alsace-Lorraine.

Germany: U-903 laid down.
U-339 commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)

Greece: US Army Middle East Air Force B-24s attack the Corinth Canal.

USSR: Mozdok on the Terek River is the scene of heavy fighting.

Stalingrad: The battle for Stalingrad has begun. Paulus's Sixth Army reached the steep banks of the Volga, to the north of the city, two nights ago and it seems that the garrison formed by General Lopatin's army is in danger of being rolled up.

With the bridges over the Volga within artillery and mortar range, the Russians' problems of supply and reinforcement seem insurmountable. Rather than commit the army to costly street fighting, however, the Luftwaffe has been called in to deliver the coup de grace to the besieged city. For the last two nights von Richthofen's Luftlotte 4 has mounted the heaviest strikes since the first day of Barbarossa. He-111 and even Junkers Ju52 transports have been brought in to add their weight to the Stukas. Stalingrad has been blitzed, with 40,000 people killed by air raids.

Yet Stalingrad refuses to surrender under the hail of bombs. With the enemy at the gates of the city the regional party committee has proclaimed a state of siege today: "We shall never surrender the city of our birth to the depredations of the German invader. Each single one of us must apply himself to the task of defending our beloved town, our homes and our families. Let us barricade every street; transform every district, every house into an impregnable fortress.

U-209 and U-255 shelled a radio station at Cape Zhelania, Novaya Zemlya. (Dave Shirlaw)

Portuguese South Africa: Five USN nurses, who had been held as POWs by the Japanese, are repatriated to the diplomatic corps at Mozambique. The five, Lieutenants (jg) Leona Jackson, Lorraine Christiansen, Virginia Fogerty and Doris Yetter, under the command of Chief Nurse Marion Olds, had been captured on Guam on 10 December 1941. They continued caring for casualties at the U.S. Naval Hospital on Guam until 10 January 1942 when they were transported to Japan. Held for three months in the Zentsuji Prison on Shikoku Island, they were moved to the Eastern Lodge in Kobe on 12 March until being placed on the Swedish-America line ship SS Gripsholm and brought to Mozambique. (Jack McKillop)

New Guinea: IJA troops landed on Goodenough Island from Buna, last night. They are heading for a landing at Milne Bay, New Guinea. 7 Japanese landing barges bound for Milne Bay from Buna are stranded on Goodenough Island when USAAF P-40s of the Allied Air Force based at Milne Bay destroy all of them. P-40s also attack a convoy proceeding from New Ireland Island toward Milne Bay but are hampered by bad weather and fail to halt landings at 3 points east of Rabi during the night of 25/26 August. P-400 Airacobras hit the airfield and AA positions at Buna.(Jack McKillop)
DD HMAS Voyager (I) lost and demolished following grounding at Betano, East Timor (Daniel Ross)

Solomon Islands: The last act of the Battle of the Eastern Solomons is played out today. The convoy bearing elements of General Kawaguchi's 35th Brigade, under command of Admiral Tanaka in Jintsu, is turned back. The convoy, intended to reinforce Guadalcanal, is bombed with two transports, light cruiser Jintsu damaged and one destroyer, Mitsuki, sunk. Jintsu is damaged by a Marine SBD from Henderson Field, Admiral Tanaka is knocked unconcious in the explosion. Mitsuki is sunk during a level bombing by B-17s. The Japanese, realizing the cost of daylight naval operations within range of Henderson Field, turn to high speed destroyer runs at night for resupply efforts. These will become known as "The Tokyo Express".

The IJN andUSNaircraft carriers have retired but the Japanese invasion force sailing towards Guadalcanal is hit hard by 4 USMC and 3USNSBD Dauntlesses, and 4 USMC F4F Wildcats 125 mi (201 km) from the island at 0835 hours; a Marine SBD pilot hits the light cruiser HIJMS Jintsu and another damages the transport Boston Maru while aUSNSBD pilot mortally damages the large transport Kinryu Maru. At 1015 hours, 8 B-17s from Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Island sink the destroyer HIJMS Mutsuki as it is attempting to sink the damaged transport. In the afternoon,USNSBDs attack 2 transports and their 5 escorts as they retreat back to Rabaul. (Jack McKillop) Thus this battle ends as a clear victory, both tactical and strategic, for the US.

Japanese troops occupy Nauru Island in the Gilbert Islands and Goodenough Island in the D'Entrecasteaux Islands.

Aleutians: A US 11th Air Force photo reconnaissance B-24 Liberator flies over Kiska, Attu and Adak Islands, then turns back because of mechanical failure.

USA: Destroyer USS Gansevoort commissioned.
Escort carrier USS Sangamon commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)

Canada: Submarines HMCS Venturer and Telemachus laid down. Minesweeper HMCS Fort William commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)

Atlantic: U-130 sank SS Viking Star.
U-164 sank SS Stad Amsterdam in Convoy WAT-15.
U-558 sank SS Amakura in Convoy WAT-15.
U-176 damaged SS Empire Breeze in Convoy ON-122.
U-438 sank SS Empire Breeze & damaged SS Trolla in Convoy ON-122.
U-605 sank SS Katvaldis & SS Sheaf Mountain in Convoy ON-122.
U-604 sank SS Abbekerk. (Dave Shirlaw)

01-13-2005, 02:31 PM
On this day (14th January) in 1944 on the Ostfront:

The Battle of Narva, also known as the Battle of the European SS (because of the ammount of SS volunteer divisions present), begins. It begins with the Red Army starting an offensive against the lines of Army Group Nord (under von Küchler) south of Leningrad at Narva. From the Oranienbaum pocket, over 100,000 shells fell upon the divisions of the 3rd SS Panzer Corps, while the Leningrad Front attacked with 42 infantry divisions and 9 tank corps. The 3rd SS Panzer Corps is composed of the 9th and 10th Luftwaffe Field Divisions, the 11th SS "Nordland" Division, and the 4th SS "Nederland" Brigade.

01-13-2005, 02:35 PM
On this day (14th January) in 1945 in the East:

The Soviet 2nd Belorussian Front (under Rokossovsky) begins an offensive from its Narev bridgehead against Elbing in East Prussia.

-HH- Beebop
01-14-2005, 07:25 AM
14 January, 1943
US President Frankin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill attend the Casablanca Conference to plan the invasion of Europe.

01-14-2005, 03:51 PM
On this day... Letter to wife Lil [1/14/44]

01-14-2005, 04:01 PM
Interesting relic Woofiedog. Thanks

01-14-2005, 10:14 PM
On this day (15th January) in 1942 on the Ostfront:
Army Group Centre (von Kluge) evacuates the Kaluga sector and takes up winter positions 20 km further West. The threat to Moscow is lessened.

On this day (15th January) in 1943 on the Ostfront:
On the Leningrad front in Russia, the Red Army captures Velikije Luki in the Valdai Hills.

On this day (15th January) in 1945 in the East:
In its drive toward the Oder river, the Red Army captures Kielce in western Poland.

01-15-2005, 03:03 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif Found this Posting by...

Dan Reyes Henderson, NV

I was cleaning an old, 8 drawer, 16 inch tall tool box and found pasted to the drawer cover what appears to be the original specification sheet for the A20G Havoc bomber. The spec sheet has a diagram of the A-20G and carries the specifications for the wing assembly, tail assembly, fuselage assembly, and all of the other major components of the aircraft. It also has four names at the bottom of the document as if though signed for approval or whatever. It carries the name of <span class="ev_code_RED">(J. Noble - 1-15-43)</span>, Lazonbond (hard to make out)? - 1-15-43), (M. E. Lord - 1-7-43), and (Mr. Garner 02-26-43). The spec sheet also carries a station identification number of 5071885.

I am a school safety specialist(30 years), and not familiar with any vintage aircraft. My curiosity is begging to find someone who can help me elaborate on this very unusual find. I would appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks

Dan Reyes
Henderson, NV

11/14/2001 @ 07:41

Here the Link: http://aeroweb.brooklyn.cuny.edu/specs/douglas/a-20g.htm

-HH- Beebop
01-15-2005, 12:14 PM
15 January, 1945
Delayed from 12 August, 1944, 77 B-29 Superfortress's and 200 other aircraft of the US 14th Air Force finally carry out a heavy raid on Hankow, an industrial town and Japanese supply base in China.

-HH- Beebop
01-16-2005, 03:40 AM
16 January, 1941
Start of the "*Illustrious Blitz" as the Germans attempt to bomb the island of Malta into rubble.

01-16-2005, 08:01 AM
On this day... Carole Lombard was killed in a airplane crash in Nevada when returning from a war bond tour in 1942. Just before boarding the plane in Indiana, she addressed her fans, saying "Before I say goodbye to you all, come on and join me in a big cheer! V for Victory!" President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who admired her patriotism, declared her the first woman killed in the line of duty during the war and posthumously awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


Link: http://www.av.qnet.com/~carcomm/wreck16.htm

Her last film was in 1942, when Carole played Maria Tura in TO BE OR NOT TO BE. She did not live to see its release. Finished in 1941 at the time the US entered World War II, Carole went home to Indiana for a war bond rally. On January 16, 1942, Carole, her mother, and 20 other people were flying back to California when the plane went down outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. All perished. The highly acclaimed comedy actress was dead at the age of 33 and few have been able to match her talents since.

01-16-2005, 08:32 AM
Also this month in 1945...



Office of the Combat Intelligence Officer

APO 520, NY, NY

31 January 1945


During January, the squadron did all in its power to supplement its previous destruction of vital German installations, but the weather proved itself too formidable a foe. On twenty-four days out of the month, the operations flight board contained a schedule for a planned mission against the Axis. Yet, on only seven occasions did the big Liberators take to the sky; and on one of these complete cloud coverage of the target forced them to return the bombs to the base. Of the six times that explosives were released over enemy territory, twice it was necessary to attack an alternate in lieu of the primary objective. During the thirty-one day period, thirty-five squadron aircraft were over enemy targets to drop a total of sixty-two tons of bombs. Of the six objectives attacked, three were in Austria, two in Italy, and one in Yugoslavia. On the many days on which combat flying was impossible, training flights were scheduled whenever local weather conditions permitted. New crews were oriented with the terrain surrounding the field and were checked out on combat procedure.

January 20th was an ill-fated day for the squadron. Lt. Yancy€s ship was seen to blow up over Linz, Austria and no men were observed parachuting from the stricken aircraft. Also on that date, Lt. McMillen ran out of fuel while circling the field for a landing and crashed near the base. His navigator, F/O Tenner, suffered two broken legs and internal injuries, and several days later died at the 34th Field Hospital.

Seven new combat crews were assigned to the organization during January, swelling the total number of aerial teams to twenty-nine. Lt. Hughes€ complete crew and part of Lt. Marshall€s crew, dropped from the rolls as MIA, returned to the squadron from Yugoslavia. Five flying officers and eight aircrew enlisted men, having completed their tour of duty in this theater, began their journey to the zone of the interior.

Four new silver Liberators filled vacancies on squadron xxxxxxxx during the month. This more than compensated for the two airplanes lost on January 20th.

In addition to the new combat crews, two officers and four enlisted men joined the squadron in January. Capt. Thackston came down from the 49th Bomb Wing to assume the duties of Assistant Operations Officer, and Lt. Williams augmented the list of €œmickey operators€. First Sergeant Seaton was assigned from Group Headquarters to take over the duties of number one enlisted man of the organization. Pvt. Bonaccorso, a truck driver, and Pvt. Maddaway, a clerk typist, also made their home with the 765th Bombardment Squadron. S/Sgt. Hines, a gunnery instructor, was transferred into the squadron and placed on Detached Service with Group Headquarters.

On the other side of the ledger, six injured aircrew members and the ailing ground echelon men were transferred to the detachment of Patients during the month. Capt. Pogue, squadron engineering officer, was placed on duty with Group Headquarters; and Lt. Blake, having completed his thirty-five missions, volunteered for service with the Mediterranean Air Transport Service. M/Sgt. Nyquist, squadron technical inspector, became the first man in the organization to be returned to the United States on rotation. He had many months of overseas service prior to his assignment to the squadron. S/Sgt. Buelette, a gunnery instructor, was transferred to the 766th Bombardment Squadron.

The excellent work of numerous individuals in the squadron was recognized in the form of promotions during the month. Squadron Commander, Robert E. Baker, received his majority; Lts. Platt, Cooper and Pogue €œmade€ captain; Lts. Panagiotopoules, Welton and Whalen donned silver bars in place of gold; F/O St. John and 1st/Sgt. Pegg were commissioned as 2nd Lts.; S/Sgts. Liebhart and Van Nostrand passed the board and were awarded a second €œrocker€; seven sergeants became €œfirst three graders€; eleven corporals added another stripe; and four privates earned their first chevron. One corporal was reduced to the grade of private during January for insubordination.

Several changes in the duties of staff officers occurred during the month. Lt. Whitlock became engineering officer of the squadron. Newly commissioned Lt. Pegg was assigned duty as supply officer and transport officer, relieving Lt. Whitlock of the former responsibility and Lt. Lanigan of the latter. Lt. Taylor became mess officer following the transfer of Lt. Tyson to the Detachment of Patients.

Improvements to the squadron area were undertaken at an even increasing rate. The orderly room moved into a tufi block building across from the officers€ club. The dispensary opened for business in renovated offices where the original welding shop was located. The officers€ club took over the old dispensary and made it into a clock room and, at the same time, made a new entrance to the club. Work was continued on the new mess hall for the enlisted men. Sidewalks made from chipped tufi block were built throughout the tent areas of the squadron.

The supply room issued hoods to the new type field jacket to the men, and those entitled to them received a cluster to the unit citation ribbon.

Various phases of ground training took place during January. Major Baker oriented the new crews with combat procedure and acquainted them with squadron policies. Intelligence lectures were delivered by Capt. Platt, and classes in aircraft recognition were held. Capt. Nathan conducted a series of sex information classes. Lt. Camo explained the use and care of personal equipment to the aircrews. All of the men had their gas masks checked and were marched through the gas chamber. Two aircrew officers went on detached service with the 15th Air Force Headquarters in Bari for special schooling.

Once again a barbershop was established in the squadron, this time in the enlisted men€s day room. Two Italian barbers were procured to serve both officers and enlisted men.

There was a noticeable decline in the eagerness of men to attend rest camp with the wintry weather curtailing vacation activities there. However, quotas were filled and twelve officers and eighteen enlisted men spent seven days of relaxation on the Isle of Capri. Fifteen other enlisted men rested for a week at San Spirito. Four officers and eight enlisted men flew to Calro, Egypt for a five-day stay.

The number of hospital patients during January was very low considering that it was a month of bitter cold weather. Only two officers and six enlisted men contracted severe enough ailments to be hospitalized. Two new cases of venereal disease were reported during the month.

One enlisted man was court martialed for AWOL during the thirty-one day period. He was sentenced to six months of hard labor at the 15th Air Force Stockade.

The usual amount of entertainment existed for the men. Fourteen motion pictures were shown during January, and a USO unit gave a performance at the Group theater. The bars in both the enlisted men€s and officers€ clubs continued to do a big business on nights when no movie was presented.

As the second month of 1945 approached, the eyes of the squadron were centered on the Eastern front and the spectacular Russian winter offensive. As Red Army tanks and artillery traveled at a rapid pace along the road to Berlin, everyone wondered just how much longer Germany would hold out. Would the Nazis keep on fighting should Berlin fall? Would the shifting of German troops from the west to the east permit the American, British, and French forces to break through Hitler€s West Wall? These were the questions in the minds of all as January came to an end, and interest in news sheets and radio broadcasts of the latest developments in the war reached a new high.

-HH- Beebop
01-17-2005, 02:03 PM
17 January, 1942/USAAF
B-17's from Malang, staging through Kendari, hit Langoan A/F and ships in Menado Bay.

Hawaiian AF
Aircraft unsuccessfully attack submarines in Hawaiian area. B-17's of TG 8.9 proceed from Palmyra to Canton Island.

01-17-2005, 11:37 PM
On this day 1-18-42...


D: 1-18-42
YB: 1921
T: 0320
Tn: 8,206
Pos: 35.25 N / 75.23 W
Dr: 15 ft. 6 in.
Ow: Marine Transport Lines
C: none, ballast
Op: C.D. Mallory & Co., Inc.
P: steam
M: John M. Dodge
S: 10
A: unarmed

On 18 January, the Malay departed Philadelphia en route to Port
Arthur, Texas, in water ballast. The Malay, showing only dim
navigational lights, headed south in an unprotected convoy of five
ships. Ten miles from the Wimble Shoals Lighted Whistle Buoy, the
U-123 (Hardegen) attacked. As the U-123 advanced on the surface, her
gun crew fired at the tanker's bridge. The shots, however, did only
superficial damage. The submarine fired a total of ten rounds and
struck the Malay five times from about 700 yards. The second shell
destroyed a lifeboat, and the other three struck in the crew's
quarters, killing one man. Hardegen, thinking he had fatally wounded
the ship, left the burning tanker in search of other victims. He
found and torpedoed the Latvian freighter Ciltvaira and later
returned to finish the Malay. The passing freighter Scania,
meanwhile, had come to help the Malay and passed firefighting
equipment on board. The crew of eight officers and twenty-six men
got the fn:e under control and again got the ship under way. The
U-123 returned at 0530 and fired its last torpedo, hitting the #7
starboard side tank, just aft of amidships. The crew manned their
boat stations and launched three lifeboats. The # 1 boat capsized,
drowning four men, and the other two boats with fourteen men circled
the ship for about an hour before returning to the tanker. Boats
from the Chicamacomico Coast Guard Station removed the dead and
badly injured. The Malay got under way and arrived in Hampton Roads,
Virginia, on 19 January.

The figures for the ship's complement conflict within the sources.
WACR; WCSR; RWCS; WJ; Oannon, pp. 258-65; Rohwer, p. 74, places the
attack at 35.40 N 75.20 W; War Action Casualties, p. 5.

01-17-2005, 11:43 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif Also on this day... Gary Cooper in the movie Sergeant York came out.


-HH- Beebop
01-18-2005, 06:47 AM
18 January, 1943
North Africa

The Germans counter attack in Tunisia. They gain ground against the Free French, but are repulsed by British forces.

Kongo Otto
01-18-2005, 03:13 PM
18th january 1940
Germany started socalled "Eutanasie"Program which means all mentally disabled persons in Hospitals are killed.

18th January 1942
Generalfeldmarschall von Bock takes over Command from Heeresgruppe Süd at the Eastern Front.

-HH- Beebop
01-19-2005, 07:04 AM
19 January, 1945
Marianas B-29's first inflict damage on Japan during a raid on the Kawasaki aircraft and enigne factory outside Tokio.

(When I first saw this I said to myself, "Self, this wasn't the first damage inflicted on Japan! What about the Dolittle raid?" Then I realized, this was the first damage inflicted by B-29's on Japan.)

01-19-2005, 09:51 PM
19 January 1941
On this day, British forces in East Africa, acting on information obtained by breaking the Italians' coded messages, invade Italian-occupied Eritrea-a solid step towards victory in Africa.

01-20-2005, 12:56 AM
Launched on 1-20-43... <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">SS-289, U.S.S. Capelin</span>

SS-289, U.S.S. Capelin
Launched on 20 January 1943 at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, U.S.S. Capelin was the fifth submarine to be built in the Balao class. She was commissioned on 4 June 1943, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Elliot E. Marshall, who would be her only commanding officer.

After completing trials, Capelin departed New London on 3 September 1943, for duty with Submarine Force, Southwest Pacific, out of Fremantle, Australia. She set out on her first war patrol on 30 October. She was credited with sinking two enemy ships, for a total of 7,400 tons. Postwar, JANAC reduced this to a single ship and 3,127 tons. Capelin concluded her patrol at Darwin on 15 November, where repairs were made to correct problems discovered in her short first war patrol.

Departing Darwin on 17 November 1943 for her second war patrol. Her only contact after that date was on 2 December 1943, by the growler underwater phone with U.S.S. Bonefish (SS-223). This was, however, only a tentative contact, as Bonefish used Marshall's nickname, "Steam," in making the contact, which was acknowledged. Capelin did not surface following the contact, and no further contacts were made.

On 9 December 1943, the Navy broke radio silence in an attempt to contact Capelin, but received no response. She was reported lost with all hands. No definite reason was ever established for her loss. During her first patrol, Capelin had experienced problems with her conning tower hatch, one of her bow planes, and her radar. The latter was unlikely to cause an operational loss, but either the hatch or problems with the planes were potentially fatal if they had not be properly repaired. The only enemy attack on a U.S. submarine in the appropriate area was on 23 November 1943. The Japanese did not report sinking the submarine, and the contact with Bonefish in December makes it unlikely that the Japanese attack proved fatal, so the actual cause of her loss remains subject to speculation

01-20-2005, 01:05 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif Also on this date 1-20-43... all though not for the first time.
MAIL CALL #21 Starring Bing Crosby: (1-20-43) w Alice Faye, Tommy Dorsey, Cesar Romero, Chet Huntley played on the Armed Forces Radio Services.

-HH- Beebop
01-20-2005, 07:07 AM
Just a "thank you" to everyone for participating. There is some great stuff being posted. Keep it coming.
************************************************** ****************
20 January, 1944
Heaviest and most concentrated attack during the "Battle of Berlin" when hundreds of Halifax's and Lancaster's drop over 2,300 tons of bombs.

-HH- Beebop
01-21-2005, 06:56 AM
21 January, 1941
British and Australian forces breach the defenses at Tobruk

21 January, 1942
The Japanese bomb New Guinea for the first time.
The Luftwaffe, with 400 aircraft available, begins a series of raids against London and ports in southern England.

21 January, 1944
The largest Luftwaffe raid on Britain for some time, with 90 planes being spotted over Southeast England during the €˜Little Blitz€. The RAF sends 648 bombers to Magdeburg, but loses 55 for just 4 Luftwaffe fighters.

21 January, 1945
The US 8th Air Force launches another heavy attack (over 1,000 bombers) against Nürnberg.

01-21-2005, 10:09 AM
1940 21st January.

In the Pacific... The Japanese liner Asamu Maru is stopped by the cruiser HMS Gloucester off of Honshu and 21 German technicians are removed.

In the North Atlantic... All 175 crew are lost when German U-22 sinks the British destroyer HMS Exmouth.

The Winter War... Finnish Blenheim bombers raid Kronstadt naval base, near Leningrad. Soviet aircraft bomb Oulu, in northwestern Finland.

From the Vatican... Pope Pius XII condemns Nazi rule in Poland in a radio broadcast to the USA which emphasizes the terror campaign against Catholic clergy.

In London... Britain rejects American protests concerning the examination of mail carried aboard US merchant ships.

In Britain... The Duke of Windsor (who, as Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936) takes leave after a five month tour of duty with the British Expeditionary Force in France.

In China... Two former associates of Wang Ching-wei, head of the Japanese sponsored Chinese government in Nanking, publish a text of an agreement, signed by Wang, giving Japan total political and economic dominion in China. Wang issues a strenuous denial.

In the Mediterranean... The Italian liner Orazio catches fire off Barcelona (104 dead). French destroyers rescue survivors.

01-21-2005, 10:21 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kongo Otto:
18th january 1940
Germany started socalled "Eutanasie"Program which means all mentally disabled persons in Hospitals are killed.


**** http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

01-22-2005, 01:22 AM
On this day 1-21-44...

The 381st Bomb Group - flew a mission over St. Adrien, France.

Also in Italy there were amphibious landing at Anzio south of Rome.

Betty in 1944 *not taken on this date though*

-HH- Beebop
01-22-2005, 11:21 AM
22 January, 1940
Destroyer Exmouth torpedoed off Wick, Scotland by U-22; all hands killed.

Tobruk surrenders to British and Australian troops who capture 25,000 Italians, along with 208 guns and 87 tanks. Combined British and Australian losses were about 450. The British government now orders Wavells XIII Corps to capture Benghazi.

The Destroyer HMS Hyperion sunk by mine off Cape Bon.

01-22-2005, 02:41 PM
January 22 1942

On the Eastern Front... In Leningrad, the mass evacuation of civilians begins via the "ice road" across Lake Ladoga. (About 440,000 people are transported out of Leningrad between January 22nd and April 15th, 1942.) Meanwhile, Soviet forces recapture Uvarovo, 32km west of Mozhaisk.

In North Africa... The German offensive gathers pace taking both Antelat and Agedabia.

From Germany... The Axis troops in Africa are formally renamed Panzer Army Africa.

-HH- Beebop
01-23-2005, 02:29 AM
23 January, 1942
Japanese troops make landings at Rabaul on New Britain and at Kavieng on New Ireland. They also make a simultaneous landing on Bougainville Island in the Solomons. In the Dutch East Indies, the Japanese land at Kendari in Celebes. Australia appeals to Britain and the US for immediate reinforcements.

General Cavallero, C in C, Italian High Command and Field Marshall Albert Kesselring, German C in C, South, fly to Rommel's advanced HQ. The Italians want Rommel to stop his offensive and withdraw to his start line, but Rommel rejects this demand. The Italians therefore refuse to allow their troops to advance any further east, but undeterred, Rommel presses on with just the Afrika Korps.

23 January, 1943
The Eighth Army triumphantly enters Tripoli. The Vice-Governor of Libya and prefect of Tripolitania offer a formal surrender.

-HH- Beebop
01-24-2005, 05:50 AM
24 January, 1941
General Cunningham's 'Southern Force' invades Italian Somaliland from Garissa and Bura in Kenya.

24 January, 1942
German troops of Army Group Centre, recapture Sukhinichi near Kaluga.

01-24-2005, 10:51 PM
25 January 1942
On this day, Thailand, a Japanese puppet state, declares war on the Allies.

-HH- Beebop
01-25-2005, 06:54 AM
25 January, 1942
The US enquiry in to the disaster at Pearl Harbour finds Admiral Kimmel, then the C-in-C of the US Fleet, guilty of dereliction of duty. A court martial is announced later.
(one of the worst shaftings to a military commander IMO)

25 January 1943
Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt end the Casablanca Conference with their announcement of the demand for the unconditional surrender of Germany and Italy.

25 January, 1944
Australian advances in New Guinea are announced, with the Japanese cleared from the €˜Shaggy Line€.
Night-fighter ace, Major Prinz zu SaynWittgenstein who claimed 83 victories is killed.

01-25-2005, 09:09 PM
25 January 1942

The first AAF pur sq (17th Pur Sq), (Prov) under Maj Charles A Sprague, arrives in Java with 13 P-40's flown from Australia.

01-25-2005, 11:28 PM
After joining the 80th and before 1/26/42 when the 80th boarded the troop train...

80th Fighter Squadron

by Frank Cicerello
"I had just finished reading the latest 8th Fighter Group Association newsletter and decided to see what memorabilia I had while I was with the 80th Fighter Squadron in the States and overseas during World War II. I had kept a diary in part of my service experience, it is not a daily diary, but only excerpts of events that happened. So I decided to look and see what might be useful. Thus notations from diary are as follows:

While being a member of the 60th Pursuit Squadron at Mitchel Field prior to Pearl Harbor, I was sent to Scott Field for the Radio Operator and Mechanics school and upon graduation in November 1941 returned to Mitchel Field and was temporarily put in the 91st Air Base Group and then transferred to the 80th Fighter Squadron they were forming on 11/22/41.

After joining the 80th and before 1/26/42 when the 80th boarded the troop train, normal army life continued. As I had graduated from the radio school, I spent my time on the line maintaining the radios on our P-400s.

On my first Christmas away from home, I had a pass to go into Hempstead, the closest city near the airfield. It was Christmas Eve and I wandered throughout the town just looking at the beautiful Christmas lights. On Sunday December 7, 1941, 1 had a pass to go into town. As I started to go through the gate, I was stopped by the guard on duty and was told that Pearl Harbor was being attacked by the Japanese and that all passes were canceled and that I was to return to my squadron.

A few nights later, the whole barracks were awakened sometime after midnight. We all had to line up in front of our bunks. An officer and the first sergeant asked all the men in every other bunk to go back to their bunks. Those left standing were told to pack up their gear and to be ready to be shipped out. We never did know where they were sent but rumors later had it that it was possibly the Philippines. Shortly afterwards we were informed that our squadron would be leaving for Australia and until 1/26/42 we spent our time packing up all our equipment.

Between December 7th and our sailing we had a general meeting one day and our Co and first sergeant asked if there were any men from Pennsylvania that were deer hunters. Those of us who were sent to the armory to unpack some old Springfield rifles, clean them up, and be ready to use them if necessary. Slit trenches had been dug near the end of the runway nearest the ocean. We were told that we would be the front line defenders for a possible surprise attach from the German U-boats that were operating off our coast. This never happened but ships were lost.

On January 26, 1942, we left for San Francisco by troop train from Mitchel Field, New York. I remember the long boring ride, eating on the train, and stopping occasionally for exercises while crossing the country.

They assigned two men to the lower berth and one non-com to the upper berth. The two men in the lower berth, which I was one of them, were told to sleep head to toe. After a few nights, the odor was not very pleasant, especially for me, as the guy who was next to me never changed his socks for the duration of the trip. So I remember I was very glad the trip was over.

The food was not too great. It consisted mostly of food boiled in large vats that were installed into an empty boxcar which had been converted into a kitchen. I do not remember ever eating in the dining car. At least the enlisted men did not. Maybe the officers did, but I never did know.

As all troop train trips are dull or boring, we spent our time either reading or playing cards. It certainly was not like in the movies. There was no guitar playing or singing. the conversation was how good or bad it was in Australia, and if this was a one-way trip. I think most of us were homesick but such is life, and we all got over it. The excitement was ever present. I had never been out of my small Pennsylvania town, so it was a big adventure to me and I looked forward to seeing how the rest of the world was.

On 2/12/42, we sailed on the USAT Maui from San Francisco. I remember staying on an island getting shots in preparation for the trip, and lining up for our shots. While passing through the barracks, I remember seeing many GIs laying on beds in the rooms off to the side of the hallway. Many were really affected by the reaction from them. Fortunately I was not one of them. While sailing to the island I got my first glimpse of the famous Penal prison Alcatraz.

We called the Maui the banana boat, as we had heard it had hauled bananas between the states and Hawaii. Bunks had been installed below decks 4-high which were made of netting like sailors slept on. There wasn't much room between them, but we had to put our B Bags and muzzet bag there and sleep there too. I remember you couldn't sleep on your side, only on your back. Later on it became so hot down below, we decided to make up a bed on the deck. The bed was our raincoat for a blanket in case it rained and our life jacket for a pillow. The last 2 weeks we spent on deck, one had to be careful leaving your spot for fear of stepping on your buddy.

The only entertainment on board was card playing and the navy men shooting their guns for target practice. Halfway through the trip the food freezer broke down and they started to give out free ice cream. Funny, but I don't remember them ever serving it for the first part of the trip. But from that day on they only served two meals a day. Breakfast consisted of coffee, boiled egg, toast, and oatmeal. But with no milk on board we knew of, we used canned evaporated milk mixed with water and lots of sugar and managed to eat it and later even enjoyed it. I also remember one time we were standing in line going down the stairs to the dining room, some Navy waiters were carrying some real goodies for the officers mess. They stopped going by us after we started raiding the trays as they went by us. We also heard there were some fresh oranges below deck that were being saved for the officers, so one dark night we went down to the food storage area and helped ourselves. They never did know or find out who took them. I remember the chow lines being so long (3,000 men on board) that after having breakfast, we would form another dinner line in order to make sure we got the full meal and the best of what they were serving.

On 2/21/42, we crossed the equator and everyone that could- be caught by the sailors would be initiated into Kin Neptune's Court. Initiation consisted in being hosed down with sea water and your head being shaved. Somehow, I still have my certificate of initiation in the King Neptune's court and which I finally put into my scrapbook I just finished. A lot of the men were very seasick, and the ships kept changing their courses to thwart off the enemy submarines we had heard were chasing us.

The showers below deck used only sea water and it was impossible to get lather out of our regular soap. We had to use special soap.

On 3/5/42, we anchored outside of the channel of Brisbane, Australia, the Kangaroo Country. What a relief it was to see land again after twenty-one days of sailing on the high seas. At 7:30 AM on March 6, 1942, we docked on the mainland. The Australians were glad to see us and we piled onto trucks and moved to the Ascot Racetrack grounds, where they had pitched tents over wooden floors. As there were no beds, we had to wait for army cots to be brought in.

On 3/7/42, I remember trying to learn about the Australian currency of pounds, shillings, and pence; their paper money reminded me of cigar coupons. We all were wondering when we would be shipped up to the combat area, but no one seemed to know what was going on.

On 3/10/42, we had a payday and we were paid in Australian money and we were allowed to send cables back home which surprised us. We also got passes into town. Transportation in town was by streetcars, called trams, and the town closed down at 11 PM and all day on Sundays. My first impression of the Aussie women, was that they were about twenty years behind the American women. They were still wearing real long dresses, used no makeup, and lacked good dental care. However they sure changed quickly with the arrival and the help of the Americans.

On 3/15/42, we moved to I believe Archer Field, just outside of Brisbane and into wooden barracks. After this normal Army life continued. On 3/20/42, I was assigned as a telephone operator as we had no radios to work on or maintain and very few airplanes, but first we had to lay the telephone lines.

On 3/31/42, we moved to Lowood Airfield, about 100 miles from the city. I remember I elected to drive one of the trucks rather than ride in the back and sit on the wooden benches. All the trucks were equipped with speed governors so forty miles per hour was our maximum speed. We had been told we had to protect Brisbane from the Japs. We now had P-400 airplanes to maintain. Also we heard that the 35th & 36th Squadrons were moving to Port Moresby, New Guinea. We were badly understaffed and without enough planes or equipment to make us really effective. We could not understand where all the planes and equipment were going to.

On 4/15/42, the first promotion list was posted for the enlisted men and we were advised that we would get an extra 20% of our pay for overseas duty. I had made corporal that day. Started working on the line as a radio mechanic at Lowood and was in charge of a flight of about 15 planes with two men under me to help maintain the radios. A Private Pinkerton was one of the men, the other I do not recall his name. I also was put in charge of the teletype machine as I had made the corporal list on that promotion list just posted.

On Easter Sunday we all went to the Sunday services in the town of Lowood. The town had about 10 homes and after the services the Priest took our pictures. I still have my copy. It was a nice group picture.

On 4/30/42, we had another payday and several of us rented horses from a nearby stable and I remember the one I was riding took the bit in his mouth and ran away with me holding on for dear life!

On 5/2/42, they posted the Air Mechanics rating lists. I had passed the radio operator and mechanics test with the highest test rating of anyone in-the squadron, and also had passed-the control tower operator test which I took on the spur of the moment back in the states. I was hoping for one of the ratings which would mean more pay. I eventually received a 2nd class

rating. On 10/9/42, at twelve mile strip in Port Moresby I was working on the line as a radio mechanic doing preventative maintenance.

On 11/1042, we had an air raid scare, as an unidentified plane flew over the strip at night. The searchlights could not pick up the Jap plane.

On 11/14/42, the rest of us from the 80th Squadron flew by transport to Milne Bay, New Guinea. This airfield was at the edge of the bay of water. The area was filled with coconut trees and plenty of aborigines. The airstrip was called the Three Mile strip. As the area had just been cleaned up of the Japs, there was still the stench of the dead from the nearby Jap cemetery. I remember the CO and his staff sitting around a circle of men on the ground negotiating with the aborigines and their chief to built us some grass shacks. The negotiations was in the form of canned beef, or bully beef. The shacks were to be built with palm leaves with thatch roofs.

On 11/17/429 during the day we had our first sight of three Jap planes that flew overhead at a very high altitude. They were not contested by us. On 11/29/42, a Sunday, our first bomb raid hit us at about 2:40 AM. One to three bombers, maybe Jap Bettys. They hit the next strip to us and caused a lot of excitement.

On 12/5/42, we had another air raid at 4:00 AM. We heard two planes before the alarm went off and they missed our strip again. On 12/10/42, another air raid that night. They liked to come at us at night whenever there was a full moon to see us.

On 12/17/42, we had more air raids that night. Usually at midnight, and 2:00 and 4:30 AM. I remember all of us wished we would move our camp which was at the end of the air strip and in direct line with the path of any bombs.

On 12/25/42, being Christmas, the Navy must have gotten us some special food for our big meal. We also traded and bought some booze and we had one heck of a party that day. For entertainment that day and other days, it was a constant pinochle game. We played for cartons of cigarettes which had been given to us from some agency. I also remember eagerly waiting for letters from home and any kind of reading material. We use to sit under the wings of the planes where it was cooler and shadier reading anything we could get our hands on. I remember always wanting something cold to drink, and we devised a scheme which was to tie a piece of wire on our canteen and hang it on the pet **** screw under the plane's gas tank and let the gasoline drip on the canteen. The instant evaporation on the metal canteen acted as refrigeration and it made the water colder. The pet **** was used to drain the water off the gas tanks which would collect during the hot days and cool nights.

The only other time I remember a good meal was the time that a native cow wondered through our camp and someone shoot it. What a meal we had, meat for the next three days. I remember seeing the cook running after the cow and waving his knives and waving his arms like mad to stop the cow. Breakfast usually was powdered eggs and ham, coffee, and toast each day. One time I remember seeing what, I thought was milk at the end of the line and told them to fill up my canteen cup and started to drink what I thought was milk down fast so I could get a refill. What a terrible taste as it turned out to be powdered milk.

On 1/15/43, another promotion list was posted and I made sergeant that day. On 1/17/43, we had our biggest air raid to date. They hit us with 24 bombers and Zeros. There was a mixup on the orders as to whether only the anti-aircraft guns were to be used or if our fighter planes would be scrambled. I counted only two bursts being fired. When the Japs saw no other firing and no enemy interception, the planes dropped so low that I remember standing dumbfounded and I could see the bomb-bay doors opening and the bombs falling out. When they started hitting the ground, it sounded like some giant's footsteps coming at me. All hell broke loose. As there was no opposition the Jap planes kept coming in at us time and time again. The raid lasted over two hours or so. It was almost the last of me I thought, but I remember hitting a slit trench near me and fell on top of some other guys. I guess I was so fascinated about the whole event that I kept standing up there like a fool and watching the bombs falling. I remember also something landing on top of me or another person falling on me, I never did know which. Whatever it was did not move. One guy was yelling "Let me get my A- in, let me get my A- in!" and I thought how comical it was. Afterwards I remember having a very painful backache.

The Japs had made direct hits on and destroyed two B-17s, one B-24, one P-39, and two Lockheed Hudsons, over 10,000 gallons of gas. Ammunition was exploding like mad from the ammo dumps nearby that had been hit, and kept exploding for a long time afterwards. Runways were damaged and shrapnel was flying all over the place. When the metal mesh runways were hit the pieces of the metal runway became like jagged pieces of shrapnel. They must have been using what we called Daisy Cutters. I remember seeing shrapnel go right through a truck engine, and saw that the piece of shrapnel had the words USA stamped on it. So I figured the Japs had got all our pre-war scrap metal and gave it back to us as bombs.

After the raid was over, we heard that one bomber was shot down. We also heard that the anti-aircraft gun crew was told not to fire as the fighter planes would intercept, but that the fighter planes were told that the anti-aircraft would fire and for them not to intercept. Thus confusion added to the events. I guess that is why only two bursts by the guns were heard. It was some experience laying there helpless. We had rifles, but had not yet-been issued bullet clips. When we first arrived in New Guinea each man was issued a 45 caliber pistol, but later had to turn them in for use by the infantry. I remember one time I was posted for guard duty at the ammo and gas dump and had to open a case of ammunition in order to see if the rifle was working. As I had used an old army rifle back in Pennsylvania for bear and deer hunting, I was familiar with its operation. I had never been tested at the rifle range during boot camp. Right after Pearl Harbor, the first sergeant asked for any deer hunters from Pennsylvania and we were issued rifles and we were used to protect the east coast from any submarine attacks which they expected but never came. The had dug slit trenches near the airfield and we were sent there. The rifles we used had been packed up in grease since World War I and had to be stripped down completely and cleaned thoroughly, before they could be used and even handled. Later on after I left the 80th and started flying as a Radio Operator and Gunner I did get some practice in firing 30 and 50 caliber machine guns. Also, back in the states I had the opportunity to be tested on the firing range and scored expert in the rifle and marksmanship with the 45 caliber pistol.

After the air raid, we counted between 150-200 bombs that had dropped on our position. The camp was practically demolished and had to be re-built. I remember looking into the bomb craters and thinking that a 21 ton truck would easily fit into the hole.

On 1/18/43, we had another alert at 2:00 AM, and another at 5:00 AM but only one aircraft came over and another alert at 12:00 noon with two Japs passing over. We figured they really were out to get us good.

On 1/19/43, we had another raid at 9:00 AM. Several bombers dropped a lot of bombs on us and then another alert was sounded and back to the slit trenches we went. On 1/20/43, there were no raids that day, but an alert was sounded at noontime. We were getting plenty of exercise jumping in and out of the slit trenches.

On 1/21/43, I was assigned the job of reporting unusual activities down on the airstrip. A slit trench was prepared off to the side near the middle of the runway, and I installed a transmitter and receiver radio set to report to headquarters any unusual activities. The installation included a PE75 power generator for the required power. That night, when the air raid started and when the bombs started to hit near my trench, the shock would knock out the generator and I would have to crawl out and wind the **** rope around the starting reel to re-start it. This happened more than once, I heard yelling and strange voices that seemed to me to be Japanese. Flares were being shot up in air like mad and here I was trying to report over the radio what was happening, being stopped in the middle of a transmission to have to crawl out and restart the generator.

The first raid lasted on hour and forty minutes. Another raid started and 12:00 AM and another at 2:30 AM. They dropped mostly 500 pound demolition bombs. The raid knocked out our bombers that were located there and disabled three fighters. It was the worst air-raid to date since the January 17th raid and the closest for me. While running back from restarting the generator during the raid, one blast nearby threw me back into the trench and hurt my back again.

It was impossible to finish the job of reporting as I could not get the generator restarted again, so the headquarters man and I jumped in our jeep and took off back to the squadron headquarters to finish our reporting and also to report the peculiar activity we had heard and witnessed. Whatever became of our information I never did find out. I do remember that our jeep stalled in the small river that separated the airstrip and our camp. We couldn't restart it and had to leave it there and run the rest of the way to the camp headquarters. It was no fun sitting in the middle of the runway and in the center of the parked aircraft. We figured there were at least twelve bombers and probably Jap bombers of the Betty class. Total air-raid time was three hours and forty minutes which seemed like a lifetime.

On 1/22/43 we had another raid but the bombs hit the next strip. We later heard that some Australians were killed. The Japs made three passes over us but missed our strip in the dark.

On 1/23/43 another alert was sounded, but no planes came over us that time. However after this raid it was decided to move our camp to another location a little further from the airstrip and not in a direct line with the strip. I never could figure out why they put the camp at the end of the runway. I'll admit it didn't take long to get to the line, but all the Japs had to do was come in from the bay end, lay their eggs, and continue dropping them onto our camp. There was only a small creek or river separating the end of the runway and our camp. This time we set up our camp off to the side of the strip and at the opposite side from the ammo and gas dump.

On 1/24/43 we had another raid at 3:00 AM. We did send up three P-38s to intercept. The bombers dropped three bombs on our area. When they hit our metal runways, it made projectiles out of the jagged pieces of the metal and the force of the blast would drive the jagged pieces right through a-six inch tree.

On 2/5/43 the squadron moved back to Mareeba, Australia, the northern-most part of the mainland for rest and recovery. My back and legs were bothering me considerably and I figured I must have been hurt more than I realized during the air raids. While there I started working as a radio operator. We had set up as a base unit and were sending intelligence messages to the front and rear echelons. I had a crypto man decoding and coding the messages for me to send and receive. We got a pass into the small town. It was a small country town but with real friendly people. There were some girls there and they put on a dance for us. I remember one of the first things I did at arriving at the camp was to get a young boy to go into the town and get me some ice cream if they had it. He brought back a pitcher full of it and it was the darndest tasting ice cream I ever tasted. It was made of sour cream, but boy it was cold and refreshing, something I had not had in a long time.

On 2/8/43, we got another pass to go into the town and we went to another place called Atherton where they put on another dance for us and believe it or not I met a Red Cross girl from Philadelphia, Penna. Guess it was a small world after all.

On 2/19/43, I came down with a bad case of malaria fever and my back started getting worse. I remember laying on my cot deep in self-pity. On 2/21/43, I had another attack, became delirious and could not get out of my cot. On 2/25/43 I went on sick leave and was admitted to the 2nd Station Hospital in Mareeba with one of the worse cases of malaria they had to date.

On 3/18/43 was discharged, but was back in the hospital in the afternoon with another attack. On 4/6/43 was transferred to the 12th Station Hospital in Townsville to check out my back and leg that started bothering me again. We traveled by train to Townsville by the Australian small-gauge railroad. This was about the most uncomfortable train ride I ever had. Our former CO, Major O'Conner, was with us and we enjoyed his company. We had a few bottles of spirits to ease the trip, either through the courtesy of Major O'Conner, or another GI. The Major was really a nice guy, and down to earth soldier.

On 4/10/43, 1 was transferred to another hospital in Woodstock and eventually to a general hospital near Brisbane. This was the last I saw of the 80th Fighter Squadron, although I did visit the squadron one time when I was on a flying trip.

I was later discharged from the hospital on 5/17/43 and sent to a replacement depot, and later on 5/30/43, at the request of Major Paul Deems, the CO of Headquarters & Headquarters of the 5th Air Force located at Archer Field, near Brisbane, as a Flight Radio Operator.

This was the beginning of a new career and adventure for me, for on 8/l/43, I was assigned to the flight duties as a Flight Radio Operator. Subsequently I became the radio man for General MacArthur, his Chief of Staff, Lt General Richard Sutherland, and all the General Headquarters generals, and we had been transferred to a special detachment of the Headquarters Company of GHQ. We flew C-47s, B-25s, and B-17s, and routinely flew into the forward areas of New Guinea, and all the islands north of New Guinea.

Before I started flying as a crew member, I was sent to the armament section where I was instructed in loading, handling, and stripping of the 30 and 50 caliber machine guns. For those missions into combat areas I was later awarded the Air Medal and was also promoted to Staff Sergeant by General MacArthur.

I flew with General MacArthur when he met with President Roosevelt in Hawaii. We left Australia on July 26, 1944 and arrived at Hickam Field and returned around August 1st. Also on one of the trips with the General he gave me his autograph, something he rarely did.

During my duty with GHQ, we had on board at various times most of the Generals in the SWPA. Our section also had General Kenny's B-17, named Billy. When Dr Carl Compton, the President of MIT, came to Australia to discuss the A-Bomb with General MacArthur, I flew as the Flight Radio Operator. I also have the autographs of most of the Generals I flew for.

I was on flight duty for over a year with the 5th Air Force until I returned home on an emergency furlough with the option of returning by General MacArthur.

After graduating from more advanced radio schools, I was assigned to the Ferrying Division of the Air Transport Command, where I flew as the Flight Radio Operator. We ferried aircraft overseas to Europe, South America and India. We also flew sick and wounded back from Paris under the Crescent program. I stayed with the Ferrying command until my discharge at Indiantown Gap Penna.

I guess my experiences were unique in some ways, but I thought it might be of some interest from the enlisted man's viewpoint, and not just from the combat pilots who share the majority of the spotlight, and rightly so. With them we won the war, and we enlisted men backed them up to. the hilt in whatever way we could."

- Frank P. Cicerello

01-26-2005, 01:01 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gifAlso on this date 1-26-42...


January 26, 1942.


Subject: Airplanes for South American Countries.

1. In accordance with your instructions, fifty AT-6B
airplnes have been allocated to South American coastal countries as follows:

18 to Brazil
15 to Chile
5 to Peru
4 to Uruguay
4 to Ecuador
4 to Columbia

2. Arrangements are being made to skip these by boat
to the countries concerned. They will be accompanied by one pilot and one crew chief for each
airplane. The airplanes will be completely equipped with guns, bomb racks, and a ninety-day
supply of bombs and ammunition.

3. It is contemplated that as soon as the American
crews have completed training the crews of the countries to which these airplanes are assigned,
our crews will be returned to the United States.

4. The fifty AT-6B airplanes are scheduled to be ready
for delivery at the factory by February 20, 1942. Shipping arrangements are being made for
shipment at the earliest possible date thereafter.

5. Letters are being prepared to each of the countries concerned telling them of the detailed

Lieutenant General, U.S.A.,
Chief of the Army Air Forces

01-26-2005, 02:50 AM
1943 -

A Single Tiger Tank hidden within a few bushes and trees spots 50 T-34's 14 Half Tracks
and 800 infantry setting up camp 800 - 1000 metres away.

The Tiger opens fire, destroying more than half the T-34s all the half tracks and around 150 infantry. The Russians retreat thinking they are outnumbered.

The Tiger retreated back to base due to a depletion of ammunition.

-HH- Beebop
01-26-2005, 07:04 AM
GREAT stuff! Thanks for your contributions. Keep them coming.

26 January, 1943
The Stalingrad pocket is split in two. Voronezh is captured.
The Eighth Army takes Zaula in Libya, less than 100 miles from Tunisian frontier.

26 January, 1945
Himmler is put in command of Army Group Vistula by Hitler. The Russians isolate three German armies in East Prussia. The Red Army captures Kattowitz in Upper Silesia. Auschwitz concentration camp is captured by the Russians, but they find fewer than 3,000 survivors as the SS has moved most of the remaining prisoners to camps inside Germany.

01-27-2005, 12:59 AM
Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz.
Link: http://www.wsg-hist.uni-linz.ac.at/Auschwitz/HTML/Seite1.html

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">HELL'S GATES</span>

A Historic Survey Spring
First prisoners from Dachau arrive in Auschwitz and start building up Auschwitz concentration camp..
Rudolf H¶ss becomes first camp commander.

June 4, 1940
Arrival of the first prisoners' transport (728 Poles)

March 1, 1941
Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler visits Auschwitz and gives order to commander H¶ß to enlarge the camp. Auschwitz I should seize 30.000 prisoners, Auschwitz II (Birkenau) 100.000..

August 1941
Heinrich Himmler orders the mass extermination of Jews in Auschwitz

September 1941
First gassing with caclone B gas in Auschwitz: Soviet POW'S and 298 sick inmates were killed.

October 8, 1941
Birkenau camp started to be erected.

January 20, 1942
At the "Wannseekonferenz" in Berlin, the organsation of mass extermination was decided.

January 1942
Birkenau is set to be the place of mass murder; in the beginning a reconstructed farm house was used by the SS to gas Jews.

March 22 to June 25, 1943
Four new crematories with gas chambers were put into operation.

November 20, 1943
Reconstruction of Auschwitz

Auschwitz I - main camp: camp for men

Auschwitz II - Birkenau: womens' and men's camp, mass extermination in the gas chambers;

Auschwitz III - subcamps at the industrial and agricultural plants such like the Buna-factory in Monowitz

May 2- Sep.21, 1944
Extermination of Hungarian Jews:
between May 2 and July 9, 1944, 437.402 Jews from Hungary were deported to Auschwitz

August 1944
D155.000 people are imprisoned.
The SS starts liquidating the camps.

October 10, 1944
Uprising of the Sonderkommando:
Jewish inmates burn crematorium IV.

November 1944
The gassings in Auschwitz are being suspended.
Heinrich Himmler gives order to disassemble the killing institutions and to destroy the gas chambers and crematories

January 17, 1945
DThe evacuation of Auschwitz and all subcamps starts.
All prisoners who seem to be able to move are sent to a so-called "Death March" towards the West. At the last roll-call, 66.020 prisoners are counted in the KZ and all subcamps.

January 27, 1945
Liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops. They find some 5.000 prisoners left behind but unable to move.

01-27-2005, 01:18 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif Also on this day 1-27-45...

Leo Helmboldt's WWII diary - 1944/1945
Leo arrived on 1/27/45 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

A personal diary
Date Handwritten entry "editorial" comments
3/8/44 S.S. Lurline at San Francisco Matson luxury liner converted to a
troopship during WWII by the US.
3/16/44 Crossed equator & initiation day a shellback
3/18/44 Crossed International Date Line a "golden" shellback?
3/19/44 never happened because of time change at Int Date Line
3/25/44 Milne Bay, New Guinea (Gama do do)
3/30/44 assigned to USS Bache DD-470 He was a master tool and die maker, but the
repair ship to which he was assigned had just
left port, so the Navy, in it's mysterious way,
converted him to an Electrician's Mate, and
assigned him to a destroyer instead.
4/4/44 Our Anniversary (target practice outside Milne Bay)
4/10/44 Bombarded Hansa Bay
4/21/44 Admiralty Island
4/22/44 Bombarded Hollandia at Humboldt Bay invasion, Aitape, xxxx(?)
5/11/44 First mail from my wife and folks back home
5/12/44 Bombarded Wewak, saw first enemy fire
5/14/44 Mother's Day church services on USS Boise at Admiralty Islands USS Boise, CL-47
5/16/44 Hollandia to anchor - so soon!
5/17/44 Buna alongside USS Dobbin
6/4/44 First sea battle off Biak Island
7/1/44 Wewak bombardment (several times and laid mines)
7/2/44 Invasion of Morimfoor (?)
8/8/44 Left Admiralty Islands for Australia
8/10/44 Milne Bay, New Guinea
8/13/44 Sidney, Australia
8/16/44 Leave Sidney after recreation
9/15/44 Bombard Halmahara and land troops on Moratah
9/15/44 Saw first volcano on Halmahara
9/18/44 Biak Island after bombardment and invasion
10/5/44 Admiralty Island in drydock in prep for Philipines
10/13 (Friday)/44 Hollandia, New Guinea (Birthday) his 25th birthday
10/13/44 Left Hollandia in convoy for invasion of Philipine Islands
10/20/44 Invasion at Leyte Island (four US cruisers damaged) Landing monument Actually damaged were:
USS Honolulu, CL-48, by aerial torpedo,
HMAS Australia, kamikaze on the bridge,
USS Sangamon, CVE-26, by 500 lb. bomb,
3 destroyers, an ARS, and an LST.
10/21/44 Anchored in harbor of invasion (shot down 1 "Betty"). Town on
beach north about 1 mile - Tacloban, Leyte, population about
9,000. Three miles from Samari, about 30,000 population. Mitsubishi GM4 "Betty"
10/25/44 Night sea battle in Surigao Straits out of Leyte Gulf. Map and notes
(LOTS more on the web on this battle!)
10/29/44 Word passed on leaving for States.
10/29/44 Left Leyte Gulf, Philipines, for the U.S. (convoy duty)
10/31/44 Passed Palau Island and dropped convoy.
11/1/44 Ulithi Island.
11/5/44 Left Ulithi Island for Hawaii (convoy duty)
11/12/44 Crossed Int'nl date line - spent 11/12/44 Sunday twice
11/16/44 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
11/18/44 Left Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
11/26/44 Puget Sound, Washington, & Vancouver, Canada
11/26/44 Seattle, Washington (telegram to Dodie) his wife, Kathryn Dode Helmboldt
11/27/44 Frisco, Calif (20 day leave Dec 21 - Jan 10)
1/17/45 Left Frisco for Diego
1/19/45 Arrived Diego - had liberty
1/23/45 Left Diego for Hawaii (convoy duty)
1/27/45 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
2/11/45 Left Hawaii (convoy duty)
2/16/45 Crossed Int. Date Line.
2/20/45 Eniwetok
2/21/45 Left Eniwetok
2/25/45 Arrived and left Saipan
2/28/45 Arrived at Iwo Jima (wife's birthday) her 22nd birthday
3/1/45 Iwo Jima - fired star shells all night
3/2/45 Iwo Jima - Bombarded and received return fire.
3/3/45 Iwo Jima - Bombarded and received return fire.
3/6/45 Left Iwo Jima for Guam (convoy duty)
3/9/45 Arrived Saipan with convoy (mail)
3/10/45 Left Saipan for Guam
3/11/45 Arrived Guam with convoy -
3/12/45 Left Guam for Ulithi
3/13/45 Arrived Ulithi with USS Hudson DD-475
3/15/45 Arrived at Leyte Harbor - P.I. (3 liberties)
3/27/45 Left Samar P.I. for Okinawa (convoy)
4/1/45 Easter Sunday - arrived and bombarded Okinawa
Invaded Okinawa in three places.
4/5/45 Left Okinawa for Guam (speed run)
our relief at Okinawa was sunk 5 hours later.
4/8/45 Arrived at Guam no mail
4/11/45 Left Guam in convoy to Okinawa. Word passed that
73 ships were damaged there by suicide planes.
4/22/45 Arrived Okinawa - air raid & shot down 49 planes.
Left to patrol at station # 14 and went within 200 miles of
Shanghai. no mail.
4/30/45 Left Kerama Retto, Okinawa, after patrolling at picket station # 14.
5/1/45 Okinawa for supplies & back out to patrol on station # 9 - no mail.
5/3&4/45 Shot down two planes, received slight damage from one suicide
plane. Picked up 69 survivors off two sunken ships.
DD Little & LSM 195.

"DD Little" was the USS Little, DD-803
5/4/45 Arrived at Okinawa & transferred survivors. 1 dead.
5/13/45 Took suicide plane amidships and was towed into Wise Man's
Cove to tie up alongside of USS Nestor for repairs. 74 casualties
- 41 missing and dead 33 wounded.
5/14/45 Received May 1st letter from my honey.
5/15/45 Funeral services held at Wise Man's Cove, Okinawa, for
Bache personnel.
5/27/45 Left Okinawa for Saipan convoy
6/2/45 Arrived Saipan & left same day for Guam
6/3/45 Arrived Guam.
6/9/45 Left Guam bound for Pearl Harbor and ??
6/12/45 Arrived at Eniwetok, fueled & left.
6/14/45 Crossed Int. date line.

Here the diary ends. The Bache continued on east through the Panama Canal to New York, where she (and EM2 Helmboldt, now an "electrical storekeeper") ended the war.

-HH- Beebop
01-27-2005, 07:17 AM
27 January, 1943
First bombing raid by Americans on Germany (at Wilhelmshaven).

27 January, 1944
Leningrad relieved after a 900-day siege. Leningraders are told that the blockade has been lifted after 900 days. The Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front launches an offensive against Luzk and Rovno. Hitler lectures all his eastern front army commanders on National Socialism as the Russians cut off 60,000 men in Korsun Pocket, 100 miles to the southeast of Kiev. Army Group North's commander, Von Küchler orders the eighteenth army to pull back to the river Luga.

27 January, 1944
The thirteenth heavy raid on Berlin, inflicts an estimated 6,000 dead.

27 January, 1944
The Germans counter-attack the French at Cassino.

01-27-2005, 10:40 PM
On this Day of 1-28-45...


Eighth AF

Nearly 900 HBs attack 2 benzol plants, 3 M/Ys, 3 bridges, 4 city areas, and T/Os in W Germany. 5 P-51 gps fly escort. 1 gp escorts MBs of Ninth AF.



Ninth AF

95 9th Bomb Div bmrs hit comm center at Mayen, rail bridges and overpass at Eller, Sinzig, Remagen, and Kaiserslautern, T/Os in W Germany, and fly cover for US First Army forces on frontline in Monschau-Butgenbach area.



Twelfth AF

Weather again hampers operations. B-25's have good results on railroad bridges at Lavis and San Michele all'Adige. XXII TAC aircraft operate effectively against comm and transport tgts throughout N Italy including at Milan, Pavia, Cremona, Nervesa della Battaglia, Treviso, Genoa, Padua, and Lake Maggiore areas.



Fifteenth AF

Continued bad weather (seventh successive day) restricts operations to 3 weather rcn flights.



Tenth AF

40 FBs spt ground forces SE of Banwe, E of Molo, S of Molo Ywama, and near Namhkam. 80 FBs hit troop concentrations, supply areas, and enemy movement and active areas at or near Namsangsok, Namlan, Pangmakmo, Wengnan, Kutkai, and Mu-lwat. Again well over 500 sorties are flown to forward areas by transports. First convoy from Ledo crosses Chinese border heading for Kunming.



Fourteenth AF

23 P-40's and P-51's attack railway and river trafflc at Wuhu, Sinyang, and Linfen, in Sinsiang-Hantan area, between Loyang and Sinyang, and along Pinghan railroad.




B-24's, B-25's, A-20's and FBs concentrate attacks on Luzon, heaviest tonnage (from B-24's) falling on Corregidor. Cavite and tgts between Manila and Subic Bay, including Laoag A/F, are also hit. A-20's concentrate on tgts in AparriGattaran area while FBs and A-20's hit A/Fs in Cagayan Valley and troops, trucks, and roads in San Felipe and Talavera areas.



Seventh AF

10 B-24's from Guam and 10 from Saipan bomb A/Fs on Iwo Jima. 10 more follow during 28/29 Jan with single-bmr harassment raids on the A/Fs. 2 B-24's from Angaur bomb Arakabesan.

-HH- Beebop
01-28-2005, 06:35 AM
28 January, 1942
Timoshenko€s offensive in the Ukraine slows down after a 60-mile thrust.

28 January, 1944
The Red Army succeeds in encircling several German divisions in the area of Cherkassy.

01-28-2005, 01:36 PM
On the Eastern Front... South of Leningrad, forces of the Soviet Volkhov Front capture Lyuban and other small towns to the south. Field Marshal von Kuchler, commanding German Army Group North orders the German 18th Army (Lindemann) to retire to the line of the Luga River in order to prevent it from being encircled by the advancing Soviet forces. In the Ukraine, elements of Soviet 6th Tank Army (Kravchenko), part of 1st Ukrainian Front, and 5th Guards Tank Army (Rotmistrov), part of 2nd Ukrainian Front, link up near Zvenigorodka and complete a double envelopment of elements two corps (German 11th and 42nd Corps) of the German 8th Army (Wohler), part of Army Group South (Manstein). Approximately 56,000 German troops are now cut off southwest of Cherkassy. Field Marshal Manstein immediately assembles armored forces from 1st Panzer and 8th Armies to relieve the trapped forces.

01-29-2005, 02:18 AM
On this day of 1-29-43...

America Salutes The President's Birthday
Starring: Sammy Kaye Orch
Guests: Frank Sinatra
Night And Day

Also... http://www.thejudyroom.com/media/books/daybydaysmall.jpg

1/29/43 Judy exhausted and confined to bed. Dr. Marcus Rabwin suggests that she not dance for 6 to 8 weeks, but she is back at the studio by mid February

01-29-2005, 02:26 AM
On this day of 1-29-44...


Kwajalein - Jan. 29, 1944.
Having conquered the Gilberts, the Fast Carrier Task Force turned its attention to the Marshalls in January 1944, with Kwajalein atoll first on the hit list. Cabot and Essex staged the first fighter sweep on Jan. 29. Lt. Cdr. Winston, a fighter pilot for eight years, led eleven F6Fs on this sweep, the "Meataxers" first combat. Three pilots missed the pre-dawn rendezvous, but Winston led his remaining planes to provide top cover for the Essex fighters, who were busy strafing down below. Herb Houck, VF-9 CO, radioed back that there was heavy overcast at 6,000 feet. So Winston led his division in at 5,000 feet and sent the other VF-31 division to 25,000 feet. Winston and his wingman, Ens. Cornelius Nooy, joined up with a column of aircraft in the early morning gloom, only to find out they were Zeros. After Winston fired at the tail-end Charlie, the Zeros turned and attacked the two Hellcat pilots, who only escaped by flying a tight Thach weave. One Zero came in too close and Winston got off a deflection shot that dropped him in the lagoon. After more maneuvering, the Grummans broke off and outran the Jap fighters. (Nooy was also credited with a win on this mission.)
All but one of the "Meataxers'" planes returned to Cabot on this day. One damaged fighter had ditched; fortunately a destroyer rescued the pilot.


A VF-9 note for 1-29-44
The next big action for VF-9 occurred on Jan. 29, 1944 when the new Fast Carrier Task Force (12 carriers!) supported the amphibious invasion of Kwajalein in the Marshalls. Assigned to strafe the enemy airfield on Kwajalein's Roi islet, VF-9 launched 18 planes led by Lt. Cdr. Herb Houck. While Fighting Nine's orders instructed them to avoid combat if possible, many of them were forced to engage. McWhorter shot down two Hamps in this engagement.

USS Essex (CV-9) March '43 - Nov '44 (tour 2)
Claims against aircraft in Air: 2 Destroyed 120 Probable 9 Damaged 3

McWhorter, H (10)
Hadden, M (8)
Valencia, E (7.5)
Menard, L (7)
Bonneau, W (7)
Smith, A (6)
Franger, M (5)
Franks, J (5)
Houck, H (5)
Martin, A (5)
Byrnes, M (4)
DeCrew, L (4)
McGowan, E (3.5)
Denoff, R (2)
Hudson, H (2)

Aircraft flown by VF-9 at this time period.

-HH- Beebop
01-29-2005, 11:33 AM
29 January, 1942
&gt;German forces capture Benghazi, along with a large quantity of supplies.

29 January, 1943
&gt;The Nazi party's 10th Anniversary celebrations are disrupted by the RAF's first low-level daylight Mosquito air attack on Berlin.

29 January, 1943
&gt;Admiral D¶nitz takes over from Admiral Raeder as C-in-C of the German Navy.
&gt;Japanese aircraft attack Wau airfield.
&gt;Advance units of the Eighth Army cross the Tunisian frontier from Libya.

29 January, 1944
&gt;The Luftwaffe bombs London, while 800 USAAF bombers drop 1,800 tons of bombs on Frankfurt am Main and Ludwigshafen. The RAF hit Berlin for the 14th time.
&gt;RAF Bomber Command mount an attack to sink the Tirpitz, while she is at anchor in Trondheim. The raid is unsuccessful as the Tirpitz survives unscathed.

01-29-2005, 11:04 PM
On this day of 1-30-43...

S.S. Samuel Gompers Torpedoed 1/30/43 Liberty Ship Crew 3, AG 1... Torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I.10 off New Caledonia at 24.21S 166.12E.


Liberty Ship Crew

Captain (Master)
Deck department Engine department Steward's department
Chief Mate ("Mate") Chief Engineer ("Chief") Chief Steward
Second Mate First Assistant Engineer ("First") Chief Cook
Third Mate Second Assistant Engineer Second Cook
Deck maintenance man Third Assistant Engineer Baker
Boatswain (Bos'n) Deck Engineer Messman (6)
Carpenter ("Chips") Oiler (3) Galleyman
Able seaman (6) Fireman/watertender (3)
Ordinary seaman (3) Wiper (2)
Radio operator ("Sparks")
Purser-Pharmacist's Mate

Duties of Seamen in Ship's Deck Department

Black gang - the engine room crew, the name originating on coal burning ships
Bos'n - deck supervisor, unlicensed
Messman - waiter and dishwasher
Ordinary seaman - the lowest grade for the deck department
Purser-Pharmacist's mate - bookkeeper and medic
Wiper - a general handyman in the engine room

Naval Armed Guard

Lieutenant, JG or Ensign
Gunners, radio operators, and signalman (12 to 27)

The first of the 2,751 Liberty ships was the SS Patrick Henry, launched on Sept. 27, 1941, and built to a standardized, mass produced design. The 250,000 parts were pre-fabricated throughout the country in 250-ton sections and welded together in about 70 days. One Liberty ship, the SS Robert E. Peary was built in four and a half days. A Liberty cost under $2,000,000.

The Liberty was 441 feet long and 56 feet wide. Her three-cylinder, reciprocating steam engine, fed by two oil-burning boilers produced 2,500 hp and a speed of 11 knots. Her 5 holds could carry over 9,000 tons of cargo, plus airplanes, tanks, and locomotives lashed to its deck. A Liberty could carry 2,840 jeeps, 440 tanks, or 230 million rounds of rifle ammunition.

I 10 IJN Submarine

This photo is I-10 as she departs on this particular war patrol.
An A Type (I-9 Class) with Flagship facilities and a floatplane, I-10 displaced 2,434/4,150 tons and her top speed was an impressive 23.5 knots.
4-7-1944 sunk(action, near Saipan)[15.26N, 147.48E

Displacement 2434t standard, 2919t surface, 4149t submerged
Length 108.4m pp, 112.0m wl, 113.7m oa
Width 9.55m
Draught 5.36m
Machinery 2-shaft diesel and electoric motor, 12,400bhp surface, 2400shp submerged
Speed 23.5kt surface, 8kt submerged
Armament 6-53cm TT, 1-14cm/40cal gun, 2-25mm AA, 1 aircraft
Complement 114

-HH- Beebop
01-30-2005, 12:07 PM
30 January 1942
&gt;The Japanese capture Moulmein and its airfield in Burma as the British forces evacuate and withdraw across the river Salween.
&gt;Japanese forces capture the important naval base of Amboina between Celebes and New Guinea.

30 January 1943
&gt;With the German Sixth Army in its death throes at Stalingrad, Hitler does the seemingly unthinkable and allows the 10th anniversary of the Nazi seizure of power to pass without speaking to the nation. It is the first unmistakable evidence of Hitler's retreat from public appearances as the tide of the war turns.

30 January 1944
&gt;The Russians attack towards Nikopol on the southern Dnieper.
&gt;A U.S. Ranger battalion is wiped out at Anzio.
&gt;British attacks on the €˜Golden Fortress€ cease.

30 January 1945
&gt;On the twelfth anniversary of his coming to power, Hitler, calls for fanatical resistance by soldiers and civilians and predicts that "...in this struggle for survival it will not be inner Asia that will conquer, but the people that has defended Europe for centuries against the onslaughts from the East, the German nation..."

01-30-2005, 02:26 PM
Jan.30 1943

On the Eastern Front... The Soviets take Tikhoretsk in the Caucasus and clear the Maykp oilfields. The German 17th Army, part of Army Group A, is in the Kuban Peninsula and it is becoming separated from the 1st Panzer Army which is retreating toward Rostov. In Stalingrad, the Soviets find the headquarters of General Paulus in the southern pocket.

From Berlin... General Paulus, commanding 6th Army at Stalingrad, is promoted to Field Marshal. Admiral Donetz is appointed to the position of Commander in Chief of the German navy.

In Berlin... It is the tenth anniversary of the NSDAP regime and it is marked by speeches by Goebbels and Goring. The RAF mount their first daylight raid over Berlin with a group of Mosquito bombers. The raid is timed to conincide with the speeches.

In the Solomon Islands... On Guadalcanal American forces continue to advance against Japanese resistance. There is heavy fighting along the River Bonegi.

In Vichy France... The secret police modelled on the Nazi German Gestapo is formed. Its commander is Joseph Darnand.

01-30-2005, 03:28 PM
Jan 30

This day marks the 72nd anniversary of Hitler rising to the Chancellory and beginning of the Third Reich.

01-31-2005, 03:16 PM
On this day of 1-31-44...
In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces began invading Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.

Also a sad day in US History...
The Execution of Pvt. Eddie Slovik
In 1945, Pvt. Eddie Slovik became the only U.S. soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion as he was shot by an American firing squad in France.

By Zena Simmons / The Detroit News
On Jan. 31, 1945, Hamtramck-born Eddie Slovik was executed by firing a squad near the village of Ste-Marie aux Mines for the crime of desertion. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme allied commander, personally ordered the execution during the closing days of World War II in order to deter other potential deserters.

During World War II, 21,049 American military personel were convicted of desertion, 49 were sentenced to death, but only Pvt. Slovik paid the ultimate price. In fact, he was the only American soldier to be executed for desertion since the American Civil War.

Eddie and Antoinette on their wedding day in 1942.
Controversy swirled around the case from the very beginning, prompting William Bradford Huie to write a book, "The Execution of Private Slovik", in 1954. It became a best seller, and was made into a television movie in 1974.

Slovik, the son of immigrants, spent much of his youth in the Michigan Reformatory School for stealing candy, chewing gum and cigarettes from the Cunningham drugstore where he worked.

After his parole from reform school in 1942, he went to work at Montella Plumbing Co. in Dearborn, where he met Antoinette Wisniewski. They were married Nov 7, 1942, and after a three-day celebration that featured an overworked bar and 200 guests dancing to "The Beer Barrel Polka, " they moved in with Antoinette's parents in Dearborn.

When Eddie got a job at the old DeSoto plant, they got their own duplex. For the next twelve months, Eddie and Antoinette were, for the most part, happy and secure in the belief that ex-convicts would not be drafted. Slovik had been classified 4F because of his prison record, but was reclassifed 1A during a military manpower shortage and received his draft notice shortly after the couple's first wedding anniversary.
Slovik appeared frail, timid and somewhat of a misfit, definitely not military material. But on January 24, 1944, he was sent to Camp Wolters in Texas for his basic training.

Slovik made no secret of his unwillingness to enter combat, but his pleas to be reassigned to noncombat status were rejected. Bitterly unhappy, he tried to forget his sorrow by writing long letters to Antoinette. During his 372 days in the Army, he wrote 376 letters, most of them from Camp Wolters. The letters contained the outpourings of a man in distress.

Here Are Excerpts:
Mommy, I am sorry without you... I think I'm going to have a lot of trouble. Army life don't agree with me.

Jan. 31

I am in the infantry for 17 weeks and after that I don't know where I am going... Honest honey, I feel like crying every time I sit down to write you a letter... I am so unlucky.

Feb. 24
You are sick darling, but what am I going to do? Oh, darling, I don't know what to do to be with you again. I am so dam sick and tired of this place. I feel like going AWOL. I'm sorry I didn't go to jail for six months, then I know you could come to see me anytime you wanted to.

Last letter

Everything happens to me. I've never had a streak of luck in my life. The only luck I had in my life was when I married you. I knew it wouldn't last because I was too happy. I knew they would not let me be happy.

Slovik made it clear he did not consider himself a fighting man. He feared weapons so much that his drill instructors had to furnish him with dummy grenades and escort him through the infiltration course.

Sent to the front lines in France after the June 1944 invasion, Slovik first deserted the night of Aug. 25 when his rifle company came under heavy shelling. In October, Canadian forces captured him and returned him to his unit, the 28th Division. His officers warned that if he left again, he would be charged with desertion in the face of the enemy. Several days later he was gone, this time turning himself in to authorities in Belgium. He signed a confession and declared himself unwilling to fight.

Slovik was court-martialed for desertion under fire and sentenced to death by firing squad. His execution was carried out in the closing months of World War II, his wife totally unaware of the sentence. The army denied responsiblity, claiming that Slovik himself should have notified her.
At his execution, a member of the firing squad said to him, "Try to take it easy, Eddie. Try to make it easy on yourself---and on us."

"Don't worry about me," Slovik replied. "I'm okay. They're not shooting me for deserting the United Stated Army---thousands of guys have done that. They're shooting me for bread I stole when I was 12 years old."

He was buried in France, in a secret cemetery with 94 American soldiers executed for the crimes of rape and murder.

Eddie Slovik's remains are placed in a hearse by a funeral home worker July 11, 1987. The casket, lost in transit on its way from France, arrived at Metro a day late. The remains were reburied in Woodmere Cemetery alongside his wife, Antoinette.


Determined to right what she was certain was a horrible wrong, Antoinette vainly petitioned seven presidents to have her dead husband pardoned. It seemed so unfair that so many others convicted of the same crime were not executed. Why only one soldier, why her husband alone? She worked relentlessly to clear his record and to claim his body until her own death in 1979.
She also waged a long and unsuccessful effort to collect Slovik's insurance death benefit. It was denied to her because Slovik died under dishonorable circumstances. After her death, Congress finally considered legislation that would have allowed her to receive benefits.

She spent her final days at Medicos Nursing Home in Detroit, living on Social Security disability. She suffered from heart problems, and was being treated for breast cancer.

Bernard V. Calka, a Polish American WWII veteran, took up Antoinette's campaign after her death. He spent several years lobbying and spent about $8,000 of his own money to have Slovik's remains returned to Michigan in 1987. Forty-two years after Slovik's execution, Calka had his remains reburied next to wife Antoinette in Detroit's Woodmere Cemetery.
Calka wrote repeatedly to Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Bill Clinton, and has contacted congressmen in his continuing battle for a federal pardon for Slovik, who was described by his widow as "the unluckiest kid that ever lived."

Author Huie mused "...why had I bothered to travel so far, to ask so many questions, all just to know one dishonored Polack private from Detroit?...Nobody knew about (the tragedy of) Eddie Slovik: he has been a secret...And I knew that his experience is the most unusual of any citizen who has borne arms for the United States within my lifetime.

"Private Slovik was killed by the United States for the crime of refusing to serve the United States with a rifle and a bayonet, for desertion to avoid the hazardous duty of close combat; and..the only American to be executed for such an offense."

Anna Kadlubski, eldest sister of Eddie Slovik, stands with her husband John as Slovik was reburied after his remains were returned in 1987.

-HH- Beebop
01-31-2005, 06:17 PM
31 January, 1941
&gt;January€s civilian casualty figures are 1,500 killed and 2,012 injured.

31 January, 1942
&gt;In Malaya... The remainder of the British and Australian troops are removed from the Malayan mainland to Singapore.

&gt;In Burma... There is heavy fighting at Moulmein in which the Japanese force the British to retreat northward. The Japanese capture the town.
31 January, 1943
&gt;Eighth Army takes Zuara, near the Tunisian frontier.
&gt;The exhausted troops of 6th Army's southern pocket, having expended their last ammunition, surrender to the Red Army. The Russians capture Field Marshal Paulus and 16 generals.

31 January, 1944
&gt;US forces attack the Marshall Islands, landing on Kwajalein, Roi and Namur. Land fighting begins in the Dutch New Guinea.

31 January, 1945
&gt;Two of Zhukov€s armies establish a bridgehead on the Oder, to the North of Küstrin and less than 40 miles from Berlin.

02-01-2005, 12:39 AM
Gees Woofiedog, what a depressing story. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

02-01-2005, 04:25 AM
-HH-Dubbo... One of my Uncles servered with the 3rd Inf Div going in with the landings at Salerno Italy and the later landings of Southern France.
While going through France my Uncles Unit recieved a group of replacement GI's.
These soliders orginally were driving trucks bring supply's up to the Front Lines and were caught Black Marketing Gas, Cigarettes and etc.
They were given the choice of either serving their time in the Stockade or serving on the Front Lines.
As my Uncle said... he and the others that were doing the fighting up on the Front Lines now felt as though they were being punished in some fashion.
Needless to say... they did not take to this idea to kindly at the time of these GI's being sent to fight along side with them.

But the story of Pvt. Eddie Slovik is truely a Sad Story that seems to have been carried on much to long and is still being carried out to this day.
From Ed's mixed up life before the war to the final day's of his wife and others trying to fight for Him.
It seems like he is still being Punished for the errors he made in his life to this day.
I myself have mixed thoughs about this story.

-HH- Beebop
02-01-2005, 06:33 AM
1 February, 1940
The Winter War... The Soviets initiate attacks against the Mannerheim Line, especially in the Summa area. There is an extensive preliminary bombardment to add to the artillery efforts of the past two weeks. The Soviet 7th and 13th Armies have 14 divisions and six tank brigades in the advance, with strong reserves. The Finnish 3rd Division, holding the line in the Summa area, takes much of the weight. During this round of attacks (which continues until February 8th) there is no attempt at a breakthrough by the Soviets but almost continuous heavy pressure is maintained.

In Tokyo... A record budget is presented to the Japanese Diet. Almost half is to be devoted to military expenditure. Meanwhile, Japan makes a diplomatic protest to Britain concerning the removal of 21 German nationals from the liner Asama Maru by British forces of the HMS Gloucester and demands they be returned. (The Asama Maru incident of January 21st.)

From Yenan... The Chinese Communist Mao Tse-tung calls for the US to stand firm against Japan.

1 February, 1941
In the North Atlantic... The German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper sails from Brest on a commerce destroying raid in the north Atlantic.

In East Africa... In Eritrea Agordat falls to Platt's forces after a vigorous three-day battle. Frusci's troops are falling back to the mountain positions around Keren after suffering some losses. To the south Barentu has also been captured by the Indian troops.

In Washington... There is a major reorganization of the US Navy. It is now to be formed in three fleets, the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Asiatic. Admiral King is appointed to command the new Atlantic Fleet. There is to be a significant strengthening of the forces in the Atlantic.

In Japan... Japan announces that it will be necessary to introduce rice rationing.

1 February, 1942
In Norway... German authorities here appoint Major Vidkun Quisling as the head the Nazi controlled government in Norway. (In English, his name has become synonymous with traitor.)

In the Pacific... Under the command of Admiral Halsey and Fletcher, American task forces attack Japanese held air bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Island. The US aircraft carrier Enterprise is damaged during the attacks.

In North Africa... British General Ritchie orders the English 8th Army to withdraw to the Gazala line.

In South Africa... Two bombs are planted in Johannesburg.

1 February, 1943
In the Solomon Islands... On Guadalcanal, US forces land at Verahue near Cape Esperance where the Japanese evacuation begins. The Americans are aware of Japanese naval activity but they believe it to be Japanese reinforcements arriving for a new offensive. In fact, 20 Japanese destroyers remove about 5000 troops. One of the destroyers is sunk by an American air attack.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet offensive toward Kharkov continues. They capture Svatovo between Kupyansk and Starobelsk.

In Burma... British forces renew the attack on Donbaik, in the Arakan, but they do not make any gains.

1 February, 1944
In Italy... The forces of US 5th Army continue operations against the German defenses of the Gustav Line. The 34th Division gains some ground north of Cassino, around Monte Maiola.

In the Marshall Islands... American operations against the Kwajalein Atoll continue. On Roi US forces are mopping up. There is heavy fighting on Namur. US Task Force 52 (Admiral Turner) provides naval support for the landing of the 7th Infantry Division (General Corlett) on Kwajalein. Here, the Americans overrun a third of island, despite heavy Japanese resistance.

On the Eastern Front... In the north, Soviet forces capture Kingisepp and continue their advance to within 1 mile of the former Estonian border. Forces of German Army Group North conduct successful local counterattacks between Luga and Utorgosh.

1 February, 1945
On the Eastern Front... Torun falls to attacks from forces for of the 2nd Belorussian Front, after a six day siege. Troops of the 1st Belorussian Front, which have reached the Oder opposite Berlin, halt there to regroup while the many pockets of German resistance in their rear are being eliminated and while the units on their flanks broaden the advance by attacking into Pomerania in the north and crossing the Oder and moving toward the Neisse in the south.
On the Western Front... The US 6th Corps from 7th Army crosses the river Moder and advances to Oberhofen.

In the Philippines... The American advance on all fronts is slowed by fierce Japanese resistance. US 1st Corps is heavily engaged near Rosario and San Jose while US 11th Corps is struggling to make more ground across the neck of the Bataan Peninsula.

In the Volcano Islands... American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

02-02-2005, 07:00 AM
On this day of 2-2-1944...

[This account was received from Steve Robertson whose father, the late S/M Freddie Robertson (photo opposite) served on HMS Royal Ulsterman.]


~ Anzio - Feb 2 1944 ~

We then landed troops at the Anzio beachhead. It started off very quiet because the Germans had retreated inland but they counter-attacked and it ended up a bloody battle. Lots of lives were lost including a large percentage of the American Rangers. Despite the heavy losses everything turned out all right in the end. That was the end of the Royal Ulsterman€s and other LSI€s duties in the Med. We returned home to 'Blighty' for a spot of leave and then preparations for D Day.... "the Big One."

Link: http://www.combinedops.com/HMS%20Royal%20Ulsterman.htm

-HH- Beebop
02-02-2005, 07:18 AM
2 February

&gt; Belgrade... The Balkan Entente Conference begins and includes a proclamation by the neutral states of Yugoslavia, Greece, Romania and Turkey declaring a common interest in maintaining peace in southeastern Europe and the renewal of the pact.

&gt;The Winter War... The Finnish army succeeds in holding the Soviet attack on the Mannerheim Line.

&gt; East Africa... The British carrier Formidable, on her way to the Mediterranean to replace the damaged Illustrious, sends its planes to attack the harbor installations at Mogadishu.

&gt; North Africa... The Australian forces have already advanced well to the west of Derna on the coast and are discovering that the Italians are withdrawing at speed. Wavel agrees with O'Connor that 7th Armored Division should be sent hurrying across the center of Cyrenaica in an attempt to cut the Italians off. Supplies are being assembled to support this move but because the Italian retreat is so rapid the advance will have to start before the preparations are complete.

&gt; Egypt... The Cabinet resigns after a dispute with King Farouk regarding his pro-Axis sympathies.

&gt; The Dutch East Indies... Japanese forces overcome Dutch and Australian forces on Amboina Island.

&gt; London... The British Naval Staff reports that the German battlecruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst will probably attempt to leave Brest, in occupied France, and pass up the English Channel through the Straits of Dover.

&gt; The Eastern Front... The northern pocket of the German 6th Army, trapped at Stalingrad, surrenders. In total, the Red Army has taken about 90,000 prisoners. Later, the Soviets announce that 147,000 Axis, and 47,000 Soviet corpses have been removed from Stalingrad. Furthermore, an estimated 40,000 were evacuated during the air supply operations conducted by the Germans, during the siege. The Luftwaffe lost about 500 transports. Only 5000 Germans taken prisoner survive to return to Germany after the war; the last to return arrives in 1955. The Soviet success is generally attributed to General Chuikov's leadership and tactical innovation.

&gt; The Solomon Islands... On Guadalcanal the American coastal advance crosses the Bonegi River.

&gt; The Mediterranean... The British submarine Turbulent sinks an Italian tanker near Palermo. The Italian naval squadron based in Sicily consequently remains short of fuel.

&gt; Eastern Front... In the north, Soviet forces advance beyond the former Estonian border and capture Vanakula. In the south, the Soviet 3rd and 4th Ukrainian Fronts attack the salient around Nikopol, held by forces of the German 6th Army (part of Army Group South).

&gt; The Marshall Islands... Battles continue in the Kwajalein Atoll. American forces complete the conquest of Roi and Namur. Almost all of the 3700 Japanese defenders on these islands have been killed. American casualties number 740 killed and wounded. Japanese forces on Kwajalein continue to resist.

&gt; Italy... Allied attacks around Anzio end. They have suffered high losses without significant success. Defending German forces, however, have had to postpone counterattacks planned to begin today because of their own losses.

&gt; Eastern Front... The Soviet 26th Army (Gagen), part of 3rd Ukrainian Front, attacking northwards, restores contact with 4th Guards Army to the west of Budapest, near Adony. The German 4th SS Panzer Corps is forced to pull back as a result.
On the Western Front... US 1st Army units are attacking near Remscheid. British forces mount attacks over the Maas, north of Breda and near Nijmegen to put pressure on the Germans.

&gt; Burma... The South East Asian Command announces that after bitter fighting, the Japanese have lost the battle of Kangaw and their escape road from northern Arakan is closed.

&gt; The Volcano Islands... American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

02-02-2005, 10:50 PM
On this day of Feb 3 1943...

Four World War II military chaplains who went down with their torpedoed ship after giving up their lifejackets to other servicemen.



By Jule Spohn

S.S. Dorchester

How many of us knew, but perhaps have forgotten, the story of the Four Chaplains who, during the Second World War, gave up their life-jackets to other servicemen on their sinking ship, in the cold waters of the North Atlantic, on February 3, 1943 and went down with their ship - the DORCHESTER?

How many of us know that one of those Chaplains - Father John Patrick Washington - was from Newark?

Rev. George L. Fox, a Methodist Minister, from Vermont; Rabbi Alexander Goode, from Indiana/Pennsylvania; Rev. Clark V. Poling, a Dutch Reformed Minister, from Ohio; and Father John Patrick Washington, a Catholic Priest, from Newark, met while attending the Chaplain's School at Harvard in November of 1942.

Post card depicting "The four heroic chaplains of World War II, Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Lt. George L. Fox,
Lt. Clark V. Poling, Lt. John P. Washington, who gave their lives and gained immortality when the 'SS Dorchester'
was torpedoed and went down off Greenland, February 3, 1943."

After finishing school the four of them were assigned to the U.S.A.T. Dorchester, an aging, luxury coastal liner which had been converted to a troop ship. The Chaplains came on board on January 23, 1943, and became part of the 902, Merchant Marines, civilians, and your soldiers, who filled nearly every available space.

On February 2nd, the Dorchester was within 150 miles of Greenland, when one of her three Coast Guard escorts and received sonar readings which indicated that a German submarine was nearby. The Captain of the ship, Hans Danielson, had instructed all on board to sleep in their clothes and life-jackets that night - just in case. However, many of those on board, ignoring the Captain's order, went to be in their underwear. Then, early in the morning of the 3rd the Dorchester had been hit "head on" by one of two torpedo's fired from the sub. A second torpedo hit immediately thereafter killing nearly 100 men in the hull of the ship and it began to sink rapidly.

In the last moments of the ship's existance, while chaos swearled around them, the Chaplains began handing out life jackets to the crew who were abandoning the ship. When the Chaplains ran out of life-jackets, they took off thier own life-jackets and handed them to the crew. Together they sacrificed their last chance for survival, ensuring that at least four other soldiers would have a chance to be saved.

Some of the surviving soldiers reported that as the ship was going under the water they saw the Four Chaplains, arms locked together, and holding onto the railings, praying, singing, and giving strength to the men in the water. And then, only 27 minutes after the first torpedo struck, the U.S.A.T. Dorchester went to her grave in the cold waters of the Atlantic, taking these four brave men down with her.

Of the 920 people on board, who left New York on the Dorchester on January 23, 1943, only 230 were picked up from the icy waters by rescuers. Had it not been for the actions of the Four Chaplains in handing out the life-jackets, the toll would have been much higher.

There is a wonderful cross/monument to Father Washington on the side street - Humboldt Street - of St. Rose Of Lima's church here in Newark. It reads as follows:

Click on image to enlarge


On May 28, 1948, the United States Postal Service issued a special stamp in honor of the Four Chaplains. On July 14, 1960, by an Act of Congress, the United States authorized the "Four Chaplains Medal." The Star of David, Tablets of Moses, and Christian Cross are show in relief on the back of the medal. And at Temple University in Philadelphia they dedicated "The Chapel Of The Four Chaplains." However this Chapel no longer exists.

-HH- Beebop
02-03-2005, 07:12 AM
3 February

&gt; North Atlantic... Off the eastern coast of Britain, about 20 German bombers attack shipping, sinking 2 ships and losing 3 aircraft.

&gt; Winter War... Finnish forces continue to hold the Soviet assault on the Mannerheim Line.

&gt; North Atlantic... The German battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau go on a commerce destroying expedition in the Atlantic under the command of Admiral Lutjens. During the night they pass through the Denmark Strait.

&gt; Berlin... The OKH plans for the German invasion of the USSR are presented to Hitler. He again tries to draw attention away from the central drive toward Moscow which the Army planners think essential.

&gt; East Indies... Major Japanese attacks on Java. Surabaya and other bases are struck. Port Moresby in New Guinea is bombarded.

&gt; North Africa... The British evacuate Derna.

&gt; Eastern Front... In the Caucasus, the Soviets capture Kuschevka on the Soskya River, 50 miles south of Rostov. Kupyansk is captured in the offensive toward Kharkov.

&gt; Berlin... The loss of the 6th Army at Stalingrad is made public. Three days of national mourning are set to begin on February 4th.

&gt; Solomon Islands... On Guadalcanal the Americans consolidate their front running inland from Tassafaronga. US patrols penetrate much closer to Cape Esperance.

&gt; Italy... At the Anzio beachhead, German forces commanded by General Mackensen begin limited attacks against the British 1st Division salient around Campoleone. To the south, the New Zealand Corps (General Freyberg) joins the US 5th Army order of battle. It is being deployed near Cassino.

&gt; Marshall Islands... US Task Group 58.4 (Admiral Ginder) raids Eniwetok with its carrier aircraft. In the Kwajalein Atoll, American forces land on Burton Island.

&gt; Moscow... The encirclement of German forces in the Korsun pocket is announced and celebrated.

&gt; Berlin... Hitler orders the troops in the Korsun pocket are not to retreat.

&gt; Eastern Front... Army Group South (Manstein) assembles an armored force to relieve the Korsun pocket.

&gt; Western Front... French and American units complete the capture of Colmar. All formations of French 1st Army are now making good progress in this sector. The other Allied armies keep up the pressure on the Germans all along the front.

&gt; Eastern Front... In East Prussia, the Soviet attacks continue to confine and divide the German forces. Landsberg and Bertenstein are taken.

&gt; Philippines... On Luzon in the Tagaytay Ridge area, the uncommitted regiment of the US 11th Airborne Division is dropped to help the advance of the other regiments. The fighting north of Manila also continues.

&gt; The Volcano Islands... American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

02-04-2005, 02:12 AM
On this day of Feb 4 1944...

Feb. 4, 1945: U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin meet at Yalta in the Crimea. The U.S. and Britain agree to allow Stalin to control Eastern Europe after the war ends.

Feb 4 1944 Kwajalein falls to US Forces

US 4th Marines and US 7th Infantry divisions commanded by General Holland Smith captured this atoll.

Kwajalein Atoll was the administrative center of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands. The atoll was 73 miles long, with eighteen islands clustered together. During the Battle of Midway radio stations on Kwajalein listened to traffic between Hawaii and Midway.


When the Americans moved through the Marshalls in early 1944, Kwajalein was a primary target. With Kwajalein in Japanese hands for decades, it was assumed that there would be casualties as heavy as Tarawa. A sustained air campaign from the Gilberts and from aircraft carriers pounded Kwajalein for days prior to the landings on January 31, 1944.

Navy ships laid a nonstop barrage of 2,655 tons of ammunition. Navy ships fired 7,000 shells into the island's defenses on the morning of Feb. 1, alone, not counting the heavy bombardment days before the attack.

Forty-eight 105mm howitzers and several 155mm howitzers bombarded Kwajalein from nearby Carlson Island, sending in more than 29,000 shells.


Resistance was light as the US Army and Marines moved through the atoll. On the island of Kwajalein itself, 10,000 Japanese soldiers waited for the US Army's 7th Division. By February 3, 8,400 Japanese were dead, mostly by suicide. 500 Americans died.


The last year of the war saw escalating dead and wounded on both sides. Half of all the casualties in the Pacific War was during the last year of the war. Kwajalein showed the Americans that heavy pre-invasion bombardment was a necessary component to amphibious landings. The old, slow battleships that America started the war with became floating gun platforms to support the invasions, and escort carriers brought aircraft to fly ground support missions.


At Kwajalein, these new tactics were tried out. The result was huge Japanese casualties. This would be the pattern for the rest of the war.

USS COLORADO BB-45 at Kwajalein.

The COLORADO's mission was to destroy fortifications along the beaches and support assault waves by pounding the enemy troop areas immediately adjacent to the landing points. Fire and large columns of smoke on her target areas indicated that the damage caused by the battleship barrage was extensive. In company with other vessels, the COLORADO shelled strategic objectives throughout the day as the troops swarmed ashore, resumed fire shortly before dawn the following day. By February 4, it was all over on Kwajalein.


Link: http://www.usscolorado.org/History/1944-1946.htm

-HH- Beebop
02-04-2005, 06:20 AM
4 February
&gt; Belgrade... The Balkan Entente indicate they will remain neutral in the war between Britain, France and Germany.

&gt; North Sea... The minesweeper HMS Sphinx sinks a day after being bombed by German aircraft.

&gt; The Winter War... Fourteen are killed and 179 injured in heavy Soviet air raids on Helsinki and the surrounding area. A total of 141 targets (towns, rail junctions, harbors) are attacked.

&gt; North Africa... The British advance across Cyrenaica has now begun. Msus is taken and the forces then move toward Antelat. In the north the Italian retreat is continuing.

&gt; East Africa... The British forces begin to attack the strong Italian positions around Keren. There are 30,000 Italian troops in this area. In the first phase of the battle, which last until February 7th, the 11th Indian Brigade manages to take Cameron Ridge but is thrown back from other positions by Italian counterattacks.

&gt; Dutch East Indies... Dutch and American ships attacking in the Makassar Straits are repelled by Japanese aircraft. Two American cruisers are damaged in the fighting.

&gt; Malaya... Japan demands the surrender of Singapore. British authorities there refuse. General Wavell continues to bring in reinforcements despite the overwhelming odds against success in battle against the Japanese. Wavell wants the island to hold while Allied forces elsewhere in the East Indies are being strengthened.

&gt; Eastern Front... The German 17th Army is cut off in the Kuban Peninsula and must be supplied by sea from the Crimea. Kanevskaya, to the east of Tikhorestsk and only 30 miles from the Sea of Azov, is capture by Soviet forces. Further north, Shcigny, about 40 miles east of Kursk, is captured in the southwestern offensive toward Kharkov.

&gt; North Africa... Units of the British 8th Army cross into Tunisia.

&gt; The Solomon Islands... On Guadalcanal, about 5000 more Japanese troops are evacuated by a squadron (led by Admiral Koyanagi) consisting of one cruiser and 22 destroyers. Four of the ships are damaged. Meanwhile, the US 147th Regiment advances west of Tassafaronga.

&gt; The Atlantic... Convoy SC-118 is attacked by 20 U-boats in a running battle that will last five days (to February 9th). There are ten escorts available at first.

&gt; Eastern Front... In the north, Soviet forces reach the mouth of the Narva River. East of Lake Peipus, Soviet forces occupy Gdov. In the south, forces of Army Group South (Manstein) begin a relieving attack on Soviet forces encircling the Korsun pocket. The relief is spearheaded by the Tigers and Panthers of Heavy Panzer Regiment "Bake".

&gt; Berlin... Hitler orders the 24th Panzer Division (part of the relieving force assembled by Army Group South) to move to Nikopol to assist the defenders of the salient against the Soviet forces attempting to break through there.

&gt; Soviet Union... The Yalta Conference begins. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin and their senior military and political advisors meet to discuss the postwar order and the war with Japan. Yalta is a recently liberated Crimean resort.
Formal dinner at the Yalta Conference (from center right, Soviet leader Stalin, US President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill)

&gt; Western Front... The Allies announce that all German forces have been expelled from Belgium. US 1st and 3rd Army units are attacking toward the Roer River around Duren.

&gt; The Philippines... On Luzon, advance units of the US 1st Cavalry Division reach the outskirts of Manila from the north while units of 11th Airborne Division approach from the south. Yama****a has not ordered his forces to defend the city but the 20,000 Japanese troops under the local naval commander in the city are prepared to fight to the end.

&gt; The Volcano Islands... American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers continue to raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

I will be taking a much needed break tomorrow and will be at the beautiful Oregon Coast with my family. I'm sure that woofiedog will continue his valuable contributions to this thread. A big S! woofiedog. I (we) appreicate your contributions. I'll be back Sunday.

02-04-2005, 11:10 PM
On this day of Feb 5 1945...

The Colmar Pocket


Even before NORDWIND had ended the 6th Army Group commander was preparing to eliminate the Colmar Pocket in southern Alsace. Five French divisions and two American, the 3d Infantry and the rebuilt 28th Division, held eight German infantry divisions and an armored brigade in a rich farming area laced with rivers, streams, and a major canal but devoid of significant hills or ridges. Devers wanted to reduce this frozen, snow-covered pocket before thaws converted the ploughed ground to a quagmire. General de Lattre's French First Army would write finis to the Germans in the Colmar Pocket, but it would be a truly Allied attack.

To draw the German reserves southward plans called for four divisions from the French I Corps to start the assault. This initial foray would set the stage for the French II Corps to launch the main effort in the north. The defending Nineteenth Army's eight divisions were low on equipment but well provided with artillery munitions, small arms, and mines, and fleshed out with whatever manpower and materiel that Himmler, the overall commander, could scrounge from the German interior. Bad weather, compartmentalized terrain, and fear of Himmler's SS secret police strengthened the German defense.

On 20 January, in the south, Lt. Gen. Emile Bethouart's French I Corps began its attack in a driving snowstorm. Although its gains were limited by armored-infantry counterattacks, the corps drew the Nineteenth Army's armor southward, along with the arriving 2d Mountain Division. Two days later, in the north, Maj. Gen. Amie de Goislard de Monsabert's French II Corps commenced its attack, led by the U.S. 3d Division. Reinforced by one of the 63d Infantry Division's regiments, the 3d advanced over the first of several watercourses and cleared the Colmar Forest. It met resistance on the Ill River but continued to fight its way forward through enemy counterattacks, subsequently crossing the Colmar Canal and opening an avenue for the French 5th Armored Division. The Allies pushed further eastward in deepening snow and worsening weather, with the 28th and 75th Divisions from the Ardennes following. On the twenty-fifth Maj. Gen. Frank W. Milburn's XXI Corps joined the line. Assuming control of the 3d, 28th, and 75th Divisions, the 12th Armored Division, which was shifted from reserves, and the French 5th Armored Division, the corps launched the final thrust to the Vauban Canal and Rhone-Rhine Canal bridges at Neuf-Brisach. Although the campaign was officially over on 25 January, the American and French troops did not completely clear the Colmar Pocket until 9 February. However, its successful reduction marked the end of both the German presence on French territory and the Nineteenth Army. And with the fighting finally concluded in the Ardennes and Alsace, the Allies now readied their forces for the final offensive into Germany.

02-04-2005, 11:15 PM
Audie Murphy: One-Man Stand at Holtzwihr


By Daniel R. Champagne

Audie Murphy's reckless bravery during the battle saved his company and earned him the Medal of Honor. (U.S. Army)
On a frigid January afternoon in 1945, Company B, 15th Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, was attacked on the outskirts of Holtzwihr, France, by six tanks and an estimated 250 German infantrymen, who were determined to wrest the Bois de Riedwihr from the Americans. Certain that his decimated company could not withstand the German onslaught, First Lieutenant Audie L. Murphy ordered his men to fall back to safety deep in the forest. After expending all his carbine ammunition at the enemy, Murphy himself prepared to fall back. Suddenly, he spotted a .50-caliber machine gun on the turret of a burning tank destroyer. Knowing that his position had to be held at all costs, Murphy climbed on top and began firing the machine gun at the oncoming Germans.

Native Texan Murphy, destined to become a postwar film star, made his courageous stand during the Colmar offensive, which eventually drove the Germans from their last foothold on French soil. The 3rd Infantry Division's role in the offensive was to advance near the Bois de Riedwihr, a large forest in the northern sector of the Colmar Pocket that stretched between the heavily fortified villages of Riedwihr and Holtzwihr. Lieutenant Colonel Keith Ware, executive officer of the 15th Regiment, later recalled how imperative it was to secure the forest, explaining, "Its possession was of cardinal importance, as the woods dominated the German stronghold of Holtzwihr, the reduction of which was essential to the prompt accomplishment of the 3rd Division's offensive tasks."


-HH- Beebop
02-06-2005, 11:36 AM
6 February
&gt; Britain... At Euston Station, in London, a parcel bomb injures 4 people. Members of the IRA are reported to be responsible.

&gt; London... The government produces a white paper on the Asamu Maru incident (January 21st). Also, pressure from the admiralty leads to new guidelines for BBC war reporting being agreed upon at Broadcasting House. From now on, the sinking of a small ship may be mentioned only once in a BBC news bulletin. Larger ships, like the Canadian Pacific freighter Beaverburn, sunk today, can be mentioned in consecutive bulletins. There is concern that the rising effectiveness of German U-boats, combined with zealous reporting, will give the impression that British losses are even greater than they are. Meanwhile, a nationwide campaign is launched to end war gossip, under the slogan "Careless Talk Costs Lives."

&gt; North Africa... Benghazi is taken by Australian units following the Italian retreat. The Italian forces are streaming back along the coast road to Beda Fomm and during the day they make desperate attacks on the British blocking force there. These attacks are repulsed with heavy loss but the small British force is compelled to give some ground.

&gt; The Philippines... Japanese reinforcements land on Luzon. In the Bataan peninsula there is a lessening of the fighting.

&gt; Washington... The first meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, as defined by the Arcadia Conference, takes place.

&gt; Eastern Front... In the Caucasus the Soviets reach Bataysk, south of Rostov, and capture Yeysk on the Sea of Azov. On the Donets River, Lisichansk is occupied and Red Army forces cross the river further upstream at Izyum, reaching Barvenkovo.

&gt; Washington... The American command in Europe and North Africa is restructured. General Andrews is appointed to the new European Theater Command and General Eisenhower remains in command in North Africa.

&gt; Berlin... Manstein, commanding Army Group Don on the Eastern Front, flies to see Hitler about getting approval for a retreat behind the Mius River.

&gt; Eastern Front... The Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front captures Manganets, east of Nikopol. To the west of Nikopol, Apostolovo also falls to Soviet forces. German forces defending Nikopol are threatened with a Soviet encirclement.

&gt; Italy... Forces of US 5th Army continue fighting in the hills north of Cassino.

&gt; Eastern Front... Southeast of Breslau, the Soviet forces of the 1st Ukrainian Front begin to push out of their bridgehead over the Oder River. Hundreds of thousands of panicked German civilians flee westwards from Breslau towards Dresden.

&gt; Italy... Units of US 4th Corps from US 5th Army take Gallicano in a brief offensive designed to improve the Allied positions on either side of the Serchio Valley.

&gt; The Volcano Islands... American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

&gt; Soviet Union... The Yalta Conference continues. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin and their senior military and political advisors meet to discuss the postwar order and the war with Japan. Yalta is a recently liberated Crimean resort.

-HH- Beebop
02-07-2005, 06:33 AM
7 February

&gt; The North Atlantic... In the Irish Sea, the Irish passenger-mail ship Munster is sunk by a mine.

&gt; Britain... IRA members, Barnes and Richards, are executed at Winson Green Prison, Birmingham. They were sentenced to death on December 11, 1939 at the "Coventry Explosion" trial for the murder of 5 people in Coventry on August 25, 1939.

&gt; North Africa... Large-scale surrenders begin at Beda Fomm after the Italians have made fruitless attempts to break through to continue their retreat. Eventually about 25,000 more Italians will be taken, along with 200 guns and 120 tanks. Since the start of the campaign two months previously a force of no more than two divisions has destroyed 10 Italian divisions and taken 130,000 prisoners for the loss of 555 dead and 1400 wounded. Many of the British vehicles now desperately need repairs. In the evening Agedabia falls to the British forces.

&gt; Germany... The German Minister of Munitions Todt, is killed in an airplane crash. Albert Speer, Hitler's architects is appointed to replace him. Todt has been responsible for attempting to place Germany's economy on a war footing. Speer will continue to push these policies. At this point, the German economy is still producing consumer goods at almost a prewar level although recent reversals in the USSR and Todt's polices are being to change the situation.

&gt; North Africa... Rommel's Afrika Korps halts its advance near Gazala. They have recaptured almost all of the territory the British had taken in 1941. The British 1st Armored Division is in disarray and the morale of the British 8th Army is sinking.

&gt; The Eastern Front... Soviet forces attack Rzhev, to the west of Moscow.

&gt; The Solomon Islands... On Guadalcanal the US 161st Regiment continues a cautious advance. The Japanese proceed with their evacuation.

&gt; The Eastern Front... Soviet forces capture Azov at the mouth of the Don River. In the Ukraine they capture Kramatorsk, south of Slavyansk.

&gt; The Marshall Islands... In the Kwajalein Atoll, American forces complete the elimination of isolated Japanese pockets of resistance.

&gt; Berlin... Hitler agrees to allow the troops trapped in the Korsun pocket to attempt a breakout.

&gt; The Eastern Front... In the Korsun pocket, General Stemmermann pulls out of Gorodische and Yanovka in order to concentrate the German forces for a breakout attempt.

&gt; Italy... At the Anzio beachhead, there are new attacks on the British 1st Division by German forces. The Germans aim for the village of Aprilia and "The Factory" nearby. Meanwhile, the British 56th Division and the US 45th Division arrive at Anzio.

&gt; The Eastern Front... Troops of the 1st Belorussian Front (Zhukov), on the Oder River, seize some small bridgeheads over the river in the Kustrin area and near Furstenberg. There are also attacks in Pomerania where Answalde and Deutsche Krone are among the main centers of German resistance.
On the Western Front... In the US 5th Corps advance toward the Roer, Schmidt is taken. To the south, US 3rd Army units move into Germany east of the Our.

&gt; Volcano Islands... American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

&gt; The Soviet Union... The Yalta Conference continues. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin and their senior military and political advisors meet to discuss the postwar order and the war with Japan. Yalta is a recently

-HH- Beebop
02-08-2005, 06:41 AM
I love this forum engine!
Just spent 20 minutes compiling my daily post and when I hit "Post Now" I recieved the message "Message_Body is a Mandatory Field. You must enter a value." http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Have to go to *#@! (work, the only true '4 letter word'). I'll post tonight. sorry for the delay.

02-08-2005, 01:21 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif-HH- Beebop... Done it a number of times and you can't say... It S---'s on the Forum... But I would like to say what a Mint Job you have done with this Thread.
Great stories!

-HH- Beebop
02-08-2005, 06:27 PM
Thank you. And same to you. You've found some really excellent material. Real in-depth stories of WWII history.
Now on to today.........

8 February
&gt; The Winter War... The Finns are very tired and their artillery is running short of ammunition. Throughout this period (of Soviet attacks beginning on February 1st) the diplomatic exchanges via Sweden continue, but achieve nothing in the face of Soviet refusals to modify their terms.

&gt; Paris... Police raid the Soviet Press Agency and discover that it is being used as a front for pro-German propoganda.

&gt; The Western Front... Two French soldiers capture a German patrol in Forbach Woods. One of the soldiers, Joseph Darnand, later heads the Vichy French secret police (January 10, 1943).

&gt; The United States... "Harry Sawyer" (Sebold) arrives in New York to lead a German spy network in the USA. His special equipment includes "microdots". (Sebold is a double agent, working for the FBI).

&gt; Sofia... The German and Bulgarian staffs agree on the detailed arrangements for German troops to enter Bulgaria.

&gt; The North Atlantic... The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau approach the convoy HX-106 but do not attack because the escort includes the old battleship Ramillies.

&gt; Washington... The Lend-Lease Bill is passed by the House by 260 votes to 165.

&gt;[/b] Malaysia... The Japanese invade Singapore after a day of air bombardment. Troops of the Japanese 5th, 18th and Imperial Guards Divisions land on the northwest of the island in the area defended by the 22nd Australian Brigade. The garrison at this point is almost 85,000 strong including support troops. The Japanese have successfully avoided the large guns at the fortress on Singapore as they were designed to defend against a direct sea borne attack.

&gt; The Philippines... Japanese General Homma, halts his main attacks to await further reinforcement. Some heavy fighting, however, continues.

&gt; Burma... The first Chindit raiding expedition sets out from Imphal for Tamu. The force is formally the 77th Indian Brigade under the command of General Wingate.

&gt; The Eastern Front... Soviet forces capture Kursk.

&gt; The Solomon Islands... The last 2000 Japanese troops are evacuated by 18 destroyers.

&gt; Italy... At the Anzio beachhead, the British 1st Division continues to battle German forces advancing toward Aprilia and "The Factory".

&gt; The Eastern Front... Soviet forces of the 3rd Ukrainian Front capture Nikopol. The German defenders of 6th Army (part of Army Group South) have successfully withdrawn. Nikopol is an important center for the production of manganese.

&gt; The Western Front... A new offensive is begun by the Canadian 1st Army and the British 2nd Army from between the Maas and the Waal southeast of Nijmegen. There is considerable air support and the advance penetrates the Reichswald area on the first day. In the US 3rd Army sector, the US 8th Corps manages to advance beyond the Our.
Troops of the Canadian 5th Field Regiment manning a 25-pounder artillery piece in the Nijmegen area

&gt; The Eastern Front... In East Prussia, the German forces have now been virtually split into three groups; the defenders of Konigsberg, some forces trapped on the peninsula to the west of the town, and those to the south, the largest group, holding out around Keiligenbeil and inland.

&gt; The Philippines... The US 1st Cavalry Division is heavily engaged in the eastern suburbs of Manila. The US 37th Division is also fighting in the city.

&gt; The Volcano Islands... American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

&gt; The Soviet Union... The Yalta Conference continues. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin and their senior military and political advisors meet to discuss the postwar order and the war with Japan. Yalta is a recently liberated Crimean resort.

02-08-2005, 09:41 PM
During this month of February 1940...

The Karelian Isthmus
1 February 1940


1) the Finnish main defense line
2) the boundary of the Finnish Corps
3) Finnish divisional boundaries
1) the Finnish 2nd Division
2) the 2nd Brigade
3) the 26th Infantry Regiment (Jalkav¤ki Rykmentti)
4) the Uusimaa Dragoon Regiment (Uudenmaan Rakuunarykmentti)
5) the H¤me Cavalry Regiment (H¤meen Ratsurykmentti)
6) the Soviet 4th Division

On February 1st 1940, the Finnish Isthmus Army was still holding the positions it took in early December 1939. The Soviet forces had suffered grievous losses on the repeated frontal assaults against the Finnish defense-lines throughout December and the first days of the year 1940.
But also the Finns had suffered heavy losses, mainly because the Finnish artillery in it's severe ammo shortage couldn't conduct counter-battery fire and couldn't actively support the defenders. But in many cases, when artillery was used, it usually won the day. The counterattack by the II Corps (23 December 1939) , that failed, had also it's adverse effect on the Finnish forces. In time, the casualties got higher, and the battalions and companies decreased in size every day, as new reinforcements were hard to come by.

The Finns had changed on January 1st, the designations of three divisions and their sub-units. The 6th division became the 3rd division, the 11th division became the 2nd division and the 10th division became the 7th division. The purpose was to deceive the enemy, but it's unknown if it worked.
Old designation New designation
6.D - 3.D... 11.D - 2.D... 10.D - 7.D
JR 17 - JR 7... JR 31 - JR 4... JR 28 - JR 19
JR 18 - JR 8... JR 32 - JR 5... JR 29 - JR 20
JR 22 - JR 9... JR 33 - JR 6... JR 30 - JR 21
KTR 6 - KTR 3... KTR 11 - KTR 2... KTR 10 - KTR 7
Kev.Os.6 - Kev.Os.3... Kev.Os.11 - Kev.Os.2... Kev.Os.10 - Kev.Os.7

Finland had 2 replacement / training divisions (the 21st and 23rd divisions) on the Home Front (as C-in-C's reserves) , which were attached to the field army in late January. It was decided, that they would provide more use on the front, than training replacements. The 21st division was moved behind the III Corps, to act as a strategic reserve, and the 23rd was moved behind the IV Corps, fighting on the northern shores of Lake Ladoga.
These divisions were very weak, in both training and equipment. For instance, when the war started, 75 - 80 % of the men in the 21st division had only civilian clothes. In time the situation "improved", because when the war ended "only" 60 % were in civilian clothes.
The divisions didn't have artillery regiments, and they even got their mortars on the way to the front. Of course, the divisions eventually got some artillery pieces, but one artillery battalion from the 21st division got her guns only after the war had ended. The divisions were armed with just enough automatic weapons, to train with them, but certainly not enough to fight efficiently.

The high command of the Red Army, after the attacks in December were repulsed, noted serious flaws in their own organization and armed forces in general. The doctrines and theories, that had been used until now weren't usable in the Finnish terrain.
After the large scale attacks on the Isthmus were canceled in late December - early January, the high command started to the preparations to win the war. Because the Karelian Isthmus offered the fastest way to victory, it was decided to concentrate the needed forces there.
At first, the leadership was rearranged. In the isthmus a new northwestern front (Army Group) was formed with Army commander 1st Class S. K. Timoshenko as the commander.
K. A. Meretskov continued as the commander of the 7th army on the west side of the isthmus and Army commander 2nd Class V. D. Grendal was still on charge of the 13th Army, formed in 25th December.

At the end of January, the number of Soviet forces on the Karelian Isthmus had grown to consist the following units:

7th Army
Infantry divisions 12, Army group artillery regiments 7, Corps artillery regiments 4, Super heavy artillery battalions 2, Tank brigades 5, Machine gun brigades 1, Separate tank battalions 2, Aircraft regiments 10.

13th Army
Infantry divisions 9, Army group artillery regiments 6, Corps artillery regiments 3, Super heavy artillery battalions 2, Tank brigades 1, Machine gun brigades 1, Separate tank battalions 2, Aircraft regiments 5, Cavalry regiments 1.

In addition to these forces, the Soviet High Command formed a reserve group with 3 inf. divisions, 1 tank brigade and a cavalry Corps.
(The information on the reserve group varies by different Soviet sources, other sources indicate that the reserve group had only 2 divisions and the total infantry division number on the isthmus was 23, and depending on the source, the number of units is somewhat the same.)

The Soviet war-machine was almost ready to launch, this time a very well prepared and practiced, offensive against the Mannerheim-line.
Two thirds of the artillery and some 60 % of the Soviet forces on the Isthmus were concentrated against the Finnish II Corps between Vuoksi and Karhula. The result was, that on the chosen 40 km long front, the approximate Soviet strength per kilometer of front was between 2 - 4,5 infantry battalions and 50 - 70 artillery pieces.

On February 3rd, the war-council of the Northwestern front, gave the two armies the following missions:
- The 7th Army was to break the Finnish positions between Lake Muolaanj¤rvi and Karhula and advance to Viipuri. The 7th Army has at it's use 9 infantry divisions, 5 tank brigades, a machine-gun brigade and 10 Corps-level Artillery Regiments.
- The 13th Army was to break the Finnish positions between Lake Muolaanj¤rvi and Lake Ladoga and advance to K¤kisalmi. The main body of the 13th Army will be concentrated between Muolaanj¤rvi and Vuoksi, numbering 5 infantry divisions, a tank brigade and 6 Corps-level artillery regiments.

The commander of the NW-front ordered that the 10 first days of February should be used to make small-scale attacks, in order to identify Finnish defenses and to improve positions to the consequent large offense. The actual attack-order was given on February 9th.

02-08-2005, 10:37 PM
My apologies Col. I didn't realize that this thread you had started was still at it. I must say, a most educational thread. Everyone contibuting: please keep up the good work! I S! you all!

02-08-2005, 11:26 PM
February 1, 1940

As 1940 came,
it was apparent to Stalin that his armies were suffering terrible losses; he was getting nowhere fast and knew that Finland had to be beaten at all costs. The British and other nations offered token forces and supplies for Finland, but the Swedes refused transit. Hitler made immediate plans to invade Norway and Denmark while these two countries declared themselves "neutral." Swedish diplomats pointed out that "When great powers are waging war, small countries can't afford to be heroic." This was the thanks Finland got for honoring her commitments to her neighbor, Sweden. Stalin demoted or shot most of the commanders and placed the entire operation in Finland under the command of Marshal Semyon K. Timoshenko.

Timoshenko ordered large numbers of reinforcements into Western Karelia. According to Khrushchev, Stalin was "gnashing his teeth," waiting for news. "Our air force has been called into action. Many bridges have been destroyed. Many trains have been crippled . . . The Finns have only their skis left. Their supply of skis never runs out."

Blanket bombing began on February 1, 1940, to soften up the lines. The Russians massed 600,000 men, artillery lined hub to hub and poured over 300,000 shells in one day on the Mannerheim Line's Summa positions. In 1.6 miles of front there were 440 cannon pounding the Finns who replied with only 16. Six divisions supported by 500 aircraft and many tanks attacked at the Hatjalahti and Muolaa Lake sectors. The Finns pushed them back. Entire Russian Divisions were wiped out, but more kept attacking over the frozen bodies of their comrades.

The main and final attack of the war began on February 6, 1940, along a five-mile front in Western Karelia with three divisions supported by 150 tanks and 200 airplanes. The results were the same with thousands of dead Russians lying in front of the Finnish positions and more Russian troops charging across their frozen bodies

February 9 1940

Ladoga Karelia: Finnish troops surround a Red Army regiment in Vorojenkivi, to the east of the great Kitel¤ 'motti', establishing what was later to become known as the 'regimental motti' to the north of Lake Ladoga. The name came naturally from the fact that an entire Russian regiment (JR 203) was trapped there.

The Finnish attempt to immediately take the 'motti' grinds to a halt in face of the Soviet tanks trapped inside. A bloody struggle ensues.

Karelian Isthmus: the commanders of the Soviet northwest front on the Isthmus order a general offensive. Around midday, the Soviet infantry launches a tank-supported assault in the Finnish 4th Division's positions in Marjapellonm¤ki.

The assault is repulsed, but Soviet troops manage to take the Karhu stronghold to the north of Marjapellonm¤ki on the Summa front.

Finnish attempts to retake the stronghold prove unsuccessful.

In Summa, a fresh battalion is sent in during the course of the evening to relieve the battalion fighting in the L¤hde sector.

Helsinki: graduation as a qualified nurse is to be made easier and more courses provided for trainee nurses in the Helsinki area.

The armed forces payment system is to be overhauled by presidential decree. Every soldier is to receive a monthly salary, ranging from 500 markkaa for a private soldier up to 2,500 markkaa for a general. This basic salary will be further supplemented by 150 markkaa for the first child in the family and an additional 100 markkaa for each subsequent child.

The Government is also to decide on the payment of maintenance benefits to the wife, child or disabled and dependent parents or siblings of a man called up to serve in the armed forces.

Sweden: more than two out of every hundred Swedish doctors are now in Finland, and the Swedish Medical Association's collection for Finland has already brought in over 100,000 krona.

A collection organized by a Lutheran priest in Gothenburg has raised 240,000 krona to buy a fighter aircraft for Finland.

Denmark: 10,000 Danes have volunteered to go and work in Finland.

London: a credit agreement has been signed to facilitate Finland's purchase of war materiel from the United Kingdom.

02-08-2005, 11:47 PM

Planes used in combat during Winter War.

Fokker D.XXI... 97
Brewster 239... 8 total number 44, didn't see action = (dsa)
Bristol Blenheim... 22 1 destroyed & 1 damaged in transit
Bristol Bulldog (MK IV)... 19
Douglas DC-2... 2 made 1 bombing run
Gloster Gladiator... 30
Hawker Hurricane... 8 total number 11, 1 destroyed in transit, dsa
Fiat G.50 "Freccia"... 33 originally 35, but 2 destroyed in transit
Morane Saulnier 406... 30
Bristol Blenheim I,III,IV... 22
Fokker C V E...
Fokker C X...
Blackburn Ripon II F
Junkers K-43, W-34
Koolhoven F.K.52... 2


During the Winter War, no planes came out from the Finnish aircraft factories, since repairing virtually ate up the whole capacity. Finland captured 25 Soviet planes.

The maintenance and repairing of planes was very difficult due to lack of spare parts and the large number of different plane types.
The State Aircraft Factory (Valtion lentokonetehdas) repaired both engines and planes. Engines and other parts were salvaged from downed planes and cannibalized from damaged ones. The engine-department of the Tampella produced 4 engines during the war. From the factory of "Brothers Karhum¤ki" (Veljekset Karhum¤ki) repaired training planes with an average speed of 1 / month.
Of the problems in maintenance of planes acquired from abroad the British Blenheim - bombers are a good example; the engines were of different type, than in those planes bought before the war, the radios were set on a different frequency than the Finnish ones, the Finnish bombs didn't fit in the British bomb racks, and on top of all, the engines used 100-octane gas, that the Finns didn't have!

The bomb-situation was adequate throughout the war. The Finns dropped some 6 400 bombs, 208 tons, most of which were 12,5 kg and 50 kg bombs. New bombs were sent with some of the plane-shipments from abroad, and the Finnish Tolfvan-company produced 80 tons / month.


The aviation fuel-situation was also adequate throughout the war, except for the 100-octane gas needed in the Blenheim bombers. At the start of the war, the air force had in it's stocks 3,9 million liters of fuel. During the war, a total 3 500 tons of aviation fuel was transported to Finland via Stockholm-Turku, along with lubricants. When the war ended, a further 3 000 tons were on it's way. The Finns lost, in Soviet air attacks, some 70 tons of fuel.

The FAF flew an estimated total of 5 900 combat missions (6 300 combat flight hours) during the Winter War, from which 3 900 were interception missions, 800 bombing runs, 70 recon (aerial photograph) and 1100 other.
The Swedish volunteer unit flew an additional 600 flight hours (all flights included) .
The FAF consumed approximately 2 100 tons of aviation fuel (the biggest consumption was in February nearly 830 000 liters) , 850 000 rounds and 208 tons of bombs.


In whole, FAF claimed 190 confirmed kills, 143 bombers, 37 fighters and 10 reconnaissance planes, and nearly 100 probable.

The Finnish plane losses were 62 destroyed (including 11 FR, 17 GL, 7 FK, 5 RI and 12 BL) and 35 planes damaged.
From the losses, 47 were downed by the Soviet forces. The Soviet fighters shot down 35 planes, the Soviet AA-fire 8 planes and 4 for unknown reasons (the figures include the losses suffered by the Swedish voluntary unit and the planes lost while in transit to Finland) .
In the flight units, 77 men (41 officers, 33 NCO's, 1 private) were either killed in action (KIA) or missing in action (MIA) .

-HH- Beebop
02-09-2005, 07:04 AM
9 February
&gt; Washington... Sumner Welles, US Under-Secretary of State, is to visit the belligerent countries in Europe with the aim of trying to negotiate a peace settlement.

&gt; Berlin... General Manstein is appointed to command the German 33rd Corps. Although this promotion is well deserved it seems that the German Army High Command hopes to shift Manstein to a less influential post than his present appointment as Chief of Staff to Rundstedt at Army Group A. He has had considerable influence in policy making and has been the leading figure arguing for a radical change in the plans for the attack on the west.

&gt; Ireland... A bill allowing for the detention of IRA members without trial becomes law.

&gt; Turkey... The government dismisses 80 German technical advisers.

&gt; Britain... German destroyers lay mines in The Wash, on the British east coast during the night (February 9-10).

&gt; The Winter War... Finns hold Soviet attacks around Summa.

&gt; North Africa... The British advance comes to a halt at El Agheila. There is little Italian opposition to prevent a further move, but Wavell is being compelled to withdraw troops which will be sent to Greece. He is also responsible for the campaign in East Africa and for making some provision for the defense of Palestine. In the near future, this will demand more of his attention because of German activity in Iraq and Syria.

&gt; The Mediterranean... In an audacious attack the battleship Malaya and the battlecruiser Renown from Force H bombard the harbor at Genoa. The carrier Ark Royal also takes part in the operation, sending aircraft to attack Leghorn and La Spezia. Five ships in Genoa are sunk and 18 damaged. The Italians fail to attack the British force.

&gt; Dutch East Indies... Japanese aircraft raid airfields near Batavia, the capital.

&gt; Burma... Japanese forces cross the Salween River.

&gt; United States... The troop transport Lafayette (83,000 tons) -- previously the French liner Normandie -- catches fire in New York harbor.

&gt; Britain... Soap is rationed to 4 oz (113 g) for household use or 2 oz (56 g) for toiletry use per person per month.

&gt; Canada... In four by-elections the "anti-conscription" candidates are heavily defeated.

&gt; Delhi... Chiang Kai-shek visits.

&gt; The Solomon Islands... The US 161st and 132nd Regiments link up at Tenaro, too late to prevent the Japanese evacuation. The Japanese have lost 10,000 killed and the Americans have lost 1600 killed. Losses in ships and planes have been about equal. Guadalcanal has be a strategic defeat for the Japanese.

&gt; The Eastern Front... Soviet forces capture Belgorod and the town of Shebekino to the southeast.

&gt; The Eastern Front... German air forces make renewed efforts to bring supplies to the troops in the Korsun pocket. Large quantities of fuel and ammunition are delivered, while some of the wounded are flown out.

&gt; Italy... At the Anzio beachhead, German forces capture Aprilia from the British 1st Division which continues to hold "The Factory".

&gt; The Philippines... As well as the fighting in Manila, there is an attack by the US 11th Airborne Division southeast of the city near Nichols and Nielsen Fields.
Near Manilla, American airborne troops and supplies land on the Japanese airstrip after it has been bombed.

&gt; Burma... In the Arakan area the British 26th Indian Division completes the capture of Ramree Island.

&gt; The Volcano Islands... American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

&gt; The Western Front... In the British and Canadian offensive near Nijmegen (by Canadian 1st Army), the Rhine is reached at Millingen, which is captured. The US 3rd Army is attacking near Prum on its northern flank (US 8th Corps) while US 12th Corps to the south also makes gains. Farther south still, the resistance of the German forces around Colmar comes to an end.

&gt; The Soviet Union... The Yalta Conference continues. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin and their senior military and political advisors meet to discuss the postwar order and the war with Japan. Yalta is a recently liberated Crimean resort.

02-09-2005, 11:04 PM
On this day of Feb 10 1940...

The defensive lines in the Karelian Isthmus

Heavier fighting in Taipale
Central Isthmus: the commander of the Finnish 3rd Division says the main defensive position in Summa is under attack from three Soviet divisions and a tank brigade.

The Soviet infantry has broken through in the Merkki sector.

Finnish troops successfully repulse the enemy assaults in Marjapellonm¤ki, but are unable to retake the Karhu stronghold.

Eastern Isthmus: the fighting in Taipale continues with increasing ferocity. The enemy artillery opens fire at 10.30 in the morning.

At 12 minutes past noon the enemy infantry launches its assault with the support of six assault tanks.

At 2.30 p.m. Major Saarelainen announces that the enemy assault has been successfully repulsed and four of their assault tanks destroyed.

Mikkeli: Prime Minister Ryti, Foreign Minister Tanner and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, Marshall Mannerheim discuss possible terms for peace. Mannerheim urges the Government to seek peace.

Ladoga Karelia: in the Aittojoki sector, troops belonging to Detachment Pajari carry out a new assault on the River Kuukkausjoki.

After fierce close combat the Finnish troops manage to clear the enemy from the west bank of the river by the evening.

Viipuri: enemy bombing destroys the Dominican monastery built in 1481 and currently serving as the church for the rural congregation around Viipuri.

Abroad: a train from the Finnish Centre for Nordic Aid arrives in Stockholm with 300 Finnish children.

A Danish officer, Colonel Tretow-Loof is travelling to Finland to lead the Danish volunteer battalion.

An association called 'Wings for Finland' is founded in New York to procure aircraft for Finland.

The Soviet 7th Army had concentrated 60 % of it's infantry units and two thirds of it's artillery on a 40 km wide front from Karhula (west of Summa) to lake Muolaanj¤rvi This gave an average of 2 - 4,5 inf. battalions and 50 -70 artillery pieces per km.

The commander of the Soviet Northwestern front had ordered that the 10 first days of February should be used to conduct small probing attacks and attempts to improve positions for the eventual major attack.
The attacks were conducted by company - battalion strength and were supported by tanks. The Soviet tactics had improved. The tanks didn't make unsupported charges, instead they waited if the infantry didn't follow and they towed them in large armored sledges. The tanks kept distance to the defender's trenches so that the few Finnish AT-guns couldn't fire and the Soviet infantry kept the Finnish infantry AT-teams at bay. The Soviet forces started to systematically destroy the defense works (wire obstacles, AT-obstacles, shelters, bunkers etc.) after they had gained some ground and before the Finnish counterattacks threw them back.

Every day, the Soviet artillery poured shells on the Finnish line, firing in a day more shells than the whole Finnish army had ever had in it's stocks during the war. The Finnish reconnaissance flights revealed scores of "fat targets" in the Soviet rear area, but the Finnish artillery was not allowed to bombard them due to ammo shortage, instead the Finnish artillery had strict orders to open fire only on actual attacks. The Soviet Air Force had every moment dozens of planes in the air increasing the devastation.

02-11-2005, 02:01 AM
On this day of Feb 11 1940...

February 11, 1940: Germany and the Soviet Union sign a trade agreement that provides for the delivery of vital war materials (grains, oil, strategic minerals) by the Soviets.

But on Feb 11 1945...
In the East, the Red Army has encircled the fortress city of Küstrin on the Oder and the Red Army captures Budapest.
A piece from Time Magazine 2-12-45...
Feb. 12, 1945 Through the smoke of fires set by R.A.F. and U.S. bombers, overcrowded Berlin could see the lightning and hear the thunder of Marshal Georgy K. Zhukov's First White Russian Army guns. They were trained, as Berlin knew, on the ancient fortress of Küstrin and five-times-stormed Frankfurt, the last two strongholds on the direct road to Berlin. Red Army soldiers, locked in a mighty tank and infantry battle in the "Oder quadrilateral" (the big bend in the river near Frankfurt), could see the pall of smoke that hung over Berlin. On the entire eastern front, ablaze in various degrees...

President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin signed the Yalta Agreement during World War Two and the Yalta Conference ends on 11 February.

-HH- Beebop
02-11-2005, 06:57 AM
Sorry I missed yesterday folks. Another forum glitch in the AM and then real life happened in the evening. Anyway, on with today...........

11 February
&gt; The Winter War... Intense fighting on the Karelian front begins as the Red Army launches what is to become the decisive assault on the Mannerheim Line. About 120,000 Soviet troops attack along a 12-mile front, a massive concentration of seven men per yard. The Soviet 123rd Division (an element of the Soviet 7th Army) succeeds in breaking into the Finnish defenses near Summa. Finns launch desperate counterattacks.

&gt; Berlin... The Germans and Soviets sign further trade and economic agreement. The Soviets will supply raw materials, especially oil and food, in return for manufactured products of all kinds, including arms.

&gt; Montreal... The Governor-General of Canada, Lord Tweedsmuir (well-known as the author John Buchan) dies after surgery for a head injury at age 64.

&gt; Vichy France... Darlan is nominated to be successor and deputy to Petain. He is to hold office as Foreign Minister, Minister of the Interior and Minister of Information as well as his rank as Commander in Chief of the Navy.

&gt; East Africa... General Cunningham's forces extend their advance from Kenya into the Italian Somaliland and take Afmadu.

&gt; The English Channel... The Channel Dash. Two German battle cruisers, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau accompanied by the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen make a successful run to their home port from Brest with minimal damage from British naval forces. However, both battle cruisers are damaged by mines, the Schnarhorst seriously. The Gneisenau takes to dock for minor repairs and becomes the target of a bombing raid, coded named Cereberus, commanded by Admiral Ciliax. The bombing raid proves successful and the Gneisenau is seriously damaged in port.

&gt; Malaya... The Allied counterattack against the Japanese invaders fails with heavy losses. The Allies must retreat to their final perimeter around the city itself.

&gt; The Eastern Front... Soviet General Vatutin's Southwest Front captures Lozovaya.

&gt; Italy... At the Anzio beachhead, German forces capture "The Factory" from the British 1st Division. Meanwhile forces of the US 5th Army continue to engage German defenders around Cassino. The US 34th Division makes an unsuccessful attempt to approach the Cassino monastery from the north.

&gt; The Eastern Front... In the morning, the German 3rd Panzer Corps (General Vormann), part of Army Group South, launches its attack to relieve the Korsun pocket. Its forces capture a bridge over the Gniloy Tikich. Late in the day, the trapped German troops begin a breakout attempt.

&gt; The Eastern Front... Soviet troops of the 1st Ukrainian Front begin to break out of their bridgehead over the Oder River, near Steinau, and attack west and north threatening Glogau. Other units will turn south to help surround Breslau. Leignitz is also attacked.
In Germany... The entire German gold reserve (about 100 tons) is transported from Berlin to a salt mine near Eisenach.

&gt; The Western Front... Elements of the Canadian 1st Army capture Cleve in the advance toward the Rhine. Farther south, elements of the US 8th Corps (part of US 3rd Army) capture the important road junction at Prum.

&gt; The Volcano Islands... American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

&gt; The Soviet Union... The Yalta Conference ends. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin and their senior military and political advisors meet to discuss the postwar order and the war with Japan. It is agreed that the USSR will join the war against Japan within two months of the end of the war in Europe. In return, the Soviet Union will be granted the Japanese part of Sakhalin Island and the Kurile Islands. Also, the postwar borders of Poland are established, as is the division of Germany into occupation zones. There are vague Soviet assurances concerning "free" and "democratic" elections in eastern European countries liberated by the USSR. In addition, there is discussion of a United Nations Organization and there is agreement on a preliminary meeting to create the institution, in April in San Francisco. Yalta is a recently liberated Crimean resort.

02-11-2005, 03:30 PM
Good work guys. This thread is great

02-12-2005, 02:12 AM
On this day of Feb 12 1942...
The "Scharnhorst", "Gneisenau" and "Prinz Eugen" escape from Brest through the North-Sea.

The Channel Dash

Eberhard Bock Hauptmann
On 15 January 1942, 3./JG 3 was redesignated 6./JG 1. Bock gained a double victory over RAF twin-engine bombers while providing fighter cover for Operation Donnerkeil, the €œChannel Dash€ of the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the battlecruiser Prinz Eugen on 12 February 1942.

The German battle-cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the lighter cruiser Prinz Eugen sailed from Brest to Germany through the English Channel in a carefully prepared and well-executed operation. News of the preparations did not reach Britain and the Germans chose a day when bad weather and low cloud gave their ships maximum concealment. A German fighter escort was provided throughout the voyage. The ships were not reported until late morning when a Spitfire of Fighter Command spotted them off Le Touquet. All available Royal Navy and R.A.F. units were ordered to attack the German ships before darkness closed in.

Wilhelm Mayer Leutnant
Wilhelm Mayer was born on 5 December 1917 at Fürth in Bayern. Unteroffizier Mayer joined JG 26 in January 1942 following completion of his flying training. He was assigned to 6./JG 26. He flew his first combat missions in support of Operation Donnerkeil, the aerial protection of the German Navy€s battle-cruisers Scharnhornst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen as they made their Channel dash from Brest on 12 February.


Most of Bomber Command was 'stood down' for the day; only 5 Group was at 4 hours' notice. The bomber squadrons made a frantic effort to prepare planes for attacks, which were mounted in 3 waves. Other aircraft of Coastal and Fighter Commands and of the Fleet Air Arm were also involved. The first Bomber Command aircraft were airborne at 1.30 p.m. and 242 sorties were flown by the squadrons before dark. Every type of aircraft available flew except the Whitleys which were stationed in the North of England. Bomber Command aircraft dispatched were: 92 Wellingtons, 64 Hampdens, 37 Blenheims, 15 Manchesters, 13 Halifaxes, 11 Stirlings and 10 of the new American-built Boston bombers with which some of the 2 Group squadrons were being equipped, although they were not yet officially ready for operations. It was the largest Bomber Command daylight operation of the war to date. Most of the bombers were unable to find the German ships in the poor weather conditions and, of those aircraft which did bomb, no hits were scored on these fast-moving and heavily defended targets. None of the attacks by other forces caused and serious damage to the German ships but the two largest, the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau, were both slowed down after striking mines laid by 5 Group Hampdens or Manchesters in the Frisian Islands during recent nights. Scharnhorst hit 2 mines and Gneisenau one. All the German ships reached the safety of ports in Germany before daybreak.

Prinz Eugen leaves Brest with the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau escorted by six destroyers for a dash through the English Channel. Group commanded by Vice Admiral Otto Ciliax. She expends over 5,000 rounds of AA ammunition, and fires some heavy shells at British destroyers. Reaches Brunsbüttel undamaged in the morning of the 13th.

The sailing of these ships, although a successful operation for the Germans, finally released Bomber Command from the effort-consuming and costly requirement to bomb the ships while they had been in French ports. Bomber Command had dropped 3,413 tons of bombs on these 3 ships in recent months and lost 127 aircraft in doing so. But these raids had achieved some success. Both Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had been hit and badly damaged by bombs; this and the constant threat of further damage prevented the ships from sailing from Brest on another Atlantic shipping raid and persuaded the Germans that they should be brought back to the greater protection of German ports.

Prinz Eugen leaves Brest with the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau escorted by six destroyers for a dash through the English Channel. Group commanded by Vice Admiral Otto Ciliax. She expends over 5,000 rounds of AA ammunition, and fires some heavy shells at British destroyers. Reaches Brunsbüttel undamaged in the morning of the 13th.


Lt Cdr Eugene Esmonde

Lieutenant Commander Eugene Esmonde, commanding the six Swordfish of the Fleet Air Arm at RAF Manston, was ordered at 1130 to mount an attack as soon as possible. It was recognised that his slow and vulnerable aircraft would need significant fighter escort to survive. Three fighter squadrons from RAF Biggin Hill and two from RAF Hornchurch were ordered to accompany him. The Biggin Hill aircraft were to defend against the now very large Luftwaffe fighter escort covering the ships, whilst the Hornchurch aircraft were to accompany his torpedo bombers in a low level attack, distracting anti-aircraft fire and strafing the ships to keep gunners heads down. However, the Hornchurch fighter controller telephoned Esmonde to warn him that his squadrons simply could not reach the rendezvous by the allotted time. The timing was also exceptionally tight for the nearer Biggin Hill units. But Esmonde feared that even a short delay might take the German ships out of reach. As soon as the first ten Spitfires from 72 Squadron appeared overhead at Manston at 1228, he set off with his Swordfish, with only one-fifth of his planned escort. The RAF Station Commander at Manston said of Esmonde:
"He knew what he was going into. But it was his duty. His face was tense and white. It was the face of a man already dead. It shocked me as nothing has ever done since."

A Fairey Swordfish aircraft similar to those used by 825 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, in the attempt to stop the German battlecruisers: all six Swordfish in the squadron were shot down

German fighter attacks began only ten miles out from the English coast. The Spitfires engaged, but found it impossible to keep track of both their opponents and the Swordfish, flying at only about 100mph at very low level. The other two Biggin Hill squadrons arrived to engage German fighters in the general area. One Spitfire was lost, and two Messerschmitts were thought to have been destroyed. Esmonde's six Swordfish pressed on alone, under heavy fighter attack and then, as the battlescruisers came into sight, intense anti-aircraft fire. The lower port wing of Esmonde's biplane was shot away, but he somehow managed to keep flying until he was eventually shot down and killed with his two crewmen just before he got in torpedo range. The two Swordfish with him managed to drop their torpedoes before being shot down; five of their six crew survived. The second section of three Swordfish were also all shot down, with the loss of all nine men aboard. Their efforts were in vain, with no torpedoes hitting their targets. Esmonde was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross, and the other seventeen men were also decorated.


Whirlwind fighters from 12 Group, Fighter Command, attempted to provide air cover for the surface attack by six elderly Royal Navy destroyers

137 Squadron RAF


On 12 February Warrant Officer Robertson (Whirlwind P7107) with Flight Sergeant Mercer (P7055), Red Section, and Pilot Officer H¤ggberg (P7093) with Pilot Officer DeHoux (P7012), Blue Section were recalled from a training flight and briefed to escort the 16th and 21st Destroyer Flotilla. They took off at 13:10.
Unfortunately they were unaware of the Channel Dash by the German battle cruisers "Scharnhorst", "Gneisenau" and "Prinz Eugen", which took place during the day. While looking for their destroyers they saw several ships through a hole in the clouds twenty miles off the Belgian Coast and dived down to investigate. Around 20 Bf109s immediately bounced them. Flight Sergeant Mercer got a Bf109 in his sights, but his cannon would not fire, Pilot Officer DeHoux fired all of his ammunition €without apparent result€ whilst H¤ggberg and Warrant Officer Basil Lionel Robertson (RAF No. 748333) failed to return.
Totally 137 Squadron lost four Whirlwinds to German Bf109s during the day (the other two were Pilot Officer Martin (7106) and Pilot Officer Sandy (P7050) who were lost after attacking "Gneisenau" and being shot down by Bf109s). Known German claims against Whirlwinds during this day is Oberleutnant Egon Mayer of 7./JG 2 (totally 102 victories), who claimed a Whirlwind north of Ostende at 13:38 (14:38 German time), Feldwebel Hans Stolz of 9./JG 2, who claimed a Whirlwind at 14:12 (15:12 German time) and Unteroffizier Willi Reuschling of 7./JG 2, who claimed one north of Ostende on 14:24 (15:24 German time).
German records also states that German fighters and five Whirlwinds clashed during an attack on "Gneisenau" at 13:55.
At 14:20 two Whirlwinds attacked "Gneisenau" from the port side and one of them was shot down by German fighters.
At 14:24 one Whirlwind was shot down over "Scharnhorst" by German fighters. Other Whirlwinds became involved in combat with other German fighters. One Whirlwind was seen leaving with heavy smoke coming from one of the engines. There was also heavy combat over "Gneisenau" at the same time.
It is possible that Mayer shot down H¤ggberg.
H¤ggbergs body was never found and he is commemorated on Panel 69 of the Air Force Memorial, Runnymede.

Totally during February H¤ggberg flew two convoy patrols of 2.35 hours and four Yarmouth patrols of 4.05 hours and four scrambles of 4.35 hours.
At the time of his death he had flown 37 sorties.

02-12-2005, 06:58 AM
The Channel Dash Feb 12 1942

British Destroyers Engaged
Name of Vessel Commander Notes
H.M.S. Campbell Captain C. T. M. Pizey Captain D.21
H.M.S. Vivacious Lt-Cdr R. Alexander
H.M.S. Worcester Lt-Cdr E. C. Coates Ship damaged.
H.M.S. Mackay Captain J. P. Wright Captain D.16
H.M.S. Walpole Lt-Cdr J. H. Eadon
H.M.S. Whitshed Lt-Cdr W. A. Juniper

British Motor Torpedo Boats Engaged
Name of Vessel Commander Notes
44 Sub-Lt R. F. Saunders Based on Dover
45 Lieutenant L. J. H. Gamble Based on Dover
48 Lieutenant C. A. Law Based on Dover
219 Temp. Sub-Lt M. Arnold-Foster Based on Dover
221 Lt-Cdr E. N. Pumphrey Based on Dover
18 Sub-Lt I. C. Trelawney Based on Ramsgate
32 Lieutenant D. J. Long Based on Ramsgate
71 Sub-Lt O. B. Mabee Based on Ramsgate

British Motor Gun Boats Engaged
Name of Vessel Commander Notes
41 Lieutenant P. F. S. Gould Based on Dover
43 Lieutenant R. King Based on Dover

British FAA Aircraft Engaged
Name of Vessel Commander Notes
Swordfish W. 4523 Lt J. C. Thompson 825 Squadron
Swordfish W. 5907 Sub-Lt C. M. Kingsmill 825 Squadron
Swordfish W. 5978 Sub-Lt P. Bligh 825 Squadron
Swordfish W. 5983 Sub-Lt B. W. Rose 825 Squadron
Swordfish W. 5984 Lt-Cdr E. Esmonde 825 Squadron
Swordfish W. 5985 Sub-Lt C. R. Wood 825 Squadron

British RAF Aircraft Engaged
Coastal Command 28 Beaufort torpedo bombers, 7 Hudson bombers
Fighter Command 398 Spitfire, Hurricane and Whirlwind fighters
Bomber Command 242 Blenheim, Halifax, Hampden, Manchester, Stirling and Wellington bombers

British Casualties
Fleet Air Arm 13 killed and missing, 3 wounded
H.M.S. Worcester 23 killed and missing, 4 died of wounds, 18 wounded

German Battleships Engaged
Name of Vessel Commander Notes
Gneisenau Kapit¤n-zur-See O. Fein Ship damaged.
Scharnhorst Kapit¤n-zur-See K. Hoffmann Flagship, Vice-Admiral Otto Ciliax on board. Ship damaged.

German Heavy Cruiser Engaged
Name of Vessel Commander Notes
Prinz Eugen Kapit¤n-zur-See H. Brinkmann

German Destroyers Engaged
Name of Vessel Commander Notes
Z 4 Richard Beitzen Kapit¤n-zur-See F. Berger
Korvettenkapit¤n von Davidson 5. Destroyer Flotilla
Z 5 Paul Jacobi Korvettenkapit¤n Schlieper 5. Destroyer Flotilla
Z 7 Hermann Schoemann Korvettenkapit¤n Wittig 5. Destroyer Flotilla
Z 14 Friedrich Ihn Korvettenkapit¤n G. Wachsmuth 5. Destroyer Flotilla
Z 25 Korvettenkapit¤n H. Peters 5. Destroyer Flotilla
Z 29 Korvettenkapit¤n Rechel 5. Destroyer Flotilla. Ship damaged.
Commander-in-Chief Rear-Admiral Erich Bey

German Torpedo Boats Engaged
Name of Vessel Commander Notes
T 2 Kapit¤nleutnant G¶decke 2. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
T 4 Kapit¤nleutnant Sommerlatt 2. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
T 5 Kapit¤nleutnant Koppenhagen 2. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
T 11 Kapit¤nleutnant Grund 2. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
T 12 Kapit¤nleutnant Mellin 2. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
Commander-in-Chief Heinrich Erdmann

Name of Vessel Commander Notes
T 13 Kapit¤nleutnant Gotzmann 3. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
T 15 Kapit¤nleutnant J. Quedenfeldt 3. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
T 16 Kapit¤nleutnant Düvelius 3. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
T 17 Kapit¤nleutnant Bl¶se 3. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
Commander-in-Chief Hans Wilcke

Name of Vessel Commander Notes
Falke Kapit¤nleutnant Hoffmann 5. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
Iltis Kapit¤nleutnant Jacobsen 5. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
Jaguar Kapit¤nleutnant F. K. Paul 5. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
Kondor Kapit¤nleutnant Burkart 5. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
Seeadler Kapit¤nleutnant Kohlauf 5. Torpedo Boat Flotilla
Commander-in-Chief Moritz Schmidt

German Schnellboot Engaged
S 29, S 39, S 53, S 70, S 103, S 104, S 105, S 108, S 111 2. Schnellboot Flotilla stationed at Ijmuiden. C-in-C Feldt
S 48, S 49, S 50, S 51, S 52, S 64, S 107, S 109, S 110 4. Schnellboot Flotilla stationed at Boulogne. C-in-C B¤tge
S 18, S 19, S 20, S 22, S 24, S 69, S 71, S 101 6. Schnellboot Flotilla. C-in-C Obermaier
Schnellboot was the German name for the type of vessels that was called Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs) in Britain and USA.

German Luftwaffe Aircraft Engaged
Two Luftflotten were involved and were responsible for air cover. It was Luftflotte 3 under command of Generalfeldmarschall Sperrle and Luftflotte Reich under command of General der Flieger Weise. Fighter groups came under the command of Oberst Galland.
Night Fighters 30 Junkers 88 "night destroyers"
Day Fighters 250 Messerschmitt 109, Messerschmitt 110, Junkers 88 and Focke-Wulf 190 fighters
Bombers Unknown number Heinkel 110, Dornier, Junker 87 bombers
Note: As many of the German Air Force records covering this operation were detroyed at the end of the war, the above numbers are unreliable and details of losses are not known.

German Casualties
Prinz Eugen 1 killed
Jaguar 1 killed, 2 wounded

-HH- Beebop
02-12-2005, 09:22 AM
12 February
In Egypt... The first echelon (4th Brigade) of the New Zealand Division and the Australian Imperial Force arrive at Suez.

In the North Sea... The sloop HMS Gleaner sinks a U-boat (U-33) in the Firth of Clyde. German naval Enigma cipher machine rotors are recovered.

In the North Atlantic... As part of an operation to intercept 6 German merchant vessels, the destroyer HMS Hasty captures the Morea in the Atlantic and the cruiser HMS Glasgow captures a trawler off Tromso, Norway.

In Britain... Paper rationing is introduced, with supplies cut by 40 percent.

The Winter War... A counterattack late in the day by the Finnish 5th Division fails to expel the Soviet forces from their hold on the Summa position. It becomes apparent the Karelian defense line will not hold.

In Helsinki... In the diplomatic negotiations the Soviets raise their terms a little further to match their growing military success. The Finnish cabinet now favors peace and authorizes moves to end the war against the USSR. At the same time, Finland requests aid from Sweden (which Stockholm rejects).

In North Africa... General Rommel arrives in Tripoli. Nominally more important is the appointment of the new Italian Commander in Chief for Libya, General Gariboldi. Field Marshal Kesselring is in Rome as the German representative.

In the North Atlantic... The convoy SLS-64 of 19 ships is attacked by the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. Seven of the ships are sunk.

In Moscow... General Zhukov is appointed Chief of the General Staff and Deputy Commissar for Defense. General Meretskov is now to lead the Red Army's training directorate.

In the South Pacific... The Anzac Squadron is formed at Suva in Fiji. It includes the cruiser Australia, USS Chicago, Achilles and Leander as well as two American destroyers.

In Seville... Spanish dictator Franco and Portuguese dictator Salazar meet.

In the Mediterranean... At Malta, the British destroyer Maori is bombed and sunk.

In the United States... Noted artist Grant Wood dies at age 49. He is known for his depiction of Mid-Western farm folk in paintings such as "American Gothic".

On the Eastern Front... In the Caucasus the Soviets capture Krasnodar. To the north, west of the Don River, Shakhty, Kommunarsk and Krasnoarmeskoye are all occupied by the advancing Red Army.

On the Eastern Front... In the north, Soviet forces reach Luga, southwest of Leningrad, in the continuing offensive operations against Army Group North. In the south, the battle for the Korsun pocket continues.

In the Bismark Archipelago... On New Britain, US marines capture Gorissi, 25 miles east of Cape Gloucester. Meanwhile, Allied forces land on Rooke Island.

In the Marshall Islands... There are American landings on Arno Atoll.

In Italy... Forces of the US 5th Army are redeployed. The New Zealand Corps replaces the US 2nd Corps opposite Cassino. At Anzio, there is a lull in the battle. The British 1st Division is withdrawn from the line because of heavy losses. American General Lucas, commanding Allied forces on the beachhead, organizes an inner defensive perimeter.

In the United States... Wendell Willkie announces his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president. General MacArthur has also been suggested as a potential candidate. President Roosevelt, a Democrat, has made no formal announcement about running for a third term but his name has been put forward for several of the Democratic primaries.

In Burma... West of Mandalay, units of the British 33rd Corps establish a second series of bridgeheads over the Irrawaddy River. The advance is led by the British 20th Indian Division, opposite Myinmu. To the south, British 4th Corps has reached the Irrawaddy River at Myitche and Seikpyu and is preparing to cross. British and American units of Northern Area Combat Command (Sultan), advancing south toward Lashio and Kyaukme, are engaged in heavy fighting near the Shweli River.
In the Philippines... The US 11th Corps has closed the neck of the Bataan Peninsula and is advancing southward to clear the Japanese forces from it.

In the Volcano Islands... American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

In Lima... The government of Peru declares war on Germany and Japan.

02-12-2005, 10:08 PM
On this day of FEB 13 1943...

Disaster At Kasserine

"I have inspected the battlefield at Fais Pass in Tunisia, being with the force which retook it. Inspection of our tanks destroyed there indicated that the 88mm gun penetrated into the turret from the front and out again in the rear. Few gouges were found indicating that all strikes had made penetrations." - Report by American Colonel from Tunisia, 1943.


Then, on February 14, the Gen. Von Arnim's 21st Panzer Division (supported by the Centauro armored division) launched a powerful attack in the area of the Kasserine Pass. The American 2nd Corps was driven back and almost all the 300 tanks of the US 1st Armored Division were destroyed.
The action in the Kasserine Pass cost the Germans 2,000 men and the Allies about 10,000 men, of which 6,500 were Americans.


While the American experience in North Africa in 1942-43 remains one of the most confusing, least understood chapters in U.S. military history, one obvious reason is that few historians have written about it. By the score they have written about the Desert Fox, about Monty, about El Alamein, but there has been precious little written about America€s initial combat effort in World War II.

The disaster at Kasserine Pass in February 1943 begins with a secret visit by General Mark Clark to North Africa in a submarine in October 1942 to contact French General Charles E. Mast, Deputy Commander of the French XIX Corps stationed in Algiers, as to ascertain whether the French in North Africa would support the Anglo-American cause. From Mast, Clark received indication that the French indeed would support the Anglo-American effort, which Mast assumed would be in southern France. Clark did not reveal the allied invasion of North Africa was imminent, thus introducing mistrust between the representatives which, has carried over to this day in Franco-American relations.

The remains from a PzKpfw III close to the Kasserine Pass, in Tunisia, mark the scenery of one of the less memorable facts of the American forces. They where very green in comparison with the German and Italian opponents.

Stunned by the actual invasion of North Africa only 18 days later, Mast did little to support the invasion, he was labeled a traitor and forced into hiding. While those French units loyal to the Vichy government in France put up stiff initial resistance to the Allied landings.


Three major American commands conducted the landings; a Western Task Force commanded by Maj. Gen. George S. Patton at Casablanca, a Center Force commanded by Maj. Gen. Lloyd Fredenhall at Oran and an Eastern Task Force headed by Maj. Gen. Charles W. Ryder at Algiers, the latter having command also of the British forces involved. Once ashore, the British forces were to be redesignated the British First Army under General Sir Kenneth Anderson. They were to race 500 miles eastward to capture Tunis and seize Tunisia, thus denying it as a haven for Rommel€s Afrika Corps, then in retreat westward after is defeat at El Alamein by the British Eighth Army.

This was Eisenhower€s great gamble and it failed. The Germans quickly sent their Col. Gen. Jurgin von Arnim to the area to take charge and began to pour in reinforcements.


While Patton and his 40,000 troops remained in Morocco, the other Allied combat forces moved east, until contact was established with German forces in Tunisia. General Anderson€s First British Army was deployed in the north, the French XIX Corps in the center and General Fredenhalls€s II U.S. Corps. Although agreeing to support the Allies, the French would accept orders only through French channels, an unfortunate practice Eisenhower tolerated until the critical stages of the Kasserine battle. Major German forces facing the Allies consisted of the Fifth Panzer Army in the north and Rommels Africa Korps in the south.

A U.S. reconnaissance party reenters Kasserine Pass along the Kasserine-Thala road. Rommel pushed his forces up this road during his attack through the pass. They stopped just before reaching Thala after indications of increasing Allied strength.

Enter now Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, German Commander in Chief. Southern Europe. On February 9, 1943, he brought together two major German commanders in North Africa, Rommel and von Arnim, who despised each other, to get them to agree to a new plan. He envisioned a blitzkrieg attack against the Americans carrying all the way to the Mediterranean, and cutting off British and French forces in the process. Rommel and von Arnim did not believe they had sufficient gasoline for such an operation but agreed to a limited objective attack designed to destroy American forces in the area. As he planned for the operation, Rommel became more and more enthusiastic; the juices began to flow and he began to see the possibilities in Kesselring€s plan.To execute it, however, he would need the full cooperation of von Arnim and his Panzer forces.

General Anderson received information from the ULTRA source in London that an Axis attack was being planned in North Africa. Although the time was known, the location was not. Anderson, for whatever reason, decided the attack would be in the north and consequently did not reinforce II Corps in the south, where the attack actually occurred. The German onslaught commenced on February 14, 1943 in true blitzkrieg style, with the Luftwaffe providing dive bombing and strafing support. The attack was two pronged, with Germany€s armored spearheads attacking through Gafsa (Rommel) and through Faid (von Arnim).

Three days later, with Rommel approaching Kasserine and von Arnim, Sberita, Anderson dispatched the British Sixth Armoured Division southward to check those advances. Meanwhile, Allied losses were staggering. Some units were completely devoured; some broke and ran; others fought bravely with inferior equipment. A makeshift British task force positioned on one flank of the mile wide Kasserine Pass was responsible for delaying the Germans long enough for important Allied regroupings to the rear.


Rommel broke through at Kasserine on February 20 and fanned out to the north and west. Meanwhile, von Arnim€s further attack to the north failed to materialize. Rommel, mentally and physically exhausted, was beginning to suffer substantial losses himself. Disgusted with the lack of support from von Arnim, Rommel called off his offensive and retired to his position at Mareth. Rommel remained in Africa until March 6, when he was returned to Europe, where upon von Arnim assumed command of all Axis forces in Tunisia. Ironically Fredenhall was relieved and replaced by Patton at approximately the same time.


There were specific reasons for the American disaster at Kasserine. One was the incompetence and lack of imagination of senior commanders. Eisenhower, heavily involved with French and Arab politics, did not visit the front until 24 hours before the German attack, to discover too late that American forces were hopelessly entangled and that the strength of the only mobile reserve, the First Armored Division, had been dissipated by breaking up the unit into €œpenny packets€ distributed throughout the forward area. General Fredenhall, II Corps commander, proved to be utterly incompetent, remaining in his headquarters some 80 miles from the front and failing even once to visit front line units prior to the German attack.


Constantly changing command relationships added to the confusion. British General Sir Keith Anderson, First Army commander in northern Tunisia, was put in charge of the entire front only three weeks before the German assult. In the midst of the 11 day engagement, British Field Marshall Harold Alexander took command of all Allied forces in the area. Also, during the battle, Maj. Gen. Lucian K. Truscott was dispatched by Eisenhower to serve as Fredenhall€s temporary deputy, and Maj. Gen. Ernest Harmon was likewise sent forward to Fredenhall and, awkwardly, without staff or support, put in charge of two divisions. The command structure was a mess and contributed to the disaster. It was proved again, redundant though it may have been, that those that rise to high military posts in peacetime often do not prove out in war.

Unit number 111 crossing a bridge in Tunisia, December 1943. The bridge was named after Major Loewe, the panzer commander of PzAbt.501 who was later killed in action.

There were, of course, other reasons for the Kasserine calamity: the Allies had sent their troops into combat with inferior equipment. American tanks with their 37mm and 75mm guns and thin armor were no match for the German Panzers with their 75mm and 88mm guns and much heavier armorplate. Likewise, the British were ineffective with their tiny 2 pounders the Allies had nothing to compare with the German Nebelwurfer, which fired banks of rockets. Also, the Germans had almost total command of the air over the battlefield.

Tunisia, North Africa. This picture shows the first unit, an early production model captured by allied forces. To their dismay, the allies discovered that it was an excellent gun platform, superior to any allied tank currently fielded. It now resides in Aberdeen Proving grounds museum.

Then there was another important factor: the American soldiers in North Africa had received very little training prior to being shipped to that part of the world. When the lack of training and other factors already enumerated are taken into account, the generally poor performance of U.S. troops in the Kasserine battle can be better appreciated.


The following report by an observer on the Tunisian front furnishes some comments as a guide to training in antitank action against this tank.

It appears that the first of these tanks to be destroyed in this theater were accounted for by British 6-pounders (57-mm). An account of this action, as reported by a British Army Officer, follows:

"The emplaced 6-pounders opened fire at an initial range of 680 yards. The first rounds hit the upper side of the tank at very acute angles and merely nicked the armor. As the tank moved nearer, it turned in such a manner that the third and fourth shots gouged out scallops of armor, the fifth shot went almost through and the next three rounds penetrated completely and stopped the tank. The first complete penetration was at a range of 800 yards, at an angle of impact of 30 degrees from normal, through homogeneous armor 82-mm (approximately 3 1/3 inches) thick. Ammunition used was the 57-mm semi-AP solid shot.


"One element of this action contains an important lesson that should be brought to the attention of all AT elements and particularly tank destroyer units.

(a) "The British gunners did not open until the enemy tank was well within effective range.

(b) "In addition to opening fire with the primary weapon -- the 57-mm -- the AT unit also opened with intense light machine-gun fire which forced the tank to button up and in effect blinded him. His vision apparently became confused and he was actually traversing his gun away from the AT guns when he was knocked out for good.

(c) "Once they opened fire, the British gunners really poured it on and knocked out one more heavy tank and six PzKw 3s. Also, for good measure, one armored car."

The conclusions to be drawn from this action, according to the British officer quoted, are:

(a) "The unobstructed vision of the gunner in a tank destroyer gives him a very real advantage over his opponent squinting through the periscope or narrow vision slits of a tank.

(b) "The tank destroyer unit must force the enemy tank to 'button up' by intense fire from every weapon he has, including machine-guns, tommy guns, and rifles."

The size and weight of a tank such as the PzKw 6 present many problems. It has been indicated from unofficial enemy sources that extensive reconnaissance of terrain, bridges, etc., was necessary before operations with this tank could be undertaken. Bridges have to be reinforced in many cases, and soil conditions must be good for its effective operation. It can therefore be assumed that its field of operation is limited.


Reports so far indicate that the use of this tank is chiefly to support other armored units, including employment as mobile artillery. As a support tank it is always in rear of lighter units. In one reported skirmish in Tunisia, the lighter units formed the spear-head; as soon as enemy tanks were decoyed into range the lighter tanks fanned out, leaving the heavier tanks in the rear to engage the enemy units.

The PzKw 6 is now considered a standard German tank. Present production figures are believed to be at a maximum of 800 per month.

02-12-2005, 10:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by woofiedog:
The Channel Dash Feb 12 1942

Adolf Galland gives his account of the Channel Dash in the book "The First and the Last", chapters 12 and 13 detail his veiw and participation in the event.

Can I come and pick books from your library, woolfiedog? Wow! What scope! Kudos, man!

BTW here's my woolfie dog


02-13-2005, 12:07 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Great looking dog wayno7777... how old is he/she?

By the Way... Woofie say's http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif to your Dog.

As far as Book's... I'd have to say my Watanabe set is the best along with the Impact WW2 AirForce Magazine Set.
Watanabe was also a Japanese Fighter Pilot during WW2.

02-13-2005, 03:13 AM
Dresden bombing, probably the sadnest day of aviation. Appx 100 000 civilians killed. Just thinked the movie 'Memphis Belle' and quote 'be careful not to bomb that hospital nearby' or something, **** yeah.

-HH- Beebop
02-13-2005, 09:24 AM
February 13
The South Atlantic... The British cruiser HMS Dorsetshire intercepts the German blockade runner Wakama which is scuttled near Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian government formally protests the British action.

London... The British government imposes strict controls over the railway network but continues to allow private ownership and operation of the railways. A Labour Party proposal to nationalize all forms of inland and coastal transport is defeated in a House of Commons vote.

East Africa... The carrier Formidable attacks Massawa. Formidable cannot pass through the Suez Canal to join the Mediterranean Fleet owing to mines that have been dropped by German planes. These are being cleared.

The Eastern Front... The Soviet winter offensive continue to meet increasing German resistance. Despite this, their spearhead have reached Belorussia.

Germany... The official cancellation of Operation Sea Lion-- the invasion of Britain -- is announced. Previously it had merely been postponed.

The Eastern Front... The Soviets take Novocherkassk.

The Eastern Front... In the north, Soviet forces capture Luga, Polna and Lyady in their continuing offensive against forces of the German Army Group North. In the south, the battle for the Korsun pocket continues. The trapped German forces pull out of Korsun-Sevchenkosky late in the day but fail to make significant progress in their breakout attempt.

The Eastern Front... After a battle lasting for almost two months, the garrison of Budapest surrenders to 2nd Ukrainian Front (Malinovsky). Over 100,000 German prisoners have been taken in the city. The Soviet advance from the Oder River to the Neisse River begins to gain momentum despite desperate German efforts. Bunzlau on the Bober River is captured by Soviet forces.

The Western Front... Forces of the British 2nd Army clear the last of the German units from the Reichswald Forest region on the right flank of British 21st Army Group.

The Philippines... US Navy forces begin operations in Manila Bay, clearing minefields and shelling landing grounds. Corregidor is bombarded. In the ground fighting, the US 11th Airborne Division takes Cavite and completes the capture of Nichols Field.
Burma... The British 20th Indian Division establishes a solid bridgehead over the Irrawaddy River despite Japanese counterattacks.

The Volcano Islands... American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

02-13-2005, 12:27 PM
Ah yes, Dresden. An official ceremony of rememberance was held today, ,with representatives from all the former allied powers ambassadors in the city. Various figures for the loss of life have been given, most modern estimates settling around 35,000. The actual number is immaterial, the fact is that this was a wanton attack on a very nearly defenceless city which was shortly to be enveloped in the Red Army's advance.
A sad day, one of the many thousands that occurred during that terrible time.


-HH- Beebop
02-14-2005, 05:40 AM
14 February
London... The British government announces that all British merchant ships in the North Sea will be armed. In addition, it will allow British citizens to volunteer for the Finnish Foreign Legion.

Britain... IRA operatives plant five bombs in Birmingham. Two shops are damaged.

The North Sea... A Hudson of Coastal Command locates the German supply ship Altmark in Norwegian waters.

The Vatican... Rationing is introduced.

Helsinki... The Finnish Note (circularized to many foreign governments) accuses the USSR of adopting illegal methods of warfare, including indiscriminate bombing of unprotected towns, hospitals and railway trains and abuse of the white flag (some Soviet troops having feigned surrender before attacking).

North Africa... The first units of what will become the Afrika Korps begin to land at Tripoli. The advance guard is a battalion of light infantry and an antitank unit.

The North Atlantic... The Admiral Hipper returns to Brest, having sunk a total of eight ships on its cruise.

Germany... Hitler meets the Yugoslav Premier Cvetkovic and his foreign minister at Berchtesgaden to urge them to join the Tripartite Pact. They still refuse to commit their country, in the hope that Hitler will soon be preoccupied with relations with the Soviet Union and that they can get aid from Britain and the USA.

East Africa... The 22nd East African Brigade takes Kismayu with fire support from the cruiser Shropshire and other smaller vessels. Elsewhere in Somaliland the British advance is also rapid.


London... The Area Bombing Directive is issued to the RAF Bomber Command. It states that raids "should now be focused on the morale of the enemy civil population and, in particular, of the industrial workers." This represents a substantial shift in policy and targets civilian residential areas rather than factories.

The East Indies... Japanese paratroopers land at Palembang on Sumatra. Admiral Ozawa's main body, the Western Force are en route to the island.

Tunisia... A major Axis offensive falls on the US 2nd Corps positions, west of Faid. Leading the attack are the German 10th and 21st Panzer Divisions from 5th Panzer Army (General von Arnim). General Zeigler is in immediate command.

Burma... The Chindits cross the Chindwin River in two groups at Auktaung and Tonhe. General Wingate leads the larger northern group.

The Eastern Front... Rostov and Voroshilovgrad are captured by Soviet forces. They also take Drasny Sulin, north of Shakhty.


The Eastern Front... In the south, Soviet forces occupy Kosun-Sevchenkosky in the ongoing battle. German resistance within the Korsun pocket continues to be strong. A Belgian SS brigade is prominent in the defense. The German 3rd Panzer Corps (part of Army Group South) is unable to break through Soviet forces to relieve the pocket.

The Solomon Islands... American and New Zealand forces land on the Green Islands.

Germany... During the night (February 13-14), 773 Lancaster bombers, of British RAF Bomber Command, raid the eastern German city of Dresden. Five bombers are lost. However, the incendiary bombs dropped generate a fire storm that continues to burn for 7 days and 8 nights and ultimately razes 6.5 square kilometers. Casualty estimates vary from 30,000 to 250,000 killed. Among the witnesses to events in Dresden at the time is Kurt Vonnegut, an American POW, who will vividly describe the scene in Slaughterhouse Five. During the day, the US 8th Air Force raids Dresden where the firestorm continues.
The Western Front... The British and Canadian forces reach the south bank of the Rhine opposite Emmerich in the advance of British 21st Army Group. American forces farther south are mostly regrouping to prepare for the next series of attacks.

The Eastern Front... In the Soviet attacks in Pomerania, Schneidmuhl falls. Deutsche Krone is also taken after being surrounded but Arnswalde hold out against a similar attack. The 1st Ukrainian Front captures Sorau and Grunberg in the advance toward the Neisse River.
In Burma... The British 7th Indian Division, part of British 4th Corps, begins to cross the Irrawaddy River near Myaungu. Japanese opposition is limited because most of the forces have been withdrawn to defend Mandalay. North of Mandalay, the British 19th Indian Division takes Singu despite Japanese resistance.

The Volcano Islands... American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

-HH- Beebop
02-15-2005, 07:02 AM
15 February
From Berlin... In reply to the British governments announcement that British merchant ships in the North Sea will be armed, the German government announces that all such ships will be treated as warships. U-boat commanders are ordered attack without warning any ship which is likely to come under British control. This directive means that any neutral ship sailing towards a British-controlled war zone -- such as the English Channel, can be attacked without warning. Any ship following a zig-zag course is also liable to be sunk without warning.

In Norway... The German prison ship Altmark is sighted in Norwegian waters.

The Winter War... The Soviets capture Summa. Finnish forces are ordered to retire from the Mannerheim Line to their intermediate position.


Over Occupied Poland... RAF aircraft, based in Britain, drop leaflets over Cracow and Katowice in southern Poland during the night (February 15-16).

From Washington... President Roosevelt sends James B. Conant, President of Harvard University, to Britain to discuss military technology.

In Malaya... The Allied defense perimeter is now a small area around the city of Singapore. Water and ammunition are in short supply. The Japanese control the water reservoir. General Percival decides to surrender and Japanese General Yama****a (*) accepts his terms. Japanese losses in the Malayan campaign have been 10,000. British and Allied losses 138,000.

In the East Indies... Japanese reinforcements arrive in time to prevent the destruction of the oil refinery at Palembang by retreating Allied soldiers.

In Burma... Forward units of the 17th Indian Division are pulled back west of the Bilin River as the Japanese have now crossed the Salween River in force.

In Tunisia... Troops under the command of Rommel, now commanding the Italian 1st Army, join the Axis offensive. A detachment of the 15th Panzer Division, along with Italian armor, strikes Gafsa and captures the town. Most of Rommel's forces are defending the Mareth Line where the last of the rearguard is now arriving from Libya.

In Italy... Allied aircraft bomb the historic monastery on the crest of Monte Cassino. German forces, which have not occupied the position previously, move into the ruins of the monestary. The New Zealand Corps (part of US 5th Army) follows-up the bombing with an assault which fails.

In the Solomon Islands... The 3rd Amphibious Force (Admiral Wilkinson) lands elements of the New Zealand 3rd Division (General Barrowclough) on the Green Islands, north of Bougainville. US Task Force 39 (Admiral Merrill) provides escort.

On the Eastern Front... Force of the Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front (Konev) surround Breslau, to the west of the Oder River. During the evening, the German 3rd Panzer Army, part of Army Group Vistula, begins a counterattack from Stargard, near Stettin, against the right flank of the Soviet 1st Belorussian Front. General Wenck, is supervising the German attack at the headquarters of Reichsfuhrer SS Himmler -- nominally commanding the German army group.

Over Germany... During the day, the US 8th Air Force raids Dresden where the fire storm continues.

In the Philippines... A regiment from US 11th Corps is landed at the southern tip of Bataan on Luzon to help in the operations of the remainder of the corps. The fighting in Manila continues.

In the Volcano Islands... American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month. They drop a daily average of 450 tons of bombs over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(*) Apparently the forum engine doesn't like certain people. Today this person was General Y-a-m-a-s-h-i-t-a.
(He would have taken a real ribbing in grade school here in the West.)
Funny how easy it is to get around the spelling censor.

02-15-2005, 12:32 PM
On this day of Feb 15 1945...

February 15, 1945: On the Eastern front, the Red Army captures Sagan in Silesia. Also, Operation Sonnenwende is launched by all three Korps from the 11.SS-Panzer-Armee (XXXIX.Panzer, III.SS-Panzer, and X.SS). They were all to attack on this date but the only divisions ready were the from the III.SS.Panzer-Korps. They began to attack on the 15th with a Kampfgruppe from the 11.SS-PzGr.Div. "Nordland" & 27.SS-Grenadier-Div. "Langemarck", of III.SS.Pz.Korps attacking south towards Arnswalde (about 30-35 kms southeast of Stargard). The KG from the 11.SS followed up the initial penetrations by the infantry of the 27.SS.

Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front (Konev) encircles Breslau which has been declared a fortress under the command of Gauleiter Hanke

Konev, I. S. 1897-1973, Marshal of the Soviet Union


Ivan Stepanovich Konev was a superbly gifted officer who entered the tsarist army as a private in 1912 and then joined the Bolsheviks and the Red Army in 1918. He rose rapidly after the 1937 purges. At the beginning of Barbarossa, he commanded Nineteenth Army (equivalent to a corps in Western armies) in the Ukraine, one of the few theaters where Soviet forces performed competently. By year's end he was in command of the Kalinin Front, which played a major role in the winter campaign that drove the Germans back from Moscow.


Konev displayed enormous competence in manipulating large-scale forces in the complex operations that characterized fighting on the Eastern Front; like his fellow generals in the emerging Soviet leadership, he was a master of maskirovka (deception) and combined arms operations. In 1943 he was in command of the Steppe Front that remained on the defensive during the Battle of Kursk in July, but his troops then led the Soviet advances that reconquered most of the western Ukraine and hustled the Germans back across the Dnieper. In 1944-1945 he commanded the First Ukrainian Front, which played a major role in the destruction of the German Army Group North Ukraine.


Konev's forces then drove through central Poland and on into Silesia as the great winter offensive of 1945 unfolded. Joseph Stalin used Konev's advance to goad Marshal Georgii Zhukov in the attack on Berlin. Konev's troops got to the German capital, but the Soviet high command marked the boundary line between fronts just to the south of the Reichstag, so that Zhukov's men received the honor of hoisting the hammer and sickle over the shattered ruins. Konev served in the early Cold War period as commander in chief, land forces (1946-1955), and then briefly as deputy minister of defense and supreme commander of Warsaw Pact forces before ill health forced his retirement.


Ivan Stepanovich Konev recipiant 19 March 1945
The Order of Victory was established by a Decree of the Presidium of the (Former) USSR Supreme Soviet on November 8, 1943. The Order of Vicory is there highest military order and is one of the rarest Orders in the world today having been awarded only 19 times durring WWII and only once since then. The Order of Victory is made of silver (19 grams) and gold (2 grams) on a platinum frame (47 grams) and encrusted with diamonds (16 carats) and rubies (25 carats). This order was given to top-ranking commanders of the Red Army for a successful operation within the framework of one or several fronts resulting in a radical change of the situation in favour of the Soviet Armed Forces. It was also awarded to a select few commanders of the Alied forces.

02-15-2005, 11:02 PM
On this day of Feb 16 1940...

Rescue of 300 British POW's From Altmark. February 1940.


Named for a region of Germany, Altmark was an unarmed German tanker that served as a supply ship and repository for captured seamen for a number of German surface raiders. On August 3, 1939, she sailed from Wilhelmshaven under Captain Heinrich Dau. After refueling in Port Arthur, Texas, she rendezvoused with the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee near the Azores on August 28. After Graf Spee's loss in December, Altmark remained in the South Atlantic for a month before making for home and entered Norwegian waters in February.


Knowing there were 299 British merchant seamen aboard, HMS Arethusa attempted to search the ship, but was prevented from doing so by the Norwegian torpedo boats Kjell and Skarv.

HMS Cossack

Prime Minister Winston Churchill then ordered the destroyer HMS Cossack, under Captain Philip Vian, to violate Norwegian neutrality and rescue the men. On February 16, 1940, Cossack entered J¶ssing Fjord near Bergen. A crew boarded Altmark with the cry, "The Navy's here!" and rescued their compatriots. Otherwise unscathed, Altmark returned to Germany and, renamed Uckermark, was assigned to the cruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst and commerce raider Michel. On November 30, 1942, she was berthed at Yokohama, Japan, when she blew up.


Link to a article on the Battle of the River Plate: http://www.rnzncomms.net.nz/jackharker/achillesChapt8.html

02-15-2005, 11:12 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by woofiedog:
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Great looking dog wayno7777... how old is he/she?

By the Way... Woofie say's http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif to your Dog.

As far as Book's... I'd have to say my Watanabe set is the best along with the Impact WW2 AirForce Magazine Set.
Watanabe was also a Japanese Fighter Pilot during WW2. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Cool, Ebony is a year and six months old. She was four months old in that pic. And she says http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif right back.

I have a lot of paperbacks like most of the Bantam War Series including The First and the Last, Fly for Your Life, Reach for the Sky, The Big Show, Enemy Coast Ahead, Stuka Pilot, and V-2. I had one that I lost way back in the late 70's and I can't remember the name of it. I think it was The Luftwaffe War Diaries but I'm not sure. It had about a thousand pages and as you can imagine, tons of info on the lesser known aces. I wish I could find it.

02-16-2005, 04:44 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gifWoofie is about the same age as Ebony... she's about 2yr's old.
Love those ears on Ebony... she most have quite the out going personality... judging by her looks.

-HH- Beebop
02-16-2005, 06:48 AM
16 February
In Norway... Acting on instructions from Churchill, the British destroyer Cossack (Captain Vian) enters Norwegian territorial waters and removes 299 British prisoners from the German transport Altmark. The ship entered Norwegian waters on February 14th and, according to international law the prisoners should have been released. Altmark's captain denied that he is carrying prisoners. The Norwegians made no real attempt to search and in fact provided a torpedo boat as escort. The British action is also contrary to international law and although very popular at home, it serves to convince the Germans that the British are contemplating sterner measures against Norway. This gives further impetus to the German plans for an invasion.
(kudos to woofiedog for finding this wonderfully detailed story):
Named for a region of Germany, Altmark was an unarmed German tanker that served as a supply ship and repository for captured seamen for a number of German surface raiders. On August 3, 1939, she sailed from Wilhelmshaven under Captain Heinrich Dau. After refueling in Port Arthur, Texas, she rendezvoused with the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee near the Azores on August 28. After Graf Spee's loss in December, Altmark remained in the South Atlantic for a month before making for home and entered Norwegian waters in February. Knowing there were 299 British merchant seamen aboard, HMS Arethusa attempted to search the ship, but was prevented from doing so by the Norwegian torpedo boats Kjell and Skarv. Prime Minister Winston Churchill then ordered the destroyer HMS Cossack, under Captain Philip Vian, to violate Norwegian neutrality and rescue the men. On February 16, 1940, Cossack entered J?ng Fjord near Bergen. A crew boarded Altmark with the cry, "The Navy's here!" and rescued their compatriots. Otherwise unscathed, Altmark returned to Germany and, renamed Uckermark, was assigned to the cruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst and commerce raider Michel. On November 30, 1942, she was berthed at Yokohama, Japan, when she blew up.

In Stockholm... The Swedish government refuses the Finnish appeal for right of passage of foreign troops and direct military assistance.

In East Africa... In Italian Somaliland the 1st South African Brigade begins an important battle to seize crossings over the lower reaches of the river Juba.

In the Caribbean... German U-boats shell the oil installations at Aruba. Seven tankers are sunk by German torpedoes.

In Tokyo... General Tojo, the Japanese premier, announces his war goals to the Diet (the Japanese parliament). He speaks of a "new order of coexistence and co-prosperity based on the ethical principles of Greater East Asia."

In Burma... Fighting continues along the Bilin River as the Japanese continue their advance.

On the Eastern Front... Kharkov is captured by the Red Army after several days of intensive fighting on the approach to the city. General Hausser, commanding the 2nd SS Panzer Corps, chooses to withdraw from Kharkov rather than risk encirclement inside the city. This action is carried out in spite of an order, directly from Hitler, to defend the city.

In Tunisia... Forward elements of Montgomery's forces capture Medenine on the approaches to the Mareth line.

In Stockholm... A Finnish diplomat arrives to receive terms for an armistice from the Soviet ambassador, Kollontay.

In Italy... German forces begin a new attack on the Allied forces on the Anzio beachhead. The US 45th Division and the British 56th Division are engaged by elements of 5 German divisions. There is no decisive breakthrough. The Luftwaffe provides close air support for the offensive as well as attacking shipping off shore. The ammunition ship Elihu Yale blows up after a German air strike. To the south, around Cassino, forces of New Zealand Corps (part of US 5th Army) continue attacking.

In the Marshall Islands... Carrier aircraft from US Task Group 58.4 (Admiral Ginder) raid Eniwetok. The Japanese airfield on Engebi is no longer operational.

On the Eastern Front... Shortly before midnight, the German forces trapped in the Korsun pocket begin their final breakout attempt.

In the Philippines... Two American battalions, one sea borne and one dropped by parachute, land on Corregidor Island in Manila Bay. The attacking troops land successfully but encounter heavy Japanese resistance among the tunnels and gun emplacements of the island. The US troops are quickly reinforced. Since the battle for Luzon began, about 3200 tons of bombs have been dropped on Corregidor.

Over Japan... US Task Force 58, part of US 5th Fleet (Spruance), with 12 fleet carriers and 4 light carriers, conducts air raids on Tokyo. The aircraft carriers are escorted by 8 battleships, 15 cruisers and 83 destroyers as well as numerous support ships.

In the Volcano Islands... US Task Force 54 (Admiral Rodgers), with 5 cruisers and 16 destroyers, as well as the 10 escort carriers of TF52 begin the preliminary bombardment of Iwo Jima. Poor weather limits the effectiveness of the activity.

On the Eastern Front... The German counterattack from Stargard, spearheaded by 3rd Panzer Army, succeeds in breaking the Soviet encirclement of Arnswalde and relieving the garrison.

-HH- Beebop
02-16-2005, 07:04 AM

I hope you don't mind my posting that Altmark story in my post. I found it in my email this AM and was disappointed not to see it in your post. You find great stuff! Makes me feel like a headline writer while you go indepth with your coverage.
I loved the Graf Spee story, especially as told from the viewpoint of the Achilles. I'd never seen that before. Very refreshing.
Anyway, that 'original'(?) post with color cutaway pics was just too good not to put up. I hope you don't mind. If so let me know and I or a mod can edit.

P.S. Thanks for helping keep this thread alive

02-16-2005, 07:31 AM
-HH- Beebop... Not a problem at all...
I've been having a lot of fun with this. You have been doing some Great Work yourself. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

02-16-2005, 08:13 PM
February 16

1945 Bataan recaptured

On this day, the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines is occupied by American troops, almost three years after the devastating and infamous Bataan Death March.

On April 3, 1942, the Japanese infantry staged a major offensive against Allied troops in Bataan, the peninsula guarding Manila Bay of the Philippine Islands. The invasion of the Japanese 14th Army, led by Gen. Masaharu Homma, had already forced Gen. Douglas MacArthur's troops from Manila, the Philippine capital, into Bataan. By March, after MacArthur had left for Australia on President Roosevelt's orders and was replaced by Maj. Gen. Edward P. King Jr., the American Luzon Force and its Filipino allies were half-starved and suffering from malnutrition, malaria, beriberi, dysentery, and hookworm.

Homma, helped by reinforcements and an increase in artillery and aircraft activity, took advantage of the U.S. and Filipinos' weakened condition to launch another major offensive, which resulted in Admiral King's surrender on April 9. The largest contingent of U.S. soldiers ever to surrender was taken captive by the Japanese. The prisoners, both Filipino and American, were at once led 55 miles from Mariveles, on the southern end of the Bataan Peninsula, to San Fernando. The torturous journey became known as the "Bataan Death March." At least 600 Americans and 5,000 Filipinos died because of the extreme brutality of their captors, who starved, beat, kicked, and bayoneted those too weak to walk. Survivors were taken by rail from San Fernando to prisoner of war camps, where another 16,000 Filipinos and at least 1,000 Americans died from disease, mistreatment, and starvation.

America avenged its defeat in the Philippines generally, and Bataan specifically, with the invasion of Leyte Island in October 1944. General MacArthur, who in 1942 had famously promised to return to the Philippines, made good on his word. With the help of the U.S. Navy, which succeeded in destroying the Japanese fleet and left Japanese garrisons on the Philippine Islands without reinforcements, the Army defeated adamantine Japanese resistance. In January 1945, MacArthur was given control of all American land forces in the Pacific. On January 9, 1945, U.S. forces sealed off the Bataan Peninsula in the north; on February 16, the 8th Army occupied the southern tip of Bataan, as MacArthur drew closer to Manila and the complete recapture of the Philippines.

Yes, she is quite out-going, but not a bad bone in her body. Once she gets over being excited she calms down and is really sweet. Thanks.

02-16-2005, 10:51 PM
On this day of Feb 17 1942...

The battle of the Caribbean,
heralded by the attack at Aruba, took the form of a sustained and extremely damaging U-boat assault against shipping. Its first victims were five tankers -four of them British ships and the other a Venezuelan- that were torpedoed and sunk during the early morning hours of 16 February 1942.
Insult was added by the fact that two of the ships were sent down while lying at anchor in San Nicolas harbor, Aruba, by a U-boat that entered the anchorage, sank the two tankers, then came boldly to the surface and lobbed a few shells at the Lago oil refinery.
Fifteen or twenty minutes after the attack, a guard at the airfield, about ten miles away, reported that a fire had broken out at the refinery, and the air commander immediately placed his unit on the alert.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">B-18A Bolo</span>

Ten minutes later a plane was sent up to reconnoiter. It reported ships on fire in the harbor and oil burning on the water, although nothing about gunfire or submarines.
Shortly afterwards, the airfield received a request for an air patrol over the refinery area until daylight; but still no indication was given that hostile action had taken place or might be impending. An hour and a half after the attack the first report of U-boat activity reached the commander of the air unit. An antisubmarine patrol was instituted at once. While the planes were investigating a questionable contact forty-five miles off the island, an American tanker that was tied up at the Eagle refinery dock, only four miles from the airfield, was torpedoed and severely damaged.

Reinforcements amounting to six additional planes soon arrived from Puerto Rico and Trinidad, and patrols were extended to cover the tanker route between Aruba and Maracaibo. During the next two days at least seven U-boats were reported sighted in the vicinity, one of them not more than four hundred yards off the airfield. Five of them, according to the air unit's reports, were attacked by the planes; but without radar, with crews untrained in antisubmarine warfare, and armed only with 300-lb. demolition bombs, the planes had little luck against the wily U-boats. Possibly the mere presence of the planes forced the submarines to a more cautious approach than they would otherwise have made, for General Andrews, who was making an inspection tour of the Caribbean and happened to be in Aruba during the attack, wrote to General Marshall that "it was fortunate that we had airplanes there, otherwise the oil plants would have been in for a good shelling.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">P-35A</span>

Actually only three U-boats were responsible for all the havoc, and a prematurely exploding shell in the deck gun of U-156, which seriously wounded two of the crew and forced the raider to retire, was of greater good fortune to the oil refineries of Aruba than the presence of American planes.
When one of the other U-boats attempted to shell the oil installations the following night, Aruba was completely blacked out. This and the air and surface patrols during the day made further shelling of land targets impossible.
Two attempts on the part of the third U-boat to shell Curacao were frustrated by naval patrol vessels. The primary object, however, was to destroy shipping, and in this the operation was an unqualified success. Reinforced during the next two or three days by the arrival of two more U-boats, the German raiders sank 21 ships totaling about 103,000 tons in the space of two weeks. Losses to the shallow-draft Maracaibo tanker fleet seriously cut the oil production of the huge refineries on Aruba and Curacao.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">P-36 Hawk</span>

The onslaught reached a new peak in May, when eight U-boats sank 35 ships totaling more than 145,000 tons in the Caribbean Sea Frontier west of the shipping control line.
In June there were 14 undersea raiders operating in the entire Caribbean Sea Frontier and the adjacent waters of the Gulf and Panama Sea Frontiers. By the middle of the month, 22 percent of the bauxite fleet had been destroyed, 20 percent of the ships in the Puerto Rican run had been lost, and of 74 vessels allocated to the Army for the month of July, 17 had already been sunk. By the end of the year 1942 the enemy had sunk in the Caribbean, in the Atlantic sector of the Panama Sea Frontier, and in the nearby fringes of the Gulf Sea Frontier, a total of 270 vessels, comprising more than 1,200,000 tons of shipping.

16 Feb, 1942
U-156 began to shell the oil refinery at Aruba in the Caribbean, but the gun crew forgot to remove the water plug from the barrel, causing an explosion that killed one man [Matrosengefreiter Heinrich Büssinger]. The gunnery officer [II WO Leutnant zur See Dietrich von dem Borne, see right] lost his right leg in this incident, and so had to be put ashore into captivity at Martinique on 21 February. The commander decided to saw off the ruined portion of the gun barrel, and using this shorter barrel, on 27 February U-156 sank a 2,498-ton British steamer.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Painting of U-156 under fire</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Werner Hartenstein</span>

Type IXC
Laid down 11 Oct, 1940 AG Weser, Bremen
Commissioned 4 Sep, 1941 Kptlt. Werner Hartenstein (Knights Cross)
Commanders 4 Sep, 1941 - 8 Mar, 1943 KrvKpt. Werner Hartenstein (Knights Cross)

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">gunnery officer [II WO Leutnant zur See Dietrich von dem Borne</span>

Career 5 patrols 4 Sep, 1941 - 31 Dec, 1941 4. Flottille (training)
1 Jan, 1942 - 8 Mar, 1943 2. Flottille (front boat)

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Werner Hartenstein briefs the crew of U-156 on a new operational area </span>

Successes 20 ships sunk for a total of 97.205 tons
4 ships damaged for a total of 20.001 tons
Fate Sunk at 1315hrs on 8 March, 1943 east of Barbados, in position 12.38N, 54.39W, by depth charges from a US Catalina aircraft (VP-53/P-1). 53 dead (all hands lost).

Air Units in the Caribbean Dec 1941

Atkinson Field
44th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) (B-17)
Antigua, Coolidge Field
35th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) (B-18)
St. Lucia, Beane Field
5th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) (B-18)
Trinidad, Waller Field
9th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
1st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) (B-18)

Albrook Field
Caribbean Air Force
VI Bomber Command
12th Pursuit Wing
37th Pursuit Group (Interceptor)
16th Pursuit Group (Interceptor)
24th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) (P-36)
28th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) (P-40)
29th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) (P-40)
31st Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) (P-26, P-40)
43d Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) (P-40)
France Field
6th Bombardment Group (Heavy), France Fld, CZ
3d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) (B-18)
20th Transport Squadron (C-39, C-47, C-49)
25th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) (B-18)
39th Observation Squadron (O-47, O-49)
Howard Field
7th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) (B-17, B-18)
59th Bombardment Squadron (Light) (A-20)
Detachment, 20th Transport Squadron (C-39, C-47, C-49)

74th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) (B-18)
30th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) (P-40)
Rio Hato
32d Pursuit Group (Fighter)
51st Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) (P-36)
52d Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) (P-36)
53d Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) (P-36)

Borinquen Field, Punta Borinquen
VI Interceptor Command
25th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
40th Bombardment Group (Medium)
10th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) (B-18)
5th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium) (B-18)
27th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) (B-18)
29th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) (B-18)
44th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) (B-18)
45th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) (B-18)
Losey Field, Ponce
36th Pursuit Group (Interceptor)
4th Observation Squadron (O-47, O-52)
22d Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) (P-36)
23d Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) (P-36)
32d Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) (P-36)

Benedict Field, St Croix
12th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) (B-18)

-HH- Beebop
02-17-2005, 06:50 AM
woofiedog, thanks.

17 February
In Britain... The government plans to evacuate 400,000 children from the larger cities to rural areas.

In Germany... General Manstein visits Hitler and discusses with him the plan for the armored attack through the Ardennes which Manstein has devised. Hitler has been thinking along these lines himself and is very impressed with Manstein's work.

In Oslo... Strong British, Norwegian and German protest notes are exchanged over the Altmark incident.

The Winter War... The Soviet advance has completely cleared the Mannerheim Line. All the Finnish defenders are now established in their second line of defense. The Finnish 23rd Division, brought forward from the reserve, has been slow to arrive because of air attacks. The Red Army has assembled 35 divisions (organized under General Semyon Timoshenko) and the Finns, with 15 depleted divisions, are now on the defensive.

From Washington... President Roosevelt sends Sumner Welles, Under-Secretary of State, on a "fact-finding" tour of Europe and appoints Myron C. Taylor as his "personal representative" to the Vatican.

In the United States... United States Lines sells the liner President Harding and seven cargo ships to a Belgian concern in an attempt to circumvent the ban on US sea borne trade with Europe, imposed by the Neutrality Act.

In Sofia... Under German pressure Turkey and Bulgaria sign a friendship agreement by which Turkey accepts that the movement of German troops through Bulgaria is not an act of war. This more or less confirms that there is no possibility of Turkey being persuaded to ally with Britain.

In the South Pacific... Japanese submarine I-25 launches a Yokosuka seaplane on a reconnaissance flight over Sydney, Australia.

In London... The House of Commons holds a debate on the escape of the German cruisers from Brest. Churchill announces the formation of a commission of inquiry under Mr. Justice Bucknill.

In Occupied Singapore... The Japanese authorities rename the island city Shonan (meaning "Light of the South").

In Tunisia... Attacks by the forces under von Arnim and Rommel make good progress. In the north, Axis forces are approaching Sheitla, having destroyed two thirds of the US 1st Armored Division. To the south, Rommel's forces enter Feriana. Von Arnim, with limited aims in mind, diverts 10th Panzer Division toward Foundouk, which has been abandoned by its American defenders, rather than pushing toward Sbeitla. Rommel, has proposed a more ambitious plan to the Italian and German High Commands but no decision is made.

On the Eastern Front... Hitler flies to the headquarters of Field Marshal Manstein, at Zaporozhye. He stays until February 19th and will approve Manstein's plan for a counterattack.

On the Eastern Front... The battle of the Korsun pocket ends as the bulk of the surviving German forces reach their own lines. Of the original force of 56,000, commanded by General Stemmerman, 35,000 escape, but without their equipment. Stemmermann is killed in the breakout. The equivalent of 6 German divisions are presently unfit for operations.

In Italy... German forces continue attacks on the Anzio beachhead. The US 45th Division barely contains the German attack. Heavy losses are sustained by both sides. Offshore, the British cruiser Penelope is damaged by a torpedo attack. To the south, near Cassino, German forces recover Point 593 after losing possession briefly to the British 4th Indian Division (part of the US 5th Army).

In the Marshall Islands... US forces land on Eniwetok Atoll. Task Force 51.11 (Admiral Hill) lands small parties on islets near Engebi with artillery to cover later operations. There are 3 battleships and 3 escort carriers providing naval support. The Japanese garrison of the atoll consists of about 3400 troops commanded by General Mushida.

In the Bismark Archipelago... During the night (February 17-18), US destroyers bombard Japanese bases at Rabaul and Kavieng.

In the Caroline Islands... American forces attack the Japanese base at Truk and nearby shipping. Three groups of Task Force 58 (Admiral Mitscher) and one group of Task Forces 50 (Admiral Spruance) engage. The operation is under the command of Spruance. In total 9 carriers and 6 battleships as well as cruisers, destroyers and submarines are involved.

On the Western Front... In the north, Canadian troops Canadian 1st Army have reached the Rhine along a 10-mile front. Farther south, there are new attacks by US 12th and 20th Corps, of US 3rd Army, from Luxembourg and around Saarlouis. US 7th Army units are attacking near Saarbrucken.

Meanwhile over Occupied Italy... The damaged Italian battleship, Conte di Cavour and the unfinished Impero are sunk in Trieste harbor by British RAF attacks.

In Burma... The British operations in Arakan continue with successful landings at Ru-Ya, 40 miles south of Myebon. Heavy fighting continues in the area of British 33rd Corps bridgeheads over the Irrawaddy River and along the Shweli River farther north especially near Myitson.

Over Japan... US Task Force 58 conducts a second day of air raids. On this day the aircraft strike Tokyo and Yokohama. In two days of operations, the American planes have conducted over 2700 sorties, losing 88 aircraft. It is reported that twice as many Japanese planes are shot down. After completing the attacks, TF58 moves toward Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands.

In the Volcano Islands... US Task Force 54 and TF52 continue the preliminary bombardment of Iwo Jima. The battleship Tennessee and a cruiser as well as several smaller ships are damaged by Japanese return fire. Meanwhile, a USAAF raid by B-24 bombers is also conducted.

02-17-2005, 11:40 PM
On this day of Feb 18 1943...

The White Rose.


Hans and Sophie Scholl were arrested by the Gestapo.

Link: http://www.deheap.com/february_18,_1943.htm

by Jacob G. Hornberger

The date was February 22, 1943. Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie, along with their best friend, Christoph Probst, were scheduled to be executed by Nazi officials that afternoon. The prison guards were so impressed with the calm and bravery of the prisoners in the face of impending death that they violated regulations by permitting them to meet together one last time. Hans, a medical student at the University of Munich, was 24. Sophie, a student, was 21. Christoph, a medical student, was 22.
This is the story of The White Rose. It is a lesson in dissent. It is a tale of courage, of principle, of honor. It is detailed in three books, The White Rose (1970) by Inge Scholl, A Noble Treason (1979) by Richard Hanser, and An Honourable Defeat (1994) by Anton Gill.


Hans and Sophie Scholl were German teenagers in the 1930s. Like other young Germans, they enthusiastically joined the Hitler Youth. They believed that Adolf Hitler was leading Germany and the German people back to greatness.

Their parents were not so enthusiastic. Their father, Robert Scholl, told his children that Hitler and the Nazis were leading Germany down a road of destruction. Later, in 1942, he would serve time in a Nazi prison for telling his secretary: €œThe war! It is already lost. This Hitler is God's scourge on mankind, and if the war doesn't end soon the Russians will be sitting in Berlin.€ Gradually, Hans and Sophie began realizing that their father was right. They concluded that, in the name of freedom and the greater good of the German nation, Hitler and the Nazis were enslaving and destroying the German people.

They also knew that open dissent was impossible in Nazi Germany, especially after the start of World War II. Most Germans took the traditional position, that once war breaks out, it is the duty of the citizen to support the troops by supporting the government. But Hans and Sophie Scholl believed differently. They believed that it was the duty of a citizen, even in times of war, to stand up against an evil regime, especially when it is sending hundreds of thousands of its citizens to their deaths.


The Scholl siblings began sharing their feelings with a few of their friends, Christoph Probst, Alexander Schmorell, Willi Graf, as well as with Kurt Huber, their psychology and philosophy professor.

Hans Scholl (left), Sophie Scholl (center), and Christoph Probst (right), leaders of the White Rose resistance organization. Munich, Germany, 1942 (USHMM Photo).

One day in 1942, copies of a leaflet entitled €œThe White Rose€ suddenly appeared at the University of Munich. The leaflet contained an anonymous essay that said that the Nazi system had slowly imprisoned the German people and was now destroying them. The Nazi regime had turned evil. It was time, the essay said, for Germans to rise up and resist the tyranny of their own government. At the bottom of the essay, the following request appeared: €œPlease make as many copies of this leaflet as you can and distribute them.€

The leaflet caused a tremendous stir among the student body. It was the first time that internal dissent against the Nazi regime had surfaced in Germany. The essay had been secretly written and distributed by Hans Scholl and his friends.

Another leaflet appeared soon afterward. And then another. And another. Ultimately, there were six leaflets published and distributed by Hans and Sophie Scholl and their friends, four under the title €œThe White Rose€ and two under the title €œLeaflets of the Resistance.€ Their publication took place periodically between 1942 and 1943, interrupted for a few months when Hans and his friends were temporarily sent to the Eastern Front to fight against the Russians.

The members of The White Rose, of course, had to act cautiously. The Nazi regime maintained an iron grip over German society. Internal dissent was quickly and efficiently smashed by the Gestapo. Hans and Sophie Scholl and their friends knew what would happen to them if they were caught.

People began receiving copies of the leaflets in the mail. Students at the University of Hamburg began copying and distributing them. Copies began turning up in different parts of Germany and Austria. Moreover, as Hanser points out, the members of The White Rose did not limit themselves to leaflets. Graffiti began appearing in large letters on streets and buildings all over Munich: €œDown with Hitler! . . . Hitler the Mass Murderer!€ and €œFreihart! . . . Freihart! . . . Freedom! . . . Freedom!€

The Gestapo was driven into a frenzy. It knew that the authors were having to procure large quantities of paper, envelopes, and postage. It knew that they were using a duplicating machine. But despite the Gestapo's best efforts, it was unable to catch the perpetrators.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Hans Scholl (left), Sophie Scholl (center), and Christoph Probst (right), leaders of the White Rose resistance organization. Munich, Germany, 1942 </span>

One day, February 18, 1943, Hans' and Sophie's luck ran out. They were caught leaving pamphlets at the University of Munich and were arrested. A search disclosed evidence of Christoph Probst's participation, and he too was soon arrested. The three of them were indicted for treason.

On February 22, four days after their arrest, their trial began. The presiding judge, Roland Freisler, chief justice of the People's Court of the Greater German Reich, had been sent from Berlin. Hanser writes:

He conducted the trial as if the future of the Reich were indeed at stake. He roared denunciations of the accused as if he were not the judge but the prosecutor. He behaved alternately like an actor ranting through an overwritten role in an implausible melodrama and a Grand Inquisitor calling down eternal ****ation on the heads of the three irredeemable heretics before him. . . . No witnesses were called, since the defendants had admitted everything. The proceedings consisted almost entirely of Roland Freisler's denunciation and abuse, punctuated from time to time by half-hearted offerings from the court-appointed defense attorneys, one of whom summed up his case with the observation, €œI can only say fiat justitia. Let justice be done.€ By which he meant: Let the accused get what they deserve.

Freisler and the other accusers could not understand what had happened to these German youths. After all, they all came from nice German families. They all had attended German schools. They had been members of the Hitler Youth. How could they have turned out to be traitors? What had so twisted and warped their minds?

Sophie Scholl shocked everyone in the courtroom when she remarked to Freisler: €œSomebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don't dare to express themselves as we did.€ Later in the proceedings, she said to him: €œYou know the war is lost. Why don't you have the courage to face it?€

In the middle of the trial, Robert and Magdalene Scholl tried to enter the courtroom. Magdalene said to the guard: €œBut I'm the mother of two of the accused.€ The guard responded: €œYou should have brought them up better.€ Robert Scholl forced his way into the courtroom and told the court that he was there to defend his children. He was seized and forcibly escorted outside. The entire courtroom heard him shout: €œOne day there will be another kind of justice! One day they will go down in history!€

Robert Freisler pronounced his judgment on the three defendants: Guilty of treason. Their sentence: Death.

They were escorted back to Stadelheim prison, where the guards permitted Hans and Sophie to have one last visit with their parents. Hans met with them first, and then Sophie. Hansen writes:

His eyes were clear and steady and he showed no sign of dejection or despair. He thanked his parents again for the love and warmth they had given him and he asked them to convey his affection and regard to a number of friends, whom he named. Here, for a moment, tears threatened, and he turned away to spare his parents the pain of seeing them. Facing them again, his shoulders were back and he smiled. . . .

Then a woman prison guard brought in Sophie. . . . Her mother tentatively offered her some candy, which Hans had declined. €œGladly,€ said Sophie, taking it. €œAfter all, I haven't had any lunch!€ She, too, looked somehow smaller, as if drawn together, but her face was clear and her smile was fresh and unforced, with something in it that her parents read as triumph. €œSophie, Sophie,€ her mother murmured, as if to herself. €œTo think you'll never be coming through the door again!€ Sophie's smile was gentle. €œAh, Mother,€ she said. €œThose few little years. . . .€ Sophie Scholl looked at her parents and was strong in her pride and certainty. €œWe took everything upon ourselves,€ she said. €œWhat we did will cause waves.€ Her mother spoke again: €œSophie,€ she said softly, €œRemember Jesus.€ €œYes,€ replied Sophie earnestly, almost commandingly, €œbut you, too.€ She left them, her parents, Robert and Magdalene Scholl, with her face still lit by the smile they loved so well and would never see again. She was perfectly composed as she was led away. Robert Mohr [a Gestapo official], who had come out to the prison on business of his own, saw her in her cell immediately afterwards, and she was crying. It was the first time Robert Mohr had seen her in tears, and she apologized. €œI have just said good-bye to my parents,€ she said. €œYou understand . . .€ She had not cried before her parents. For them she had smiled.

No relatives visited Christoph Probst. His wife, who had just had their third child, was in the hospital. Neither she nor any members of his family even knew that he was on trial or that he had been sentenced to death. While his faith in God had always been deep and unwavering, he had never committed to a certain faith. On the eve of his death, a Catholic priest admitted him into the church in articulo mortis, at the point of death. €œNow,€ he said, €œmy death will be easy and joyful.€

That afternoon, the prison guards permitted Hans, Sophie, and Christoph to have one last visit together. Sophie was then led to the guillotine. One observer described her as she walked to her death: €œWithout turning a hair, without flinching.€ Christoph Probst was next. Hans Scholl was last; just before he was beheaded, Hans cried out: €œLong live freedom!€

Unfortunately, they were not the last to die. The Gestapo's investigation was relentless. Later tried and executed were Alex Schmorell (age 25), Willi Graf (age 25), and Kurt Huber (age 49). Students at the University of Hamburg were either executed or sent to concentration camps.

Today, every German knows the story of The White Rose. A square at the University of Munich is named after Hans and Sophie Scholl. And there are streets, squares, and schools all over Germany named for the members of The White Rose. The German movie The White Rose is now found in video stores in Germany and the United States. Richard Hansen sums up the story of The White Rose:

In the vogue words of the time, the Scholls and their friends represented the €œother€ Germany, the land of poets and thinkers, in contrast to the Germany that was reverting to barbarism and trying to take the world with it. What they were and what they did would have been €œother€ in any society at any time. What they did transcended the easy division of good-German/bad-German and lifted them above the nationalism of time-bound events. Their actions made them enduring symbols of the struggle, universal and timeless, for the freedom of the human spirit wherever and whenever it is threatened.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

02-18-2005, 01:05 AM
<span class="ev_code_RED">MOSSIE GAOL BREAKERS 18th FEB 1944</span>

18 February - As part of the ongoing resistance support operations Amiens Prison was the subject of a special low-level attack called Operation Jericho. 18 de Havilland Mosquito VIs from 2 Group (RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force), 6 each from Nos 21, 464 (RAAF) and 487 (RNZAF) Squadrons, led by Group Captain P C Pickard. The Amiens Prison attack was a bid to release French Resistance workers held by the Germans prior to the Normandy landings. Having taken off from Gravesend in atrocious weather, the aircraft conducted an ultra low level daylight raid dropping time-delay bombs inside the outer wall from a height of 60 feet ; the guards' accommodation area was also bombed. The first two waves were so successful in breaching the prison walls that the remaining wave was ordered home with its bombs still aboard. The raid released 258 of the 700 prisoners held in the prison, 12 of whom were to be executed on 19 February 1944. €" Monsieur Vivant, a most important member of the Resistance was amongst those released although the bombing killed a a further 102. The aircraft flown by Group Captain Pickard and his navigator, Flight Lieutenant J A Broadley circled overhead the target directing the bombing. As the last aircraft departed the scene, Gp Capt Pickard€s Mosquito was engaged and destroyed by two Focke Wulf Fw190s from I/JG26, both aircrew lost their lives.

With the loss of Gp Capt Pickard and his navigator, Flight Lieutenant John Alan "Bill" Broadley DSO DFC DFM, the RAF lost one of its best leaders. Pickard wasn't required to be there, but was brought in to keep the mission intact because of the appalling weather.
They are both buried nearby and flowers are still laid at their graves to this day.


02-18-2005, 06:51 AM
The.Tyke... Great story.

-HH- Beebop
02-18-2005, 06:54 AM
Nice find The.Tyke!

18 February
In the North Atlantic... The German battle cruisers Gneisenau, Scharnhorst and the pocket battleship Admiral Hipper make an unsuccessful sortie against the "HN" convoy route between Britain and Scandinavia as part of Operation Nordmark. German U-boats providing escort for the capital ships, however, sink 12 merchant ships and the British destroyer HMS Daring.

From London... The British government presses Norway to intern the Altmark.

From Washington... The American Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, applies the American "moral embargo" to the USSR.

In Paris... The French government agrees to allow the reconstitution of the Polish air force on French soil.

On the Western Front... A German infantry detachment, with heavy mortar support, makes an unsuccessful raid on a French outpost near the Moselle River.

In China... Japanese forces engaged in the city of Nanning are compelled withdraw after heavy fighting.

In East Africa... In Abyssinia South African forces advancing from Kenya attack the town of Mega. It is quickly captured along with 1000 prisoners.

In the Dutch East Indies... British RAF and Australian RAAF units are withdrawn from Sumatra to Java.

In the Gulf of Mexico... The Free French submarine Surcouf (then the largest submarine in the world) is sunk in a collision with a US merchant ship.

In Tunisia... Axis forces enter Sbeitla which has been abandoned by Allied forces. The Axis debate over following up this successful offensive continues.

From Washington... The new American 6th Army, commanded by General Krueger, become operational in the southwest Pacific.

In the Aleutian Islands... A US Task Group (Admiral McMorris) with 2 cruisers and 4 destroyers bombards Japanese positions on Attu Island.

On the Eastern Front... In the north, Soviet forces of 2nd Baltic Front (Popov) capture Staraya-Russa. Volkhov Front (Meretskov) forces take Shimsk.

In the Marshall Islands... In the Eniwetok Atoll, American forces land Engebi and establish a beachhead. The invasion is supported by land-based artillery, as well as naval and air bombardments. Japanese counterattacks are defeated.

In Italy... At Anzio, heavy fighting takes place on the Anzio-Campoleone road (the "Flyover"). German armored reserves (26th Panzer Div. and 29th Panzer Grenadier Div.) are committed to the attack. Allied artillery prevents significant gains. Offshore, the cruiser Penelope is hit again and sinks. Meanwhile, around Cassino, further attacks by Indian, New Zealand forces of the US 5th Army fail to hold the gains made in attacks from the hills north of the monestary and over the Rapido River.

In Washington... President Roosevelt vetoes the Bankhead Bill which proposed to end food subsidies. The veto is upheld by the House of Representatives.

In the Caroline Islands... American forces continue their raid on the Japanese base at Truk. Over the course of the two days, US aircraft log 1250 sorties. The Japanese lose 1 cruiser, 2 destroyers, several other warships and 140,000 tons of shipping to air attack. The battleships Iowa and New Jersey sink 1 cruiser and 2 destroyers. In addition 250 Japanese aircraft are reported destroyed. American submarines sink several more vessels. The US forces lose less than 30 planes and damage is sustained to the carrier Intrepid.

On the Western Front... In the continuing British and Canadian offensive, the British 30th Corps (part of British 2nd Army) attacks Goch. All US 3rd Army units are attacking. The German Siegfried Line is broken north of Echternach by US 8th Corps while both US 12th and 20th Corps, to the south, are advancing.
From Moscow... General Chernyakhovsky, commander of the 3rd Belorussian Front, dies from wounds received outside Konigsberg at age 40. He was the youngest Front commander in the Red Army.

In Italy... There are new attacks by US 4th Corps (part of US 5th Army) in the area of the front just west of the Bologna-Pistoia road.

In the Bonin Islands... While most of US Task Force 58 is replenishing, one group of four carriers commanded by Admiral Radford attacks Haha Jima and Chichi Jima.

In the Volcano Islands... US Task Force 54 and TF52 continue the preliminary bombardment of Iwo Jima.

02-18-2005, 07:34 AM
Read the book some years ago ;"And the Walls Came Tumbling Down "
Great Read !

02-18-2005, 10:41 PM
February 19

1945 Marines invade Iwo Jima

On this day, Operation Detachment, the U.S. Marines' invasion of Iwo Jima, is launched. Iwo Jima was a barren Pacific island guarded by Japanese artillery, but to American military minds, it was prime real estate on which to build airfields to launch bombing raids against Japan, only 660 miles away.

The Americans began applying pressure to the Japanese defense of the island in February 1944, when B-24 and B-25 bombers raided the island for 74 days. It was the longest pre-invasion bombardment of the war, necessary because of the extent to which the Japanese--21,000 strong--fortified the island, above and below ground, including a network of caves. Underwater demolition teams ("frogmen") were dispatched by the Americans just before the actual invasion. When the Japanese fired on the frogmen, they gave away many of their "secret" gun positions.

The amphibious landings of Marines began the morning of February 19 as the secretary of the navy, James Forrestal, accompanied by journalists, surveyed the scene from a command ship offshore. As the Marines made their way onto the island, seven Japanese battalions opened fire on them. By evening, more than 550 Marines were dead and more than 1,800 were wounded. The capture of Mount Suribachi, the highest point of the island and bastion of the Japanese defense, took four more days and many more casualties. When the American flag was finally raised on Iwo Jima, the memorable image was captured in a famous photograph that later won the Pulitzer Prize.

-HH- Beebop
02-19-2005, 12:45 PM
19 February
The Winter War... The Finnish intermediate defense line is broken in some places by Soviet tank attacks.

From Stockholm... King Gustav announces his support for his government's decision to refuse Finland military aid. He says: "from the first hour I informed Finland that she unfortunately could not count on military intervention from Sweden."

In Berlin... Hitler orders more rapid progress with Operation Weserubung, the codename for the invasion of Norway and Denmark.

In East Africa... Emperor Haile Selassie, who was brought back to Abyssinia in January to help organize resistance to the Italians, arrives at Dangilla along with Wingate's Gideon Force. During the next two weeks they harass the Italian troops around Bahrdar Giorgis and Burye with considerable success. The Italians have four brigades in the area and the Gideon Force is only 1700 strong.

In Cairo... Eden, Dill (the Chief of the General Staff) and the local commanders, Wavell and Cunningham, meet to discuss whether they can send help to Greece and if so how much. The British political leaders are strongly in favor of sending all that can be spared and Wavell, the military commander who is responsible, believes that this can be done effectively and is, therefore, prepared to recommend it.

In Australia... 150 Japanese aircraft from four of the carriers which fought at Pearl Harbor, attack Darwin in Northern Australia. The attack damages harbor installations and sinks a number of warships.

From Washington... General Dwight D. Eisenhower, is appointed chief of the War Plans Division of the US Army General Staff.

In Vichy France... After their arrest by the order of Marshal Petain, General Gamelin and former Prime Ministers, Reynaud and Blum are put on trial for the French loss in this war. The defendants present evidence which tends to implicate the entire French military establishment, many of whom are now serving in the Vichy Government. The trial is adjourned and never completed.

In London... Prime Minister Churchill announces War Cabinet changes. Sir Stafford Crippins, former ambassador to Moscow, replaces Arthur Greenwood and Sir Kingsley Wood.

In the Solomon Islands... On Guadalcanal American reinforcements arrive as part of the buildup for the next offensive move to the Russell Islands. These islands are now reported abandoned by the Japanese.

In Tunisia... The Axis offensive is renewed with the objective of Le Kef. There are two wings to the assault. The German 15th Panzer Division attacks from Kasserine toward Thala. The 21st Panzer Division, having already advanced beyond Sbeitla, strikes toward Sbiba. The Allied command has anticipated such moves and both mountain passes are well defended. Among the Axis leadership, Rommel has proposed aiming for Tebessa instead of Le Kef and he has had elements of 10th Panzer Division placed under his command.

In Italy... The Anzio beachhead becomes stabilized. Neither sides plans significant attacks at this time. To the south, there is a lull in the fighting along the Gustav Line.

In the Marshall Islands... Fighting continues on Engebi in the Eniwetok Atoll. Americans land on Eniwetok in regimental strength. There is heavy Japanese resistance, in spite of massive preparatory bombardments.

In the Volcano Islands... On Iwo Jima, 2 divisions of the US 5th Amphibious Corps are landed in Operation Detachment. Before the landing the bombardment groups already deployed are joined by 2 battleships, several cruisers and destroyers from US Task Force 58. The initial assault forces are from US 4th and 5th Marine Divisions with 3rd Marines in reserve. They are carried transported by TF53 (Admiral Hill) and land on the southeast of the island. About 30,000 men go ashore on the first day. The Japanese garrison of about 21,000 troops, commanded by General Kuribayashi, have prepared exceptionally elaborate and tough defenses so that the eight square miles of the island is completely fortified. The Americans realize that the island is well defended since it is part of metropolitan Japan. However, the island is strategically important because it is within fighter range of Tokyo. By controlling the airfields here, American B-29 bombers flying from the Mariana Islands can be escorted.

In the Philippines... There are American landings on the northwest islands of Samar and Capul. No Japanese resistance is encountered.

02-19-2005, 03:02 PM
Iwo Jima (http://members.cox.net/fliegeroffizier/SandsOne.WMV) 5Mb

-HH- Beebop
02-20-2005, 09:07 AM
20 February
The Winter War... Finnish forces defeat Soviet forces attacking across the frozen Taipale River.

From Moscow... The Soviet government offers fresh peace talks to Finland.

In North Africa... The British and German patrols make contact for the first time in the desert, near El Agheila.

In the Bismark Archipelago... Japanese drive off a carrier based task force led by the American aircraft carrier Lexington which attempts to attack Rabaul.

In Portuguese Timor... Japanese forces invade.

On the Eastern Front... Red Army forces continue to advance beyond Kharkov. They capture Pavlograd during the day and are engaged in heavy fighting at Krasnograd. The salient being created by the Soviet offensive is held by strong German forces on both flanks.

In Tunisia... British and American units hold the German attack on Sbiba. Among the defending units is the British Guards Brigade. The attack through the Kasserine Pass, is initially held as well. However, the elements of the German 15th Panzer Division attacking here are reinforced with elements of the 10th Panzer Division and break through the Allied defenses. The British 26th Armored Brigade is moved up to resist the German breakthrough; nonetheless, the German forces advance to within 10 miles of Thala.

From London... Allied command in Tunisia is reorganized. British General Alexander is appointed to lead the new 18th Army Group.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet 2nd Baltic Front (Popov) launches a new offensive toward Kholm, spearheaded by the 22nd Army. German 16th Army, part of Army Group North, is unable to contain the assault, in part because of the army group shifting of forces northward in support of German 18th Army in recent weeks.

In the Marshall Islands... American carrier aircraft from Task Group 58.1 (Admiral Reeves) attack Japanese targets in Jaluit Atoll. The fighting on Eniwetok continues. The nearby island of Parry is shelled by US naval forces.

In Occupied Norway... A ferry carrying a stock of heavy water from the Ryukan hydroelectric plant to Germany is sunk by resistance fighters acting on instructions from the British government and the Norwegian government in exile. The cargo is lost. Heavy water is used in atomic research.

On the Eastern Front... Berlin is now threatened by the advances of 1st Ukrainian Front and 1st Belorussian Front; on the lower Vistula River, Soviet troops around Elbing and Marienburg are trying to break through to Danzig and Gdynia. Among the German forces opposing the advance toward Berlin are those of Army Group Vistula, nominally under the command of Heinrich Himmler.
http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1945/feb45/1945feb/1945feb20.jpg ]

Over Germany... Nuremberg is attacked by 900 American B-17 bombers with 700 escort fighters. The nominal target is the passenger station and marshalling yards; the escorts conduct strafing runs on locomotives, rolling stock and parked planes. A total of 23 of the American aircraft are lost.

On the Western Front... The US 20th Corps (part of US 3rd Army) continues its attacks.

In the Philippines... There are American landings on the island of Biri where Japanese resistance is encountered.

In the Volcano Islands... The naval bombardment groups (US TF54 and TF52), now joined by US Task Force 58, continue to provide support to the US 5th Amphibious Corps fighting on shore. American troops make slow progress toward Mount Suribachi in the south and the first airfield to the north of the beachhead. There are Japanese counterattacks and infiltration attempts during the night.

02-20-2005, 10:14 AM
How did we miss this one yesterday?

' The crocodile attack to claim the most human lives took place on February 19, 1945, when an Imperial Japanese Army unit guarding a stronghold on the Burmese island of Ramree was outflanked by a British naval force. The soldiers were forced to cross 16 km (10 miles) of mangrove swamps to rejoin a larger battalion of the Japanese infantry. The swamps were home to thousands of 4.6-m (15-ft) sal****er crocodiles. Come the next morning, only 20 of the 1,000 Japanese soldiers had survived.'



-HH- Beebop
02-21-2005, 07:19 AM
hmmmm.....i don't know how that got past me. Maybe because I usually don't think of the Guiness Book of world Records when it comes to WWII. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

On to today-
21 February
In Berlin... The preparations for an attack on Norway move forward another stage with the appointment of General Falkenhorst to command. He has been selected by the Armed Forces High Command (OKW) without consulting the Army High Command (OKH).

The Winter War... Blizzards hamper the Soviet offensive operations in the Karelian Isthmus.

In London... The government Treasury announces a token defense estimate of 100 pounds for the Army, Navy and Air Force for 1940. The actual figures are concealed for security reasons. Emergency measures to deal with a coal shortage arising from the severe winter weather includes a drastic reduction of passenger train services.

In Britain... The first successful test of the cavity magnetron at Birmingham University provides an important advance in the development of short-wave radar.

In Occupied Poland... The Inspectorate of Concentration Camps reports to Himmler that Auschwitz Camp, in "Incorporated Territories" of Poland, is suitable for use as a "quarantine center."

From Moscow... Changes in the Central Committee of the Communist Party are announced. Among those to be dismissed are the former ambassador to the United States, Maxim Litvinov.

In East Africa... The carrier Formidable attacks Massawa.

From Germany... The pocket-battleship Admiral Scheer and the cruiser Prinz Eugen leave for bases in Norway.

In Burma... The British 17th Indian Division begins retreat to the Sittang River through Kyaikto.

In Tunisia... British armor holds out against attacks from the German 10th Panzer Division attempting to advance toward Thala. By the evening the front is still 3 miles south of the town. A detachment of 15th Panzer Division launches a diversionary attack on Tebessa which is strongly held by the US 1st Armored Division. The 21st Panzer Division attack toward Sbiba is stalled.

In the Solomon Islands... Operation Cleanslate. Troops of the US 43rd Division (commanded by General Hester) occupy Banika and Pavuvu in the Russell Islands. There is no Japanese resistance. By the end of the month about 9000 American troops occupy these islands.

In the Atlantic... Convoy ON-166 is attacked by U-boats over the next five days (February 21-25th). It will lose 14 ships of 85,000 tons. One German U-boat is sunk by the convoy escorts.

In the Solomon Islands... Japanese resistance on the Green Islands, north of Bougainville, ends. The islands are occupied by elements of the New Zealand 3rd Division (Barrowclough).

On the Eastern Front... In the north, Soviet forces capture Soltsy, southwest of Shimsk, as well as Kholm, 60 miles to the south. Meanwhile, in the Ukraine, Soviet forces are attacking towards Krivoi Rog.

In Tokyo... Prime Minister General Tojo takes over the office of Chief of the Army General Staff, in place of Field Marshal Sugiyama. The navy minister, Admiral Shimada, also takes an additional office, replacing Admiral Nagano as Chief of Staff.

In Burma... The British 17th Indian Division and supporting armored units (elements of British 4th Corps) begin a breakout from the bridgehead at Myaungu and advance toward Meiktila. Farther north, troops of British 33rd Corps step up their efforts to attract the main Japanese forces when the British 2nd Division crosses the Irrawaddy near Ngazun to link with the British 20th Indian Division who already have a bridgehead near there. Farther north still, the British 36th Division takes Myitson.

In the Philippines... The US 11th Corps completes the capture of the Bataan area of Luzon. Fighting on Corregidor continues, as does the battle for Manila.

On the Western Front... Goch falls to the attacks of the 51st Division of the British 30th Corps (part of British 2nd Army).

In the Volcano Islands... The naval gun and air bombardment (by US Task Forces 52, 54 and 58) continues. The escort carrier Bismark Sea is sunk and the fleet carrier Saratoga, an escort carrier and other ships are damaged by Kamikaze attacks. Elements of the US 5th Amphibious Corps continue to make slow progress toward Mount Suribachi to the south and the airfield to the north. There are Japanese counterattacks and infiltration attempts during the night.

-HH- Beebop
02-22-2005, 07:10 AM
22 February
The Winter War... The Soviets begin to occupy the islands in the Gulf of Finland. The Finns evacuate Koivisto after blowing up the coast-defense guns there. Meanwhile, the 34th Moscow Tank Brigade, encircled near Kitelae, on the Ladoga front, eats the last of its packhorses and must now survive on starvation rations and biscuits and rusks dropped from Soviet aircraft.

In the North Sea... German He111 bombers attack two German destroyers, by mistake, off the Frisian Islands. The ships blunder into a British minefield and sink.

In Britain... An IRA bomb explodes in Oxford Street, London (7 people are seriously injured). This is the last major incident in an IRA bombing campaign against mainland Britain, begun on January 16, 1939.

In Tibet... The six-year-old Dalai Lama, Jampel Ngawang Lobsang Yishey Tenzing Gyatso (Tender Glory, Mighty in Speech, Excellent Intellect, Absolute Wisdom, Holding to the Doctrine and Ocean-Wide) is enthroned at Lhasa.

In Occupied Holland... SS troops raid the Jewish Quarter of Amsterdam in reprisal for the ammonia incident of February 19th.

In the North Atlantic... Five ships from a dispersed convoy are sunk by the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.

In Athens... The British leaders (Eden, Dill, Wavell and Cunningham) meet Greek King George and Premier Korizis.

From London... Air Marshal Harris, is appointed head of Bomber Command. He will be responsible for implementing the new policy of "civilian target" bombing from the Air Ministry.

From Washington... General Douglas MacArthur is ordered to leave the Philippines and establish new headquarters in Australia.

In Burma... Japanese troops continue their advances against the British 17th Indian Division at Mokpalin on the Sittang River. Fighting is extremely heavy.

On the Eastern Front... Manstein's launches a counteroffensive to recapture Kharkov. The German 1st and 4th Panzer Armies attack northward on a line west of Krasnoarmeskoye while Army Detachment Kempf, primarily the 2nd SS Panzer Corps, drives south from Krasnodar. Manstein is generally credited with carefully handling his reserves in order to assemble the considerable forces used in the attack. Meanwhile, the Soviet forces in the salient west of Kharkov continue their advance, despite growing shortages of fuel and ammunition. One unit comes within 12 miles of Manstein's army group headquarters.

In Tunisia... A night battle develops on the front before Thala (during night of February 21-22). Both sides suffer heavy losses. At the same time, an American artillery regiment (led by General Irwin) arrives after an 800 mile march from Oran achieved in 4 days. At dawn the British, with the newly arrived American artillery support, launch a limited counterattack. The German forces pull back in the afternoon. The improved flying weather on this day is generally noted as weighing in the Allies' favor.

On the Eastern Front... German forces of Army Group South, facing another large encirclement, withdraw from Krivoi Rog, the iron mining center in the Donbas. Forces of the Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front occupy the city during the day.

From Moscow... Stalin issues two Orders of the Day: the first concerns the capture of Krivoi Rog and the second announces that three-quarters of Soviet territory has now been liberated with the Red Army having advanced as much as 1000 miles.

In the Mariana Islands... Japanese bombers and torpedo planes attack the ships of US Task Force 58.

Over Holland... In dense cloud and freezing conditions, a B-24 group bombs Nijmegen by mistake, killing 200 civilians.

In Occupied Greece... A German troop train is derailed in the Tempe Valley by British-led guerrillas. An estimated 400 soldiers are killed. The Athens-Salonika railroad is blocked for four days.

In the Marshall Islands... US forces land on Parry Island, in the Eniwetok Atoll. There is heavy Japanese resistance.

In Italy... US 5th Army makes some gains in mountain fighting high up in the Reno Valley.
On the Western Front... The US 20th Corps (part of US 3rd Army) achieves most of its objectives in the area between the Saar and Moselle rivers.

In Ankara... The government of Turkey declares war on Germany and Japan.

In Montevideo... The government of Uruguay declares war on Germany and Japan.

In Burma... There are landings near Kangaw carried out by 6000 troops of the British 3rd Commando Brigade and other units.

In the Volcano Islands... The naval gun and air bombardment (by US Task Forces 52, 54 and 58) continues. Elements of the US 5th Amphibious Corps continue to make slow progress toward Mount Suribachi to the south and the airfield to the north (most of which has now been captured). There are Japanese counterattacks and infiltration attempts during the night.

02-22-2005, 08:22 AM
February 22

1942 President Roosevelt to MacArthur: Get out of the Philippines

On this day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders Gen. Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines, as the American defense of the islands collapses.

The Philippines had been part of the American commonwealth since it was ceded by Spain at the close of the Spanish-American War. When the Japanese invaded China in 1937 and signed the Tripartite Pact with fascist nations Germany and Italy in 1940, the United States responded by, among other things, strengthening the defense of the Philippines. General MacArthur was called out of retirement to command 10,000 American Army troops, 12,000 Filipino enlisted men who fought as part of the U.S. Army, and 100,000 Filipino army soldiers, who were poorly trained and ill prepared. MacArthur radically overestimated his troops' strength and underestimated Japan's determination. The Rainbow War Plan, a defensive strategy for U.S. interests in the Pacific that was drawn up in the late 1930s and later refined by the War Department, required that MacArthur withdraw his troops into the mountains of the Bataan Peninsula and await better-trained and -equipped American reinforcements. Instead, MacArthur decided to take the Japanese head on--and he never recovered.

On the day of the Pearl Harbor bombing, the Japanese destroyed almost half of the American aircraft based in the Philippines. Amphibious landings of Japanese troops along the Luzon coast followed. By late December, MacArthur had to pull his forces back defensively to the Bataan Peninsula--the original strategy belatedly pursued. By January 2, 1942, the Philippine capital of Manila fell to the Japanese. President Roosevelt had to admit to himself (if not to the American people, who believed the Americans were winning the battle with the Japanese in the Philippines), that the prospects for the American forces were not good--and that he could not afford to have General MacArthur fall captive to the Japanese. A message arrived at Corregidor on February 20, ordering MacArthur to leave immediately for Mindanao, then on to Melbourne, Australia, where "You will assume command of all United States troops." MacArthur at first balked; he was fully prepared to fight alongside his men to the death if necessary. MacArthur finally obeyed the president's order in March.

02-22-2005, 11:53 PM
On this day of Feb 23 1945...

A PBY-5A of 2nd Emergency Rescue Squadron rescued 2 RAAF Beaufighter crewmembers, 32nd Squadron.


Flight Lieutenant Walter R. Mills, RAAF attached to the 2nd Emergency Rescue Squadron, departed from Morotai at 1450 and arrived at their destination near the Island of Obinajo, south of the Halmaheras at 1723.


Flight Lieutenant Mills sighted a dinghy, landed and effected the rescue of F/O Frances and P/O Haselwood of the 32nd Sq, RAAF. Flight Lieutenant Mills took the life raft aboard and took off in a relatively smooth water at 1740, arriving at Morotai at 1950. The survivors were unhurt and in good condition. They had been in the water about 5 hours.


At Hamilton Field, California, the 15 December 1943, the Second Emergency Rescue Squadron was activated
Known as the "Snafu Snatchers", this squadron was the first Army Air Force unit of its kind in the Pacific. In July 1944, it was assigned to the 5th Air Force from which it was transferred to the 13th Air Force in September 1944. Using OA-10A's (equivalent to Navy PBY's) the Second Emergency Rescue Squadron retrieved over 300 airmen from death or capture during the first six months of its activity.


This close up shows the "Snafu Snatchers" nose art painted on the right side of their OA-10A's. "SNAFU" stood for "Situation Normal, All Fouled Up," although another word was usually used for the "F".


The Second Emergency Rescue Squadron was credited with rescuing over 700 downed fliers during their tenure in the South Pacific from the time they arrived in July 1944 until the end of the war in August 1945.



HISTORY - The prototype Catalina first flew on March 28, 1935. It was produced by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation in both seaplane and amphibious versions. Catalinas were also produced by CANADIAN VICKERS, LTD. and the Naval Aircraft Factory. Eventually nearly 2,500 Catalina derivatives were built for the Navy. Approximately 380 were transferred to the AAF as OA-10s, OA-10A's, and OA-10B's or in some cases, with their original Navy designations. Catalinas also were flown by a number of allied nations during and after WWII.


-HH- Beebop
02-23-2005, 06:28 AM
Nice PBY stuff woffiedog!

23 February
In Britain... In a victory parade celebrating the destruction of the German pocket battleship Graf Spee in the battle of the River Plate, 700 officers and men of the cruisers HMS Ajax and HMS Exeter march through cheering crowds to Guildhall in London.

Over Occupied Czechoslovakia... During the night (February 23-24), RAF bombers conduct a leaflet reconnaissance raid on Prague.

From Helsinki... Finland repeats its request to Sweden and Norway to grant transit rights for foreign troops.

In the Faeroe Islands... The destroyer HMS Gurkha sinks a U-boat.

In Athens... The Greeks agree to accept a British force which at this stage is intended to be 100,000 men with suitable artillery and tank support. The Greeks are very reluctant to accept anything less since it would not be enough to fight the Germans off and would only encourage them to attack. The disposition of the British and Greek forces is also discussed. The British prefer a position along the line of the Aliakmon River but the Greeks are unwilling to give up the territory which this line does not cover. No final decision is made -- a serious omission in light of later events.

In East Africa... In Somaliland the main Italian forces defending the line of the Juba River have been defeated. General Cunningham's troops are now advancing very rapidly toward Mogadishu. There is a small Free French landing in Eritrea.

In Occupied Holland... The SS raid on the Jewish Quarter of Amsterdam is completed. About 400 Jews are arrested and deported to the concentration camp at Buchenwald in Germany.

In Burma... A large part of the British 17th Indian Division is trapped on the east bank of the Sittang River when the only accessible bridge is destroyed. Most of the troops escape to the other side of the river, but all of their heavy equipment is lost.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviets capture Sumy and Lebedin northeast of Kharkov. Meanwhile, to the south, the German counteroffensive begins to make progress. The German 48th Panzer Corps attacks toward Barvenkovo.

In the Marshall Islands... Japanese resistance on Parry Island ends. American forces complete the occupation of Eniwetok Atoll. US losses are 300 killed and 750 wounded. The Japanese garrison has been wiped out. Out of 3400 troops, there are 66 prisoners.

On the Eastern Front... In the north, Red Army forces take Strugi Krasnyye, midway between Luga and Pskov. Attacks begin toward Dno as well.

In the Mariana Islands... American aircraft raid Rota, Tinian and Saipan. The US forces are from Task Group 58.3 (Sherman) and Task Group 58.2 (Montgomery). The attack sinks 20,000 tons of Japanese shipping.

In Italy... At Anzio, General Truscott replaces General Lucas as commander of the US 6th Corps.

In the Volcano Islands... On Iwo Jima, most of Mount Suribachi, on the southern tip of the island, is taken by the American forces (of the US 5th Amphibious Corps) during the day and the US flag is hoisted on the summit. To the north of the beachhead, the pattern of slow US advance after much effort is maintained.

In the Philippines... The US forces attacking in Manila resume their offensive after a new bombardment. The Japanese resistance is now largely confined to the old walled section of the town, the Intramuros, but the fighting there is very fierce.

On the Western Front... A major new offensive by US First and Ninth Armies begins with heavy attacks along the Roer, especially in the Julich and Duren areas. The river is crossed in several places. The attacks are opposed by the German 5th Panzer and 15th Armies (both part of German Army Group B). Farther south, there are also attacks by units of US 3rd and 7th Armies.
On the Eastern Front... Poznan falls to the Red Army after a 28-day siege. In Silesia, troops of the 1st Ukrainian Front have largely completed their advance from the Oder River north of Breslau to the Neisse River. Meanwhile, in Breslau, the fighting continues. The German garrison of the city will not surrender until the end of the war despite repeated Soviet attacks.

In the Arctic... German Ju88 bombers sink the SS Henry Bacon from the convoy RA-64. This is the last Allied merchant ship to be sunk by German aircraft during the war.

-HH- Beebop
02-24-2005, 07:11 AM
24 February
From Berlin... Revised orders for the attack in the west are issued. OKH has been conducting exercises throughout the winter and especially in the early days of this month because of dissatisfaction with the attack plan. Following Manstein's conversation with Hitler on March 17th and an OKH presentation to him on the 18th it has been decided to revise the plans to emphasize the role of Army Group A and an attack through the Ardennes. As far as technique goes the plans are fairly traditional. The emphasis is still not yet fully on the possibilities of the panzer advance. Rundstedt and Bock, who will be the principal commanders are, despite their considerable abilities, wedded to the conventional infantry-based ideas. Although the direction of the attack is certainly bold, the old school see early problems when it becomes necessary to cross the Meuse River. The tank enthusiasts, like Guderian, are more concerned about exploiting the advance after the crossing.

In Copenhagen... A Scandinavian neutrality conference is held by the attending foreign ministers.

In Rome... Germany and Italy sign a trade agreement giving the Italians an increased coal supply.

In North Africa... British and German forces engage in the desert for the first time.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet Winter Offensive is slowing in the face of greater German resistance. In the north, the Red Army have encircled German 2nd Corps of the German 16th Army, just south of Lake Ilmen in the Demyansk region. The entrapped German troops will hold until relieved in April because the Luftwaffe manages to drop 270 tons of supplies to them daily.

On Wake Island... Admiral Halsey on board the USS Enterprise leads task force in a successful attack on Wake Island.

In Tunisia... Rommel is appointed to command Army Group Africa which is to include 5th Panzer Army (von Arnim) and Italian 1st Army (Messe). The Axis forces are withdrawing to the Eastern Dorsale.

In Burma... British forces capture the Nyakyedyauk Pass.

On the Eastern Front... In the north, forces of the Soviet 1st Belorussian Front capture the rail junction of Dno, east of Pskov. Meanwhile, Rogachev falls to forces of the 2nd Belorussian Front.

In New Guinea... American forces reach Biliau near Cape Iris.

Over Britain... The ninth Luftwaffe bombing raid on London is carried out since the beginning of the "Little Blitz" on January 21st. A total of 129 German bombers have been lost since this operation began.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet 2nd Belorussian Front (Rokossovsky) begins a new offensive in the morning with a 30-minute artillery barrage.
Over Germany... Colonel Ivan Kojedub, the top scoring Soviet (and Allied) fighter ace (with 62 victories), shoots down a German Me262 over Berlin.

On the Western Front... To the north, attacks by British and Canadian continue to drive southeast toward Udem and Weeze. Julich is captured by units of the US 19th Corps as the US 9th Army begins to extend its advance over the Roer River. To the south, the US 1st and 3rd Armies also push forward.

In the Volcano Islands... On Iwo Jima, forces of US 5th Amphibious Corps continue to advance northward and capture part of the island's second airfield.

In the Philippines... On Luzon, American forces eliminate desperate Japanese resistance in the Intramuros -- the old walled quarter of Manila.

In Burma... In their advance on Meiktila, the British 17th Indian Division takes Taungtha.

02-24-2005, 11:31 AM
On this day of Feb 24 1945...

Ivan Kozhedub

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Ivan Kozhedub in front of his La-5 FN plane. Some of his markings on the aircraft is clearly shown here. This machine he recived on 2 May 1944 with speciall dedication "In the name of Hero of the Soviet Union Lt.Col. N. Koniyev."</span>

An Interview with Ivan Kozhedub. Link:http://history1900s.about.com/library/prm/blkozhedub3.htm

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">La-7 aircraft flown by Ivan Kozhedub of 176 Guards IAP between 1944 and 1945. The model skin has the two tone grey camouflage scheme used during the winter months.</span>

In February 1945, Kozhedub shot down a German Me 262 "Schwalbe" jet fighter: "On February 19, 1945, I was on a lone-wolf operation together with Dmitry Titorenko to the north of Frankfurt. I noticed a plane at an altitude of 350 meters (2,170 feet). It was flying along the Oder at a speed that was marginal for my plane. I made a quick about-face and started pursuing it at full throttle, coming down so as to approach it from under the "belly." My wingman opened fire, and the Me-262 (which was a jet, as I had already realized) began turning left, over to my side, losing speed in the process. That was the end of it. I would never have overtaken it if it had flown in a straight line. The main thing was to attack enemy planes during turns, ascents or descents, and not to lose precious seconds."

During WWII, Ivan Kozhedub flew 326 combat missions, took part in 126 aerial combats, and achieved 62 kills (in them 22 FW 190 and 18 Ju 87). The planes he flew were La-5 FN & La-7 fighters.


Here is the full (and long) list of Ivan Kozhedub€s victories:

Date Type
6 July 1943 1 Ju 87
7 July 1943 1 Ju 87
9 July 1943 2 Bf 109 (in 2 sorties)
9 Aug 1943 1 Bf 109
14 Aug 1943 2 Bf 109
16 Aug 1943 1 Ju 87
22 Aug 1943 1 Fw 190
9 Sept 1943 1 Bf 109
30 Sept 1943 1 Ju 87
1 Oct 1943 2 Ju 87
2 Oct 1943 3 Ju 87
4 Oct 1943 1 Bf 109
5 Oct 1943 2 Bf 109 (in 2 sorties)
6 Oct 1943 1 Bf 109
10 Oct 1943 1 Bf 109
12 Oct 1943 2 Ju 87, 1 Bf 109
29 Oct 1943 1 He 111, 1 Ju 87
16 Jan 1944 1 Bf 109
30 Jan 1944 1 Ju 87, 1 Bf 109
14 March 1944 1 Ju 87
21 March 1944 1 Ju 87
11 April 1944 1 Bf 109
19 April 1944 1 He 111
28 April 1944 1 Ju 87
29 April 1944 2 Hs 129
3 May 1944 1 Ju 87
31 May 1944 1 Fw 190
1 June 1944 1 Ju 87
2 June 1944 1 Hs 129
3 June 1944 3 Fw 190 (in 2 sorties)
7 June 1944 1 Bf 109
22 Sept 1944 2 Fw 190
25 Sept 1944 1 Fw 190
16 Jan 1945 1 Fw 190
10 Feb 1945 1 Fw 190
12 Feb 1945 3 Fw 190
19 Feb 1945 1 Me 262
11 March 1945 1 Fw 190
18 March 1945 2 Fw 190
22 March 1945 2 Fw 190
23 March 1945 1 Fw 190
17 April 1945 2 Fw 190

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW"> La-7 in green camouflage (summer), as flown by Ivan Kozhedub of the 176 guards IAP during 1944-45. </span>

Apart from these 62 victories, Ivan Kozhedub also was forced to shoot down two U.S. P-51 Mustangs that mistakenly attacked his La-7 on one occasion. Both these P-51 losses have been verified by USAAF sources.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Lavochkin La-7 of Kozhedub</span>

-HH- Beebop
02-25-2005, 12:55 PM
I like that green camo La-7. wish il2skins was up, I'd look for it. Maybe I'll make one. another good post. Thanks.

25 February
In Britain... The first squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) arrives in Britain.

In Copehagen... The Scandinavian foreign ministers reaffirm their countries' neutrality.

In Rome... The American envoy Sumner Welles arrives at the start of his European peace mission.

In the North Atlantic... The Royal Navy ships Escort, Imogen and Inglefield and the submarine Narwhal sink a German U-boat off northwest Scotland

In East Africa... Mogadishu is taken by the British forces after an advance of over 230 miles in the past three days. Considerable stocks of fuel and other supplies are captured.

In the Mediterranean... The Italian light cruiser Diaz is sunk by a British submarine while forming part of the escort for a Naples-Tripoli convoy.

From London... The American, British, Dutch, Australian Command (ABDA) is dissolved. General Wavell again becomes the Commander in Chief, India. The Dutch General Ter Poorten takes command in Java.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet offensive in the Caucasus continues. Meanwhile, in the salient west of Kharkov, Mingrelsk is captured to the east of Krasnodar.

Over Germany... In the climax of the "Big Week" bombing campaign, aircraft of the US 8th Air Force (830 bombers) and the US 15th Air Force (150 bombers), with fighter escorts, conduct a daylight raid of the Messerschmitt works at Regensburg and Augsburg. Losses are reported at 30 and 35 bombers, of the 8th and 15th Air Forces respectively, as well as 8 escort fighters. The Americans claim to shoot down 142 German fighters as well as destroying 1000 German fighters on the assembly lines and 1000 more lost to the disruption of production. During the night, RAF Bomber Command attacks Augsburg in a two waves.

On the Western Front... Duren is taken by the US 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army). Other bridgeheads over the Roer River have been captured to north and south of Duren and they are rapidly being extended. To the south, on the right flank of US 3rd Army, crossings over the Saar have also been made near Saarburg.
In the Volcano Islands... On Iwo Jima, the advance of US 5th Amphibious Corps continues but there are heavy losses in the area around the second airfield. The US 3rd Marine Division is committed to the battle.

Over Japan... Aircraft from the carriers of US Task Force 58 again raid Tokyo. Poor weather conditions hinders the effectiveness of the attacks.

-HH- Beebop
02-26-2005, 04:09 PM
26 February
The Winter War... After the failure of counterattacks against the Soviet penetrations, the Finnish command orders their forces to retreat to their third, final line of defense.

In Britain... The war office announces that northern Scotland is to become out of bounds for unauthorized people from March 11th. Meanwhile, the liner Queen Elizabeth (83,700 t.) leaves Clydebank with a skeleton crew on a secret maiden voyage to Halifx, Nova Scotia and New York. She is equipped with giant electric "de-gaussing" cable, to neutralize magnetic mines.

In Paris... Anti-aircraft guns drive Luftwaffe reconnaissance planes away from the city.

In Rome... Sumner Welles meets Mussolini and his son-in-law Count Galeazzo Ciano, the foreign minister.

In Ankara... Eden and Dill continue their Middle East mission with a visit to Turkey, but they get no real response to their efforts to interest the Turks in an alliance.

From Washington... Soviet Ambassador Litvinov demands the Allies open a second front. He states that "only by simultaneous offensive operations on two or more of the fronts can Hitler's armed forces be disposed of."

On the Eastern Front... The Red Army engages the German 16th Army near Starya Russa, inflicting heavy casualties.

In Burma... the Japanese cross the Sittang River and now threaten to capture the Rangoon-Mandalay railway.

In Tunisia... Elements of 10th and 21st Panzer Divisions (parts of 5th Panzer Army commanded by von Arnim) attack British positions at Medjez el Bab. No progress is made. Rommel intends to concentrate these and other forces for an attack on the British 8th Army before the Mareth Line. Montgomery's forward units (two divisions) are vulnerable because of a lack of logistical support at the front. They are in their present positions as a diversionary move carried out as part of the response to the earlier fighting at the Kasserine Pass.

Over Finland... Some 600 Soviet bombers attack Helsinki between 1800 and 0600 the following morning. Fires begun by the raid are visible for 400 km. Only three bombers are lost.

On the Eastern Front... In the north, Soviet forces capture Porkhov, east of Dno.

In the Bismark Archipelago... Allied aircraft raid Rabaul, on New Britain, destroying Japanese munitions dumps.

In British Guiana... The source of the Orinoco River is discovered by the crew of a USAAF plane in a mountainous gorge near the Brazilian-Venezuelan border.

In Occupied France... French resistance members attack the SOMUA armor plate works at Lyons. Over 30 of the plastic explosive charges planted fail to detonate.

In the Philippines... The fighting on Corregidor comes to an end. The US forces find more than 5000 Japanese dead on the tiny island and others have been trapped in collapsed tunnels. There are 19 prisoners. American casualties are estimated at 1000.
In Burma... The advance of British 17th Indian Division toward Meiktila continues. Mahlaing and the Thabuktong airfield are captured during the day. Future reinforcements for British 4th Corps can be flown in to this airfield.

In Cairo... The government of Egypt declares war on Germany and Japan.

In Damascus... The government of Syria declares war on Germany and Japan.

On the Eastern Front... The Germans begin evacuations of wounded and refugees from Kolberg and other ports along the Baltic coast. These operations continue until the ports are captured during March. Soviet forces launch attacks into East Pomerania. Near Stettin, Soviet forces continue hold the positions despite German counterattacks.

On the Western Front... There are renewed attacks, by British and Canadian elements of British 21st Army Group, near Udem and Calcar. The US 1st and 9th Army units are moving rapidly from their bridgeheads over the Our River.

Over Germany... During the day, US 8th Air Force bombers drop about 3000 tons of bombs on Berlin; some 500,000 incendiaries are among the bombs. The nominal targets are 3 railway stations. A total of 15 bombers and 7 escort fighters are lost. During the night, RAF Mosquito bombers attack Berlin, guided by the light of the fires started during the day.

02-27-2005, 01:08 AM
Sixty years ago today my uncle Stan Pepworth & crewmates lost their lives.
I know very little of the Operation they were on apart from they had four SOE agents onboard.
The record€s do not state if the agent€s had been dropped or went down with the aircraft.

26/27 February 1945 - 138 Squadron - Stirling LK272 - NF-P
Damaged by flak, crashed into the North Sea. Operation CRUPPER 37, Norway.

CORNWALLIS Peter Brownell Flight Lieutenant 158704, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Pilot. Died on Tuseday 27th February 1945. Aged 24. Son of Sir Kinahan Cornwallis, G.C.M.G., C.B.E., D.S.O. and Gertrude Cornwallis (nee Bowen), of North Warnborough, Hampshire; husband of Babette Johanna Cornwallis, of Chelsea, London. Commemorated on RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey. Panel 265.

CORY John Edwin Sergeant 1538889, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died on Tuseday 27th February 1945. Aged 23. Son of Percy William and Elizabeth Margaret Cory, of Herne Bay, Kent. Commemorated on RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey. Panel 274.

GORNALL, DFC Leonard John Flying Officer 52164, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died on Tuseday 27th February 1945. Aged 23. Son of Charles and Sarah Elizabeth Gornall, of Birkenhead, Cheshire. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). Commemorated on RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey. Panel 267.

HAGERTY Stuart Samuel Flight Sergeant R/211936, Royal Canadian Air Force. Died on Tuseday 27th February 1945. Aged 21. Son of James W. and Margaret J. Hagerty, of Claresholm, Alberta, Canada. Commemorated on RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey. Panel 282.

PEPWORTH, DFM Stanley Arthur Pilot Officer 184794, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died on Tuseday 27th February 1945. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM). Commemorated on RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey. Panel 268.

STANTON John Edward Flying Officer 422817, Royal Australian Air Force. Died on Tuseday 27th February 1945. Aged 28. Son of Mrs. E. M. Stanton, of Manly, New South Wales, Australia. Commemorated on RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey. Panel 283.

TOVEY Brian Douglas Warrant Officer 29856, Royal Australian Air Force. Died on Tuseday 27th February 1945. Aged 25. Son of Joseph John Tovey, and of Gertrude Tovey, of Bayswater, Western Australia. Commemorated on RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey. Panel 284.

Today my thoughts are with you & your crewmates.

For more info on 138Squadron click the link.

02-27-2005, 09:49 AM
On this day of Feb 27 1945...

A 138 Squadron Stirling IV left with 3 other Bombers on a Mission to Occupied Norway, Operation CRUPPER 37. Only three Bombers made it home.

<span class="ev_code_BLUE">Motto: "For freedom".</span>
<span class="ev_code_BLUE">Badge: A sword in bend, the point uppermost severing a reef knot. The design symbolises the squadron's activities in the liberation of occupied territories.</span>

No. 138 Squadron.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">RAF Tempsford</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">RAF Tempsford in 1943</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Whitley of 138 Squadron</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">138 Squadron Halifax</span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The buildings of Gibraltar Farm Tempsford prior to its demolition, on the eastern perimeter of the airfield are converted into high security SOE stores. The farmhouse is developed into an agent reception and pre-flight preparation centre</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">138 Squadron Stirling IV</span>
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">138 Squadron used the Stirling Mk IV from Jun 1944 to March 1945 </span>

*I found this Quesion on a Web Page.
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Written by Henk Welting at 29 Aug 2003 18:23:13:</span>

Took off Tempsford in Bedfordshire - 19.39h - on SOE-Operation "Crupper 37" and set course for Norway with four agents aboard. Reported shot down (source Bomber Command Losses Vol. 6 - page 97) by flak over the North Sea. The crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, but the fate of the agents is not reported in the documents. Was the Lancaster homebound or the agents still on board? Does someone have more info on the four (Norwegian ??) agents?

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Written by Thomas S. at 30 Aug 2003 20:31:02:</span>

As an answer to: Stirling LK272 - 26/27-2-1945 written by Henk Welting at 29 Aug 2003 18:23:13:

I have no information on the fate of those agents, but my papers say that LK272's mission was not completed. However it does not say if the a/c ever reached Norway. I would also be very interested to know of the fates of these agents.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Written by Bob Pearson at 31 Aug 2003 17:47:21:</span>

As an answer to: Re: Stirling LK272 - 26/27-2-1945 written by Thomas S. at 30 Aug 2003 20:31:02:

&gt;I have no information on the fate of those agents, but my papers say that LK272's mission was not completed. However it does not say if the a/c ever reached Norway. I would also be very interested to know of the fates of these agents.

The pilot of the Stirling a/c was F/Lt Peter Cornwallis. I believe the squadron was 138. My papers state that LK 272 NF-P was recorded as lost with no trace ever found of crew or a/c. The papers do not record the names of the agents or the area where the a/c was lost.

Four a/c of 138 flew to Norway on the 26/27th - three returned.

I realise it is not the information that you would like, but I hope it is of some use.

Kind regards,


Link: http://f16.parsimony.net/forum28300/messages/6638.htm

02-27-2005, 10:14 AM
Thanks Woofie
Good find & very much appreciated.

I think that was the hardest part for My Grandmother never knowing what happened to her son. All she ever got was the usual KIA letter.
It's a shame that all this info was not known so at least she could have put it to rest.
I think she would be pleased that I have not let her son be forgotten.

A very kind skinner made a 138 squadron skin for me for the B25.which is coolhttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

-HH- Beebop
02-27-2005, 10:37 AM
madsarmy, sorry for your loss. woofiedog, great job. It's things like this that make this such a great community to be involved with and such a great game to fly.

27 February
In Britain... Churchill claims half of the German U-boat strength has been destroyed. Meanwhile, the first British volunteers leave to aid the Finnish forces.

In Oslo... Norway refuses the Finnish request for transit rights for foreign troops.

In Stockholm... Sweden refuses the Finnish request for transit rights for foreign troops.

The Winter War... Towards evening General Mannerheim orders the Finnish army to evacuate the second defensive line.

In the Indian Ocean... The Italian merchant cruiser Ramb I is sunk by the New Zealand cruiser Leander off the Maldive Islands. Ramb I sailed from Massawa on February 20th.

In the Pacific... The Battle of the Java Sea. Allied Admiral Doorman commanding a four nation task force of five cruisers and eleven destroyers attempts to engage a Japanese invasion force commanded by Admiral Takagi on its way to Java. In a series of running engagements (February 27-28th), the Allied force is almost totally destroyed.

On the Eastern Front... Manstein's forces attacking from the south are now on a line from Lozovaya to Kramatorsk.

In the Admiralty Islands... There are American air strikes on Momote and Lorengau in preparation for a reconnaissance in force. The troops to be employed in the operation are embarking in Oro Bay.

In Burma... Units of the British 19th Indian Division begin to break out of their bridgehead over the Irrawaddy River, at Habeikkyin, and advance south toward Mandalay against heavy Japanese resistance.

In the Volcano Islands... On Iwo Jima, the carriers of TF53 again add their support to the ships aiding the attacks of US 5th Amphibious Corps. The American objective is the elimination of three Japanese positions overlooking the second airfield on the island, however, the marines fail to dislodge the Japanese defenders.

On the Western Front... Udem and Calcar both fall to attacks by British and Canadian elements of the British 21st Army Group. The Rhine River is reached to the northeast of Calcar. Units of US 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army) cross the Erth River at Modrath, about 10 km from Cologne. Farther south, two corps of US 3rd Army are converging on Trier.

On the Eastern Front... Elements of the Soviet 2nd Belorussian Front enter Pomerania, in Germany.

In Beirut... The government of Lebanon declares war on Germany and Japan.

02-27-2005, 02:48 PM
madsarmy ... Glad I could help in a small way.

02-27-2005, 10:45 PM
On this day February 28

1944 Test pilot Reitsch pitches suicide squad to Hitler

Hannah Reitsch, the first female test pilot in the world, suggests the creation of the Nazi equivalent of a kamikaze squad of suicide bombers while visiting Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden. Hitler was less than enthusiastic about the idea.

Reitsch was born in 1912 in Hirschberg, Germany. She left medical school (she had wanted to be a missionary doctor) to take up flying full time, and became an expert glider pilot--gliders were motorless planes that the Germans developed to evade strict rules about building "war planes" after WWI. In addition to gaining experience with gliders, Reitsch also did stunt flying for the movies. In 1934, she broke the world's altitude record for women (9,184 feet). An ardent Nazi and admirer of Hitler, she was made an honorary flight captain by the Fuhrer, the first woman to receive such an honor. In 1937, the Luftwaffe, the German air force, put her to work as a test pilot. Reitsch embraced this opportunity to fly as part of what she called Germany's "guardians of the portals of peace." Among her signal achievements was the testing of a proto-helicopter in 1939.

Reitsch came closer than any other woman to seeing actual combat during World War II, depositing German troops along the Maginot Line in France during the Germans' 1940 invasion by glider plane. She won an Iron Cross, Second Class, for risking her life trying to cut British barrage-balloon cables (the balloons were unmanned blimps, tethered in one place, from which steel cables dangled so as to foul the wings and propellers of enemy aircraft). Among the warplanes she tested was the Messerschmitt 163, a rocket-power interceptor that she flew 500 mph. While testing the ME 163 a fifth time, she spun out of control and crash-landed (even though she was injured during the crash, she nevertheless managed to write down exactly what happened before she passed out from her injuries). For this, Hitler awarded her an Iron Cross, First Class.

It was while receiving this second Iron Cross from Hitler in Berchtesgaden in 1944 that she pitched the idea of a Luftwaffe suicide squad of pilots who would fly specially designed versions of the V-1. Hitler was initially put off by the idea, only because he did not think it an effective or efficient use of resources. But Reitsch's commitment persuaded him to investigate the prospect of designing such planes, at which point she put together a Suicide Group and was the first to take the following pledge: "I hereby...voluntarily apply to be enrolled in the suicide group as a pilot of a human glider-bomb. I fully understand that employment in this capacity will entail my own death." The squad was never deployed.

Reitsch was one of the last people to see Hitler alive. On April 26, 1945, she flew to Berlin with Gen. Ritter von Greim, who was to be given command of the Luftwaffe. Greim was wounded when Reitsch's plane was hit by Soviet antiaircraft fire. After saying farewell to the Fuhrer, tucked away in his bunker, she flew Greim back out of Berlin.

After the war, Reitsch was captured and interned by the U.S. Army. She testified to the "disintegration" of Hitler's personality that she claimed to have witnessed during the last days of the war. When released, Reitsch continued to set records, including becoming the first woman to fly a glider over the Alps. In 1951, she published her autobiography, Flying Is My Life, and from 1962 to 1966 she was director of the national school of gliding in Ghana. She died in 1979, at 65 years old, only one year after setting a new women's glider distance record. In her career, she set more than 40 world records for flying powered and motorless planes.

-HH- Beebop
02-28-2005, 06:47 AM
wayno, thanks for more background on Hannah Reitsch. I was aware that she test flew a helicopter (inside at that!) but didn't know much more. Good find!

28 February
The Winter War... The Finns retire in the Viipuri area. Meanwhile, Finns storm the entrenched camp of the starving 34th Moscow Tank Brigade near Kitelae, capturing 105 tanks, 200 trucks and field cars.

In Palestine... The British government limits the acquisition of Arab land by Jews.

In Germany... Germany closes factories unnecessary for the war effort.

In Berlin... The Nazi propaganda minister, Dr. Goebbels, tells neutral countries to "curb their public opinion" and warns Sweden against aiding Finland.

In Britain... The first of a new class of battleship, HMS King George V, is launched.

In the North Atlantic... Divers recover three rotors from the Enigma enciphering machine on board the scuttled U-33.

In China... Communist troops retake Anding, near Yenan, from the Japanese.

In East Africa... Asmara in Eritrea, is bombed by British planes. The RAF has now established superiority in this area.

In Occupied France... British commandos stage a raid a Bruneval for the purpose of taking German radar equipment back to Britain for examination. It is successful.

In Norway... The Norsk Hydro power station near Ryukan is badly damaged by a sabotage team of Norwegian soldiers who have been parachuted in from Britain. This plant is known to be in use by the Germans to produce "heavy water" for atomic research.

In Italy... German forces launch a second offensive against the Anzio beachhead held by forces of the US 6th Corps (Truscott). Four German divisions attack on either side of the Cisterna-Anzio road, defended by the US 3rd Division. German forces fail to break through.

In the Philippines... There are America landings at Puerto Princesa on Palawan by 8000 men of 41st Infantry Division. Admiral Fechteler leads a bombardment group of cruisers and destroyers and there is also support from land-based aircraft. There is little Japanese resistance to the landings.

In Burma... The British 4th Corps begins to attack Meiktila in strength. Although Meiktila is a vital communications center, serving all the Japanese forces around Mandalay and to the north, it is lightly defended. The Japanese command believes the British forces in the area are only lightly armed (in the Chindit pattern) and relatively small.

In Tehran... The government of Iran declares war on Japan

In Riyadh... The government of Saudi Arabia declares war on Germany and Japan.

And lest we forget leap year....and there were two during the war...too bad they couldn't have been done away with...it would have been two less days of terror for everyone involved.

The Winter War... The battle of Viipuri. Soviet forces launch an all-out effort to crush resistance in the Karelian Isthmus by encircling the city of Viipuri and reaching the Viipuri-Helsinki highway.

In Helsinki... The Finns decide that they must give in to the Soviet demands but their note to that effect is not sent immediately because of British and French reactions to the news. The French government has become deeply committed to a policy of supporting Finland and persuades the British to join in making rash promises that cannot possibly be kept.

In Japan... Britain returns 9 of the 21 Germans removed from the Asama Maru (on January 21st) after Tokyo agrees not to transport German military reservists attempting to return home.

In the West Indies... The destroyer HMS Despatch intercepts the German merchant ship Troja off Aruba. The ship is scuttled by her German crew.

In Uruguay... The wreck of the scuttled German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee is sold to a local company for scrap.

On the Eastern Front... The commander of the Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front, Marshal Nikolai Vatutin, is ambushed by Ukrainian nationalist partisans and mortally wounded while on a motor tour with Nikita Khrushchev in the area of the Soviet 60th Army. Zhukov replaces him in command.
In Italy... German forces continue limited attacks on the Anzio beachhead; there is a heavy artillery bombardment. Poor weather prevents a full-scale effort.

From London... RAF Fighter Command is reorganized and renamed Air Defence of Great Britain.

In the Admiralty Islands... On Los Negros, 1000 men from the US 5th Cavalry Regiment (General Chase) land at Hyane Harbor. General MacArthur and Admiral Kinkaid, commanding the US 7th Fleet, are present offshore and decide to convert the landings into a full-scale occupation. Japanese counterattacks during the night are defeated.

-HH- Beebop
03-01-2005, 06:37 AM
1 March
In France... The French government offers to purchase "heavy water" from Norway. There is stricter food rationing in France.

In Berlin... The final directive for the invasion of Norway and Denmark is issued. Sumner Welles (US Under-Secretary of State) arrives for talks and meets with Hitler who says "there is no other solution than a life-and-death struggle."

In Britain... Women are urged to wear light clothes in order to save darker dyes for forces uniforms. According to BBC audience research, about two-thirds of the adult population tunes in to Lord Haw-Haw's broadcasts from Hamburg. One person in six is a regular listener to his propaganda. Some 16 million listeners hear the BBC nine o'clock news every night and about 6 million of them them switch straight over to Lord Haw-Haw afterwards.

The Winter War... Soviet forces are within 6 km of the center of Viipuri. Fierce aerial dog fights take place over the city. The Soviet ultimatum putting peace proposals to Finland expires.

On the Western Front... The phoney war continues with a few artillery exchanges and a little patrol action.

In East Africa... The carrier Formidable attacks Massawa again. German mines blocking the carrier's entry into the Mediterranean are being cleared.

From Washington... The US Navy forms a Support Force for the Atlantic Fleet. The main part of this unit is made up from three destroyer squadrons of 27 ships.

In Sofia... Prime Minister Filov brings Bulgaria into the Tripartite Pact.

In North Africa... Kuffra in southeast Libya is taken by a Free French force from Chad. Colonel Leclerc is in command. The French force has received some help from units of the British Long Rage Desert Group.

In Burma... The Chinese 5th Army moves into position at Toungoo on the Sittang River, 150 miles from Rangoon. The "Flying Tigers" volunteer air force under the command of Chennault's move to the RAF bomber base after their exceptional air defense of Rangoon.

On the Eastern Front... The Red Army begins a new offensive in the Crimea.

From Germany... General Halder, estimates that German losses in the war with the Soviet Union have reached 1,500,000

In the East Indies... The remainder of Doorman's naval squadron withdraws from Java fighting rear guard actions in the Sunda Strait. The force loses three cruisers and four destroyers. Japanese forces land with little or no opposition on Java at Kragan, Merak and Eretenwetan.

On the Eastern Front... North of Moscow, a Red Army attack captures the significant town of Demyansk.

In Burma... The Chindit force is making slower than expected progress because. In part, this is the result of a concern for finding clearings for supply drops. It is later discovered that it is possible to recover supplies in jungle areas.

In Germany... The Jagerstab (Fighter Staff) is formed under Saur, acting under the authority of the Armaments Ministry led by Speer. The objective is to boost production of Me109 and Fw190 fighters to unprecedented levels. Many new assembly lines are to be established in salt mines and tunnels. Plans for large-scale production of the Me262 are abandoned.

In the Admiralty Islands... On Los Negros, US forces eliminate some small Japanese forces that infiltrated their lines during the night.

On the Eastern Front... In the north, Soviet forces capture Russaki near Pskov.

On the Eastern Front... In Pomerania, the northward attacks of 1st Belorussian Front (Zhukov) forces achieve a breakthrough north of Arnswalde and move on in the Kolberg direction.

On the Western Front... Munchen-Gladbach and Neuss fall to the US 9th Army, which is now advancing rapidly toward the Rhine. The attacks of US 1st Army toward Cologne are continuing as are the efforts of US 3rd Army near the River Kyll and south of Trier.
In the Volcano Islands... On Iwo Jima, forces of US 5th Amphibious Corps now hold both the first and second of the island's airfields and have a foothold at the southern end of the third. There is intensive fighting all along the line.

In the Philippines... Japanese resistance in Manila is confined to a few blocks in the administrative area of the city. Nearer the landing area at Lingayen Gulf there are renewed efforts by US 1st Corps in the direction of Baguio and north along the coast.

In Okinawa... Part of US Task Force 58 conducts air strikes on targets on Okinawa and nearby shipping. Two small Japanese warships are sunk.

-HH- Beebop
03-02-2005, 07:01 AM
2 March
The Winter War... The Soviet forces begin major attacks on the new Finnish defense line under the direction of General Timoshenko. Pressure is exerted against all points but is strongest at the north and south ends. Vuosalmi in the north is attacked by Soviet 13th Army forces while the reserve corps of Soviet 7th Army is advancing over the sea ice toward the west side of Viipuri Bay. Soviets reach the southern suburbs of Viipuri. Meanwhile, Finnish fighters foil an attempted raid on Helsinki.

Over Germany... A high-flying RAF Spitefire photographs the entire Ruhr industrial region in one sortie.

In the North Atlantic... The British liner Domala is bombed off the Isle of Wight (100 killed).

From Paris... A formal request is sent to Sweden and Norway to allow Allied troops to be sent to Finland through the Scandinavian countries. (Units are intended to begin arriving by March 20th. Daladier has plans for a force of 50,000 French "volunteers" and 150 aircraft.)

From London... A formal request is sent to Sweden and Norway to allow Allied troops to be sent to Finland through the Scandinavian countries. (The British force is planned to reach a level of 100,000 men eventually.)

In the Denmark Strait... The British cruiser HMS Berwick intercepts the German Wolfsburg, which is scuttled in order to avoid capture.

In the West Indies... The cruiser HMS Dunedin intercepts the Heidelberg which is scuttled.

In France... Army intelligence reveals German preparations for an attack on Scandinavia.

In Bulgaria... Following the treaty agreement on the previous day German troops begin to move into Bulgaria in force. These German units are part of List's Twelfth Army.

In the Philippines... Japanese forces land on Mindanao. Japanese warships bombard targets on Mindanao, Ceo and Negros Islands.

In Burma... the Japanese troops cross the Sittang River in force.

In the East Indies... Batavia on Java falls to Japanese Troops

In the Bismark Sea... A Japanese convoy of 8 ships, carrying the 7000 troops of the 51st Division (General Nakano), escorted by 8 destroyers, is sighted by Allied forces. Planes from the 5th Air Force (General Kenney) attack the convoy. The Japanese are heading for Lae from Rabaul.

In Tunisia... US forces recover Sbeitla and advance toward Feriana. To their north, the British hold against Axis attacks.

In Burma... The southern Chindit group experiences a setback in meeting its immediate objectives.

Over Occupied France... British Halifax and Lancaster bombers target aircraft factories at Meulan-les-Mureaux and Albert.

From Washington... Lend-Lease aid to Turkey is cut off because it is reluctant to join the war on the Allied side or make any other contribution to the war effort.

In the Admiralty Islands... A second 1000 men from the US 5th Cavalry Regiment arrives at Los Negros. Meanwhile, the American forces already on the island capture Momote airfield with fire support from destroyers offshore.

On the Western Front... Trier is captured by units of US 20th Corps, part of US 3rd Army. The US 1st Army, to the north, is extending its advance beyond the Erft River toward Cologne and to the south. US 9th Army captures Roermond and Venlo on the Maas on the left flank of its advance while on the right, the Rhine River is reached opposite Dusseldorg.
Over Germany... British bombers conduct two daylight raids on Cologne.

In Romania... King Michael is pressured by Soviet representatives to dismiss his government.

In the Ryukyu Islands... Elements of US Task Force 58, consisting of 4 cruisers and 15 destroyers, under the command of Admiral Whiting, bombard Okino Daito Jima.

03-02-2005, 11:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by -HH- Beebop:
_wayno, thanks for more background on Hannah Reitsch. I was aware that she test flew a helicopter (inside at that!) but didn't know much more. Good find!_


See more here http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/reitsch.html

They show a film of the test flight of the Fw 61 helio on the HC in the show on German Kamikazis.


-HH- Beebop
03-03-2005, 06:44 AM

Thanks for the addtional material. Fasinating stuff.

3 March
The Winter War... The Soviets begin attacks on Viipuri, Finland's second city. There is hand-to-hand fighting in the suburbs of Viipuri; Soviet troops capture the railway station.

In the North Atlantic... The cruiser HMS York intercepts the German SS Arucas off Iceland, but the German crew scuttles her.

In Britain... The public has now invested 100 million in National Savings since the war broke out.

From Berlin... The date for the invasion of Norway and Denmark is set as March 17th but this will be altered to early April.

In the Balkans... Italian aircraft bomb the earthquake stricken town of Larissa in Greece. British RAF Hurricanes destroy 5 Cant bombers (probably returning from Larissa) over Corfu.

In Moscow... The Soviet government denounces the Bulgarian signing of the Axis Pact.

On the Eastern Front... German reports acknowledge the difficulties of 16th Army in the north, which is still partially encircled.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces enter Rzhev after the defending German forces withdraw. The Red Army also captures Lgov on the Seim River, west of Kursk. Meanwhile, Manstein's counteroffensive to the south has eliminated Soviet forces from the west bank of the Donets River, south of Zmiyev. Soviet casualties are estimated at 20,000 dead and 9000 taken prisoner. The lack of prisoners resulting from the encirclement suggests the German forces no longer have the resources necessary to prevent trapped Soviet troops from escaping.

In Tunisia... British forces skirmish with 15th Panzer Division at Medenine during reconnaissance patrols.

In Burma... The southern Chindit group cuts the Mandalay-Myitkyina railroad line, north of Kyaikthin.

In the Bismark Sea... The Japanese convoy carrying the troops of the 51st Division, is heavily attacked by Allied aircraft from the 5th Air Force.

In Italy... On the Anzio beachhead, German forces attack the line held by the US 3rd Division, near Ponte Ricco, but fail to penetrate. The German 14th Army goes over to the defensive after this failure.

In the Admiralty Islands... A night attack by the Japanese garrison on Los Negros is defeated by American forces.


On the day of the Japanese surrender, US General McArthur surveys the wreckage in Manila
In the Philippines... Japanese resistance in Manila comes to an end after a month-long battle. Most of the 20,000 Japanese defenders have been killed and the town has been devastated. Troops from the Americal Division are landed on Ticao and Burias Islands to the west of the San Bernadino Strait.

In Burma... Meiktila is completely occupied by units of the British 4th Corps. This effectively cuts the main route for supplies to the bulk of the Japanese forces in Burma is and compels some of the Japanese units fighting farther north, against British 33rd Corps, to turn away to try to clear their lines of communication.

In the Volcano Islands... On Iwo Jima, an area of the island which has become known as "the Mincer" is cleared by the marines of US 5th Amphibious Corps. The third airfield is completely occupied by the American.

On the Western Front... Troops of Canadian 1st and US 9th Armies link up near Geldern. Farther south, units of the US 12th Corps from US 3rd Army capture a crossing over the KyllRiver. Meanwhile, elements of the US 7th Army take Forbach.

03-03-2005, 12:21 PM
On this day of March 3 1941...

In the Balkans... Italian aircraft bomb the earthquake stricken town of Larissa in Greece. British RAF Hurricanes destroy 5 Cant bombers (probably returning from Larissa) over Corfu.


No. 84 Squadron


Following the outbreak of war in the Middle east in June 1940, 84 was sent to Egypt in September, but was one of the units that was sent to aid the Greeks in November 1940.
But the ill-fated defence of Greece resulted in No 84 returning to Iraq.

84 Squadron is the only serving squadron never to have been based in the United Kingdom in WW2.

84 Squadron recieved Battle Honours for their Duty in Greece 1940-1941.

Link: http://www.gdfcartophily.co.uk/item.php/IID/285252048


80 Squadron


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">'B' Flight of 80 Squadron at Yanina, Greece, who together shot down more than 100 enemy aircraft. </span>

80 Squadron moved to the Libyan front in June 1940 equipped with Gladiators and one Hurricane. After Italy joined the war, 80 Squadron was sent to Greece in November after Italy invaded that country. In February 1941, No. 80 started to convert to Hurricanes and was used on bomber escort duties. In March the Germans came to the aid of their Italian Allies. 80 Squadron was then evacuation from Greece the Squadron spent a period in Syria, Palestine and Cyprus before returning to the Western Desert in October flying patrols in the area until the Battle of Alamein.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Gloster Gladiator Mk.I (K7973) of 80 Squadron flown by Flying Officer G. T. Baynham while operating from Amriya, Egypt, in December 1939. </span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The plane in the photographs is Gloster Gladiator Mark II N5916 of 80 Squadron, on the tarmac possibly at Elevsis in early 1941. Arriving in Greece in November 1940, 80 Squadron were converting to the Hawker Hurricane from February 1941. This aircraft later served with 112 Squadron, who had gone to Greece with their Gladiators in January 1941. In mid-February the Squadron moved forward to Yannina and Paramythia as 80 Squadron were withdrawing to Elevsis to re-equip. Piloted by 112€s CO S/Ldr HL Brown, N5916 was shot down on 14 March in a general melee while escorting a 211 Squadron raid on Tepelene-Kelcyre. S/Ldr Brown baled out with great difficulty after the tail of his aircraft was shot away by a Macchi MC200.</span>





03-03-2005, 11:22 PM
On this day of March 4 1943...

Battle of the Bismarck Sea


March 3-4 1943


At the same time as the Guadalcanal campaign was raging, an equally bitter series of battles was occurring on the island of New Guinea. In early march, a convoy set out from Rabaul to land much-needed reinforcements in the Buna - Gona area. It was composed of eight transports escorted by eight destroyers, and screened by an inadequate light combat air patrol.


Unbeknownst to the Japanese, the American air force had been experimenting with a new aerial tactic called skip-bombing, wherein the attacking airplane drops a bomb with a long-delay fuze close to the surface and lets it skip into the side of the target ship. This was the first occasion in which the Americans would use this new tactic. As soon as the Japanese came under the radius of American airpower, the convoy was attacked relentlessly. The first day's attack (by high altitude B-17s) sank two transports and damaged a third. Two destroyers were tasked with rescuing the survivors and making a high speed run to New Guinea to deposit them. This they did, and returned to the plodding convoy before dawn the next day.

March 4 proved to be a disaster for the Japanese. Coming within range of American and Australian medium bombers, the convoy was savaged by skip-bombing and strafing. By noon, all six remaining transports and four of the destroyers were sinking or sunk. The remaining four destroyers recovered what few survivors they could and fled north to Rabaul. After this, the Japanese would never again attempt to run slow transports into the face of American airpower.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">at the Madang, New Guinea, after being bombed and strafed by USAAF B-25 Mitchells and RAAF Beaufighters. Six Japanese aircraft are destroyed along with damage to buildings, fuel dumps, and barges. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A B-25 and Japanese Oscar fighter mix it up at Hansa Bay, New Guinea. Both planes survive the action and return to their bases. </span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A low flying B-25 catches a "Helen", a Japanese medium bomber, on the ground while crews were preparing it for a bombing mission. They leave it a smoking wreck at Wewak, New Guinea. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A Japanese cargo ship is spotted and attacked by low flying Allied aircraft near Wewak, New Guinea. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A Japanese cargo ship is strafed and skip bombed near Wewak, New Guinea. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Three Japanese fighters are left burning after a low level attack by Allied aircraft at Madang, New Guinea</span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Allied aircraft bomb and strafe the Japanese airfield at Wewak, New Guinea. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Manokawari, New Guinea: strafing Japanese shipping. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Karas, Dutch New Guinea: a Douglas A-20 Havoc is caught by Japanese flak and swerves out of control. </span>



<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">This is an enlargement of the 12th April 1943 air-raid taken from a trench at 14-Mile as the main Japanese formation flew overhead at 25,000 feet. The top right-hand arrow shows the direction of flight, whilst the lower left indicates the lead G4M1 flown by Commander of the 751st Kokutai, Masaichi Suzuki. Only thirty-six bombers can be counted in this photo, the reason being that one chutai of the 705th Kokutai was assigned to bomb Kila Drome and hence split up prior to the bomb run.</span>

03-04-2005, 12:03 PM
March 4

1941 Britain launches Operation Claymore

The British navy raids a German position off the coast of Norway and inside the Arctic Circle-the Lofoten Islands. The raid, code name Operation Claymore, proved highly destructive of its target--an armed German trawler--but ultimately a failure in achieving its objective, the capture of an Enigma decoding machine.

The Brits severely damaged the trawler, called the Krebs, and killed 14 German sailors, took another 25 prisoner, and destroyed the Germans' local stockpile of oil. While the attack boosted British public morale temporarily, the Enigma machine still eluded the British military. The commander of the Krebs, Lieutenant Hans Kupfinger, threw it overboard before he was killed in the raid, but the Brits were able to recover documents that gave clues to the Enigma's workings. British intelligence was able to piece together enough of the German coding system to track German naval activity for about five weeks.

1944 Eighth Air Force bombs Berlin

The U.S. Eighth Air Force launches the first American bombing raid against the German capital.

The British Royal Air Force (RAF) had been conducting night raids against Berlin and other German cities since November 1943, suffering losses at increasingly heavy rates. While the British inflicted significant damage against their targets, the German defenses proved quite effective: The RAF flew 35 major raids between November 1943 and March 1944 and lost 1,047 aircraft, with an even greater number damaged.

Having already suffered heavy losses during day raids of various German industrial centers, the Americans had been cautious in pursuing night raids. But in March, with the RAF exhausted, the U.S. Eighth Air Force finally pursued night bombing and made Berlin its primary target. Fourteen U.S. bomber wings took off for Germany from England on the evening of March 4; only one plane reached Berlin (the rest dropped their loads elsewhere; few planes were lost to German defenses). In retrospect, the initial American attack was considered "none too successful" (as recorded in the official history of U.S. Army Air Force). Subsequent attacks in March were more effective.

-HH- Beebop
03-04-2005, 01:02 PM
woofiedog, wayno, thanks for your posts. Sometimes I feel like I post the headlines and you guys post the feature articles. Great job to both of you. You've really hepled make this thread even more interesting and educational.
(woofie, your post has inspired me to make as historical a co-op mission as possible given the constratints of the FMB. Thanks.)

4 March
The Winter War... Finnish forces defeat Soviet forces attacking from the east and west of Viipuri. The Soviet forces attacking from the west are attempting to cross the ice on Viipuri Bay.

In Germany... Hitler meets Prince Paul of Yugoslavia secretly at Berchtesgaden to ask him once again to join the Tripartite Pact. Paul returns to Yugoslavia convinced that he must decide very soon between Britain and Germany. Talks in the next few days convince him that Britain has little help to offer.

In Occupied Norway... There is a British Commando raid on the Lofoten Islands. The 500-strong force is carried by naval units which include two light cruisers and five destroyers. Ten ships are sunk in the operation and 215 German prisoners are taken. There are also 300 Norwegian volunteers who are taken to Britain. The operation is a success but the Germans take fierce reprisals when the British force withdraws. Many members of the Norwegian resistance movement do not approve of such raids for this reason.

In Greece... General Wilson, who is to command the British forces being prepared for Greece, arrives in Athens to arrange the final details with the Greek general staff. A major convoy is about to leave Alexandria with the first large contingent. The British have only just discovered that the Greek forces in Macedonia have not retired to the Aliakmon Line and will not be able to persuade them to do so because of the damage to morale that would result if territory is obviously given up without a fight after the German move into Bulgaria. Wilson is further hindered by the Greek insistence that he remains incognito inside the British Embassy in order not to provoke the Germans. In fact the German consulate in Piraeus overlooks the port area which will be used to land the British forces, so they are well aware what is happening.

In China... US China headquarters is established by General Stillwell at Chunking.

In the Bismark Sea... The Japanese convoy carrying troops of the 51st Division is again struck by Allied planes from the 5th Air Force. PT-boats join the at attacks. Over the course of the three days, all the Japanese transport, as well as 4 destroyers are sunk and at least 3500 troops are lost. Australian and American air forces have shot down 25 planes for the loss of 5 of their own. This is considered a serious defeat by the Japanese and a setback for their defense of New Guinea.

In Tunisia... Montgomery directs a second infantry division and an armored division to Medenine. A formal defense line has now been established by the British. There are strong antitank defenses, including some of the new 17-pounder guns. Allied intelligence has already warned about a pending Axis attack and this is confirmed by sightings of the 10th and 21st Panzer Divisions moving up.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviets take Olenino and Chertolino to the west of Rzhev. Near Kursk, they capture Sevsk and Sudzha. Meanwhile, Manstein's counteroffensive now aims at Kharkov and the Red Army troops in the area. Part of the SS Panzer Corps strikes westward from Poltava, while units of the 4th Panzer Army attack northward from a line on the Berestovaya River, west of Izyum.

In the Central Pacific... American Admiral Halsey's naval force attacks Marcus Island.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces launch a new series of attacks in the Ukraine. The forces of 1st Ukrainian Front (Zhukov) attack from the north and east of Tarnopol.

In the Admiralty Islands... US Task Force 74 (Crutchley) shells Japanese batteries on Hauwei and Ndrilo. These guns have hampered American access to Seeadler Bay.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet offensive in Pomerania continues to make gains especially toward the west near Stettin. There is renewed fighting in East Prussia.

On the Western Front... Geldern is captured by the British 30th Corps, part of Canadian 1st Army. US 1st and 9th Armies continue their advance to the Rhine River. The US 7th Corps from US 1st Army reaches the Rhine just north of Cologne.

In the Volcano Islands... On Iwo Jima, the first damaged B-29 uses the landing field.

In Helsinki... The government of Helsinki declares war on Germany. An unofficial state of war has existed since September 1944.

03-04-2005, 03:31 PM
-HH- Beebop... The Co-op Mission sounds Mint! Post it when you done.
I also must say what a Great Job you, wayno7777 and others have done with this thread.
It has been a lot of fun for me.

-HH- Beebop
03-05-2005, 12:36 PM
5 March
The Winter War... Soviet forces cross the ice-bound Viipuri Bay but encounter Finnish resistance. Meanwhile, Soviet aircraft bomb Helsinki.

From Moscow... The USSR announces that it is prepared to negotiate peace on the terms offered before, which expired on March 1st.

From Helsinki... The Finns conclude that the British and French promises of military aid are valueless and, therefore, the government accepts the Soviet offer to reopen negotiations for a truce and for the cession of border areas.

From Toronto... Canada promises to send 1000 volunteers to fight with the Finns.

On the Western Front... German troops capture a British outpost in the Maginot Line (2 killed, 16 taken prisoner). The outpost is later recaptured.

In London... The British government announces a 300,000,000 3% War Loan to aid Finland.

In the Mediterranean... Operation Lustre begins. British troops are convoyed from Alexandria in Egypt to Greece. (By April 2nd, a total of 58,000 troops are deployed.) Italian submarines carry out unsuccessful patrols along the convoy routes.

From London... The British government severs diplomatic relations with Bulgaria.

In Vienna... Hermann Goring meets with Romanian dictator, General Antonescu, to secure the participation of Romania in Operation Barbarossa.

In the Balkans... Italian prisoners, captured by Greek forces in Albania, report that 1500 Alpini troops were drowned in the sinking of the transport ship Liguria and that Allied bombing raids have caused heavy casualties and significant confusion behind Italian lines.

From London... Admiral Pound is replaced by General Brookes as Chairman of the British Chiefs of Staff Committee. This appointment improves relations between Churchill and the Committee as Admiral Pound was noted for a strictly maritime point of view.

In Burma... British General Alexander arrives in Rangoon to assume command. He orders counterattacks.

In the South Pacific... Japanese invasion forces leave Rabaul for New Guinea.

Over Germany... Battle of the Ruhr. In the first of a series of bombing raids against the German Ruhr industrial area, RAF Bomber Command sends 443 aircraft to attack Essen, losing 14 aircraft.

On the Eastern Front... Hoth's 4th Panzer Army inflicts heavy casualties on three Soviet corps west of Izyum but it cannot continue attacking because the Donets River is blocked with floating ice, preventing bridging operations.

In Burma... The 77th Long Range Penetration Brigade (LRP) is flown to a landing area named "Broadway", 50 miles southwest of Myitkyina. A second Chindit brigade, 16th LRP, is marching south toward the "Aberdeen" area from Ledo.

On the Eastern Front... The attacks by 1st Ukrainian Front (Zhukov) make rapid progress, fracturing the German defenses of Army Group South (Manstein). Izyaslav, Yampol and Ostropol are captured in the area of Shepetovka.

In New Guinea... Two battalions of the US 126th Infantry Regiment land at Yalau Plantation, 30 miles west of Saidor. There is almost no Japanese opposition.

In the Admiralty Islands... On Los Negros the forces of the US 5th Cavalry Regiment move into the northern half of the island. Destroyers escorting a further 1400 American reinforcements provide fire support for the advance.

On the Western Front... Units of the US 8th Corps (part of US 1st Army) enter Cologne from the south and the east. The Allied advance continues along the entire line.
Over Germany... The British RAF conducts a daylight raid on the Gelsenkirchen oil facilities.

In Germany... Fifteen- and sixteen-year-old boys from the class of 1929 are called up to serve in the German army.

In Burma... Japanese counterattacks against British 4th Corps begin. The small town of Taungtha is retaken by the Japanese and the British 17th Indian Division is nearly cut off in Meiktila. British airborne supply operations continue, however.

03-05-2005, 09:51 PM
Right back atcha, guys. I love this stuff! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

03-06-2005, 01:07 AM
On this day of March 6 1944...


5-6 March
Operation Thursday commences: Royal Air Force (RAF) and Unites States Army Air Force (USAAF) transport aircraft fly in the leading elements of two Long Range Penetration 'Chindit' brigades, under the command of Major General Orde Wingate, to landing zones deep behind the Japanese lines in Burma. The initial fly-in of the Chindits was completed on 11 March, by which time 9,000 men, 1,350 animals and 250 tons of supplies had been landed behind Japanese lines.


Operation Thursday commenced on March 5th 1944. Prior to and during the fly-in the Japanese air force had been much weakened by raids on their airfields by 1st Air Commando USAAF and the RAF. In the first two days 78 Japanese aircrafts were destroyed and many more damaged, this had allowed the operation to proceed with little interference from the Japanese air force.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">P-51A bearing the white stripes of 1st Air Commando</span>

The Chindit operation was to seize Indaw and the area around it on the River Irrawaddy, around 240km (150 miles) north of Mandalay. The units would establish strongholds that would be supplied by air and engage properly with the Japanese.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">C-47 Dakota </span>

The operation began badly when many of the 62 gliders used by the first group crashed on landing. However, an airstrip was built and by 13 March 1944 around 9,000 troops were deep behind Japanese lines. Furthermore, the 16th (LRP) Brigade had set off in early February to march overland from the Indian province of Assam and was also approaching Indaw.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">CG-4A Waco Glider </span>

The Japanese were initially taken by surprise, but by the end of March they had a large force assembled and destroyed most of the Spitfires operating from the airstrip. The Chindits' air cover now had to fly in from Imphal in north east India.


On 26 March, 16th Brigade attacked Indaw but was beaten back, as were attacks by the other brigades. The transformation from guerrilla action to more permanent penetration was not proving a success. In April 1944, now under the command of Major General Lentaigne following Wingate's death in a plane crash, the Chindits were ordered north to help the Chinese push into Burma.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Association Badges</span>


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Glider Section Badge
G(glider), Wings,
1(1st Air Commando)
Mule & Gurkha Kukri</span>

Brigades and Regiments
The second Chindit force was given the name Special Force but was also known as 3rd Indian Division, Long Range Penetration Groups, and still better known as Wingate's Chindits.

The force was composed of six brigades -

16th Brigade (Brigadier Fergusson)
51st/69th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
2nd Queen's Royal
2nd Leicestershire
45th Reconnaissance Regiment

77th Brigade (Brigadier Calvert)
1st King's (Liverpool) Regiment
1st Lancashire Fusiliers
1st South Staffordshire
3/6th Gurkha Rifles
3/9th Gurkha Rifles
111st Brigade (Brigadier Lentaigne)
2nd King's Own Royal
1st Cameronians
3/4th Gurkha Rifles
4/9th Gurkha Rifles

14th Brigade (Brigadier Brodie)
1st Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire
7th Leicestershire
2nd Black Watch
2nd York and Lancaster

3rd Brigade (Brigadier Gillmore)
6th Nigeria Regiment
7th Nigeria Regiment
12th Nigeria Regiment

23rd Brigade (Brigadier Perowne)
60th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
2nd Duke of Wellington's
4th Border Regiment
1st Essex Regiment

At Gawilor, India, Special Force received training to prepare them for operating deep behind enemy lines. This training covered jungle marching, blowing up bridges, bivouacking, crossing rivers, receiving air supply drops, laying ambushes, attacking enemy held village, taking evasive action by dispersing into small parties and gathering at a safe rendezvous.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW"> B-25H </span>

Air Power

After discussions with Wingate, the Americans came up with the idea of flying in the Chindit force into Burma to save weeks of jungle marching. This was to be the first ever aerial invasion in history.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">B-25H on a bombing mission over Burma</span>

Cochran and Alison identified the main roles of the aerial task force to be,

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">An American CG-4A Waco Glider</span>

- fly-in of troops
- evacuation of casualties
- supplies by air
- close air support
- air superiority

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">An American L-5 Sentinel light plane. These were used to evacuate the sick and wounded</span>

To meet these requirements the aerial task force was to consist of the following three main elements,

1. An airlift force with gliders and transport planes for the fly-in and transport of supplies. For this role the following planes were selected,

C-47 Skytrain/Dakotas for their ability to carry heavy loads and for use with short landing strips.

UC-64 Norseman planes for smaller loads and utility work.

Waco CG-4A large cargo gliders.

2. An assault force with fighters and bombers for attack, close air support and to establish the required air superiority. The planes used for this were,

P-51A Mustang fighters which were excellent for dive bombing and strafing.

B-25H Mitchell bombers, an attack version armed with canon and machine guns in the nose for forward firing allowing it to act as a gunship as well as a bomber. These were flown by fighter pilots.

3. A light plane force for evacuating the sick and wounded.

L-1 Vigilant and L-5 Sentinel were selected as both could operate from crude airstrips in jungle clearings. Six experimental helicopters were also included in the light plane force for rescue missions.

The force assembled by Cochran and Alison consisted of 523 men and the following aircrafts,

Gliders (CG-4A) 150
Light Planes (L-1/L-5) 100
Fighters (P-51A) 30
Training Gliders 25
Large Transports (C-47) 13
Small Transports (UC-64) 12
Bombers (B-25H) 12
Helicopters (YR-4) 6

Total 348


Film Clips:

-HH- Beebop
03-06-2005, 09:49 AM
6 March
The Winter War... A Finnish delegation leaves for Moscow, led by Ryti and Juho Kusti Paasikivi (an experienced politician and diplomat). Mannerheim, seeing it is useless to continue the once-sided struggle against the Soviet Union, has accepted that there must be talks. The delegation arrives the following day.

In the North Sea... German aircraft bomb and machinegun two lightships.

In Paris... France and Italy conclude a trade agreement providing for an increase in the volume of trade between the two countries.

In Occupied Holland... Following strikes during February over the arrest of Jews and attempts to send workers to jobs in Germany the Germans condemn 18 Dutch resistance members. These are the first such victims in Holland. The Communists have played a notable part in organizing strikes.

In the Arctic... The German battleship Tirpitz sets sail from her base in Trondheim to intercept the ships of convoys QP-8 and PQ-12 running from Iceland to Archangel. Despite information sent to the British carrier Victorious, no contact is made between the forces. The British Admiralty draws criticism because of its inaction.

In Burma... British General Alexander's' counterattacks against the Japanese fail and he confirms the order to retreat from Rangoon.

In the Mediterranean... British carrier Eagle brings 18 Spitfires to Malta. 7 Blenheim bombers are also sent to aid in the defense of the island and offensive actions against Axis convoys.

On the Eastern Front... Red Army troops capture Gzhatsk on the approaches to Vyazma, south of Rzhev.

In Tunisia... A major Axis attack on Medenine, mounted in the morning, is defeated. The attack is renewed in the afternoon and again it is ineffective. British and New Zealand troops note the ineffective performance of their opponents. Fifty Axis tanks have been lost, for no gain. The Axis forces have about 100 tanks left. Meanwhile, Rommel, commanding the Axis forces, favors of withdrawing to Wadi Akarit.

In Washington... Roosevelt appoints a committee to investigate manpower problems in American industry. Among the committee members are Byrnes and Baruch.

In Burma... The Chindits execute a number of demolitions on the railroad between Nankan and Bongyaung.

Over Germany... US heavy bombers raid Berlin for the first time. A force of 660 bombers is sent and 69 are lost.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front (Malinovski) launches a new offensive. In the northern Ukraine, the 1st Urkainian Front (Vatutin) continues to advance against German Army Group South. Its forces cut the Odessa-Lvov rail line and capture Volochisk.

In the Bismark Archipelago... On New Britain, the US 1st Marine Division is sent to land on the east side of Willaumez Peninsula with the objective of capturing Talasea. Japanese resistance is weak but the terrain is difficult, so the advance inland is slow.

On the Eastern Front... The German forces in Hungary launch a major counteroffensive in the area just north of Lake Balaton. The 6th SS Panzer Army, which was withdrawn from the Ardennes battle early in January, has been moved here to spearhead the attack. Other units from Army Group South (Wohler) also take part in the offensive. The operation is code named Fruhlingserwachen or Spring Awakening. The German aim is to retake all the territory between Lake Balaton and the Danube. The Soviet 27th Army, defending along the targeted line of advance, is forced to give ground initially. However, 3rd Ukrainian Front (Tolbukhin) responds with the allotment of reserves to slow the advance down. Meanwhile, in the fighting in Poland, forces of 2nd Belorussian Front complete the capture of the fortress town of Grudiaz after a lengthy siege.

On the Western Front... Units of the Canadian 1st Army are preparing to clear the final German pocket west of the Rhine around Xanten. The US 9th Army has reached the Rhine all along its front. To the south, US 1st Army is fighting in Cologne and driving toward Remagen farther south -- the US 9th Armored Division leads the advance. Farther south, units of US 3rd Army are making a rapid advance toward the Rhine at Koblenz.

In Burma... In their advance down the Burma Road, units of the Chinese 1st Army reach and capture Lashio.

In Romania... King Michael appoints a new government dominated by the Romanian Communist Party. In the west, this move is viewed as a sign the Stalin and the Soviet Union will not hold to the assurances given at Yalta about doing nothing to hinder the process of democracy in eastern Europe.

-HH- Beebop
03-07-2005, 07:09 AM
7 March
In the English Channel... British warships detain 6 Italian coal ships with cargos of German coal. This action follows a warning that Britain will seize all German coal found at sea. The ships are brought to Kent where they are anchored of the coast while the government decides whether to unload the cargoes. Four more Italian colliers have set sail from Rotterdam and a further six are loading with Rhineland coal destined for Italy where coal rationing is in force. Many Italians believe that the seizure of their ships is a deliberate attempt to force them to buy British coal on British terms. This becomes known as the "Coal Ships Affair".

In Paris... The prime minister, Edouard Daladier, meets the US envoy Sumner Welles.

The Winter War... Heavy fighting continues around Viipuri Bay.

Over Germany... RAF aircraft, operating from France, drop Polish language leaflets over German occupied Polish lands and German language leaflets over Leipzig and the Ruhr.

In the North Atlantic... The British destroyer Wolverine sinks the German submarine U-47 in a convoy engagement. The U-47 is commanded by the ace captain, Prien, one of the three leading U-boat captains who will be killed or captured in the next few weeks.

In Burma... The British troops leave Rangoon and Pegu, retiring north. The fall of port at Rangoon means that all Allied supplies must be brought in overland from India. By nightfall, the Japanese 33rd Division occupies the city.

In the Dutch East Indies... Japanese forces takes Surabaya and Lembang on Java

In New Guinea... The Japanese invasion forces land in the Salamaua area.

On the Eastern Front... The 4th Panzer Army has been shifted slightly westward and now attacks northeast from around Krasnograd, linking up with the SS Panzer Corps.

In Germany... Members of the Nazi organization for women are making house-to-house calls to recruit females between the ages of 17 and 45 to work "in the service of the community." This effort is an attempt to bolster the depleted German labor force.

In the Solomon Islands... On Bougainville the Japanese are preparing to assault the American beachhead. On the Green Islands Allied forces have completed construction of an airfield.

In the Admiralty Islands... US Task Force 74 (Admiral Crutchley) bombards Japanese batteries on Hauwei and Ndrilo. There are 3 cruisers and 4 destroyers involved.

On the Western Front... The leading tanks of US 3rd Corps (part of US 1st Army) reach the Rhine River opposite Remagen and find the Ludendorff Bridge there damaged but still standing. Troops are immediately rushed across and a bridgehead is firmly established during the day. Other elements of the US 1st Army complete the capture of Cologne. Units US 12th Corps from US 3rd Army continue to advance rapidly.

From Berlin... Hitler relieves Field Marshal Rundstedt from his post as Commander in Chief of the German armies in the west because of the American capture of the bridge at Remagen. Field Marshal Kesselring is appointed to replace him.

On the Eastern Front... In Hungary, the German offensive by Army Group South continues and achieves more gains. To the north of Lake Balaton, attacks are by 6th SS Panzer Army while to the south of the lake, there are attacks by units of the German 2nd Panzer Army toward Kaposvar. Farther south, in occupied Yugoslavia, elements of German Army Group E (Lohr) attack northeast of the Drava River against allied forces of 3rd Ukrainian Front. Meanwhile, on the Baltic, German evacuations begin from around the city of Danzig which continue until mid-April.
In the Philippines... Forces of the US 1st Corps are engaged south of San Fernando. South of Manila, the US 14th Corps is fighting near Balayan Bay and Batangas against the defense lines of the south Luzon Shimbu Group of the Japanese forces.

In Liberated Yugoslavia... The two existing governments, that led by Tito and the royalist government, are merged into a new single government dominated by Tito and his followers.

03-07-2005, 10:18 AM

March 7th - 8th 1942

"By the 7th the Japanese had occupied Tjilatjap (Cilacap); Soerabaja (Surabaya) was being evacuated in the face of strong enemy forces; Batavia (Jakarta) had been lost, and the Japanese were converging on Bandoeng (Bandung) from both west and north. At 1000 on the 8th, the Japanese army commander, General Imamura and his staff left Batavia and at about 1600 on the 8th reached Kalidjati (Kalijati) airfield via Krawang. Further resistance appeared useless, and at 9 a.m. on the 8th the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied forces, Lieutenant General Hein Ter Poorten, broadcast a proclamation to the effect that organized resistance by the Royal Netherlands East Indian Army in Java would end. The Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, Jonkheer Dr. A.W.L. Tjarda Van Starkenborgh Stachouwer and Lieutenant General Hein Ter Poorten, together with Major-General J.J. Pesman, the garrison commander of Bandoeng area, met the Japanese Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant General Hitoshi Imamura at Kalidjati that afternoon and agreed to the capitulation of all the troops in the Netherlands East Indies."


The names of places in italic are what they are known today in Indonesia (Dutch East Indies back then).

-HH- Beebop
03-08-2005, 07:18 AM
8 March

The Winter War... The Soviets capture part of Viipuri. Their pressure on the Finnish defenses northeast of the city is beginning to wear down the Finnish resistance. The Soviets reject a Finnish request, by the delegation in Moscow, for an immediate armistice. Meanwhile, large quantities of French arms, ammunition and aircraft (175) are now on the way to Finland.

In the North Atlantic... Convoy SL-67 escapes attack from the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau because the battleship Malaya is present. Hitler has ordered that no risk of damage to the ships is to be run if this can be avoided.

In Washington... The Lend-Lease Bill is passed by the Senate by 60 votes to 13.

In New Guinea... Japanese invasion forces land at Lae and Salamaua.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviets take Sychevka between Rzhev and Vyazma, from the forces of German Army Group Center.

In the Atlantic... A change in the standard encoding machine used by the German U-boat fleet creates problems for Allied anti-submarine warfare. A fourth rotor is added to the Engima to ensure secure communications. Allied cryptographers are able to decipher the German communication, after a brief delay.

In Burma... The Japanese launch an offensive aimed at destroying the British forces around Imphal and Kohima, advancing through the passes to Dimapur and cutting off the Sino-American forces in the north. Three divisions of the Japanese 15th Army (General Mutaguchi) spearhead the operation. The initial feint by the Japanese 33rd Division (General Yamagida) strikes the British 17th Indian Division (General Cowan) around Tiddim. The British forces engaged in the initial assaults are part of The 4th Corps (General Scoones). The British intend for the 17th and 20th Indian Divisions to fall back, from their forward positions, to Imphal, where they can be supplied. They underestimate the size of the Japanese forces involved in the offensive.
http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1944/mar44/1944mar/1944mar08.jpg ]

Over Germany... USAAF heavy bombers raid Berlin for a second time. About 10 percent of the force of 580 bombers is lost despite the escort of 800 fighters.

From Helsinki... The Finnish reply to the Soviet armistice terms with a request for further guarantees. The principal difficulty is the Soviet demand for the internment of German military personnel.

In the Solomon Islands... Japanese forces attack the American beachhead on Bougainville. The US airfields at Piva are shelled by the Japanese and some of the American bombers are withdrawn. Japanese infantry infiltrate the positions of the US 37th Division. The attacking troops are most from the Japanese 6th Division (General Hyakutake).

In the Bismark Archipelago.... On New Britain, the attacks of US 1st Marine Division makes progress as does the American advance along the coast from Cape Gloucester.

In Liberated France... During the night, German forces from the garrisons in the occupied Channel Islands mount a raid on Granville on the west coast of the Cotentin Peninsula. One small US warship and 4 merchant ships are sunk. The raiders also free 67 German prisoners of war.

On the Western Front... American efforts to reinforce the Remagen bridgehead continue. German bombers, including some jets, begin attacks on the bridge but fail to destroy it. To the north, units of the Canadian 2nd Corps (part of Canadian 1st Army) capture Xanten.

In Britain... A V2 rocket strikes Farrington Market in London, killing 110 and seriously injuring 123.

In Burma... The British 2nd and 20th Indian Divisions begin to break out of their bridgeheads over the Irrawaddy River to the west of Mandalay.

In the Volcano Islands... On Iwo Jima, the forces of US 5th Amphibious Corps continue pushing northward with heavy fire support. Japanese forces are now all within one mile of the north end of the island.

03-08-2005, 11:26 PM
March 8 http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v224/wayno77/lynch2a.jpg


He was a local boy.

03-09-2005, 12:35 AM
On this day of March 9 1942...

The first electronic navigation aid "GEE" is brought into service by RAF Bomber Command.

British Gee AMES Type 7000.

GEE used a series of broadcasters sending out precicely timed signals, and the aircraft using GEE.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Colin Brown. Circuit diagram for the AMES Type 7000 - Gee (Ground) - Transmitter T.1365.</span>
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Major system characteristics</span>

Electronic equipment that provides visual images of varying electrical quantitiesoscilloscope at the navigator's station.
If the signal from two stations arrived at the same time, the aircraft must be an equal distance from both, allowing the navigator to draw a line on his map of all the positions at that distance from both stations.
By making similar measurements with other stations additional lines can be produced, leading to a fix.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">No.149 squadron Stirling B.Mk.1 powered by Hercules XI engines and capable of carrying a bomb load of 14,000lb (6350Kg) </span>

Gee was introduced as a navigation aid giving an instant fix at ranges up to 400 miles from the UK if the aircraft was at 20,000 feet. Close to home, the fixes were very accurate but over the Ruhr, Rhineland and the North German ports the intersection of the lattice lines on the Gee charts was very acute and the accuracy of fixes was 3-5 miles. Gee enabled navigators to keep an accurate track for the first part of a trip and to pick up wind changes early on. This helped to concentrate the bomber stream and helped to find the target although the Germans could and did jam the Gee. Aircraft fitted with Gee went out in the first wave.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A Stirling Mk III of 199 squadron, RAF Lakenheath July 1943</span>

Even with the leading aircraft using Gee, targets in the Ruhr were hard to find as cloud, smoke and haze searchlight and flak defences and decoy sites all made life difficult for the bombers. Eight attacks on Essen, the home of the giant Krupps armament factories.


It was clear that Gee was not accurate enough to improve the target finding or bombing performance of the Command against well defended targets in the German interior.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Vickers Wellington B.Mk III</span>

A number of sets were being fitted to No.115 Squadron's Wellingtons in January 1941 for tests. Development took a lengthy time, but in August 1941 the squadron began to use the aid operationally, 'Gee' helping it to find and return from Monchengladbach.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">No.115 Squadron RAF </span>

More raids followed, and the benefit of 'Gee' became more clearly apparent.
These were just part and parcel of the continuous offensive that the continuous offensive that the squadron was flying all through 1941, many of its raids being against German ports to immobilize the German battle-cruisers and disrupt the U-boat bases on the French Atlantic coast.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Memorial to 115 Squadron.</span>

08/03/1942 The RAF use GEE for the first time for target marking during a raid on Essen. The technique was known as 'Shaker' and consisted of aircraft marking the target with flares, allowing aircraft further behind to see the target more clearly. However the results of the raid were disappointing.

09/03/1942 The RAF returns to bomb Essen once more, but again are unable to inflict much damage due to the constant industrial haze over the city and the lack of landmarks, which made the city notoriously difficult to find.

RAF GEE Stations

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Trerew Radar Station was built during WW2 as part of the Chain Home (CH) network with an AMES Type 1 Radar. It was alternatively known as Caranton and Caranton Trerew and came under 78 wing.
Photo: Transmitter block east of A3075
Photo by Nick Catford</span>

The GEE chain was the South Western Chain with Sharpitor as the Master, Worth Matravers as Slave B, Sennan as Slave C, Folly as Slave D with Trerew as the Chain Monitor.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Photo: Receiver block and other buildings
Photo by Nick Catford</span>


-HH- Beebop
03-09-2005, 07:08 AM
9 March
must have been a photographers holiday in the '40's

The Winter War... The Finns acknowledge that Soviet forces have established a bridgehead on the northwest shore of Viipuri Bay. However, the communiqué claims that the defenses along the rest of the Karelian Isthmus remain intact. Finland is now in danger of being overwhelmed by the Soviet offensive. Meanwhile, Britain and France promise Finland troops and planes to fight the Soviets provided that Helsinki makes a formal request.

In Berlin... Admiral Raeder tells Hitler the British and French might occupy Norway and Sweden under the pretext of aiding the Finns and encourages an invasion of Norway at the earliest time.

In London... An Anglo-Italian compromise solution to the "Coal Ships Affair" of March 7th is achieved. The Italian colliers detained by the British are released and Italy agrees to find an alternative (overland) supply route from the German coalfields.

In the Balkans... In Albania, the Italians launch an offensive along the front between the rivers Devoli and Vijose. There are a few local successes initially. The Italians have assembled 12 divisions for the attack and Mussolini himself has crossed to Albania to supervise the progress. There is little subtlety to the tactical plan and much that is reminiscent of World War I. The Greek intelligence of the direction of the attack is good and their defenses well prepared.

In the Dutch East Indies... The Dutch government on Java is evacuated. The Japanese have complete control of the island. General Ter Poorten agrees to surrender 100,000 Allied troops.

From Washington... Admiral Ghormley is relieved by Admiral Hard Stark as commander US naval forces in European waters.

On the Eastern Front... Hausser's SS Panzer Corps begin to attack Kharkov from the west and north. To the south of the city, the Soviet 25th Guards Division holds the town of Taranovka against attacks of the German 48th Panzer Corps.

In the Solomon Islands... On Bougainville, Japanese counter attacks on the US 37th Division fail to make substantial gains. The American airfields at Piva and Torokina are shelled.

On the Eastern Front... Forces of the Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front capture Starokonstantinov, south of Shepetovka and reach the outskirts of Tarnopol. German forces of Army Group South offer heavy resistance.

In the Admiralty Islands... The first American planes begin operating from Momote airfield.

In Burma... News of the advance of the Japanese 33rd Division reaches the headquarters of British 17th Indian Division. Initially, General Cowan refuses to believe the reports.

In Argentina... President Ramirez resigns following an army coup.

Over Japan... During the night (March 9-10), 279 low flying US B-29 Superfortress bombers drop 1667 tons of napalm and oil bombs on Tokyo. The resulting firestorm devastates 26 square kilometers of built-up area, killing some 84,000; injuring 102,000 and leaving roughly one million homeless. There are similar raids on Nagoya, Osaka and Kobe. Japanese civil defenses are unable to cope.
In Indochina... The Japanese depose the Vichy French administration, forcibly disarm the French garrisons and establish the "Empire of Annam."

In Burma... The southward advance of the British 19th Indian Division reaches the outskirts of Mandalay. Other units of British 33rd Corps are advancing toward the city from the west. The fighting around Meiktila continues as the Japanese bring troops from the Mandalay area in a desperate attempt to free their lines of communications.

On the Western Front... Bonn and Godesberg are captured by units of US 1st Army while others continue to expand the bridgehead over the Rhine River, at Remagen, where Erpel is captured. Farther south, toward Koblenz, US 3rd Army units reach the Rhine at Andernach.

In Tunisia... Rommel leaves Africa for the last time. On his way home he meets Mussolini in Rome and Hitler in East Prussia. Neither is persuaded to withdraw the Axis forces from Africa.

In New Guinea... There are heavy Japanese attacks on Wau.

-HH- Beebop
03-09-2005, 10:52 PM

Check your PM's.

03-10-2005, 02:54 AM
During this month of March 1945...


March 7 the Remagen bridge (Ludendorff railway bridge) across the Rhine River is captured intact by the Americans Forces.


By early February 1945, the Allies had regained all the ground lost during the Battle of the Bulge and resumed their advance into the Rhineland toward the Rhine River, the last natural barrier to Germany's heartland. They planned to launch assaults across the Rhine at several locations during March. The main assault was to be made by American and British troops near the town of Wesel, north of the Ruhr, Germany's industrial heart. Before this assault took place, however, the fortuitous capture of a bridge further south, near Bonn, changed the course of the battle.


In early March, Allied troops had reached the west bank of the Rhine River along most of the River's length, north of the city of K¶ln. Although most bridges spanning the river were blown up as American troops reached them, one was not. The Ludendorff Railroad Bridge at Remagen, between Koblenz and Bonn, was captured intact by troops of the U.S. 9th Armored Division on March 7, 1945. Armored infantry fought their way across the bridge under intense enemy fire as the Germans attempted to destroy it with demolition charges. Several explosions damaged part of the bridge, but the main charges failed to fire and the bridge remained standing.


The rough terrain on the eastern bank of the Rhine at Remagen made the region a less than ideal avenue for the invasion of Germany in Allied strategic planning. Nonetheless, the Allies seized the opportunity to transport troops, tanks, and vehicles across a bridge, rather than over the river by assault boats and pontoon bridges. Allied plans were quickly adjusted to take advantage of this coup. Thousands of men and vehicles poured onto the bridgehead that, although suffering repeated German counterattacks for a week, continued to expand east of the Rhine.


ithin a week of crossing the Rhine over the Ludendorff Bridge, seven U.S. divisions had established themselves in strength east of the Rhine. On March 17, 1945, the Ludendorff, severely damaged in the fighting ten days earlier and weakened further from the strain of heavy traffic, collapsed into the Rhine. Having crossed the Rhine, the Allied armies prepared to drive into the interior of Germany.

the 9th Armored Division (third from right), and members of the division who won the Distinguished Service Cross pose with the sign placed on the Ludendorff Bridge after its capture. U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph taken by W. Spangle on September 18, 1945, several months after the bridge was captured.

The sign erected by the 9th Armored division on the Ludendorff bridge after its capture. March 11, 1945. U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph taken by W. Spangle.


Ar 234 over Remagen Bridge

Link: http://www.ww2.dk/air/kampf/kg76.htm


Their defense was seriously breached on 7 March 1945, when the Americans seized the Ludendorf Bridge over the Rhine river at the town of Remagen.
Only one Luftwaffe unit, KG 76 (Kampfgeschwader or Bomber Wing 76), was equipped with Ar 234 bombers before Germany's surrender. As the production of the Ar 234 B-2 increased in tempo during fall 1944, the unit received its first aircraft and began training at Burg bei Magdeburg. The unit flew its first operations during December 1944 in support of the Ardennes Offensive. Typical missions consisted of pinprick attacks conducted by less than 20 aircraft, each carrying a single 500 kg (1,100 lb.) bomb. The unit participated in the desperate attacks against the Allied bridgehead over the Rhine at Remagen during mid-March 1945, but failed to drop the Ludendorff railway bridge and suffered a number of losses to anti-aircraft fire.

Arado Ar 234B "T9+KH", WkNr 140151

Sergeant Alexander Drabik, the first American soldier to cross the bridge at Remagen, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroism. April 5, 1945. U.S. Army Signal Corps photograph taken by J Malan Heslop.

This is a view of the pillars on the Remagen side of the river.
A little museum is housed in one of the pillars.

**** Albani standing down in front of the pillars on the
opposite side of the river from Remagen.

-HH- Beebop
03-10-2005, 07:13 AM
10 March

The Winter War... Soviet forces capture Repola, northeast of Viipuri, as well as Karppila and Ruhela on the north shore of Viipuri Bay.

In Helsinki... Marshal Mannerheim, president of Finland, urges the government to make terms with the USSR.

In Rome... The German foreign minister, Ribbentrop, meets with the Italian leader, Mussolini, and invites him to meet with Hitler.

In East Africa... Since taking Mogadishu General Platt's troops have advance 600 miles north from there into Abyssinia and only now come into contact with any Italian forces. Their encounter is at Dagabur, only 100 miles south of Jijiga.

In New Guinea... American aircraft launched from the American carriers Lexington and Yorktown attack Japanese vessels near Lae

In Tunisia... An Axis attack, with air support, on the Free French outpost at Ksar Rhilane, southeast of Mareth is defeated by Leclerc's troops.

In Burma... The Chindits are now operating in several columns. They cross the Irrawaddy River in two places, at Tagaung and Tigyaing farther north.

From Washington... Chennault is promoted and his command in China is to be enlarged and named the 14th Air Force.

On the Eastern Front... Attacks by 2nd Ukrainian Front (Konev) penetrate up to 40 miles, along a 100-mile frontage, into the lines of the defending forces belonging to German Army Group South (Manstein). To the immediate north, the 1st Ukrainian Front (Zhukov) continues to advance north of Proskurov.

In the Bismark Archipelago... On New Britain, American forces capture Talasea.

In the Solomon Islands... On Bougainville, Japanese forces capture Hill 260 but lose ground to American counterattacks in other areas.

In Burma... Japanese forces attack the rear of the positions of the British 17th Indian Division.

From Moscow... The Finnish reply to the armistice terms, requesting further guarantees, is rejected.

On the Western Front... The last German forces are withdrawn from the pocket west of the Rhine between Wesel and Xanten. They have lost heavily to the British and Canadian attacks. The US 1st and 3rd Armies link up near Andernach completing the Allied hold on the west bank of the Rhine everywhere north of Koblenz. Field Marshal Kesselring arrives from Italy to take command of the German armies in the west.
On the Eastern Front... The German forces of Army Group South advancing around Lake Balaton encounter heavy resistance from Soviet air and ground forces of 3rd Ukrainian Front and make limited progress. German progress is also hindered by muddy conditions and a lack of fuel for the tanks and other vehicles.

In the Philippines... Most of the US 41st Infantry Division is landed at the southwest of Mindanao near Zamboanga. General Doe commands the troops and Admiral Barbey the naval support. On Luzon fighting continues south of Laguna de Bay where the US forces are still trying to break through to the east. Organized Japanese resistance on the island of Palawan comes to an end.

In Washington... Roosevelt informs Spanish representatives that no American aid will be forthcoming so long as the Franco dictatorship continues.

03-10-2005, 11:40 PM
On this day of March 10 1942...

American carriers Lexington and Yorktown attack Japanese vessels near Lae.


Yorktown subsequently returned to Pearl Harbor and replenished there before she put to sea on 14 February, bound for the Coral Sea.
On 6 March 1942, she rendezvoused with TF 11 €" formed around Lexington and under the command of Rear Admiral Wilson Brown €" and headed towards Rabaul and Gasmata to attack Japanese shipping there in an effort to check the Japanese advance and to cover the landing of Allied troops at Noumea, New Caledonia.
However, as the two flattops €" screened by a powerful force of eight heavy cruisers (including the Australian HMAS Australia) and 14 destroyers €" steamed toward New Guinea, the Japanese continued their advance toward Australia with a landing on 7 March at the Huon Gulf, in the Salamana-Lae area on the eastern end of New Guinea.


Word of the Japanese operation prompted Admiral Brown to change the objective of TF 11's strike from Rabaul to the Salamana-Lae sector.
On the morning of 10 March 1942, American carriers launched aircraft from the Gulf of Papua. Lexington flew off her air group commencing at 0749 and, 21 minutes later, Yorktown followed suit.
While the choice of the gulf as the launch point for the strike meant that the planes would have to fly some 125 miles across the Owen Stanley mountains €" a range not known for the best flying conditions €" that approach provided security for the task force and ensured surprise.


In the attacks that followed, Lexington's SBD's from Scouting Squadron (VS) 2 commenced dive-bombing Japanese ships at Lae at 0922.
The carrier's Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2 and Bombing Squadron (VB) 2 attacked shipping at Salamaua at 0938. Her fighters from Fighter Squadron (VF) 2 split up into four-plane attack groups: one strafed Lae and the other, Salamaua.
Yorktown 's planes followed on the heels of those from "Lady Lex." VB-5 and VT-5 attacked Japanese ships in the Salamaua area at 0950, while VS-5 went after auxiliaries moored close in shore at Lae.


The fighters of VF-42 flew over Salamana on CAP until they determined that there was no air opposition and then strafed surface objectives and small boats in the harbor.
After carrying out their missions, the American planes returned to their carriers, and 103 planes of the 104 launched were back safely on board by noon. One SB3-2 of VS-2 had been downed by Japanese antiaircraft fire.
The raid on Salamana and Lae was the first attack by many pilots of both carriers; and, while the resultant torpedo and bombing accuracy was inferior to that achieved in later actions, the operation gave the fliers invaluable experience which enabled them to do so well in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway.


Task Force 11 retired at 20 knots on a southeasterly course until dark, when the ships steered eastward at 15 knots and made rendezvous with Task Group (TG) 11.7 (four heavy cruisers and four destroyers) under Rear Admiral John G. Crace, Royal Navy-the group that had provided cover for the carriers on their approach to New Guinea.
Yorktown resumed her patrols in the Coral Sea area, remaining at sea into April, out of reach of Japanese land-based aircraft and ready to carry out offensive operations whenever the opportunity presented itself.
After the Lae-Salamaua raid, the situation in the South Pacific seemed temporarily stabilized, and Yorktown and her consorts in TF 17 put in to the undeveloped harbor at Tongatabu, in the Tonga Islands, for needed upkeep, having been at sea continuously since departing from Pearl Harbor on 14 February 1942.


-HH- Beebop
03-11-2005, 10:10 AM
11 March

In the Mediterranean... The French battleship Bretagne and cruiser Algerie set sail from Toulon for Canada carrying a shipment of gold (2,379 bars).

In Moscow... The final terms of the armistice between the USSR and Finland are concluded. Finland is to give up the whole of the Karelian Isthmus, including Viipuri, territory in the "waist" of the country near Salla, and Rybachiy Peninsula near Murmansk and is to grant a lease on the port of Hango to the Soviets. Petsamo is returned to the Finns. When the recent Soviet military successes are taken into account these terms can be described as fairly moderate.

In the North Sea... An RAF Blenheim sinks the U-boat U-31 off Borkum.

In Paris... In a final bid to prevent the Finns agreeing to an armistice Chamberlain and Daladier announce that Britain and France will send help to Finland. The plan to do so is shelved when the Finns conclude their agreement with the Soviets and with it is abandoned the scheme to block the supply of Swedish iron ore to Germany.

In Germany... RAF Blenheim bombers attack and sink U-31 in port at Schillig Roads, in northwest Germany. The submarine is subsequently raised and re-commissioned and later sunk again (see November 2, 1940).

In London... US envoy, Sumner Welles, meets the king and discusses possible peace and mediation condition terms with Chamberlain and Halifax.

In Britain... Meat rationing begins with a restriction of 1s 10d (9 pence) worth of meat per person per week.

In the United States... The government lifts its arms embargo to allow Britain and France to buy some P40 fighter planes.

In Washington... The Lend-Lease Bill becomes law when signed by President Roosevelt. Important amendments have been made by Congress. A time limit has been placed on the operation of the act -- until June 1943 -- but a motion originally passed in the House forbidding US warships to give convoy protection to foreign ships has been defeated. Also to be allowed are transfers of ships to other countries solely on the presidential authority without reference to Congress. Lend-Lease is not an entirely disinterested act. Britain is compelled to go on paying cash for as long as this is possible (meaning British assets in the US must be sold below their true value) and it is forbidden to export anything containing materials supplied under Lend-Lease, nor can items wholly produced in Britain be exported if equivalent items are being supplied under Lend-Lease.

In the Philippines... "I shall return." Words spoken by American General Douglas MacArthur as he leaves Luzon. General Wainwright takes over his command.

On the Eastern Front... The SS Panzer Corps enters Kharkov and penetrates to the center of the city after intensive street fighting.

In Washington... The Americans extend the Lend-Lease agreements by one year. The value of the agreements, up to the end of February 1943, is reported to be $9,632,000,000.

In Burma... The Japanese 33rd Division continues attacking the British 17th Indian Division and is also infiltrating to the rear of 20th Indian Division where its advance is held near Witok. In central Burma, Chindit forces are disrupting Japanese communications with their forces facing American General Stilwell's Sino-American forces. Meanwhile, British forces capture Buthidaung in the Arakan.

On the Eastern Front... Forces of the Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front (Malinovski) capture Berislav, to the north of the Dniepr River and east of Kherson.

In the Admiralty Islands... Reconnaissance forces land on Manus Island and Butjo Luo, where the Japanese garrison resists.

In Britain... Some 70 German prisoners of war stage a mass escape from the POW camp at Bridgend, Glamorgan (South Wales). All are recaptured by March 17.

Over Germany... The RAF attacks Essen, dropping 4700 tons of bombs, nominally targeting the railroad system. All production at the Krupp Works is stopped. American bombers strike U-boat yards in northwest Germany.

In Burma... Mongmit is captured by a converging attack, from north (around Myitson) and west, by the brigades of the British 36th Division.

In the Philippines... There is more fighting in the Batangas area south of Manila and in the north toward Baguio.

In the Yap Islands... The American carrier, Randolph, is damaged in a Japanese Kamikaze attack on the Pacific Fleet base at Ulithi Atoll.

In Burma... American General Stillwell takes command of the Chinese 5th and 6th Armies (actually size of European army divisions). His first action is to concentrate forces around Mandalay and in the Shan States.

In the Mediterranean... German U-boat, U-565 sinks the British cruiser Naiad, north of Sollum.

03-11-2005, 08:47 PM
March 11

1941 FDR signs Lend-Lease

On this day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Lend-Lease program, which provides money and materials for allies in the war, goes into effect.

The Lend-Lease program was devised by Roosevelt as a means of aiding Great Britain in its war effort against the Germans, by giving the chief executive the power to "sell, transfer title to, exchange, lease, lend, or otherwise dispose of" any military resources the president deemed ultimately in the interest of the defense of the United States. The reasoning was that if a neighbor was successful in defending his home, the security of your home would be enhanced. It also served to bolster British morale by giving them the sense that they were no longer alone in their struggle against Hitler.

The program was finally authorized by Congress and signed into effect on March 11, 1941. By November, after much heated debate, Congress extended the terms of Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union, even though the USSR had already been the recipient of American military weapons and had been promised $1 billion in financial aid. By the end of the war, more than $50 billion in funds, weapons, aircraft, and ships had been distributed to 44 countries. After the war, the Lend-Lease program morphed into the Marshall Plan, which allocated funds for the revitalization of "friendly" democratic nations-even if they were former enemies.

1942 MacArthur leaves the Philippines

On this day, following President Franklin D. Roosevelt's orders, Gen. Douglas MacArthur pulls out of the Philippines, as the American defense of the islands collapses.

The Philippines had been part of the American commonwealth since Spain ceded it at the close of the Spanish-American War. When the Japanese invaded China in 1937 and signed the Tripartite Pact with fascist nations Germany and Italy in 1940, the United States responded by, among other things, strengthening the defense of the Philippines. General MacArthur was called out of retirement and took command of 10,000 American Army troops, 12,000 Filipino enlisted men who fought as part of the U.S. Army, and 100,000 Filipino army soldiers, who were poorly-trained and -prepared. MacArthur radically overestimated his strength and underestimated that of Japan's. The Rainbow War Plan, a defensive strategy for U.S. interests in the Pacific drawn up and refined by the War Department, required that MacArthur withdraw his troops into the mountains of the Bataan Peninsula and await better-trained and equipped American reinforcements. Instead, MacArthur decided to take the Japanese head on-and never recovered.

The day of the Pearl Harbor bombing also saw the Japanese destruction of almost half of the American aircraft based in the Philippines. Amphibious landings of Japanese troops along the Luzon coast followed. By late December, MacArthur had to pull his forces back defensively to the Bataan Peninsula-the original strategy belatedly pursued. By January 2, 1942, the Philippine capital, Manila, fell to the Japanese. President Roosevelt had to admit to himself (if not to the American people, who believed the Americans were winning the battle with the Japanese in the Philippines), that the prospects for the American forces were not good--and that he could not afford to have General MacArthur fall captive to the Japanese. A message arrived at Corregidor on February 20, ordering MacArthur to leave immediately for Mindanao, then on to Melbourne, Australia, where he was to assume command of all United States troops. MacArthur balked; he was fully prepared to fight alongside his men to the death, if necessary. MacArthur finally obeyed the president's order on March 11.

Last RAF bombing raid on Essen. March 11, 1945

03-12-2005, 02:26 AM
On this day of March 12 1944...

A British Halifax 58/L was shot down by U-Boat 311. In 1944 alone 54 Allied Aircraft were shot down by U-Boats.
A total of 125 aircraft shot down by 97 individual U-boats during the WW2 for the loss of 31 U-boats either sunk during the attack or due to being located by other forces shortly afterwards and sunk.

Laid down 21 Mar, 1942 Flender-Werke, Lübeck
Commissioned 23 Mar, 1943 Oblt. Joachim Zander
Commanders 23 Mar, 1943 - 22 Apr, 1944 Kptlt. Joachim Zander

Career 2 patrols 23 Mar, 1943 - 30 Nov, 1943 8. Flottille (training)
1 Dec, 1943 - 22 Apr, 1944 1. Flottille (front boat)

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A German band welcomes a Type VIIC U-boat, the mainstay of the German World War II submarine fleet, returning from a war patrol.</span>

Successes 1 ship sunk for a total of 10.342 GRT
Fate Sunk on 22 April, 1944 in the North Atlantic south west of Iceland in position 52.09N, 19.07W, by depth charges from the Canadian frigates HMCS Matane and HMCS Swansea. 51 dead (all hands lost).

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">View of the wreck of U-352 off the US coast. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Map of Lost U-Boats</span>

Other Aircraft downed by U-Boats in March 1944 were...
U-737 6 March 1944 British... Liberator 120/B... The aircraft had to crash-land and was written off as destroyed.

U-256 11 March 1944 Canadian... Wellington 407/H... The aircraft seems to have crashed on its own during preparations for the attack run.
Also U-256 shot down...
2 Sep 1942 British... Whitley 77/H
7 June 1944 British... Liberator 224/M

U-1059 19 March 1944 American... Avenger VC-6... The boat was sunk in this attack but it brought down one of the attackers even as the boat was slipping beneath the waves.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">U-534 </span>

Type IXC/40
Laid down 20 Feb, 1942 Deutsche Werft AG, Hamburg
Commissioned 23 Dec, 1942 Oblt. Herbert Nollau
Commanders 23 Dec, 1942 - 5 May, 1945 Kptlt. Herbert Nollau

Career 3 patrols 23 Dec, 1942 - 31 May, 1943 4. Flottille (training)
1 Jun, 1943 - 31 Oct, 1944 2. Flottille (front boat)
1 Nov, 1944 - 5 May, 1945 33. Flottille (front boat)

Successes No ships sunk or damaged

On May 5 1945 U-534 was first attacked by a Liberator which was shot down with loss of all of its crew. Then it was time G for George entered into his attack.
The first attack was unsuccessful.
The depth charges overshot U-534 but on the second attack, one of the depth charges landed on the deck of U-534, rolled off, exploding directly beneath U-534.
All of the German crew escaped U-534, but three died from exposure in the water. They were then picked-up by lifeboats from a lightship approximately one mile away. One Argentinean radio operator also died in the water.

Her Salvage in 1993
The U-534 was raised in the Kattegat, out of Denmark, in 1993 and almost ended up in a scrap yard before being taken over by the Warship Preservation Trust. She was brought to England in May 1996 and she is on display at the Nautilus Maritime Museum in Birkenhead, Wirral near Liverpool in England.
Check out U-534's Gallery page with over 20 photos!

The bombardier of G for George was Flying Officer Neville Baker. The Captain of the Liberator was Warrant Officer John Nicol who was awarded the DFC.

Link: http://www.subart.net/U534_u-boat.htm

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">U-534 arrives at Birkenhead, May 1996</span>



<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">U-534: view of depth charge damage. </span>

U-Boats with multiple Scores.
U-30/2... both British Blackburn Skua's.
U-185/2... British Whitley and an American Liberator.
U-228/2... British Halifax and Sunderland.
U-256/4... British Whitley and 2 Liberator's Plus a Canadian Wellington.
U-262/2... American Avenger and a Wildcat.
U-270/2... British both B-17's.
U-311/2... British Halifax and a B-17.
U-333/4... British 2 Sunderland's, Hudson and a Wellington.
U-343/2... British Wellington's.
U-415/2... British Liberator and a Wellington.
U-441/2... Canadian Wellington and a British Sunderland.
U-453/2... British Hudson and a South African Ventura.
U-459/2... British Wellington and a Whitley.
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">*</span>U-534/2... British Liberator and a Wellington.
U-566/2... American both Ventura's.
U-618/2... British Liberator and a Wellington.
U-648/3... Canadian Sunderland and British Catalina and a Sunderland.
U-763/2... British Halifax and a Liberator.
U-771/2... British Liberator and a Norwegian Mosquito.
U-860/2... American both Avenger's.
U-1060/2... British both Fairey Firefly's.
U-1062/2... British both Beaufighter's.

-HH- Beebop
03-12-2005, 10:39 AM
12 March

In Britain... The British Home Fleet returns to Scapa Flow from Rosyth and Loch Ewe after the completion of a substantial improvement of the anti-aircraft and anti-submarine defenses at the base.

In Moscow... The Finnish delegation awaits final approval, from Helsinki, of the peace terms offered by the Soviets.

In Paris... The French prime minister, Daladier, informs the Chamber of Deputies that an Anglo-French expeditionary force is ready to embark for Finland on receipt of a formal Finnish appeal for assistance.

In Lublin... Seventy-two German Jews, out of 1000 deported to Poland in sealed freight cars from Stettin, die of exposure after an 18-hour march in a blizzard.

In Washington... President Roosevelt presents an Appropriations Bill for Lend-Lease to Congress for $7,000,000,000.

In the Dutch East Indies... Japanese accept the formal surrender of the Dutch forces. Units of the Japanese Imperial Guard land in northern areas of Sumatra.

In the South Pacific... On New Caledonia, American troops land to garrison the island. These forces include the first operational "Seabees."

On the Solomon Islands... The Japanese complete the conquest of the islands.

On the Eastern Front... The fighting continues in Kharkov. The German command dispatches a unit eastward to Chuguyev in an effort to cut off Soviet forces to the south of Kharkov. Meanwhile, the Red Army occupies Vyazma as the German Army Group Center continues to retreat on a wide front.

In Tunisia... The 2nd New Zealand Division and the 8th Armored Brigade are secretly moved south from Medenine. They are being concentrated west of Wilder's Gap in preparation for an outflanking move around the Mareth Line, across the Dahar region.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces of the 2nd Ukrainian Front (Konev) reach the Bug River at Gayvoron. Other advances capture Dolinskaya.

In the Solomon Islands... On Bougainville, Japanese attacks continue. US forces continue to hold.

In the Admiralty Islands... A small American force lands on Hauwei Island. The Japanese garrison, led by Colonel Ezaki, resists.

In the Marshall Islands... Americans occupy Wotho Atoll. There is no Japanese garrison.

On the Western Front... The US 7th Army launches attacks in the area around Saarbrucken and *****e in a joint effort with US 3rd Army to eliminate German forces from the area between the Saar, Moselle and Rhine rivers.
In Burma... Japanese forces intensive their efforts against Meiktila but fail to make significant progress against the British 17th Indian Division which is receiving supplies, reinforcements and ground attack support from the air.

In the Volcano Islands... On Iwo Jima, US 5th Amphibious Corps continues to engage the Japanese forces which are now confined a small area in the northwest of the island.

In the Kurile Islands... Admiral McCrea commands a squadron of American cruisers and destroyers in a bombardment of Matsuwa.

03-12-2005, 05:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by -HH- Beebop:
_11 March
In Moscow... The final terms of the armistice between the USSR and Finland are concluded. Finland is to give up the whole of the Karelian Isthmus, including Viipuri, territory in the "waist" of the country near Salla, and Rybachiy Peninsula near Murmansk and is to grant a lease on the port of Hango to the Soviets. Petsamo is returned to the Finns. When the recent Soviet military successes are taken into account these terms can be described as fairly moderate.

Comment: Almost the whole Karelian province including the so called Ladoga's Karelia in north of Ladoga, not only the Isthmus was to be given to USSR. In this region lived about 430 000 people, who were evacuated to other parts of the country.

And the terms were not thought to be moderate by the soldiers, as the troops had to retreat in some cases about 100 km to get to the new border. In fact many soldiers (and Karelian people) were disappointed and thought that they were partly betrayed by politicians as the border line wasn't drawn to where the army stood at the end of the war. Fe. Viipuri was still in finnish hands on 13.3.1940 after very heavy fighting, but Soviet propaganda wrote it so that the glorious Red Army had actually conquered and "liberated" it (from "fascist" capitalists and so on).

03-12-2005, 07:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by woofiedog:
On this day of March 12 1944...

A British Halifax 58/L was shot down by U-Boat 311. In 1944 alone 54 Allied Aircraft were shot down by U-Boats.
A total of 125 aircraft shot down by 97 individual U-boats during the WW2 for the loss of 31 U-boats either sunk during the attack or due to being located by other forces shortly afterwards and sunk.

Laid down 21 Mar, 1942 Flender-Werke, Lübeck
Commissioned 23 Mar, 1943 Oblt. Joachim Zander
Commanders 23 Mar, 1943 - 22 Apr, 1944 Kptlt. Joachim Zander

Career 2 patrols 23 Mar, 1943 - 30 Nov, 1943 8. Flottille (training)
1 Dec, 1943 - 22 Apr, 1944 1. Flottille (front boat)

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">A German band welcomes a Type VIIC U-boat, the mainstay of the German World War II submarine fleet, returning from a war patrol.</span>

Successes 1 ship sunk for a total of 10.342 GRT
Fate Sunk on 22 April, 1944 in the North Atlantic south west of Iceland in position 52.09N, 19.07W, by depth charges from the Canadian frigates HMCS Matane and HMCS Swansea. 51 dead (all hands lost).

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">View of the wreck of U-352 off the US coast. </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Map of Lost U-Boats</span>

Other Aircraft downed by U-Boats in March 1944 were...
U-737 6 March 1944 British... Liberator 120/B... The aircraft had to crash-land and was written off as destroyed.

U-256 11 March 1944 Canadian... Wellington 407/H... The aircraft seems to have crashed on its own during preparations for the attack run.
Also U-256 shot down...
2 Sep 1942 British... Whitley 77/H
7 June 1944 British... Liberator 224/M

U-1059 19 March 1944 American... Avenger VC-6... The boat was sunk in this attack but it brought down one of the attackers even as the boat was slipping beneath the waves.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">U-534 </span>

Type IXC/40
Laid down 20 Feb, 1942 Deutsche Werft AG, Hamburg
Commissioned 23 Dec, 1942 Oblt. Herbert Nollau
Commanders 23 Dec, 1942 - 5 May, 1945 Kptlt. Herbert Nollau

Career 3 patrols 23 Dec, 1942 - 31 May, 1943 4. Flottille (training)
1 Jun, 1943 - 31 Oct, 1944 2. Flottille (front boat)
1 Nov, 1944 - 5 May, 1945 33. Flottille (front boat)

Successes No ships sunk or damaged

On May 5 1945 U-534 was first attacked by a Liberator which was shot down with loss of all of its crew. Then it was time G for George entered into his attack.
The first attack was unsuccessful.
The depth charges overshot U-534 but on the second attack, one of the depth charges landed on the deck of U-534, rolled off, exploding directly beneath U-534.
All of the German crew escaped U-534, but three died from exposure in the water. They were then picked-up by lifeboats from a lightship approximately one mile away. One Argentinean radio operator also died in the water.

Her Salvage in 1993
The U-534 was raised in the Kattegat, out of Denmark, in 1993 and almost ended up in a scrap yard before being taken over by the Warship Preservation Trust. She was brought to England in May 1996 and she is on display at the Nautilus Maritime Museum in Birkenhead, Wirral near Liverpool in England.
Check out U-534's Gallery page with over 20 photos!

The bombardier of G for George was Flying Officer Neville Baker. The Captain of the Liberator was Warrant Officer John Nicol who was awarded the DFC.

Link: http://www.subart.net/U534_u-boat.htm

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">U-534 arrives at Birkenhead, May 1996</span>



<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">U-534: view of depth charge damage. </span>

U-Boats with multiple Scores.
U-30/2... both British Blackburn Skua's.
U-185/2... British Whitley and an American Liberator.
U-228/2... British Halifax and Sunderland.
U-256/4... British Whitley and 2 Liberator's Plus a Canadian Wellington.
U-262/2... American Avenger and a Wildcat.
U-270/2... British both B-17's.
U-311/2... British Halifax and a B-17.
U-333/4... British 2 Sunderland's, Hudson and a Wellington.
U-343/2... British Wellington's.
U-415/2... British Liberator and a Wellington.
U-441/2... Canadian Wellington and a British Sunderland.
U-453/2... British Hudson and a South African Ventura.
U-459/2... British Wellington and a Whitley.
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">*</span>U-534/2... British Liberator and a Wellington.
U-566/2... American both Ventura's.
U-618/2... British Liberator and a Wellington.
U-648/3... Canadian Sunderland and British Catalina and a Sunderland.
U-763/2... British Halifax and a Liberator.
U-771/2... British Liberator and a Norwegian Mosquito.
U-860/2... American both Avenger's.
U-1060/2... British both Fairey Firefly's.
U-1062/2... British both Beaufighter's. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've been aboard/inside U534 on Mersey dock and it's a fantastic experience. Above the waterline (she sank upright), the boat is virtually as it was when she went down (no rust). Even some of the batteries that were recovered from her still worked after being returned to Varta for analysis.

Anyone with even a remote interest in u boats could do a lot worse than visit this wonderful piece of history


03-12-2005, 10:25 PM
NorrisMcWhirter... I've been aboard the USS Lionfish that is at Battleship Cove,Massachusetts. It still has the Orginal Kill markings on the Torpedoe Tubes... overall a Great place to visit.
You wouldn't have some photos from the U534 by any chance you would like to share?
Thank for the Info!


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">USS LIONFISH (SS-298)</span>

Class: Balao
Type: Submarine
Launched: 7 November 1943
At: Cramp Shipbuilding Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commissioned: 13 October 1944

Length: 311 feet, 8 inches
Beam: 27 feet, 2 inches
Draft: 17 feet (surface trim)
Displacement: 1,525 tons (surfaced)
Armament: Ten 21-inch torpedo tubes; one 5-inch/25-caliber gun; one 40mm and one 20mm gun; four .50-caliber machine guns

U.S.S. Lionfish exemplifies the standard fleet boat of the Balao class. These boats, along with their siblings in the Gato class, served as the backbone of the U.S. Submarine Service in World War II. Her first captain was Edward Spruance, son of the famous World War II admiral, Raymond Spruance. After completing her shakedown cruise off New England, she headed for the Pacific and commenced her first war patrol in Japanese waters on April 1, 1945. Ten days later, she dodged two torpedoes from a Japanese submarine and on May 1 destroyed a Japanese schooner with her deck guns. After a rendezvous with the submarine Ray, she transported B-29 survivors to Saipan and then made way to Midway Island for replenishment.

On June 2 she started her second war patrol, firing on three Japanese submarines. She ended her second and last war patrol performing lifeguard duty (the rescue of downed fliers) off of the coast of Japan. When hostilities ended on August 15, she headed for San Francisco and was decommissioned at the Mare Island Navy Yard on January 16, 1946.

Lionfish was recommissioned on January 31, 1951, and headed for the East Coast for a myriad of training cruises. After participating in NATO exercises and a Mediterranean cruise, she returned to the East Coast and was decommissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on December 15, 1953.

In 1960, Lionfish was called to duty again, this time serving as a reserve training submarine at Providence, Rhode Island. She served in that capacity until the summer of 1972, when she arrived at Battleship Cove. A memorial to all American submariners killed in action during World War II, U.S.S. Lionfish is one of five National Historic Landmarks on exhibit at Battleship Cove, the world's largest collection of historic naval ships.

03-13-2005, 04:10 AM

Sorry - no internal pics as cameras weren't allowed. I do have some external images but they're not a lot different from the ones shown here:


I tried to get some other photos from a patch of private land adjacent but some police turned up within seconds, gave me a grilling, initially suggested that they would confiscate my camera but then just moved me along...which was odd; I think I got in the way of some surveillance/something big going down because there were a lot of unmarked cars around(!)

I digress, though: It's pretty rusty inside and has that musty smell of oxidation but a lot of the boat was still intact including the light fittings, bulbs, panelling and dogtooth flooring.

In the engine room/aft, you can see where the depth charge damage did it's worst because several pipes have been squashed flat with the explosion along with the crack in the pressure hull. I can't remember exactly but some of the machinery, which had no small fixture bolts, had been torn from the floor.

The boat has a lot of 'mystery' surrounding it in terms of an unusual passenger who was on board but singularly picked up before it sank by an e-boat and also experimental torpedoes...etc...how much is true is anyon'e guess but it's an amazing visit for anyone remotely interested in these fighting vessels as I'm sure the US sub is.


03-13-2005, 07:32 AM
NorrisMcWhirter... Fantistic Photo, I can't believe the shape that the Boat is still in. I'm also Glad the Police didn't pull you in for taking a few Photo.
Thank's Again for the Photos and the Info... it's a real interesting story. Please keep us up-dated if you find any more info.

-HH- Beebop
03-13-2005, 11:11 AM
13 March

The Winter War... After the Finnish delegation have received formal permission from their government, the peace treaty with the Soviets is signed in the early hours of the morning. The ceasefire begins at 1200. This ends the 104-day war between Finland and the USSR -- the Winter War. In Field Marshal Mannerheim's last Order of the Day to the Finnish Army he states: "A severe peace [has been concluded] which cedes Russia nearly all the battlefields we have drenched with our blood... The deeds you have accomplished will shine for centures in the pages of our history." Finland loses the Karelian Isthmus (including the city of Viipuri and the Vuoksi industrial belt), the Hango naval base and border areas northwest of Lake Ladoga, in the "Waist" and on the Arctic coast. The Finns have never had more than 200,000 men in the fight and have lost 25,000 dead and 45,000 wounded. Altogether the war has absorbed, on the Soviet side, 1,200,000 men, 1500 tanks and 3000 planes. Official sources put their losses at 48,000 dead and 158,000 wounded but this may well be a considerable understatement. This disparity in losses suggests to Allied and Axis observers that the effects of Stalin's officer purges have still not been overcome. This impression of inefficiency contributes to Hitler's decision to invade the USSR and makes the British and Americans a little reluctant to send supplies to the Soviets when the Germans do invade because they expect that the Germans will win quickly.

In London... Sir Michael O'Dwyer, the former governor of the Punjub, is assassinated by an Indian nationalist.

In the Balkans... In Albania, the Italian attacks toward Klisura continue but are now being held comfortably by the Greek defense.

From Berlin... Hitler issues a directive for the invasion of the Soviet Union which gives administrative control of any captured territory to the SS.

On the Eastern Front... In a mass attack launched from the Kerch Peninsula in the Crimea, the Soviets lose 130 tanks in three days.

In Smolensk... A time-bomb is place on board Hitler's personal aircraft by German Army conspirators intending to assassinate the Fuhrer. It fails to explode.

From Berlin... The German Army High Command issues the preliminary orders for Operation Zitadelle (in English meaning Citadel) -- the plan to eliminate the Soviet held salient centered on Kursk.

In China... Chinese forces counterattack Japanese forces in the Yangtze Valley.

On the Eastern Front... Troops of the Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front (Malinovski) capture Kherson.

In the Solomon Islands... On Bougainville, US forces mount a counterattack, with armor and air support, and recapture most of the ground lost during the last few days.

In the Admiralty Islands... On Hauwei Island, the small US forces overrun the Japanese garrison. Artillery units are landed to support planned operations on Manus Island.

In Burma... General Scoones, British 4th Corps commander, authorizes the 17th and 20th Indian Divisions to pull back to Imphal. Scoones is supported by his superiors, Slim and Giffard, that reinforcements are required. Therefore, Mountbatten sends requests for the use of American aircraft, airlifting supplies to the Chinese, to redeploy the 5th Indian Division from the Arakan. Meanwhile, Japanese planes attack the "Broadway" airfield used by Chindit forces.

On the Eastern Front... The German offensive to the north and south of Lake Balaton, in Hungary, begins to lose momentum.
In Burma... Maymo, to the east of Mandalay, is taken by the British 62nd Indian Brigade -- cutting the last rail line to Mandalay. Other units of the British 19th Indian Division are still engaged in Mandalay but most of the city has been capture in in a house-to-house fighting.

03-13-2005, 11:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by woofiedog:
NorrisMcWhirter... Fantistic Photo, I can't believe the shape that the Boat is still in. I'm also Glad the Police didn't pull you in for taking a few Photo.
Thank's Again for the Photos and the Info... it's a real interesting story. Please keep us up-dated if you find any more info. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


I dug out some old photos of the boat. I had a lot more than this but I think they may be on a backup CD that is eluding me at present.


If the conning tower looks in good nick, it's because it's been partially rebuilt. The rear tube outer door was open when she sank and it's still in the same position now. Unforunately, I haven't got the other side of the boat showing both a large depression and the crack in the pressure hull that sank her.

Interestingly, she could be raised because no one actually went down with her when she sank so she wasn't a war grave. If I recall correctly, there was one crew member killed but that was during the escape.

I think she was originally a training boat (for crews and to try out new weapons) and didn't actually see much action (apart from when she was sunk).

I don't know how you felt about going on the US sub but this is about the only piece of WW2 hardware to impress me more than WW2 aircraft.


PS: I don't think the police were bothered about me photographing the boat but that I was in the way of something else going on. Birkenhead can be a dodgy place at the best of times and I imagine that they have quite a few shenannigans going on in the docks area!

-HH- Beebop
03-14-2005, 06:49 AM
14 March

In Angers... The Polish government-in-exile publishes a white paper today giving a general view of Poland's relations with Germany between May 1933 and October 1939. Among the revelations is that Hitler tried to involve Poland in a plot to attack the Soviet Union. It was proposed by Goring during a visit to Warsaw in February 1935. In a discussion with the Polish leader, Marshal Pilsudski, he suggested that Poland and Germany should mount a joint invasion of the Ukraine. The Poles insist that they gave the Germans no encouragement whatsoever.

In Germany... Goring decrees that all articles made of copper, bronze, nickel and other useful metals must be given up for the war effort.

In Finland... The evacuation of 470,000 people from the territories ceded to the Soviet Union commences. (It is completed on March 26th.)

In China... Twenty-seven out of 30 Chinese fighter planes are shot down by 12 Japanese Zero fighters over Chengtu. The Japanese suffer no losses.

In Australia... Prime Minister Menzies forms a new coalition Cabinet to improve the direction of the war effort.

In East Africa... Wingate and Haile Selassie establish new headquarters at Burye. The main Italian force in their area is now at Debra Markos. The Italians are negotiating with a local chief called Ras Hailu and are preparing an attack with him.

In Australia... Large numbers of American troops arrive.

In the Atlantic... In a series of convoy battles over the next week (March 14-20), 21 ships of 140,800 tons are sunk from convoys SC-122 and HX-229. About 20 of 40 U-boats will make attacks and the convoy escorts will fail to sink a single German U-boat. The German intelligence service, B Dienst, has provided solid information on the routes of these two convoys.

On the Eastern Front... Small German forces are cut off by Soviet forces to the north of Kherson. Eventually, about 4000 Germans are taken prisoner and an estimated 10,000 are killed..

In the United States... Both Willkie (Republican) and Roosevelt (Democrat) top the polls in the New Hampshire primaries of the respective parties.

In Burma... The British 17th Indian Division (Cowan) begins to withdraw about 24 hours after having received permission. Japanese forces have prepared four roadblocks on the route it must take to pull back to Imphal. To the north, the 20th Indian Division (Gracey) is already retreating.

Over Germany... On a British air raid on the Bielfeld viaduct, the largest conventional bomb dropped during the war is used for the first time, the 22,000-pound "Grand Slam."
The 22,000 pound "Grand Slam" first of the British Volcano bombs dropped on the Bielefeld viaduct

On the Western Front... The US 12th Corps (part of US 3rd Army) launches attacks southeast over the Moselle River, near Koblenz, and US 20th Corps expands its attacks from between Trier and Saarburg. To the north, US 1st Army continues to expand the Remagen bridgehead despite German counterattacks.

On the Eastern Front... Soviets forces capture Zvolen in western Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, in Hungary, German Army Group South (Wohler) commits its remaining reserves to battle. The force is based on the 6th Panzer Division and consists of a mixed grouping of 200 tanks and assault guns which engage the Soviet 27th Army (Trofimenko).

03-14-2005, 06:56 AM
NorrisMcWhirter... I wonder if any of the orginal Crew is still alive? And if they have seen their Old U-Boat.
That would be Very Eerie... I would think.

03-14-2005, 01:51 PM
On this day of March 14 1945...

Bielefeld Viaduct

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">617 Squadron</span>


On March 13th 1945, when news of a successful Grand Slam test at the Ashley Walk bombing range reached 617 Squadron, two Lancasters flown by the CO Group Captain J.E 'Johnny' Fauquier and Squadron Leader Charles 'Jock' Calder took off from Woodhall Spa both loaded with a Grand Slam.
The Lancasters needed the entire length of the runway to become airborne and headed for the Bielefeld Viaduct. As they approached the target they saw, to their utter frustration, that the viaduct was completely obscured by cloud and they had to return to base with their loads intact.


The raid was rescheduled for the following day. As they were testing their engines the CO's Lancaster went unserviceable and he raced across the tarmac to 'commandeer' Calder's aircraft.
Seeing Farquier's Lancaster with one engine stopped and a figure racing towards him, Calder realised what was about to happen. He quickly opened the throttles and took off leaving behind a very angry CO.


The sky was clear of cloud and the force skirted the flak around Bremen. They picked up the line of the railway heading south and half an hour later they were over the target.
At exactly 16:48hrs, after falling for 35secs from 11965ft, Calder's Grand Slam speared into the marshy ground a few metres west of the viaduct.


Eleven seconds after impact a vast core of marsh vomited up and when the mud settled both viaducts had collapsed into a huge underground cavity (a comouflet) created by the explosion. The crater 'above' the bridge was produced by a Tallboy.


In fact 200ft of the western span (the goods traffic bridge) and 260ft of the eastern span (the passenger train bridge) was destroyed.
Additional 'Tallboy' explosions had significantly added to the damage inflicted on the bridge and a direct hit had completely blocked the southern approaches to the viaduct.
This photograph (taken just after the war) shows the destroyed viaduct and the enormous 'Grand Slam' crater in the foreground.


Although the 'Grand Slam' had not been dropped from its optimal altitude a single 10 ton bomb had achieved what over 3500 tons of smaller bombs had failed to do.
The lunar-like landscape surrounding the target was covered with literally thousands of craters.


Grand Slam (Earthquake) Bomb
Type: Deep Penetration Bomb
Length: 26 ft 6 in (7.7 m)
Diameter: 3 ft, 10 in (1.17 m)
Tail Section length: 13 ft, 6 in (4.11 m)
Weight: 22,000 lb (9972 kg)
Warhead: 9,135 lb (4144 kg) Torpex explosive
Number Used: 41

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Tallboy left AntiDam center Grand Slam right</span>



03-14-2005, 09:54 PM
1943 Germans recapture Kharkov

On this day, German troops re-enter Kharkov, the second largest city in the Ukraine, which had changed hands several times in the battle between the USSR and the invading German forces.

Kharkov was a high-priority target for the Germans when they invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, as the city was a railroad and industrial center, and had coal and iron mines nearby. Among the most important industries for Stalin's war needs was the Kharkov Tanks Works, which he moved out of Kharkov in December 1941 into the Ural Mountains. In fact, Joseph Stalin was so desperate to protect Kharkov that he rendered a "no retreat" order to his troops, which produced massive casualties within the Red Army over time.

Hitler's troops first entered Kharkov in October 1941. In May 1942, the Soviets launched an effective surprise attack on the Germans just south of Kharkov, enabling the Red Army to advance closer to the occupied city, and finally re-enter it on February 16, 1943. Hitler began planning an immediate recapture as early as February 21-Red Army Day-hoping that success there would reverse the Soviet momentum of the previous three months. On March 10, German troops launched their major offensive; the Soviets had already suffered the loss of 23,000 soldiers and 634 tanks in the recapture and defense of Kharkov and were forced to rely on 1,000 Czech troops for aid.

On March 14, the tide in Kharkov turned again, and the Germans took the city once more. "We have shown the Ivans we can withstand their terrible winter. It can hold no fear for us again," wrote an SS officer. This proved to be a meaningless boast when the Red Army liberated the city that summer, and untrue, as the brutal Soviet winter actually did take a terrifying toll on German troops.

14th March 1945 at 1:00pm 2 Lancasters fitted with the first 22,000lb (9,980 kg) Grand Slam bombs, which
was designed by Sir Barnes Wallis, took off for the Bielefeld viaduct in Germany, the rest of the squadron (28 aircraft) were fitted with tallboy bombs. Bad luck struck one of the Grand slam Lancasters even before it left the ground, a mechancial fault caused one of the engines to shut down. This raid was lead by RAF Squadron Leader C.C Calder. When the Grand Slam was dropped it hit the ground around 80 feet from the target, but due to the type of bomb and the earth it hit, it created a crater over 100 feet deep, this undermined the viaduct and with the aid of the tallboy bombs a massive section of the structure collapsed. The bomb destroyed two full spans of viaduct on the busy railroad, and shock waves from its impact could be felt hundreds of miles away. It remained closed for the rest of the war.
In its singular destructive power, the Grand Slam
was only surpassed by the two U.S. atomic bombs dropped on Japan
later in the year.


You beat me to it, woofiedog. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif
btw: HC had film of the raid over the weekend. When the GS hit, it looked like a 1000 pounder exploding, but 11 seconds later was the real explosion. It was amazing film!

03-14-2005, 10:16 PM
March 15

1939 Nazis take Czechoslovakia

On this day, Hitler's forces invade and occupy Czechoslovakia--a nation sacrificed on the altar of the Munich Pact, which was a vain attempt to prevent Germany's imperial aims.

On September 30, 1938, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, French Premier Edouard Daladier, and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact, which sealed the fate of Czechoslovakia, virtually handing it over to Germany in the name of peace. Although the agreement was to give into Hitler's hands only the Sudentenland, that part of Czechoslovakia where 3 million ethnic Germans lived, it also handed over to the Nazi war machine 66 percent of Czechoslovakia's coal, 70 percent of its iron and steel, and 70 percent of its electrical power. Without those resources, the Czech nation was left vulnerable to complete German domination.

No matter what concessions the Czech government attempted to make to appease Hitler, whether dissolving the Communist Party or suspending all Jewish teachers in ethnic-German majority schools, rumors continued to circulate about "the incorporation of Czechoslovakia into the Reich." In fact, as early as October 1938, Hitler made it clear that he intended to force the central Czechoslovakian government to give Slovakia its independence, which would make the "rump" Czech state "even more completely at our mercy," remarked Hermann Goering. Slovakia indeed declared its "independence" (in fact, complete dependence on Germany) on March 14, 1939, with the threat of invasion squelching all debate within the Czech province.

Then, on March 15, 1939, during a meeting with Czech President Emil Hacha--a man considered weak, and possibly even senile--Hitler threatened a bombing raid against Prague, the Czech capital, unless he obtained from Hacha free passage for German troops into Czech borders. He got it. That same day, German troops poured into Bohemia and Moravia. The two provinces offered no resistance, and they were quickly made a protectorate of Germany. By evening, Hitler made a triumphant entry into Prague.

The Munich Pact, which according to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had purchased "peace in our time," was actually a mere negotiating ploy by the Hitler, only temporarily delaying the Fuhrer's blood and land lust.

-HH- Beebop
03-15-2005, 06:51 AM
15 March

In Occupied Poland... During the night (March 15-16), RAF bombers drop leaflets over Warsaw. During the return flight, a British Whitley bomber, low on fuel, lands by mistake in a field in western Germany. The crew encounter and speak to some local inhabitants before taking off again before German authorities arrive. Some small arms fire is reported.

In Finland... The Finnish Diet, meeting in secret session during the evening, ratifies the Moscow peace agreement by 145 votes to three. Speaking before the vote, the prime minister, Mr. Ryti, says: "Finland, as well as the whole of Western civilization, is still in the greatest danger, and no one can say what tomorrow may bring. We believe that by choosing peace we have acted in the best way for the moment."

In Romania... An amnesty is granted to members of the fascist Iron Guard (see September 21, 1939). Eight hundred are released from prison camps after they swear an oath of loyalty to King Carol

In the North Atlantic... Sixteen ships from a dispersing convoy are sunk (during March 15-16) by the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. During this encounter the British battleship Rodney comes up but cannot close the range and engage. After this the British hunt for the German battle cruisers is extensive but unsuccessful.

In East Africa... The British attacks toward Keren, Eritrea, are renewed. Both 4th and 5th Indian divisions are involved. The first attacks by 4th Indian division go fairly well but not all the gains can be held.

In Washington... In an important speech Roosevelt promises that the United States will supply Britain and the Allies "aid until victory" and that there will be an "end to compromise with tyranny."

In Berlin... Hitler announces that the Soviet Union will be "annihilatingly defeated" in the next summer offensive.

On the Eastern Front... German forces complete the recapture of Kharkov after the last Soviet defenders of the tractor factory withdraws. Meanwhile, to the north, Soviet forces capture Kholm and Zharkovskiy, to the north and east of Velikiye Luki as the German Army Group Center continues its withdrawal.

In New Guinea... The US 7th Fleet (Admiral Carpender) is formed to control naval operations around the island.

In Italy... Forces of the US 5th Army launches new attacks on Cassino. A preliminary bombardment consisting of 14,000 tons of bombs and 190,000 shells is directed on the town. The New Zealand 2nd Division then attacks with the 4th Indian Division to follow up against the monastery. Armored support is hampered by the rubble created during the bombardment. The German 1st Paratroop Division offers strong resistance. Allied forces make some gains at Castle Hill and Hangman's Hill.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces of the 2nd Ukrainian Front (Konev) cross the Bug River and capture Vapnyarka, thereby cutting the Odessa-Zhmerinka rail line. To their north, troops of the 1st Urkainian Front (Vatutin) capture Kalinkova, near Vinnitsa.

In the Solomon Islands... On Bougainville, there are renewed attacks by Japanese forces against the American beachhead. US forces hold the effort.

In the Admiralty Islands... On Manus Island, elements of the US 7th and 8th Cavalry Divisions land on the north coast, near Lugos Mission. The Americans advance toward Lorengau along two routes.

In Burma... The Japanese 15th and 31st Divisions begin crossing the Chindwin River, north and south of Homalin.

On the Western Front... The US 7th Army launches attacks in the area around Saarbrucken and *****e in a joint effort with US 3rd Army to eliminate German forces from the area between the Saar, Moselle and Rhine rivers.
In Burma... Japanese forces intensive their efforts against Meiktila but fail to make significant progress against the British 17th Indian Division which is receiving supplies, reinforcements and ground attack support from the air.

In the Volcano Islands... On Iwo Jima, US 5th Amphibious Corps continues to engage the Japanese forces which are now confined a small area in the northwest of the island.

In the Kurile Islands... Admiral McCrea commands a squadron of American cruisers and destroyers in a bombardment of Matsuwa.

-HH- Beebop
03-16-2005, 06:39 AM
16 March

In Britain... There is a German air raid by 32 bombers (2 are lost) on the British fleet base at Scapa Flow. One cruiser, HMS Norfolk, is slightly damaged. There are 7 naval casualties. The raid is more notable for causing the first civilian casualties in Britain. A German aircraft fleeing the battle released 19 bombs wounding seven civilians and killing James Isbister, aged 27.

In Rome... US envoy and Under-Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, holds talks with Mussolini, Count Ciano, the foreign minister, and King Victor Emmanuel III on the last stop of his mission to discuss conditions for mediation or peace talks in Europe. He receives a cordial but non-committal welcome.

In Argentina... The government deports the German crew of the Admiral Graf Spee into the interior and forbids them to wear their uniforms.

In the North Atlantic... Kretschmer's U-99 and Schepke's U-100 are both sunk in a convoy battle. These sinkings, combined with the loss of Prien ten days previously, are a severe blow to the morale of the U-boat crews as well as a serious military loss because of their unusual ability. The sinking of U-100 is symbolic as being achieved with the aid of new radar equipment. Kretschmer is captured after his ship is sunk.

In East Africa... A small British force arriving by sea from Aden in two light cruisers, two destroyers and seven other vessels lands and captures the port of Berbera. The capture takes only a little time and immediately afterward they begin to advance inland. There are alos British gains in the battle around Keren. The 5th Indian Division, which has been unable to advance on the first day, now takes the Dologorodoc position south of the Keren road. The next five days are dominated by Italian efforts to mount counterattacks.

In the Balkans... The Italian offensive is called off. In the past few days they have incurred 12,000 casualties and taken absolutely no ground. However, the Greeks have been compelled by the Italian offensive to do nothing to strengthen their forces which face the German threat elsewhere.

On the Eastern Front... In response to the problem of partisans in the occupied Soviet Union, the Germans set up a special air detachment in Bobruisk, with orders to bomb partisan camps and seek partisan units from the air. They will take part in Operation Munich, a three-week anti-partisan sweep to begin in the third week of March.

In the Philippines... Japanese siege guns bombard American forts in Manila Bay. One 240 mm shell detonates beneath a Fort Frank powder room, breaking up the concrete and hurling some 60 (filled) powder cans about. Miraculously, none of them explode or catch fire.

In Tunisia... The British 8th Army becomes involved in skirmishes on the approaches to the Mareth Line as it prepares for a full-scale attack on the Axis position.

In Italy... The Allied forces of the US 5th Army continue attacking around Cassino. No progress is made. The German 1st Paratroop Division (part of the 76th Panzer Corps, 10th Army) continues to hold.

In the Admiralty Islands... On Los Negros and Manus, American forces are advancing. Japanese resistance is increasing on Manus.

In New Guinea... US aircraft strike a Japanese convoy off Wewak.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet forces in Hungary, of 3rd Ukrainian Front, have regrouped following the German attacks, of Army Group South, around Lake Balaton and begin an offensive against the northern flank of the recently won German salient. The Hungarian 3rd Army takes the brunt of the first assaults and is soon in great difficulty.

In the Philippines... Part of the US 41st Division lands on Basilan Island. Here, as on other small islands, the US forces to subdue the Japanese garrison during the first few days of battle and then mostly to withdraw, leaving the mopping up to Filipino irregulars. Meanwhile, fighting continues on Luzon, with US 14th Corps engaged along the Japanese held Shimbu Line, southeast of Manila, while the US 1st Corps is engaged to the north on the Villa Verde track.

On the Western Front... *****e is taken as US 7th Army continues its efforts to break through the Siegfried Line.

(~HH~ Beebop's editorial note: The above "censored" place is B-i-t-c-h-e. Don't you just love this engine? If you used it for a veterinary business you could never treat female dogs.)

03-16-2005, 11:24 PM
On this day of March 17 1942...


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Douglas MacArthur World War I</span>

Not long after midnight on 17 March 1942, St Patrick's Day, two B-17's taxi out onto Del Monte airfield, which was again lit by two flares.
MacArthur sat in the radio operator's seat. MacArthur's chief of staff, General Richard Sutherland, was squeezed into the bomb bay. Bostrom's overloaded B-17 Flying Fortress staggered into the air from Del Monte airfield with one engine spluttering.


The Japanese Navy had Corregidor surrounded. On 22 February 1942, General Marshall advises MacArthur that the President had directed MacArthur to leave Fort Mills and proceed to Mindanao.
Finally on 9 March 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt tells General Douglas MacArthur that he must leave Corregidor. MacArthur agrees to leave by 15th March.
MacArthur decides to escape Corregidor by PT boat to Mindanao and fly to Australia from Del Monte on a B-17 Flying Fortress.
MacArthur arranges for himself and his family and military entourage of 13 officers, two naval officers and a technical sergeant to travel on four decrepit PT boats of Lt. John Bulkeley's Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3, based at Bataan.
He also ordered three B-17's to fly from Australia to Del Monte airfield on Mindanao.

At dusk on 11 March 1942 General MacArthur on PT 41, and Admiral Rockwell on PT 34, were lead through US minefield and the Japanese defences by PT 41 bound for Mindanao.
These PT boats were armed with four .50 calibre machineguns and four torpedo tubes. They finally cleared the minefield by 9.15pm.

By 3:30 a.m. on 12 March 1942, John Bulkeley's four PT boats are separated by heavy seas. PT 32, was having trouble keeping up with the other three boats. It saw an enemy destroyer, and jettisoned some of its gasoline to escape. This meant it would not now reach Mindanao.

The four war weary PT boats stagger into the Cuyo Island hideout. PT 32 was. It was low on gasoline and it engines were unserviceable. Another boat, PT 35 was also unserviceable with fouled gasoline strainers.

The passengers were divided between two PT boats, PT 32 and 41.


By the time they reached Cuyo Island MacArthur and his son were both soaked and very seasick. Jean MacArthur put on a brave face.

The escape plan was behind schedule. They were originally meant to move on from Cuyo Island in the dark. MacArthur ordered Bulkeley to depart Cuyo Island at 2:30 p.m.. They risked a possible daylight encounter with the Japanese Navy.

The PT boats were in the open sea by 3:30pm. Within 15 minutes they spotted the Japanese heavy cruiser Ashigara. It carried eight-inch guns and Long Lance torpedoes and could travel at 35 knots. By then, PT 41 was only capable of 18 knots.

They took evasive action and were never seen by the Japanese. As they approached Negros Island that evening, Japanese artillerymen hear the PT boats engine noises, and thought they could hear American aircraft. They fire their artillery and light up the sky with flak tracer shells. The PT boats have another lucky escape.

By now General MacArthur is extremely sea sick in the lower cockpit of PT 41. His wife Jean comforts him by rubbing his hands.

At 6:30 am on 13 March 1942, PT 34 sights Cagayan Point on Mindanao Island. They had spent 35 hours travelling through 560 miles of Japanese waters. John D. Bulkeley, who had commanded his boat continuously for those 35 hours, arrived at Del Monte precisely on time.

General Douglas MacArthur stood on the prow of his PT boat shaking the salt water from his braided cap. He flipped it back on at a jaunty angle, and helped his wife ashore. MacArthur was most appreciative of the crews of the PT boats and he told their commander:-

"Bulkeley, I'm giving every officer and man here the Silver Star for gallantry. You've taken me out of the jaws of death, and I won't forget it."

He then apparently proceeded to ask Col. William Morse where he could relieve himself!

A book and a movie called "They Were Expendable" was made about their amazing escape. Bulkeley became quite famous after this. After commanding some PT boats in the Mediterranean, he eventually rose to the rank of Admiral. He died in 1996 and was buried at Arlington with full military honors.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">PT 33 Grounding Pt. Santiago 15,December 1941
PT 31 Grounding Subic Bay 20,January 1942
PT 32 Scuttled Sula Sea 13,March 1942
PT 34 Airplane Cauit Island 09,April 1942
PT 35 Demolished Cebu Island 12,April 1942
PT 41 Scuttled Mindanao 15,April 1942
PT 44 Surface Craft Pacific 12,December 1942


On 15 March 1942, while they waited for the B-17's to rescue them, MacArthur's aide, Sid Huff, takes Jean MacArthur's mattress off PT 41. This event lead to a wild story that the mattress was supposedly full of gold bars. It was only full of feathers.

The three B-17's left Townsville loaded full of sulphur drugs, quinine and cigarettes for the military forces in the Philippines. **** Graf told me that Lewis's aircraft was fitted out with 25 parachutes, 25 life vests and 25 oxygen masks. Mechanics had to fit special tee pieces in the aircraft to cater for a larger number of oxygen masks. Each of the crews had their regular co-pilots replaced with pilots who were familiar with the airfield at Del Monte.

When they arrived at Batchelor airfield they were advised for the first time of the details of their mission. They were to evacuate MacArthur and his party from a small airfield on a plantation on Mindanao Island in the Philippines owned by the Del Monte Company. Bomb bay fuel tanks were installed while they were at Batchelor for the 1,425 nautical mile flight. During this time there was a false alarm air raid warning at Batchelor and they took off for a short period until the "all clear" was given. They landed again to finish their preparations for the long flight to Del Monte.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Lt. James T. Connally and the crew of B-17C Flying Fortress #40-2062 at Batchelor, Northern Territory after their first bombing raid out of Australia. Nine B-17's staged through Del Monte on Mindanoa to bomb the Japanese landing at Legaspi</span>

The flight path to Del Monte took them between two large Japanese airbases which were only 30 miles apart.

The other two B-17's arrived at Del Monte at approximately midnight on 16 March 1942. The runway was lit with two flares (one at each end) to help them to land. The B-17 flown by Lt. Frank Bostrom landed first followed by the B-17, #41-2435, flown by Captain William Lewis, Jr. Later that night General Sharp arrived at the airfield with General MacArthur and his family and a large group of senior officers.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Captain Frank Bostrom (on left), of the US Army Air Corps. Pilot of the B-17 Flying Fortress that brought General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines. Lieutenant Mark Muller (on right), US Army Signal Corps, Assistant Signal Officers, HQS. Base 3 Somerville House, April 1942</span>

The senior pilot, 1st Lt. Frank P. Bostrom drunk eight cups of coffee to ready himself for the return flight to Australia. **** Graf from Lewis's crew had a midnight lunch of pineapple and coffee. In the mean time, mechanics worked feverishly to repair Bostrom's defective supercharger. Bostrom told MacArthur that his party must leave their luggage behind. **** Graf told me that MacArthur's party had arrived with an amazing amount of luggage. Captain Lewis also told his passengers that they could only bring one bag each. Jean MacArthur boarded Bostrom's B-17 carrying only a silk scarf and a coat with a fur collar. MacArthur gave his wife's mattress to Lt. Bostrom.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">An image of General MacArthur being hung outside the Myer Emporium in Melbourne</span>

Their five hour flight took them over the captured enemy islands of the Celebes, Timor, and the northern part of New Guinea. Somehow they managed to avoid enemy Zero fighters.

When they reach Darwin, they found that it was under Japanese attack, so they diverted to Batchelor airfield, about 50 miles away. They eventually disembarked from the aircraft at Batchelor at about 9 a.m. They are all very weary after their last few days of adventure. MacArthur told Sutherland "It was close, but that's the way it is in war. You win or lose, live or die -- and the difference is just an eyelash."

A six man detail lead by Lt. Julian from Battery "A" of the 102nd Coastal Artillery (AA Separate) Battalion was selected to greet General Douglas MacArthur when he arrived at Batchelor. MacArthur came directly from the aircraft to the small group of American soldiers, before turning to the other waiting groups. Apparently the welcome went something like this:-

Julian - "Glad to have you here Sir."

MacArthur - "Glad to be here Lieutenant. So these are the new helmets."

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">General Douglas MacArthur returns to the Philippines.</span>

-HH- Beebop
03-17-2005, 07:16 AM
Happy Saint Patricks Day.

17 March

In the United States... An editorial published in The Charlotte News suggests that Romania will be absorbed by Nazi Germany in the same manner as Czechoslovakia. It suggests that Hitler intends the same fate for all of the Balkans as well as Scandinavia, the Low Countries and France.

In Berlin... Dr. Fritz Todt is appointed Reich minister for armaments and munitions.

In Britain... Nottinghamshire miners vote to forgo part of their holidays to boost the war effort.

In East Africa... General Cunningham's northward advance reaches Jijiga which has been evacuated by the Italians.

In Australia... American General Douglas MacArthur arrives in Australia and assumes the position of Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific.

In Burma... The British 123rd Indian Brigade is attacked by the Japanese, north of Rathedaung in Arakan, and is compelled to retreat. General Koka commands the Japanese forces involved which include the 55th and 33rd Divisions.

In Italy... The battle for Cassino continues. Indian and New Zealander troops of US 5th Army mount attacks on the southwest of the town and along Snake's Head Ridge to Point 593. German forces mount attacks against Castle Hill and Hangman's Hill.

On the Eastern Front... Forces of the Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front (Vatutin) capture Dubno in the continuing advance against German Army Group South.

In the Admiralty Islands... On Manus Island, US forces reach their primary objective and take Lorengau airfield.

In Burma... Japanese aircraft strike the "Broadway" landing zone. Several British Spitfires are destroyed on the ground.

On the Western Front... The Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine River, at Remagen, collapses under the combined strain of bomb damage and heavy use but US Army engineers have built several other bridges nearby and the advance over the Rhine continues. To the south, the US 3rd Army offensive over the Moselle River takes Koblenz and Boppard on the left flank of the drive while farther forward, the Nahe River has been crossed.

In Burma... Units of the Chinese 6th Army take Hsipaw on the Burma Road, 50 miles southwest of Lashio. The Chinese 1st Army is still trying to advance along the road from Lashio to clear it of Japanese blocks.

03-18-2005, 02:42 AM
This is not being posted on the correct Date... but I though you might enjoy these Great Photo's from the FIFTH AIR FORCE, 475th Fighter Group attack on 2 November against shipping in Simpson Harbor .

Link and Full Story: http://www.475thfghf.org/rabaulfw.htm


In the space of twelve minutes a formidable Japanese sea and air armada, in the powerful, well organized, well-defended stronghold of Rabaul, was attacked and decisively defeated.
Never in the long history of warfare has so much destruction been wrought upon the forces of a belligerent nation so swiftly and at such little cost to the victor.

Destroyed or damaged 114,572 tons of enemy shipping
Destroyed 69 enemy aircraft in combat
Destroyed 16 enemy aircraft on the ground

This was accomplished for the loss of nine American bombers and ten American fighters.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">"Smoke bombs confused the enemy ..."</span>


"Smoke bombs confused the enemy ..."

THE ATTACK OPENS: The antiaircraft neutralizing force spearheads the 2 November assault against Rabaul with Mitchell bombers utilizing forward firepower, parachute fragmentation bombs and phosphorous smoke bombs. In the above photo, Lakunai airdrome is being swiftly covered by the dense smoke which will soon blot out the harbor to the eyes of the shore defense batteries. On Lakaunai itself may be seen eight serviceable tactical aircraft. These were attacked by American airmen before the smoke bombs obliterated the target area. Below, the township is covered by phosphorous smoke and by fires started among installations. "Smoke bombs confused the enemy. His return fire against all but the first elements of the Group was inaccurate and sparse." (From Maj. Benjamin Fridge, deputy commander "neutralizing" group.)

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">"We hit Lakunai with para-frags & Smoke..."</span>



NEARNESS OF THE FOE: "Attacking below masthead height, we loosed our bombs from less than fifty feet against all enemy merchantmen which were the objectives of this squadron." (From narrative report by Lieutenant Rex Rutland.) Note on ship (6) captain and executive officer on the bridge; the sailor directly behind them firing a rifle at the incoming B-25; the gun crew firing from a twin position aft. The Mitchell, at left is beginning its run well below the 50-foot mark as indicated by the bomb splash.

AUXILIARIES ATTACKED: Twenty-one 500-ton naval auxiliaries of a type not seen before in the Southwest Pacific are subjected to a strafing and bomb attack in these pictures. At left, the target is obscured by an exploding bomb which scored a near miss. Past experience in mast-height bombardment has proven near misses of this type frequently result in destruction or severe damage to the objective. The bomb, with delayed fuse, bursts within the vessel or goes below the water-line and explodes under the comparatively fragile plates.

"This was undoubtedly one of the most effective strikes ever planned and executed in this theater. Although almost no sinkings are actually claimed in the results above, most of the vessels hit were undoubtedly left in sinking condition." (From the official report of the Intelligence Officer of one of the attack squadrons.)



FREIGHTER HAMMERED: A 3,800-ton freighter (12) reels under the impact of a 1,000-pound bomb planted. Lower photograph details the damaging of a 6,400-ton freighter-transport (8) of the Tokyo Maru class. The smaller of the two vessels was later reported to be sinking by the stern.

"My airplane attacked a freighter from mast height dropping one 1,000-pound bomb. We scored a direct hit on the stern and my gunner reported debris filled the water and sky almost immediately. We strafed antiaircraft positions near Vulcan crater, a radar station, and three Zekes and four medium bombers which we found on Vunakanau airdrome." (From narrative report by Flight Officer K. R. Ladd.)





" A crippling hit was observed ..."

A WARSHIP IS WOUNDED: This Nachi class heavy cruiser, most formidable of all the war vessels in Simpson Harbor, is shown in the three stages of its bid to escape the narrow confines of the inner anchorage.

Above, the vessel (25) is gathering headway. At right, its speed substantially increased, the warship steams out of the harbor firing great antiaircraft salvos at the invaders. The lower photograph shows a 1,000-pound bomb exploding just forward of number three turret.

"I was unable to make a run on any of the merchant vessels. A heavy cruiser was sighted in the southern part of the harbor, offshore from my copilot dropped a 1,000-pound bomb on it



<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">50 CALIBER VICTORY: In the final stages of the concentrated strike, Mitchells, their bombs already dropped on shipping targets close to the shore, launched strafing attacks against this freighter of the 1,900-ton Gosei Maru class, (4) in other pictures.</span>




WARSHIP POUNDED: With the flames of Lakunai airdrome providing a holocaust-like background, a Japanese destroyer (DD) is attacked and damaged by a 1,000-pound demolition bomb.

A large enemy minelayer (27) is strafed and bombed as the Mitchell completes its run over the outer fringes of Simpson Harbor.

Note the "beehives" in the lower picture as a Mitchell wings away after attacking a minelayer. The Volcano isles in Simpson Harbor are, in reality, the center of the antiaircraft defenses for the shipping concentrations. In the background, burning ships may be seen.

"I attacked a destroyer from bow to stern, dropping a 1,000-pound bomb. The destroyer was bracketed by the missile. I strafed both the destroyer and a transport beyond it." (From narrative report by Lt. Jack S. Saunders.)


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">ESCAPE - AND RUIN: A Mitchell bomber, winging over the caked lava and bush slopes of Vulcan volcano, speeds out of Simpson Harbor.</span>

-HH- Beebop
03-18-2005, 06:16 AM
18 March

In Occupied Austria... Hitler and Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass in the Austro-Italian Alps in their first meeting since Munich, 1938. Mussolini says that he is ready to join Germany and its allies in the war against Britain and France "at the decisive hour."

In London... A new organization is formed to liaise between British and French colonial authorities. Meanwhile, Walt Disney's new film Pinocchio opens to a warm reception from the critics.

In East Africa... Ethiopian tribesmen attempt to surround the Italian garrison at Debra Marcos.

In Cyprus... The British foreign minister, Anthony Eden, meets the Turkish foreign minister.

From London... Admiral Mountbatten is appointed Chief of Combined Operations.

On the Eastern Front... The German Army's elite "Grossdeutchsland" Division attacks Belgorod in the finale to Manstein's counteroffensive in the Kharkov area. The Soviets suffer 40,000 casualties and lose at least 600 tanks in this final encirclement operation. Manstein's counteroffensive is widely considered an unqualified technical success that restores the German southern front after the debacle at Stalingrad. A large Soviet salient remains to the north, centered on the town of Kursk. However, the operational tempo declines over the next few weeks as the mud of the spring thaw limits mobility on both sides.

In Tunisia... The US 2nd Corps (commanded by General Patton) captures Gafsa and advances toward El Guettar.

In Burma... General Wingate leads the final gropu of Chindits across the Irrawaddy river, south of Inywa. The Japanese have assembled considerable forces to counter the Chindits operations. Meanwhile, in Arakan, Htizwe falls to a British pincer attack and an attack on Donbaik, on the Mayu Peninsula, fails.

In New Guinea... Allied destroyers bombard the Japanese base at Wewak during the night (March 18-19).

In the Admiralty Islands... On Manus, the village of Lorengau is captured by US forces. On Los Negros American and Japanese forces engage near Papitalai.

On the Eastern Front... Forces of the Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front (Zhukov) capture Zhmerinka.

In the Marshall Islands... US Task Group 50.10 (Admiral Lee) bombards Mili Atoll. Two battleships and the carrier Lexington are involved. The USS Iowa is damaged by fire from a Japanese coastal battery.

In Germany... Admiral Horthy, the Regent of Hungary, is summoned to visit Hitler and arrested.

Over Germany... About 1300 American bombers, with some 700 escorting fighters, drop 3000 tons of bombs on Berlin, despite heavy anti-aircraft defenses, including numerous jet fighters. The US fleet loses 25 bombers and 5 fighters.
On the Western Front... Forces of US 3rd Army capture Bingen and Bad Kreuznach as the advance to the southwest continues. To the south, the progress of US 7th Army is beginning to accelerate, with most of its forward units having now crossed the German border.

On the Eastern Front... Troops of the Polish 1st Army, part of the Soviet 1st Belorussian Front, take Kolberg on the Pomeranian coast. Other Soviet forces are closing in around Gdynia and Danzig to the east and making further inroads into the German positions in East Prussia.

In the Philippines... There are American landings on Panay by 14,000 men of US 40th Infantry Division (General Brush) in the area near Iloilo. There is little initial opposition from the Japanese garrison.

In Burma... The British 2nd Division takes Ava on the bend of the Irrawaddy River only a few miles south of Mandalay. The heavy fighting in Mandalay and round Meiktila continues.

03-19-2005, 12:40 AM
On this Night of March 18/19 1944...

RAF Bomber Command

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">HANDLEY PAGE HALIFAX... Illustration by Lance Russwurm </span>

846 aircraft - 620 Lancasters, 209 Halifaxes, 17 Mosquitos - to Frankfurt. The German fighter force was again split. One part was lured north by the Heligoland mining operation but the second part waited in Germany and met the bomber stream just before the target was reached, although cloud made it difficult for these fighters to achieve much success. 22 aircraft - 12 Halifaxes, 10 Lancasters - were lost, 2.6 per cent of the force. The Pathfinders marked the target accurately and this led to heavy bombing of eastern, central and western districts of Frankfurt. The later phases of the bombing were scattered but this was almost inevitable with such a large force; new crews were usually allocated to the final waves.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">AVRO LANCASTER Mk X... Illustration by Lance Russwurm </span>

17 Mosquitos to airfields in Holland, Belgium and France, 98 aircraft on minelaying diversion in the Heligoland area, 11 Mosquitos on a diversion raid to Kassel, 4 RCM sorties, 13 Serrate patrols. No aircraft were lost and the Serrate Mosquitos claimed 3 Ju88s destroyed.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">de Havilland Mosquito...illustration by Lance Russwurm </span>

19 Lancasters of No 5 Group (including 13 aircraft from No 617 Squadron) on an accurate raid of an explosives factory at Bergerac in France, 12 Mosquitos to Aachen, Dortmund and Duisburg, 8 aircraft on Resistance operations, 18 OTU sorties. No aircraft lost.

Total effort for the night: 1,046 sorties, 22 aircraft (2.1 per cent) lost.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">VICKERS WELLINGTON.....Illustration by Lance Russwurm </span>

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Wellington recovered from Loch Ness, and restored for display at the Brooklands Air Museum </span>

Some Lancasters were equipped with H2S ground-mapping radar from 1943 and later with improved H2X radar as well as receivers for "Gee" and "Oboe" radio guidance systems.
By the spring of 1944, radar-equipped Lancasters were capable of bombing at night with considerable accuracy, particularly when attacking targets close enough to Britain to be guided by the radio bombing aids.
Less happily, the tail-mounted Monica radar device, adopted in mid-1943 and designed to warn bomber crews of attack from the rear, proved to be a magnet for German night fighters equipped with passive radar receivers tuned to home on Monica transmissions.
Bomber Command remained unaware of the German homing capability for some six months, and many bomber crews paid for this oversight with their lives.
In addition, the lack of armament, or even an observer, in most Lancasters' bellies cost Bomber Command crews dearly, for in late 1943 (and unknown to the British for a considerable time) the Luftwaffe armed night fighters with upward-firing 20-millimetre cannons in the rear fuselage. Bomber Command never developed an effective response to this weapon (which the Germans called Schr€žge Musik, or "jazz music"), and many hundreds of British heavy bombers were destroyed by German fighters firing undetected from beneath at close range.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Duel in the Dark by Robert Taylor</span>
<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">An Me-110 night fighter, flown by Major Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, attacks a Lancaster of 106 Squadron.</span>

German Nightfighter

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">WOLFGANG FALCK </span>

Wilde Sau "Wild Boar"
To combat the widespread use of Window it was decided to light up the skies as brightly as possible during an air raid. Along with the fires started from bombing this provided enough illumination to allow single-engine day fighters to attack enemy bombers. Above a pre-arranged flak free altitude usually 15,000ft (4570m) these fighters would patrol waiting to pounce on bombers now clearly silhouetted. Major Hans-Joachim "Hajo" Herrmann, a veteran of 300 bombing missions against England and Malta, initiated the Wilde Sau idea.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Dornier Do 217 N-2 Night Fighter</span>

In addition to the above tactics Wilde Sau were given a large degree of freedom in seeking out and attacking enemy aircraft. Encouraged to use their own judgement and take the initiative even to the point of disregarding orders the Wilde Sau were freelancers in the night war. At first "Hajo" Herrmann formed a Kommando of twelve Fw 190A-4 fighters with 66 gallon drop tanks to increase their endurance. On July 3 the Kommado group shot down 12 RAF bombers over Colonge.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Fw190A-8/R-11Nachtjager.</span>

On the night of August 17, 1943 when the RAF bombed the secret research facilities on the island of Peenemünde there were 55 Wilde Sau among the 200 plus night fighters defending the Reich. In an effort to confuse the Germans eight Mosquito bombers flew in over Berlin dropping targeting flares, which usually preceded a major attack by heavy bombers. Many night fighters were directed to the capital and circled in vain for hours but 30 or so of the Wilde Sau pilots managed to intercept the final wave of bombers over Peenemünde, bringing down 29 of the 40 bombers the British lost in the raid.


Less than a week later on the night of August 23 the Wilde Sau concept was fully realized in the skies over Berlin. Nearly an hour before 727 British bombers reached the capital every available fighter was already en route to defend Berlin. On the ground searchlights lit up the sky brilliantly and gun batteries had been issued incandescent rockets to launch, providing even more illumination. Between the flak guns and night fighters 56 of the attacking bombers were shot down. Twice more during the following two weeks the RAF would return to bomb Berlin losing 67 aircraft in the process.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Ju 88R-1 D5+EV of IV/NJG 3 </span>

Goring was so pleased he promoted "Hajo" Herrmann to lieutenant colonel and instructed him to triple the strength of the 'Wilde Sau' units.

Zahme Sau "Tame Boar"
First suggested by Colonel Viktor von Lossberg the 'Zahme Sau' concept called for twin-engine night fighters to seek out and enter bomber streams rather than patrol fixed "boxes" or "zones" waiting to be directed toward specific targets. The first major use Zahme Sau fighters was on the night of August 17, 1943.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Messerschmitt Me (Bf) 110 G Zerst¶rer</span>

Schr¤ge-Musik "Slanting Music" or "Jazz Music"
A favored form of attack was to close in from astern to within 30 - 50 yards (m) and give a good burst of fire to kill the tail gunner then leisurely hack away at the now defenseless bomber. In IV/NJG1 it was found to be even better to make an approach 150ft (m ) below the bomber and match speeds until ready to attack, in this position the night fighter was nearly immune from detection and machine-gun fire. The pilot would then pull up almost vertically and fire when the bomber's nose met the top of the Revi C.12/D gun sight.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">D5+RL, Messerschmitt Bf-110G-4, preserved/RAF Museum</span>

Installation in Bf 110s, Ju 88s and Do 217s of 'schrage musik' allowed night fighters to attack from directly beneath the bombers without having to execute the intricate maneuvers described above. The two MG FFs or MG 151/20s 20mm cannons mounted in the cabin or fuselage at a 70 -80 angle were aimed by a second Revi C.12/D or 16B gun sight mounted on the canopy roof. 'Schrage musik' proved to be lethal and took a fearsome toll of heavy bombers in the night battles of 1944 - 45.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">He 219A-3 'Uhu' </span>




<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Schr¤ge Musik installation in Ju 88G </span>

03-19-2005, 04:59 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by woofiedog:
NorrisMcWhirter... I wonder if any of the orginal Crew is still alive? And if they have seen their Old U-Boat.
That would be Very Eerie... I would think. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think there have because, IIRC, they were present when the boat was raised. Whether they've been on it, I don't know but I can't imagine that they'd be there to see it come up then miss out on going inside once they'd made it safe.


-HH- Beebop
03-19-2005, 10:17 AM
19 March

Over Germany... RAF bombers -- 30 Whitleys and 20 Hampdens -- attack the a German seaplane base at Hornum, at the southern end of the North Sea island of Sylt. The raid, publicly disclosed in the House of Commons by the prime minister as it was happening, is a reprisal for the German bombing of Scapa Flow three days ago in which six sailors and a civilian were killed.

In London... Chamberlain makes a detailed statement in the Commons on British plans and actions on Finland's behalf. A 100,000-strong Anglo-French expeditionary force could not be sent due to the refusal of entry by Norway and Sweden. Large quantities of arms ammunition, equipment and aircraft (152) had been delivered or promised.

In Helsinki... Official figures are released showing that 25,000 Finns were killed in the war with the Soviet Union.

In Ottawa... The first strong condemnation of Nazism by an official representative of the US government take place. The American ambassador in Canada, James Cromwell, declares that Hitler's Germany is openly trying to destroy the social and economic order on which the government of the United States is based.

In the North Atlantic... The British battleship Malaya is seriously damaged by a torpedo from U-106 when with a convoy in the Atlantic. The Malaya goes to New York for repairs -- the first major British warship to receive such help.

In Belgrade... The Germans repeat their demands on Yugoslavia. They now give the Yugoslavs five days to make a decision.

In Burma... General Slim takes command of the British Forces in Burma. They are reorganized as the British 1st Burma Corps.

In Tunisia... The New Zealand Corps begins its march toward Ksar Rhilane.

In Hungary... German forces occupy Hungary (Operation Margaret) to prevent a Hungary from withdrawing from the war and ensure a line of retreat for German forces to the east as well as continued access to Hungarian oil resources.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviet 2nd Ukrainian Front (Konev) cross the Dneipr River, near Yampol, and capture Soroki to the south on the west bank. To the immediate north, forces of 1st Ukrainian Front (Vatutin) take Krzemienic, near Dubno.

On the Eastern Front... There are renewed attacks by 3rd Belorussian Front against the German forces in East Prussia, especially in the area south of Konigsberg. The offensive lasts for a week until most of the German forces are eliminated or evacuated. About 38,000 people, including many wounded and refugees, are evacuated by the many ships involved.

On the Western Front... US 7th Army forces complete the capture of Saarlouis. Fighting in Saarbrucken and the towns to the east continues. US 3rd Army continues to advance east and southeast toward the Rhine River. Worms is reached, while to the left and right other units are near Mainz and Kaiserslautern.

From Berlin... Hitler orders a scorched earth policy to be put into effect on all fronts. Industrial plants, buildings and food are to be completely destroyed. Speer, who remains in charge of German industry, does his best to prevent this decree being carried out. In addition, many of the German army commanders in the field either ignore or circumvent the order.

In the Philippines... In their northward attacks along the west coast, US 1st Corps captures Bauang, south of San Fernando, on Luzon.

In Burma... Mogok is taken by the British 36th Division.

In Japan... US Task Force 58 (Admiral Mitscher) conducts air raids naval bases in the Inland Sea, with Kure specifically targeted. Six Japanese carriers and 3 battleships are reported damaged. There are Japanese Kamikaze attacks in response which badly damage the carriers Franklin and Wasp as well as hitting Enterprise and Essex. The 832 killed on board the USS Franklin is the heaviest casualty list ever recorded on a US ship. Admiral Spruance, command the US 5th Fleet, is present for the operations.

03-20-2005, 12:09 AM
On this day of March 20 1942...

The 2nd Battle of the Sirte


March 20, 1942 the British sent a convoy of four cargo ships escorted by the anti-aircraft cruiser Carlisle and six destroyers from Alexandria to the besieged island.
Later in the day, a second formation of three cruisers and four destroyers strong, commanded by Admiral Vian, also left the British base. Seven additional destroyers were also dispatched from Tobruk.


On the 21st, the British land forces launched an attack intended to divert Axis reconnaissance schedule.
Also, the Royal Navy had small units patrolling the waters outside Tunis, and a formation, including an aircraft carrier, just off the Balearic Islands. The smaller units off Tunis were later intercepted off Cape Bon with one torpedo boat sunk by airplanes and a second one captured, after having surrendered, in Bone.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">100mm AA guns of Trento. </span>

The cruiser Cleopatra, part of Vian's force, was sighted by Italian submarines on the 21st, and Supermarina sounded the alarm. The 3rd division, including the cruisers Gorizia, Trento and Bande Nere, along with four destroyers were joined by the battleship Littorio and its escort of four destroyers.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">HMS Cleopatra.</span>

On the 22nd, the cruiser Penelope and a destroyer left Malta heading east. At this point, all British forces were at sea. The Littorio group was sighted by a British submarine patrolling off Taranto, giving the British forces an early warning.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Pier Capponi at Taranto.</span>

Due to fierce weather, the Italian formation could not achieve more than 22 knots, and one of the escorts left due to an engine breakdown.
In the afternoon, the 3rd Division sighted the British who wrongly identified the cruisers as battleships.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The heavy Cruiser Trieste</span>

The Italian formation then maneuvered to draw the British towards the Littorio.
For more than an hour the two formations chased each other while the wind grew even stronger. Past 4:00 PM, the Littorio joined the fighting, causing the British to quickly withdraw behind thick smoke. British destroyers made several desperate runs against the Littorio, but the battleship's 15" guns inflicted serious damage. The Littorio itself received a smaller caliber shell which did not inflict any damage.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The destroyer Oriani </span>

With darkness approaching, Admiral Iachino in command of the Italian forces broke off the engagement. According to British reports, the Cleopatra had its after turret demolished by the Bande Nere. The destroyer Havock was, for a time, left dead in the water by a direct hit. The destroyer Sikh was also hit, along with the Lively, Legion, Lance and Kingston. Also the cruisers Euryalus and Penelope were considerably damaged.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Antonio Sciesa.</span>

The Italian force, along with the minor damage to the Littorio, lost on the way back to port the destroyers Scirocco and Lanciere to the incredibly violent sea.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Italian battleship Littorio (re-named Italia) on September 9, 1943 </span>

The following days, the German and Italian Air Forces started a series of raids which brought about the sinking of the Clan Campbell, and the near sinking of the Breconshire. Also, while attempting to salvage the Breconshire, the destroyer Southworld entered an Italian minefield and sunk to the bottom.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Condottieri class cruiser</span>

The following days, due the continuing air bombardments, the destroyer Legion, the cargo Breconshire, Pampas and Talbot were sunk. Of the almost 26,000 tons of cargo intended for Malta, only about 5,000 made it to port.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Damage to the Battleship Littorio</span>

The debate is still on whether Admiral Iachino could have achieved a more striking success. In his defense, sea conditions were such that any naval artillery hit was more due to luck than marksmanship; still the British were able to reach Malta. Ultimately, the combined naval and air axis forces were able to impede the refurbishing of Malta, thus continuing its isolation.


<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Soldati class destroyer</span>

British Forces

Vian (overall command. Departs from Alexandria to cover the convoy): 3 light cruisers, 4 destroyers
escort of the convoy from Alexandria: 1 anti aircraft cruiser, 6 destroyers
Jellicoe (Left Alexandria bound for Tobrouk on March 20, 1942, it later joined the escort of the convoy): 7 escort destroyers
Force K (leaves Malta to join the escort of the convoy): 1 light cruiser, 1 destroyer
MW 10: 3 freighters, 1 Tanker
Total: 4 light cruisers, 1 anti aircraft cruiser, 11 destroyers, 7 escort destroyers, 3 freighters, 1 Tanker

British Losses

2 escort destroyers, 3 freighters, 1 Tanker lost
1 light cruiser, 5 destroyers damaged. The transports are sunk by airplanes the day after the surface battle. 2 are sunk in the Grand Harbor of Malta. 5000 of the loaded 26 000 tons of supply arrive

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">H.M.S.KIPLING </span>

Italian Forces

Iachino (Left Taranto on March 21, 1942): 1 battleship, 6 destroyers
Parona (Left Messina on March 21, 1942 and joined Iachino): 3 heavy cruisers, 4 destroyers
Total: 1 battleship, 3 heavy cruisers, 10 destroyers. Two of Iachino's destroyers did not take part in the gun battle

Italian Losses

2 destroyers lost
The losses are due to the storm

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">An Italian torpedo bomber is attacking an English formation. </span>

03-20-2005, 01:12 AM
March 20

1945 British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma
On this day, the 14th Army, under British Gen. William J. Slim, captures the Burmese city of Mandalay from the Japanese, bringing the Allies one step closer to liberating all of Burma.

Mandalay, a city on the Irrawaddy River in central Burma (now Myanmar), was the center of the communications in Burma, as well as of rail, road, and river travel. The British conquered Mandalay, the second-largest city in Burma, in 1885. Burma as a whole was detached from India by the British in the Government of India Act of 1935 and made a Crown Colony with its own constitution and parliament. Burmese nationalists plotted with the Japanese in the late 1930s to wrest Burma from the British Empire and bring the nation within the Japanese Empire. Attempts by the nationalists to undermine the building of the Burmese Road (which would create an overland link between the West and China) and incite riots failed, and Burma remained a British colony.

On December 8, 1941, the Japanese took matters into their own hands and invaded Burma. Troops landed at Victoria Point, at the southern tip of the peninsula. Moving north, the Japanese troops, composed mostly of disgruntled Burmese nationals who fashioned themselves an army of liberation, determined to expel the Brits from their homeland, advanced on Rangoon, Lashio (the Burmese end of the Burma Road into China), and Mandalay, which fell on May 2, 1942. With the Japanese holding central Burma, China was cut off from the West-and Western supplies.

In early 1944, British Gen. William J. Slim, commander of the 14th Army, led an offensive against the Japanese that broke a siege at Imphal. By mid-December, buoyed by his success, Slim launched an offensive against Meiktila, east of the Irrawaddy River and a key communication post between Rangoon and Mangalay. A strategy of misdirection was employed, with one corps headed toward Mandalay even as Slim's immediate objective was Meiktila. With the Japanese preoccupied with the first corps, a second corps took Meiktila on March 3, 1945, and Mandalay fell on the 20th. The 14th Army now controlled a significant swath of central Burma. Rangoon, the capital, would fall in May, returning Burma to British hands.

-HH- Beebop
03-20-2005, 10:22 AM
20 March

In Paris... Daladier, the French prime minister, is forced to resign. He has been criticized for failing to bring effective help to Finland. In France this has been seen as a way for the Allies to seize the initiative in the war and take the fighting away from French soil and, by association, avoid all the horrors of World War I.

From Moscow... The USSR forbids alliance between Finland, Norway and Sweden.

In Belgrade... In a meeting of the Royal Council it becomes clear that Regent Paul is ready to agree to Hitler's demand that Yugoslavia join the Tripartite Pact and allow free passage of German troops. Four ministers resign in protest.

In the Mediterranean... An important convoy leaves Gibraltar for Malta, to supply food and munitions to the besieged island. Its escort, led by Admiral Via, consists of 5 light cruisers and 17 destroyers faces opposition from the entire Italian Mediterranean Fleet.

In Tunisia... The New Zealand Corps abandons efforts at concealment to increase speed. They reach the Tebaga Gap in the evening. During the night the main attack on the Mareth Line begins with a bombardment of Axis positions near the coast (held by the Italian "Young Fascist" Division). The barrage is followed up by troops of the British 50th Division. The Mareth line is held by a mixture of Italian and German units with the remaining 30 tanks of the German 15th Panzer Division in reserve. The 10th Panzer Division guards the American forces at Gafsa and the 21st Panzer Division is in general reserve at Gabes.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces continue to advance along a broad front throughout the Ukraine. Troops of 1st Ukrainian Front capture Mogilev Podolsky and Vinnitsa (former headquarters for Adolf Hitler and, afterward, German Army Group South), both important communication centers.

In Burma... The first brigade of the British 5th Division arrives at Imphal by air. A battalion is sent to Kohima.

In Italy... British General Alexander, Supreme Allied Command in the Mediterranean, agrees to the request of New Zealand Corps commander General Freyberg to halt attacks on Cassino because of heavy losses, unless substantial progress is achieved within the next two days.

In the Bismark Archipelago... The US 4th Marine Division (General Noble) lands on Emirau Island, in the Matthias group. There is no Japanese resistance. Naval support includes 4 carriers and 7 cruisers. Admiral Griffin commands 4 battleships and 2 carriers in attacks on Kavieng as cover for the landings.

In Burma... The British 19th Indian Division completes the capture of Mandalay. The Fort Dufferin position has been among the most stubbornly defended by Japanese forces.

In Japan... US Task Force 58 (Admiral Mitscher) is replenishing in preparation for operations around Okinawa. There are Japanese Kamikaze attacks that fail to achieve significant success. Admiral Spruance, command the US 5th Fleet, is present for the operations.

On the Eastern Front... Soviet forces around Stettin eliminate the German bridgehead over the Oder River, at Altdamm. In East Prussia, Braundsberg is captured.

From Berlin... General Heinrici, one of the best defensive tacticians in the German Army, is appointed to command Army Group Vistula in succession to Himmler. Heinrici is tasked with building up defenses along the Oder River in preparation for the expected Soviet offensive toward Berlin by 1st Belorussian Front (Zhukov). The German army group has already lost a large part of its original force in the fighting in Pomerania.

On the Western Front... Troops of US 7th Army capture Saarbrucken as well as Zweibrucken a little to the east. Forces of US 3rd Army capture Ludwigshafen and Kaiserslautern. Farther north, the US 1st Army continues fighting to expand the Remagen bridgehead which is now almost 30 miles wide and 19 miles deep.

03-21-2005, 08:16 AM
60 years ago today: RAF conducts a low-level Mosquito raid on the Gestapo HQ in Copenhagen, Denmark. Due to confusion & poor visibility one Mosquito crashes into the Jeanne d'Arc School. The following wave drob their loadout at the burning building which they believe is the target. 88 children is killed together with at least 150 bystanding civilians. German losses is estimated to 50. The HQ was completely destroyed & a few prisoners escaped. 3 more planes were lost on their way home.

-HH- Beebop
03-21-2005, 12:46 PM
21 March

In Paris... Paul Reynaud forms the new government of France.

In East Africa... Troops of the 11th African Division attack Italian positions in the Marda Pass west of Jijiga. After some resistance the Italians fall back despite the strength of their positions.

On the Eastern Front... The units of the German 16th Army entrapped at Demyansk begin attempts to break out.

In Tunisia... Italian forces hold the New Zealand Corps at the Tebaga Gap. The main attack on the Mareth Line, by British forces, in the morning has established a small force across the natural antitank obstacle of Wadi Zigzaou, but ground conditions prevent a further buildup.

In Burma... The British 20th Indian Division completes its withdrawal. The division now holds a line on the Shenan Hills and between Palel and Wangjing. The 17th Indian Division continues fighting through the roadblocks, held by the Japanese 33rd Division, in its effort to pull back.

In New Guinea... US forces moving west from Yalau Plantation link up with Australian forces advancing north, from inland, on the Huon Peninsula.

In the Pacific... US Task Force 58 (Admiral Mitscher) is replenishing in preparation for operations around Okinawa. The Japanese 5th Air Force deploys the first Ohka piloted rocket bombs, slung under Misubishi bombers, against the American fleet. The flight of 18 aircraft is intercepted by carrier aircraft and all but one are shot down. Admiral Spruance, command the US 5th Fleet, is present for the operations.

On the Western Front... Most of US 3rd Army forces are engaged in clearing German resistance on the west bank of the Rhine River, to the north of Mannheim. Other elements of US 3rd and US 7th Army units are cooperating to take Annweiler, Neunkirchen, Neustadt and Homberg.

Over Occupied Denmark... British Mosquito bombers attack and destroy the German Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen. Some of the bombs dropped land on a nearby school, killing 86 students and 17 teachers.

Over Germany... The US 8th Air Force targets Me262 fighter bases in western Germany.

03-21-2005, 07:40 PM
March 21, 1943: Another plot to kill Hitler foiled.

On this day, the second military conspiracy plan to assassinate Hitler in a week fails to come off.

Back in the summer of 1941, Maj. Gen. Henning von Tresckow, a member of Gen. Fedor von Bock's Army Group Center, was the leader of one of many conspiracies against Adolf Hitler. Along with his staff officer, Lt. Fabian von Schlabrendorff, and two other conspirators, both of old German families who also believed Hitler was leading Germany to humiliation, Tresckow had planned to arrest the Fuhrer when he visited the Army Group's headquarters at Borisov, in the Soviet Union. But their naivete in such matters became evident when Hitler showed up-surrounded by SS bodyguards and driven in one of a fleet of cars. They never got near him.

Tresckow would try again on March 13, 1943, in a plot called Operation Flash. This time, Tresckow, Schlabrendorff, et al., were stationed in Smolensk, still in the USSR. Hitler was planning to fly back to Rastenburg, Germany, from Vinnitsa, in the USSR. A stopover was planned at Smolensk, during which the Fuhrer was to be handed a parcel bomb by an unwitting officer thinking it was a gift of liquor for two senior officers at Rastenburg. All went according to plan and Hitler's plane took off--the bomb was set to go off somewhere over Minsk. At that point, co-conspirators in Berlin were ready to take control of the central government at the mention of the code word "Flash." Unfortunately, the bomb never went off at all-the detonator was defective.

A week later on March 21, on Heroes' Memorial Day, (a holiday honoring German World War I dead), Tresckow selected Col. Freiherr von Gersdorff to act as a suicide bomber at the Zeughaus Museum in Berlin, where Hitler was to attend the annual memorial dedication. With a bomb planted in each of his two coat pockets, Gersdorff was to sidle up to Hitler as he reviewed the memorials and ignite the bombs, taking the dictator out-along with himself and everyone in the immediate vicinity. Schlabrendorff supplied Gersdorff with bombs-each with a 10-minute fuse.

Once at the exhibition hall, Gersdorff was informed that the Fuhrer was to inspect the exhibits for only eight minutes-not enough time for the fuses to melt down.

03-22-2005, 04:39 AM
Arcadeace_ ... Excellent Posting!

-HH- Beebop
03-22-2005, 06:29 AM
I will be visiting a squadmate in Canada for the next few days and may not be posting here. I leave this thread in the fine hands of woofiedog, wayno7777, madsarmy, Luftwaffe_109, arcadeace (hello neighbor), and everyone else who has posted here. Feel free to contribute. Even if the event has been mentioned post your source. It may have a different take or different photos/maps/diagrams. I look at this thread as a primer on WW II history. I feel that I do the Headlines, the rest of you do the in-depth pieces on events. woofiedogs recent post on the Battle of the Bismarck Sea got me to making a co-op of the event. I would especially like to see events from the "other" side. Most avilable material is from the allied point of view. The same event as seen from the German/Japanese/Italian/non-USA-British side would be excellent contrast.
Feel free to contribute anytime. All are welcome. I'll be back Saturday.

Now for the day's events:

22 March

In the Soviet Union... The Soviets occupy the formerly Finnish port of Hango.

In the North Atlantic... The Scharnhorst and Gneisenau reach French waters. As well as the dispersing convoys found, one other ship has been sunk, bring the total to 22 ships of 115,600 tons. Considerable disruption to the British convoy system has been caused.

In East Africa... In the advance west of Jijiga the Allied forces overrun another defensive position at the Babile Pass.

In the Mediterranean... The Italians send out the battleship Littorio, two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser and eight destroyers to intercept the British convoy to Malta carrying vital food supplies and ammunition. The convoy is located, but the British escort under Admiral Vian manages to beat off the attack using torpedoes and smokes screens. The heavy attacks by German and Italian forces continue and only 5000 tons of food and equipment is off loaded at Malta. The food and weapons situation on the island is now critical.

In Tunisia... The bridgehead over Wadi Zigzaou has been reinforced in the early hours of the day but a counterattack by the German 15th Panzer Division effectively ends this attack. At the Tebaga Gap, the German 21st Panzer Division and the 164th Light Division prove capable of holding the New Zealand Corps.

On the Eastern Front... The Soviets capture Durovo, northeast of Smolensk.

In Italy... The forces of the New Zealand Corps (part of US 5th Army) makes a final attack on German-held Cassino. It fails. General Freyberg, commanding the corps, then calls off the attack. Allied troops are withdrawn from the most advance positions and the remainder consolidate recent agains.

On the Eastern Front... The forces of 2nd Ukrainian Front (Konev) secure Pervomaysk, southeast of Uman.

From Berlin... The formation of a new Hungarian government is announced. It will be led by Field Marshal Szotjay.

In the Atlantic... Admiral Doenitz orders all U-boats to disperse from groups and work singly. This decision represents the final victory of the Allied escort forces over the German U-boats. The Germans have decided to give up on convoy attacks until new U-boat designs become available.

On the Eastern Front... In Silesia, troops of the 1st Ukrainian Front achieve a breakthrough in attacks over the Oder River to the south of Oppeln as well as extending an existing bridgehead to the north of the town. In the Polish Corridor, the Soviet forces continue fighting to reach the Baltic between Gdynia and Danzig.

On the Western Front... The US 5th Division (an element of US 3rd Army) establishes a bridgehead over the Rhine River near Nierstein. Other US 3rd Army units are completing the mopping up west of the Rhine and preparing to make crossings of their own. In the north, British 21st Army Group (Montgomery) forces are also preparing to establish bridgeheads over the Rhine.

In Madrid... Don Juan, the pretender to the Spanish crown, demands the resignation of Franco and the restoration of the monarchy.

In Japan... The carriers of US Task Force 58 (Admiral Mitscher) are attacked by Japanese Kamikaze aircraft that fail to achieve significant success. However, it is noted that many of the attacks are made by manned rocket bombs. Admiral Spruance, commanding the US 5th Fleet, is present for the operations.

03-22-2005, 07:37 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Have a Great Trip -HH- Beebop!

03-22-2005, 07:12 PM
On this day of March 22 1941...

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Scharnhorst during Operation "Berlin".</span>

From 22 January until 22 March 1941 Scharnhorst and Gneisenau operated in the Atlantic, sinking several ships and severely threating British seaborne supply lines.

28.12.1940-02.01.1941: Abandoned attempt to break out into the North Atlantic together with Scharnhorst . Gneisenau suffered storm damage.
22.01.1941: Operation "Berlin":

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">On 22 January 1941 the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau made a second, this time successful, attempt to break out to the Atlantic. Here the Gneisenau can be seen in the Atlantic photographed from the Scharnhorst.</span>

Second successful attempt to break out into the North Atlantic together with sister ship Scharnhorst .
04.02.1941: Reached southern Greenland.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Operation "Berlin" was very successful and 22 ships was sunk by the German battle group. This photograph shows survivors from one of the sunk ships being picked up by the Germans.</span>

08.02.1941: Unsuccessful attack on convoy HX-108 after the sighting of the BB Ramiles .

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Here the Gneisenau is being refuelled during Operation "Berlin".</span>

22.02.1941: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau sink four merchants east of Newfoundland.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Gneisenau being resupplied. One of the Gneisenau's small motor boats have picked up the supply from the German supply ships/tankers that was so vital for the German navy.</span>

07-09.03.1941: Attack on convoy SL-67 is broken off as the British BB Malaya is sighted. Two U-boats are ordered to attack the convoy and sink 5 merchants.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">The Gneisenau as seen from a small motor boat during Operation "Berlin".</span>

15-16.03.1941: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau sink 16 merchants east of Newfoundland. Gneisenau is sighted by the British BB Rodney which requests identification of the German ship. Gneisenau replies "H.M.S. Emerald " and escapes.


22.03.1941: Both ships enter Brest. They sunk a total of 22 ships with 115600t, Gneisenau 14 with 66300 t.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW"> The Scharnhorst photographed from sistership, Gneisenau, off New-foundland. In the foreground a look-out on the Gneisenau can be seen.</span>


03-22-2005, 08:15 PM
On this day in 1942, Sir Stanford Cripps, British statesman, arrives in India for talks with Mohandas Gandhi on Indian independence, in what will become known as the Cripps Mission.

Cripps' politics were left of even the Labour Party, and when he advocated a united front with the Communists in 1938 against a growing European fascism, he was expelled from the party.

Once World War II erupted, Cripps was made ambassador to the Soviet Union. In 1942, he joined the War Cabinet and ventured to India to begin discussing two pressing issues: Japan's threat to India, and India's independence from Britain.

Nicknamed Mahatma, the "Great-Souled," Gandhi was at the center of India's quest for independence from British colonial rule. Gandhi deemed the negotiations made with the British government through the Cripps Mission unsatisfactory. It did not guarantee Indian independence--never mind the immediate autonomy that the Congress demanded--and threatened to "divide and keep conquered" by playing Hindu Indians against Muslim Indians. Consequently, though Gandhi hated fascism, he could not promise unqualified Indian support of the British during the war.

The Cripps Mission failed; Cripps returned to Britain and was eventually transferred to the Ministry of Aircraft Production. Gandhi was arrested as a "threat" to Indian security. He was interned for two years before health issues forced his release.

03-23-2005, 03:51 PM
On March 23, 1944, Italian partisans operating in Rome threw a bomb at an SS unit, killing 33 soldiers. The very next day, the Germans rounded up 335 Italian civilians and took them to the Adeatine caves. They were all shot dead as revenge for the SS soldiers. Of the civilian victims, 253 were Catholic, 70 were Jewish and the remaining 12 were unidentified.

Despite such setbacks, the partisans proved extremely effective in aiding the Allies; by the summer of 1944, resistance fighters had immobilized eight of the 26 German divisions in northern Italy. By war's end, Italian guerrillas controlled Venice, Milan, and Genoa, but at considerable cost. All told, the Resistance lost some 50,000 fighters-but helped win its republic.

03-24-2005, 09:48 PM
On this day of March 25 1944...

Saturday, March 25, 1944 - 386th B.G. Mission No. 140.
Target: Marshalling Yards at Hirson, France.

Saturday, March 25, 1944 - 386th B.G. Mission No. 140.
Target: Marshalling Yards at Hirson, France.
Colonel Joe Kelly was first box leader, his bombardier was Captain A.E. Hill. High flight leader was Lieutenant Romney Spencer. Low flight leader Lt/Col. Franklin Harris. Second box leader was Captain Peter Green, Jr. Bombardier Lieutenant John Dennison. High flight leader Lieutenant Albert Aberson. Low flight leader Lieutenant Walter Payne. Each ship carried eight 500 pound general purpose bombs.


The Group encountered meager to moderate heavy type flak en route to the target from Laon-Athies Airdrome area. In the vicinity of the I.P.(Initial Point) a 391st Group B-26 was observed to take a flak hit, caught fire, went into a spin and exploded at low altitude. No chutes were reported. With no flak at the target, first box leader decided to make a 360 degree turn for a better run. The second box leader bombed on his first pass, as a result the second box was now leading the first box. out of the target area. Most of the Group€s bombs dropped adjacent to and on both sides of the aiming point at 1441 hours. They struck railroad tracks and buildings which caused very large columns of smoke to rise. Both boxes had good bombing results.

Upon leaving the target area the formation experienced moderate to intense accurate heavy type flak; while flying from Poix-Nord Airdrome area and on to Oisemont€"the latter being fairly accurate. Lieutenant Betts flying ship 131775 AN-N received flak hits in the accessory section of his right engine, and out to the wing tip. Damage covered approximately one-third of his right wing. His co-pilot fired off several distress flares!

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">B-26 Marauder 'Hells a Poppin II' during a visit to Hardwick 1944</span>

Immediately after the flak subsided, ten to fourteen gray-green Me-109€s with yellow noses came out of the sun some 3,000 to 4,000 feet above the formation. The enemy aircraft were at once engaged by the P-47 escort planes. However five or six Me-109€s were able to break through€"dive down below the bombers, then pull up and attack the low flight of Colonel Kelly€s box. That box which was now flying behind Captain Green€s second box of eighteen planes. The German pilots came in from 6 o€clock low position, then rolling over as they were firing, and broke down and away upside down!

Staff Sergeant Alfred Dumas tail gunner on "MISS CARRIAGE" number seven position of the high flight was flown by Lieutenant John Petrey; Dumas fired at a range of 800 yards as the Me-109€s swept by. He was joined by tail gunner Sergeant Benjamin Louis flying in number three position high flight, piloted by Flight Officer John Albers in their ship called "SEDUCTIVE SUSIE." Lieutenant C.H. Richardson flying a plane called "SPARE PARTS" number three position of the lead flight. His waist gunner Tech Sergeant B.B. Wilkerson along with tail gunner Staff Sergeant Harry Jacobs each got off some 150 rounds. Waist gunner Tech Sergeant Andrew Hoaghland flying in a plane named "BUZZ-N-***** II number six position flown by Lieutenant Harry Slemmons, also joined in the fray! The formation was at 11,500 feet, flying at 190 m.p.h.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">This photograph signed by Sherman Best at WW II Weekend, 2002, Reading PA. </span>

"BLACK MAGIC" flown by Lieutenant Byron Potter, Jr. in number five position low flight took several 20mm hits which wounded co-pilot Lieutenant William Carls. The cannon fire hits also knocked out the radio, and blew out the right main wheel tire. Lieutenant Jerold Wendt flying in number four position low flight with "WINNIE" was damaged by nine 20mm strikes. Waist gunner Tech Sergeant Elwin Tindall, and tail gunner Staff Sergeant Joe Fredrickson were wounded by 20mm shrapnel as more enemy planes flying four abreast pulled up firing from 6 o€clock low. Staff Sergeant Hugh Laurens in the tail of "TOUCH-O-TEXAS" flying with Lt./Col. Harris, number one position of low flight fired at the enemy fighters as they pulled up and away.

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Starboard nose artwork of B-26 Marauder 'Hells a Poppin II' 1944</span>

Lieutenant Gordon Madson pilot of "GAMBLER€S LUCK" in number six in low flight came under attack. Tech Sergeant John Stankeiwicz in the waist and Staff Sergeant Warren Hartman in the tail returned fire. The prime target for the Me-109€s was a plane flown by Lieutenant E.F. Betts in tombstone position - number seven! His tail gunner Sergeant C.D. Powers reported over intercom that he had been wounded with cuts on head, arm, and legs. Betts plane already badly damaged by flak, now took heavy damage from 20mm cannon fire which blew off a major portion of the plane€s fin and rudder, that in turn restricted rudder control. The plane was flying with its right engine feathered and still several miles in from the enemy coast!


Captain Potter, 397th Fighter Squadron in the 368th Fighter Group, 71st Fighter Squadron flying a P-47 reported the following: At position of about fifteen miles southwest of Le Treport at 1520 hours, he sighted a B-26 bomber alone. It had battle damage but was still flying straight and level. Captain Potter had recently been engaged in a dog-fight with the enemy, and therefore was also flying alone! He escorted the bomber to a position as 50 degrees 33 minutes north - 01 degree 18 minutes east. At that point Captain Potter€s plane was running low on gasoline, so he changed course heading for his home base. As he left the bomber was flying on a heading of 320 degrees at the above coordinates, time was 1528 hours. That position was roughly twenty miles or so northeast of the bomber€s briefed return route.

At 1536 hours RAF 10 Group received a distress signal of an aircraft in the same area. They immediately dispatched two Spitfires and seven P-47€s to search the area€"with no positive results. Two additional sightings reported to Flying Control as wreckage sighted in the channel approximately thirteen miles southwest of a line between Tocqueville, France and Beachy Head


Meanwhile Lieutenant Betts and crew were on single engine operation and pulling 55 inches of mercury on the left engine, they were indicating a speed of 145 m.p.h. The pilot was given a course 330 degrees by his bombardier, Lieutenant R.E. Curtis, but due to extensive rudder damage that heading was not attainable. Actually they were on a course of 360 degrees.


At that point the much overworked left engine began showing signs it was about to give up. Down to an altitude of 2,000 feet the crew began bailing out over the channel. Then the engine quit, and the pilot bailed out at 800 feet. All six got out safely. Co-pilot Lieutenant L.R. Burnett reported all of the crew except the pilot hit the water within 150 yards of each other. The pilot€s watch stopped at 1542 hours when he dropped into the very cold water of the English Channel. He immediately began to inflate his rubber raft. While the co-pilot was pumping up his rubber raft he lost sight of the other members of the crew. He turned around to look for them€"they had all disappeared into the heavy haze that hung over the water. He felt sure that all of them had on "Mae West€s."

Prior to bailing out the crew had tried all radio procedures including emergency IFF. Pilot Elliott Betts and co-pilot Leonard Burnett, Jr. landed fairly close to each other in the channel. The pilots lashed their rubber dinghies together so as to make a larger target, and best chance for being spotted by search planes. About a half hour later they heard one of the other men call for help€"they paddled their raft in the direction of the cry; but found nobody in the thick haze. More shouts heard about dusk, then again about 2200 hours, after that nothing!


During mission interrogation the following crews flying in the same low flight had this to say after the Group exited the enemy coast. Lieutenant Adams crew members in number two position; waist gunner Staff Sergeant D.C. Johnson, top turret gunner, Tech Sergeant Richard McMullen, and tail gunner Staff Sergeant Robert Tirschek reported seeing the Betts plane at about 6,000 feet with some top wing skin blown off near the right engine.

Lieutenant Lovell€s crew number three position observed Betts plane about 4,000 feet being escorted by a P-47 a few miles off the French coast as seen by Sergeant Charles Adams and Staff Sergeant Earl Pitman. Lieutenant Potter€s crew in number five position; Staff Sergeant Lawrence Thornburg, and Staff Sergeant Jack Gemmell also reported the damaged plane€s progress. Lieutenant Wendt€s plane in number four position; Staff Sergeant Herbert May observed Lieutenant Betts ship about fifteen miles off enemy territory without escort.


Lieutenant Tommy Adams plane 131805 AN-D was forced to land Grandson Lodge because of battle damage. Lieutenant Madson landed "GAMBLER€S Luck" at Duxford. Also landing there with "BLACK MAGIC" was Lieutenant Potter. As he touched down the flat right wheel tire caused the plane to swerve off the runway and collapsed the right main landing gear strut. Lieutenant Donald Wren flying "CLOUD HOPPER 2nd" had to land at Stansted due to battle damage.

On the second day the pilots decided nobody was looking for them; they knew they were closer to France than to England. Their plan was to sail on a course of 150 degrees to France, they made about eight miles. At that time they saw Me-109€s and P-47€s fighting high above their location. That night the wind came up and blew them west on a course out to sea.! The next day the westerly course continued, they became very concerned about the condition of their feet€"which appeared to show signs of freezing! Finally on Tuesday, March 28th they were seen by an RAF Mosquito Bomber crew while returning from an operation flight about thirty miles south of Dungeness in late afternoon. The bomber circled for some fifteen minutes until a flight of Spitfires arrived to cover the scene. A short time later an RAF Walrus Flying Boat landed near by and took the exhausted fliers aboard at 1820 hours. The two pilots had been adrift in the channel for seventy-four hours and thirty-eight minutes! The rescued airmen were taken to sick bay at Hawkinge.


The Betts crew:

2nd Lieutenant E.F. Betts, pilot : rescued
2nd Lieutenant L.R. Burnett, co-pilot : rescued
2nd Lieutenant R.E. Curtis, bombardier/navigator : KIA
Staff Sergeant W.A. Van Damme, radio gunner : KIA
Staff Sergeant J.P. Brusman, engineer Gunner : KIA
Sergeant C.D. Powers, Armorer gunner : KIA

Chester P. Klier
Historian, 386th Bomb Group

03-26-2005, 06:56 AM
On this day of March 26 1945...

The Battle for Iwo Jima Ended.

The Battle of Iwo Jima... February 16, 1945 €" March 26, 1945.



On January 1, 1945 The USS Newberry "sailed from Kahului, Maui, T.H.; 2, arr at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, T.H.; 2-11, anchored thereat;" with the 50 (+1) men from "C" Company listed at the close of Chapter Six. We sat there waiting for the rest of the company who were boarding LST #716. I think we had some liberty days.


Back at Maui we lost six men transferred out. Seven men were left as the rear echelon and two more were in the hospital and later had to join the rear echelon. We were overstaffed at the end of December, but the loss of the 15 men, noted, left us with 236 men to go to Iwo.


On January 10, 1945 the 186 remaining "emb aboard LST #716 at Kahului, Maui." All 236 men "12-17, participated in the landing exercises in the vicinity of Maalaea Bay, Maui, T. H." Newberry only (!) "18, sailed therefrom; 19-26, anchored at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, T.H.; 27, sailed therefrom 27-31, enroute."


LST #716 (and LST's #642 and #723 with other battalion companies) "19, sailed therefrom; (Maalaea Bay) 19-21, anchored at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, T.H.; 22, sailed therefrom 22-31, enroute."

Webmaster Addition: I was on the advance party for LST #716 (I may have been the advance party since I don't remember anyone else going aboard with me). I was aboard for several days before the troops came aboard, but I don't remember doing anything so I think it was mostly a vacation for me. In addition to the 186 from Company C aboard the LST there were some others, most notably the LVT drivers. In total, we probably had more than 250 troops aboard. LSTs had about 60 or 70 bunks for troops. The top ranks were assigned bunks and all others might be described as "homeless". We, I was among the "homeless" after all troops came aboard, slept anywhere we could spread our blanket. Incidentally, blankets had to be rolled up during the day. LST #716 had an LCM (Landing Craft Medium) lashed to the deck and many of us slept underneath the LCM, we got plenty fresh air and if it rained we were protected from the elements. We didn't do much on the long voyage to Iwo. We had a relief mock-up of Iwo Jima and reams of data on the troop organizations that were believed to be on the island (including the names of unit commanders). Much time was spent talking about the map and troop data, but was only of academic interest at our level. There was a lot of free time so there were many card games and bull sessions.


The most noteworthy event that occurred during our long cruise from Hawaii to Iwo Jima happened at Saipan. I'm not certain of the date, but a large part of the invasion fleet assembled there around the 11th of February and while there conducted a large scale rehearsal for D Day at Iwo. This entailed troops loading into the LVT they would occupy on D Day, the LSTs opened their bow ramps, we drove out into the water, formed into groups, crossed a make believe line of departure, headed for the beach just as we would on D Day. At about 1000 yards from the beach on Saipan we veered off and headed back to our respective LSTs. While we were thus occupied the wind had risen sharply and the high waves had flooded the tank deck of LST #716. When the LVTs got aboard on the tank deck they were still floating and and it created bedlam with LVTs sliding around and crashing into one another. Somehow the sailors finally were able to get some of the water pumped out and tie down the LVTs without anyone getting killed or hurt. I personally was wondering if we were going to make it. Anyway shortly thereafter the convoy got underway for the final run to Iwo, none the worse for wear.


Tokyo Rose reportedly announced on the radio that "the Fourth Marine Division is leaving Hawaii for Iwo Jima. When the battle is over you will be able to take Roll Call in a telephone booth!" She was **** near right! It was a good illustration of espionage. She knew before we did where we were going!

Webmaster Addition: Tokyo Rose was an American citizen whose maiden name was Iva Toguri. She was visiting Japan when the war started. She had married a Portuguese citizen while in Japan and her married name was d'Aquino. She was one of several women who broadcast to US Military personnel. They became collectively known to US Troops as "Tokyo Rose". Her broadcast name was "Orphan Ann" and since she was the only one of the women who was an American citizen she was tried for treason and sent to prison after the war. Her family operated a book store on North Clark Street in Chicago and after she got out of prison she worked in the book store. In the 1960's my wife and I often bought books and magazines at the store and "Tokyo Rose" frequently waited on us. At that time she was an inoffensive looking small lady in her early 50's. President Ford pardoned her during his term in office.


Note that the LST's sailed for Iwo on Jan. 22, 1945, while the Newberry did not sail from Pearl Harbor until the 27th. There may have been some tactical reason for this, but the only reason I can think of is basic speed of the vessels.

We arrived at Saipan on February 11th, where the transfers from the Newberry to various LST's took place. (the details are at the end of Chapter Six.) The convoy sailed from Saipan on the 15th and !6th of February, meeting at Iwo Jima in the early hours of the 19th. My only clear recollection of LST #716 was that we were all fed steak and eggs very early in the morning on the 19th, just before climbing aboard the AMTRAC's . The last meal for many.


Our first sighting of Iwo was mostly of smoke from 73 days of aerial bombardment and the 72 hours of continuous Naval bombardment. Although most of the big guns were knocked out, less than 200 Japanese were killed - (from their records after the war)! Our job was cut out for us.



Lt General Tadamichi Kuribayashi had been assigned to command the garrison of Iwo Jima in May 1944.


He had served in the United States as a deputy defence attaché and considered the USA the "last country in the world that Japan should fight." When he arrived he immediately began to reorganise the chaotic defences that were in place and with the arrival of additional troops and Korean labourers began a huge construction programme that included tunnels, caves, gun emplacements, pillboxes, bunkers and command posts, many of which were mutually supporting and linked by a vast underground communications system.
Many were so well constructed that the intensive naval shelling and aerial bombing in the weeks before the attack simply failed to damage them. A lot of these fortifications were dug into the soft pumice-like volcanic rock, which mixed well with cement to provide additional reinforcement.
Supply areas, ammunition stores and medical facilities were all constructed within the underground tunnel system and when the fighting was at its height, many Marines reporting hearing voices emanating from the ground below them. The tunnel system was so extensive that many of the troops that were defending Mount Suribachi managed to escape to the north before the volcano fell.


Kuribayashi had studied traditional Japanese defensive tactics that emphasised halting the invader on the beach and realised that they had usually failed and the traditional 'banzai' charge, unless unleashed with care and precision, was a waste of men and resources. He looked at the tactics used by Lt General Sadae Inoue at Peleliu, who had abandoned the old style, and concentrated on a battle of attrition in order to wear down the enemy.


Kuribayashi decided he too would adopt these tactics - the Americans would eventually take the islands but he would extract a fearful price.
As the geography of Iwo Jima virtually dictated where the Marines would have to land (the only possible landing site being that already described), Kuribayashi set his defences accordingly. In addition, he acted on advice from his Staff Officer, Major Yo****aka Horie to use the majority of anti-aircraft guns in the ground role as the Americans were bound to have such overwhelming air superiority that any guns that revealed themselves would be quickly destroyed. Many of his Staff Officers seem to have objected to this and used their anti-aircraft guns in both roles and many were put out of action quickly.


With the final attack on the 26 March, organised Japanese resistance was finally at an end. Fighting would continue in small skirmishes well into June when the last few Japanese were captured (such as Lt Musashino, commander of the 2nd Mixed Brigade's Pioneer Company) by the US Army. Airfield No. 2 was expanded and the infrastructure of the island greatly improved. In the last few months of the war, the island underlined the reason for its capture as P51 Mustangs joined the B29 Superfortresses on the final leg of their journey to Japan and some 2,400 Superfortresses, with crews totalling over 70,000 landed on the island who might have otherwise have had to ditch in the sea.


The Americans had completely underestimated the timescale and cost of the operation as well as the determination and preparedness of the enemy. What had been envisaged as a short, decisive battle became the costliest battle in the history of the US Marine Corps and the role played by Lt General Kuribayashi cannot be underestimated in this. He had planned the defence of the island and foreseen how the campaign would unfold to perfection and was the only commander to inflict greater casualties on the Marines than what was suffered by the garrison The Marines suffered some 23,157 casualties (5,885 killed) and the US Navy suffered some 2,798 casualties (881 killed). For the Japanese, out of an estimated garrison strength of 21,060 personnel, some 216 Navy and 867 Army personnel were taken prisoner, leaving one to conclude that 19,977 were killed. Twenty-seven American personnel (22 Marines, 4 Navy corpsmen and 1 Naval Officer) received the Medal of Honor (13 posthumously), a third of the total awarded to the US Marine Corps in World War Two. The intensity of the combat on Iwo Jima was a stern warning of what was to come on Okinawa and what may well have awaited the Allies in an invasion of the Japanese mainland. Such an operation was already in its advanced planning stages, had been codenamed Operation Downfall and was due to take place in November 1945, the initial phase of which (itself codenamed Operation Olympic) was the island of Honshu. The enormity of the final casualty lists from Iwo Jima made it a priority that if an alternative means of ending the war could be found, then it should be pursued. That means came in the form of the Manhattan Project and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese formerly surrendered on the battleship USS Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945. The Second World War had finally come to an end.


"When you go home, tell them of us and say: 'For their tomorrows, we gave our todays'."John Maxwell Edmonds

-HH- Beebop
03-26-2005, 08:04 AM
"I Have Returned"-Gen. Douglas McArthur

My wife and I had a wonderful time visiting "Our Neighbour To The North", Canada, and got to enjoy time with my squadmate.
Thank you woofiedog and arcadace
for your great posts and helping keep the thread alive.

Now, today's headlines:

26 March

On the Western Front... The British 51st (Highland) Division replaces French forces on the line in the Saar region.

In Canada... In a general election, the Liberal Party under the leadership of Mackenzie-King wins 178 seats, the Conservative Party 39 and all others 28.

In New Zealand... Michael Savage, the Labour Party prime minister, dies at the age of 68.

In the Mediterranean... A night attack by explosive boats of a special Italian unit penetrates Suda Bay in Crete and sinks one tanker and cripples the British cruiser York. Following the claims by German aircraft to have sunk two of the British Mediterranean Fleet's battleships and with the promise of German air support and reconnaissance, Admiral Iachino leads the Italian Fleet on a sortie into the Aegean to disrupt the British convoys to Greece. He has one battleship, six heavy cruisers, two light cruisers and 13 destroyers.

In East Africa... The British forces occupy Harar, Abyssinia. The Italian forces and their new local allies begin an attack on Wingate's Gideon force around Burye (continuing to April 4th). They are beaten off despite their superior strength.

In London... Churchill comments, "It now seems very likely that we and our Allies cannot lose this war... except through our own fault."

In Tunisia... Axis forces in the Tebaga Gap are attacked by Allied air and ground forces throughout the day. By the evening the Axis defenses have been worn down and the British 1st Armored Division heads for El Hamma under moonlight.

In Vichy France... Laval organizes a cabinet reshuffle to consolidate his power.

In the Bering Sea... An American squadran of 2 cruisers and 4 destroyers (under the command of Admiral McMorris) meets a Japanese squadron of 4 cruisers and 5 destroyers (under the command of Admiral Hosogaya) off the Komandorski Islands. A traditional gun engagement begins and a cruiser on each side is badly damaged. Hosogaya decides to break off at this point although he has a clear superiority which is beginning to tell.

On the Eastern Front... A large part of the German 1st Panzer Army (part of Army Group South) is cut off around Kamenets-Podolski by Soviet advances to the Prut River by the 1st and 2nd Ukrainian Fronts. Other forces of the 2nd Ukrainian Front capture Balta.

In Italy... Allied forces begin regrouping. The French Corps and the New Zealand Corps are withdrawn from the line. Units from the British 8th Army designated to replace the forces withdrawn from US 5th Army line.

In the Caroline Islands... Japanese patrols again sight large American naval forces heading for Palau Island. They decide to disperse their warships.

In the Volcano Islands... On Iwo Jima, the few hundred Japanese troops remaining on the island mount a final suicide attack. They are wiped out by elements of the 5th Marine Division, which have been assigned the task of reducing the last pockets of resistance. About 200 of the Japanese garrison of 20,700 remain alive as prisoners of the marines of US 5th Amphibious Corps. American casualties have been almost 6,000 dead and 17,200 wounded.
In the Philippines... About 14,000 men commanded by General Arnold and drawn from the units of the Americal Division land just south of Cebu City on the island of Cebu. Admiral Berkey leads a bombardment group in support.

In the Ryukyu Islands... US naval forces (TF58 and TF52) continue air strikes on Okinawa. US Task Force 54 (Admiral Deyo), with 10 battleships, 10 cruisers and 33 destroyers, begin the main bombardment of Okinawa. The US 77th Infantry Division (General Bruce) lands on Kerama Retto and overruns the small Japanese garrison. The British Pacific Fleet (Admiral Rawlings), also designated Task Force 57, with 4 fleet carriers, 2 battleships, 5 cruisers and 11 destroyers, attacks airfields and other targets on Sakashima Gunto. Japanese submarines make unsuccessful attacks on the Allied ships.

On the Western Front... The US 7th Army begins to send units of US 15th and US 6th Corps across the Rhine River between Worms and Mannheim. To the north all the Allied armies continue to advance.

03-26-2005, 08:40 AM
I hope you enjoyed your trip Beebop.

And Woofie that's an interesting bit about Tokyo Rose (Orphan Ann), I've often wondered about her. I thought she was the only one, and Japanese. Frankly I'm disappointed President Ford pardoned her.

03-27-2005, 06:15 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gifWelcome back -HH- Beebop!

-HH- Beebop
03-27-2005, 09:45 AM
Thank you gents. It's good to be back although my stay seemed much too short. I had good times with good friends.

27 March

On the Western Front... In the Saar and Vosges regions, there are artillery duels between German and French forces.

In Yugoslavia... There is a coup led by air force officers and their Chief of Staff, General Simovic, who becomes the new head of government. The council of Regency and Prince Paul are deposed and the 17-year-old King Peter takes nominal charge of government. British agents have had a hand in bringing the rising about. The change is very popular among the Serbian sections of the population (almost all the leaders of the armed forces are Serbian) but less so with the Croats. In an immediate angry response to the change of government, Hitler issues Directive 25 which order planning for the invasion of Yugoslavia to begin. It is to be mounted as soon as possible and the invasion of Greece is to take place at the same time. Hitler accepts that it may be necessary to defer Barbarossa to allow these new operations to take place.

In Washington... Roosevelt's $7,000,000,000 Appropriations Bill for Lend-Lease passes into law.

In the Mediterranean... British forces set out to do battle with the Italian fleet. Admiral Pridham-Wippell leads four light cruisers and four destroyers from the Piraeus and Admiral Cunningham the main body of three battleships, one carrier and nine destroyers from Alexandria.

In East Africa... The Allied advance clears the Italian road blocks in the Keren position. The Italian force begins to withdraw toward Asmara. The Indian divisions have lost 4000 casualties in the Keren battles and the Italians 3000 dead as well as many wounded.

In Burma... All RAF aircraft and the remainder of Chennault's American volunteer air force are withdrawn from Burma. Japanese attacks on Toungoo against the Chinese 200th Division continue.

In London... Admiral Somerville is given command of the British Far East Fleet at Ceylon.

In Australia... General Blamey returns to Australia with troops from North Africa. He is appointed to command Allied land forces in Australia.

In Tunisia... A hastily constructed Axis defensive front around El Hamma holds the advancing British until retreating Axis infantry from the Mareth Line escape toward Wadi Akarit. There is a new American attack near Fondouk.

In the Atlantic... The British escort carrier Dasher is lost as a result of an accidental explosion.


On the Eastern Front... Kamenets-Podolski, on the Dnestr River and Gorodenka are captured by forces of the Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front (Zhukov). This movement is intended to block the breakout of the forces of the German 1st Panzer Army (Hube). Meanwhile, during the night, all units trapped in Hube's Pocket receive the following signal: "1st Panzer Army will fight its way through the enemy and defeat him wherever he is encountered."

In Italy... A British torpedo boat squadron destroys a small German coastal convoy off Vado.

In Burma... The British 33rd Corps (General Stopford) is assigned to 14th Army (General Slim). It is ordered to concentrate at Dimapur and then advance to Kohima. Meanwhile, a second brigade of the 5th Division arrives at Imphal by air while the third brigade is sent to Dimapur as a reinforcement for 33rd Corps.

In the Arctic... Convoy JW-58 sails from Iceland for Murmansk.

On the Eastern Front... In Poland, Soviet forces have penetrated to the final German defense lines at both Gdynia and Danzig. In Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the 2nd and 3rd Ukraine Fronts continue their attacks. The heaviest fighting is along the line of the Raba River where 6th SS Panzer Army suffers heavy casualties in counterattacks.

On the Western Front... In the northeast sector British 21st Army Group units are advancing along the line of the River Lippe with US 9th Army beginning to penetrate south into the Ruhr industrial area. US 3rd Army has now crossed the Main both west of Frankfurt, where Wiesbaden is attacked, and to the east.

Over Britain... The last German V2 rocket lands southeast of London at Orpington. The V2 campaign has killed over 2700 British civilians and injured 6500. As well as the 1115 launched at British targets, a further 2050 were aimed at Antwerp, Brussels and Liege.

In the Philippines... Cebu City is captured by the US landing force. As on the other islands, the Japanese are beginning to withdraw to inland strongholds where they will be confined and worn down by Filipino forces. Only on Luzon, Mindanao and Negros will the prolonged presence of US troops be necessary. In Manila Bay, an American force lands on Caballo Island, better known to the Americans as Fort Hughes, where they encounter strong Japanese resistance.

In the Ryukyu Islands... US naval forces, including TF58 and TF52, continue air strikes on Okinawa and TF54 continues bombarding the island. The British Pacific Fleet (Admiral Rawlings), also designated Task Force 57, again attacks airfields and other targets on Sakashima Gunto. A Japanese attack by explosive boats fails. Unsuccessful submarine attacks continue.

03-27-2005, 09:48 AM
Make this sticky!!!!

03-28-2005, 01:21 AM
On March 28, 1941, Andrew Browne Cunningham, Admiral of the British Fleet, commanded the British Royal Navy's destruction of three major Italian battleships and two destroyers in the Battle of Cape Matapan in the Mediterranean.

The British battleship Warspite fired five 15-inch shells at the Italian battleship Fiume, crippling it. Another Italian battleship, the Zara, was hit broadside by the Brits' Valiant and Barham and suffered a similar fate. The Pola was also struck by an 18-inch torpedo; it caught fire and lay dead in the water. Once the crew was taken off, torpedoes sank it. Two escorting destroyers, the Alfieri and the Carducci, were also sunk by the Royal Navy.

In total, the Italians lost 2,303 men from the five ships. The long-term effect on the Italian navy was to effectively render it impotent.

Exactly one year later, on March 28, 1942, a British sub near Antipaxo sunk the Italian ocean liner Galilea, which was being used to transport troops from North Africa back to Italy. The loss of the liner entailed the loss of 768 Italian soldiers and crewmen

-HH- Beebop
03-28-2005, 07:24 AM
28 March

From Paris... In their Supreme War Council the British and French decide to make a formal agreement that neither will make a separate peace. In the same meeting it is also decided to mine Norwegian coastal waters and, if the Germans seem ready to interfere, to send a military expedition to Norway. The contingency plan prepared for such an eventuality has had to be abandoned, however, because the excuse for landings in Norway was to have been a clause in the constitution of the League of Nations allowing transit for troops if they were going to the aid of a victim of aggression. This is now invalid, of course, because of the Finnish surrender. The operation is timed to start on April 5th but is later deferred to April 8th -- a vital difference in view of the timing the Germans fix for their own landings.

In Canada... Mackenzie King's Liberal Party is returned to power in the Canadian elections.

In Washington... Sumner Welles, Under-Secretary of State, reports to Roosevelt about his mission to the belligerent countries in Europe.

In the Mediterranean... Battle of Cape Matapan. There is a long-range engagement between Pridham-Wippell's force and some of the Italian cruisers. The Italians suspect that a large British force is present and begin to retire. In the afternoon Swordfish aircraft from the Formidable attack the Italian ships, hitting the battleship Vittorio Veneto and the cruiser Pola. The Vittorio Veneto is able to proceed at reduced speed but the Pola is stopped. In the evening Iachino sends the cruisers Zara and Fiume and for destroyers back to help the Pola. The British ships are pressing on in pursuit hoping to come up with the damaged Vittorio Veneto when, during the night, they find the three Italian cruisers and their escorts on radar. The British approach to close range, without being sighted in return, and in a brief gun battle the cruisers and two destroyers are sunk before they can return fire.

In Belgrade... The British Chief of Staff, General Dill, is in Belgrade for talks with the Yugoslav authorities, but there is little he can offer them and no agreements of any importance are reached.

In Occupied France... British commandos stage a raid at St. Nazaire. The dock gates of the port are damaged, however the raid suffers great losses. The damage done however, will prevent German battleship Tirpitz from docking in western France.

In Tunisia... Retreating German and Italian forces begin arriving at the Wadi Akarit position from the Mareth Line. The Axis forces have been substantially weakened.

On the Eastern Front... Forces of the Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front (Malinovski) capture Nikolayev. The sea borne evacuation of German and Romanian troops and wounded from Odessa begins.

In the Caroline Islands... The Japanese battleship Musashi is hit by a submarine torpedo while withdrawing from Palau Island.

In Moscow... Stalin receives a personal telegram from General Eisenhower (Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force) giving details of his order of battle and saying that he intends to send the main weight of his advance across southern Germany and Austria. The main thrust is to be toward Erfurt and Leipzig and a secondary effort is to go for Nuremberg, Regensburg and Linz.

On the Eastern Front... Gdynia falls to forces of the Soviet 2nd Belorussian Front. In Hungary, just south of the Danube River, Gyor is captured by troops from the 2nd Ukrainian Front.

On the Western Front... Marburg is taken by US 3rd Corps (part of US 1st Army) which has made a rapid advance from the Remagen bridgehead.
In Washington... The British protest the signal sent to Stalin, suggesting that decisions of such importance should not be taken by Eisenhower alone and that he also overstepping the authority in communicating directly with the Soviets. Both Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff would prefer the advance to be directed on Berlin as had been the plan up to now for the political value of this move. However, President Roosevelt, weakened by his illness, leaves most military decisions to General Marshall and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Marshall confirms his support for Eisenhower in response to the British protest.

In Berlin... After a heated argument with Hitler, General Guderian is dismissed from his post as Chief of the Army General Staff. His replacement is General Krebs.

In Burma... The Japanese have failed in their efforts to retake Meiktila and while they have been involved in this area, British 33rd Corps has been making important gains to the north. General Kimura, commanding Japanese forces in Burma, decides that with his main line of communications cut, he must try to withdraw his troops to the east of Meiktila.

In the Ryukyu Islands... US naval forces, including TF58 and TF52, continue air strikes on Okinawa while TF54 continues bombarding the island. Japanese Kamikaze and submarine attacks continue.

03-28-2005, 08:19 AM
Pardon me if this has been mentioned already...

The History Channel is running a recurring program called The Last Days of WW II (or something) that presents a " what happened this week " format during 1945, I guess until May or even August when the Pacific War ended.

03-28-2005, 09:30 AM
Capt._Tenneal... Thank's for the info.